The “HCG” diet…. the controversy continues.

I received several inquiries about the “HCG” diet and my first response is a question in itself.  “Do you know what HCG is?”  So far there has been no lay person that actually knew what HCG was or what the diet entailed.  I will make just a few brief remarks to start the conversation and you can add comments as we go.  First of all, HCG is “Human Chorionic Gonadotropin” hormone.  It is made either by a developing embryo, the woman’s placenta while pregnant (!) or by a tumor in the human body.  Think about whether or not that is something you want to take into your body!  Second of all, the original “HCG diet” is based on a 500 Calorie per day diet that is severely restricted and nutrient deficient.  Weight loss without appropriate nutrition support is a recipe for a detoxification disaster that can do much more harm than good.  So, let us know what you think of ingesting a hormone made by a tumor or  during pregnancy, while starving yourself on a nutrient deficient diet! OR consider a professional nutrition consultation here at that will walk you through the steps necessary to achieve balance and healthy weight loss without any gonadotropin!

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  • Sheila Turner

    It would help with such a discussion if the writer had actually read Dr Simeon’s book properly and done his/her own further research to find the true facts. And yes, we DO know what hCG actually is – and some of us have read the information that surrounds the recommended 500 calorie diet. hCG (both injections and homeopathic drops) have been used very successfully in the US since the 1950’s.

    Had you read Dr Simeon’s book, you would know that:

    hCG is extracted from the pregnant woman’s urine or more rarely, from a residue of placental tissue that continues to grow in the womb in what is known as a ‘chroionic epithelioma’.

    In the book, it states “As often happens in medicine, much confusion has been caused by giving hCG its name before its true mode of action was understood. It has been explained that gonadotrophin literally means a sex-gland directed substance or hormone, and this is quite misleading. It dates from the early days when it was first found the hCG is able to render infantile sex glands mature, whereby it was entirely overlooked that it has no stimulating effect whatsoever on normally developed and normally functioning sex-glands. No amount of hCG is ever able to increase a normal sex function; it can only improve an abnormal one and in the young, hasten the onset of puberty. However, this is no direct effect. hCG acts exclusively at a hypothalamic level and there brings about a considerable increase in the functional capacity of all those centres which are working at maximum capacity.” The name ‘Chorionic gonadotrophic’ should not have been used, as hCG is an entirely different substance extracted from pregnancy urine . “It would be no more clumsy and certainly, far more appropriate, if hCG were henceforth called chorionic diencephalotrophin”.

    hCG is a cancer marker for gestational trophoblastic tumours and some germ cell cancers, and for males, who would not normally have hCG in any amount, because hCG is secreted by some of those cancer tumours. However, that does NOT mean that having hCG in your system is a bad thing, or all pregnant women would be afraid that their pregnancy would give them cancer. Can you imagine? The truth is that hCG is also used to TREAT cancer:

    Below are further studies:

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) induction of apoptosis in breast cancer.

    Definition of Apoptosis: A form of cell death in which a programmed sequence of events leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area.

    Scientists at the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University have validated prior laboratory research showing the efficacy of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in treating cancer. Using prostate cancer cell lines, hCG was shown to radiosensitize cancer cells as well as facilitate apoptosis, or normal cell death.

    Prior work by Milkhaus Laboratory yielded similar results for breast cancer cell lines.

    Newsweek November 4, 1996 AIDS’ Achilles’ heel? (pregnancy hormone ‘human chorionic gonadotropin’ found to eliminate Kaposi’s sarcoma)

    Also, had the writer read ‘Pounds and Inches’ he/she would have read the very clear explanation that the body is flooded with 1500-4000 released calories a day, and with
    the 500 calories consumed in the diet, this provides all that the body needs, which is why those on this diet don’t get hungry after the first few days.

    If anyone had a 500 calorie diet without hCG, they would be in starvation mode and not last very long with energy needs taking from muscle/organs. They would be absolutely staving and in a bad way. This does not apply when hCG is releasing the stored fats – in the same way that is done in a famine.

