The term hCG stands for “human chorionic gonadotropin,” and it’s the subject of a new diet called the HCG diet. The idea behind the hCG diet is that you only take 500 calories a day for 8 week while taking the hCG drug at the same time. Here are some of the pros and cons. You take the drug by getting a shot, or else you can take it a different way such as via pellet, sprays, or other methods. The problem is that hCG hasn’t been shown to be effective by itself in any definitive way yet. Trying to eat only 500 calories per day is going to make you lose weight regardless of anything else that you do. Basically, the FDA hasn’t signed off on this actually causing weight loss. But it is legal for you to take the HCG shot, as long as you get someone who’s actually licensed to get them for you. The over-the-counter version actually isn’t legal yet, and the FDA will go after anyone who tries to give it a way without having a doctor prescribe it.
Overview You really can’t eat a whole lot in this diet. You eat only 2 meals every day, which are for lunch and dinner. The diet has you eating protein-rich foods, one per meal, a piece of bread, a piece of fruit, and a vegetable. The protein can come in the form of seafood like crabs or lobsters, or you can cook up something like chicken, white fish or veal. The vegetables can be anything that’s green and leafy, and a few other choices. Basically the normal types of vegetables like cucumbers, cabbage, but also celery and tomatoes. The bread is pretty limited too. Mostly you just have toast. You can’t eat anything with sugar in it, and you can’t eat any kind of extra add-ons like an oil or butters. The diet does allow for sugar substitutes if you really need it. The point of the hCG drug is supposed to be that it suppresses your appetite and lets your body get rid of fat faster. Proponents claim that it restructures your body’s metabolism and lets you burn more calories daily than you would be able to otherwise. They also say that it has the feature of resetting the hypothalamic fat se-point in your body, though these claims haven’t been independently verified as of yet.
Cons One of the biggest problems here is that the caloric limit is borderline impossible. The amount of effort you need to keep up with only 500 calories per day is pretty intense. This is especially the case if you are a bigger guy. Another big problem is that it’s very difficult for you to keep up with nutritional needs like getting the right vitamins and so on when you have such limited caloric restrictions on a daily basis. You may also not get nearly enough protein. You would have to take a large amount of supplements to even have a chance. The only time a medical professional would allow this kind of diet is when someone is intensely and dangerously obese, or if their blood pressure is too high. Such diets are regulated carefully by medical professionals, however.
Pros Again, the diet can be good for those who are obese and need to lose weight very quickly, but this should really only be done at the advising of a doctor. Any other approach could result in a poor consequence for all of those who are involved. Overall, the important takeaway is to go check with your doctor before taking any extreme approach to a diet like this with such a low caloric set point.