The HCG Diet has been making waves of controversy, with many pop diet specialists, such as Dr. Oz, supporting the diet. However, many others are steadfastly against it and consider it dangerous. Let's set the record straight by taking an unbiased look at the HCG Diet.
The Food Guidelines
The HCG diet is a very calorie-restricted diet. It limits you to just 500 calories a day for eight weeks. You are limited to two meals: lunch and dinner. Both need one protein, vegetable, bread, and fruit. Foods you can eat on this diet include:
- Protein – Veal, beef, chicken, white fish, lobster, crab, shrimp
- Vegetables – Spinach, chard, chicory, beet greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage
- Fruits – Oranges, apples, strawberries, grapefruits
- Bread – Bread sticks, melba toast
- Drinks – Coffee, water and tea
The list is actually pretty diverse, which undoubtedly helps make adjusting to the HCG diet a lot easier. However, that's not the end of it, as dieters must also take a daily dose of HCG.
hCG, otherwise known as human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone created during pregnancy. It is used to support the development of eggs, and supplements are used to help infertile women and to boost sperm count.
The Side Effects
Supporters of the diet claim hCG resets your metabolism, but they tend to ignore the various side effects and dangers of HCG supplements, which include:
- Water weight gain
- Allergic reactions
- Birth defects
- Multiple pregnancies
- Early puberty
Serious risks include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a condition that can actually cause death. Symptoms include swelling, severe pelvic pain, stomach pain, weight gain, and vomiting.
Most of these risks are increased if you suffer from any of the following problems:
- Certain kinds of cancers, such as ovary or uterine cancer
- Uterine bleeding
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
If you search for HCG testimonials online, you will find the diet's promoters publishing dozens of success stories of people who have lost a lot of weight. Isn't that proof that the diet is a successful way to lose weight?
The Food and Drug Administration doesn't seem to think so. They've actually advised people to avoid HCG weight loss products, stating that such products have not been shown to be an effective (and long-lasting) weight control method.
They believe that any weight lost on the HCG Diet is caused by the low level of calorie intake. Anyone eating under 800 calories a day will lose weight because the body will have no choice but to start ingesting its own fat for energy.
Very-low-calorie diets, like the HCG diet, are only effective when prescribed and monitored by a doctor. Doing one on your own exposes you to a wide range of side effects, including:
- Cold intolerance
- Hair loss
- Menstrual problems
- Severe muscle loss
- Nutritional deficiencies
More serious problems include coma, heart arrhythmia, stroke, brain hemorrhage, birth defects, and even death.
Unfortunately, the verdict on the HCG Diet seems to suggest that it's a little too dangerous and should be avoided. However, if you're severely obese and need help, a physician-guided very-low-calorie weight loss program may help you. For more information, contact aphysician guided weightloss center in your area.