    I would not go to a nutritionist with his/her mind set against any other method of weight loss outside their own protocol, especially when they choose to ignore all the available science to show why hCL works. At least, with hCG plus the 500 calorie diet, once treatment is completed, people do not regain the fat that they lost as happens with ‘conventional diets.’ Would the writer please provide the scientific evidence to show that hCG and the 500 calerie diet does NOT work?

  • Wow Sheila, you sound kind of angry with me! Let me state again, I was just opening up the conversation… I am fine with folks seeking different methods of weight loss that are safe and effective. I am particularly concerned that they are aware of and consent to what is administered to them. My point in reiterating where HCG comes from was to let people know it comes from pregnant women as that may affect their decision to use it. It would certainly affect mine! I didn’t at all imply that it would be bad to have in your body or that it causes cancer. I would be thrilled if it were successful in treating cancer, that would be a wonderful breakthrough. I wish they would put as much emphasis and funding into cancer prevention as they put into research for treatment!
    After researching the basics of Dr. Simeon’s HCG Diet and “Pounds and Inches” I didn’t need to subscribe to the entire manuscript as I knew I could not recommend the program on a professional level.
    As far as the 500 Calorie restriction per day, of course that would lead to the body breaking down its own fat for fuel. My two main concerns with the 500 Calorie protocol is that it doesn’t come close to providing enough carbohydrate to meet the brain and nervous system’s need for carbohydrate. Therefore the body must turn to protein (muscle or dietary protein) to provide carbohydrate needs, with or without HCG. Also, along with fat being released from fat cells, toxins are released as well and the liver needs adequate nutrition support to breakdown this extra barrage of toxins. I certainly am not against safe and effective weight loss methods that work and understand that people need to seek out and experiment with different methods to see what works for them. For me to recommend or stand by a protocol, it would have to be nutritionally sound, plant based, well balanced and acceptable to a client. It would need to address important issues such as toxic overload; organics; phytonutrients and nutrition support. I do believe in balance and that one’s weight loss program should allow for dining out, socialization and include a wide variety of foods. I encourage people to be fully committed to a healthy, balanced approach that they can follow for life before attempting extreme measures for weight loss. Weight loss in and of itself does not constitute health!

    I am also a firm believer in exercise and activity as a part of a weight loss program to keep people healthy inside and out. As a nutrition professional I am bound by certain guidelines and I wouldn’t put my license on the line for a protocol that I don’t believe in. I have not seen “scientific” evidence to show that HCG does or does not work. I would very much appreciate some input and references of studies on HCG that include body composition information and 5 year follow up to determine weight maintenance and changes down the road.

    Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RD, CNSD, CCN, LD/N
    In regards to this reply please read the our terms of service at:

  • Freeman

    Oh dear, it seems that you haven’t really read Dr Simeons book. He says quite clearly to exercise, and to do 30 minutes of gentle walking, swimming or yoga during the min 23 day or maximum 42 days. He also explains why, keep reading, you will find it. He sets it out very clearly and you will find it if you dont just skim thru.

    You could also just find out the reason that it has a maximum of 42 days

    I think you want some controversy, going by your heading tile, and I would encourage you to go back and read Pounds and Inches properly. It reflects on you when you make statements that anyone who has actually read the book properly knows is incorrect..

    Those who have followed the protocol know that it works and it tends to make anyone trying to say otherwise look at bit impotent..

