hCG Injections for Weight Loss: Do They Really Work?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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CECELW 12/11/2020
Have you ever heard if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is? This sure has that kind of feel to me Report
The only quick fix for weight loss is to cut off a body part or die Report
I did this in the very early 1980s for a couple months. A shot a day and 500 calories. I got very sick. My hair was falling out. I gave it up. I got so mean I could even stand myself. Report
I always figured this was another scam and this article just proves it to me Report
Honestly, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't! I have lost almost 70 lbs. but you do not want to lose it the way I did. One day I found a sore like a small volcanic eruption on my tongue and then it kept getting worse. My tongue is 3X its normal size and very sore. I have swollen gums and my teeth have moved around. I had only bottom teeth and a plate on top. Also I have constant acidic taste in my mouth and there is nothing wrong with my digestive system. But through all this I had other life threatening illnesses too and spent 3 months in hospital with major chest surgery to remove a cantelope sized tumor. The result was that I can barely eat and what I do swallow is not tasted. It is just a matter of scarfing it down. The only thing that seems to give me a bit of pleasure is smothies. This was not the way I was planning to get in shape. From 170 lbs down to 135 lbs I just did a lot of exercising and ate sensibly. The illness in my mouth is lichen planus and I also have a severe case of aplastic anemia. Now I need a new valve in my heart as well. I'd give anything just to eat a sensible diet. But the Almighty has a plan for me and we will soon see if they can remove most of my tongue and leave me able to still speak. I am 4'11" and only weigh 102 to 103 lbs. but I decided this was the most supportive place for me so I will continue to be a Sparkperson. Report
I did the hcg drops and lost weight but then gained it back plus more and noticed a ridge across each of my fingernails just above the moon part. That was 7 years ago and now I have a really hard time losing weight even though I exercise and watch my food intake. Seems like my metabolism was affected and I know my fingernails were showing malnutrition. I regret having done it. Report
I researched this option myself. Besides understand how it works, I wanted to know if it is effective. I discovered, at least with the folks in my local area, everyone who lost the weight, gained it back. Not a solution, expensive (money and time I do not have to spare), and not successful--as well as possibly dangerous. No thanks. Report
We used HCG injections to increase my husband's testosterone levels during out fertility treatments. Fortunately he didn't have any negative side effects but he sure didn't lose a ton of weight either. Report
I think this is dangerous and it might also be life threatening too. Starving is not a good idea. Report
Great information. Report
Thanks for this! A friend was considering these injections last year, and I urged her not to let some quack inject God knows what into her bloodstream! She went to a nutritionist instead, and is well into a healthy weight loss that won't cause her muscles to atrophy or her bones to thin from lack of proper nutrition. Report
I had actually completely forgotten about HcG. I first learned about it a few years ago when a woman I went to yoga teacher training started advocating it. It explained why she suddenly looked slimmer, but it was one of many myths woman are faced with when women in the health and fitness industry use these little 'cheats' to get the 'look'. It's immoral to tell women you need to look a certain way when not even you can get there without help. Report
I just want to ad my humble and honest two cents to the conversation.

Of course at 500 cals. anyone can lose weight with and without the HCG.!!!

The thing is that with HCG you are not just at 500.. you are at over a 1,000 cal. because the HCG what it does is that TAKES FROM YOUR FAT the rest calories needed to go througout your day (some you eat, and some it will be taken from your stored 'material')

With a 500 cals. diet WITHOUT the HCG, the rest the body needs for a normal functioning during your day, it will be taken FROM YOUR MUSCLES.

That IS the protection HCG gives! You don't want to get weaker, but stronger of course, getting rid of unwanted fat, and remaining with all your strenght, from muscles and strong bones. Like me, you just probably want a leaner, healthier, lighter you (mobility wise it is awesome!!).

HENCE, you need to EAT!!! .. your lean proteins, low cal fruits (like berries and apples), and your tons of Veggies.. this WILL NOURISH your body while undergoing a massive weight loss.

Light excersising is recommended but not mandatory. And if you do excersise, the weight loss is way faster and more beautiful .. beautiful (because the way your body start to get rid of the fat is literally like taking layers and layers of fat from over your tighs, upper chest, back, your shoe size, and even the arms..!!!!!!.. is a bit crazy beause one doesnt see that so frequently with other diets). So, walking the dog, looking for Pokemons, a bit of a swim, jumping jacks, just stretching like in any begginers Pilates you tube videos....., anything but very light!

