Harnessing the power of hormones may seem like a god-like proposition, but it is something that scientists attempt to do every day. While some promote the use of hormones to avoid pregnancy (in the form of birth control pills), others attempt to use them to build muscle. Of course, the most exciting and oft toted use of hormones is for weight loss. HCG is a human chorionic gonadotropin—a hormone found within the urine of a pregnant woman. As a matter of fact, HCG is the hormone that changes the response on an over the counter pregnancy test and indicates that the test taker is, in fact, carrying a child in her womb. It is also a very popular hormone for people who are trying to lose weight.
HCG has an interesting job to do in pregnant women. Its sole purpose is to make sure that the baby growing inside the woman gets all the food it needs. It does this in part by loosening up the fat reserves that women have in their buttocks and other areas. Once the fat is loose it gets sent directly into the hungry stomach of the growing baby. The basis of the HCG diet is that its presence in a non-pregnant person results in the loss of fat in their problem areas and a reduced feeling of hunger.
You might think that just taking HCG alone is enough then to create weight loss and a trimmer, leaner body. Unfortunately, this is not the case. And that is why the complex HCG diet was created. The HCG diet is a 43 day diet that involves shots of HCG and a 500 calorie diet. Yes, that is right, a 500 calorie diet as in, all you eat all day is 500 calories. Now the actual calorie reduction part of the diet does not actually start until the HCG dieter has had three HCG shots. Why? Because by then some of the stored fat in the dieters body has been loosened up and is ready for use. And boy will it be used. Most people can not survive their daily activities with fewer than 1200 calories, so a 500 calorie HCG diet is a very tenuous proposition and could be extremely dangerous.
The reason this low calorie approach is so important is that when your body is emptying the fat cells and using the fat formerly stored in them, it is left with cells waiting to be filled by new fat. If you do not have a very low calorie diet along with your HCG shots you run the risk of refilling these empty fat cells and negating any progress you might have made.
It is important to remember that the HCG diet is not recommended for anyone struggling to lose just a few pounds. It is for those who need to lose a substantial amount of weight. Often, the weight loss can be astounding—with one or two pounds lost each day. But is it healthy? Chances are that it is not the best way for the morbidly obese to attempt to lose weight. And while the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of HCG in issues of fertility, it certainly has not approved it for a diet plan.
Before you embark on the HCG diet or any other extremely aggressive plan for weight loss, make sure you check with your primary care physician. Losing weight when you are morbidly obese is extremely important for your health—but if the diet you follow to lose the weight is equally or even more damaging than the obesity, then it is not worth the risk.