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Weight Loss Surgeon Questions “Veracity” of HCG Diet Promises

Ryan | November 2nd, 2012

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People curious about the HCG diet plan, and whether or not its claims of extreme weight loss hold water, rely on expert reviews of HCG weight loss products by diet specialists, nutritionists, and physicians. One such online review of the HCG diet plan came in the form of an interview with weight loss surgeon and inventor of the “FullBar” diet granola bars, Dr. Michael Snyder. His interview about HCG diet side effects appeared on a website called Diets In Review.

HCG Weight Loss Claims Questioned

In short, Dr. Snyder concludes, “I’m skeptical that intentionally increasing your levels of hCG is effective and safe.”

This position is echoed by Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder and chief medical officer of The Center For Medical Weight Loss, the largest group of non-surgical weight loss specialists in the country.

“Bottom line: Don’t look to a HCG weight loss program to lose weight,” warns Dr. Kaplan. “Not only are they expensive and unproven – they’re dangerous. On the other hand, patients following a medical weight loss program like the one at The Center for Medical Weight Loss not only lose weight quickly, they do so safely. And unlike HCG diet programs, the medical weight loss approach has been scientifically proven to help people lose excess weight and keep it off.”

Researchers seem to agree: A study published in the American Journal of Medicine reports that the average patient at The Center For Medical Weight Loss sheds 11.1% of their total body weight in just 12 weeks. For someone starting at 250 pounds, that comes out to 28 pounds lost in 12 weeks. Even more extraordinary, over 95% of patients maintained weight loss after one year.

HCG Diet Reviews

“HCG is a naturally-occurring hormone,” reports Dr. Snyder. “But just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean that it’s safe.”

HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone made by women during pregnancy, is found in the placenta, and is excreted in the urine. Some HCG weight loss products claim that the hormone helps burn fat and increase metabolism — however, critics suggest the diet program works, if it does, because followers are also told to follow starvation-category eating plans.

“It is true that people on HCG diet programs do lose weight,” says Dr. Kaplan. “But what the ads don’t say is that along with HCG injections, drops, pills, pellets and sprays, people follow a very restrictive and nutritionally unsound 500-calorie-a-day diet plan. No wonder they lose weight! But it’s not because of the HCG, it’s because of the extremely low calorie intake.”

Dr. Snyder believes that HCG is simply broken down by the body and cycled out of the system without having any effect at all. He adds, “I have found no clinical indication that hCG increases metabolism. If this were the case, we might see pregnant women who are also anorexic, but in fact, we see just the opposite: Pregnant women gain weight.”

He continues by pointing out, “if something is that good, as hCG claims to be, you are likely then to find it all over in thousands of stores. My concern is that if you can only find it on the internet, then it has limited veracity.”

Avoid HCG Diet Side Effects: Stick with a Proven Program

The best way to shed pounds quickly, and to keep the weight off long term, is to establish a healthy lifestyle combining a balanced, moderate diet and a regular exercise regimen that can be sustained not just for days or weeks, but for months, years, and a lifetime. The physicians at The Center For Medical Weight Loss have produced thousands of successful weight loss stories by customizing a unique diet and exercise plan for each individual, based on his or her medical history and weight loss goals.

There are over 450 centers across the country. Enter your zip code in the box at the right to see if there is one near you. Introductory offers are available for first-time clients at select locations.