I dont use many oils over my body those days in the HCG protocol because I rather want the HCG to look for my store fat that for some I am putting on my skin. I bought Aloe Vera Gel (100% pure), or Baby Oil (that is Mineral oil and doesnt get absorbed by the skin.. but softens a bit the skin), becasuse I am use to moisture my skin every time I get a bath and I need to feel I am still doing that. I even changed my foundation for one little jar of mineral powder foundation and now, with the HCG or without it, I can't (don't want to) use anything else because it covers sooooo much and it is sooo good and feels soooo light. In-Love.. totally! :D

Let me ad one more detail: In my experience, is the slowest weight gain thing out there, if you happen to go back to your bad (normal) habits of before the HCG. (like I did)

I am in my 2st day - failed misserably. Tomorrow is another day and I pray for more strenght to put on in line my general well being. (I have been so low in will power lately, I dont' know what is going on but I need to put my act together.. Yes, to do that.

I know this post I am replying is old but I hope it can help someone.. one day.

Cyber Hugs!
Bottom line: how many pregnant women do you know that lose weight while they are pregnant??? That should raise big red flags right there!! Report
Thank you for the informative article. I've heard about this diet and was curious about it. I do appreciate the research done on this article. I was skeptical about this diet and the article clarifies my skepticism.

After reading a few of the comments in support of the diet - I'm curious to know if these people tried just eating only 500 calories? I'm pretty sure the results will be the same and it would be a whole lot cheaper. This diet from what I've read isn't cheap at all. Report
Just like so many other things....everyone is unique. The sweeping, overbroad comments in the article are irresponsible reporting. For me, this is the ONLY program that even TOUCHED the abnormal fat on my thighs and hips which is where I hold the majority of my body fat. With "responsible" diet and exercise (and I mean reasonable calorie restriction, heavy lifting, and HIIT cardio), I lose everywhere else EXCEPT my thighs and hips. Additionally, I do NOT look emaciated or sick and do NOT feel sick, weak, or hungry when on HCG. It is also quite ridiculous to argue that EVERY doctor in the country who prescribes HCG is a part of a big conspiracy to lie to patients and get rich.

There is a large community of HCGers on YouTube, and one can SEE and HEAR their results, including those who do hydrostatic and bodpod testing to make sure they're losing body fat and not muscle (see HCGChica for one of the best!!!).

I was a strong naysayer before I tried it myself. Believe me, there is no WAY I could survive on 500 - 800 cals/day without passing out or getting sick. And I'll be blunt....there ain't no placebo effect on this planet to counteract that for me personally. Additionally, after completing the protocol, with a reasonable diet that excludes processed starches and sugar (which I KNOW the SP professionals would agree with), we're able to maintain our weight easily, which supports the theory of the reset hypothalmus that Dr Simeons (who created the protocol) touted.

My one suggestion if you're going to try it: get on line and do your OWN research so you understand the science behind it. That's what sold me. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, find the Rx and/or homeopathic products that have worked for others. Do NOT buy it off the shelf from a retail store-- those do NOT contain the hormone (check the ingredient label) and you WILL be hungry, cranky, and lose muscle. It matters. Report
Thank you! I actually tried this a couple years ago, lost 18 pounds in 18 days, was always hungry, and weight loss stalled... it just stopped working, and then the weight came right back on. Of course, I was looking for a miracle cure, like I did with dexatrim, phen-phen, etc... I'm so glad to see a scientifically-accurate report on this! Your article just confirms that doing it the "hard way" is the only way I'm going to get it off and keep it off! Report
Anyone taking these injections are setting themselves up for failure. You may lose a great deal of weight but that is because you are starving yourself. Can you do this for a life time? I think NOT!
if it sounds too good to be true.....it is. Get your head on straight and stick with meal planning, fitness workouts and moving forward not backwards and into poor healthy with fad diets.