  • Hello Freeman,
    Let me gently repeat myself for clarity, I have some basic concerns with the basic diet even when followed for a limited amount of time and I feel strongly that people need to know what the hormone is before they actually try the protocol. I did say that I had reviewed the basics and stopped there because of fundamental concerns. I still feel that way but again would be genuinely happy for someone who has found a safe, effective way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. I contend that rapid weight loss can lead to a dangerous level of ketosis and toxic overload, a factor that until recently, was not given consideration in weight loss plans. Detoxification of these toxins is a priority and requires several factors, including specific amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. This was not known or considered in the late 1960’s. As you can imagine, I am asked to review numerous protocols and plans and have a short list of requirements for a program before I will recommend it. That doesn’t mean I am saying it does not work, which I didn’t say about the HCG protocol. It doesn’t meet my requirements as a nutritionist but that does not mean it does not promote weight loss or perhaps even address an overlooked, underlying cause of obesity.
    So, I accept your challenge and will read the 43 page PDF that I located on the internet ( and see if that changes my impression. I cut and pasted excerpts below, for educational purposes only. I did not see any restrictions on sharing the content of the pdf, especially for educational purposes. I did notice the1967 manual was not available from a popular distributor. Again, my job is to see that folks try the sensible, balanced approach to weight loss first, with a plan that includes 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables; adequate macro and micronutrients to sustain health; adequate carbohydrate to meet the needs of their brains and nervous systems; and an effective balanced exercise plan to meet their needs. This may sound boring and not “trendy” but it should be the first line of defense. If someone has applied this approach for at least 3 months and has had no results, then I do advocate functional testing for hormonal balance. I am searching Dr.Simeon’s manuscript for guidance on testing for the type of obesity that he describes and assume it is related to leptin metabolism. The manuscript does not list scientific references so I will need to search for those.
    Below are excerpts from his manuscript, I cannot find a date on it and like most things on the internet, have to base my assessment on the assumption that this is an accurate depiction of his work.

    This book discusses a new interpretation of the nature of obesity, and while it does not advocate yet another fancy slimming diet it does describe a method of treatment which has grown out of theoretical considerations based on clinical observation.
    What I have to say is an essence of views distilled out of forty years of grappling with the fundamental problems of obesity, its causes, its symptoms, its very nature. In these many years of specialized work thousands of cases have passed through my hands and were carefully studied. Every new theory, every new method, every promising lead was considered, experimentally screened and critically evaluated as soon as it became known. But invariably the results were disappointing and lacking in uniformity.
    I felt that we were merely nibbling at the fringe of a great problem, as, indeed, do most serious students of overweight. We have grown pretty sure that the tendency to accumulate abnormal fat is a very definite metabolic disorder, much as is, for instance, diabetes. Yet the localization and the nature of this disorder remained a mystery. Every new approach seemed to lead into a blind alley, and though patients were told that they are fat because they eat too much, we believed that this is neither the whole truth nor the last word in the matter.

    The Diet
    The 500 calorie diet is explained on the day of the second injection to those patients who will be preparing their own food, and it is most important that the person who will actually cook is present – the wife, the mother or the cook, as the case may be. Here in Italy patients are given the following diet sheet.

    Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or other sweeteners may be used.

    1. 100 grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken must be removed from the bird.
    2. One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.
    3. One breadstick (grissino) or one Melba toast.
    4. An apple or an orange or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit.

