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hCG Injections for Weight Loss: Do They Really Work?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
7/24/2013 6:00 AM   :  203 comments   :  409,041 Views

What if I told you that we've discovered the secret to weight loss—something so amazing, easy, and effective that it can help you drop several pounds a day, lose that stubborn belly fat for good, and finally "fix" your metabolism so that you'll never suffer from weight problems again? Sounds great, right?

All you have to do is never eat any brand name foods from big food companies, eliminate all artificial sweeteners, white sugar and flour (and a handful of other things), switch to a 100% organic diet, eat big salads at lunch and dinner, consume no more than 500 calories a day and inject yourself with a special "solution" each day while you do it. Your reaction to that should be "no thanks, I'll pass," but many others think it sounds like the weight-loss breakthrough they've been waiting for.

It's called the hCG diet. If you haven't heard of it, it's not your fault. Proponents of this diet claim that it's so effective that the government has worked hard to cover it up for years because it would solve obesity and health problems that would put pharmaceutical companies out of business.

That may seem plausible. I love a good conspiracy theory myself. But the deeper you dig, the more red flags you'll find about the hCG diet and its infamous injections.

I do my best to stay on top of current weight-loss trends, but I hadn't heard about this until Coach Jen and SparkPeople Dietitian Becky Hand, a licensed and registered dietitian with 20 years of experience, alerted me about it. They've received lots of questions about these hCG injections and the hCG diet. So with Becky's help and some research on my part (which wasn't easy because most websites you'll find when you search for hCG information are completely one-sided and trying to sell hCG to you), here's what you need to know.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced during pregnancy. It is made by cells in the placenta and helps to maintain progesterone production throughout pregnancy, among other functions. One of the possible roles of hCG during pregnancy is breaking down stored abdominal fat so that it can be used as an energy source for the growing fetus, a process that slightly increases the mother’s metabolism. Because of this, some people have hypothesized that hCG could be used as a weight-loss aid.

In the 1950s, A British endocrinologist named Dr. Albert T. Simeons created a weight-loss plan that involved injecting people with the hCG hormone based on his theory that it will help break down fat stores, increase metabolism and promote weight loss and satiety on an extremely low-calorie diet. He even opened some hCG weight-loss clinics during the mid-century.

In more recent history (2007), Kevin Trudeau, a controversial businessman with no medical or nutrition credentials, wrote a book called The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About that outlines a restrictive hCG diet and recommends the use of hCG injections for weight loss. This has led to a consumer resurgence and interest in hCG. However, it should be noted that Trudeau has made a living selling "natural cures" in books and infomercials and has lost several lawsuits brought on by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and has also been convicted of both fraud and larceny. In November 2007, just seven months after his Weight Loss Cure book was published, a court found Trudeau in contempt for making deceptive claims in his book and ultimately fined him $37 million. Some people view Trudeau as a crusader or hero for sharing these cover-ups with the public when no one else would. Others (myself included) view his background and run-ins with the FTC as big red flags. How can you trust someone with a history like this and no medical or nutrition education or experience? Updated 3/24/14: Trudeau was jailed November 12, 2013 when he was convicted by a federal jury of criminal contempt for lying in several infomercials about the contents of his hit book, “The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You to Know About,” which promoted hCG. In March 2014 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. More at ChicigoTribune.com.

Trudeau and other proponents of the hCG diet and hCG injections for weight loss continue to make a lot of big claims, but these are just claims—not facts. NONE of these claims is backed by reputable resources or any science.

According to SparkPeople's head dietitian Becky Hand, "Numerous double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies conducted between the 1970s and 1990s (see a list of selected sources below) have shown that hCG injections provide NO weight-loss advantage. In study after study, researchers compared two groups: a control group who followed the diet only and another group who followed the same diet AND received hCG injections. Time after time, the weight loss between the two groups was identical, demonstrating that hCG injections offer no weight-loss advantage over dieting alone." Or in layman's terms, "hCG injections have nothing to do with the weight loss. SAVE YOUR MONEY!" cautions Becky.

After all, if you're completely changing your diet and eating a third of the calories you should be eating to stay healthy, it's hard to know what's really causing weight loss: the diet, the injection or both. These studies show that the diet is responsible—that hCG injections aren't really doing anything to promote weight loss. On top of that, says Becky, who reviewed the published research on hCG says, "researchers observed NO statistically significant differences in body composition, waist-to-hip ratio, hunger level, spot reduction, or mood among the groups." This counters the very claims made by hCG promoters—that hCG burns belly fat and makes you able to withstand the extreme hunger you're likely to experience if you only eat 500 calories a day. Reputable research says otherwise.