Life is about being healthy and not through arificial means,. Make yourself proud...work at it. Report
I'm actually on this HCG diet right now, currently on phase 2. I had to self-inject the HCG for about a month and a half and was very restricted to a 500 calorie diet.
This is from a medical weight loss center in PA, endorsed by a doctor of course. Payed too much for it honestly and wished I didn't do it, but it did help me drop about 30 pounds in one month and I'm continuing to lose it.
This diet is dangerous indeed and it has left me feeling weak and very irritable. Don't recommend it but if you really wanna lose that weight, give it a try. Just be careful, don't order it off the internet, go to a medical weight loss place that does this or something else that is better. Report
Any weight loss would come from the extremely restricted calories; the shots are just a placebo, like Dumbo's feather.
Derp. Report
People had to have be living under a rock to have not heard about it. WOW. I've used it and it works if you stick with it. If you don't you will gain more in the long run. I felt great on it. Report
I just saw this for first time today....all I can say is, "WHAT a bunch of BUNK"! WHAT will they come up with next? And they WILL come up with SOMETHING for..........$$$$$ Report
I can only speak about my personal experience with HCG drops, and I caution others. I initially lost about 25 pounds in 8 weeks. I kept it off for about a year, but have since gained it back. In the long run, it has negativity affected my metabolism, permanently thinned my hair (female), worsened my PMS, and caused me to develop uterine fibroids, which I had to have surgically removed. The weight loss center that I went to told me to not take the drops during my period, because the cramps were so much worse than normal. That should have been a sign. Buyer beware. Report
I work in a naturopathic clinic that offers HCG and see patients lose lots of weight on it. Then they go off of it and the weight slowly comes back on. I believe they lose weight due to eating 500 calories a day.

Like any other diet, you go off of it and the weight comes back on. Making lifestyle changes and losing the weight slowly is the only way I've seen people have lasting success.

Good luck to all of you who try HCG though, you may be the exception to the rule. But in my 6 years of working with HCG patients I have not seen anyone really keep the weight off for more than a few months. Report
Most studies have found that hCG (stands for human chorionic gonadotropin) has nothing to do with it. The hCG diet limits you to 500 calories a day for 8 weeks while taking hCG, either by getting a shot or by taking a “homeopathic” product, such as oral drops, pellets, or sprays, which you can buy at the store. None of this is approved by the FDA for weight loss. The shots themselves are legal, as long as a health care provider gives them to you. (They're approved to treat fertility issues.) But over-the-counter hCG products are not. The FDA has sent warning letters to several companies that market homeopathic hCG products. For more information related to weight loss treatment visit fcbsglobal.com/weight-loss-treatmen
t.php Report
In my experiences I have found the HCG injections prescribed through a doctor to be safe and effective. I followed the new protocol out there that is just as effective as the original. You get 800 calories and more food options. I never experienced physical hunger or low energy or fatigue. I experienced head hunger which I have with any number calorie diet and I think some people don't know the difference. I believe the good HCG (there is some bad out there) does what it claims to do. The low calorie count causes the HCG to release fat from your stores every day. You are getting adequate calories from your own fat. I had no problem transitioning from using HCG to a low carb lifestyle and I continue to lose weight without the injections. I would not have been able to eat an 800 calorie diet for one day if the shots didn't take away the hunger. I also believe without the shots I would be losing muscle mass (doctor's scale showed fat loss) and messing up my metabolism which did not happen on the shots. As with any diet, a person cannot go back to their old ways of eating and expect to keep the weight off. It is possible to keep the weight off and you don't have to keep eating low calorie. For me, I find low carb and exercise works for me. I am all for losing the weight in half or 1/3 of the amount of time with relative ease for 6 weeks.
I am 4 days into an HCG diet plan from my Doctor.
I am overweight and obese at 120kg. I have been as high as 132kg and I'll get to that later.
I take medication for blood pressure, have developed type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the opposite to not making enough insulin. My insulin receptors don't function properly so when I eat carbohydrates I over manufacture insulin which creates the high blood pressure. The carbohydrates I eat - too much bread and white rice etc, is quickly stored as fat etc.

I eat out of habit, and as a procrastination aid, ie I need a sandwich etc to postpone attending to some thing.

After telling me again that I was in danger of heart failure etc, my doctor made much to do about how he and a bunch of doctors were concerned about the obesity issue in NZ and had developed a diet plan including HCG.

He made the HCG diet sound quite an exclusive development to the bunch of doctors he is part of. He made the claims about HCG triggering the Hypothalamus to function correctly to burn abnormal fat without burning muscle etc. He advised it involved 2 days gorging, then HCG and 500 calorie days leading to maintenance phase. "I could lose 15kg in 6 weeks." He asked if I was interested to undertake the diet? I agreed to undertake the diet.

