Is the hCG Diet Safe?

hCG dietYes—if followed properly and if the diet is medically supervised. While hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin) has not been approved by the FDA as a weight loss aid, the injections are not considered dangerous to your health—they’re used as an FDA-approved fertility treatment. Some side effects can result from hCG treatments; most of these are symptoms that are commonly associated with pregnancy, such as water retention, headaches, and tenderness of the breasts. However, since the amount of hCG used for diet purposes is significantly smaller than that used for fertility treatments, these side effects are not as likely to occur in weight loss patients.

The hCG diet requires that you consume only 500 calories per day. Normally this intake would be considered too low to be healthy. However, studies (like this one by Daniel O. Belluscio, MD and Leonor E. Ripamonte, MD) have shown that hCG helps prevent the loss of muscle mass even as pounds are lost, because it allows your body to dip into fat stores to fuel itself—which essentially means you’re consuming (and burning) more calories than you’re actually eating.

If you want to try the hCG diet for yourself, it is important that you follow the diet protocol properly; this will increase your chances of success without endangering your body or your health. Most experts agree that the best way to approach an hCG diet is under the close care of a physician.