HCG Injections for Weight Loss? Nope.

Posted on December 30, 2008

It’s desperation time for many people. The new year is almost here, and people are trying to find that quick fix to lose weight in the coming year. Most certainly, some people will turn to the HCG diet.

I’ve heard a lot lately about how HCG (, the pregnancy hormone) injections can help people lose weight. When I heard about it I was surprised that so many people swear by it and love it. I even saw a sign promoting HCG weight loss at a local “medical spa” (pictured below).

The HCG diet is basically this: Eat 500 Calories per day from specific foods, inject yourself with a shot of HCG each day for 6 weeks, and don’t exercise. According to one web site promoting this diet, you can lose 1-2 pounds per day. The HCG (allegedly) “resets” your metabolism and helps you not to be hungry.

Does this sound ridiculous to anyone else?

Let’s see what others have to say. I included the sources in the footnotes so you can check out the details on your own.

A meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Pharmacology stated:

“We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG causes weight-loss, a redistribution of fat, staves off hunger or induces a feeling of well-being.”1

Another study published in The Western Journal of Medicine says:

“Weight loss was identical between the two groups, and there was no evidence for differential effects on hunger, mood or localized body measurements. Placebo injections, therefore, appear to be as effective as HCG in the treatment of obesity.”2

Even a dietitian at MayoClinic.com weighed in:

“Years ago, researchers studied HCG injections as a possible weight-loss aid. Results of most studies weren’t promising, however. In fact, HCG injections seemed to be no more effective than were placebos in promoting weight loss. Today, HCG injections are primarily used to treat fertility issues.”

Not enough for you? Here’s an article called Weight loss is hard, and human pregnancy hormone won’t change that from a board-certified internist about why HCG is not the answer. It’s a great read from over at CalorieLab.

The Bottom Line? There’s no benefit of injecting yourself with HCG. If you eat 500 Calories per day you will lose weight, but you know that’s just not a healthy way to do it. Instead of wasting hundreds of dollars on HCG injections, maybe buy some healthier foods, join a gym, or hire a good trainier/nutritionist to help you lose weight in a healthy way.

Again, I don’t care that the HCG diet does in fact help you lose weight. It’s not healthy and there are better uses for your money.

Healthy lifestyle changes will help you lose weight and keep it off for a lifetime.

Well, I guess if you really want to spend the hundreds of dollars, just send it to me and I’ll send you some saline injections that will have the same effect.

  1. W.J Assendelft, G.K Lijesen, I. Theeuwen and G. Van Der Wal, “The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis,” The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 40 (1995): 237-43. []
  2. G.A Bray and F.L Greenway, “Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity: a critical assessment of the Simeons method,” The Western Journal of Medicine 127 (1977): 461-3. []
  3. MayoClinic.com. [Web Site] (2008); available from ; Internet; accessed 30 December 2008. []

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» Filed Under Fad Diets, Weight Control

Comments

  • http://smallstepstohealth.com/ Small Steps to Health

    Anyone can lose weight on 500 calories a day. Gosh, I cannot believe that a spa can advertise that without getting in trouble.nnSmall Steps to Health´s last blog post..

  • http://smallstepstohealth.com Small Steps to Health

    Anyone can lose weight on 500 calories a day. Gosh, I cannot believe that a spa can advertise that without getting in trouble.

    Small Steps to Health´s last blog post..

  • http://www.hcgdietfacts.com/blog HCG Diet

    Since there is usually 2 sides to every story, you may want to check out this post that refutes the idea that the hCG diet doesn’t work:rnrnhttp://hcgdietinfo.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/hcg-info-just-the-facts-please/nnHCG Diet´s last blog post..

  • http://www.hcgdietfacts.com/blog HCG Diet

    Since there is usually 2 sides to every story, you may want to check out this post that refutes the idea that the hCG diet doesn’t work:

    HCG Diet´s last blog post..

  • http://marksalinas.com/ Mark

    Happy New Year!

  • http://marksalinas.com Mark

    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.myfamilydoctormag.com/ James Hubbard M.D. M.P.H.

