Pros and Cons of the HCG Diet

I am doing the HCG diet.

It was a hard sell for me, this magic pill (actually, I am doing homeopathic drops) that is meant to melt off fat and leave me svelte and many pounds lighter with no exercise advised. I tend to be a devotee of the old adage that if it’s too good to be true, it must be a lie.

And then one of my neighbors came to see me. She’d started a new job, so I hadn’t seen her for about three months – and she was like a whole different person. In that time, she’d dropped 40 pounds – but she looked pretty healthy. It was all due to these little HCG drops and the B-vitamins that came with them – and a 500-calorie per day diet.

Five hundred calories per day? With my eating habits, this would limit me to two glasses of white wine and a Dr. Pepper. I mulled over the possibility that I could do this, and I was skeptical. First of all, there are naysayers who believe that it’s a bad idea to be putting hormones into your body. As a person who was sick throughout my pregnancies, I also realized that perhaps I would be letting myself in for two 21-day sessions of morning sickness.

Which I overlooked, because morning sickness was a heck of a weight loss experience.
There was also the niggling thought that if I ate 500 calories a day, with or without the HCG, I would lose weight. A guy recently proved that he could lose pounds – significant weight – by eating stuff such as Twinkies and Cokes, just by monitoring the calories.

Anyway, I decided to give HCG a try. My local health food store has a day in which all of its items are marked 25 percent off, and I thought that for $40 or so, I could experiment. The most exciting part was the two-day gorge fest that you’re supposed to undertake. Two days of eating whatever you want. Steaks the size of your face, fast food, potatoes, ice cream – anything. I took the HCG drops 15 minutes before I ate, and I ordered away at my favorite restaurant. I found, however, that eating that much didn’t interest me, and I don’t believe I met the amount of calories I was supposed to.

Once I started the actual 500-calories per day thing, I was fine for the first two days. I ate many plates of spinach and cucumbers and fish with salsa, and I definitely lost about three pounds. By the third day, I had a wearying headache at the back of my head and could actually smell the chocolate ice cream in the freezer, even with the door closed. There was no morning sickness, but I did crave some kind of carbohydrate. The melba toast allowed on the plan met the requirement, but joylessly. I know that a lot of people say that once they’ve stopped eating carbs and having fizzy drinks, they stop wanting them. I have not yet reached this point, though I am down a size in everything after only a week.

The other issue I have with the HCG diet is that there is no oil allowed. No olive oil, no moisturizer because apparently your body sucks up that stuff and uses it for calories, no deodorant with oil – and most of them have oil. Also, because I am taking a homeopathic remedy, I can’t use mint toothpaste. In short, I feel a little dry and not-so-fresh.

Eating cleanly does make you feel a lot better, but I have to say that any diet in which you only consume 500 calories per day will make you lose weight. The HCG is worth a try for those who want to try something a little quicker, but it’s no magic pill. There are definitely a lot of sacrifices for success.

Betty Johnson is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on obtaining an online degree for Guide to Online Schools.


  1. Jennifer

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