No mention of cost was made, and I assumed, as my Doctor, he was making the diet available in the interests of my good health. I also assumed that as no mention of costs had been made, I would pay for his consultation and the HCG Diet plan would be free.

Doctor called me in and handed me the package with the HCG tablets, multi vitamin supplements, a book "Kilos and Centimeters" (based on the original "pounds and Inches Book" )and a Diet Guide booklet.

I read the literature and noticed how alike the food plan was to the previous $20 diet plan I had previously undertaken.

2 Years ago I was 132Kg. I needed to lose weight for my daughters wedding.
I found on an online Auction site a diet plan "lose 5 kg a week" Cost was $20. It involved a Low Carbohydrate Diet Plan on which "I would "not" feel hungry " - 3 days on diet and 2 days off then 3 days on etc. I would not feel tired because "I would burn the fat stores in my body".

The diet included small balanced meals of 100grams of protein - meat, chicken, fish etc, and vegetables in certain formulas, avoiding high carbohydrate sources such as bread rice etc. Calories were not counted and the diet included a good variety of cheap foods including nice-cream.

I lost 5 Kg first week, and continued until I was 113kg, down from 132kg, in just 6 weeks, and in time for my daughters wedding. That's 20kg loss in fat without feeling hungry, losing muscle mass, or feeling fatigued.

I have seen an other Heart foundation diet which is essentially the same and given to hospital patients who need to lose weight prior to surgery.

After the wedding I reverted to my old eating habits and gained back 8kg round my middle. I have been able to maintain weight but still have sandwiches, up to 8 pieces of bread a day sometimes,and biscuits and other unhealthy processed foods

So recently at 120kg my doctor suggested this HCG diet. I want to be healthy and slim and believing it was some miracle cure / eating habits diet that would lead me to eat healthily long term I started the diet.

Again I point out - "At no time did my doctor raise the subject of cost", and I assumed I was being treated under NZ free healthcare for obesity with a special diet, medication ( HCG) and vitamin supplements, In the same way I was receiving medication for insulin levels, blood pressure etc.

I started the diet late but on the 4th day into it, (2 weeks after receiving the diet plan package) I received the doctors bill $720 dollars plus normal consultation fee.

Feeling duped I researched the HCG diet and have found that it is commonplace around the world, the HCG and associated vitamins are or have been readily available online, with HCG recently only available from medical practitioners as a result of FDA restricting their sale on the basis of no proven scientific results for the losing of fat, and with the HCG diet widely regarded as a scam.

Q. if HCG has no scientifically proven fat burning benefits, and that's the reason why it's sale by non medical people has been banned, why are doctors able to prescribe it for that purpose. ? Corruption and favors by the FDA ?

From my own research, my bodies initial reactions to the low calorie HCG diet, and my bodies fat burning reactions during my previous $20 low carbohydrate diet, I have to agreed that the fat burning process is attributed to the average human body's normal response to low calorie / low carbohydrate intake . My experience in the first few 500 calorie days is exactly the same as the first period of the low carbohydrate diet in which I lost 20kg in 6 weeks.

I also found that low carbohydrate diet of 3 days on and 2 days off , was much more user friendly than the HCG diet in that I learned to eat smaller meal potions, more often, in moderation, so that in the 2 days off periods, although there were no restrictions to what I ate, I tended to eat smaller and more healthy food portions that I had eaten previously.

So it appear my doctor's $700 diet consists of a $35 retail paper back book being a revised version of "Inches and Pounds", available free online in PDF form, 42 HCG pills worth around $85 which according to the FDA have no proven scientific benefits for Fat burning /loss , and $60 worth of Multi Vitamins.

I'll be taking the diet package back ASAP and refusing to pay.

Tomorrow I'll reintroduce the original diet plan I paid $20 for, and attend to my emotional requirements for food.

I've come to realize, Weight gain is not rocket science, and is caused by a number of simple factors including , emotional attraction or need for food, laziness in preparing proper meals, eating foods that are easily stored as fat ie high carbohydrate foods, overeating etc, all of which can be changed by applying the same dedication to sensible healthy eating as everyone puts into the HCG or similar diet plans.

'in the old days' there were not so many obese people. Is it coincidence that there was not the huge amount of highly processed food around ?

My grandmothers eating philosophy went like this - "If you see food in the shop that didn't grow that way - don't eat it."

