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hCG Diet

hCG Diet Review (UPDATED 2024): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

A controversial diet that calls for hormone injections.

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What is it?

The hCG Diet is a weight loss plan offering a hormone that is said to reset metabolism during a very low calorie diet. The actual hCG hormone is only available via prescription, but different brands will offer a supplement version as well.

The same basic principles exist for whatever company that sells this hormone, one has to limit calories to just 500 a day. Often the hCG hormone is made available via a vial, which can be drank or injected. It claims to offer fast and effective weight loss. Our experts have reviewed countless diets and found the 18Shake Diet offers the best all-around weight loss solution. It’s made up of a natural weight loss diet pill and a meal replacement. They combine to offer hours of appetite suppression as well as fat burning. Discover more information on the 18Shake Diet via the link provided here.

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hCGDiet Ingredients and Side Effects

The actual hormone used stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone made by the embryo. Often companies will make an animal or synthetic version of this. It is created during pregnancy when a fetus needs protection.

It’s also been used to regulate normal testosterone function, and it has since been banned by many sports organizations.

The official diet was created by an endocrinologist named Albert T.W. Simeons, who believed that a 500 calorie diet alongside this hormone would result in weight loss without there being muscle loss. The American Society of BariatricPhysicians had this to say:

“There is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity”

“insufficient evidence supporting the claims that HCG is effective in altering fat-distribution, hunger reduction, or in inducing a feeling of well-being”

For a comprehensive list of the top 10 ranked diet plans click on the link here.

The FDA have also banned it, in an open letter to consumers they said:

“steer clear of these “homeopathic” human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) weight-loss products”

“have not been approved by the FDA, and that make unsupported claims”

The FDA also commented on the low amount of calories suggested:

“Living on 500 calorie a  day is not only unhealthy,- it’s hazardous”

“ Very low calorie diets are sometimes prescribed by health careprofessionals… medical supervision is needed to ensure that side effects are not life threatening”

The dangers of such as diet are:

“may not be getting enough vitamins, minerals, and- most critically- protein”

Since using this hormone for weight loss is no longer an accepted medical reason by the FDA, any sites which sell a homeopathic version will often add unrelated ingredients. The original hCG however has the banned ingredient which has not been proven to be an effective solution for weight loss.The link here has a comprehensive top 10 list of  the highest ranked diets.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

hCGDiet Qualityof Ingredients

The sole active ingredient is a growth hormone that the FDA has banned due to safety concerns. The 500 calorie limit a day diet is also not recommended, as health organizations do not consider than a safe weight loss solution. It will likely reduce weight since one is receiving so few calories, but this can lead to side effects and a loss of muscle. It’s also highly likely that which such a low of calories allowed, that there will be nutritional deficiencies.

Since you cannot receive the actual hormone for weight loss, it’s no longer accepted as a solution for weight loss. It’s also only available via prescription, and only to treat fertility issues but not for weight loss. Using them for other reasons not specific can be potentially dangerous, especially when using the 500 calorie a day diet. Web MD has this to say:

“uncomfortable to live on just 500 calories a day, it can be dangerous”

“It’s impossible to meet all your nutritional needs on so few calories”

One would have to supplement with some sort of vitamin and mineral complex to help support the body. Still, restricting calories this much is often only advised for people under strict watch of a medical professional.

Any type of extreme calorie reduction will likely result in some sort of weight loss benefit, but it’s not considered a safe or long term solution.

The Price and Quality of hCG Diet

The hormone is no longer available for prescription use, and any brands selling it are distributing an illegal product not recognized by the FDA.

It’s unknown what the price is as sales of it are meant only for women with fertility issues. The FDA has since sent at least 6 warning letters to companies who sell and market this hormone for weight loss. There are some companies that use the same name of hCG, but instead offer a mix of amino acids which are legal but not same. However, these businesses are using the popularity of this name to promote their own products.

A list of the highest ranked top 10 diet plans is made available in the link here.

The Mayo Clinic also adds:

“Side effects have also been reported with the HCG diet and include fatigue, irritability, restlessness, depression, fluid buildup, and swelling of the breasts”

It’s because of this that they say:

“there are safer ways to lose weight”

The overall risks make this a very low quality weight loss strategy. As you’ll read in the “Customer Opinions of hCG Diet”, many people who used it for weight loss have described it as a poor solution.

