There are certainly many different diets that have come to prominence in the past decade with people around the world looking for ways to lose weight. One of the most interesting is the HCG Diet which has been growing steadily in recent years which promises to help people lose a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time.
What is the HCG Diet?
The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that is produced in human through the pituitary gland. This particular hormone causes the body to burn away the fat at a faster rate than normal in particular when a person is consuming a low calorie diet. So, instead of burning away bone mass or muscle tissue when eating so few calories, the body will instead focus on the fat cells first.
The diet injects the HCG hormone into the body while the person follows a strict, low calorie diet. This diet promises to help people lose up to a pound of fat per day thanks to the calorie restriction and the burning of the fat. The HCG is administered in clinics around the country and the overall process has been heavily promoted in recent years.
The Pros of HCG
Ideal for Short Period Weight Loss:
Essentially, this may be the ideal diet for those who need to lose five to ten pounds in a short period of time. While injections are considered the best form of administering the HCG, it can also be done in drop or pill form which avoids the pain of needles.
The overall emphasis on the diet is to help a person lose weight really fast in a short period of time, so someone who needs to lose up to ten pounds can really benefit from using this form of weight loss as it goes after the fat and not the bone mass or muscle tissue.
The Cons of HCG
There are a number of reasons to avoid this diet if you have more than a few pounds to lose, particularly if you are subject to the health risk that the calorie restriction and rapid weight loss has on the body itself.
Not Approved by the FDA:
The Food and Drug Administration has approved quite a few diets, but not this one because the calorie restriction is simply too much for most people to endure. At a mere 500 calories per day, that is essentially one meal which is simply not enough energy for most people to meet their needs for the day.
Lack of Effectiveness:
Despite all the claims, there appears to be very little evidence that the HCG actually helps the body burn the fat away instead of the bone or muscle tissue. So, the effectiveness of the diet, particularly for those who have more weight to lose may be just a waste of money.
With no exercise regimen as part of the diet process, there is no real way to make the long term effects of the diet stick for those who do manage to lose the weight. Without building up lean muscle mass, the weight that is lost will quickly be put back on when the dieting stops.
Overall, the HCG Diet is not one that promises long term, effective results and may actually do more harm than good to the body.