HCG diet history: Does it work or is it a danger to your health?

The hCG diet was a non-traditional diet created and introduced in the 1950’s, and reintroduced to the mainstream as the cure for obesity. It was a short-term solution to a long-term problem. This delighted dieters with a quick way to “reset” their metabolisms and lose weight, but what exactly is the hCG diet?

Although it is a weight-loss diet, there’s more to it than that.

hCG History and Dr. Simeons’ hCG protocol

The hCG diet was described by British physician A.T.W Simeons as a new method for dieting. The diet reduced food intake to 500kcal per day, and combined the caloric reductions with daily injections of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG, 125 IU i.m.). This is a hormone found in pregnant women’s urine. It is created by the placenta at first and then by the fetus, itself. It can also be used to trigger ovulation for infertile women.

The dieter would only be on this program between 3.5 to six weeks.

The premise behind the hormone diet was weight loss, but according to Simeons, the dieter should not lose more weight than a four to six week diet without hCG. The injections helped maintain the diet by suppressing hunger, while losing specific areas of body fat such as the thighs and belly.

It was claimed that overweight patients who followed Simeons therapy lost weight quickly, did not feel weak, lost fat in areas that normally store fat even with diet, and were not hungry.

Does the hCG diet work?

The hCG diet combines a very low-calorie diet of usually organic foods with intramuscular injections of hCG. The low-calorie, fat-free diet is extremely restrictive, and only allows patients 500 to 800 calories per day. Due to the lowered caloric intake, it is possible for someone to lose weight for a short period of time.

However, it was found that hCG does not redistribute fat. Study after study agreed that weight loss occurred for short periods of time, but not for long-term weight loss. It was found that hCG is ineffective in weight loss and should not be used.

Should you try the hCG diet?

CNN produced the article “HCG Diet: Starving on Pregnancy Hormones? because the calories are far below the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) recommended daily caloric intake of 1,200 calories for women, and 1,800 calories for men. The decision to use this diet is certainly yours, but there is significant information that states the use of the hCG diet does not work, and is dangerous to your health.

***Seek the guidance of your physician before beginning any health and wellness program.

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National Institutes of Health: Risk-benefit analysis of a hCG-500 kcal reducing diet (cura romana) in females Metabolism is Modifiable with the Right Lifestyle Changes
HCG Triumph The truth about HCG for weight loss
National Institutes of Health: Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis
HCG Diet: Starving on Pregnancy Hormones?
The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy:a criteria-based meta-analysis
HCG Diet Direct Publishes Articles and HCG Diet Info Based on Official Weight Loss Statistics

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