Business of hCG Diet

Any businesses that sell this diet plan are in violation of the FDA’s policies for safe products. It’s not considered to be a useful hormone for weight loss. Medpage Today adds that business who still sold this were in violation and that:

“the FDA and FTC threatened to forcibly halt their operations”

A spokesperson for the FDA added:

“is not FDA approved, it cannot be sold legally”

Any business one might find that market this diet plan are illegally selling a potentially harmful product. There’s far too much at risk, and any sales of this will often only be for fertility, not for weight loss. Any recommendations made for weight loss are illegal, and should be of concern as this can result in a fine.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of hCG Diet

There are very few reviews available since this diet plan has been banned since 2024 by the FDA. Here are some select quotes from some users:

“My blood pressure shot up, flushed skin… very scary”

“I felt terrible: headaches daily, weakness, dizziness, nauseated”

“Would not recommend this to anyone”

“have horrible leg cramps and I’m hungry all the time”

There were people who mentioned that they didn’t notice any reliable weight loss, and that they had to quit the diet early due to side effects. This includes symptoms such as headaches, restlessness, fatigue, mood swings, inability to relax, migraines, flushed skin, dizziness, stomach pain, nausea, and much more.

Many of the listed side effects are common in people who use very low calorie diets. People often mentioned that it was unsustainable, and they couldn’t live on this diet for a long time. The comprehensive top 10 ranked diets list is featured via the link here.

There were some that did see a change in weight, but they also add how they quickly regained it as soon as a regular diet was consumed. People were also concerned with the 500 calorie limit, since there was no additional support on how to maintain this extreme limit. This is why it will often require medical support for those reducing calories to 1,000 or less.

Conclusion - Does hCG Diet  Work?

The hCG Diet is a now defunct solution for weight loss that has since been banned by the FDA. It’s made up of a hormone and it suggests reducing calories to just 500 a day. There are studies which have shown even when it was legal, that using  this plan was not effective and potentially unsafe. This is why it is now banned and seen as a potentially dangerous weight loss diet. The majority of users that tried it before the FDA 2024 ban did mention it was poor, and that it left them hungry, with side effects, and without any weight loss.

Our experts have found that the most overall effective solution for weight loss is the 18Shake Diet. It’s made up of a meal replacement shake and a stimulant free diet pill. The benefits include appetite suppression, increased metabolism, boosted fat burning, improved mood, and many other benefits. Customers often say it’s a potent formula, and testimonials and reviews are available on their official website.  There are no added fillers, stimulants, binders, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or cheap ingredients added to either the meal replacement or diet pill.

The 18Shake Diet is also supported by a full 30 day money back return policy. This risk free return is offered with no questions asked for the entire 30 days. To learn more information about the 18Shake Diet click the link here.

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User Feedback

(Page 12 of 25, 489 total comments)


I started the HCG Diet through a clinic that was running a special. I was very skeptical but 15 days in and I've lost 15 lbs! My clothes are falling off me now and I hope to lose another 10 before I go into maintenance. Truly, the food is really hard to adhere to but the results are worth it. I haven't had any side effects - no headaches, hunger, etc. Feel great. The only downfall is that I've really had to cut back my running distance for exercise as I do not have the stamina for it.
I'm worried that I'll gain the weight back too. Has anyone had a problem keeping it off?

posted Mar 9th, 2011 12:50 pm


thanks candall...i did lose 4 of those pounds this morning on day 2 of phase 2 but i still don't want to start counting loss until i'm back to by starting weight before ph1. i'm feeling ok so far. little hungier today than i was yesterday but it's still morning and i've only had coffee.
will keep you updated.

posted Mar 4th, 2011 9:06 am


The HCG diet injections are awesome! They worked when nothing else was and the fast results kept me pumped to keep going & not cheating. I want to do 1 more round to get down to my old weight (before having 4 kids in 5 years! LOL) However, the doctor I used makes you pay for his entire program again, which I don't need. I'm going to try some oral drops instead, but don't know which company to trust. Can anyone suggest a company?

posted Mar 4th, 2011 7:43 am


To Unbelievable: Don't Freak! MANY people gain eight or ten pounds on their loading days--it will all come off, quickly and easily, if you stick to the program. Don't try to tweak it, don't make substitutions, no you can't have turkey or broccoli. And good news, you do get to include those pounds when you calculate your losses. I didn't want to see what those gorge days did to the scale so I didn't weigh and now I regret it. Another good thing is that you obviously did some fine loading--smile--and that will help you get off to a great start. Usually the people who feel kind of hungry and headache-y for the first few days are the ones who didn't load properly.

