James G Beckerman, M.D.  
Portland, OR

Specialties: Cardiology

Interests: Weight Loss, lifestyle changes, healthy diet
Author of The Flex Diet (January 2011)
Providence Heart and Vascular Institute
(503) 216-0900
Portland, OR
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The HCG Diet...

Mar 03, 2011 - 48 comments

Over a year ago, I posted a blog arguing against the use of Human Growth Hormone as a weight loss supplement.  But little did I know that when many people read “HGH,” they instead think “HCG.”  Who knew?  But as a result of this visual similarity, I’ve found that a good number of the posted comments were written in defense of this “miracle” diet, which combines supplementation with a hormone first detected in the urine of pregnant women (yep) and...a daily 500 calorie restriction.   So I thought it was a good idea to readdress the issue, with a renewed focus on HCG this time.  Drum roll please...

I think the HCG Diet is a bad idea for at least three reasons.

1) Supplementation with HCG has not been proven to be effective as compared to placebo.  Multiple double-blind placebo controlled studies have not demonstrated a beneficial effect.  Not much else to say about this.  It just doesn’t work.  Please note - I am not talking about the prolonged and severe calorie restriction that accompanies it.  That works just fine.  It just isn’t healthy.  See #2.

2) This diet requires prolonged and severe calorie restriction.  While some forms of the diet might be so liberal as to allow 700 calories, the most common recommendations hover in the 500 calorie range.  That’s a bagel with cream cheese - for an entire day.  Sure, you will lose weight, but ultimately isn’t the goal is to get healthier?  Balanced nutrition, fewer trans fats, less processed food, and smaller portions will help accomplish that, with more than the double the daily calorie intake.  Extreme calorie restriction also raises the likelihood of nutritional deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances, which can impact heart health in particular.

3. It’s not sustainable.  Severe calorie restriction or any significantly lopsided approach never works in the longer term.  People claim success during the first few weeks, or even months, but you don’t see as many ardent supporters five years later.  We know all too well how difficult it can be for most of us to lose weight and keep it off.  But if you want to give yourself a fighting chance of maintaining your success down the line, you will have a much better shot if you start with a more balanced approach that lets you enjoy good food, family celebrations, and the twists and turns that life inevitably takes - without making false promises.  

But because of a combination of viral marketing, a small but vocal group of supporters, and blog posts like this that stir the pot, there will continue to be publicity around the HCG Diet until the next miracle comes into fashion.  You don’t see too many people extolling the virtues of hoodia or acai berry anymore, do you?  

Hmmm...just you wait.  

Post a Comment
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by TTHDragons, Mar 04, 2011
Hi Dr. Beckerman,

Thank you for taking the time to contribute further explanations about the HCG diet, and inform us about the negative aspects of this approach to weight loss.  I agree with you whole-heartedly re: your conclusions ( I happen to be a heart attack and breast cancer survivor.)  The long-term ways to alter lifestyle choices and healthy food options are much better than severe reduced-calorie diets.  People in our society are so "afraid" of calories....it's just a measurement....but the reality is we need food and a certain amount of calories to survive.  Everyone is different - depending on their job, exercise, metabolism - but I like your idea of the "Flex Diet".  We are human, need to accept variations in our daily/monthly/yearly routines, and be able to adapt our lifestyle and food choices for the desired outcome(s).  Your insights and opinions are always appreciated.  Tia Holland, Beaverton, OR

P.S. Providence St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Room physicians, cardiologist Dr. Sachdev, and all medical personnel involved (including ambulance drivers) saved my life in 2007.  I had a 100% blockage in my LAD artery, and now have a stent.  I am blessed and thank God for every breath and each day of life.  I am a widow and live with my 17 year-old son, who is in 11th grade.  Again, thanks for all you do for your patients and the public.

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by James G Beckerman, M.D.Blank, Mar 04, 2011
Tia,  thanks for your kind post. I am so glad that the folks here at our hospital could help you.  I know Dr. Sachdev well - he's a great guy.

Avatar universal
by damselfly50, Mar 04, 2011
Well said, Dr Beckerman! I saw Dr Oz's program on this also, and I could hardly hold back the nausea and truly horrible wave of disgust that came over me as I listened to these crazy claims. Yes, of course you're going to lose weight consuming only 500 cal a day, but eventually, they're gonna be looking at you in the ER!

Avatar universal
by lovingyou777, Mar 08, 2011
sorry I took the hormone and it worked.  I felt great.

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by Allyson_coro, Mar 08, 2011
I see that what i had  said on your pg. was removed Why?? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!

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by James G Beckerman, M.D.Blank, Mar 08, 2011
@lovingyou777 - I'm glad you've had a positive experience.  But I think it's important to send people the message that the medical evidence doesn't find a benefit to HCG on its own, and that a 500 calorie diet is generally not a great idea.

