Phoenix, AZ – With obesity rates raising yearly, the weight loss industry continually markets new miracle solutions to tap into consumer hopes and dreams for fast, easy shedding of pounds. The most hyped quick-fix fat loss methods involve the use of HCG diet drops and extreme calorie restriction. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) represents a hormone produced during pregnancy playing a crucial developmental role. In the 1950s, British physician Dr. A.T.W. Simeons hypothesized that traces of HCG could also stimulate abnormal fat mobilization and weight loss in non-pregnant patients when paired with an extremely low 500-calorie daily diet. The Simeons HCG diet protocol was born, promising dramatic fat loss linked to HCG supplement use and severe calorie deprivation.
Decades later, exploding obesity rates have renewed interest in crash diets and rapid weight loss schemes. HCG Diet Phoenix area diet clinics and med spas now promote expensive injections with prescription HCG alongside proprietary starvation diets capped at just 500 daily calories. Over-the-counter homeopathic HCG drops, pellets, and sprays making unfounded weight-loss claims also flood local markets and e-tailers. However, researchers express increasing skepticism regarding the necessity of HCG to achieve such radical pound-shedding results, instead attributing outcomes predominantly to the dangers of sustained semi-starvation.
Dubious claims of fat mobilization
According to Simeons’ controversial claims, minute traces of HCG trigger abnormal fat metabolism allowing accelerated pound shedding results on 500 calories daily unable to be replicated by diet alone. However modern researchers conclude no verifiable evidence confirms HCG uniquely mobilizes fat relative to extreme caloric restriction alone. In summed findings across recent years, endocrinology experts affiliated with the Mayo Clinic, Penn State College of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine have independently concurred scant data supports fat metabolizing activity specific to HCG, apart from known effects of severe calorie deprivation. In blinded placebo-controlled trials, patients restricted to 500 calories daily lost large amounts of weight with and without HCG, affirming the hormone irrelevant to outcomes.
Dangers of starvation diets
Instead, modern medicine emphasizes those 500 calories per day equals just one-quarter of the minimum daily adult requirements. Animal studies reveal that sustained caloric intake this low prompts muscle wasting, organ damage, and even death over extended timeframes. Thus experts attribute Simeons’ reported rapid results predominantly to health-endangering starvation, rather than miraculous fat metabolism unique to HCG. Researchers also observed that early weight loss adhering to Simeons’ protocol results primarily from loss of water weight and lean muscle mass since actual fat-burning mechanisms become impaired by starvation mode. In simple terms, 500 calories cannot fuel normal activity, much less energize workouts needed to build metabolism-boosting lean muscle. Once inevitable diet lapses occur, dramatic weight rebounds due to regained water weight and plummeted metabolism.
Lack of evidence for long term efficacy
Advertised claims promising effortless, rapid fat loss linked to HCG supplements prove exaggerated if not entirely unfounded. Multiple researchers including Dr. Pieter Cohen at Harvard Medical School found consumers typically shed around 1-2 lbs weekly following Simeons’ protocol – equal to results expected for any diet so calorically restrictive. Further, insufficient evidence from numerous short-duration flawed studies supports HCG products providing additional advantages for sustained, long-term weight management.