Write me at [email protected] and tell me how it's all going.


P.S. Remember that you're not living on the 500 calories you're eating. You're zooming along on 2500-4000 daily calories that are circulating through your bloodstream, released from your fat stores. No wonder we have all that energy!

posted Mar 3rd, 2011 12:47 pm

Catherine Clarke


HCG allows you to eat only 500 calories a day. You cannot do that without the HCG. Obviously, it is the low calories that make you lose weight. And you have energy to burn the calories. Usually, your body just slows down when you restrict calories so you don't lose as quickly.

posted Mar 3rd, 2011 9:34 am


HELP!!! started this march 1st....start phase 2 this morning...i'm so paniced because I gained almost 8lbs on load days....please reassure that this will come off quickly! I don't plan to count that 8lbs as part of my total weight loss because i would not have gained it if not for those 'gorge' days.

posted Mar 3rd, 2011 8:46 am


Which brands of hcg drops do you reccomend purchasing - there are so many different types and brands - any reccomendations or websites to suggest?

posted Mar 1st, 2011 6:04 pm


Jean, the answer to your question--what to do following a cheat?--is to just keep going according to the protocol. You haven't ruined the whole program, you'll probably just have a smaller loss or maybe even a bit of a gain on the scale. And sometimes it will take a day or two for the cheat to show up. Just drink lots of water and keep right on going. This diet is amazing--you're going to do great!


posted Mar 1st, 2011 11:44 am


Oh, poor Betty, headaches are such a drag. Don't be walking around in pain, though, take a couple of aspirin. I agree with the post below that your headaches are the result of detoxing and should go away. Trudeau has a "detox and cleanse" phase in his version of the hgc diet (which I think he just flat out pilfered from Simeons P & I Protocol) but the truth is that P2 will detox you all by itself. The approved food list makes for very "clean eating."

I thought I'd rather not have coffee if I couldn't have coffee with that half cup of cream I always dumped in, but I only thought that for one day. Turns out black coffee is WAY better than no coffee at all. It's Day 29 for me now, I've lost 27 pounds and I happily start the day off with several cups of hot black coffee.
If you're not a coffee drinker, find something warm that you like to drink--green tea, homemade chicken broth, even warm water with a squirt of lemon. It's comforting to sip something warm.

Gatorade Girl: wow, you risked a cheat and it was that stuff? LOL. As you probably discovered, the trade off for the rapid weight loss is that there's absolutely no wiggle room at all. (Gatorade has a ton of sugar, btw.) You really have to get your head ready and be mentally committed to following the rules to the letter. For 23 days, you can do that!


posted Mar 1st, 2011 11:36 am

Kim Wookey


Started at 210. Taking real rx grade HCG I lost 44.5 lbs in 2 short rounds. I am now 20.5 away from my goal of 140! I plan on doing round 3 in May.

posted Feb 28th, 2011 5:17 pm


Tomorrow will be 2 weeks that I have been on the hCG diet and I have lost 16 pounds! I look great and feel great. Someone asked a question about the headaches... for the first week the headaches really bothered me but now I have no headaches at all. I believe that my headaches were d/t caffeine and sugar withdrawl.

It sounds like some people on here could definitely benefit from reading the book "Pounds and Inches" by Dr. Simeons. Go to hcgloss.com for a link to the book. You should NOT begin this diet until completely reading the book. It's a short, quick read and very informative.

Someone also asked about what if you have a "little drink of Gatorade". This diet must be followed TO THE LETTER. Any deviation from the diet will either result in no loss for that day or possibly a gain, depending on how bad you cheat. Remember, when you cheat, you're only cheating yourself and setting yourself up for failure.

I tried this diet as a fluke and bought the drops on ebay. I was skeptical until I saw the scale dropping and dropping which was my motivation to keep going. Now I only have a little over a week to go on P2 and I am thrilled with my results.