    When you think you have heard it all…rnWill fad diets ever end, or just keep getting more outrageous? I guess the latter as long as there are gullible people.rnrnJust saying something works, or finding spokespeople, or doing a poorly designed study can’t compete with objective, well-designed studies.rnrnOther than expense and time, I hope it does not physically harm. Some say don’t knock it if you have not tried it? I say use a little common sense. I have not tried hitting myself in the head to feel better because common sense tells me it won’t, despite what a spokesperson says, and I am pretty sure I can find a study to prove it.

  • http://www.myfamilydoctormag.com James Hubbard M.D. M.P.H.

    When you think you have heard it all…
    Will fad diets ever end, or just keep getting more outrageous? I guess the latter as long as there are gullible people.

    Just saying something works, or finding spokespeople, or doing a poorly designed study can’t compete with objective, well-designed studies.

    Other than expense and time, I hope it does not physically harm. Some say don’t knock it if you have not tried it? I say use a little common sense. I have not tried hitting myself in the head to feel better because common sense tells me it won’t, despite what a spokesperson says, and I am pretty sure I can find a study to prove it.

  • http://homefitnessbody.com/blog Tom Rooney

    It’s amazing how many people will try to dupe the public into believing ridiculous advertising. I’m also surprised that they don’t say if you cut your 500 calorie intake in half, you can achieve the weight loss goals twice as fast. Good post and research.nnTom Rooney´s last blog post..

  • http://homefitnessbody.com/blog Tom Rooney

    It’s amazing how many people will try to dupe the public into believing ridiculous advertising. I’m also surprised that they don’t say if you cut your 500 calorie intake in half, you can achieve the weight loss goals twice as fast. Good post and research.

    Tom Rooney´s last blog post..

  • http://blog.superhealthykids.com/ Super Healthy Kids

    lol. What a waste of money. I’m guessing the long term effects of the weight loss would show 100% of the people gain weight once they start eating again.nnSuper Healthy Kids´s last blog post..

  • http://blog.superhealthykids.com Super Healthy Kids

    lol. What a waste of money. I’m guessing the long term effects of the weight loss would show 100% of the people gain weight once they start eating again.

    Super Healthy Kids´s last blog post..

  • http://www.quickfixdiets.org/ Keeley

    I read your article with my mouth wide open in disbelief . I cannot believe that people are really falling for this and paying good money for it too.rnIts amazing how desperate people can get, especially to start injecting yourself and if something says not to exercise that surely should would make you think its not right.nnKeeley´s last blog post..

  • http://www.quickfixdiets.org Keeley

    I read your article with my mouth wide open in disbelief . I cannot believe that people are really falling for this and paying good money for it too.
    Its amazing how desperate people can get, especially to start injecting yourself and if something says not to exercise that surely should would make you think its not right.

    Keeley´s last blog post..

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  • http://strongandfit.net/ StrongandFit

    This is bizarre, but I can’t say I’m surprised–lots of scams out there.nnStrongandFit´s last blog post..

  • http://strongandfit.net StrongandFit

    This is bizarre, but I can’t say I’m surprised–lots of scams out there.

    StrongandFit´s last blog post..

  • http://fastest-way-how-to-lose-weight.blogspot.com/ FarfromFat

    Sound ridiculous to me,why don’t they just ….exercise!

  • http://fastest-way-how-to-lose-weight.blogspot.com/ FarfromFat

    Sound ridiculous to me,why don’t they just ….exercise!

  • adia

    I used hcg and lost 30 lbs in 30 days!!!rnI never even exercised, even thogh I should have.rnrnI tried everything including exercise b4 starting the hcg but nothing worked because of a hormone imbalance. rnrnEVERYONE HERE DOUBTS HCG BUT IT WORKED FOR ME!!!rnrnhttp://hcgmedical.com/Simeons.asp

  • adia

    I used hcg and lost 30 lbs in 30 days!!!
    I never even exercised, even thogh I should have.

    I tried everything including exercise b4 starting the hcg but nothing worked because of a hormone imbalance.

