HCG DIet: What Is It?
This diet has gotten some pretty big press lately. Dr Oz did a special last week on his show, which I purposely watched (I never watch his show). I will be the first to admit that the HCG diet is way too radical for me to give it a try. And you know I will try out most diets if you're curious (keep that in mind, if there is a diet you're interested in, write it on the forum and I will try to do a two week trial).
Ok, so I know you're curious, what is the HCG Diet. It consist of giving yourself daily injections of HCG which is a hormone produced by pregnant women (it's the hormone that pregnancy tests look for). The idea is that the hormone is suppose to help suppress your appetite so you don't feel hungry. But the diet doesn't end here...
You are only allotted 500 calories per day! Yes, 500 calories within a 24 hour period. The average woman needs around 1800 calories a day, but why not eat just 500? But because you're taking the shots you won't feel hungry.
500 calories of food
I personally find this absolutely ridiculous and straight up dangerous. Last time I trained for a show, I was only eating around 1000 calories a day and my body paid for it big time. I didn't have a period, I lost a lot of hair and I was tired ALL the time... so the idea that going to 500 would be ok for anyone is outrageous to me.
On the Dr Oz, there was a young female doctor who is behind a HCG Clinic and she says that while you're only getting 500 calories in, you are breaking down body fat and therefore using the calories from fat for energy... yes, but last time I studied I don't recall fat being filled with essential vitamins and minerals that can only come for a balanced diet.
We can't forget the reason we eat. Of course it's to get calories (energy) but also to get adequate nutrients like amino acids, vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamin C is not stored in the body, neither are B-Vitamins so you have to eat them in your diet each day. There are several others as well. With 500 calories you're definitely not going to hit the target doses.
I found this example of a classic day in the life of an HCG Dieter:
Breakfast: Tea of coffee without sugar, and only 1 tbsp of milk is allowed per 24 hours, so use it wisely. Lunch: 100 grams of chicken breast, visible fat must be removed and meat is to be weighed raw. Must be either broiled or raw. One veggie is picked from a list of: chard, spinach, fennel, onions, radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage or beet-greens.
One Melba toast; and an apple or a handful of strawberries Dinner: the same as lunch.
I also read this little disclaimer at the bottom of one HCG site: No medications or cosmetics other than lipstick, eyebrow pencil or powder can be used without special permission... I wouldn't last since I don't go to the gym without mascara on!
I am sure you're not surprised but now I am not going to support this diet or recommend it to anyone. It's definitely not healthy and is not the way to help create a fit lifestyle. This is being miserable and starving. Even if the hormones work, which there is not evidence that they do, just because you don't think you're starving... you're starving.
Common Side Effects:
Just to name a few.
Here's a little clip from the show:
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