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What is the HCG Diet Plan?

Whitney | September 5th, 2012

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The HCG diet plan has been highly touted in recent months as one of the fast ways to lose weight today. With an obesity epidemic on the rise in the United States, it is no wonder many are looking for a fast weight loss fix that will help them shed excess pounds and achieve a leaner, healthier lifestyle as quickly as possible. But is HCG for weight loss the best route toward reaching your goals?

Basics of the HCG Diet Plan

The HCG diet plan combines an extremely low-calorie diet with daily intake of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). The hormone is produced by the female human body during pregnancy. However, as a weight loss tool, HCG is far from proven and may even be dangerous, according to some medical experts.

The HCG diet plan involves daily HCG taken through a number of options. Injections must be obtained through a doctor’s prescription, but can be administered at home once a day. According to a report at U.S. News and World Report, injections can run an average of $500 or more each month. HCG drops are purchased over-the-counter and taken under the tongue three to four times a day. HCG pellets are also available, with dosing recommendations of four pellets, three times a day

What to Eat on the HCG Diet Plan

In addition to daily HCG, this plan requires dieters to consume anywhere between 500 and 800 calories daily. Foods on the menu might include unsweetened tea or coffee for breakfast, with up to one tablespoon of milk. Lunch is a very small portion of lean meat or fish and a vegetable, such as leafy greens, asparagus or tomato. A breadstick and a small piece of fruit can be added. Dinner consists of the same basic menu choices as lunch.

The premise behind the HCG diet plan is that the HCG helps dieters adhere to the low caloric intake by suppressing appetite. By “resetting the metabolism,” the HCG program promises weight loss of 20-30 pounds in a little over a month. However, HCG diet side effects can be unpleasant, and even dangerous in some dieters, which is why many medical experts have warned dieters to steer clear of HCG as one of the fast ways to lose weight.

Warnings about the HCG Diet Plan by the FDA

The FDA has come out with numerous warnings involving the HCG diet plan, stating that there is no medical evidence to support the use of HCG in weight loss. The agency has also asserted that it is illegal to sell HCG as a homeopathic weight loss drug, and has sent warning letters to at least seven companies that have marketed the substance as such.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, director of the Center for Medical Weight Loss, has warned dieters, “Don’t look to an HCG weight loss program to lose weight. Not only are they unproven – they’re dangerous.” Dr. Kaplan advises patients to seek out a physician-guided approach that ensures dieters take weight off safely and keep it off over the long term.

Currently, there are 450 Centers for Medical Weight Loss across the country offering safe and effective weight loss solutions. The American Journal of Medicine has quoted that their patients are able to maintain weight loss results after one year at a rate of 95.3%.  The HCG diet plan does not weight loss success stories and statistics like that.  Enter your zip code in the box at the right to find a center near you.  Don’t forget to inquire about special introductory offers available at many locations.