    EVERYONE HERE DOUBTS HCG BUT IT WORKED FOR ME!!!

  • http://blakehagen.com Blake

    @adiarnrnI’m not saying it doesn’t work. Like I said, no matter what you inject yourself with, it would work when only eating 500 calories per day. I said it’s not healthy. There are better and healthier ways to lose weight, hormone imbalance or not. That’s not me saying that… it’s science.

  • Blake Hagen

    @adia

    I’m not saying it doesn’t work. Like I said, no matter what you inject yourself with, it would work when only eating 500 calories per day. I said it’s not healthy. There are better and healthier ways to lose weight, hormone imbalance or not. That’s not me saying that… it’s science.

  • http://www.kentonbruicemd.com bioidentical hormone doctors

    Exactly, if you eat only 500 calories per day no doubt you will lose weight! staying healthy is another issue…My advice? go to a doctor and get a proper nutrition plan, that will help you change your bad habits and stay healthy. Thanks!

  • Dave

    This is completely ludicrous. Injecting yourself with any substance is wacky at best and life threatening at worst. There is a natural way to and most of it is common sense involving low cardiovascular exercise, drinking plenty of water, strength training, and eating right. Don’t try to take shortcuts or you’ll pay for them in the long run.

  • Dave

    This is completely ludicrous. Injecting yourself with any substance is wacky at best and life threatening at worst. There is a natural way to and most of it is common sense involving low cardiovascular exercise, drinking plenty of water, strength training, and eating right. Don’t try to take shortcuts or you’ll pay for them in the long run.

  • http://claudemonet.wordpress.com/ Claude Monet

    Mmmm… How about Do do exercise and Don’t take unnecessary pills or tips. Why people dont listen to doctors, but instead listen to un-qualified people on the internet is because they really dont have the motivation to commit to exercise. Its boring, but the basics apply to virtually everyone folks!!

  • http://claudemonet.wordpress.com Claude Monet

    Mmmm… How about Do do exercise and Don’t take unnecessary pills or tips. Why people dont listen to doctors, but instead listen to un-qualified people on the internet is because they really dont have the motivation to commit to exercise. Its boring, but the basics apply to virtually everyone folks!!

  • Dennis

    Well you can scoff at this but a friend of mine lost 84 lbs on this HCG Diet -supervised by a doctor. The 500 calorie diet was a little testing and he never thought he could drink that much water – but he looks fantastic and is healthy –I am going to go on it in Feb and I have 70+ pounds to lose.

  • Dennis

    Well you can scoff at this but a friend of mine lost 84 lbs on this HCG Diet -supervised by a doctor. The 500 calorie diet was a little testing and he never thought he could drink that much water – but he looks fantastic and is healthy –I am going to go on it in Feb and I have 70+ pounds to lose.

  • http://journeyfish.com/ Susan Kennedy

    I am so desperate to lose weight. My doctor tells me I will be dead before I am 40 unless I do something. I would try just about anything! Thanks for letting us know what the real deal is.

  • http://journeyfish.com/ Susan Kennedy

    I am so desperate to lose weight. My doctor tells me I will be dead before I am 40 unless I do something. I would try just about anything! Thanks for letting us know what the real deal is.

  • Jamyka Jonic

    I know many people who have completed HCG diet with great success. Anyone eating 500 calories would lose wieght, however they would feel hungry. The HCG releases 2000 calories of your own fat into your system each day so you are not hungry (its like eating 2500 calories per day). The great thing is my friends have kept it off and no longer have huge cravings for breads, pastas and sweets. They actually enjoy eating healthy now. You really need to read “how it works” to understand. I know MANY people who had great results. I haven’t heard of someone who knows many people who followed the program and did not succeed. rnrnI have one friend out of 8 who did not stick to the plan. After about 3 weeks she just decided to go to a “all you can eat buffet”. She said she was just bored with eating good food. She said she wasn’t hungry but just wanted to eat junk food. She should have called someone for support. This was bad because if you pig out while HCG is still in your system, it defeats the resetting of your hypothalmus. You must wait until three days after you quit the shots to add in fattening foods so the HCG is completely out of your system, again you really need to read the science behind it.rnrnI get a big kick out of people who write articles on subjects they have not even tried. I lost 48 lbs on the diet and have kept it off. (after trying 10 years of other diets). Plus some of my friends where able to get off diabets meds and high blood pressure meds. Cholesterol levels also came down. Hmmm healthier….YEP (confirmed by bloodwork and physican exams) and full of energy!