    Dinner :
    The same four choices as lunch.
    The juice of one lemon daily is allowed for all purposes. Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, majoram, etc., may be used for seasoning, but no oil, butter or dressing.
    Tea, coffee, plain water, mineral water are the only drinks allowed, but they may be taken in any quantity and at all times.
    In fact the patient should drink about 2 liters of these fluids per day. Many patients are afraid to drink so much because they fear that this may make them retain more water. This is a wrong notion as the body is more inclined to store water when the intake falls below its normal requirements.
    The fruit or the breadstick may be eaten between meals instead of with lunch or dinner, but not more than than four items listed for lunch and dinner may be eaten at one meal.
    No medicines or cosmetics other than lipstick eyebrow pencil and powder may he used without special permission
    Every item in the list is gone over carefully, continually stressing the point that no variations other than those listed may be introduced. All things not listed are forbidden, and the patient is assured that nothing permissible has been left out. The 100 grams of meat must he scrupulously weighed raw after all visible fat has been removed to do this accurately the patient must have a letter-scale, as kitchen scales are not sufficiently accurate and the butcher should certainly not be relied upon. Those not uncommon patients who feel that even so little food is too much for them, can omit anything they wish.
    There is no objection to breaking up the two meals. For instance having a breadstick and an apple for breakfast or an orange before going to bed, provided they are deducted from the regular meals. The whole daily ration of two breadsticks or two fruits may not be eaten at the same time, nor can any item saved from the previous day be added on the following day. In the beginning patients are advised to check every meal again their diet sheet before starting to eat and not to rely on their memory. It is also worth pointing out that any attempt to observe this diet without HCG will lead to trouble in two to three days. We have had cases in which patients have proudly flaunted their dieting powers in front of their friends without mentioning the fact that they are also receiving treatment with HCG. They let their friends try the same diet, and when this proves to be a failure – as it necessarily must – the patient starts raking in unmerited kudos for superhuman willpower.

    It should also be mentioned that two small apples weighing as much as one large one never the less have a higher caloric value and are therefore not allowed though there is no restriction on the size of one apple. Some people do not realize that a tangerine is not an orange and that thicken breast does not mean the breast of any other fowl, nor does it mean a wing or drumstick.

    Vitamins and anemia
    Sooner or later most patients express a fear that they may be running out of vitamins or that the restricted diet may make them anemic. On this score the physician can confidently relieve their apprehension by explaining that every time they lose a pound of fatty tissue, which they do almost daily, only the actual fat is burned up; all the vitamins, the proteins the blood and the minerals which this tissue contains in abundance are fed back into the body Actually, a low blood count not due to any serious disorder of the blood forming tissues improves during treatment, and we have never encountered a significant protein deficiency nor signs of a lack of vitamins in patients who are dieting regularly.
    (From “Pounds and Inches”)
    Beth Ellen DiLuglio, MS, RD, CNSD, CCN, LD/N
    In regards to this reply please read the our terms of service at:

  • Sheila Turner

    Dear Beth, you said I sounded angry, and I was – and after your first response, I am even angrier. You say “I am particularly concerned that they are aware of and consent to what is administered to them. My point in reiterating where hCG comes from was to let people know it comes from pregnant women as that may affect their decision to use it. It would certainly affect mine”. Why on earth would the extraction from pregnant women’s urine, of the hormone HCG (more correctly called ‘chorionic diencephalotrophin’) affect your decision to NOT use it? One can only assume that is because you do not know enough about it – and that would be a good reason? However, sadly, you sound no different to the many critiques of such folk as the great Edward Jenner. Many were disgusted at what he did at that time – in the same way that folk, like you, imply an expression of disgust at Simeon’s using a hormone extracted from urine. Jenner decided to try out a theory he had developed, and he used a young boy as his guinea pig. He took some pus from cowpox blisters found on the hand of a milkmaid. She had milked a cow and developed the tell-tale blisters of cow pox. Jenner ‘injected’ some of the pus he scraped out of the pox into the boy. This process he repeated over a number of days, gradually increasing the amount of pus he put into the boy. The boy became ill, but, after a few days made a full recovery with no side effects. Jenner had made a brilliant discovery….but would you have chosen to been the one to be injected. Can you remember how many vaccinations have you had that probably saved your life?
    I would have expected at least a short critique from you after you had gone to the trouble of copying the ‘Introduction’ – or are you waiting until you have read the rest of his book? As this diet has been used for over half a century, had there been serious consequences or deaths related to it, or consequences arising from being injected with hCG, I think we would have been told. Keep reading and learn to understand the true nature of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which you will find in Part 7. You wrote: “I have a short list of requirements for a program before I will recommend it. That doesn’t mean I am saying it does not work, which I didn’t say about the HCG protocol. It doesn’t meet my requirements as a nutritionist but that does not mean it does not promote weight loss or perhaps even address an overlooked, underlying cause of obesity”. You express concern that readers do not understand about the hormone hCG, I would also suggest that as yet, neither do you, but please be willing to learn. Dig deeper into the research surrounding hCG and see whether or not you might still have some room left to actually go above and beyond what you have previously learned and add something else to your ‘list of requirements as a nutritionists’. Please also, do not forget the list of requirements as a patient, who would expect their nutritionist to have an open mind and learn from others.
    There are many professors, doctors, and nutritionists etc throughout the world who have become convinced about the hCG diet and are passing the information on to their students. I would never recommend anybody to try any diet without the necessary research, which Simeon’s encourages in his book, even though he does give the benefit of his own personal research into this whole subject throughout his book. At the end of his book, Simeon’s refers to articles, letters etc published in many of the top medical journals throughout the world, including the Lancet. I hope you will read these, and I sincerely hope you will continue to read and understand exactly how and why ‘Pounds and Inches’ works.

