March 10th, 2011
01:29 PM ET

HCG diet: Pregnancy hormones and 500 calories a day

You may have just come across the hCG diet, a hormone-based, weight-loss program that involves eating less and taking a hormone created from pregnant ladies’ urine.

It has been around since the 1950s, but has picked up steam lately.

Here’s how it is described to work: A pregnant woman produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, which makes fat in the body available to nourish the fetus.

In the weight loss program, the hCG, taken as daily injections or by oral drops, is said to decrease men and women’s appetite and burn existing fat. This would shrink problem areas like hips, thighs, rear end and stomach, and allegedly melt off one to two pounds a day.

Oh yes, and dieters are limited to 500 calories a day. That's about one-third of the recommended daily calories for the average inactive woman.

Science doesn't back up hCG’s purported effect on weight loss.  More than a dozen studies have shown that the hCG injections and a placebo are about equally effective.

“Whenever you give someone a shot, it has a tremendous placebo effect,” said Dr. Louis Arrone, director of the comprehensive weight control program at New York Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Hospital.

In other words, the weight loss is no miracle.

“For starters – it's the 500-calorie diet that's causing people to lose weight,” said Dr. Melina Jampolis, CNN’s diet and fitness expert. And subsisting on such few calories a day is frankly unsafe, she said, because the dieter is not getting the necessary nutrients.

“When you go on an inadequate diet, your body responds,” Arrone said.  “It produces adrenaline; it produces other hormones that make you feel invigorated. Now this may initially seem very good but the problem is your body takes the extra protein it needs from your own muscle and so you wind up losing muscle.”

HCG fans point to enthusiastic testimonials.

Published in Marie Claire magazine, a creative director of a London fashion magazine breathlessly recalled how she lost 25 pounds on the diet, shed her “post-pregnancy stomach” and how her “long-forgotten pants fit perfectly” now. 

With such anecdotal evidence, people are happy to try  it – even if it requires a daily injection that costs up to $1,500 a month.

“I think that this underscores how difficult it is, that people will jump to anything,” Arrone said.  “They're desperate for solutions.”

The hormone has appropriate uses in treating fertility problems, but weight loss is not one of them, he said.

soundoff (442 Responses)
  1. Danram

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people still, after all this time, continue to believe that there's a"magic diet" out there that will some how cause them to magically shed body fat. It's symptomatic of a broader problem afflicting our society as a whole: People wanting something for nothing.


    Losing weight is very simple. It comes down to "calories in / calories out". If you're burning more calories than you're taking in, you'll lose body fat and weight. If you're not, you're won't. There is absolutely, positively no way around this fundamental fact. "Crash diets" like this supposed 500 calorie per day diet won't work because if you reduce your calorie intake that drastically, your body (quite correctly) thinks it's being starved and your metabolism ... the rate at which you burn calories simply by being alive ... slows WAAAAAAAAY down to compensate for the reduced calorie intake.

    The only proven, infallible way to lose body fat is to a) reduce your calorie intake modestly, like by maybe 20%, and b) increase your physical activity so that you're burnuing more calories. If you do these two things, you WILL lose weight! All this other stuff is just noise. Save your money.

    March 10, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kel


      March 10, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • DanM

      Weight loss is simply an input – output equation.
      Steady State Calorie burn + Exercise Calories Burned > Calories from Food
      Its that simple.....I lost 60 punds over 8 months using this method

      BTW: yes, you must exercise to keep your metabolism as high as possible
      Otherwise, if you just restrict calorie intake, your body will adjust its metabolitic rate downward making weightloss very difficult.

      March 10, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • Freedom Baby

      So then don't diet...who cares, but for the thousands of women who have done the hcg diet at least they didn't sit around on their fat behinds scolding everyone else about dieting. And actually all the fad diets work. If you do them you lose weight. It's what you do afterward that really matters.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • s2kMATTers

      Actually Danram, I work for an alternative health care company and know four different employees who have gone on this diet. They have each lost 50lbs or more in just over a month. I was blown away!!!! This isnt some hoax, it's science. oh and in case you were wondering, my company does not sell this, so I am not personally endorsing it.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • Ilostweight2

      NEWS FLASH!! IT DOES – I am proof!!!

      March 10, 2011 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • Ilostweight2

      HEY – felt like I was about to make a deal with the devil – but after my last child at 38 years old I made the deal. Went from a tight 18 down to a 12 and feel great. Did two individual 40-day rounds (cost at a 125.00 each) my first in May 2009 and then again to lose the remaining weight last 2010 – three HCG drops a day with only protein, fruit, veggies and water, coffee or tea. I am proof that this diet works and am healthier today for it. I have more energy feel great about myself and went to the pool all last summer with my youngest. To each their own – I wanted to get the weight off and I tried something and it worked for me with no linger bad health effects. So this is a happy and sucessful HCG story!!!

      March 10, 2011 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      You also need to change your eating habits. If you don't you pack the pounds back on.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      You are correct, It comes down to "calories in / calories out". If you're burning more calories than you're taking in, you'll lose body fat and weight
      And correct again, if you reduce your calorie intake that drastically, your body (quite correctly) thinks it's being starved and your metabolism, but in this case the body thinks your pregnant which makes fat in the body available to nourish the fetus.
      And your metabolism does not slow down. After 3 weeks, you slowly return to regular eating but avoiding excess Starch and sugar. Your metabolism has been kick started and should do what it is supposed to do, burn excess fat.
      I am on it now, I'm not hungry and after 9 days I burning at least a pound a day or more.

      In 21 days I will go into maintenance, and be easily below my target weight. I will just take it slower and less frequent with the beer and nachos from now on.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • Confiused

      Let's see... 500 calories/day and prego pee will cause me to loose weight.... What if I just do the 500 calories/day?

      March 10, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I bought the drops at a health food store in Las Vegas for 27.00. My wife and I both took the drops and followed the diet. I lost 32 pounds in 30 days and the wife lost 24 pounds. Do the drops work? I was not hungry and I ate 500 calories a day. It taught us portion control and a healthier lifestyle for food choices.
      It was the easiest diet I've ever tried. You can not work out and you are not hungry.
      Spend the money to buy the guides and cookbooks.
      It works. People seem to overlook the, not hungry part, and say if you ate 500 calories you will lose weight. Remember the part about not being hungry at all.

