Thanks to the Federal Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission for taking steps to get the HCG diet off of the shelves. The HCG diet promises extreme weight loss for consumers that follow the plan which consists of consuming only 500 calories a day and an injection of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotopin). HCG is a hormone that is found in the human placenta and the urine of pregnant women. However nauseating that may sound, the HCG diet craze started about ten years ago and is still going strong.
Yesterday the FDA and FTC released the news that they have written warnings letters to companies that sell the HCG hormone over-the-counter notifying them that the supplement has not been FDA approved for weight loss. The companies have 15 days to notify the agencies that corrective action has taken place.
The HCG hormone, which according to the FDA and FTC, has not been proven to have any impact on weight loss, isn’t cheap. A 13-day supply of the HCG drops along with some B vitamins, a diet manual, recipes, helpful tips and a grocery list costs $67.20 plus shipping. Once you’ve used the 13 day supply, you can purchase a 26-day supply of refill drops for $69.60.
Who Needs The Hormone Drops!
It’s no secret that if someone strictly follows a 500 calorie-a-day diet they will shed unwanted pounds quickly. There’s no need to purchase a weight-loss hormone too. But how does a company make money selling a 500 calorie a day diet alone? No doubt people are purchasing the weight loss kits, adhering to the dangerous calorie restrictions, losing weight, and crediting the HCG drops.
Why Limiting Calories to 500 A Day Isn’t A Good Long Term Strategy
The most prevalent side effects of very low calorie diets are fatigue, constipation, nausea and moodiness. On 500 calories a day the body is not being provided with the nutrients it needs to function well on a daily basis so it will naturally slow down. Certainly there are no calories available for physical activity of any kind. In fact the HCG discourages exercise while on the program.
When we lose weight without exercise we don’t just lose body fat. We also lose bone density and muscle mass. Muscle mass is that wonderful stuff that, if we have plenty of it, will raise out metabolic rate. It’s not something we can afford to give up if we want to maintain our weight loss.
The biggest problem with a 500 calorie diet is the inability to able to maintain it long term. It is inevitable that we will, at some point, begin consuming more than 500 calories/day. Once more calories are introduced the weight will come back.
Losing weight is more about behavior change and less about a hormone injection. It takes time for people to learn how to rethink their eating habits, understand portion control and discover the benefits of daily activity. The longer it takes the process to unfold and the more the individual learns about their own ability to be establish a lifestyle of healthier behaviors, the more permanent the weight loss will be.