  • Freeman

    Dear Beth
    There is no ketosis experienced in this diet whatsoever.
    Try this website it has the original manuscript with all 95 pages and the contents broken down. – pounds inches.pdf

    May I encourage you to withhold comment until you have finished the whole book.
    You keep totally misunderstanding even the simple basics that a lay person manages to understand quite easily. You seem to be seeing or looking for something that isnt there ie Ketosis. This is rather tiresome, it wont take long to read it all.

    All the many thousands of people who have or are experiencing the benefits of hCG know you are wrong in your observations, and in truth Dr Simeons and the protocol dont need defending – it works, it resets the body weight so there are no fluctuations upon completion – just think a diet that actually works, and you cant see it… oh well, such is life – You have at your disposal a proven medical protocol and you didnt read it before condemning it. – This protocol changes lives – IT WORKS
    I leave you in peace – may you be open to change, for the sake of your patients.
    Knowledge is Power.

  • I really do thank you for piquing my curiosity about the protocol. I urge you to share any personal stories or experiences that you have had in regards to the protocol. I again would be genuinely pleased to learn that a system works for someone. Actually, if I did not have an open mind and were willing to learn,I would not have opened up this conversation!

    I spoke with a colleague who had tried a modified version of the protocol and felt that there was something to the inclusion of HCG and she has maintained an 18 pound loss of fat while maintaining lean body mass. I also spoke with a practitioner using a modified version of the protocol with success in a specific subgroup of patients.

    I still would inform people of what the HCG is and let them decide. I am not saying it is offensive to all, but it may be to some… just as eating the meat off the bone of a bird would be offensive to a vegetarian. Most people don’t mind it but some people do.
    And I still would insist on nutrition support during the detoxification process, though it does not appear that would be allowed on the original protocol.

    As far as ketosis, it wasn’t mentioned in the 99 page manuscript. However, “living off the fat being broken down” does lead to ketosis.. it is inevitable. It may be short lived because of the short duration of the plan but it is a metabolic consequence.

    Dr. Simeons’ statement that “only the actual fat is burned up; all the vitamins, the proteins the blood and the minerals which this tissue contains in abundance are fed back into the body” wouldn’t apply in today’s toxic world. Functional medicine physicians teach and preach the importance of abundant nutrition support during weight loss. It is required to support all phases of detoxification of the toxins that will be released from storage.

    I would also be concerned about advice to skip meals and then consume a “huge steak”and a tomato or apple if more than 2 pounds is regained. I know it is part of a strict protocol but… I am also surprised by the statement that the patient “had the advantage of protein being fed back into his system from the breakdown of fatty tissue.” Fat cannot be converted to protein or to carbohydrate (except for a very small conversion to glucose from the glycerol backbone). He does mention that the fat cells themselves will eventually be broken down but that is unsubstantiated by modern nutritional science.

