There has been a lot of buzz about the HCG 500-calories diet. A number of my female personal training clients just read an article about hormone diets in the New York Times and had many questions. This subject interested me, as well, because I was familiar with human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) but in a different context. I have had male clients over the years that were taking HCG in conjunction with testosterone to prevent their testicles from atrophying and to keep their bodies making testosterone.
What is the HCG 500-calories diet?
HCG is a hormone produced in pregnancy that is made by the developing embryo. The inject-able, prescription form of HCG, is prescribed by doctors for infertility treatments. The theory behind using the hormone for weight loss; however, is that it will make you burn body fat and not muscle. When you are pregnant your body is always trying to protect the fetus and will produce hormones and start reactions that will make you burn body fat while maintaining muscle mass to protect the fetus.
This low calorie hormone diet was first made popular in the 1950s by a doctor in Rome named Albert .T.W Simeons. Dr. Simeons would put patients on an ultra low calorie diet (500 calories or less) while giving them low doses of HCG. He claimed that the low-calorie high protein diet along with low doses of the HCG hormone made his patients lose body fat while maintaining lean muscle without being hungry from such a low calorie diet.
This diet has had its fair share of criticisms. There have been warnings from The Journal of the American Medical Association and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition saying that HCG is neither safe nor effective for weight-loss. Plus the FDA requires a statement on all packaging of HCG to say “It has not been shown to increase weight loss, to cause a more “attractive” distribution of fat or to “decrease hunger and discomfort” from low-calorie diets”.
In my opinion, it works for some people due to the low calorie high protein diet. In addition, the quick results makes you want to stay on the diet longer. What is interesting about HCG is how it does create a reaction that increases men’s production of testosterone. One of the big side effects of taking performance-enhancing drugs like steroids and or testosterone is that it shuts down the ability of the body to make testosterone on its own because it does not have to. Its common knowledge that athletes take HCG to prompt their body to make testosterone and prevent their testicles from atrophying.
There might be something to the HCG 500-Calories Diet but when your messing with the hormones in your body you have to be real careful and you don’t want to take the advice of a doctor or person who is going to make a lot of money from putting you on the hormone. If you want to look into any type of anti-aging or Human Growth Hormone therapy for weight loss or any other reason speak to a doctor you trust and know well, and see what they have to say. I’m sure they will point you in the right direction.
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