The HCG diet is all over the media these days. A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Oz did a 20-minute segment on his show. This morning, Dr. Oz was talking about HCG on Good Morning, America. And yesterday, the diet controversy hit the front page of the New York Times. I'll put the links to some of these at the end of this post.

First, I was happy to see that Dr. Oz is not completely opposed to the HCG diet, although he is adamant about three things: 
1. A 500-calorie diet is too low. 

2. The diet absolutely should be supervised by a medical doctor.
3. The over-the-counter and homeopathic products do not work. 

I'm going to respond to these one at a time:
 
1. A 500-calorie diet is too low: I agree, at least if you have more than 20 pounds or so to shed. I have been on a modified 700-calorie version for four months and have shed 60 pounds. I feel great! I'm not hungry, my energy and stamina are excellent and I know I can stay the course and continue for another 40 pounds (probably three to four more months). 

One of the beauties of the HCG diet is the psychological boost you get from shedding weight rapidly. I got rid of 9 pounds in just the first week. (Don't get too excited-- that doesn't continue!) But, if you have only about 20 pounds to shed, for most people, it is realistic to expect to be able to do that in four to six weeks. I am told by people who have tried (I haven't), that there is little difference between 500 calories and 700 calories in terms of final weight shedding.

Dr. Oz suggests going no lower than 1000 calories. I think the HCG will probably still work at 1,000 calories, it will just work a little more slowly. Do what works for you.   


I'll also say that my 700 calories include a lot of food-- mostly vegetables and a little bit of meat and a couple of pieces of fruit a day. Some days, I have difficulty eating it all. The table setting on Dr. Oz's show that shows what you can eat on 500 calories is unrealistic. I eat unlimited salad greens and loads of veggies. I make soup to stay warm in the winter months and I am very satisfied.  
 
2. The diet should absolutely be supervised by a medical doctor. For me, this is a yes-no. I am using injectable HCG and I am being supervised by my doctor, although not closely and certainly not face-to-face on a weekly basis as happens in the "medical spas" that are exploiting the HCG diet's popularity. 

Yes, you should be in good health before you start and you should certainly talk with your doctor, even if you're only planning on using the homeopathic drops. Side effects that have been reported range from headaches and nausea to depression and blood clots. None of these are to be taken lightly, so if you experience any of them, consult your doctor immediately.   

I have not experienced any side effects at all, but that doesn't mean other people won't, so it is wise to be cautious and have at least some level of medical supervision.

That said, I'm horrified by the doctors who are exploiting their overweight and obese patients by charging outrageous fees. One of the doctors mentioned on ABC this morning said he charged $1100 for a 40-day course of treatment.

3.  The over-the-counter and homeopathic products do not work. That is ridiculous and shows the conventional medical profession's gross misunderstanding of the way homeopathics work. They do work and there are millions of people who can attest to their effectiveness for a wide variety of disease conditions, including obesity. 


Explaining homeopathy is complex, but in the simplest possible terms, homeopathy is based on the concept that disease conditions can be treated with drugs in microscopic doses that are capable of producing the same symptoms in healthy people as the disease itself. Homeopathics, in use since the beginning of the 19th century, are the original body-mind-spirit medicine. Remedies are diluted to the point where only the essence of the original substance remains, so yes, the USDA guy on Dr. Oz's show who says there is no HCG in the drops is technically correct. He is also ignorant. 

I've used homeopathics for decades. The Queen of England uses them and there are homeopathic pharmacies all over the place in England. Our so-called "enlightened" Western medicine is simply suspicious of anything it doesn't understand. 
   
 
There is always a caveat: I think there are some homeopathic products that are better than others, so do a little homework and if you're using drops, get them from a source you trust. 

I don't know too much about the drops, so I'd love to hear from you about this subject and anything else that is on your mind as you live on the HCG diet.  

Here are links to some of the most recent media coverage of the HCG Diet:

Dr. Oz' show:
New York Times front page article
The Good Morning America segment with Dr. Oz has not yet been put up, but you can Google Good Morning HCG Dr. Oz and get it in the next day or two. 
Time magazine (a fairly uninformed and negative article) 

 
If you want my take on the way to live with HCG diet for the long term an d to lock in permanent weight control, check out my little book,The Super Simple HCG Diet.