One of the most controversial dieting plans around is the HCG diet.  Known for helping individuals to medically lose weight, the HCG diet touts that you can lose high amounts of weight in a short amount of time.  However, the HCG diet has had a bad reputation for being dangerous for your overall health and wellness.  Consider the information below as a basic guide to the HCG diet.  If you feel that this diet is something you want to try then you should consult with a medical doctor before getting started.

What is HCG?

The body naturally secretes certain hormones for various basic functions in life.  One hormone that is naturally secreted by the body is HCG, which is short for human chorionic gonadotropin, and it is used in a variety of fertility issues and pregnancy in adults.  Throughout the evolution of science and technology, HCG has evolved to a weight loss aid that is designed to lose you large amounts of weight with little effort.

What is the HCG Diet?

First used in the mid-1900s by a physician, the HCG diet is one of the most restrictive diets around.  It involves taking expensive daily injections of this fertility hormone, combined with a severe restriction in calories, as a way to induce large amounts of weight loss.

The typical daily caloric requirements of the HCG diet are as low as 500 calories, which is extremely consequential and potentially damaging to your health and well-being.  For the reason of this severe caloric restriction, the HCG diet has been under scrutiny, regardless if it delivers fast results in your weight loss program.

Can the HCG Diet Plan Help you Lose Weight?

Before going too far into the basics of the HCG diet, the short answer to this question is that yes, technically it can help you to lose weight.  However, the weight loss this diet promotes is only in theory and the restriction it places on your health is considered unsafe.  With that said, it may help with weight loss, but the risks are not worth the overall reward.  Listed ahead are some of the health risks associated with the HCG diet and why it is not a good idea to go on it.

Is the HCG Diet Safe?

The HCG diet is one of the most scrutinized dieting plans around and while it advertises fast weight loss, it is potentially harmful to your health.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the health risks associated with the HCG diet plan.


One of the first consequences of the HCG diet is that you could experience severe fatigue throughout your day.  It is easy to see why fatigue can set in with the HCG diet plan; the severe reductions in the total calories you consume are not sufficient to meet your energy needs and your body simply goes into starvation mode.  When this happens, your body functions could cease to work sufficiently.

Organ Failure

If you think weight loss is something you want so bad and your health is willing to be at risk, you need to pay close attention to this section.  The severe starvation restriction that the HCG diet plan promotes has the potential to decrease general organ functioning.  Without sufficient nutrients to feed your working cells in your body, your organs could stop working properly, which is a permanent damage to your health.  While you have two kidneys, lungs, and a heart, these major organs are placed at risk when you decrease your caloric intake to such low amounts.


One of the most common consequences to a drastic reduction in your food intake is arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats.  While many of these heart beats resolve themselves, there are some that can be potentially fatal if left untreated.  Diets that are chronically low in calories tend to lead to this issue in your heart’s conduction system.


Anytime you drastically cut back on what you eat, you place yourself at risk for malnourishment.  Starvation diets are notorious for creating nutrient deficiencies and if they continue for prolonged periods of time, it could lead to severe problems in your health.  Consider seeking help from a dietitian, nutritionist, or physician if you have been on the HCG diet and you feel like you are nutrient deficient.

Can Anyone go on the HCG Diet?

The general population is free to do anything at will, but the HCG diet typically is not something anyone can merely start doing.  Usually the HCG diet requires some sort of medical consult, to which you are prescribed the expensive HCG hormone injections.  While anyone is free to seek consults for this diet, the general population cannot just start on this diet at will.

Is it Right For Me?

While there is information out there about how losing weight is important for your health and wellness, you need to take extreme caution with how weight loss clinics and programs market their plans.  The HCG diet tends to be marketed as being beneficial for dropping large amounts of weight with the use of hormone injections and starvation techniques.  There are no validated and reputable clinical research studies to suggest that this diet is safe, regardless of how much weight you need to lose.

The bottom line with this diet is that it can be potentially damaging to your health.  While you are under the care of weight loss experts, you should be aware that side effects tend to include permanent health damage that simply is not worth the effort.  If you feel the HCG diet is for you then you should first consult with a medical doctor before seeing a weight loss expert.  Your primary care doctor should be able to give you the information you need to be successful in your healthy lifestyle plans and should give you the proper guidance on how to be successful in weight loss.

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