  • Jamyka Jonic

    I know many people who have completed HCG diet with great success. Anyone eating 500 calories would lose wieght, however they would feel hungry. The HCG releases 2000 calories of your own fat into your system each day so you are not hungry (its like eating 2500 calories per day). The great thing is my friends have kept it off and no longer have huge cravings for breads, pastas and sweets. They actually enjoy eating healthy now. You really need to read “how it works” to understand. I know MANY people who had great results. I haven’t heard of someone who knows many people who followed the program and did not succeed.

    I have one friend out of 8 who did not stick to the plan. After about 3 weeks she just decided to go to a “all you can eat buffet”. She said she was just bored with eating good food. She said she wasn’t hungry but just wanted to eat junk food. She should have called someone for support. This was bad because if you pig out while HCG is still in your system, it defeats the resetting of your hypothalmus. You must wait until three days after you quit the shots to add in fattening foods so the HCG is completely out of your system, again you really need to read the science behind it.

    I get a big kick out of people who write articles on subjects they have not even tried. I lost 48 lbs on the diet and have kept it off. (after trying 10 years of other diets). Plus some of my friends where able to get off diabets meds and high blood pressure meds. Cholesterol levels also came down. Hmmm healthier….YEP (confirmed by bloodwork and physican exams) and full of energy!

  • K

    Well, I did the HCG diet as well. Yes, I lost 35lbs. Did not loose evenly over my body (this will be important later…) Felt ok, not wonderful, but good enough to continue. Followed the program EXACTLY. Even the maintenance, etc. Guess what? When I started eating normally (not like I used to), just like a normal healthy person. Adding in other foods – exactly as instructed. I gained EVERY single pound back. Now – my arms are bigger than ever, my stomach is bigger than ever. I look way bigger now than when I weighed this much before the program!!!!! All the clothes that fit me before the HCG diet – are too small. I barely eat 1,800 cals now and I can’t seem to do anything but gain. Did it reset my metabolism? Yeah, I think so – the WRONG way!!

    Now what?

  • http://bodybuildingcoupons.org Jason

    The fact that you are only supposed to eat 500 calories per day and no exercising sounds ridiculous to me.

  • ideal_body_weight_chart

    It is scary the lengths that people go to, to lose weight without lifting a finger in the process.

  • http://www.fitnesshomeworkoutvideos.com Scott Shoup

    Awesome! Nice Article. Very informable. Definatly will check back in. Keep up the good work!

  • KAN

    This only happens to people if you don't pay attention to your body in the reintroducing food phase. It is likely that you have food sensitivities that cause your weight gain and you didn't eliminate those foods. Many people in the course of this diet discover hidden dairy and gluten sensitivities that cause our weight to spike, and continue up if you don't eliminate those foods. HCG definitely works. But you have to listen to your body too.

  • KAN

    HCG definitely works. I have lost over 40 lbs. The HCG causes your body to release 1500 or more calories into your body everyday from your own fat. That is it's purpose during pregnancy people! Learn your science. The reason for the 500 calorie diet is to trick your body into thinking you are starving it so it WILL release those calories from your fat. That is also why we are not hungry or weak or have any other side effects. And if you follow the stabilization phases properly, and pay attention to what foods your body likes and doesn't like (those which cause weight spikes), you ABSOLUTELY can stabilize and maintain your weight. AND be able to live life eating a normal, healthy diet filled with good carbs, protein, best of all, good fats. I don't have to live on a restricted calorie, low fat, low sugar diet anymore. Those things are crap, full of chemicals. Now I can exercise to firm up and for cardiovascular health. Because I firmly believe that calories in/calories out, exercise, exercise, exercise is crap.

