Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) as a weight-loss supplement. The idea is that dieters constrict their intake to 500 calories per day as well as take injections or ingest droplets of this hormone, which is extracted from the urine of pregnant women. But does it work?
Participators in this regime have claimed to lose up to a pound a day, which may be true due to the calorie restriction. Evangelists for hCG claim that the combination of the 500 calorie diet and droplets or injections will burn 2000 calories per day. Although the numbers sound great, hCG has not been approved by the FDA as a weight-loss supplement, even though it’s been a recurring fad diet since the 1970s. On top of that there are dangers associated with this plan.
For starters, the average active person should consume around 2000 calories per day. Even someone leading a sedentary lifestyle should consume roughly 1600 calories a day. By limiting intake to 500, dieters are not only getting inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, but they are also sending their bodies into starvation mode. Normally, starvation mode prevents fat loss, but at this extreme restriction, the body will begin breaking down fat for survival. Unfortunately, it will also break down muscle. Any diet that involves starvation should be avoided, as it is not a healthy state.
The diet isn’t the only dangerous part of this plan. hCG comes with a series of possible side effects including:
- severe pelvic pain
- swelling of the hands or legs
- stomach pain and swelling
- shortness of breath
- weight gain
- nausea or vomiting
- urinating less than normal
- feeling restless or irritable
As addressed in previous posts, the generally recognized healthy rate of weight-loss among medical professionals is about two pounds a week. The healthy way to do this is a reasonable caloric restriction – eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber – combined with an increase in exercise.
Photo by Sarah G…