@Allyson_coro - Not sure what happened with that - I don't remove posts.  Sorry to hear that happened!

I think the key message here is...balance and moderation.

Thanks everyone!

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by rebkas, Mar 09, 2011
Tell me what you thing about this:

I started a "New Life Style" change Feb 15. With that change, I began walking on a treadmill (at least 1.5 miles) 5 times a week. I cut out almost all sugar, fats, and of course junk food. I only eat limited quantities of meat and LOTS of veggies as well as Quinoa (which is great for a full feeling).

As of today, 3-9-11, I have lost 11 pounds.

I have ordered the drops for the HCG diet thing and I am hoping that IN ADDITION TO what I am doing above, this will also give me the 'boost' to lose weight. I have also visited with a hypnotherapist to aid me as well.

I have tried just about every diet/pill/patch there is and I have finally accepted the fact: THE ONLY TRUE WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF IS TO BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME.

Us fat people hate to admit it, but there it is! I am 5'7" and my starting weight was 285. Today I weighed 274. I would like to get to 175.

Does it sound like I am on the right track??

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by James G Beckerman, M.D.Blank, Mar 09, 2011
@rebkas - congratulations on your progress so far!  It sounds like you are doing great.  My recommendation is to stick to your approach (fewer refined sugars, less trans fat and junk food) and maximize the veggies.  You're successful right now - why take a risk with a supplement that could have risks and doesn't have an evidence-based track record for effectiveness?

Take care!

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by rebkas, Mar 11, 2011
Thank You for  getting back to me.. I have decided to NOT go w/ the drops.

Quick question-- since I have been excersing on a regular basis and eating smaller more & healthier & more frequent meals-- It seems like I am hungry ALL THE TIME!! Am I hungry because my metabolism has woken up?


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by James G Beckerman, M.D.Blank, Mar 11, 2011
Yes!  This is the hard part, right?  You are balancing an increased metabolism from exercise with lower calorie intake over all.  Just stay focused on everything good your are doing for yourself.  You will get used to it - this is the burn that will help you lose weight!

I think you made a great choice about HCG...!

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by lollybye, Mar 12, 2011
Hmmm.. thanks Doc,whatever you do don't go to my profile page, because I have no idea how to erase things on this website and when I first found this site ,I was in the process  of trying to learn more information on how to loose 10lbs ASAP Lol all my friends and patients were asking me about HCG ,of course I knew about the hormone found in urine of pregnant women,but I didn't know if the HCG drop's or injection had  some other product or a  synthetic form , whatever,or placebo, anyway, I couldn't believe all the hipe about this,I started asking questions,not one person would answer me ,I was gonna buy them and preform my own lab test,to see if their is any of the actual hormone.Lol , you see, being a Nurse with a little extra junk in my trunk, I have more time on Friday nights Lol~ to sit in the laboratory and find out unnecessary answers about ( Fad diet drops),Lol ~ I won't bother,I'll use that time to workout and except a pound a week is a good loss,I wont be able to wear a bikini for Spring but maybe Summer,taking my time,exercise and a healthy diet should keep my weight off for good!  Cheers!        

Avatar universal
by jfh80, Mar 14, 2011
If the HCG is so dangerous or faulty, why are there doctors prescribing it for weight loss in their clinics...besides the obvious reason..($$$) ??

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by stella5349, Mar 14, 2011

Why are doctors offering it? That's a loaded question and you'd have to be more specific on what type of doctors not doctor in general.

I've done a huge amount of research on the HCG - one reason is being a thyroid advocant and over weight issues are next to all patients questions with the disease.

The diet can work however the caloric intake in question could be something to learn about. Could it work on not taking the HCG and low calories? I believe we all can answer yes to that.

Basically the HCG component is added in to burn a high volume of calories compared to a natural burn. When a pregnancy is present a woman will offer the baby enrichment. The HCG chemical can make the body think it needs to offer more and the caloric intake of near zero is why you burn off fat. It also eliminates the "store" issues when the body is starving so the fat continues to burn when you aren't eating what you need to do it normally.

I've found very alarming is the pushers of the diet including some doctors have no clue what the "root" issues are of the person and are looking at this being an option because the person is "fat". There is so much involved in the hormone and endocrine panel along with other possible prescriptions that could be packing on the pounds of a patient.

Let me highlight a few things here on weight gain in general.  Keep in mind that a person who lays on the coauch all days and eats a ton of bad things is not apart of these. Those people know what there issues are but want to take the fast road to lose weight so HCG is wrong to give them.

1. Hypothyroidism is a low metobolism enhancer. The disease is mismanaged alot and if you have it or suspect that this diet is dangerous.

2. Adrenal disfunction is also a weight problem disease and next to zero a doctor will look at this and try to repair it first.

