The HCG diet
The HCG diet has been followed by numerous celebrities including Laura Prepon, Britney Spears and Snooki.
It involves taking a daily injection of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) – a hormone produced by the placentas of pregnant women which is crucial for foetus development – and following a 500-calorie per day diet plan.
The HCG is reported to subdue hunger pangs, so as to enable dieters to eat less without feeling hungry, and it also supposed to allow the body to burn fat without burning muscle.
To put 500 calories in context, it’s the number of calories in a ‘normal’ breakfast. So basically on this diet you’re eating one normal meal per day, drinking lots of water to fill up the empty stomach space, and taking the HCG shots.
Even if the HCG did nothing, you would lose weight eating so few calories. The problem is, what happens when you stop the diet and go back to eating a healthy 2 000 calories per day?
And where exactly are all the essential vitamins and nutrients coming from that you need for your body to function optimally?
The jury is still out on this one, but I’m going to go ahead and suggest that it’s not a good idea.