The HCG diet is nothing if not polarizing in the medical field and fitness community. Opponents and believers go back and forth on who's right and who's wrong, both sides generally tending to throw out accusations based on emotion and opinion instead of facts. Unfortunately, there are no shortage of these points that are often invalid or shouldn't matter, and here's an attempt to address a few of them.
HCG is often pointed out to be not an approved diet product. By the strictest standards, this is true, and any reputable site will tell you that HCG is not an FDA approved treatment for weight loss or obesity. Fortunately, this is actually a common practice, as the FDA certain cannot review every stated or hypothesized benefit of a product. For example, it's well known today that aspirin is officially a method of treating certain heart problems. This was not always the case, as doctors of the past would suggest aspirin as an off-label treatment for heart conditions until the FDA caught up; in fact, there are hundreds of medications being used today for off label purposes.
Another claim that the HCG Diet is a fad diet. Most of the time the quick answer to this claim is to point out that it has been around since the 1950's and is still practiced today, which really isn't what most would define as a 'fad diet'. When thinking of a fad diet, people think of something that comes in like a storm, sweeps the nation, and then vanishes in a short period of time, sometimes even in cycles, while still today there are hundreds of clinics in the US that use the HCG protocol still today.
Yet another claim is that the HCG diet is no good at keeping the weight off once you actually lose it. It's an interesting argument, honestly, because it can be used about ANY method of weight loss. Think about it, if you go on a yearlong diet that requires the same kind of dedication and provides the same results as the HCG diet protocol, just without the HCG or use of any other hormone, couldn't you also just gain the weight back on when you stop following that diet in particular? Or if you ONLY ran triathlons for your weight loss, and then you stopped; would you not put that weight back on? Certainly, you can gain the weight back after finishing the HCG diet, but that's true for any diet, as they require a lifestyle change from what you had before that made you put on all that weight in the first place.
Another claim is that low calorie diets like HCG can be dangerous. Depending on who you ask this can be true. Your body needs a minimum number of calories just to function properly, go below that limit and you may experience health related issues. On the other hand, there are plenty of studies available online about the benefits of a short term low calorie diet. Of course, these studies were conducted under the supervision of a physician but the data found that obese patients lost weight and were able to lower cholesterol levels and even reduce the need of insulin for those suffering from diabetes.
So, as you can see, many of the points against HCG can be pointed out to be simple hearsay or paranoia, but that's not to say the diet is for everyone or will work specifically for you. Always consult your physician when thinking about starting a new diet plan or making another similar lifestyle change.
We've updated this blog for 2018! Click here to read it.