There's been a lot of hub-bub about the HCG Diet Plan lately. While some people say it doesn't work, others swear that it does and have before-and-after photos to prove it. Here are the five undisputable facts about the HCG Diet.
5 Must-Know Things About the HCG Diet
1. It's not approved by the FDA. HCG is a pregnancy hormone that is traditionally used to treat fertility issues. However, the hormone hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used as a treatment for obesity or weight loss.
2. Its extremely low-calorie. The diet that accompanies the HCG injections or supplements is incredibly low cal, allowing just 500 to 800 calories a day on average. That's about one-fourth to half of what most nutrition professionals would recommend.
3. There's no research that confirms that the HCG hormone leads to weight-loss. There has been plenty of research on HCG, but when it comes to finding a high-quality study that proves that it helps people lose weight or keeps hunger at bay, the science just isn't there.
4. The side effects aren't fun. Besides the fact that a low-calorie diet can make you cranky and possibly not deliver all the nutrients your body needs, taking HCG hormones can cause headache, fatigue, irritability and male breast enlargement. Doesn't sound fun.
5. It's not a permanent lifestyle change. The bottom line on this is that it's a diet and not a lifestyle change that you can live with long-term. Because it's so drastic, it's likely that as soon as you "go off" the HCG diet, you'll go back to old habits and gain back the weight.
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.