Good Luck!!

posted Feb 28th, 2011 2:36 pm


I have been on the HCG drops since January 23rd and have lost 20 pounds. I am ecstatic because I have been on countless diets before with very little results. This has worked for me. I feel I can maintain a consistent weight since I eat healthy already and will watch the scales every day.

posted Feb 27th, 2011 7:09 pm


I just started the diet 3 days ago but my main concern is these terrible headaches, the drops do curb my appetite and everything its just these ugly headaches that discourage me so much, i just hate to be like this for a whole month. Any suggestions!!!

posted Feb 27th, 2011 1:18 am


What happens if you consume a little gatorade by accident or snything that's not on the HCG diet, do you have to wait 3 weeks or start over from the beginning or can you continue have and have about the same results? Please answer.

posted Feb 26th, 2011 8:07 am


For cravings, do something interesting with Sweetleaf Flavored Stevia drops. (Whole Foods, iHerb, Amazon.) They come in all kinds of flavors and they're so versatile. You can combine the rootbeer and vanilla creme with carbonated water to make a passable "rootbeer float." Or use your fruit plus the orange and vanilla to make a dreamcicle. And there's a chocolate flavor! The plain drops, combined with some Bragg's Amino Acids (tastes like soy sauce) make the basis for a good salad dressing or some sweet-sour sauce for shrimp, etc.

The party line that I've heard from others is that small cheats during P2 might not affect your weight loss, but will create problems later on when you're trying to stabilize in P3. I don't know for sure--just passing that along.

If you're hungry, try adjusting your dosage--usually you need less, not more. You really shouldn't feel hungry at all.


posted Feb 22nd, 2011 1:45 pm



I've been on P3 for a little over a week now and have maintained my ending weight! Whoo! I haven't done as well, eating-wise, as I should. But I'm still maintaining. I'm such a believer in this diet even though I'm constantly hearing from my friends/coworkers how it's stupid diet. After the first week I was NEVER hungry, I lost almost 20 lbs, and so far, it hasn't come back. It really is a miracle diet.
MONIE - As far as cravings go, there is a wonderful cookbook designed for phase 2. It's called 'The HCG Diet Gourmet Cookbook' It really is great. It makes you feel like you can eat normal food and it teaches you cooking habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. If you're having chocolate cravings like myself, I found Russell Stover's Sugarfree chocolate didn't affect my weight gain/loss as long as I didn't eat too much. 1 or 2 squares.

Good Luck!

posted Feb 21st, 2011 9:32 am


I have been on the hcg plan for 7 days now and have lost 6 pounds. I found a lovely clinic in my area that actually has the pill in lieu of the shot. I can honestly say I am not hungry although I still have terrible cravings! I have gotten to the point where I actually dream of Krispy Kreme donuts at night!!! I tried phentermine a few years ago and had great results with no cravings and no hunger but gained double after program completion due to lack of will power and being lazy (no regular exercise). Additionally, my sister, who started thehcg program before me, has lost approximately a pound per day as well (shes down 20lbs). No side effects so far. PS... if anyone has ANY advice to help with my cravings, please let me know!

posted Feb 18th, 2011 9:30 pm


The best place I've found for questions is the hcgnewbie group on Yahoo--un/reliable places to buy, approved foods, transistioning to P3, etc. Lots of information, encouragement and support there, although the policy is strict adherence to the original Simeons protocol, so look elsewhere if you want to experiment with the steps or the food. Christian Walker has a very good site for people who sort of want to follow the protocol, but are interested in seeing whether this or that affects their results.

Short answers to the questions posted below:

All Day Chemists is one of the best places to purchase RxHCG. Good customer support, excellent prices.

In P3, you need to spend three weeks maintaining the weight at which you ended P2. This is the time for stabilization and resetting your metabolism. The P2 rapid weight loss is dazzling, but P3 is actually the most important for the long term goal of changing how your body deals with food.

No worries about developing secondary opposite sex characteristcs for either gender--specifically addressed in Simeons P&I.

To the people who tried it and felt hungry all the time, you almost certainly got fake homeopathic hcg. The scammers out there are multiplying like rabbits and there's not anything much easier to fake than homeopathic drops. With genuine hcg, a very small percentage of people experience some hunger for the first couple of days, which can usually be traced back to not eating enough during the "loading" days. Most people never feel hungry, have tons of energy and feel great.

