This is a very real diet known as the hCG diet, named for the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone and is based on a diet developed in 1954 by Dr. A. T. W. Simeons, MD based on observations. The diet claims to result in permanent weight loss of one pound per day and to be the only diet to isolate and target unwanted fat in specific areas such as thighs and buttocks. The diet also claims no hunger or muscle loss and that it will reset metabolism to a “normal” rate which allows followers to eat normally without weight re-gain. Why the hCG hormone? Because according to Dr. Simeons, hCG accelerates fat mobilization from certain parts of the body when combined with a very low-calorie diet.
Does this diet really work? No! Simeons’ results were not reproduced by other researchers. Any weight loss is attributed to the calorie restrictions and not to hCG, and no re-distribution of fat was observed. Furthermore, hCG is a drug that has not been approved as safe by the FDA. In fact, the FDA required Simeons and others to include a disclaimer stating all of the above. And finally, the FDA states that over-the-counter hCG-containing products are fraudulent and ineffective for weight loss.
Calorie-restricted diets are not sustainable and not healthy. If you’ve ever lost weight on a calorie-restricted diet, chances are that you gained all the weight back and then some because you go right back to your old habits as soon as you go off the diet. Furthermore, according to Mayo Clinic Nutritionist Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., calorie restriction has risks, such as gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, and an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body's muscles and nerves functioning properly.
There is nothing healthy about this diet! It’s not sustainable. There’s no positive lifestyle change. Followers must starve on a 500 calorie/day diet. Followers are taught that it’s ok to gorge on the worst possible foods for health and weight management. Followers are injected with hCG, a drug that has not been approved as safe by the FDA.
Consuming a whole, plant-based diet is so much simpler and safer. It’s satisfying and naturally low-calorie and low-fat, without being restrictive. It’s an easy-to-adopt lifestyle that if followed, is sustainable and leads to permanent good health and weight loss.
- Mark R. Stein, MD., Ronald E. Julis, MD, Carl C. Peck, MD, William Hinshaw, MS Hosp. Pharm., John E. Sawicki, MD, and John J. Deller, Jr., MD, Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a double-blind study, 1976, 29, American J. of Clinical Nutr., p. 940-948. (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/29/9/940.full.pdf)