    In Dr. Simeons words: “I have never had an opportunity of conducting the laboratory investigations which are so necessary for a theoretical understanding of clinical observations, and I can only hope that those more fortunately placed will in time be able to fill this gap.”

    I acknowledge Dr. Simeons’ literary references at the end of the manuscript (dated between 1954 and 1969) but needed to see more current research.

    I found that an interesting meta analysis was done in 1995 with an unfavorable conclusion, I will paste the reference link below.

    Despite this unfavorable conclusion, perhaps it is true that Dr. Simeons observed specific and significant permanent weight loss in a population with a specific metabolic disorder and this variable was overlooked in the more recent research. Perhaps he identified a unique population on which the strict protocol did work and a similar population has benefited from this protocol today. I personally would still throw in some heavy duty detoxification support!

    Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1995 September; 40(3): 237–243.
    PMCID: PMC1365103

    The effect of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity by means of the Simeons therapy: a criteria-based meta-analysis.

    G K Lijesen, I Theeuwen, W J Assendelft, and G Van Der Wal
    Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    The study “concludes that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss of fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.”.

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  • Cami

    What Dr. Simeons book does not tell you is that there is a good chance your hair will fall out aproximately three months after completing the 500 calorie phase of the diet. He also doesn’t mention that the shock to your system can cause adrenal fatigue, and hypothyroidism if you were already prone to these conditions. My husband and I both went on the hCG diet and both lost the weight we had been hanging onto for years. I followed the diet perfectly, but as soon as the hCG stopped, the weight began coming back on, FAST! I had to do a steak day every other day, my blood sugar plummeted and I began to feel awful! I suffered fatigue, dry skin, dry mouth, no energy, no libido, and my muscles and joints began to hurt. The carb and sugar cravings were so intense I felt like a drug addict. I gained all the weight back plus 13 lbs. in three months, then the hair began to fall. My doctor was shocked and completely surprised. His only theory is that the usual dose wasn’t enough for me and I triggered a starvation response which affected my thyroid and adrenals. Together we are going to support adrenal health, then begin t3 therapy in an effort to repair my thyroid. My husband on the other hand, feel great! He has been able to keep off the weight, add some muscle and is happy and energetic every day. hCG does work, but if you have any health problems related in any way to the hypothalmus, I would consider taking the weight off very slowly to avoid starvation response.

  • Thank you Cami for outlining the downside to the HCG protocol. Personal experience is golden!

  • debbie van someren

    i have done hcg with a naturalpath/md……it works if you do the proper 3 month protocol with an experienced and knowledgeable doctor……the hcg releases 2000 calories of stored fat (combined with 500 caloried diet) = 2500 cal…..the fat also feeds your body the fat soluable (spelling) vitamins ade&K…..the reset phase (phase 3) after shots is 21 days in which sugars and starches are restricted (keeping your blood sugar even 24 hrs/day 7 days a week…….( in turn resetting your new metabolism)……(you can do 21 or 40 day shots)….thereafter you can eat healthy staying within your calories allowed, (calculated based on age and weight needing to be maintained) and exercise….going back to old habits (food abuse) can put weight back on…..i have maintained my weight since june losing 15 pounds….i know too many people who have successfully done this without becoming anemic or losing hair! I had my throid tested first…..also i could not lose weight the old fashioned way because i had had a hysterectomy one year prior and my metabolism had definitely slowed down….i never had a problem losing weight before…..i am convinced that it does reset your hypothalamus….. (there are various reasons that causes the hypothalmus to slow down metabolism)…..i did it……. it worked and it is safe! i am not going to debate it further…….hcg only releases STORED FAT, NOT structural fat….NOT muscle……..check the ACAM website for a knowledgeable doctor in your area…….

  • hank

    Dear all,

    First let me say that like the movie “if you build it they will come” the corollary “if you believe it will work”. If you have conviction to lose weight whatever diet you decide on will work, at least in the short term. However this does not mean that it is a healthy weight loss.