3. Anti anxiety meds packs on weight and changes alot of the hormonal panel of patients while the weight is coming on.

4. False menopause or Birth control induced estrogen can add weight - again changing the body hormonally.

While I checked these basic things out with a few reps for HCG - NOT ONE - took into consideration that a person could be in a hormonal block or even know any medical relations to using the diet with various diseases.

Make sure - double sure you aren't in a change of pattern with your hormonal balance and let me also add that if you look inside on you as an indivual most likely you can uncover the reason for the pounds coming on and find the solution to fixing it healthy then just going for the high road of inducing HCG in to complicate things more.

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by stella5349, Mar 14, 2011
Great article Dr. Beckerman

Avatar universal
by squideast, Mar 16, 2011
The HCG is not added to burn a high volume of calories as compared to natural burn. It has nothing to do with that. The HCG, in combination with the prescribed diet, breaks up and removes abnormal fat cells that no other method of diet and exercise can target. You should read Dr. Simeon's Pounds and Inches to understand how and why it works.

Following the 'food portion only' of the HCG diet will not yield the same results. A person following the food portion only would get very sick after a couple of days. It would be extremely dangerous. The presence of HCG, and its effect on the body, is what allows the body to sustain the low calorie diet. And it's not just an issue of calorie intake. The chemical reaction that is taking place when HCG is in your system, in combination with exact food types (and counts), and other substance restrictions (e.g., body products - lotions, soaps, etc.), is a scientific, medically proven approach.

Three years ago I quit smoking and gained 40 pounds. I exercised, did Weight Watchers, etc. - all the 'normal' things. I could only get rid of 10 lbs after months and months of doing the 'good old fashioned' things. I saw someone I knew who had lost a lot of weight and asked them how. It was HCG. So I tried it, and followed it to a T. I lost every bit of that weight, and I've kept it off for 2 years, by following the protocol explained by Dr. Simeon's Pounds and Inches. I no longer count ANY calories - I just make sure I eat plenty of proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables; I try to limit my sodas to 1-2 a week; and limit my starches to 1-2 a day. And I don't eat fast food anymore, or any processed junk from the grocery store. Where I can eat organic, I do (not always possible at public functions, and not always affordable from the grocery store). This lifetime maintenance is a breeze, and is all part of the HCG protocol and plan, and theory as to why we get fat in the first place, and why we often can't lose weight past a certain point.

If you plan on trying HCG and do not read and re-read and re-read Dr. Simeon's protocol *first*, a) you will not be successful, b) you are taking a health risk, and c) you won't understand exactly how and why this works.

And as far as why doctors charge outrageous amounts of money to do this: HCG is not approved in America by the FDA solely for weight loss purposes. (But then, neither is a life-changing steroid that my God-son needs for his muscular dystrophy. His mother has to get it 'illegally' from Mexico. You do the math re: the FDA and pharmaceutical industry's priorities.)  We are not a completely socialist country yet, so our doctor's can make money here. And since they can, they do. You can do the protocol on your own, finding ways to study and understand the protocol, and secure the HCG yourself. But if you are not completely disciplined to follow the protocol independently (and many people aren't), then you could put yourself at risk; in that case, it's worth paying the money the doctor's can and will charge in America to administer and oversee the diet.

Good luck however you choose to lose weight. This method, and all the others, are not 'easy'. But it can be done, and HCG does work.

Avatar universal
by zoey2011, Mar 16, 2011
Interesting comments. And, "squideast",  agree with most everything you say in your post. Personally, I started seeing a Naturopath a few months ago (recommended by my Family M.D.) for unrelated issues (i.e., not weight loss.) When it was suggested to me that I begin a liver detox process (due to chemical exposure) the HCG weight loss process was the initial step, I started the protocol. The idea was to rid the body of as many fat cells as possible in order to decrease the toxic chemical level because the toxins are stored in fat cells. I proceeded under the watchful eye of my Naturopath and took injections 6 out of 7 days for 6 weeks. I did the 500 calorie diet as well, with VERY specific food allowances. What I learned was that the HCG "sped up" metabolism to use the stored (toxic) fat to supplement the 500 calorie intake. As interesting, during the process, I was rarely hungry, had increased energy and a general feeling of well being. I actually felt very good! I work as a landscaper, pretty physical work, and found that my energy level improved, despite the limited calories. I lost 20 pounds in the 6 weeks and then continued with the second phase of detox. I read a lot of info on the internet related to HCG and what I translated, in my own words was, "If you chose this 'protocol' do so with a reputable professional with legitimate products." I would be very skeptical of any such product being "minded (sold)" in drops or injections without proper medical oversight, i.e. sold on line? The HCG I used was produced for me from a local pharmacy. Given all I know, I would do it all again, and likely will as the third stage of liver detox, but I'll do it under the supervision of my ND. By the way, I was diagnosed years ago with hypothyroidism and have taken Synthroid for years and still do. It did not affect the process.