Finally, the feedback site at the bottom of a column denying the effectiveness of the whole protocol probably isn't the best place to find answers and support. There are some really good online groups out there and it helps a lot to go through this with others who are just as committed as you are.

Good luck everybody,

posted Feb 17th, 2011 12:42 pm


I used the HCG Platinum and lost weight. Now I went to buy it again and they are selling a new HCG platinum X-30, this is without hormone (no HCG) I am not getting it. When I asked the person in the store told me the product has a recall but she couldn't explained too much about it. Can anybody help me out? Had anyone try this new product already? thanks

posted Feb 17th, 2011 9:13 am



Any guys taking this experiencing this?My concerns for this diet don't only start with the 500 calories but the fact that a side effect for men is male breast enlargement. Any guys taking this experiencing this? It seems as this IS a female hormone and it could make some sense.

posted Feb 16th, 2011 7:47 pm


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QUICK FACTSQUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1950s
  • Founder: Dr. A.T.W. Simeons
  • Accessibility: Injections and drops
  • Diet Type: Extremely low calorie along with hCG drops or injections
  • Gender: Male and female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Snookie (Jersey Shore), Jenni Farley, Britney Spears

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See our interview: hCG Diet Reviewed by FullBar's Dr. Michael Snyder

A potential diet supplement administered through injections or oral drops, the hCG Diet is a very controversial weight loss method. HCG stands for the hormone Human Choriogonadotropin, which is the same hormone that is produced by women in their early stages of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the surge of this hormone signals the hypothalamus in the brain to start moving nutrients and fat into the placenta. When used as part of a weight loss program, it is the fat-mobilization aspects of the hormone that has garnered attention for its seeming ability to help facilitate weight loss.

Even though the FDA has approved hCG shots for fertility reasons, there is no scientific evidence that shows the hCG Diet can significantly promote weight loss. Although it is used in conjunction with a very low calorie diet, any weight loss that occurs is likely to be due to the reduced caloric intake rather than the hCG shots or drops themselves.

Many side effects have been shown in those who take hCG shots for weight loss. Blood clots, depression, headaches and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in women have all been cited as common, and even deadly, side effects associated with hCG use. HCG drops avoid the inconveniences of a daily injection, but no clinical studies have been conducted to determine if hCG drops have any change in side effects.

Typically, the hCG Diet lasts for three weeks and is monitored by a health professional.

  • May promote weight loss when used in combination with a reduced calorie diet

  • Not considered safe
  • Weight loss is more likely to due to extremely restricted caloric intake rather than injections or drops
  • Weight loss is temporary
  • Side effects can be very serious. According to the Mayo Clinic, side affects associated with hCG include fatigue, irritability, headache and male breast enlargement.

hCG injections and drops contain the hormone Human Choriogonadotropin.


An injection of 125 iu of hCG is administered daily or a daily dose of oral drops.


Those who use hCG injections to lose weight must also follow a very strict diet that amounts to no more than 500 calories a day.

For the first two days of the injection you are allowed to eat excessively. Following the third injection, you must adhere to the 500-calorie diet until 72 hours following the last injection given. Sugars, very sweet fruits, processed foods and heavy starches are not allowed.

An hCG Diet protocol outlined by advocate Dr. A.T.W. Simeons looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Coffee or tea with artificial sweetener and one tablespoon of milk. Lunch is 100 grams of lean meat, poultry or fish in addition to one low-glycemic vegetable like spinach, celery, cucumbers or cabbage. One Melba toast and one fruit like half of a grapefruit or an apple is also allowed.
  • Dinner is the same as lunch.

In addition, shots of apple cider vinegar can be taken as a daily supplement. Products and make-up that contain any fatty substances like mineral oil or almond oil cannot be used.

Websites dedicated to promoting the hCG Diet contain recipes and additional protocol information and tips.


The hCG Diet is highly regimented and a very controversial weight loss program that involves the administration of either hormone injections or oral drops coupled with a very low-calorie diet. Popular amongst steroid users and those daring and desperate to lose weight quickly, the hCG Diet is not a weight loss program that is readily endorsed by health and medical professionals for its obvious flaws and real risks for dangerous side effects.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

HCG, hgc diet, hormone diet, pregnancy hormone diet, hcg injection diet, Human Choriogonadotropin diet

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