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The HCG Diet Fraud

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The HCG Diet Fraud

No! Not again! Stop the madness!

I live in Marin County, the land of the fit, thin, and affluent, so the ads for the recently revived but long ago unproven HCG diet abound. “LOSE 40 POUNDS AND YOUR BELLY FAT IN 6 WEEKS WITHOUT HUNGER, AND KEEP IT OFF!” As an MD who ran an integrative medicine center before switching to a coaching practice, I just have one thing to say. Bullshit.

Hear me out.

What Is The HCG Diet?

It’s based on the work of Dr. Albert Simeons from the 1950’s, who touted HCG as the miracle weight loss drug, claiming that this hormone, procured from the urine of pregnant women, would help fat melt away, reduce your appetite, and make you magically lose weight in all the right places. He also claimed that this hormone would change your metabolic rate, making you unlikely to gain weight once you stopped the diet.

Keep in mind that HCG is a hormone most commonly used in fertility treatments and to aid adolescents with endocrine problems during puberty. It is not — and never had been — a weight loss drug.

Dr. Simeon did a study to “prove” his claims, but no other researchers were ever able to reproduce his work. After the HCG diet was discredited by the scientific community, the diet mostly disappeared until 2007, when infomercial king Kevin Trudeau began promoting it as the secret diet your doctor isn’t telling you about. And suddenly, products appeared all over the internet and doctors at integrative and alternative medicine centers started jumping on the bandwagon, causing the diet to experience an unfortunate resurgence. Variations of the diet exist, but most require daily HCG injections, drops, or sublingual dosing, and costs can run you up to $1500/month (padding the pockets of many a doc). The pregnancy hormone is combined with a highly restricted, low calorie diet of 500 calories/day.

The pregnancy hormone tricks the body into believing that you’re pregnant, and because you’re starving the body, it starts eating away at fat — and you get no hunger pangs! Sounds good, right?

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at and also created two online communities - and She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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11:49PM PST on Jan 17, 2012

I did 3 1/2 rounds of HCG lost nearly 50lbs was one of the easiest ways I have ever lost the weight so not so sure it's a scam. The only thing I would be aware of is some side effects. I had to stop the diet into 4th round. The first three rounds I felt pretty awesome except With a little throat issues such as hoarseness, dry throat and soreness after the first round. I was assured it was ok so I kept on and was told by the supplier ( millennium health spa releana) to drink more water which I did. Kept getting more hoarse. I began feeling weak and started craving sugar with never happened until the 4th round. So I voice never got better. I had to go to speech therapy and am under the care of a specialist ENT who scoped my throat aprox 4 times. Now a year later I am still dealing with this problem. One of my vocal cords continually fails to work. I still have hoarseness, throat muscle soreness from straining to speak. I have continual problems with people understanding my words because it sounds like I have laryngitis..every day I have to deal with this. It is completely annoying and I am considering suing the company for informing me that this product was safe. Even after I cplained of such issues. I have looked on other blogs and have noticed others have had similar problems with their voice with the use of this product. Yes it works for weight loss but at what cost for some?? I had no idea wish I would have. I'm writing this blog not to discourage the use of thi

7:42PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

It is sad how someone who obviously has ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE with this diet can openly belittle the wonderful effects of Hcg and the Dr. Simeons Protocol and potentially stop someone else from freeing themselves by succeeding at weight loss. I have personally lost over 60 lbs from this "unhealthy, fraudulent, BS" Diet. I didn't stop there either. My husband followed losing 75 lbs , my dad over 40, my sister 45 and since then I have led a group of over 20 people in my community lose well over 500 lbs!! Pretty amazing for a fraudulent diet. Every single person that I know personally that has followed this diet has lost weight and felt great. Not just a couple of pounds but 10, 20,30, 70+ lbs. Just as incredible to me is the fact that I have been off the actual 500 calorie diet for 6 months. I made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas and I haven't gained ANY of it back! For those of you who are seriously interested in losing weight and keeping it you can check out our support page at This is our local community page where we all pull together and support each other as we succeed at proving the person that wrote this article WRONG! The Hcg Diet does require a strict diet but it works and I am going to continue to help people find freedom from being trapped in their overweight bodies and I suggest you only take advice from people who have actually done the diet cause others just don't have a clue what they are talking about.

8:08AM PST on Jan 12, 2012

You go, Ashley C & Cynthia M! Preach! Sooo many folks simply don't know enough about this subject to comment on it, including the author of this article, sadly. Blessings on you for your boldness to share your wonderful experiences that prove this Protocol is truly answered prayer. If anyone wants to get REAL, pharmaceutical grade hCG, check out where I have listed 3 reliable sources that I have personally used and recommended to hundreds of other folks who have had results just like yours!!!
Blessings with love, B'Shem Yahshua (in the Name of 'Jesus'),

5:58PM PST on Jan 11, 2012

I couldn't even finish reading the article. I did two rounds of HCG, lost 45 lbs. More importantly then that, after being sick with Fibromyalgia for 10 years & nearing the point of applying for disability, & wishing I would die; I feel great! I can have a life. I'm running, I'm laughing, I enjoy life. I usually love this web site but this article could deture people from making the best choice of their lives so I had to speak against it!

11:08AM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

I successfully completed two rounds of injectable HCG and lost a total of 30lbs. I loved the diet, was not hungry and found that my fat disappeared from the areas I wanted it to. I have not gained more than a pound back and it has helped me to created a loving relationship with my physical body. I was able to lose the pounds that held a lot of painful memories and stored emotions. Although HCG is not an FDA approved diet drug, it certainly helped me to do it. I have also found that there are many things that the FDA doesn't approve of that actually help people.

10:17PM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

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8:01AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

I have had terrible problems with this diet and think it is COMPLETELY misleading!!! If you feel the same way, I'd love to get in contact with you because I'm looking for other dieters who've felt duped by this diet and want some revenge on the suppliers. A class action law suit is building and we need more brave people to step forward and speak up against the HCG lies. Contact me:

5:49AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Thanks for the post

12:11AM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Any of these diet plans you see plastered all over the ads, infomercials, etc... they're all fads, and whom ever is behind it is on a "get rich quick" scam. Don't buy it. Any of it.

If you want to lose weight and go on a diet, go see your primary care physician, and see what would be right for you. There are so many of the good ones that none are a one size fits all. But some of the good ones are following a certain number calorie diet, that usually goes from 1,000-2,500 calories a day, and you have your choice of how many servings from each category, that includes all food groups. The South Beach diet is a good one for many, along with the Dr. Gott's "No Sugar/No Flour" diet.

There are a couple others, but as I said, go to your trusted primary care physician! That, along with a mild exercise regimen should do you fine. You know what you can do and what you can afford. Walk, ride a bike, go to a park, etc...

12:04AM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

I despise the HCG diet. I've had several family members go on the diet despite my warnings. No doubt they lost weight from eating 500 calories a day and they did it pretty quickly! Problem was that only a month after having stopped they gained ALL of their weight back. There is only one miracle weight loss plan and that is diet and exercise.

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