Avatar universal
by Zabajaba, Mar 16, 2011
I've used it and it works.  Its true that 500 calories is not the best way to go ON ITS OWN because u lose muscle.  I actually havent felt as good as I had on this diet in a long long time and I saw muscles I havent seen in a long time or ever!  Yea moderation n common sense approach is best, but thats what they teach u in the maintence of this program.  And really.... You cant say "its not suistanable long term".....because neither is burning more calories than u consume. majority of people gain it back, but at least with this diet u lose quickly which is motivation to keep an eye on your weight going forward.

Avatar universal
by ginadd, Mar 16, 2011
Bravo Sqideast!
You nailed every integral point about this diet.  It is so nice to see and hear someone speak about it that understands it completely.  This diet is controversial and this is a good thing.  I am one who appreciates educated unbiased controversy.  

Avatar universal
by ajmllr, Mar 16, 2011
If you listen to Dr Lustig (a pediatric endocrinologist and weight loss doctor), his research shows that the true culprit for all of us is 1) sugar, of any kind, period,  and 2) not enough fiber.  Any diet which seeks to eliminate sugar and processed foods (devoid of fiber and rich in sugar) will give you the desired effect.   Sugar is a poison, and what it does to our bodies is what's making us fat and ill.  Fiber helps our bodies own mechanisms work properly to digest and send signals of fullness. Go to his Youtube seminar where he presents his research (in collaberation with a number of other researchers) and his reasons. It was a "Yes! Finally someone understands why!" moment for me.  The address is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Avatar universal
by mimimememimimeme, Mar 16, 2011
Please don't recommend this HCG diet! I had blood test before I started HCG and all were normal.  I don't know if  for certain if the HCG was the reason I got sick but my vitamin a and vitamin d were so low, practically non-existent after I did it the HCG diet. Protocol recommends not taking supplements.  Even though it was a short time, I was depleted.  Desperate times called for desperate measures getting ready for an important family event. I lost the weight by using the HCG shot at first and then switching to the HCG drops but then got shingles in my optic nerve. (Shingles comes from stress and low resistance!) Then I was diagnosed out of the blue with thyroid cancer. Doctors don't know if they were related to my HCG intake but there is certainly speculation. Please, people, don't risk your health!  After the weight comes off, if you don't stick with the plan of no bread, etc.  If you don't follow the protocol, you will gain it back and then some. And, you seriously risk your health.  Like vitamin depletion, cancer, clots.  Do a google search and plenty will come up!

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by greeneyedraven, Mar 16, 2011
I tried the HCG diet (injections) after a decade of fighting weight gain despite regular exercise and healthy diet ...most likely due to stress, autoimmune, thyroiditis, and quite possibly the "nonexistent" adrenal fatigue.  

I tried the diet after several neighbors lost a noticeable amount of weight in a short period.  One neighbor, a 42 yr old widow, lost 80 pounds over 4 months by completing 2 six week cycles of HCG.  After much research, I tried it for a month.  I lost 17 lbs.  I did not do a 500 calorie diet.  Just ate the foods on the list in moderation.


1.  was how much I had slowly become to rely on carbohydrates, energy drinks and nutrition bars from the go-go-go lifestyle we have.  

2.  For some reason my menstrual cycle is exactly 28 days.  It has never been.  It would surprise me.... was always between 35-42 days.  I think it is due to replacing sugar with STEVIA.  I did the diet in September 2010.  Today, March 16, 2011....still using stevia and still every 4th Tuesday around 7pm.  (figure that one out???)

3.  My cabinets held fast prep foods...pancakes, toast, waffles, pasta, sandwiches, hot pockets, pizzas, etc.

4.  I am back to buying apples, oranges and berries on a regular basis.  As well as vegetables and cooking real meat.

5. I am still battling health issues but I have lost another 12 pounds since October and sleeping a little better.

SHOULD YOU TRY IT ???? I don't know....I never would have if it wasn't for my neighbors losing so much weight so quickly.  I seriously thought it was just another gimmick or it just was another diet that would not work for me.  

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by greeneyedraven, Mar 16, 2011
One odd tidbit about the HCG diet.  My cholesterol went up significantly.  I donated blood while on the diet and the results caught my attention.  HOWEVER, the same thing happened when I was pregnant with my first daughter.  We had yearly company exams onsite.....my normal 114/57 cholesterol was teetering around 200.  

And after the HCG diet, just like after my daughter was born.....my cholesterol returned to normal readings.  

IDKY?  but a strong coincidence.