      March 10, 2011 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      It amazes me that people and the medical profession think invasive surgery such as gastric bypass is a reasonable way to lose weight but the HCG diet is not! I lost 30 pounds on it and it is the best weight loss I have ever done. I have kept it off for over a year now and love the fact that I feel so much better without the added weight. The drops were $49.95 at the grocery store and I had to buy a scale to weigh the food. No where have I seen the shots for that outrageous amount quoted. In the 500 calories a day you get 200 grams of lean meat. Plus in everything I read about the diet and when talking to my doctor, it was essential to take vitamin supplements and drink plenty of water. Yes, I went to my doctor and had blood work done and a check up before I started the diet (like you should for any diet). It is far less expensive that most conventional (Jenny Craig, etc.) diet programs and plus after eating small portions on the diet and following the steps to "reset" my metabolism, I have improved my eating habits. My body did not go into "starvation mode"; I lost fat not muscle. Plus, there is no sagging skin with this diet. I gained the weight during menopause and nothing seemed to make it budge (Including cutting back calories and exercise). It is wonderful to be back to my pre-menopause size. Gastric bypass has considerable risk with it and I am sure more have lost their life to it than will ever to the HCG diet. Doctors can't charge an arm and a leg for it and I can't help think that is why some are against it. Don't be so critical of something simply because it is different. It worked for me and I would highly recommend it to loose weight fast and to keep it off. A change in eating habits is a must. Of course check with your doctor first.

      March 10, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse |
    • Kat

      Logically it may not make sense, but it does work. I order drops online. It costs less than $30/mo including shipping. In two months last summer I lost 40lbs. Recently my eating habits relapsed, and I began the drops again two weeks ago. I've already lost the 10 lbs I had regained, and feel great. I'm not hungry, and I eat more protein on the diet per day (7 oz) than I did when I was not on the diet. For me, it's a do-over. I'm at a very comfortable weight, and can enjoy physical activity again. Heading out for the gym tonight – because I can! I know several others who have found success with this diet, so that to me is a better testimony than someone who hasn't tried it, telling everyone else it doesn't work. 🙂

      March 10, 2011 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • TB

      Tried many supplements and diets. Each time gained a couple pounds. I tried low calory diet also (without drops). I started having trouble to get up from my low coach. Have pain in my both Achiiles tendons. I am on this diet right now. Started on Feb, 15th. One week to go. Lost 17 pounds. Not cranky, no mood swings, no hadaches, no pain in joints. When I am hungry I drink cold water with lemon. I will not reach desirable weight at this time. Will repeat it in 4-5 month.

      March 10, 2011 at 20:24 | Report abuse |


      March 10, 2011 at 20:49 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Very cliche Danram. Go to school and study why people eat too much and why they don't exercise. There are many reasons that you are too lazy to find. You can not find them by sitting home watching Glenn Beck. And you can't find them at the gym either. You need to talk to people. How did they learn to eat? Where do they live? Are they too poor to afford quality food? Were they abused? Do they have some disease that was in no way their fault? Why, Dan? Or are you going to listen to people selling The Secret or do you prefer Joel Osteen? Go study the science, DanRam. You may be surprised.

      March 10, 2011 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      I have a long time friend that is like a brother to me, Jason, and he lives in Texas! He's lived in there for some time now, and he has gained sooo much weight because of the Texan BBQ, and the portions at the diners, and his Guiness drinking doesn't help with the calorie counter! Its a false hope with these diet pills, and prego pee, and all that, here is how it works:

      Thank you, and I am off my soapbox, and I love you JASON!

      March 10, 2011 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      This article is entirely incorrect. My wife is the proof.

      It is not a placebo. The person taking HCG literally does not get hungry, and loses a pound per day. Secondly, it does not cost $1500. Try $100 instead 🙂

      March 10, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • janue

      I've been on the diet and what you are speaking is not truth. It does work. For 10 years I reduced calories and ate lightly and I gained weight. I gained 12 lbs in 10 years and it took me up to 141 lbs. I am 5'7". I went on Hcg in Sept., I lost 10 lbs in 21 days and I haven't gained one pound of it back. The beauty of it is that it resets your hypothalamus and metabolism. Now when I watch what I eat, I lose weight. I can also eat some sugar and not gain weight. It's beautiful and I'm so thankful for hcg. It has helped me to achieve results that were unachievable with diet and exercise. Now with diet and exercise, I can maintain my weightloss.

      The medical community is wrong. Hcg does work and I am a living testimony.

      March 10, 2011 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Rosa

      I do not mean to be rude, but I really wonder how many of these testimonials are from people paid to advertise the diet. There's just no way of knowing. If it really did work for you, I'm glad (although 50 pounds in a month sounds UNBELIEVABLY dangerous)...but there's no way I'm taking the word of internet comments. Please link to a scientific study published in a peer-reviewed journal that explains why this diet works beyond the starving-yourself-on-500-calories aspect, and why it is not dangerous to lose so much weight so quickly when doctors seem to generally agree that losing 1-2 pounds per week, certainly no more than 5, is ideal.

      March 10, 2011 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • Stephen Daedalus

      Very true.

      March 10, 2011 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
    • alaskan soldier

      you know, maybe one day there will be "magic diet." technology is getting better, and people think the only medical work being done is trying to cure aids and cancer. Now diseases SHOULD take precedence, i agree with that, however, people are working on getting rid of obesity with chemicals, and sometimes; an item that it used for one thing can be used for something else. Im a soldier in alaska as you can tell. staying in shape is important. however because of injuries i sustained, i cant work out as much and ended up putting on weight. my sergeant told me about HCG and i started using it while NOT following the 500 calorie a day deal, i repeat NOT. i eat 1500 a day, thats 3 times what they say i should have. and i lost 27 pounds and 4 1/2 inches on my stomach from 1 February to 1 March. im still injured and my pt or Physical Training isnt more or different than before my diet. Now is HCG the "Magic Diet", I Dont Think So.... Does it Work... Damn Straight. I say HOOAH to HCG

      March 10, 2011 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Excercise is the key component to burning calories. Check out what the American Council on Exercise says about kettlebell Training: http://bit.ly/7H6fQp. One kettlebell program in particular- the skogg system- claims that kettlebell workouts done properly can burn up to 1200 calories per hour.
      Don't know about that but would like to hear if thats really possible...

      March 10, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  2. Tiffany

    How many of you have actually done this diet???? Probably none..Anyway, I have and I lost 20 lbs in 30 days. It does work and like any medically related therapy you should be monitored by your doctor. No I was NEVER hungry while only eating 500 calories...and I had tons of energy. I am now done with the diet and have kept off the weight and eating such a limited diet actually shrinks your stomach and reprograms you to eat less food, yet now more than 500, but you are more disciplined. Please educate yourself and don't listen to just one person on this. There are many more better explainations on how your body can do this without shutting off. Go research for yourself BEFORE making silly comments...

