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Countless numbers of people are looking for ways to lose weight, particularly ways that make the pounds melt away rapidly. One diet that promises to help users shed unwanted weight is the hCG diet and judging by how popular it has recently become, it seems to deliver results. However, the so-called HCG diet is controversial.
Should you ever try to lose weight by injecting hormones into your body?
What Is HCG?
Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG is produced by pregnant women. It is made by cells that form the placenta and the levels can be detected via a blood test within 10 to 14 days after conception. Generally, a pregnant woman’s hCG levels will double every three days, will reach peak amounts between 8 and 11 weeks, and then taper off for the remainder of the pregnancy.
What On Earth Has A Pregnancy Hormone Got To Do With Dieting?
Does taking a natural hormone a woman’s body makes during pregnancy lead to weight loss? That’s exactly the promise made by the hCG diet. In addition to taking hCG, if a dieter were to also go on a low calorie food regimen, it may result in weight loss of up to a pound per day without causing feelings of hunger or weakness.
Most studies have highlighted that hCG has little if anything to do with rapid weight loss. When the body is starved and deprived of calories, it goes into starvation mode which is neither healthy nor safe.
The HCG diet limits the dieter to 500 calories per day (!!!) for a period of eight weeks while taking hCG by injection, drops, pellets or sprays. Any of these products can be purchased at health food stores, online or at a pharmacy. As of right now, none of these products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for weight loss.
HCG shots are legal, but only if approved by a health care provider. The hormone is used to treat fertility issues, but over-the-counter products are not recommended nor regulated by the FDA.