Are you intrigued by the promises of hCG for weight loss? Can you really lose one to three pounds a day simply by taking a hormone naturally produced by the body during pregnancy? Can hCG, which is used as a fertility hormone, be safely used off-label to perform a metabolism reset and increase the number of calories your body burns? Is this hormone able to modify your relationship with food permanently and lead to lifelong weight loss?
With promises like that, it’s no wonder The hCG Diet or The hCG Protocol, as it’s known, is all the rage in weight loss circles. But does it really work?
The hCG Protocol for weight loss incorporates a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) along with daily administration of the hormone hCG, either oral or injected. The diet encourages increased intake of vegetables, fiber and fluids. For the initial three weeks of the diet, no sugar or starches are allowed, and after three weeks, starches are slowly reintroduced.
The term hCG is an acronym for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. A hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy, hCG contributes to the thickening of the uterine lining that supports a growing embryo and signals the body to stop menstruation.
The hCG hormone used in fertility treatments is produced in laboratories from sterile cells – not extracted from women or animals. The form of hCG administered for The hCG Diet is a variation on the drug used in fertility treatments and is generally administered in a much lower dose.
The idea of using hCG for weight loss has been around for awhile. In 1954, British endocrinologist Albert T. W. Simeons published a book, Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity, in which he theorized that - because HCG allows mothers-to-be to access fat reserves to feed their fetuses - hCG could help people access their fat reserves and successfully achieve weight loss.
First things first, it’s important to know that hCG is NOT approved for over-the-counter use, nor has it been proven to work for weight loss. In fact, all hCG medication is required to carry a label from the FDA noting that hCG is not effective for weight loss.
But what about all the hype? If it doesn’t work, why are so many people claiming that it’s a miracle weight loss method?
The general consensus among weight loss professionals is that any weight loss that occurs with The hCG Protocol is likely due to the extreme very low-calorie diet (VLCD) individuals must follow – less than 500 calories a day. The initial weight loss is often simply fluid loss, which is quickly rebalanced. While weight loss is known to occur simply by following very low-calorie diets, maintaining that weight loss is often difficult and questions have arisen as to the safety and efficacy of these diets.
Subsequent variations of The hCG Diet that allow higher calorie levels have been widely promoted, but the larger issue is whether the hCG hormone has any effect at all on weight loss – and more importantly, if The hCG Diet is safe.
The administration of hormones that alter the functioning of the human body should always be undertaken under medical supervision with the right provider who is experienced in guiding you through the process. Hormones can be tricky. The right hormones used in the right ways for specific conditions can unlock tremendous benefits, but the consensus in medical circles is that The hCG Protocol is not safe, is not appropriate for weight loss and is simply not the weight loss miracle it’s been hyped to be.
At PrimeHealthMD, we do NOT promote the use of hCG. The risks of utilizing hCG off-label for weight loss are well documented.
Instead, our goal is always to educate you and help you find the best solutions for your particular needs – solutions that are safe, proven and effective.
To learn more about the pros and cons of safe, effective hormone therapies offered by PrimeHealthMD, you can call to speak with one of our hormone specialists to discover which methods might be right for you.
Our weight loss program at PrimeHealthMD was developed by doctors and nutritionists through extensive research and clinical experience to increase your energy levels and burn fat more efficiently. We follow American Society of Bariatric Physicians protocols, combining smart food choices, portion control, behavior modification, proprietary B1, B6 and B12 injections, together with physical activity and proven FDA approved medications to suppress appetite. At PrimeHealthMD, our goal is to partner with you to achieve sustainable behavioral and lifestyle changes.
Many insurance companies recognize the efficacy of programs like ours and will cover the cost.
If you need a medical weight loss plan that actually works, contact us for a FREE consultation! Our highly trained team is dedicated to offering personal, customized, and safe medically supervised solutions that are right for you, will help you feel and look better – and live your best life each and every day!