    March 10, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Louis

      II'm sorry Tiffany, as the Author said, and as your post is proving, all evidence that you can provide is "anecdotal evidence". I've watched family members try these 'Magic Pill/Drop" diets, and all of them do initially lose weight; But the reason for this weight Loss is not from the "Magic Pill/Drop" , its from the few hundred calorie a day diet they put you on. I can assure you, if I were to cut my diet to 500 calories a day I would also lose 20 lbs in 30 days. I know HCG drop companies claims to give your body some special hormonal balance to help you keep the weight off but science proves that's complete malarkey. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is through Vigorous Diet, Vigorous exercise, or a moderate balance of both...
      Anyone selling anything different is selling you snake oil.....

      March 10, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
    • Freedom Baby

      I did the diet several years ago. I lost 30 and have kept it off for about 3 years.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Bart Hawkins San Antonio TX

      Well, Tiffany, I find your weight loss rather mild compared to the agony of daily injections and a 500 cal diet. My diet (look for LARDLOSS on Facebook) involves no injections, just modest food intake and some oral supplements.

      Works well, in that 27 folks have lost an aggregate of 683 pounds over 30 days (with a median weight loss of some 26 pounds).

      HCG may give yoiu a slight edge – the science is unclear on that point – but adding green tea, cinnamon, garlic, aspirin, and caffeine to your diet gives you a measurable, specific, edge of some 30-45%, and that hardly trivial.

      BTW, I am not a tiny organism, and my diet – inlcuding all food & supplements – runs about $175 per month....far LESS than ANY other diet in existence.

      You can check this out at your convenience, and no, there is nothing magical here: proven science coupled with good, wholesome food and a dose of self discpline (as well as an exercise and refeeding plan) WILL get you to weight loss.

      Count on it.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • Ilostweight2

      HEY – felt like I was about to make a deal with the devil – but after my last child at 38 years old I made the deal. Went from a tight 18 down to a 12 and feel great. Did two individual 40-days rounds (cost at a 125.00 each) my first in May 2009 and then again to lose the remaining weight last 2010 – three HCG drops a day with only protein, fruit, veggies and water, coffee or tea. I am proof that this diet works and am healthier today for it. I have more energy feel great about myself and went to the pool all last summer with my youngest. To each their own – I wanted to get the weight off and I tried something and it worked for me with no linger bad health effects. So this is a happy and sucessful HCG story!!!

      March 10, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      want to point out, the HCG diet is the EXACTLY, REPEAT EXACTLY THE SAME as the Atkinson diet the only difference is the drops and as the Author and some Doctorate commentators have already mentioned, the HCG results are the same as a placebos results, not to mention the long term heath issues that can arise with taking hormones.
      I guess the next questions I would ask you is:
      How do you know it's because of the HCG, have you considered with the weight you've lost, maybe you've been able to be more active and burn more calories to keep the weight off?
      How many diets before this diet did you try where you lost 30 lbs and werent able to keep it off?
      Are you back to eating as you were 3 yrs ago prior to the diet or are you still being conservative with calories?

      March 10, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Whats even more funny is that alot of comments PRO HCG, are copies and pastes from HCG websites, sounds like this report may have struck a cord with someone's paycheck....Once more the only evidence is anecdotal evidence....

      March 10, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
    • Mama2KOA

      To the person who says it's EXACTLY like Atkins – it's not. You can have way more calories than 500/day, you cant have fruit, veggies on it, unless the veggies are low in starches.

      March 10, 2011 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  3. Tiffany

    How many of you have actually done this diet???? Probably none..Anyway, I have and I lost 20 lbs in 30 days. It does work and like any medically related therapy you should be monitored by your doctor. No I was NEVER hungry while only eating 500 calories...and I had tons of energy. I am now done with the diet and have kept off the weight and eating such a limited diet actually shrinks your stomach and reprograms you to eat less food, yet now more than 500, but you are more disciplined. Of course anyone could lose weight eating only 500 calories, but you'd probably also kill yourself in the process without the hormone. It also focuses on burning mainly permanent fat deposits and resets your metabolism. So it had other benefits to it...

    Please educate yourself and don't listen to just one person on this. There are many more better explainations on how your body can do this without shutting off. Go research for yourself BEFORE making silly comments...

    March 10, 2011 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DanM

      I say BS....post a link to a reputable mediacl site that backsup your claims.
      There has to be a double blind study that replicates the results mentioned in your post
      Otherwise, your weightloss is merely a result of your reduced calorie intake and the placebo effect

      March 10, 2011 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • Bart Hawkins San Antonio TX

      Oh, sorry, Tiffany, did I mention my double major doctorate (to say nothing of other degrees) in biochemistry and physical chemistry, with emphasis on metabolism and catabolic enzymes?

      I didn't? Well, ok, I have now, and Tiff baby, I am betting on me. Check out LARDLOSS and put the fads behind you forever.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • cc

      A friend did this diet and lost about 90 pounds and has kept it off. They were not hungry and had lots of energy even with only consuming 500 calories a day.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
  4. DietMan

    I have this new diet. If you put $500 a day into an envelope and mail it to me, and you cant eat anything you want – you can have ice cream and cookies and pizza and beer – up to 200 calories 1 day. This diet has worked for countless others and will work for you to, I guarantee it.

    March 10, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Louis

      After reading some of these tools comments, you'll be a millionaire selling your diet plan within the next year....

      March 10, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • DumbFatBastid

      Sign me up! what's your address. I can have cookies? I'm amazed – does the envelope glue magically make me burn fat?

      March 10, 2011 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
  5. Ashley

    I can't believe all you armchair quarterbacks out there who are knocking this diet when you don't even accurately understand what it is or how it works. Drinking "pregnant lady pee"? Where does it say that? It's a hormone, people, and when combined with a 500 calorie diet, it DOES work! Also, the 500 calories are very specifically limited to meat, vegetables, and fruit, so you are not losing any nutrients. It's not just 500 calories of whatever you want per day. There is a very specific protocol you have to follow, but when followed correctly, you find that there is so much food packed into those 500 calories that it's almost difficult to eat it all because you truly aren't hungry. No placebo has that effect.

    March 10, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kel

      Hahahaha – ya right.

      March 10, 2011 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • Lance

      It doesn't matter what you eat, if you only eat 500 calories a day and you use more than 500 calories a day you are going to lose weight. Whether you take hormones, steroids, aspirin, or some other magic pill, its not going to change the fact if you consume less calories than you are using you will lose weight.