Nearly scammed !!
New Zealand

My friend did these shots. She drives a school bus, She told me that she passed out while driving the bus! Thank goodness she had already dropped off the children for the day. She also lost her hair! And she said she was having problems breathing. She lost a lot of weight very quickly.But She got so sick she had to stop the shots and gained all her weight back plus some. I think I'll stick to eating healthy to lose my weight. Report
My sister and her daughter did this and I believe that it messed up her brain chemistry. She had a major breakdown and I don't know if she's ever going to come back. Her daughter was more fortunate, young and healthy too. Both of them lost a lot of weight, but in my sister's case it didn't stay off very long and before it was over, she lost her daughter too. I am so glad that Kevin Trudeau is on his way to prison... he is a very dangerous person! Although I'm not sure that he was the one who "educated" my sister about this. Report
My doctor tried to convince me to do this with the diet and injections. Supposedly, he has many patients that do it and have lost "30 pounds in 30 days" among other things. Of course, insurance does not cover it and he wanted $300 up front to begin treatment. I said NO THANK YOU and opted for a normal diet and exercise routine. I started on January 12, 2014, and today, March 18, 2014, I have lost a total of 23.4 pounds. That seems to me to be a reasonable rate of weight loss, and it gives my skin time to shrink along with my body, so that I won't end up with loose skin hanging everywhere like I have seen on people that lose too much to quickly. Report
that is a really bad picture !!!!! you do not put a terrifying picture just for an article and you can do it by using it as drops under the tongue....... Report
You can gain weight back after any diet. I have tried Hcg. It isn't for everyone. I think you have to try it for yourself before you judge. I think it is tons more safer than weight loss surgery. Report
I have see that it works for a short time. Those I know who have tried it all lost weight initially, but have regained that weight. Plus the long term affects are still unknown.

To me...its not a good diet. It basically calls for starvation. Any diet that asks for elimination of entire food groups or meals is unhealthy, in my opinion.
I have see that it works for a short time. Those I know who have tried it all lost weight initially, but have regained that weight. Plus the long term affects are still unknown.

To me...its not a good diet. It basically calls for starvation. Any diet that asks for elimination of entire food groups or meals is unhealthy, in my opinion.
First of all, read the protocol before you judge--it details how and why it works: at hcgdietinfo.com/Dr-ATW-Simeons-Poun
ds-and-Inches "dot" htm
I have hypothyroidism, and after being a size 5-7, 130lbs my entire life and eating anything I wanted, even lost weight after both kids, my thryoid went out and I gained 50lbs in a matter of a couple of months! Doctor put me on synthroid (a CHEMICALLY made pill that kept me suffering from thyroid symptoms and SICK for 5 years) all the while fighting with my doctor that it wasn't working. Lots of research and find a doctor who offerred me NATURAL thryroid treatment (made from pig thyroid glands)--also NOT FDA approved (most natural medications are not!)--I am now the person I was before in terms of feeling great! I began exercising, doing aerobics, eating healthy--only to keep losing and regaining the same 10lbs. My DOCTOR (who is on the board of a hospitcal and a respected DO), put me on the HCG diet injections. I lost 28lbs in 30days and felt awesome!! I was able to go off cholesterol medication! And I've kept it off for 2 years! I look and feel better than I have in 15 years!!

2 things I want to point out in the comments I've read above:

1. Your body is NOT starving. It is using your fat stores for fuel--it doesn't attack muscle--the same way when you are pregnant the body takes the fat for the baby, not the muscle. Read the protocol!
Before I tried HCG, I used 'my fitness pal' to count calories and tried eating 1000 a day--my body actually did go into starvation mode and I gained weight!

2. You do this diet no longer than 30-45 days at most per round.

3. The diet in phase 3, helps you understanding what foods YOU as an individual can get and still maintain your weight. It teaches you to understanding how YOUR body responds to food. And in Phase 4, that is maintaining your weight--yes exercising and eating heathly. I know people who have gained weight back from every diet there is! You have to change lifestyle after any diet or it doesn't stick!

4. I don't care what studies have shown, what works for some doesn't work for everyone. My HCG was obtained via a prescription through my doctor and compounding pharmacy--not some online store--I would never buy this online!! This protocol (not actually a diet), worked for me and countless friends who have done it--and we have all kept it off! No side affects whatsoever for any of us. That's a good enough study for me.