Avatar universal
by Horsewild, Mar 16, 2011
As a desperate overweight person I know for a fact that my obesity was going to kill me!  Honestly, if eating a tapeworm would make me lose weight, I'd eat one, but they don't, I researched it.  I am an expert at dieting, and I have had successes.  It's the long term that's tough.  HGC is giving me instant results and that's what keeps me on it.  I'm on the drops, and they say that it's really a placebo effect anyway.  That being said, I know that 500 calories a day is too little, but I have a LARGE amount of storage that I can live off of.  I think about those people on Survivor, how they live off 1 cup of rice a day...for months!  They look too lean, but they're fit and healthy.  I can force my body to use up this storage, I am learning to appreciate simple foods again, and I have an amazing amount of energy like never before.  I am only on round one, and I pay close attention to my body.  I am not endorsing HCG for anyone else, but for me I had to do something fast!  And DOCTOR, you make it seem as though urine is a questionable practice, but if you were any kind of doctor you would be fully aware of common urine based drugs have been used regularly by "real" doctors.  Think Premarin, (Pregnant Mare Urine), for just one.  Really, what's the difference?

Avatar universal
by CeeQueue101, Mar 16, 2011
Dear Horsewild, and anyone else who is desperate to lose weight and has tried every diet. We all know that we can lose weight if we diet, but we probably all have learned, also, that we can't sustain the results and will eventually give up on the diet and regain the weight (plus more, usually). I have found something that addresses exactly that issue, and truly works. Go to www.foodaddicts.org and read about it, then - if you are really serious about losing weight, and desperate enough to do what it takes - find a meeting in your area and go! You won't regret it, I promise. If there are no meetings in your area, go to www.foodaddictsphonemeetings.com and find a phone meeting.

There's nothing to be nervous or intimidated about for either the in-person meetings or the phone meetings. You will find the most supportive, welcoming group of people at either, and - more importantly - you will find people who TRULY understand what you're going through, and have answers. This program works, is FREE, and will help you change your lifestyle forever. I've lost 101 lbs on the program! My friend has lost 99, and is at her goal weight. She has stayed at goal since June. There are people in the program who have lost their weight and stayed at goal for DECADES! Please check it out. The only other advice I would give you is to try to hook up with people in the "Anne D" line and not the "Cynthia" line (they also refer to their way of doing the program as "traditional"). The Cynthia line is just too restrictive, in my opinion. Good luck!

Avatar universal
by CeeQueue101, Mar 16, 2011
Further to my comment, above, I just want to say that my food plan is very healthy and sane. I eat yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal for breakfast, lean protein, whole grains such as quinoa, or rice or potatoes, salad and fruit or cooked vegetables for lunch, the same for dinner. I eat a bit more yogurt at bedtime because I have trouble with my blood sugar dropping during the night and waking me up (have had this problem since long before the program). The meetings are awesome - I always come away inspired! And I always have people I can call to talk to if I'm struggling, have questions or just want to talk. It's so great.

Avatar universal
by eyrl, Mar 16, 2011
500 calories/day is a starvation diet.  It is not surprising that dieters who restrict their food intake that much, gain much of it back and more.  Learning to eat a healthy diet and regular exercise are important.

Avatar universal
by CeeQueue101, Mar 16, 2011
Oops, sorry, the web address for the phone meetings is www.foodaddictsphonemeetings.org (.org, not .com).

Avatar universal
by sebastian411, Mar 16, 2011
HCG is good but bit risky. If are really serious and want to lose weight and stay healthy just email me at ***@****. thanks Dr.Sebastian,

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by slipping_under, Mar 17, 2011
I just read every post on this thread and it's amazing how no one knows what HCG does or is....especially the "DR" who is a cardiologist, which I respect, but this is under the scope of an endocrinologist because this "diet" messes with your HPTA.  A system that I have manipulated time and time again and realized that it is not something to be altered especially to replace the effort of hard work and discipline (i.e going to the gym and not eating cheese burgers)

In women:
It is used clinically to induce ovulation for women who have trouble getting pregnant.

In men:
Due to its similarity to LH, HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin or Human chorionic gonadotrophin) signals the testes to produce testosterone, which sounds really great. However, this whole system works within a negative feedback loop. Meaning the more HCG you pump in, the less LH your body will produce.  This results in a drop in endogenous testosterone males will produce (your nuts stop getting the signal to produce testosterone since you're supplying it artificially) which is not the best idea because of a few reasons:

1. HCG turns off production of  LH (the signal men need to make test.) and if you plan on stopping the HCG you're going to need your own LH back.  

2. The Leydig cells in the testes (which receive LH in normal amounts) will become desensitized when in the presence of HCG. So your body starts to kill off these much needed cells to receive what appears to your body as an overproduction of the LH.   All in an effort to down regulate the amount of testosterone it senses (theres that negative feedback loop again)

3. HCG increases not only the amount of progesterone but sensitizes the cells that receive the signal to produce progesterone. Progesterone can cause lactating and gyno (***** ****) in men.  Attractive.