      March 10, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Something

      I do not doubt that you can lose weight. However as someone that has spent over 11 years researching reproductive endocrine mechanisms, I strongly urge caution in taking exogenous hormone regimens, even if they are under the supervision of a physician. There are lon-term consequences to taking these hormones. The physician may monitor certain aspects of your current health, however will likely not track changes in endocrine tissues for several years. Althohugh diet and endocrinology are related, there are very few people out there that are nutritional endocrinologist and can make such a delicate balance successful – in the long-term.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      She speaks the truth! It works believe it or not, thats your own business, but those of us who have tried it know it works.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Dr. Something, the protocol only has you taking the hormone for 20 or 40 days. Since its such a short time taking the hormones could it still affect you in the long term? I can see if you took it for years or something but just 20 days?

      March 10, 2011 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • DeeJayda

      @ ASHLEY: Very well stated! This diet does work! I know a College friend who is an M.D. and she has lost 50+ lbs. I have lost over 30. IT DOES WORK with very little side effects (hair a bit dry) if any @ all! There are vitamins you can take while on this diet.There's no WAY you could survive on 500 cals without the HCG. It takes away your hunger and burns brown/unwanted fat! To all of you Knockers out there...don't KNOCK if until you're tried it! I am a believer! Do your research people!

      March 10, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse |
  6. Bev

    I have never been on a diet in my life but I wanted to lose 10 pounds before I go to Europe for spring break. I went on this diet for 15 days and lost 10 pounds, most weight came off my belly, and I feel great! I am a skeptic but this diet really works. Many of my friends are on it and having similar success.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Michele

    I have tried the diet – twice. First time I did lose 25 pounds quickly. When I reached my goal weight of 145 I was thrilled so I stopped taking the HCG and continued with the 500 calories per day. Yes, I was hungry but losing the weight was worth being hungry. Can't say that I had more energy on the diet buy definitely did after losing the weight. The diet is VERY restrictive and I got really sick of turkey all the time (I don't like fish) After the diet I did put on a few pounds but I exercise and have managed to lose those plus a few more. I'd recommend it to someone who 1) has the money; 2) is willing to follow the diet – no cheating allowed; and 3) follow an exercise program during and after doing the diet.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bart Hawkins San Antonio TX

      If it worked so well Michele why did you need the regimine twice?

      Tell you what: I am willing to test this diet – on myself – and report back the results, if you all are willing to fund the hormone injections. Then....we'll see.

      I would think those of you who are proponents of the diet would be glad to find me on the Book of Face (or send me an email to bart.hawkins@stgsynergies.com) and let's get started!

      March 10, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
    • mackenziewho

      damn straight its not worth being hungry all the time, oh and you had no energy because YOUR BODY CANT FUNCTION ON 500 CALORIES A DAY! of course youre going to lose weight with a diet like that, its called anorexia, ive heard its super glamorous. it only has slight side effects, ya know...like heart failure, general organ failure, anemia, insomnia, depression, your hair falls out, your teeth start rotting, malnourishment...yea totally worth losing a few pounds that way

      idiots, instead of looking for a quick fix why dont you just eat right and excercise!

      March 10, 2011 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
    • for Bart

      When doing HCG you're not supposed to do more than 40 days at a time. I'm on my 2nd round; the first lost 24 lbs in 30 days. I did it because no matter what I've tried:Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Seattle Sutton, blahblahblah I could NOT lose anymore weight, and yes, I exercised my @ss off at the same time. I did the drops because I saw sucess with a co-worker and thought, what the hell. Nothing else has worked... I kept the weight off over the holidays, which was wonderful! I eat healthy 90% of the time and enjoy myself and haven't gained back anything I lost last fall. I'm doing another round because I still need to lose 35 or so. The best part is after doing this for 30 days, I lost my cravings for sugar, chips, etc. I'm thrilled with the results. No the easiest, not the hardest, but it's the only thing that has worked for me.

      March 10, 2011 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
  8. Jim, Louisville, KY

    I just lost 80 pounds in a month on this diet! Some skeptics may say that my leg amputation helped but I say you are just a narrow-minded armchair quarterback

    March 10, 2011 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Louis

    I'm sorry HCG fans, but as the Author said, and as your posts are proving, all evidence that you can provide is "anecdotal evidence". I've watched family members try these 'Magic Pill/Drop" diets, and all of them do initially lose weight; But the reason for this weight Loss is not from the "Magic Pill/Drop" , its from the few hundred calorie a day diet they put you on. I can assure you, if I were to cut my diet to 500 calories a day I would also lose 20 lbs in 30 days. I know HCG drop companies claims to give your body some special hormonal balance to help you keep the weight off but science proves that's complete malarkey. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is through Vigorous Diet, Vigorous exercise, or a moderate balance of both...
    Anyone selling anything different is selling you snake oil.....

    March 10, 2011 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kathryn

    As someone who fought for over 4 years with infertility problems and had to use HCG to be able to concieve, I HATE THIS so called "diet"!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because there is a need for the HCG to be injected every day, it causes a shortage for people who NEED to use it for infertility. I would have to call at least 20 pharmacy's to see if they had any in stock and, if I was lucky enough to find some, would usually have to drive over 100 miles to get my prescription filled. There were other times that I would have to STOP my treatment all together till we could find some.
    I am all for people trying different diets but not at the expense of other people who need it for it's intended use. It would be different if there was any concrete proof that it was the drug that was causing the weight loss and not just cutting your daily calorie intake to 1/3 of the normal caloric intake!!!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      You can order as much as you like off the internet. Mine came from a reputable source (recommended by a naturopath doctor) in Austrailia. It was too my door in 4 days.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • SmartPotato

      Nice try... this post has been on EVERY HCG forum I've looked at. It's not in "short supply."

      March 10, 2011 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  11. Andrew

    I am on this diet currently. It is very mis-represented by CNN in this article. There are very strict nutritional guidelines that accompany the diet, as well as steps before the injections and after the injections. I chose this diet because my metabolism wouldn't let me lose weight very well, even during dietician-controlled periods. I was 339 lbs when I started this diet. I have another week to go and I am now down to 316 lbs. That is after 18 days. I haven't been this lightweight for 15 years. When I am done with the injections I will still have another 3-6 weeks of carefully monitored eating ( at a 1500 calories target). I am a professional mechanic and have noticed no ill effects on my muscles, and my blood pressure has dropped down to a very healthy level.