5. Lastly, let's not judge others. That is the problem with this world. We are not a 'one size fits all' when it comes to anything! We are all unique and have our own sets of circumstances, genetics, etc. Everyone is struggling with something, so give people a break and be kind.
I have seen several people go on this diet and yes, they lost weight...but I have yet to see one person not gain back at least ten more pounds than they started with....Just something to think about people..... Report
For those who may read this ancient article, I do hope you'll read the SEO spammer comments for what they are: paid hawkers who are not SP members, but people paid to post comments like this wherever a google search turns up a certain keyword.

The science is behind us on this one. The reason this research is old is because there have been no significant advancements in this field since they were run. Not because there's a weird conspiracy.

If you lose weight, it's because you're starving yourself... not because of the injections. Report
Read Pounds and Inches and follow the original diet. It works! To all of you who feel that people who are overweight just need to exercise and stop eating, well, it's not that simple. For instance, I have 3 children, all have been served the same meals and lived the same lifestyle including team sports and lots of daily activity. Two tend to gain easily and one stays slim. Why? Don't you think it has something to do with the way their body metablizes food? Yes, it does. Read Pounds and Inches and if you are overweight do the diet. It works and the weight stays off. Report
One thing we know for sure, everything is not for everybody. I have struggle with my weight over the last 20years since having children. My self esteem, i.e. has not been the same since. I didn't kow much about it, at 1st I was thinking negative, 500 calories, wtfrek nic, that's a slice of pizza, bag of chips, ie. Until I start reading, I figure well I've done weight watchers, phedermine, addex, starvation, etc. I was scared at first, but realize that I have tried other things, it was hcg or lipo. Let me try this and see what happens... I weight it last Thursday, 10lbs as of today, & waiting to see the scale in June. It is a lifestyle change that's for sure, i would have never thought that I would be eating this little, and still be satisfied. However, at the same time, my mind has told me so long to stuff my mouth, because my conform was food! We all have our own opinion about things, but unless we have walked in someone's else shoes, it's easy to be on the outside looking in. I wish all the best success in what ever plan they choose, whether it's just diet, exercise, dastro, i.e. We all have struggle with one thing or another. Report
I have absolutely no metabolism. I have a slow thyroid and gain weight easy. I've tried working out two hours a night seven days a week. I've tried dieting. I've tried eating and barely eating. No one should have to starve themselves and workout several hours a day just trying to lose weight or maintain their weight. I too was skeptical of the shots but after seeing several of my co-workers who had struggled losing weight before starting the shots and after starting the shots the weight started falling off, I decided to try it myself. After one series of shots and taking a natural appetite suppressant, the weight has begun to come off after three years of trying. I definitely saw a difference in my stomach fat and my clothes started falling off. I lost 18 pounds during the first series of shots and have maintained it. I still have a few pounds more to go and have lost no more weight since I stopped the shots. You do two months on and one month off. Getting ready to go the second round of shots, hoping to get rid of the rest of my tummy fat. At least I no longer have the muffin top around the top of my pants and I love the results I'm getting. BTW, I did not follow a specific diet. I already eat lean meats, veggies and stay clear of sugar and processed foods. I've been eating that way most of my adult life but have still had trouble losing fat. HCG shots has helped me. Report
"Nicole Nichols, you have to absolutely kidding us, right? That if there were really successful cures for obesity (or cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's etc) that we would all know because it would be proudly proclaimed by TV, radio, books and newsprint and embraced by a scientific community that would spend day and night testing and then release all their data in a completely transparent fashion... Are you serious??!! The corporate entities and their banking overlords that run the Show would not only lose countless Billions, but they would lose their control of us. "


Its called diet and exercise, and it works. People want to lose weight fast so they spend hundreds of dollars on products like HCG which can't possibly keep off the weight in the long run...I suppose unless you keep spending those hundreds of dollars and continue to eat 500 calories a day (which is less than some anorexics, btw.). In reality, you can save money by eating less and you can go run outside for free.

People are obese because they keep eating and not exercising. Spark people seems like a great site for people to track their calories, find out about new exercises, etc. Its strange that so many HCG users are a part of the Spark community.

It also seems that you lose the whole "way to go, I really accomplished something" that you get with improving your physical ability through exercise. The more you exercise, the stronger you get, the better you feel.