Even if hCG injections do work, how do you know that what a supplement company is selling you is the real thing? Part of the risk of taking supplements—whether we're talking vitamins, herbal concoctions or hormones like hCG—is that supplements are not regulated. No one is overseeing these companies to ensure that what they say is in a bottle is really in there. No one is making sure that the pill or liquid or whatever it may be is free of contaminants or provides a safe or healthy dosage. Prescription drugs on the other hand are regulated for safety, ingredients and potency. But you'd be hard pressed to find a doctor who will administer hCG injections for you because the FDA has never approved hCG injections for weight-loss treatment in the U.S. In fact, since 1975, the FDA has required labeling and advertising of hCG to state:

"HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or 'normal' distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets."

Beyond that, the diet alone is restrictive and dangerously low in calories. The reason SparkPeople (and other nutrition recommendations) have calorie floors (women should never eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, for example) is because it is not possible to meet your body's needs for protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals when eating so little food. Certainly an extremely low-calorie diet will result in weight loss—for a while. But it'll likely slow your metabolism down and make you feel lethargic and pretty darn hungry.

One of the things I always tell people when they ask me about the latest diet pill or program is this: If it REALLY worked, everyone would know about it. Seriously—everyone really would. You'd constantly hear about it on the news, in magazines and newspapers, in statements from reputable organizations, from doctors—from everyone. Why? Because everyone really DOES want a safe and reliable cure for obesity. If that existed in the form of a pill or injection or special food combination, you better believe that no one would be able to truly "suppress" that information. Pharmaceutical companies have been searching for this very cure for years, as have university and medical researchers who aren't affiliated with pharmaceutical companies. If weight loss came in a pill, trust me—you'd know about it and you'd probably be taking it. "The use of hCG injections for weight loss remains a popular treatment," says Becky, "but it is just another dieting scam."

The next thing I want you to ask yourself is, "Who profits from telling you this?" If "who profits" is a bunch of supplement companies or weight-loss clinics or a controversial book author, well there you go. Medical organizations, health organizations, the government, nutrition professionals, even SparkPeople—none of us either "win" or "lose" by telling you that something is a scam. The people who have the "agenda" are the ones who are trying to profit off of consumers with high hopes for this secret cure.

Selected Sources:
Bosch B, Venter I, Stewart RI, Bertram SR. Feb. 1990. Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. South African Medical Journal. 77(4):185-9.

Greenway FL, Bray GA. Dec. 1977. Human chorionic gonadotropin in the treatment of obesity: A critical assessment of the simeons method. The Western Journal of Medicine. 127(6):461-3.

Miller R, Schneiderman LJ. Mar. 1977. A clinical study of the use of human chorionic gonadotrophin in weight reduction. Journal of Family Practice. 4(3):445-8.

Shetty KR, Kalkhoff RK. Feb. 1977. Human chorionic gonadotropin treatment of obesity. Archives of Internal Medicine. 137(2):151-5.

Stein MR, Julis RE, Peck CC, Hinshaw W, Sawicki JE, Deller JJ. Sept. 1976. Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: A double-blind study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 29(9):940-948.

Young RL, Fuchs RJ, Woltjen MJ. Nov. 1976. Chorionic gonadotropin in weight control: A double-blind crossover study. Journal of the American Medical Association. 236(22):2495-7.



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Comments

  • 153
    I am starting this on Monday and yes, I am going to sit on my ass and do this. I'm not going to put stress on my body by pounding the ground with all of this weight for an injury that'll have me on my ass anyway. I've been there done that. Before anyone knocks it, remember, different strokes for different folks. If it isn't for you, cool. But don't trash it because you're not into it. People are into a vegetarian diet, it doesn't mean it isn't the only way to be healthy. If I had to choose between losing 42lbs and keeping it off in 6-12 months versus 42 days, I choose losing it in 42 days and keeping it off. I would invite anyone to check my page and view my progress for the next month and a half. I'll even do a video blog. - 2/25/2011   12:37:11 AM
  • 152
    Outstanding! Finally a diet that I can sit on my rump, not exercise, starve myself, and take injections and lose weight! Love those easy fixes...

    Can you feel my sarcasm???

    I have exercised, learned portion control, and proper nutrition and have lost 42 lbs.. Guess I should have gone the easy way, huh? - 2/23/2011   10:37:24 AM
  • 151
    I just read a comment about how hCG does this and that to help you lose weight, but what I don't understand is, if it is supposed to help burn the fat, then why do you have to do the 500 calorie a day diet. Why not consume the healthy amount of calories and get the shot. That doesn't sound like a shot that "Really Works" to me, it sounds like snake oil. - 2/10/2011   3:10:07 PM
  • 150
    This blog cites results from FIVE double-blind studies, which all definitively state that hCG produces NO weight loss (aside from the 500 calorie diet), and STILL people buy into this 'scam diet'. AMAZING.

    I guess it is really true what PT Barnum was quoted as saying "There's a sucker born every minute."