    This diet has changed my eating style and my life, both for the better. It is not for everyone and if you are interested in it then I seriously recommend doing careful research. Research that CNN apparently didn't bother to do.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • happyHBmom

      Did any of your "research" turn up placebo controlled studies that demonstrated safety and efficacy of HcG for this purpose? Because when I research things, this is what I look for.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Bart Hawkins San Antonio TX

      That is precisely my point Andrew – that you (or anyone else) would lose more or less the same amount of weight following EVERY precept of the diet, except taking the injections or the drops.

      We know that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie is somewhat in error (simply because calorie counts are determined in, you guessed it, a calorimter, in which the food in question is burned to ash to see how much heat is liberated), but I can tell you that fat mobilization via HCG is probably a RARE phenom.....probably extant only in those clients deficient in 17-beta hydroxysteroiddehyrogenases (any of the three known).....these clients therefore are hormonally "abnormal," and not indicative of the population at large.

      It is, of course, your money (I can't imagine United Health Care, Blue Cross, etc. would pay for this stuff for other than infertility issues), so knock yourself out.

      As a scientist and educator, (among other things) I think cargo-cult science – lke HCG – should be eschewed bya knowledgable public.

      All that said, the placebo effect – especially for injections – is remarkably powerful, and I am willing to bet compliance to the nutritional aspects of the diet is VERY high – most people wouldn't want to "waste," the injection.

      I further would bet that many fail on this HCG program, and continue to believe "it works...." and thus wonder why THEY ALONE have failed miserably. Can you imagine?

      In any event, good luck to all, check me out on FaceBook, ask me about LARDLOSS, and I will reply. By the way, you need buy nothing, there is no website, no book....just a humble scientist trying to do his best for humanity.

      March 11, 2011 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
    • LovingWorks

      You can find the links to the major research articles on hCG here, plus a history of hCG and why the FDA/FTC took action in 1975. http://mlw.mylovingworks.com/forum

      March 14, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
  12. happyHBmom

    Do people really understand what "placebo" means? The article does not claim the diet does not work. It is saying that the HcG is not a crucial part of the weight loss- that it is the changes wrought in your body by belief that you will lose weight combined with a low calorie diet that is effective.

    Now, if YOU are willing to pump your body full of hormones for a placebo effect and a 30 lb weight loss, go for it. FYI, a healthy low calorie diet and increased exercise might give you the same effect without the possible negative effects, and leave you with the $$ in your pocket to buy a new wardrobe afterward.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lance

      Agreed – but that is the one thing that makes this diet work. The more someone will pay for something the more likely they are to value it. In this case, if you are paying a lot of money to be on the hormones you are less likely to cheat on the 500 calories and the recommended food. In that way, it may make the diet effective.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • happyHBmom

      Then buy a low calorie prepared meal system, where at least you get food for your money!

      March 10, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • Lance

      I'm not saying its a smart way to spend money, but if the only way to lose weight is to make it have a serious financial impact then it can be effective.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
    • happyHBmom

      The concept of placebo treatment regimens for health issues for which they are extremely effective has been tossed around for years, and discarded because it breaches doctor/patient trust.

      The problem I have with your suggestion is that this is a placebo treatment effect using a REAL DRUG with REAL SIDE EFFECTS. For example, you see men are taking it- have they studied the long term safety of HcG for men? Yes, it's a hormone- but we all know that many hormones have negative long-term effects (steroids, estrogen, etc).

      So, if someone comes up with a treatment in which people spend $500 a month, of which $400 is secretly put in a savings account, and gives them a completely harmless shot while telling them it has amazing properties for weight loss, along with a strict diet, it would be *more* ethical but not legal. Am I making sense?

      March 10, 2011 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      FYI the medication cost me $40 plus injection supplies for another $25. My fiance is a nurse and we handled the injections at home. Placebos don't work for everyone, just like this diet doesn't work for everyone.

      Research in the 1800's showed that cocaine was a useful anesthetic. As time passes much of that has been proven wrong, at least in part. Therefor I cannot believe that science has figured out everything there is to know about HCG. I gave it a chance and it changed my life.

      March 10, 2011 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
    • XWngLady

      The 'placebo' crap is BS. The power of suggestion is NOT strong enough to overcome the response that a really obese person's body would produce on a 500 calorie diet – Extreme fatigue, hunger pains, energy loss, loss of muscle mass, etc....The 500 calories does not explain how people STAYED on the diet for 18, 30, 40 days without feeling hungry, no headaches, no fatigue, could still do mild exercise. Most fat people, especially ones that have tried everything else, wouldn't last 1 week without the HCG.

      March 10, 2011 at 22:41 | Report abuse |
  13. Lance

    Has anyone tried the exact same diet, but without the HCG treatment? I did not see any results of a similar study which would be the only way to prove it works or doesn't work. People have lost similar weights on Atkins, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Hollywood, Sugar Busters, or whatever and most of those are just "watch your calories and exercise" programs.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • happyHBmom

      The article states that more than a dozen studies have compared HcG to placebo and found no difference- it's not that hard to look up such research.

      March 10, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • Lance

      Wow, I really missed that line in the article 🙂

      March 10, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    If you only eat 500 calories a day YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT! It's not the stupid hormone. Jesus stop throwing away your money – it's like believe in santa claus - THE MAGIC PILL is YOU....YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU!!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. N Henderson

    I have personally done this diet and had success losing 50lbs in 2 months! I have also kept it off! Let me shed some light on this subject as the person who wrote this artical obviously did not do their proper research. If they did, you would know that your body does not lack any of the nutrients it requires by eating only 500 calories a day. Your body pulls those neccessary nutrients from its fat stores and uses them just as the neccessary fat you actually NEED each day to sustain your metabolism is pulled in the same way. THAT is why you don't feel hungry on this plan. Your body is using its own fuel! If you were to eat only 500 calories a day without the HCG, you would be fatigued and physically lethargic so the placebo theory is also a load of crap. Do some ACTUAL research and don't just rely on one artical of mere opinion!

    March 10, 2011 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • XWngLady

      Good response. I would disagree with you slightly as I don't think that you actually get all the nutrients that you need (some plans suggest you take a multi-vitamin with it/others don't), but you definitely get all the calories that you need in exactly the way you describe it...Placebo is a load...Most people's body, especially obese people's body would go nuts on a 500 calorie diet and they wouldn't last a week and certainly not 40 days. Without the HCG, this diet would be in the trash can before you could say "cheesecake".

