Does HCG help you lose weight? -

Does HCG help you lose weight?

Eighteen days. Seventeen pounds.

Geno Gambino says he gets a lot of calls like that at his weight clinic. They're from people on what's called the HCG diet.

Stacey Poche lost 55 pounds with HCG. She had lost weight before, but always gained them back until she tried the diet. During her first cycle on the program, Stacey lost more than a pound a day.

"I was in disbelief at first," she says. "I went in with the intention that this is my last shot before I have surgery."

HCG is a hormone doctors first gave to dieters as an injection. When combined with a diet of between 500 to 1000 calories a day, it's supposed to trick the body into feeding off its own existing fat stores.  

Patty Christopher is Geno's business partner. They sell HCG in spray form. Unlike prescription injections, the manufacturer calls it homeopathic, which means it only contains trace amounts of the hormone. Christopher says the result is the same.

Some HCG dieters claim to have lost as much as three pounds a day. Experts say any diet that causes you to lose more than three pounds a week isn't safe.

Cami Miller dropped 150 pounds using HCG spray. She says she lost as much as three pounds a day with the spray and a restricted calorie diet.

A nurse, Miller went in aware of the safety concerns.

"I haven't any side effects," she says. "I'd been on liquid diets, other restrictive calorie diets. I don't have the same kind of cravings or hunger."

Our third HCG dieter is Erica Michelet. She's 47 pounds lighter and almost 29 inches narrower than when she started the program, losing about a pound a day.

"Side effects have not been an issue. I do take a multivitamin every day to keep up with what I don't get from small amounts of food," she says.

Geno proudly displays the "before" and "after" pants that represent the weight he lost on the HCG diet. He says it's what inspired him to start selling it. He also says the reason people aren't hungry with HCG is the kind of high-fiber, healthy foods they're eating and how often they eat them. Most dieters eat five times a day.

Few, if anyone, questions that a drastic cut in calories can lead to weight loss. But critics say the role of HCG in the process is due to the placebo effect it has on users.

Meanwhile, the FDA says HCG is only approved to treat fertility in men and women as a prescription drug and there's no evidence it's effective for weight loss in any form. There's no hard evidence to science out there that supports HCG for weight loss, but for those who think it works, it's hard to convince them otherwise.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:04:54 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
Powered by WorldNow