Last updated on January 21, 2018
With all the hyped weight loss claims being made about the latest and greatest in weight loss, the HCG Diet, it’s no surprise that it has caught the attention of obese men and women around the world.
The diet, which is also called the Simeons Method and named for the original ‘founder’ back in the 1950s, is one of extreme concern to doctors and nutritionists. There are two main parts to this diet that people need to be extremely aware and cautious of: one is the product HCG and the other, the excessive restriction of calories.
The HCG weight loss product
Any woman who has ever experienced pregnancy is likely looking at this miracle diet wondering what’s going on. HCG — human chorionic gonadotropin — is a hormone produced during pregnancy. When this hormone is present in urine, it produces a positive pregnancy stick.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have never approved HCG for over-the-counter weight loss use and advises consumers to avoid any and all products that contain HCG. Companies selling the hormone for weight loss purposes generally do so under the name HCG Fusion 30 and HCG Fusion 43, although there are numerous variations.
HCG Diet companies suggest taking the hormone as drops under the tongue to aid in weight loss, however, when HCG is used medicinally, it’s primarily used as an injectable prescription for female fertility issues. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, HCG has nothing to do with weight loss. Companies selling over-the-counter weight loss products that contain HCG are doing so illegally.
Extreme calorie restriction
Anyone who successfully looses weight on the HCG Diet can only credit the weight loss to the extreme reduction of calories. Typically, the HCG Diet allows followers a mere 500 to 800 calories a day! If you’re not sure how that measures up to a day’s worth of eating, consider this: a Big Mac — 7.5 oz or 215 g — contains 550 calories. That’s without the fries or a beverage. When you see a reduction in weight loss from the HCG Diet, the weight reduction will be from lost muscle mass.
While this decline in numbers may look favorable on a scale, the truth is muscle mass results in a slowed metabolism and eventually, a quick regain of any lost weight. In essence, a complete contradiction in your efforts. A loss of muscle mass also results in poor body definition (shape).
This level of daily calorie intake is a restriction deemed near-starvation and is dramatically less than any recommended levels for proper body function and maintenance. The recommended daily calorie intake for men is around 2,500 healthy calories per day, while for women, it’s around 2,000 per day. If prolonged, this HCG way of eating carries a high risk of dieters experiencing malnutrition.
Following such a low-calorie diet will definitely result in weight loss, at least short-term, but prepare yourself for a few undesirable kickbacks once you start. According to Mayo Clinic’s Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., such a low calorie intake will only set you up for physical issues such as gallstone formation, dizziness, fainting, an imbalance of electrolytes — the process that keeps your nerves and muscles functioning properly — as well as an irregular heartbeat.
There have been several studies and meta-analyses to conclude that the HCG Diet or Simeons Method, simply does not provide any meaningful effects when it comes to positive weight loss results. And there is zero evidence to support the claim that HCG can — injections, drops or otherwise — offer any weight loss benefits. It has been deemed nothing more than deceptive in the way of offering a quick and ineffective weight loss solution to consumers.
There are many healthy ways to successfully lose weight without starving yourself or exercising yourself to death. Once you learn how to balance your lifestyle with proper eating habits and regular exercise — even if it’s only 30 minutes a day — you can say good bye to these overly hyped and completely unproven diets forever!