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The great HCG diet

Only a few people who read the title know me well enough to know that it is dripping with sarcasm. There’s nothing great about it and I cringe and then get very angry every single time I hear a commercial for some HCG gimmick for weight loss. It bothers me on a cellular level that these assholes are taking people’s money and claiming that their HCG diet will help you do a variety of things.

The one I heard today was right about one thing. HCG is a naturally occurring hormone. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (quite a mouthful). HCG occurs naturally in women who are pregnant – in fact, that’s how a great many over-the-counter pregnancy tests work, they look for HCG in a woman’s urine. When taken exogenously (e.g. via a needle injected subcutaneously) by a man and only by a man it signals the testes to produce additional testosterone. Not massive amounts, mind you, just small boosts.

Why weight loss? A d-bag by the name of Kevin Trudeau. He has since been prosecuted for false advertising for many BS schemes he ran to screw people out of their money. He came up with one of the first largely successful HCG diet gimmick schemes, basing it on loose interpretations of studies done that showed non-significant in-vitro results. When amplified to human dosages and effects, the real world effects do not exist. I say his was largely successful in the context that it was successful at suckering people all over the place to send their money to him.

But wait, you tried one of the HCG diets and you lost weight? Sure, it’s possible. The people marketing this crap aren’t stupid, just immoral. They know their HCG doesn’t do a damn thing – that’s why they say you also have to eat a calorically restricted diet and incorporate exercise. Another factor that can’t be discounted is the placebo effect – the power of the human mind. Believe in something and you can manifest limited results. It’s mind over matter, to a limited extent, and it’s cognitive dissonance. Your belief triggers your brain to make you behave in ways that help you reinforce that belief, from disregarding information that contradicts what you believe to encouraging you to do additional activities that will help that belief show signs of becoming reality.

And I just ruined it for you, right? Maybe, but more likely if you read this far and are / were a HCG proponent the cognitive dissonance has kicked in and you think I’m full of crap. Maybe I’m disillusioned or maybe I want to sell you something else. Maybe I’m bitter because it didn’t work for me. Maybe I think everybody should be fat except me so I can look down at everybody else and laugh at them. Yeah, maybe…

How about some studies:
– “In 1974, the FDA banned the use of hCG in the US based on a series of studies maintaining that weight loss was similar both in the Placebo and hCG-treated groups. Our study corroborates those previous findings.” – http://www.indexmedico.com/english/obesity/hcg.htm
– “THESE WEIGHT REDUCTION TREATMENTS INCLUDE THE INJECTION OF HCG, A DRUG WHICH HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION AS SAFE AND EFFECTIVE IN THE TREATMENT OF OBSITY OR WEIGHT CONTROL. THERE IS NO SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE THAT HCG INCEASES WEIGHT LOSS BEYOND THAT RESULTING FROM CALORIC RESTRICTION, THAT IT CAUSES A MORE ATTRACTIVE OR “NORMAL” DISTRIBUTION OF FAT, OR THAT IT DECREASES THE HUNGER AND DISCOMFORT ASSOCIATED WITH CALORIE-RESTRICTIVE DIETS [16].” – http://www.dietscam.org/reports/hcg.shtml
– “..But it’s the calorie restriction that causes the weight loss, not the HCG.” – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hcg-diet/AN02091

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