A word of warning-very low calorie diets can cause gall stones, and lead to surgical intervention. That's why many big diet companies no longer have the first week or so of 900 calorie or below diet plans.
Yeah, I wondered about additional health risks. Haven't read about any porblems associated with this diet though. I think it's more than just eating 500 calories, it seems to help burn fat. Seriously, you can not believe how good the guy looks that went on this diet last October.
Dr. Oz recently did a program on this. There were some interesting things said, including the fact that the drops don't really have enough of the HCG to be considered significant. He did cautiously recommend the diet, but only the injections and under strict supervison.
The HCG diet has been around since at least the 1970's. I was on it as a teenager. I did not have the dramatic results others did (took me 18 months to lose 70lbs), and back then, you had to go to the doctor for the shots...every three days.
I had significant hair loss and stopped having my period until I went off the shots. Later I developed "multi-cystic" ovaries. My GYN always thought the HCG contributed to me developing that problem.
Five hundred calories a day isn't much. If you do this, be prepared to take major quantities of vitamin and mineral supplements. You can't get enough from 500 calories a day of food to provide what you need nutritionally.
"It's not a mistake if you knew what you were doing was wrong."
A lot of people don't understand how this diet really works and get their underwear all in a knot about the low calorie part.
I've done this diet (with my doctor's permission) and I can say that it worked ABSOLUTELY as it was billed to. Fat lost from places I could never lose otherwise. I was unable to lose weight via "traditional" diets like Weight Watchers, South Beach, etc. Not only did it work PERFECTLY, but I've kept all 20% of my weight off for a year. Further, it DID change my metabolism, and I can eat like a regular person now. I had no side effects of any kind. I did the injections, which were truly no big deal, as I wanted to follow the protocol exactly how it was written.
To the poster above who went to get a shot every third day -- no wonder it didn't work. That is totally wrong.
My best advice is find Dr. Simeons protocol online and read that. You also might consider joining a YahooGroup like hcgdieters to get your questions answered. There are tons of web sites that have it all wrong. Follow the real and original protocol and you can't go wrong.
You have to remember that yes, you are only consuming a small number of calories every day, but your body is using your "stored calories" in the form of fat, which is what makes this diet work.
A year later I've not had a single side effect, no problems whatsoever. I went from a bmi that was "obese" to now being in the normal range. My mom also did the diet at the same time I did, and has had no trouble keeping it off.
One of the greatest things about this diet is that it gives you a guideline and a tool to keep the weight off. It isn't like other things where you end it and just go off on your merry way and "good luck, hope it works out" for maintaining. With this diet, there is a strict amount you can gain, and if you go over that, you fix it THAT DAY. It really does work. I highly recommend it.
are these the "homeopathic" hcg drops? because by definition a homeopathic preparation doesn't actually contain any hcg in it- it's a scam. Some of these drops list a number of dangerous drugs as "inactive" ingredients in the fine print, so watch out. Doctors don't recommend following extremely low calorie diets because they are unhealthy, and the only reason to lose weight is to improve one's health.
I am doing the injections, and am under strict care by my doctor. I give myself a shot every morning, and every Friday I go to my doctor to weigh in, get measured, get a vitamin B12 shot and make sure everything is going well.
As of Friday I have lost 6 inches off my waist, 4 off my hips and 2 inches off each thigh. My whole body is toning up and it's great! As my doctor explained it, many athletes use the HCG as well, when they are on steroids to bulk up they take the HCG to burn off the fat layer over that muscle.
As to hCG's ability to promote weight loss, the FDA requires the following warning - in capital letters - to be included in the prescribing information:
"HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or "normal" distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets."
Although I have often disagreed with the FDA in the past, in this case I think they have a point. HCG may yet turn out to hold important clues concerning cancer's ability to evade the body's immune system, but as method of controlling one's weight it is potentially dangerous. I would avoid it until further studies are done to establish its safety and effectiveness.
* trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am