Recently, the Arizona Republic ran a story about the popularity of the HCG diet for weight loss in the Valley. The article brings up some good points and valid concerns that you (or your family) may have.
One of my biggest concerns with the rise in popularity of the HCG program is that there are many people out there only looking to make money, and not looking out for your interests. The HCG diet has been proven safe and effective, when used appropriately, for the right patient and under close medical supervision. There are a few scenarios, and a few contraindications that mean this diet is not appropriate for everyone. Your doctor should be asking about your medical history, including any prior cancers, blood clots, or other issues. Your doctor should do a full physical exam, and you should have current bloodwork done. This is all to ensure your safety – your body is going through rapid change, doing a lot of metabolizing and you need someone on your side who can recognize when a change needs to be made. Once you begin the program, your doctor should be monitoring you very closely (I prefer weekly) to check electrolyte levels, how you are feeling, and to ensure your success on the program (after all, that’s the goal!). If all of these parameters are met, the HCG diet is a very safe, and incredibly effective way for you to lose weight, change your eating habits, feel better, and even decrease the number of medications you are taking.
Homeopathic HCG is available over-the-counter in stores for people to buy. I am a fan of homeopathic medicines (I have several in my office), but homeopathic HCG DOES NOT WORK. I can’t stress this enough – you are wasting your efforts and money, and I find it unconscionable that companies are encouraging people to undertake this program without supervision, endangering their health. If you or a loved one is using homeopathic HCG (if you got it without a prescription), please stop, and continue your efforts with a medical professional.
The biggest question with the HCG diet is “will the weight loss be sustained?”, and the answer is yes, for those people who are ready to make lasting changes. I can promise that if you go back to old habits, you will very likely gain the weight back. If you are able to take what you’ve learned from the diet and incorporate a healthy, sensible diet into your lifestyle, the loss will be sustained.
We do offer the HCG program here, and with that Maricopans have lost 2,716 pounds, 3720 inches, discontinued 31 medications and are saving an estimated $1720 every month on those meds. We have lowered blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, eliminated joint aches, headaches, muscle aches, and made some lasting changes to the diet and lifestyle of our patients. I have found the HCG diet to be safe and very effective when used appropriately, and have even done the program myself. If you are considering this diet, find a health care practitioner that you know and trust, who will take care of your health and your interests.
Disclaimer: HCG has not been demonstrated by the FDA to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or “normal” distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.