    NO THANKS! I'll stick with what works - a holistic approach of proper nutrition, reasonable exercise, 8-12 cups of water, and 7-8 hours of sleep per night. That has sustained me through 10 months and 67 pounds of weight loss. There is NO way I could have done the hGC starvation diet! - 1/18/2011   7:38:07 PM
  • DHAMMOND1969
    149
    The HCG diet is a scam, and a very unsafe scam at that! I know people that thought it was the most wonderful thing ever until the food restrictions messed up their health, or all the weight came back as soon at they stopped starving themselves with it..

    I wish someone had destroyed that stupid Simeons protocol before it ever saw the light of day so people would not have put their faith in such a dangerous theory. And yes, I did read it. Everyone I know that is in the medical field says the so-called science behind it is completely bogus.
    - 1/16/2011   5:33:40 PM
  • HCG-INJECTIONS
    148
    the post is very interesting, thanks for sharing information about the available HCG injection for weight loss... - 1/12/2011   6:29:56 AM
  • RENUNDERCOVER
    147
    CAN SOMEONE CONTACT ME ON THE HCG INJECTIONS I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW MUCH DID THEY WITHDRAW THE STUDIES STATES THAT YOU SHOULD TAKE 120-200 CC BUT THEIR ARE 29 IN NEEDLES INSULIN SYRINGES HOW MUCH DO I WITHDRAW - 1/8/2011   8:22:12 PM
  • 146
    I really don't understand the logic of those who support the HCG diet when they take issue with statements like, "If you only eat 500 calories, of course you'll lose weight."

    The implied logic, then, is that it's not just eating 500 calories that makes you lose weight, it's eating 500 calories AND taking the hormone.

    How does anyone really believe this? If you are literally STARVING yourself, can you show that an injection or a drop actually starves you faster?

    The answer, which you already know if you've read the above Spark article, is that you can't. Studies have shown that the weight loss is identical whether you take the hormone or not. There is no proof out there that gives even a glimmer of hope that taking the hormone actually makes you lose weight faster than just starving yourself.

    So why spend the money on something that no one has ever proven does anything? The answer from the faithful is, of course, "It works!"

    Right. - 1/5/2011   3:08:35 PM
  • FAITH_SPALDING
    145
    CEMERT, didn't you read the article the Spark People Coach wrote about the dangers of this diet????? Or read the references at the end of the article from scientific studies? You should not be ordering HCG from ANYONE! The HCG diet is a total scam, and a dangerous one at that! I know people who have seriously harmed their health by trying to use the HCG diet to lose weight. It's totally NOT worth the risk. - 1/1/2011   7:02:42 PM
  • CEMERT
    144
    I have talked to several people who have love the diet; however, my sister is the only one who had a reputable source to get the injection HCG. I googled HCG and now I am so confused as to who I should order from. Any help would be much appreciated. I would prefer the once a day shot versus the three times a day drops but would settle for either. Thank you! - 12/22/2010   2:31:35 PM
  • FAITH_SPALDING
    143
    MADIELLE3, The person you are calling "ignorant" is a Spark coach! She really does know what she is talking about. It does not make sense to risk your health on a 60 year old theory that has never been proven to work. That is why Spark People forced all the HCG teams to go private. I'm sure all the Spark coaches are aware of Dr. Simeon's protocol and the theory it puts forth. They really ARE able to read. If you want to starve yourself on 500 calories a day because you have chosen to put your faith in his "theory," just realize that you are using your body for a very risky experiment, and Spark People will not be responsible for the results if you damage your health in doing so. Besides, everyone I know personally that lost weight on the 500 calorie "HCG protocol" gained it all back once they stopped taking the stuff. - 12/16/2010   4:35:23 PM
  • CEESMOM
    142
    There are many hormones in the foods you eat now. They are in the pesticides as well as hazardous toxins. They inject the animals with hormones so therefore, you are already getting hormones. And that is probably why the obesity problem is at such a high number because these hormones are foreign to our bodies and each one of us may respond different to it. Also, for a man to take hcg seems a bit far fetched because it's a female hormone. - 11/26/2010   2:01:55 AM
  • FAITH_SPALDING
    141
    Every diet plan you read about will have testimonials about how "it worked when nothing else did" While I see homeopathic HCG as a useful tool to losing weight (I wouldn't use the injections or "real HCG Drops" because I don't want to mess with putting hormones into my system), I am SO tired of people idolizing every word that Dr. Simeons wrote 60 years ago as if is was the 10 Commandments and "going off protocol" is a terrible sin. I ate a LOT of off protocol food and closer to 1,000 calories than the 500 he recommended and still lost weight. Like everything else, I think it's best to do things in moderation and not risk your health by trying to cut your food intake down to the bare survival minimum in order to lose weight in the quickest way possible. - 11/16/2010   9:39:21 AM
  • 140
    I think these comments are so funny. I tried and tried to lose, was working out often, very frustrated with my lack of success. It was my doctor that recommended I look into it at a clinic. I have done a few rounds of HCG and have had wonderful success. It is what worked best FOR ME. It may not be for YOU. I am off my blood pressure meds, I am down to a healthy weight, I haven't gained any back, I am finally happy with myself again. I stick with my decision. Again, if it isn't for YOU, don't do it. - 11/15/2010   2:41:19 PM
  • FAITH_SPALDING
    139
    I tried to discourage a close friend from doing this diet, but unfortunately, he did anyway. He lost a lot of weight fast, but I am still concerned about how taking a pregnancy hormone and losing weight that fast will affect his long-term health. When he started eating normal food again after doing HCG, he had allergies to 2 food groups that he was able to eat without problems before. And he is also having a lot of muscle aches that keep him from being able to work out very much. Already, I see that his weight is creeping back on, and I pray that he doesn't try to do another round.