      March 10, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
  16. James J

    I work at Red Mountain Med Spa in Scottsdale, AZ, and our main program is this HCG diet. I have never gotten a call from a patient who has told me they aren't losing weight. This diet works great, and at the right place (like my med spa) is not expensive. This is a great diet to help over weight people become healthy, feel great, and look great. I don't know why they are bashing this on CNN, when Dr. OZ reccomends it and so do many other well known people. As long as you don't cheat, this is the perfect diet for a lot of people. We also offer mantience programs to help patients who stop the HCG diet from gaining the weight back. Don't listen to CNN.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • XWngLady

      Dr. OZ actually did NOT recommend this. He said that there is alot of anectodal evidence to suggest it works, but he said that if you are going to do it, though he wouldn't recommend it, you should do it under a doctor's supervision with prescribed doses and not buy the homeopathic versions over the counter. That being said, I know people who have done the homeopathic, over the counter and they look great.

      March 10, 2011 at 22:50 | Report abuse |
    • LovingWorks

      Homeopathic is an illegal drug as regulated by the FDA in 1975 and reiterated in a USATODAY article on January 24, 2011. Educate yourself about what you are doing and whether your integrity and choice is congruent with doing illegal drugs.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • Loretta

      Hi James,
      I saw that you previously worked at RMMS and I would really like to talk to you about your experience. Please email or call me directly at 602-350-8589.
      Thank you

      January 23, 2014 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • Loretta

      Hi James,
      I have been trying to reach you. My name is Loretta and I would like to talk to you about your experience as an employee at Red Mountain Med Spa. Please contact me at 602-350-8589

      September 11, 2015 at 00:12 | Report abuse |
  17. Maggie

    You know what, HCG bashers...if you don't like the way the diet sounds, don't do it. Wow, how hard was that? What difference does it make to you anyways? You're all so bent out of shape about people actually touting the benefits of this quick-start, SHORT-TERM diet, yet instead of just admitting you can't stomach the thought of putting down the greasy burgers and fries for a month, you spout of this pseudo-intellectual crap like you have any real knowledge on the subject. Don't worry, though...I'm sure all the HCG enthusiasts are sitting on their much-skinnier asses and laughing at your pathetic attempts at sounding informed.

    March 10, 2011 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • happyHBmom

      Because research has shown over and over again that there is no such thing as a "short term" diet, and that the yo-yo dieting cycle that the business has people on is harmful to their health. Check out what kind of car your diet doctor drives one day- it's big money, and it preys on people who don't understand the concept of a "placebo" or "anecdotal evidence."

      March 10, 2011 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
    • me

      I'm sitting on my skinny ass laughing at HCG dieters because you have to be an idiot to pay $1,500 a month for this garbage when you can easily eat 500 calories per day without paying while losing the same weight. Dieters are so gullible, and everyone else isn't elitist– just sane.

      March 10, 2011 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
  18. Michelle

    I suggest someone look up "Molar Pregnancy" in particular "Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia". In short, I had a miscarriage and was later diagnosed with this. It can be a complicated thing but basically this hormone sensitive cancer feeds off of HCG. This can and has caused cancer of the lungs and other organs. My HCG levels continued to rise and I had to have chemo plus have a hysterectomy (emergency). I almost died because this tumor had caused a hole in my uterus & caused major internal bleeding. It took 15 weeks of chemo shots to get my HCG levels to normal plus I have to have regular bloodtests to be sure my levels are not rising. It is scary to me that people are injecting themselves with a hormone that nearly killed me. This is a pregnancy hormone. If you are not pregnant (or are not trying to be i.e. fertility treatments) then you shouldn't have this hormone in your system. And anyone would lose weight if you drop to 500 calories a day. It's called starvation.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • XWngLady

      So do you also suggest that women should not take birth control pills? B/C that's exactly what a birth control pill, shot or patch is.

      March 10, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • LovingWorks

      XWingLady – it took me about 5 seconds to find out that the ingredients in birth control pills are synthetic version of estrogen and progesterone– not hCG. What is your point, other than being incorrect? The original writer had a horrific experience and expressed her valid opinion. I fail to see what your comment added.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
  19. don't do it


    I went to a clinic and a doctor gave me the shot along with some pills to take.... I am strong and young (27) and this happened to me... I only had about 15 lbs. to lose...


    March 10, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tribeleaderof7

      Is pregnancy dangerous? Sometimes, but this hormone is no more dangerous than pregnancy.

      March 10, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
  20. J

    Where is everyone getting the $69/month drops that work????

    March 10, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HCG Diet Fan



      March 13, 2011 at 03:15 | Report abuse |
    • HCG Diet Fan



      typos must be a side effect form the hCG! =X

      March 13, 2011 at 03:19 | Report abuse |
  21. Jb

    I was put on this diet by my mother 21 years ago. It was at a doctors office. I had to get shots every other day. The diet was aqn 800 calorie per day diet. My friends said I acted differently: irritable, moody, depressed, never laughed. I lost 45 pounds that summer only to put it back on PLUS in my 1st semester back at college.

    It's a terrible diet.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. John K

    I did this diet a year ago and lost 30 pounds. and kept it off I also know several people who were also successful. I choose to give it a try after reading what I could on the topic and suggest others do the same. For further information I suggest doing a web search for "pounds and inches". Its where it started.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Ralph

    The trick to this "diet" is not the hormone - it's the 500 calories a day which yields 1 to 2 pounds a day of loss for an overweight adult.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • XWngLady

      NOT...that 500 calorie diet might work for 1 week, but without the HCG, it would be accompanied by ravenous hunger and extreme fatigue, after which most people would quit, nevermind go for 40 days and then turn around a month later and do it again. There are too many people who have tried many other diets and failed, but for them, this worked. And its more than the 500 calories.

      March 10, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
  24. Hmmmm

    Why are so many people so quick to point, laugh and hold up the "magic-pill" flag?

    Why do you all care if thousands of people are jumping on the bandwagon. Who cares if it is the hormone, the restricted diet, or the placebo effect. The fact is Americans are unhealthy. If people are willing to do this and it works for them, where is the problem? It is short-term. If it teaches healthier eating habits, great. Many fad diets can give short term results. Who are we to judge what another person chooses for themselves. It is their choice. And the last time I looked – this is America, the land of free-choice.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • T3chsupport

      It's their choice because they were usually misled. You'd be surprised how many people will believe anything you say, no matter how crazy, as long as you've written a published book about it. They won't even have read the book, but they'll believe you because you wrote one. They're THAT stupid. Misleading stupid people, while occasionally amusing, is a d!ck move- and I think most people understand that.

