The Pros and Cons of the HCG Diet

Many fad diets have swept weight loss hopefuls off their feet over the years. From the South Beach diet to the Atkins diet, many people have tried one of the myriad diets at least once.

What about the HCG diet? This new weight loss idea seems to have taken hold. Is it here to stay?

The Basics

The HCG diet began with Dr. A.T.W. Simeons. Simeons conducted research on obesity and weight loss while inIndia. During his course of research, Simeons discovered that there are three major causes for obesity: our genes, cultures, and potential glandular disorders.

The HCG diet can be very difficult for some, but it can also be very rewarding. The HCG diet has two parts: daily HCG doses and very limited calories. The HCG is typically taken in through injection or tongue drops. The diet proponents say that these daily doses, coupled with 500 calories per day, can help a person lose anywhere between 35 and 40 pounds.
The HCG diet consists of “rounds” of treatment. Each round is about 26 to 28 days, and you will take HCG for 23 to 25 of those days. People on this diet have reported losing anywhere between 10 and 25 pounds during the first round. The diet’s proponents recommend a maximum of four rounds.

While the 500 calorie daily limit can seem impossible, proponents of the diet insist that it is not difficult.
To help you decide whether the HCG diet is right for you, we have created a list of pros and cons. With this list in tow, you can figure out if this fad diet is here to stay or if it has to go!

The Pros

The weight loss: The numbers don’t lie. People have reported losing between 10 and 40 pounds throughout the course of the diet. Such a huge amount of weight loss is difficult to accomplish with other fad diets.

The quick results: Dieters have reported significant weight loss (between 10 and 20 pounds) during the first round, which typically lasts between three and four weeks. Where else can you find a diet that works this fast?

The length: Three weeks to a month is a pretty short amount of time to be on a diet. You don’t need to spend all of your time laboring over your diet and avoiding meals with friends because of it. It only lasts a few short weeks; after that, you can decide whether you need to do another round or whether you are done. If you are done, you simply need to work on maintaining your weight loss with a healthy diet.

Painless: One upside of the HCG diet is that it does not require any expensive surgery. While you can lose pretty hefty amounts of weight through gastric bypass, it can be costly and potentially painful. Plus, you don’t have to spend every waking moment at the gym! In fact, exercise isn’t even part of this weight loss plan.

The Cons

It’s controversial: We’ve all heard they claim the HCG diet is “fraudulent.” The FDA feels any weight loss that is achieved is a result of the ultra-low calorie diet and the use of HCG is supposedly irrelevant.

To throw a bit of devil’s advocate into the mix, there are three things to note about the FDA’s statement. First, their warning applies to homeopathic and over-the-counter products. Second, HCG has been approved by the FDA to treat infertility in males and females; therefore, it isn’t unsafe. Third, the FDA statements notes, “there is no supportive evidence that HCG is effective for weight loss.” That remark could be interpreted as the research completed to date is not adequate and claims, at this point, are premature.

The essentials: You will likely miss out on essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. However, you can rectify this situation by investing in a health supplement. Also, plan your meals very carefully; then, you can get the maximum amount of nutrients possible out of the limited calories you are allowed.

What’s the Final Verdict?

Of course, any weight loss plan will have pros and cons. Before embarking on any diet, you should personally consider the benefits and potential pitfalls to see if the plan is right for you.

For those who have tried the HCG diet, we’d love to hear from you. What did you think? Did you lose weight? Was it difficult adhering to the 500 calorie limit? If you aren’t interested in the HCG diet, we want to hear from you too. What is holding you back? Have you found success with a different weight loss plan? If so, which one?

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