    But having said that, I have used the homeopathic version of HCG along with a VERY modified version of the protocol (in other words - I just tried to eat cleaner and more low-carb than usual without worrying about the calorie count) and did lose most of the body fat and weight I wanted to get rid of. But I would never consider doing injections of HCG or even using the "real HCG" drops, because that's putting a hormone into your system that doesn't belong there unless you are pregnant. The homeopathic version just has the energy signature of HCG in the water/alcohol mix, so that isn't likely to harm anyone. But I would never recommend that anyone try to follow the 500 calorie protocol diet, because even if it "works as advertised" for some individuals in releasing enough fat for you to survive on 500 calories of "input food", in my opinion, it is WAY too close to pushing people into starvation mode, where they could do some real damage to their health. So if you have decided to use HCG as a weight loss tool, please remember that the "official protocol" is not the 10 Commandments, and many people I know have lost a significant amount of weight using the homeopathic version and eating more food than the diet recommends.
    - 11/15/2010   8:58:38 AM
  • 138
    That diet sounds like hell. I guess you could say I am on the "hCG diet" right now because I am 8 weeks pregnant and suffering from morning sickness which makes me unable to eat very much (even the medicine just takes the edge off which helps me survive). The nausea comes from the ever-increasing amounts of hCG coming from my baby's growing placenta.If you want self-induced nausea, you go for it. As for me, I'm staying away from junk food and eating sensibly- you know, the old fashioned way. - 10/30/2010   9:32:34 AM
  • 137
    hi, in may of 2009 i started the hcg diet. i lost 30 lbs.. it is now september 2010, i have still kept that weight off and i have lost an additional 20 lbs.. yes through out i have lost a bit more and gained back and lost a bit more and gained back.. BUT when i followed the hcg diet to the T on that first round, that weight has not come back. and im back on it again now (2nd day VLCD) lost 3lbs of body fat so far in 1 day. and if i stick to the diet, and dont cheat and follow, i know i will be able to keep the next 30lbs that i loose off for over a year and more.
    so it works! dont judge untill u get the REAL fact.
    - 9/12/2010   2:35:55 AM
  • 136
    I was also skeptical when I first heard about the HcG diet but the more I researched the more sense it made to me. I wasn't just interested in weight loss but in fixing my metabolism and maintaining my weight loss long term.

    I was most impressed by the people who were able to go off their thyroid medication after a couple of rounds on hcg. These were folks that had no prior hope of losing let alone maintaining a normal weight without medication.

    One of Dr. Simeon's premises was the harmful effects that traditional diet foods / processed foods seemed to be having on the endocrine system and diet sweeteners, preservative and msg in particular. These have now been proven detrimental. They make you crave food and they cause you to gain weight.