Way to go, you can inject yourself with some hormone and eat 500 calories a day...not impressed. Report
I plan to start the program next week. 800 CALS. I am thinking positively. Others who are experiencing success please get in touch by sparkmail. There is no spark group for HCG dieters that i could find Report
I am a 53 year old male work out 5 times a week , I am currently 5'9" 185 around 6% body fat really lean and muscular without changing my work out routine or diet in any way I started 300 iu of hcg injections each morning for three weeks straight with one day off I went from 195 to 185 in three weeks a friend of mine stated the same protocol as mine also with out dieting but he continued to work out as me he lost 30 pounds of weight in one month a coincedence I think not, I went from looking pretty cut up to complety shredded with no change in diet or exercise regimen....... Report
Hi Everyone, well I'm a big supporter of HCG. Yes, you do eat a VLCD...I was skeptical about taking a hormone to help me. I successfully lost 30 pounds in 40 days. I like the diet because it was very black and white. No grey areas at all. I followed the diet religiously. Also, it got me in the habit of eating healthy, weighing my food and tracking what I eat - something I have never done before. Do I agree with a VLCD for the body - no not for long term, however, I did not great and felt great. Which is worse for the body - being overweight, obese for some or to lose weight? Being overweight has far more healthy risks that taking HCG for 40 days. Maintenance is key to the success of this program. You need to change your mind set. I've tried everything - and this has been the most pleasureable experience for weight loss I have every had! So when skeptics tell someone who is very overweight/obese...it's so bad - well so is being that heavy. I only have 10 lbs to go to meet my goal. I will do it through exercise and eating well. I'm thanking for the HCG protocol. Report
from my own experience.
I never used beta-hcg injections however as an obese person I lost 15 k"g on my first pregnancy, and 10 k"g on my second,15 years ago and 9 years ago respectively. There were no beta-hcg diet "trends" at that point.
I was not on a diet, I hadn't any nausia not on the first , middle or last trimester, and had no eatting disorder other than the one i was familliar with which led me to obesity.
I was just less hungry then ever, to a level which I told myself I am no longer an obsessive compulsive eater.
At that point and until now i am convinced that the pregnancy sort of "arranged" my metabolism; be it the beta-hcg or something else.
I became more forgiving to myself for any weight I had gained later, since it clarified to me that I am not a weak character person that cannot control herself.

I have a 7 month success currently with total obstination from sugar, although I consume honey to sweeten my tea. I obstain from gluten containing carbohydrates. I have managed to do this for 7 months now resulting in a 20-21 k"g reduction. This is still not enough. The quantities of food and the hunger still control me- I do experience hunger although I eat freely everything other than the listed above.
Science is young in terms of in-vivo metabolism research. there is much to be learned. sad to think that it will not be in our lifetime maybe.
Good luck to all of you.
I call it "medically assisted anorexia," and it's not even real medicine. I know about a dozen people (friends and co-workers) who've tried hCG, and while the low-calorie diet helped them lose weight, not a single one of them has had permanent results 2 years later. One of my friends and I started our weight loss journeys around the same time about 2 and a half years ago. She went on hCG while I used diet and exercise. She lost about a pound a DAY, incredibly, while I went along at a pound or 2 a week. She lost a lot of weight faster than I did, losing roughly a third of her body weight in just over a year. She's returned to a regular diet, and she's gained almost all of her weight back. Her metabolism is jacked, her immunity is weak so she's often sick, and her body is unfit because it was nearly impossible for her to work out on so few calories. In fact, she could barely think, lost her amazing vibrancy and energy, had a slower thought process, and had constant headaches. She hasn't been the same. It took me longer, but I've also lost a third of my body weight, haven't been sick in over a year, and have only gotten faster, stronger, and more energetic. I feel great and am happy with my results. She's heartbroken and struggles daily with her failed attempt. To say this junk pisses me off is polite. Knowing that thousands of vulnerable people spend their hard-earned dollars on it reinforces my dislike and distrust of the diet industry. Don't want to return to long periods where you have to exist on a 500-cal diet to maintain your weight loss? I suggest seeking out a healthier solution, even if it is slower and (oh no) old-fashioned/traditional--methods used by the majority of National Weight Control Registry participants!

