The HCG Diet: Does it Really Work?

Monday, 28 Jan 2013 10:01 AM

By Donna Scaglione

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The HCG diet, which uses the so-called “pregnancy hormone” human chorionic gonadotropin to help people lose weight, has been considered controversial because it involves the off-label use of HCG for weight loss as well as drastic calorie reduction.

But wellness expert Erika Schwartz, M.D., who prescribes the HCG diet for some of her patients, says that when it’s practiced under careful medical supervision, it helps people lose weight and keep the pounds off by serving as a sort of jumpstart to healthy eating.
 
“We really want HCG to be kind of a booster to changing your diet, to having you balance yourself,” she tells Newsmax Health. “So once you lose the weight it stays off. And HCG is able to help you. It enables you to be able to get rid of the weight and then stay on a lower-calorie diet. And our transition to normal dieting actually takes you to a really healthy diet. So HCG is kind of an enabler of good things.”

Special: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body.

While pregnant women produce large amounts of HCG in their placentas, men, and women who are not pregnant, also produce it. “It actually operates on the central pituitary level and what it does is it actually focuses on getting rid of fat and keeping us tight so that … the skin doesn’t start falling and doesn’t get really wrinkly as we lose weight, which is what happens with most diets,” Dr. Schwartz explains.
 
While weight-loss products containing HCG are available on the Internet and at health-food stores, Dr. Schwartz cautions against using them. Proper hormone balancing and dosing, as well as very low caloric intake — 500 to 750 calories a day — are critical to the diet’s success and require medical supervision to ensure the dieter’s good health, she says.
“You need HCG in the right dose, she says. “You need supervision from a medical perspective by somebody who knows how to balance the rest of your hormones.”
 
The diet is geared for people who want to lose at least 20 pounds, and at Dr. Schwartz’s practice, many patients have been successful at not only losing the weight but keeping it off and learning how to adopt healthy eating habits, she says.
 
“In our practice, where we’ve done a few hundred HCG patients already over the past couple of years, they sustain the diet, they sustain the weight loss,” she says. “And what’s so beautiful about it is that once we balance their hormones, we help them with the HCG diet, then they learn how to eat right and how to stay within five pounds” of their goal weight.
 
Special: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body.
 

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