    I had to try it for myself. I have been on every diet known to man and had gotten bigger every single year. This is the first time that I have been able to lose weight steadily and effortlessly and I feel fantastic. I eat fresh produce and lean meats and lots of water and cabbage and tomatos and fresh herbs and spices and tea and lemon and I feel totally satisfied and happy and have 10x the energy as before. I don't even crave junk food when I am allowed to eat it on other phases of the diet ( load days / phase 4). Even more impressive, I was able to maintain my weight perfectly within 2 lbs on my last stabilization phase (phase 3). The few times that I have slipped (nobody's perfect!), I find my body actually resists gaining weight. This diet has been an absolute Godsend and I am SO happy that I found it. I have lost nearly 50lbs and have 60 more to go. I know I will reach my goal and maintain my healthy weight for good now. Once more, I have fallen in love with crispy fresh produce and cooking with herbs and spices and with yummy healthy veggies, lean meats, eggs and fat free cottage cheese with fruit. I eat mini meals throughout the day and never feel hungry or weak. I also supplement with a great multi vitamin and several other important supplements that are recommended ( calcium, potassium, magnesium and B) I feel great!!! : ) - 9/11/2010   1:27:50 PM
  • 135
    For a plan that is supposedly ineffective, I'm sure getting exceptional results. The hCG really is the key to the diet. Without it, I am sure I would be hungry or fatigued, but I am neither. I am satisfied with the 500 calories a day, and I am energetic. My personal average loss has been about half a pound a day or 20.8# in six weeks. Others have been losing substantially more. The next best performing diet I have been on was Medifast. I lost 13.6# in one six-week round and 9.6# in another six-week round on that one. My six-weeks results for NutriSystem were 7.6#. The sources for hCG are, agreeably, problematic. Most of what is sold is homeopathic, which would fall in the supplements category. Some of those work, some of those don't. I have been using pharmaceutical hCG. - 9/11/2010   1:37:13 AM
  • 134
    Yeah, I have seen people drop a lot of weight on this diet, too. On 500 calories a day a person can't help but lose weight. This level of intake is well below starvation level and one can't possibly get the proper levels of nutrients doing this. Other posts have stated that people "keep off the weight". I'd like to know what constitutes "keeping it off". (which is the important factor in my mind) Does it mean 2 weeks, 2 months, or two years? Anyone can lose weight. This is not the difficult part of the equation. I have personally witnessed people who have used this diet regain their weight plus more. I firmly believe that there are no shortcuts to this. Exercise, sound nutrition, and lifestyle changes are the healthy way to approach weight loss. Alas, many will still get taken in by these snake-oil salesmen who have little interest in them other than lining their pockets. Beware! Beware! As far as not knocking it until I've tried it, there are many things I would not try because they are harmful...an extreme example would be that cigarettes, meth, and heroin can help a person lose weight too! Don't be taken in by the quick fix. - 8/17/2010   11:19:30 AM
  • DTAYLORCPA
    133
    I started to try this, wanting instant gratification like everyone. But the more I thought about it, I realized it could not be safe. When a "diet" won't even allow you to eat vegetables and things you know are healthy that you should be eating, you know it can't be good for you. - 8/8/2010   6:33:48 PM
  • MICSAN07
    132
    This is the first time I've heard about this diet. I need to research more before I commit. - 8/2/2010   9:41:58 PM
  • JULIUSPETTY
    131
    Correction. After reading the actual Simeons manuscript and not the excerpt from Trudeau's book, the pausing of injections during menstruation is protocol. - 8/2/2010   8:24:03 PM
  • 130
    Seems like not eating much would help you lose weight (whether or not the hCG works), but is that a lifestyle change that someone can live with forever? Besides, I have a hard time trusting something that people advertise with signs stuck by the roadside.

    If it works for people, that's great, as long as it's under supervision of a qualified health care provider. - 7/30/2010   4:15:14 PM
  • AUCHEETA
    129
    Well I am currently in Round 1 Phase 2 of the HCG diet and I am using Mediral Homeopathic Sublingual drops. I am on day 7 of the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and have lost 9 pounds. I can't begin to say how happy I am about that!!! I think there's a lot of skepticism about this protocal because people don't understand the scientific aspects of it and how something could work so well from so few incoming calories. I suggest everyone interested/curious about the HCG Protocol read Dr Simeon's "Pounds and Inches" you can find it on the web for free. And check out a few HCG forums and blogs where you'll find many successful people on the diet such as myself. If the skepticism subsides, then try the diet for yourself. What do you have to lose besides pounds and inches?!! - 6/24/2010   9:57:56 PM
  • 128
    2 women at my office did this diet. They did 3-5 "rounds" each. They ate almost nothing for a couple weeks, then they started eating more without the shots... But every time they started the shots again, they were supposed to "load up" on fat so they would eat like 3 cheeseburgers in a day. This doesn't seem healthy at all. One of them seems like she's kept the weight off, the other gained it back I think.

    They said the biggest benefit of the shots was taking away the hunger, but I think you just get used to it after a few days. Many of you have probably tried a fast or juice diet, I have, and after a few days you don't get hunger pangs anymore. I think the hormone is not adding anything except cost.

    Also just because they prescribe this hormone for fertility problems doesn't mean it's safe to use for weight loss. I considered trying it because my coworkers did drop a lot of weight, but I couldn't find any information on how it might affect my future fertility/pregnancies. I wouldn't risk it. - 5/19/2010   2:10:42 PM
  • SOFINA4
    127
    It's not to the FDA's benefit to regulate this...It's a no brainer...tons(maybe....just maybe I'm exagerrating) of ordinary people have lost weight and some even significant weight.

    The FDA does not benifit from this only from what they approve and does apparently not show same results.

    Yet, they approve drugs like antidepressants that have taken lives and those are approved...I wonder why.

