Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

Beware of HCG Diets for Weight Loss

Wall_Food_10119Recently I saw an ad aiming to attract overweight people to “Beat the Holiday Bulge” by enrolling in their dietary plan to lose up to a pound a day by taking “medically prescribed HCG injections” (human chorionic gonadotropin) along with a low calorie diet.  Researching HCG, I find the following disturbing information about such a diet and these injections.

HCG is a hormone produced by the placenta when women are pregnant.  This hormone enables the fetus to grow and thrive during the first trimester.  This is normal activity in the human body.  HCG is often used medically to address fertility issues.

The downside of HCG is that cancer cells also produce this hormone, so an overabundance of HCG can lead to a cancer diagnosis.  Side effects of taking HCG include fatigue, restlessness, irritability, depression, fluid retention, and breast swelling in boys and men.

The HCG diet allows only 500 to 800 calories with two meals a day-lunch and dinner.  Exercise is not recommended while on this diet.  Calorie restriction can lead to the formation of gallstones, create electrolyte imbalances, and irregular heartbeat.  Any low calorie diet will induce weight loss.  Lack of exercise while dieting can lead to loss of muscle tone and reduced circulation.

In December 2011 the FDA banned HCG as clinical trials could not prove that HCG in fact did cause weight loss, re-regulate metabolism, lessen hunger, and preserve muscle mass.  Companies promoting diet plans using HCG are offering this weight loss method illegally.

Effective weight loss can occur when undertaking a whole foods diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and properly raised meat animals.  These foods provide valuable vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, proteins, simple and complex carbohydrates, and the best essential fats for cellular health.

Breakfast is critical in initiating metabolism that begins the process of burning calories.  Eating small meals throughout the day keeps metabolism burning calories that in turn causes weight to drop.  Add in exercise within tolerance and you have a plan for successfully meeting your ideal weight goals and you have not put yourself in jeopardy by potentially creating a health disorder opportunity.

Overweight people often skip meals to lessen their calorie intake.  This actually causes weight gain.  The body interprets no food intake, especially at breakfast time, as a famine situation and stores later food intake.  This leads to the accumulation of fat.  By eating throughout the day, the body interprets safety and begins to burn the calories.  Combining snacks and meals properly throughout the day continues the burn.  Increasing movement and exercise then allows the body to pull additional calorie needs from fat storage and weight begins to change.  This is the healthiest weight loss program and is natural to the body.  No outside chemicals or manufactured hormones or enzymes needed.

Our bodies have great wisdom for maintaining our lives.  It is up to us to choose the best most natural resources for supporting that innate wisdom.  Circle the perimeter of your grocery store, purchase whole foods, enjoy the rich textures, colors, smells, and tastes of pure food.  This is your best choice for beginning to lose the weight you want and still enjoying those luscious holiday temptations.

Krystle Shapiro owns NewTritionally Yours! offering nutrition education classes.  Next class series begins November 5, 2015.  She can be reached at (208) 290-6760.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

copyright 2008 - 2017