What is hCG?
HCG, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone found in the urine of pregnant woman and is currently being marketed as a miracle weight loss. During pregnancy, women produce the hormone in order to assist in the development of the fetus and ensure a successful pregnancy which results in the birth of a healthy infant. Human chorionic gonadotropin has two basic functions: one is to develop sexual organs in the unborn fetus and the second is ensuring there are enough calories and nutrients available for both mother and fetus.
With over to thirds of American adults overweight or obese it’s no wonder that so many people are out there looking for quick weight-loss solutions. Hence, the fitness craze which includes books, videos, training programs, 60-day, 30-day plans, etc. – all a part of a multi-million industry that continues to grow.
What is hCG diet?
The hCG diet has developed quite a bit of momentum since it was first suggested in the 1950s by British endocrinologist Albert T.W. Sigmeons when he published Pounds and Inches a book designed to fight obesity. His conclusions were based upon studies he did in India where he was observing and treating calorie-deficient pregnant and overweight male children with pituitary problems.
It’s believed that hCG stimulates the body to produce chemicals to use fat stores in the blood as energy. That means that nutrients that are normally stored inside of fat stores are released in the blood, helping to provide the sustenance our bodies need to remain energetic and healthy.
For those that supplement hCG in their daily diet in conjunction with a 500 caloric intake will elicit rapid weight loss. Restricting diet only lasts for a couple of weeks, before daily calorie intake can increase as metabolic levels are reset and balanced to normal levels. The argument, of course, being that if a person is overweight to begin with then cutting back significant calories for a short period will help the body go back to a normal health and weight, and hCG is supposed to stimulate this effect.
The hCG diet has shown some promising results, but the jury is still out on whether or not the hormone itself leads to weight loss. For those participants who have followed the diet faithfully as instructed reports of as much as .5 to 2 lbs were lost per day, with anywhere from 30 lbs in as little as 30 days. But scientists and health professionals believe that this is more a result of reducing caloric intake and not a result of supplementing with hCG.
Over the counter hCG as a weight loss drug has not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, and as a classified prescription drug (used in some fertility treatments) is still inconclusive as being effective for weight loss. To date, the scientific consensus is that any weight loss reported by using hCG is due primarily to the fact that participants are restricting their diets to extremely low and unsafe levels.