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Is the HCG diet safe and effective for weight loss?

The short answer is no and no.

Most studies have found that the hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone, a hormone produced during pregnancy, has nothing to do with weight loss. In fact, HCG medications are required to carry a label from the FDA noting that the medication is not effective for weight loss. While the claim may be that HCG can help you “reset” your metabolism, the scientific fact is that your metabolism is boosted by a reduced calorie diet, proper meal schedule, and other lifestyle factors – not a hormone produced during pregnancy.

So why do we keep hearing about HCG? Probably because the HCG diet recommends severe calorie restriction – usually 500-800 calories a day. When you adhere to a low calorie diet, you are quite likely to lose weight – at least in the short term. And while a reduced calorie diet is integral for losing weight, there can be significant medical complications from severe calorie restriction.

Fortunately, there are FDA-approved weight loss medications that have been proven to be safe and effective to aid in losing weight and keeping it off. Combined with lifestyle changes and proper nutrition, the medical weight loss approach can help patients not only lose weight, but also maintain the weight loss for years to come. This approach has medically proven long lasting effects and numerous health benefits.

No type of injection or medication is superior to an overall lifestyle approach. However, when we combine lifestyle modifications with proper medication, patients can start losing weight in the first month of their medical weight loss journey.

FDA-approved weight loss medications include: Phentermine, Diethylpropion, Qsymia, Contrave, Xenical, Saxenda, Wegovy, and other generic and brand name medications. A consultation with a medical provider is required to ensure patients are prescribed the correct medication and are properly monitored for effectiveness of treatment.

If you are considering medical weight loss and would like to know more, schedule a consultation with our Nurse Practitioner Karolina Priebe who specializes in lifestyle and weight management. She utilizes medically proven methods and medications that help patients lose weight and regain their health. This is an insurance covered service and our clinic accepts most medical insurance plans. We also offer affordable cash pay options for our patients.