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The following information is for educational purposes only. Due to new FDA Compounding Guidelines and Telehealth Certifications,
Nu Image Medical no longer offers the HCG Weight Loss Program. GOOD NEWS! We have developed something better and easier: WAYT-less!

HCG Diet Frequently Asked Questions

HCG Diet Frequently Asked Questions
With the increased interest in the HCG diet there have been several questions about its safety and other aspects of the diet from interested dieters. The diet has proven to be one of the safest and fastest ways to lose a large amount of weight, but with so many different HCG diet providers out there it can be confusing for new patients to find a high quality provider that they can trust. At Nu Image Medical we have several years of combined experience with administering the diet, and we are a licensed provider of the diet. We can answer your questions if you are interested in the diet. Those who have been on the fence about trying the diet should review some of these HCG diet frequently asked questions to see if they address your concerns.

What is HCG?

HCG is a natural hormone and is the acronym for human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is produced by the placenta during pregnancy, and the presence of the hormone in the body indicates pregnancy. The hormone has several functions during pregnancy including protecting the developing fetus and ensuring that it has sufficient caloric energy during the period of time when the mother may not be aware of her pregnancy. The hormone supplies the extra energy by metabolizing excess fat, and it is through this same mechanism that both male and female dieters can lose weight when the hormone is combined with a very low calorie diet. The weight loss occurs for both men and women because the hormone can metabolize fat in both men and women, however there are no negative effects on men. The dosage that is used for the diet is much lower than what is normally produced during pregnancy, and the hormone can be supplied to the body through HCG injections or sublingual drops.

Who created the HCG diet?

The HCG diet was created by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, a British endocrinologist in the 1950s. The diet started off as a series of clinical trials at a hospital in Rome and other locations. Dr. Simeons found that injections of HCG combined with a very low calorie diet that consisted of mostly vegetables, a few fruit choices and lean protein was highly effective at helping obese patients lose weight. He found that HCG targeted abnormal fat while preserving lean muscle mass, and he published his findings in the 1954 manuscript "€œPounds and Inches"€. Since the manuscript was published, the HCG diet came into being and it has been used since the 1950s for weight loss through a variety of different programs and protocols. Some of the current programs like Nu Image Medical'adhere to the original Simeons protocol which is still considered to be the safest and most clinically proven HCG diet protocol available.

Is the HCG diet safe?

The HCG diet has been used for over 6 decades and has continually proven to be safe. The diet is not linked to any short or long term negative health effects, and most patients see a dramatic improvement with their health after the diet is completed. Clinical studies on the diet have found that it is safe for participants and that it can result in weight loss of up to 15 to 40 or more pounds, and the low dose of the hormone  has not been associated with any harmful effects. The only real danger associated with the diet is the fact that there are several online providers that sell the diet without any licensed medical providers on their staff. Patients need to be prescreened prior to starting the diet to ensure that the diet is safe for them, but the vast majority of patients with excess weight to lose can safely try the diet.

Are there side effects for men?

There are no unique side effects for men, even though HCG is normally produced by the female body. Men tolerate both the hormone and the diet quite well, and it can actually have a wide range of positive effects including improved libido and fertility and higher energy levels. A medically approved use of HCG is to improve sperm count for men because of its similarities to luteinizing hormone (LH), and the amount of hormone used for this treatment is significantly higher than the amount used for the HCG diet. The amount that is used for the diet is so low that there are no significant effects in general. The amount used for the diet is the bare minimum to get the metabolic fat burning effects of the hormone without having to worry about any other effects. Tens of thousands of men have had the same weight loss results as women while trying the diet, and no studies have shown that the hormone or the diet is dangerous in any way for men or that there are any unique side effects that only men experience.

Does the diet really work?

The human chorionic gonadotropin diet has proven to work time and time again, and the vast majority of people who try the diet have success with it. Some people require multiple rounds of the diet to achieve their weight loss goals, however just one round of the diet can result in weight loss of up to 40 pounds (for the six week diet). The diet is not guaranteed to work unless the patient adheres to every requirement of the protocol. Although the protocol can be challenging during the first week of the diet, the hormone makes it much easier to complete and as long as the protocol is followed as closely as possible, most patients can expect to see some degree of weight loss if not substantial weight loss.

Was the HCG diet banned by the FDA in 2011?

The HCG diet was not actually banned in 2011; however the FDA did make homeopathic HCG products illegal. Homeopathic HCG products are defined as any over the counter products that had the label "€œhomeopathic"€; these products were being marketed as effective weight loss aids when in actuality they were not effective at all and some of them had dangerous or inert ingredients. The FDA cracked down on these products because of their false claims, however the actual diet was not ever made illegal. There is a major difference between pure pharmaceutical grade HCG and "€œhomeopathic"€ HCG - homeopathic HCG isn't really HCG at all and is an illegal product, while pure pharmaceutical grade HCG is real and is still perfectly legal to use off label for weight loss with the prescription of a licensed medical provider. Any company that is still selling homeopathic HCG is doing so illegally, but there has never been a problem with legitimate providers of the hormone and diet.

Do you need to exercise on the HCG diet?

There is no exercise required on the diet, since it is a very low calorie diet with a maximum daily calorie intake of about 500 to 550 calories per day. This low calorie intake is offset by the hormone since it helps the body burn up to 2,000 calories per day in abnormal fat, so no exercise is needed in order to lose weight on the diet. Exercise is actually prohibited on the diet outside of normal daily activity. Strenuous activities should also be avoided if at all possible during Phase 2 of the diet (the very low calorie diet), however people with physically demanding jobs may need to alter the protein intake of the diet based on the recommendation of a medical professional.



About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

8 min read