4. This should never be taken with out the monitoring of blood work weekly and tamoxifen. This drug is intended for women and unless you really know what you're doing to your HPTA you shouldn't be messing with it.

If you really want to experiment with drugs (at your own risk and I assume absolutely no responsibility if you take it upon yourself to utilize the following suggestions) take thyroid hormone T3 or T4. Maybe I'll get rich off the synthroid diet, people will harm themselves to accomplish losing weight.  I think it would be better to get the stomach virus, eat a tapeworm or maybe even contract the ebola virus, I heard the fatty flesh just peels off minus the pesky trip to the gym.

Devon Sands.


Avatar universal
by subtleBEE, Mar 28, 2011
I have been worried sick and paranoid...here is my situation regarding this diet
I started using HCG hormone injections for weight loss. Now I regret it because after almost finishing my first 5000 IU's of the hormone, it occurred to me that because HCG is derived from a pregnant woman's placenta, is it possible that it can carry virul infections like hiv?herpes?etc.

I have been panicking ever since i realized this and how can i be so stupid not to research this before ordering HCG vials from online. (peptidewarehouse.com....even though they say that "Our peptides and products are of the utmost purity. Regulations of ICH Q7A and current Good Manufacturing Practice have been implemented for our products. Every product batch is tested for purity and quality to meet clinical grade requirements."...the vial that i got didn't state the manufacturer's name or any other info. It did contain hcg because i tested on a pregnancy test and it came positive)

Please can you address this question and tell whether it is possible to contract viral infections like hiv/herpes from hcg hormone derived from an infected pregnant woman?

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by Ashmcc, Apr 11, 2011
hcg is a very tough diet. I tried it and gave up after only losing .6onces in four days. It's not for me. I love food. I'm doing this the slow and steady way. Regular diet is a life long plan. I've lost 15lbs in thirty days with diet and light exercise and i see a difference. I am overweight and unhealthy eating habits got me here and healthy eating habits will get me out of here and stay fit. a quick fix isn't how I became overweight. I'm not expecting a quick fix to help me. After the hcg you have to maintain like with any diet. To each its own but how can you learn to eat right on 500 calories> Is it for life? I have yet to see a person still keeping the weight off years after hcg. Sorry I'm not bashing it. Some people might do well on hcg. But I didn't and I refuse to stay fat. Food is great! Exercise is fun.

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by rebkas, Apr 21, 2011
HI Again Dr Beckerman,

I've been doing well as far as eating and excersing. Since 2-15, I have lost 18 pounds, but I seem to be STUCK! I have been at the same weight for almost 20 days... Is this normal? Should I just keep on "keepin' on"? Or is there a way to 'unstick' myself?

I walk 1.5 - 2 miles 5-6 days a week and probablt eat 1200-1500 calories per day (of the good for you stuff!)


Avatar universal
by CeeQueue, Apr 25, 2011
Hi rebkas, I'm not the doctor but I've lost over 115 lbs in the last 14 months, and I can share with you from my experience that often when you get stuck it's because you're not eating enough food! It seems counterintuitive, but from what I understand, your body needs a certain amount of food coming in or it will think there's a shortage of food and start conserving all the energy it is getting by slowing down your metabolism. Think of eating as being like putting fuel into a furnace – it stokes the fire and gets things burning better.

I would try adding a tablespoon of olive oil, or 3 oz of quinoa, or 4-8 oz of yogurt to your meal plan and see if that doesn't get your progress going again. Look at the balance of what you're eating now and see if there's a category that might be a bit low, such as whole grains, healthy oils, calcium-rich foods like yogurt, etc. Hope this helps.


Avatar universal
by grnsmi, Jun 20, 2011
I too did the HCG and ended up with breast cancer the same year...I don't know for sure if that is what assisted it but my chemo doctor said to never use it again.  So, please reconsider people if you are not sure.  There are so many other ways to lose the weight safely but it takes work and well...let's be honest that is why we try this stuff because we do not want to work at it.  Guess what if we aren't willing to work at it the HCG will not be long term because you will go back to your sedentary lives.  I did.  I have my weight off now and cancer free...diet and exercise, good fats, restricted bad carbs.