    ...I got my son off of those and he is doing fine....my gut feeling was that If I kept him on those, I would not have him with me. (Trust me I saw all the changes he went thru)

    Just maybe the FDA needs to show more integrity. - 4/13/2010   2:53:16 PM
  • ELEN15
    126
    Thank You Skincy, I was glad to read your comments about HCG. I will be starting my protocol with a Physician.I admit I was a little afraid but after reading your comments I fill better and can't wait to start my diet.Thank YOU. - 3/31/2010   12:43:08 AM
  • FOX43921
    125
    Well if there are bad side effects and you live through them you can possibly win a lawsuit for several million dollars and get lypo if your that desperate :) - 2/24/2010   7:48:56 PM
  • ADDA2DE
    124
    I've been on the diet since 1/25/10. I started at 248 and weighed 220.8 this morning. I've consistantly been losing weight. I was skeptical at first but had two cousins that have lost 50 and kept it off. I am under the supervision of an ARNP and my HCG comes from a pharmacy, so I feel pretty safe about it. This has been a lifesaver for me. I really feel that they do want to keep this a secret from us. When I think of all the money I've spent on diet foods, video tapes, Weight Watchers, pills, etc. just looking for something to help....it is nuts!!!! - 2/23/2010   4:10:05 PM
  • DAVESGIRL41
    123
    hello all. this is my first time on this forum. i have done my research on this diet and i will say i was very, very skeptical. however, i have actually watched one of my physician's wife melt in front of my eyes, week after week, while on this diet. (I do pharmaceutical sales, so I'm in his office every week and his wife works there.) Seeing is believing. So, I am beginning this HCG diet/injections on Feb 15th. I said I would commit to 3 weeks of it, if I feel like it's working and I can tolerate it, I will continue. His wife was on it for 3 weeks, she looks fabulous, glowing and lost about 12 pounds in 3 weeks. Her pants were loose etc. She said she lost most of it in her stomach. I figure if a doctor is comfortable enough to put his wife on it, I will try it. I understand that I have to go once a week for an appointment to make sure that things are going ok. I have 30 pounds to lose. I would be happy with a 15 pound weight loss to kick start a healthy lifestyle. Please understand that I have tried every diet under the sun, so I am no different than anyone on here struggling to lose weight. I'm also a nervous nelly about this type of stuff. But, I'm at my wits end and am going to give it a try. I will update everyone with HONEST feedback. the good and the bad. - 2/7/2010   12:27:19 PM
  • 122
    any kind of hormone therapy or VLC diet should only be done under dr supervision. there's just too much chance of the hormones messing up your body's own hormones, the low calorie levels screwing up your metabolism (going into "starvation mode") potentially permanently, or not getting enough of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to function properly and fight off illness. yes, this diet might "work" for some people, and i'd think that most people would lose a lot of weight eating 500 calories a day without any hormone treatment. overall, i don't think this sounds like a good or safe idea UNLESS you have a dr (not just some guy trying to sell an unregulated supplement) suggesting it and monitoring you while you do it. - 2/1/2010   7:40:33 PM
  • LINDA29513
    121
    It sounds something like the Physician Weight Loss Diet that I tried back in the 80's. Didn't work for me then and I doubt if I would want to try it this time around! Still need to "push myself away from the table", something our family doctor told me years ago! I also agree with Tinygirl22, "What effect does this have on our hearts?". It's something to ponder! - 2/1/2010   3:43:07 PM
  • TINYGIRL22
    120
    I'm not sure what I think. I guess I just wonder what kind of effects this could have on our hearts... does the hcg diet require exercise too? - 2/1/2010   2:29:28 PM
  • 119
    I really was considering visiting a clinic for the "hard sale" on this stuff. Then I read the fine print about the pregnancy hormones the 500 calories a day and I just knew it would probably kill me. I'm going to sit back and watch for the next coupl of years. I've got that old fen-phen feeling about this stuff. Anyway I wish luck to all who try it - 2/1/2010   11:05:45 AM
  • LK0117
    118
    I am taking the hCG injections that my doctor has me on and doing the diet. I left my bottle un-refrigerated for about 12 hours. Does anyone know what the chances are that it is reuined? - 1/26/2010   2:37:51 PM
  • KSMITTY221
    117
    I have been on the diet for 5 days and am down 9.5 lbs. Don't knock it til you try it!!!!!! - 1/26/2010   12:47:40 PM
  • 116
    During the last 20 years while gaining loads of weight, I've joined Sparkspeople, weight-watchers, jenny craig, and done several diets. I've joined a gym, bought tons of aerobics tapes, and P90X. I've cried, prayed, starved... nothing worked. I gave up and started seeing a Psychologist who referred me to a doctor and I was put on anti-depressants. I was learning how to deal with being fat and living a miserable life.

    Last August, I started seeing 3 female coworkers drastically lose weight and start to look younger (in their 40's). They were always together talking about how many pounds they lost. Not every month or week. They were talking daily about what their scale said in the morning. They were motivating each other to drink more water, eat only organic healthy food, lean meats, etc.

    After 30 days of just observing them, it was like a huge transformation with each of them. I finally asked them what they did. I thought they did a lap band. They told me they were just doing this HCG diet. Then and there, I had to know about it. So, I googled it and found a lot of people (who are not on it or never tried it) talk bad about it. I then asked my MD who said she was not aware of it, but anything that restrictive can't be good for you. She said just diet and exercise. So, I didn't do it.

