HCG: Not for Weight Loss

Every year there is always a new diet product being advertised as the cure-all for weight loss. This past year, the craze was for a homeopathic remedy containing HCG. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone produced by pregnant women and found in human placenta, is typically prescribed as an injectable to trigger ovulation in women undergoing fertility treatments. HCG also allows the body to access fat stores to provide nutrients for a growing fetus. This is the function that is being exploited in an attempt to help people lose weight. The recommended regimen consists of taking the HCG supplement in conjunction with a 500-calorie diet. The companies claim that a person could shed 1-2 pounds a day.

FDA Warning

If this sounds too good to be true, it is. Early in December 2011, the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission issued seven warning letters to companies marketing over-the counter HCG products that were labeled as homeopathic for weight loss. The letters were issued because HCG had not been approved for weight loss, and claims being made had no substantial evidence. Initial actions were taken to protect consumers from the potential health risks of improper use of HCG and the recommended very low-calorie or starvation-like diets.

Healthy Weight Loss

With the CDC reporting obesity in about one-third of U.S. adults, it is no wonder that deceptive advertising like this exists. So what is a person to do when wanting to lose weight, especially after packing on a few wintertime pounds?

Eat Right

Choosing the right foods is just as important as how and when you eat your food. Do not eat when you are feeling agitated or in a rush. The tendency to overeat is higher when you are unaware or distracted when eating. Always eat breakfast, have a large lunch and eat dinner by 6 pm. Studies have shown a link between eating larger evening meals and an increase in triglyceride levels, which is essentially fat in your bloodstream.

Move Your Body

Exercise is essential in weight loss. Find a schedule you can stick to and movements that pique your interest. Make variations to your exercise program so that your body and especially your mind do not become bored.

Unwind

Stress triggers a natural fight or flight mechanism in the body as protection to physical danger. When this happens, chemicals like cortisol are released into the system. Made in the adrenal glands, excess cortisol production causes the adrenals to work too hard, and also causes fat to be stored around the waistline – leading to adrenal fatigue and fat. Stress is often unavoidable, but it can be reduced and managed. Counteract everyday stress by sleeping well, taking a warm bath, meditating, practicing chi gong or yoga, getting a massage, receiving acupuncture and taking herbs.

Share