Looking through comments, it also frustrates me that so many comments are from inaccessible Spark accounts. The internet is flooded with hCG "defenders" who are trying to defend something they're selling. It's hard to find those blind studies on hCG because you have to wade through pages and pages of searches that turn up these planted messages. Report
It infuriates me to no end that people on here as so quick to make comments like "its not regulated by the fda so you know it's bad" or "its snake oil and it'll mess up your metabolism because it's not monitored by the fda" etc etc. There are so many drugs that ARE regulated that destroy people's bodies and our regulatory systems that ARE supposed to protect us are letting us down anyhow. I used to bodybuild and had an amazing physique. I ate a strict diet and was constantly working out. I took ONE depro provera shot (a drug that's not even supposed to be weight loss related) and while maintaining the same intense lifestyle, that shot caused me to gain nearly 40 lbs in only 2 months. My body shut down entirely from that shot! What is our fda doing about that drug that is destroying people's metabolisms?? Absolutely nothing! They continue to tout it as a safe, effective drug and yet over 80% of women experience weight gain from it, and 50% experience dramatic weight gain. That's my own PERSONAL experience with a failed drug tgats supposed to be beneficial and is regulated. I've never been able to lose more than 5 lbs since then.

What about all the other drugs out there with listed and known side effects? Just because the fda gave its stamp of approval, everyone should blindly think it's safe/effective? Those side effects are listed because it happened to some people but not everyone. No drug is a one size fits all, period. There never will be in my opinion because everyone has different genetic makeup. Why are some children born with certain problems even when family genetics don't predisposed them to it in any way? The human body is so complex that we have little idea why it reacts the way it does for some people and not others.

I imagine that hcg, or any other weight loss supplement, will work for some but not everyone. And even if it only helps a few, there is likely something else out there that will help someone else. I have a cousin that was extremely successful with hcg but my parents have not been. Yet they have done great with another type of diet. Every person is going to have have a different experience with every drug or supplement out there and in some cases, its trial and error to fond out what your body will respond to.

Why does everyone need a single magic pill that works for every person equally? We don't live in a world where anything is equal, so why should this be different for weight loss? We can compare it to smoking cessation aids if you care to as well. Or gastric bypass, or bariatric surgery? What about cosmetic surgery..all regulated, none are a good option but they work for some people and not for others. Please stop being so blinded by thinking that just because its regulated or not that its either good or bad. Its not so black or white. Report
I think when you look at studies you really need to look at who did them how they were performed and who paid for them before trusting in something that is so easy to manipulate, that being said many people have gotton quite angry over other people trying this diet. I myself am needle phobic and could never do it but my cousin did for about 6 months. She lost weight quickly and has gone off of it and is still losing weight, if it is a scam but believing it works helps you lose weight then go for it. People take birth control pills, there is something used in some plastics that mimics estrogen in the body and numerous other pollutions to worry about. Have you seen the list of side effects on most prescription drugs. I took Chantix years ago to quit smoking despite all the negative publicity and it worked just long enough for me to really believe after so many failed attempts that it was possible to quit which spurred me into being able to make it a lasting change, this sounds like that. If you can initially lose weight quickly enough to spur your excitement to do it and keep at it, building your belief that it is possible, go ahead. you will have to exercise and eat healthy for sustainable weight loss but a big "win" at the begining of a life change like this can really motivate you. So please if you are having sucess ignore the many negative comments because losing weight will improve your health more than a few injections of something that is made by the human body could possibly hurt you. Whatever method everyone chooses stay positive and good luck :) Report
Honestly, I just finished my first protocol with HCG injections at CompleteHCG.com and it worked awesome! I had energy and everything was just what they said it would be... I lost 28lbs my first month! Report
It can’t just be a calorie thing. I studied the numbers, and mathematically, it just doesn’t work.

I am skeptical about the claim too, don’t get me wrong. Who wouldn’t be? I decided to try it, sort of do my own “study.” After 2 load / 10 VLCD days, I’ve lost almost 16lbs (2.5lbs in the last two days alone; 12lbs when you exclude the load “gain”). The typical BMR formula says I should have only lost 4.5 lbs. I keep a running calculation of projected loss given my caloric intake, age, weight, and activities, versus actual scale loss. I logged all of my daily data, food journals, charts, photos, and so on here: http: hcg-review-weight-loss-diet.blogspo
t.com p about-me.html)(space=/). I keep thinking it has to be a fluke - maybe it's the HCG, maybe it's not. But if it's not, do me a favor and look at my data. Then, you tell me what it is. Report