    I went to the gym instead and tried to eat like these coworkers. But, I was sooooo hungry and constantly cheated. I ended up gaining more weight. So, I just decided to just give up and took my anti-depressant to stop the sadness. After a few weeks, I started to get pretty depressed and thought that I need to learn how to live and be happy FAT. But, then my husband met up with 2 vendors he works with and saw that they both dropped so much weight since the last time he saw them. He said they both looked 10 years younger. He asked them what they did and they said they did the HCG diet. He came home to tell me as he heard me talk about it. I said then and there I was going to try it. I told my doctor, my psychologist, and my family. They gave their doubts, concerns, etc. But, I've tried everything else. If it doesn't work then I'm meant to be fat.

    I started on 1/2/10 and have lost 12 pounds in 10 days. I remember trying to eat 500 calories and losing 2 pounds during a week feeling like I was going to die from hunger and binge all the time. With this, I don't feel hungry at all. Actually, in the past week I've had to force myself to eat the healthy organic vegetables and meat that they require me to eat on it. I know everyone is different. Plus, I drink more water then ever. I actually enjoy drinking it because of the things they told me at the Weight Clinic was happening when I keep myself hydrated. I drink more and more water then ever.

    I feel great. I'm excited to go out this weekend and go shopping for clothes. My pants are looser. I didn't measure myself to see how many inches I've dropped, but I know I have measurements somewhere to compare when I'm done. My husband thinks a good belt will help and to not spend too much money until I'm done with the protocol. I agree as next week I'll be down more.

    I do not normally post on any forums. For years....several years... I've belonged to so many. I would never post a comment about something if I've never done it. And those that I've done that didn't work for me (pretty much everything), I just keep to myself. But, this is working for me and I've seen first hand it work for others.

    I'm not sure if this is all psychological, if it is the hormone, or just eating better foods and lots of waters causing my drastic transformation. But, it's working for me. Nothing else (and I've tried everything) worked for me. Surgery was the next step, but I'm grateful that will not happen now!

    PS: The 3 coworkers stopped their first round in October and did not need to lose anymore. None of them have gained as they keep themselves on healthy food now. I watch them closely at work as I'm so worried about gaining it back. - 1/13/2010   2:38:09 PM
  • JCAZ2010
    115
    This hCG diet gave me a boost in my weight loss and since you are on this diet for 40 days you start to retrain your mind to make healthy choices and really take a hard look at what kind of food your putting in your body. Like they say, it takes 21 days to break a habit and in this case, it was bad habits.
    So after completing the 40 day round my mind was trained to only cook healthy food. I don't have any bad comments to make about this diet because I am only putting lean protein, organic vegetables and fruits in my body now. Remember, YOU are what you eat. I'm not opening prepackaged meals, shakes, or pills filled with toxic preservatives and chemicals which causes MORE damage to your body. I can honestly say I've made a total transformation not just on the outside of me because I have to admit, I went from a size 10 to a healthy size 4 in 40 days. I was never hungry and lost weight in places like my inner thighs, gut, and hips. No exercise plan would have did that because believe me, I have tried.
    I've been off the hCG for 3 months now and have maintained my weight well. I don't crave the bad stuff any more because I am so satisfied with how my body looks. I work out at the gym now and have put on 3 pounds of solid muscle. The definition in my muscles stand out more since the hCG got rid of the stubborn fat around my mid-section. - 1/11/2010   8:12:54 AM
  • 114
    I love the pic that accompanies the blog! LOL! As for the 500 calories a day diet AND injections, I say, "Run Forrest, run!!!" - 1/4/2010   1:55:04 PM
  • SMILEE282000
    113
    I was told HCG has 4000 calories in it already and that is why you only eat 500 calories. Have I been misinformed? Or has someone not done all the research they should have? - 11/5/2009   1:38:36 PM
  • MYSEXYMAKEOVER
    112
    That diet actually works i did one round of it (40 days ) and will be doing another round soon .. When i started it I thought NO WAY how in the heck ...BUT to my amazment it worked and did something very very unike I began to lose my identity to food I actually went through my days satisfied no tight stomach and no real serious cravings ..My face began to look amazingly young and the fat in my thighs shifted ..It wasnt coincedence of the low calorie part Im sure of that because i had previously lost over 120 pounds and had been stuck for well over 9 months ..This diet actually did something mentally that felt amazing i no longer felt the intence urges to ruin my diet ..It was a a breath of fresh air .I must admit i am etting ready to go back on a round of it but i have been stalling cus i love my food cravings and i know as soon as i begin they will disapear and im trying to deal with that .Good luck to anyone who tries it and to who ever wrote this blog they must not know what it means to need to lose ALOT of weight ..This diet makes that possible .. - 8/9/2009   11:09:02 PM
  • 111
    I'm glad to hear this diet concept discussion. My accupuncturist is treating clients with hCG. I'd never heard of it before that either. Her form is a liquid, not a shot; you just put drops in your mouth... pretty easy. She is following Mr. Simeons concept including supplements (which is good). She's treating some of the effects of the diet with accupunture balancing treatments each week (also which is good, cause means team effort to monitor things and gives someone to talk to about how you are feeling thru it).