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by SilverAngel1942, Jun 23, 2011
Hi rebkas. Congrats on the weight loss. I've lost 11 kilos using the fructose free regimen. that means cutting out all sugar and using dextrose (glucose) powder or Glucose Syrup when baking things. You can still eat the baked goods, cakes, donuts, stuff like that, all you need to do is substitute the sugar with dextrose powder. I advise you to look at the link to Dr Lustig, also google Sweet Poison. I am on that forum, also the How much Sugar forum, it has opened up my eyes to how fructose is so highly addictive it makes you feel hungry all the time. I am in my 60's & have been hungry most of my adult life, but not any more. I am losing weight slowly, and after the first few weeks, it was so easy. I do have to limit how much bread I eat, & how much pasta I eat too, otherwise, I eat protein & veg, nuts & have chia seeds as well, in my lunchtime cuppa soup. (It's Winter where I am).  Just google it, do your own research, it's easy.  I find it very illuminating. Read all nutritional panels on packets etc & don't buy anything that has artificial sweeteners in it.
Good luck with it all, and above all, keep busy, is my tip. Try to get out in the evenings, even just for a drive or a walk, if it's safe where you are, ie, up your incidental exercise as well as your dedicated exercise, don't just sit in front of the TV or computer all the time.  

Silver Angel   Spread the Love  and SMILE

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by cassidyjane, Jul 26, 2011
Hi, I have a question, can this drug cause blood clots?  I took them for about 3 weeks in Jan and Feb of this year.  I did not like ti and stopped doing it in February.  In early March I ended up in the hospital with DVT and PE.  I did fly (6 hour flight) two weeks before they found it and I had fallen and torn a tendon in my ankle of that leg two weeks before also.  I was on crutches for 2 weeks prior to them finding the DVT in that leg.  THen a week later we found the PE.  I am with a specialist now and he has a hard time believing that the flight and or the ankle issue caused my clots.  I was googling the other day and found your posts and was wondering if you knew if there were any connections with this drug and clotting?


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by waldosbait, Sep 20, 2011
I am not totally sure that what is going on to me was the cause of this diet. But I was on this diet for about 4 months. My doctor at that spa clinic I was going to said you could stay on it continuously. That you did not have to take breaks. I did lose about 40 pounds.  But let me tell you I have been off the diet for at least 7 months. Back in april I started having problems with my feet and legs. I am not diabetic, I now have very painful peripheral neuropathy, and they think I also have MS. I had no signs of either of these diseases, until I stopped taking the HCG. I don't know if it is related but I would like to warn you people that my symptoms have progressed very fast in the last 4 months. I have gone from being completely normal to having to use a wheel chair and cane. Recently I have started to to lose the function of my arms and hands it started with my right arm and now is also effecting my left arm. PLEASE PEOPLE BE VERY VERY CAREFUL!! Consult with your family doctor or a specialist about this diet!!

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by justicefosho, Sep 23, 2011
I have been reading a lot about HCG because i want to start this diet (I mean life style change) program.
I have watched so many videos on the youtube to where I have become a believer of this program... Thank God I live in 2011 where I can go to youtube for real life proof...  It can be scary yes because there has never been a "miracle diet" but I am thrilled to start. I have hypothyroid and there are concerns, but... I also believe that what people need to realize about any diet is, you have to change your way of life, the way you eat, and the way you live. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH

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by jj0211, Nov 10, 2011
People please do your research, understand the risks and potential damages to your health. I used hcg at a clinic in Florida, I had regular weekly visits and was monitored on a 800 calorie diet. I was encouraged to take every vitamin possible, c, all the b's, zinc and calcium. Dr. Simeons diet doesn't allow vitamins which are so needful during such limited diet and calories. They also claim you can't use certain makeup, lotions, soap and shampoos are you kidding?... Also please research the amount of men and women suffering from severe hair loss, many times irreversible because of extremely low calories and vitamin deficiencies. Take a look.  http://ehealthforum.com/health/hcg-diet-and-hair-loss-t179772.html

Good luck and please be careful.

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by taerae20, Dec 08, 2011
Ok I have gotten off the Depo shot in Nov. of last year. and at that time I wasn't getting periods anymore. Then, I got one in May every other week and my last one was in August. I was wondering if its possible for me to be pregnant because I haven't came on my period since August 15-19. But I have taken urine tests and they came back negative but all the signs are there of me being pregnant. PLEASE HELP!

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by kimvand, Jan 11, 2012
i have done this diet 2 times , now on my 3rd.. it worked i kept it off even. there are many many people that know it work. i get your point however saying diet and moderation o.k but also while on the diet you start to figure out what your body likes and dislikes,  so it is  also a learning experience. I know that my body WAY better now. and i tried the moderation eat right diet before and im sorry that i also did this with exercise and it didn't work for me. This did and now when i do eat food i know what fuel my body needs and likes to run good now . i didn't know that before this diet.

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by fertlitymom, Feb 17, 2012
The hcg diet can be deadly. I lost my mother in 2009 due to a pulmonary embolism caused by the hcg diet.
My mother was under the prescribed physicians care at the time. I have learned through losing her that the hcg diet can throw the body off.  How many people actually know whether they are the carriers to a blood clotting gene? There are many people that have clotting genes and it only takes once doing a diet like this before they find out.

