Some medically supervised weight loss programs use a combination of an extremely low calorie diet paired with HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone that’s present in higher levels by the placenta during pregnancy. At Cambiati Wellness, we are not a fan of the HCG diet for a number of reasons, and honestly think it’s a little crazy and dangerous, not to mention—it doesn’t work! Cutting calories so low that when you add them back in you gain all the weight back and then some? No thanks. More importantly, there are serious risks to this crash diet plus unnecessary hormones, including heart palpitations, anemia, hunger and potentially even lethal reactions. Some of our clients have tried the HCG diet in the past and they’ve had a lot of trouble getting the same results as other clients. It takes an incredibly long time trying to get the metabolism to recover. The short term gains come at a very dangerous cost and the long-term weight loss is not what you would expect. So why put your body through that deprivation and torture?
We know that weight loss can be attained much more enjoyably, more naturally and sustainably, when we put all of our tools together to support hormones, blood sugar, and neurotransmitters.
Cutting calories so drastically, to about 500 calories per day, is clearly not something our bodies can maintain. It slows down the metabolism, and when we finally start eating more food again, it ends up being even harder to lose the weight. It enters what’s called a “famine response state,” so the minute you increase your calories again, your body will store everything it can as fat. Even more importantly, reducing your food intake by that much can be dangerous to your health. It can put you at increased risk of gallstones, electrolyte imbalances and an irregular heartbeat. In rare instances, it can even be fatal. Finally, if you cut calories that drastically, you’ll likely lose weight—it’s not that HCG is really adding much to that formula. It’s playing with your hormones, which we never recommend doing without testing. We just can’t know the long-term effects of taking a hormone that’s not naturally produced in our bodies (except during pregnancy).
The FDA also does not approve HCG for weight loss, and advises consumers against HCG weight-loss products and programs. It’s actually approved for female infertility and related medical conditions, but not without a prescription for any purpose, including weight loss. In fact, in 2009 the American Society of Bariatric Physicians issued a statement that said that the HCG diet is ineffectual in producing weight loss, and the FDA stated that “HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction. Additionally, there is no evidence that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”
HCG can come in the form of injections, pellets, drops, patches or sprays. Side effects vary depending on the administration route, but can include redness at injection site, headaches, OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome), indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, and more. Hormone balance is very delicate, and playing with one can create a cascade effect that in turn plays a role in other hormones in the body.
This is why we prefer using diet, lifestyle and vitamins/herbs to support a change in body composition that doesn’t have side effects and also benefits your health in a variety of ways. Call us today to find out how we get success for 97% of our clients.