Have any of you heard about this diet? It's gaining in popularity immensely, and it's actually a little frighting. The general idea behind the diet is that HCG, a hormone that pregnant women produce during the first few months of pregnancy, which is also the hormone that is tested to check for pregnancy, will basically suppress appetite while signalling the body to burn fat and retain organ function and lean muscle. This is done to ensure that a fetus has the energy it requires to grow, or something along those lines.
This drug is extracted from the urine of pregnant women, and injected or otherwise consumed by dieters while eating a roughly 500 calorie a day diet consisting mostly of protein, fruits, and veggies. This is done for six to eight weeks, and then you're off for an equal amount of time before doing it again. This can be done up to three times. Expected weight loss is around one pound a day.
Recently, whatever health insurance the school district offers here has began paying for specialized HCG treatment with licensed medical doctors. A friend of mine who has been obese for probably 15 years has been on it for a month now and has lost thirty pounds. According to him, he feels great and has a ton of energy. Two days before he started the 500cal/day portion of the diet, he was told to basically binge eat as much as he possibly could. The first few days of the reduced caloric intake he felt lethargic and hungry, but after that all was good. Every couple of days, I believe, he eats only an apple and 100g of meat, and calls it a "reset day".
The skeptical part of me thinks this is incredibly crazy. However, I believe it also makes a small amount of sense. Apparently, though I've only found pages saying this and not the actual study, there are studies showing that those given a placebo of HCG had an equal amount of weight loss. This leads me to believe that the HCG makes no difference and that those on this diet are simply in something of a deep ketosis diet, where they don't feel lethargic or hungry simply because they do have excessive amounts of fat to burn for energy, or something along those lines.
My pregnant cousin has seen my friends weight loss success, and having put on something like 60lbs during pregnancy, and always having had trouble with weight in the past, now wishes to give it a go herself a few months after she has her child. This entire diet worries me, but there isn't much I can really say in light of my friends 'success', as well as stories they've all been hearing for several months now. They've seen my success, both on Paleo and not, but given that my success is attributed to hard work and what they now deem my 'crazy diet', I doubt I could ever sway them against a magic injection that makes them skinny without putting in any work.
I know this isn't exactly a paleo question, though I wish I could sway them to even just read Why We Get Fat, but I've seen a lot of good information come from this website and I was hoping some of you had some insight. I'd love to hear what any of you have to say, and perhaps if there are things I can show them that might sway their opinion against this, if it is indeed negative as I fear, then all the better.
Thanks a lot, guys and gals!