If you are not losing weight with diet and exercise there must be something wrong with your diet or you are lacking minerals or your hormones are off. Get in-tune with your body and make wise, natural choices.  Using someones hcg that your own body is not making is not natural and there will be side effects down the road.

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by De1977, Mar 17, 2012
If anyone could help me with this, I would really appreciate it. It is so hard to get a straight answer from my doctors since they are promoting the HCG diet. I am currently on the HCG diet and have lost 23 pounds in a 40 day cycle (on day 31 right now). I am happy with my hunger levels and the weight loss I have achieved. My question is, when can I continue weight loss without HCG? I have read many articles on the last phases (P3 and P4) of the HCG protocol and it says that weight cannot go up or down by more than two pounds. My problem is that, I may not want to go on this diet again. When could I begin weight loss just using diet and exercise without the HCG? In reading various manuscripts, that option is never given. It only talks about additional rounds of HCG if further weight loss is desired. If I only want to lose 5 more pounds, I think repeating a cycle might be a little extreme. I would like to continue weight loss of the additional 5 pounds by dieting and exercise, but the literature states that weight loss is not encouraged after HCG due to the loss of "normal fat". The pounds and inches book written by Dr. Simeons states that any normal fat lost after the treatment will be regained as soon as more food is taken in and cause a rebound of weight. This would mean that the only way to lose weight after beginning HCG is through other rounds of HCG. I really don't like having to depend on one method for success and like having other options. Do I have to do another round of HCG or can the five pounds be lost without this? Thanks.

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by perla36, Oct 10, 2012
i will have to say dont  do the hcg diet please!!!!I didnt listen the calorie intake wasso low i was alwaysweek  hungry. Dizzy
And. The 4th day i has a full blown panic attack...havent been the same ever since

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by Just_BC, Feb 07, 2013
All I can say about the HCG diet is after several years, and several rounds (with longer P3 & P4 stages between each round), I have totally changed my eating habits to much healthier foods, I exercise regularly and I have a whole new outlook on weight loss and maintenance.

I'm going to be 50 this year and feel better than I did in my 30's.

Would I have done this without doing HCG?  I highly doubt it.  However, you must follow protocol and I don't recommend this to anyone who is looking for just another quick fix.  It is definitely a lifestyle change if done correctly.

Avatar universal
by Old_Codger, Jul 07, 2014
As a type II diabetic, I felt that my choices were to either inject insulin or inject HCG. I also saw the HCG shows on Dr. Oz, and checked out Dr. Sheri Emma's web site.  The results of her research on the subject seem reasonable to me.  I have been on the diet now for 3 weeks and have dropped from 217 lbs to 198, and I haven't been south of 200 for almost 30 years.  My blood sugar is in control without the pills I had been taking.  When I am done with the diet, hopefully I'll be at 180 lbs and will no longer require medication after increasing my calorie intake.  I'll see.
Regarding the FDA tests -- I do believe that more fat is lost than muscle with HCG than with a placebo.  Yes, the same weight may well be lost both ways, but HCG is specifically there to get the body to utilize stored fat.
My inclination is to run from homeopathic anything, and the pharmaceutical grade drops/tablets have been found to not transfer to the body any better than ingested insulin.  Digested HCG is no longer HCG.  Patients taking those do not show positive on a pregnancy test, and I do (I'm male by the way).  So, even though I didn't play a doctor on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, these are my thoughts on the subject.

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by Midgemitchell, Jun 11, 2015
My sister is in the hospital right now this diet is bad it is to low in calorie and she has a blockage they will operate tomorrow . Because Doctors endorse don't mean it's good for you.  Do your homework.if you want to lose wieght cut back and excertise and make a life style change. This is a big money maker for them. Those lost, illness free bless you. Olde school folks like me get it moving watch what you eat and learn to accept your body. Make life good by working on YOU and not a quick fix please make a life style change

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by Jean1510, Jan 13, 2016
I (47 year old healthy male) have been on the HCG diet since middle October 2015 and in total are down 35 lbs (from 205 lbs down to 170 lbs) and intend to never have to do the phase where you inject yourself over again. I lost more through change in lifestyle in the consolidation phase than in the actual HCG period of the first 24 days. Most people are not prepared to follow a healthy lifestyle anyway so that is why a lot of people will gain back most of the weight. I am done with sugar, bread, potatoes and processed food forever and feel so much better than what I did before. It all started with a determination of wanting to change my life for the better and being able to look at myself in pictures again! The semi-pregnant look was not the look I wanted for myself anymore..LOL. I am also on the best real food supplements that I could find which I have been using daily for the last 6 years. So in short this might not be the answer for everybody but was the only one that actually appealed to and worked for me.

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