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Hcg Injections For Weight Loss

Hcg Injections For Weight Loss

Level of Effort: High

It's very hard to stick with the strict calorie limit. Not only is it uncomfortable to live on just 500 calories a day, it can be dangerous. It’s impossible to meet all your nutritional needs on so few calories. You may not get enough protein, either. If you're getting less than 1,200 calories a day, it's going to be challenging to get enough vitamins and minerals without supplements.

Doctors sometimes recommend a very-low-calorie diet (under 1,000 calories per day) if someone is obese and has a medical condition such as high blood pressure, but these diets must be carefully supervised by a doctor.

Weird Weight-Loss Rules

If the shoot-up-to-shed concept doesn’t raise enough red flags, the HCG weight-loss diet comes with plenty of other oddities: You can only eat two 250 calories meals per day consisting of 3.5 ounces of meat, one vegetable, and a slice of bread, you can’t exercise at all, oil is a no-go, only one tablespoon of milk is allowed every 24 hours, and body lotion is on the banned list, too, according to the American Society of Bariatric Physicians official statement on the HCG diet results. Oh, and no cosmetics other than lipstick and eyebrow pencil can be used without “special permission”, according to the HCG Diet Manuscript. Yeah, pretty wacky…

When the diet hit a peak in popularity in the 1970s, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition all the way back in 1973 proved that the diet was (and still is) ineffective. And a second study, published in 1990 in the South African Medical Journal showed that HCG is no more effective than a placebo.

What Is the HCG Diet, and How Does the Fad Diet Work?

The diet requires that you eat only 500 calories a day, supposedly as part of an effort to help reset your metabolism and change your abnormal eating patterns, as the FDA explains in its warning against the diet. (1) The HCG diet also requires you to take a daily dose of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Available in injections, pellets, sprays, oral drops, and pills, HCG is the hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy.

In 1954, British physician A.T.W. Simeons theorized that HCG allows mothers-to-be to access fat reserves to feed their fetuses. He published a book, Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity, in which he suggested that HCG could help people access their fat reserves and achieve weight loss.

The idea might have been that, if a woman had morning sickness or some other condition that prevented her from taking in ample nutrition at a certain point in her pregnancy, her baby would still have a reserve of energy to draw on, and the hormone HCG could help facilitate access to that supply, Weinandy says. But, she notes, this really oversimplifies the numerous systems at work in pregnancy: A number of hormones are active, and the way they interact can sometimes even promote fat gain for the mother.

In fact, Weinandy says, this kind of speculation about HCG’s role in weight loss can be “really dangerous, and it’s sending a bad message to people because we don’t know for certain how HCG works.” Another worry? Many chronic diseases, including breast cancer and prostate cancer, have been linked to an imbalance of hormones, so we can’t predict what effects manipulating our hormones might have, Weinandy cautions.

An HCG Diet Food List: What to Eat and Avoid on the Plan

The HCG diet limits calories substantially, usually to about 500 per day but sometimes up to 1,500, Weinandy says. Because of that severe restriction, the HCG diet limits fat substantially, she explains.

According to the HCG diet website, here are a list of the approved foods:

  • Some FruitsLimited oranges, strawberries, apples, and red grapefruit
  • Nonstarchy Vegetables Lettuce, celery, cabbage, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes
  • Lean Meat Chicken breast, lean ground beef, shrimp, lobster, and white fish

So what are some foods that are definitely off-limits in this plan? Keri Gans, RD, a New York–based dietitian, notes that the diet does not allow any of the following:

  • Fatty Foods Fatty fish, nuts, or anything made with oil
  • Starchy Vegetables Potatoes, for example
  • Added Sugar Not permitted in any form
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