What is HCG diet?
HCG diet refers to a very low calorie diet with HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin injections. This diet is promoted as another way of losing the extra pounds and fat in the bodies of obese people. Promoters of this diet claim that a person can lose at least a pound a day if the injections and diet plan is followed religiously.
HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by women in the early parts of pregnancy. Though both sexes have this hormone, HCG can easily be detected on women in the first 2 weeks of pregnancy through blood or urine tests. HCG’s effect is on the hypothalamus, which is connected to the metabolism-related activities of the body. Because of HCG, fat will be mobilized in the body, which will result to weight loss. Daily HCG injection is just one half of the HCG-diet plan. The other half is a 500-calorie per day diet. Skeptics want people to take caution on this very low calorie diet as this may result to behavioral problems like irritability and lightheadedness.
No scientific evidence exists that HCG injections are effective in promoting weight loss, that’s why the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has not approve its use in weight loss programs. Many also do not recommend taking the injections along with the very restrictive diet because of a variety of side effects which include mood swings, headaches, confusion, dizziness, and blood clots. Some women may also experience over-stimulation of their ovaries which result to pain in the pelvic area, swelling in the upper or lower extremities, difficulty in breathing, nausea, dizziness, and weight gain among others.
Care must be taken before submitting oneself to the HCG diet plan. People need to consult with doctors to come up with alternatives and a better health/diet plan.