      People aren't disparaging dieters for trying to make themselves healthy, they're disparaging them because they're typically doing it in the most moronic ways possible.

      March 10, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Everything everyone does is due to past experiences and current environmental conditions. No one has a choice in either on of these so you are wrong.

      March 10, 2011 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
  25. heeler

    Calories in versus Calories out. Its that simple. The more you move, the more calories go out!

    March 10, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Don't you think people get tired of cliches like this? If you want a challenge go to school to discover why people eat more than they should and why they don't move as much as they should. Then come up with a solution. If your solution works you become famous. But knowing you, you won't try or you will fail because you are stuck in a 19th century paradigm of how behavior works. Don't believe me? Go to school and find a solution instead of being a pin head.

      March 10, 2011 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
  26. T3chsupport

    I'm going to start selling syringes of plain ol' saline. I'll put a fancy label on it, and it will tell you anything you want to hear. This shot, if you starve yourself, will make the pounds melt right off! Illiterate? This shot will make you able to read this label, as long as you have a tutor. Don't feel pretty? Taking this shot will make everyone else ugly!

    Stupid people buy anything.

    Oh, and ever consider where that 'pregnant mare urine' comes from? Google up 'PMU farms'.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. DeeJayda

    This diet does work! I know a College friend who is an M.D. and she has lost 50+ lbs. I too have lost over 30. IT DOES WORK with very little side effects (hair a bit dry) if any @ all! There are vitamins you can take while on this diet.There's no WAY you could survive on 500 cals without the HCG. It takes away your hunger and burns brown/unwanted fat! To all of you Knockers out there...don't KNOCK if until you're tried it! I am a believer! Do your research people!

    March 10, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Drae

    I lost 40 lbs in 45 days on the HCg diet – but it was a snythetic liquid – Not the shots. If you do the diet correctly, 45 days is the maximum amount of time you are to take the HCg and intake only 500 calories. I have kept the weight off for 2 years now. Since the weight loss, I go to Zumba class 3 days a week and have altered my diet to maintain the weight loss. Miracle cure? No. But did it work? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone who is significantly overweight? Absolutely.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Steven

    This guys is wrong, i have lost 40 lbs in 2 months... i have kept my calories around 1200, not 500, that is BS...
    Why do Dr think they know it all!
    I say GO FOR IT!

    March 10, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jorge

    I went on this diet years ago. I followed it to the letter. For the entire time (30 days) and going to the doctor everyday for the shot (this was Vancouver, Canada) I lost 19 pounds – from 142 to 123. The entire 30 days I was freezing to death because of lack of food and nothing in my body to keep me warm. I felt faint most of the time. It was entirely miserable and always felt hungry. The ONLY reason I lost the weight was because of the starvation colorie intake every day. Nothing to do with those expensive shots. Save your money. This was hell for 30 days.

    March 10, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Carl

    Isn't this the old "Stone Soup" scam? Of course you're going to lose weight if you eat only 500 calories a day, no matter what you do besides! If it were a hormone combined with a maintenance-level calorie intake that produced a net weight loss, that would be impressive, but otherwise just eat less than your maintenance level–you'll lose weight and save a little money.

    March 10, 2011 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Bob

    I am really sick of the people born with skinny genes basing weight gain on moral problems in the one's being overweight. These people have not studied the issue. The fact of the matter is that excess weight is CAUSED by a combination of GENES and the ENVIRONMENT. This is accepted by all scientists who do not have a political or religious axe to grind. There are numerous genes as there are numerous environmental influences that lead to obesity. There is not a single cause – there are many. But after genes the number one cause of obesity is people being raised in a non supportive environment (poverty, abuse, neglect, etc.). After that the next largest cause is easy access to junk food. After that there is insufficient activity, which itself has numerous causes. I really wish these pin head skinny people would take the time to research this complex issue as oppose to listening to some idiot like Glenn Beck and say it's their own fault.

    March 10, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. matt

    bHCG was recently discussed by The Medical Letter. Apparently, bHCG has no efficacy in weight loss AND cannot even be absorbed when taken orally – up to date references included.

    I'm not sure what is worse, a population of scientifically naive Americans or a population of scientifically innumerate Americans. Either way, the predatory nature of the individuals pedaling this type of pseudoscience (bHCG diets, naturopaths, homeopaths, et.c.) is disturbing.

    March 10, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. char

    Only one sure fire way to lose weight..........eat less & move more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      If you are so smart why don't you come up with a solution instead of repeating a worn out cliche?

      March 10, 2011 at 21:07 | Report abuse |
  35. Tim Lee

    To all you who say "oh I could lose all that weight too if I only ate 500 calories a day" – I say try it. Without HCG you won't last a week.

    March 10, 2011 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • T3chsupport

      I lasted for a few months.

      March 10, 2011 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
    • XWngLady

      Were you morbidly obese when you started? If you were, I doubt it very seriously that you went two months on a 500 calorie diet. If you did, then you are better than most. Because most obese people couldn't stand 2 months of that type of restrictive diet.

      March 10, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
  36. RH


    March 10, 2011 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Heather

    I started HCG 10 days ago and I have lost 13 lbs! I don't care if they are giving me dirty lake water! I have never been able to lose weight. I used to drink 4 to 5 sodas in a day and now I don't even want one! This is the best placebo I've ever had!

    March 10, 2011 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Kitty

    The HCG Diet totally worked for me. It's very strict, and you have to follow it to a T, but you don't get hungry. I did a lot of research on the diet before I went on it. These media networks have pharmaceutical executives on their boards (just look at their corporate boards sometime). You'll see why they never discuss the positive benefits of more alternative approaches. This diet resets your hypothalamus, and you're detoxing from all of that starch, sugar, other chemicals. It also really helped my adrenal glands. My insomnia was terrible before I went on the diet, and I now sleep like a baby. (The adrenal glands and hypothalamus control dozens of processes in the body, including the thyroid.) I lost 25 pounds in two 25-day rounds. My weight loss was quite a bit slower than a lot of others, but I'm also older. I felt great and had lots of energy every day on the diet. This was the first diet that I was ever on where I didn't gain weight after I stopped the diet. Now I follow modified Atkins for maintenance, and it works like a charm. Not even a single pound gained.

    March 10, 2011 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LovingWorks

      Congratulations on your success.

      There is no evidence that hCG "resets the hypothalymus..." as this is one of the many myths surrounding hCG use. When hundreds of thousands of people– and thousands of websites and FB/google adwords– continually repeat these myths, they become real to the people who repeat them (see http://www.myths-and-mythology.com/articles/mythology-legend-history/index.php).

