The popular medical weight loss hCG Diet is a plan based largely on 2 factors - an extremely low calorie diet and taking a the hCG supplement. The plan promises weight loss of 1-2 pounds per day, but is it really safe?
As Dr. Oz explains on his show today, the hCG diet has been around since the 50's. Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced during pregnancy to help ensure the fetus gets the nutrients it needs. It is claimed that hCG promotes weight loss by suppressing the appetite and helping the body burn fat. Dieters need the appetite suppressant because they eat only 500 calories a day, which has many physicians concerned with the plan's safety.
According to Dr. Oz, though products claiming to have hCG are readily available from health food stores and online, many actually have none of the hormone. To get the strong dose, it must be prescribed by a doctor. After 50 years, there is still no medical research proving that hCG keeps you from getting hungry, though thousands swear by it. hCG is FDA approved, though as a fertility drug and not for weight loss.
Dr. Oz speaks to Dr. Sheri Emma who prescribes this diet and asks why it's necessary to eat so few calories and how can people survive by eating so little. She says that it's best to get people to their ideal weight as soon as possible rather than dragging out the weight loss process. Also, Dr. Emma says that people may only be taking in 500 calories a day, but they have energy stored in their fat which the body burns to keep itself running.
Many physicians caution against extremely low calorie diets because when you consume so few calories, you're likely to feel lethargic and tired because there just isn't enough fuel in your body. With any diet program, especially one that restricts calories down below 1200 a day, it's best to consult a physician for guidance. It's also important to make sure you're eating all of the protein and essential amino acids needed to be certain that your body doesn't turn to your internal protein stores - your muscles - for it.