  • http://www.hcgdiets.org HCG Drops

    Well there are so many positive responses, especially from real world people. You can see hundreds of them now on Youtube..and clearly these are not people paid by any company.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hcg...

  • http://www.floorheatingsuperstore.com/ under floor heating

    I have been on this HCG Diet for only 3 days and lost 8lbs. So quack medicine or not call me a duck..LOL

  • Emilywarren95

    Are you stupid? No, this is about your metabolism. If you think you can lose weight on a 500 calorie diet, you're mentally ill, or do not know anything about losing weight. Fat people have slow metabolisms, thin people have normal, or fast ones.

  • Emilywarren95

    Are you stupid? No, this is about your metabolism. If you think you can lose weight on a 500 calorie diet, you’re mentally ill, or do not know anything about losing weight. Fat people have slow metabolisms, thin people have normal, or fast ones.

  • Anonymous

    After youu2019ve completed week 4 of the Feminine Fit Beginners Workout Plan you should really try to bump up the intensity of your workouts now.

  • BobMarkel

    Many of the comments here are completely ignorant! You’re all stuck in the past and so is the medical establishment. Research is showing more and more that diet and exercise for the vast majority of obese individuals is futile and some researchers even suggest you shouldn’t even try for your own mental and physical health. HCG shows some promise, although the medical establishment doesn’t accept it. This is the same folks who said low fat and high carb was the way to go. Most Doctors today no longer make such recommendations.nnHow do you get an obese person to eat only 500 calories per day and not go into starvation mode? Many claim the weight loss is steady without the dreaded plateau that occurs in just about every other weight loss method. In addition, there are accounts that the weight loss is permanent, meaning that it doesn’t rebound and put you back where you started plus more.

  • http://www.hcg-diet-plan.net/ HCG Weight Loss Program

    Really thanks for your advice.

  • how to lose calories fast

    People have been looking for the magic pill that will magically make them lose weight. HCG looks like the closest thing to that these days. Personally, injecting myself to lose weight doesn’t appeal to me, nor the price tag.

  • Susan

    I can’t believe that the HCG diet is being heralded as some new discovery (well, I can believe it actually!) I did this diet back in 1975 when it first came out. I lost about 40 pounds because anyone can lose weight on 500 calories a day. The injections are just a placebo.nnBut I never learnt how to eat sensibly, or how to keep the weight off. You guessed it – I gained back all the weight and then some.nnIt’s sad that desperate people are still being scammed 36 years later.n

  • Ala74

    UUmmm. “Anyone can lose weight on 500 calories a day.” No they can’t.u00a0 I have had several serious health problems over the last 12 years. Hormonal imbalance and such as well as a condition that didn’t allow me to eat for several weeks at a time. I was always thin. Over the last 7 years I’ve gained on average 5 lbs a year, all the while gradually cutting out different things like soda, sugar, fats, carbs..- going to the gym 3-4 days a week. Doing all these things and never lost weight. Inu00a0desperation several times I fasted for a couple of weeks at a time—still gained weight.u00a0u00a0Then I tried an 800 calorie a day dietu00a0–you guessed it, still gained weight.u00a0u00a0On HCG ,while actually getting full from the 4oz protien and 2 cups of veggies per meal, I lost on average a pound a day.u00a0Over the 23 day course I lost 15 lbs -some days didn’t lose due to hormonal changes.u00a0 I’ve been off the diet for 6 weeks nowu00a0and haven’t gained a poundu00a0back while eating more than I used to.u00a0 This diet (if you take it seriously) can change your lifestyle.u00a0 I used to hate eggs and loved bread and sweets.u00a0u00a0Now I have a small omelete with veggies every morning and don’t miss the bread and sugar at all. Matter of fact I tasted some icing off a cake and it tasted funny to me!u00a0 Seeing fast progress is a terrific way to stay motivated. And I had my body fat tested at the beginning, itu00a0droppedu00a0 a lot. but muscle tone (accordingu00a0to my trainer) appearstu00a0to be unchanged!u00a0

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