The HCG diet is a hormone-based diet that has been around since the 1950s.
It involves the use of the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) made by the pituitary gland in very small doses (15-20 u/day) to help decrease appetite and target fat loss in conjunction with a very low calorie (500-750 cal/day) diet.
The diet is low in fat and high in vegetables and protein, and it does help drop significant amounts of weight very easily.
In our office, we use the diet together with balancing hormones and teaching patients to eat properly, exercise, sleep, and manage stress. The results we find are great, but we only use HCG in injectable form made specifically by prescription for the individual patient.
The problem with the HCG diet is that ruthless marketers sell it in drops or tablets on the Internet, and there is no guarantee the contents are pure or even HCG at all, and the absorption of oral preparations isn’t good.
A low-calorie diet of 500- 750 calories will make anyone lose weight, so the results are from the low caloric intake, not the Internet-purchased HCG.
The long-term effects aren’t great, because, if your hormones aren’t balanced and a transition to normal eating is not implemented, it’s just another fad.
Posts by Erika Schwartz, M.D
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