    I was on the diet for about a week-- lost 8 pounds. Mr. Simeons protocal is actually very detailed, from the first day to 28+ days out, they lay out what you can eat; they ease you back into normal calorie intake, during second two weeks, etc. He protacal is online at http://hcgdietinfo.com/HCG_Diet_Dr_
    Simeons_Manuscript.htm
    (sorry if already posted... I didn't read all 60+ comments yet).

    I tried it because figured it would kick start me back where I wanted to be. I stopped because I hadn't eaten enough during the first two days of the diet-- where you eat as much FAT as you can-- then got hungry and cheated. Cheating stops the hCG from working and your weightloss ends.

    I might try it again?. But I think I need to work on other issues first- drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, balancing my work and private life, etc... So be at the top of my game (not bottom) before I stress my body out. I still wonder how you are supposed to maintain active lifestyle (aka workout) on 500 calories??

    Anyhow, my accupunturist has many clients who completed the diet well, without problems or hunger. PS- I'm not saying her clients are clinical proof, just sharing. ;-) - 8/8/2009   4:58:42 AM
  • STUCK83
    110
    Only eating 500 calories aday???? I wouldn't even bother buying into a diet if that were the case. - 8/3/2009   12:47:13 AM
  • AMARANTHA2
    109
    This is my second comment, sorry.

    I was just reading through all this again (to avoid doing something productive) and it just floors me that anyone, like my friend who is doing a version of this at 800 cals a day, can go on 500 calories for, what is it, 40 days on, 30 days off and even be alive at that level. However, my friend seems ok (despite the fact that her eyes are yellow and her skin is a mottled red shade, again I am worried about her). I have lost more than 100 pounds and keep it off for years (sorry, repeating that not to brag but just to mention that I have a good idea how to keep weight off and it doesn't include starving). I lost the bulk of that weight exercising with a personal trainer and eating in the low 2000 calorie range. I still eat a healthy calorie weekly calorie average, although less. I cannot for the life of me imagine eating only 500 calories a day other than if I forget to eat or am ill (both of which have happened and that's fine and normal).

    The hcg seems to act like pregnancy and gives people a sense of well being and of not feeling hungry (sometimes those two things go together). That seems to be the only secret. I don't know the secret of why they haven't all starved to death.

    But to each their own. - 7/28/2009   1:21:53 PM
  • 108
    30 years ago hCG was used for infertility. Every month when I was ovulating, I was given a series of hCG shots to enhance the eggs and grow them stronger. I believe this procedure is still being done today especially for invitro fertilization. Using hCG as a dietary aid, is so far fetched. I agree with some comments above, anyone who only ate 500 calories a day, could lose weight; however, they're body would probably start shutting down, because it would think that you were starving it and you are at that rate. I had weight loss surgery 7 years ago. I never got to my goal weight, yes I lost 100 pounds and have 78 to go, but weight loss surgery is only another tool. You can't lose weight unless you eat right and exercise. No matter what you do, what you take, and how you do it. The only secret is eat less, eat healthy, and exercise. That's the only way to do it. Since joining Sparkpeople I have lost another 31 pounds. I'm on my way to my goal.
    Thank you Sparkpeople. - 7/28/2009   12:21:25 PM
  • GRACIEFRAN
    107
    On some sleepness nights, I watched Kevin Trudeau's infomercials and I was not impressed. The guy talks about medical cures "they" don't want you to know about, but offers no credentials. Plus, in watching the infomercials, he just gives the perception of a "shady character"; very nervous and sometimes, evasive. He preys on consumers who are desperate for a "cure" and I am not surprised that he has had legal issues; in fact, I am glad to hear that people have challenged and stood up to him. I have no knowlege or experience with the hCG injections; so I have no opinon about them. - 7/28/2009   8:58:01 AM
  • 106
    I HAVE KEVIN TRUDEAU'S BOOK AND WHEN I READ IT, I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH IT. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A CURE FOR MY WEIGHT. I REALLY WAS DISAPPOINTED WHEN I LEARNED ABOUT THE SHOTS AND REFUSED TO DO IT. NOW I FEEL I WAISTED MY MONEY. THANKS FOR THE BLOG AND ALL THE INSIGHT. - 7/28/2009   8:12:16 AM
  • 105
    To: CYNTHIH... I would love to chat with you more about this! Do you have a spark page or another way I can chat with you? My husband & I are going to do this soon. I'm very excited!! Thanks for sharing your success on here!!!!!!!!!! - 7/27/2009   11:16:47 PM
  • JUST-AMY
    104
    YIKES!!! - 7/27/2009   8:06:05 PM

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