    Now let me take the hcg diet to task. Under the constitution free speech is a given, hence if you want to write a book based on conjecture or opinion you can as long as you do not malign people in the process (civil courts will handle that). So Dr Simeon can write about his observations freely and put it into a book or on the internet. However, until Dr. Simeon’s theories are put to the test using standard randomized controlled studies (RCT) and then published in peer reviewed journals his opinions are just that – opinion. Secondly, he combines the use of hcg and a 500 kcal diet – how does he tease out the effect of the diet vs. the hcg? The RCTs I mentioned would do that.

    Now regarding the 500 kcal diet. These diets are well known in the scientific community as very low calorie diets (VLCDs). These diets work very well under a “team approach” comprised of an MD, pyschotherapist, RD and exercise trainer. Sandoz and later Novartis sold these diets to physicians and clinics and was called Optifast. The diets were 400-500 kcals per day but were very high quality protein diets (40% protein). The original diet was known as the Cambridge Diet which seriously hurt a number of people including some deaths. This was due to the poor quality of the protein used. The Optifast diet worked very well but recidivism after 5 years was high. The VLCDs have been extensivley evaluated and published in peer reviewed journals.

    I have worked in the field of obesity and weight management for 40 years and my experiences with patients and clinical studies evaluating different programs and diets brings me to the following conclusion and one which everyone in the scientific and medical fields are coming to. One must have a paradigm shift in their lifestyle in order to be successful in maintaining a healthy weight long term. Diets do not work since they all presume that you will be on for a period of time, lose the weight and then go off the diet. This does not solve the problem of the ebb and flow of weight management. If people could learn that this is a lifetime committment to change and how they view their food and activity environment instead of looking for that “magic bullet” they would be more successful and healthier long term.

    The Okinawans have a prayer they say before each meal and literally it means I will eat until I am 80% full and then stop. Considering the evidence that we overeat in an environment of too little activity this should be a practice 67% of the American population should adopt.


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  • Karen

    I have been desperately researching something to do. I gave up all carbs, worked out with a personal trainer for 12 weeks 3 times a week. I followed religiously the 6 small meals a day and only drank water. I was miserable!! I didn’t loose not one inch, not one pound!!! My trainer had me take this test to blow into this machine, and my metabolism was almost non-existent!! So, needless to say, I would very much like some advice as to healthy ideas to loose the extra weight I have gained since my tubal ligation after my 4th child!!

  • Joy

    I swear by the hcg diet, I have lost 40 lbs in 30 days, feel great and have lots of energy, most important I feel great about myself. Hooray for hcg

  • Verita

    I agree with Hank on this one and also am quite disappointed with the attacking on this by people who really do not understand the knowledge that a Nutritionist actually has and the constant research involved in their work. They actually have Much more knowledge on diet, metabolism and how the body breaks down and is used in each system of the body, including hormone knowledge than most doctors you may see, Because it’s what they Specialize in – I’m half way through my advance dip of Nutritional Med and find it a never ending wonderful learning which I would highly recommend – Nutritionists are encouraged to work ‘with’ and not ‘against’ doctors so they can combine an appropriate treatment regime for individuals… I believe the people attacking our Clinical Nutritionist here do not Understand. This Nutritionist would be researching and studying what’s Best for her clients and putting out these questions, not to attack, but to raise people’s awareness. I know how unstable hormones can be and as soon as I saw this product, the warning bells rang so I researched it myself… I am Not willing to give it a go as it is a Risk… A Big question I pose also is ‘Why is it that we need a prescription from a Dr, Homeopath or Naturopath to take Most homeopathic treatments, Especially when hormones are involved, yet this one seemed to slip through a loophole in into people’s Mail-order’ – Suspicious?! Perhaps…. I see this as being another money making scheme and by the time you Do experience it’s side effects, either you won’t realize it’s related to HCG or you may not be able to prove it! Take note of Debbie’s story!