      Resets to what, exactly? From what? Evidenced by what?

      While the number is unknown, likely hundreds of thousands of people have experienced benefit from using hCG. Yet the science of double-blind, placebo-based studies does not support the method. The FDA regulated hCG because it is a schedule III controlled substance. Doctors can write off-label prescriptions for hCG weight loss but they are legally required to include statements that it doesn't work. These regulations ended the last gold-rush for hCG weight loss in the mid-1970's. The current gold rush is fueld by homeopathic hCG that is totally illegal and was declared such by the FDA in January 2011.

      Do your research. Educate yourself. Avoid perpetuating myths.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
  39. Sheila

    This DOES work, and teaches eating habits, so you will keep the weight off. They never mention how we learn to eat correctly after going off the 500 calories. And if the hCG had no effect, people would gain weight when they went from 500 calories to 1500+, because the body would have thought it was starving. I'm also tired of everyone saying this isn't FDA approved. I say Thank God it isn't! Anyone remember Phen Fen, an FDA approved weight loss drug? I'll stick to my homeopathic drops that aren't approved by FDA. I haven't heard of anyone dying from this protocol yet. To all you naysayers, this has been the magic bullet for me. 60 lbs gone, and I've learned how to keep it off!

    March 10, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LovingWorks

      Illegal drug users always have a good reason for their choices.

      March 14, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
  40. Mike

    I know a lot of people that were on this diet... Results were amazing. between 25 – 40 pounds in 40 days no joke.

    You're burning a lot of fat so .... 500 calories + extra fat (fuel) burned equals great results and people were not super hungry on it... I believe its 500 calories a day but they don't limit you on how many green apples you can eat... need to buy the book to know for sure

    March 10, 2011 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. VEG

    Scoff if you will. I took hcg drops for a month lost 30 pounds. It's been a year now and I've kept the weight off. It's interesting how many people who have never tried it say it doesn't work. Those that have swear by it.

    March 10, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cj

      where did you get drops

      March 11, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  42. Nancy

    I have personally taken HCG for 2 rounds and lost over 50 pounds. It does melt fat away and make you slim in places that have been previously a problem area. This doctor gives no medical proof to his disclaimer.....the fact is.....the results do not lie! The 500 calories and the HCG combined...get fantastic results!

    March 10, 2011 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply

    You morons may have lost some weight using pregnant lady pee, but your heart is still clogged like a tub of lard. Skipping exercise does not clean out the crap from your system. Try to run a mile in under 15 minutes and I bet you'll fall over in cardiac arrest lol.

    March 10, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • XWngLady

      You're pathetic. Many people are so overweight that they can't run PERIOD. Losing 30, 40 or 50 in a a few months, and learning to eat correctly is EXACTLY the jump start that they need (without feeling the deprivation that "dieting" without the HCG bring) so that they can begin to exercise and eventually work their way up to running miles. Sheesh.

      March 10, 2011 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
  44. Eve

    This diet has worked for my husband and for me. We both lost over 20 lbs in 30 days and are keeping it off. The Doctor in this interview does a poor job of explaining how it works. I've tried every diet known to man since I was 9 years old. This one works quickly and with little hunger considering the few calories you're consuming. If you were only taking in 500 calories a day – without the HCG – do the math. You would have to cut your daily calories by 3500 to drop one single pound in 24 hours. Watching the scale drop a pound a day is an incredible feeling. Learning to eat lean protein and vegetables and regain normal taste buds that are not assaulted by fat and sugar and salt.....it changes your preferences for certain tastes and it changes what you consider to be a 'portion size'. We have experienced no down side other than needing to buy new clothes. Go back and read the history of this medical study. Something I really don't think Dr. Arrone did. By the way, we learned about this from others who experienced the same positive results. We used the drops instead of the shots.

    March 10, 2011 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lance

      Here's the history – "More than a dozen studies have shown that the hCG injections and a placebo are about equally effective."

      March 10, 2011 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
  45. James

    Anyone will lose weight eating 500 calories a day and dramatically fast ... a 6' tuna sub from subway is 550. Imagine dividing that in three and eating one third for breakfast, lunch and dinner ... and then the rest of the day you just drink water. Think you're going to lose weight? Ah, YEAH! Stick on that diet and you'll lose weight from your "problem areas" right on through anything else! ... question is do you have the discipline for it?

    March 10, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. shannon

    While I have seen people lose weight with this program, I have to agree with the article that it is completely unsafe to deny your body the calories it needs to function properly. It also does nothing to teach people about proper nutrition and activity. It is not cliche to say that decreasing your calories and increasing your activity results in weight loss. Those who think so are the reason why Americans are killing themselves with their weight. They aren't willing to try that! It's too hard. Also, we mess with our hormones all the time and then wonder about the increasing infertility so many suffer from...

    March 10, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Lance

    Nobody is saying the diet doesn't work, it had better work if you are only eat 500 calories. Everybody is just saying that the hormones are not what is causing you to lose weight. Its the fact that you are drastically reducing your calories. And even after that if you go to 1500 calories, that is what the average female burns during normal activity (a male around 2000), so if you are normal and eat 1500 calories you will not gain any weight back no matter what you magic pill or injection you originally took. Any diet will work if you stick to it. I had a friend lose 15 lbs in one week and lose over 100 lbs on Atikins and hasn't gained it back. Another went on a medical program where you drink shakes and lost 150 lbs in 3 months and has kept most of it off. Others have gained weight back, its really not a hard formula.

    March 10, 2011 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. nameless

    Dr. B (Bernstein) diets in Canada did this for years. I worked there. It was pulled while I worked there and I left immediately, especially when he decided not to lower prices, but "studies show" according to him that Vitamin B injections work the same way. Boy was mislead and the clients. It is definitely the 500 calories that does it, and they don't maintain. How can you when you go back to eating again. I saw many people return over and over and some were heavier than the first time. He also states if you get the injections in the problem areas (thighs, stomach, backside) it will concentrate on those areas. Anyone that mentions the diet it to me, I immediately tell them no and explain why.

    March 10, 2011 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Dave

    I just finished a 40 day program on this diet a few weeks ago. I lost 41 lbs. All of my skeptical friends were amazed. I was even skeptical at first but now I am a believer. I wouldn't want to go through it again because it is extremely challenging not to cheat but my BMI is now under the recommended number for my height and hopefully won't need to in the future.

    March 10, 2011 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. mickael

    wow- you fat americans will try anything except the whole exercising and living a healthy life...

    March 10, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.