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hCG Diet

hCG Diet Review (UPDATED 2023): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

A controversial diet that calls for hormone injections.

Top Rated Diets of 2023
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 2023 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 2023 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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(Page 13 of 25, 489 total comments)


Great comments! where can i go to find the good quality HCG?

posted Feb 16th, 2011 4:48 pm


Hello everyone, I was doing the shots for about 6 mons or so and lost alot of weight. ( Total of about 68 pounds) I felt good about myself and everyone noticed my weight loss... For the first time in my life i was happy with myself. Anyway It got to expensive to keep up and it got harder and harder to do the injections. I just wondered if anyone could give me a few pointers on the drops, are they the same as the shots?

posted Feb 16th, 2011 1:51 am



Can anybody recommend a good oral product?Hi, I am interested in doing the sublingual drops and I was wondering if anybody could recommend a place to purchase an RX strength product that they have had success with? Thanks to all!

posted Feb 15th, 2011 10:28 am

Christiana Gems


I love the diet. My doctor did it himself. I like the FACT it is geared to maintain muscle mass and targets fat for weight loss. There are no special meals to purchase...so you eat REAL food and you are aware of calories you consume. THUS the transition to non-dieting should be easier. YOU can go higher than 500 calories a day if you add some mild exercise. If you do not plan on following the specific allowed foods do not bother with the diet. You can add some "adipex" as needed for hunger. I never need more than 1/4 of a 37.5 mg tablet a day for that. Ignore the naysayers. Great diet to target excess belly fat. But always go with your M.D.

posted Feb 13th, 2011 8:16 pm


Carl - Where did you buy your drops from? If they won't honor their money back guarantee, we all need to know about that site. It sounds like it's not the real thing, or maybe they were old/expired. I purchased drops online about a year ago and was also starving the 1st week. I think those were not true hcg drops. I just started with a local dr. using injections, and have not been starving like before. I'm also watching my body fat percentage on my scales to make sure I'm actually losing fat (body fat percentage decreasing) instead of losing just water and lean muscle mass.

posted Feb 13th, 2011 2:34 am


I'm about to enter Phase 3 and I was really excited about being able to finally excercise and lose a little more weight. But after doing some reading, I see that you're not supposed to lose any weight during phase 3 because it could interfere with the re-setting of your hypothalamus. Is anyone on phase 3 and could give me some insight?

posted Feb 8th, 2011 2:46 pm


Carl - You probably bought from a fake. If you're ever willing to try again, just check out the company first. Buy from a company a friend has bought from. Don't go just by the reviews on the website. I have lost almost 20lbs in 6 weeks. I guess the diet may work for some, not for others but I know 6 people other than myself on it and we have all had great results.

posted Feb 8th, 2011 2:16 pm



This product did not work at all. I did everything the way you were supposed to and I did not lose any weight. I still felt hungry and it was supposed to surpress my hunger. Also, the website says that if the product does not work you can get your money back. WELL THAT IS A LIE! THIS COMPANY IS NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK SO DO NOT TRUST THEM!!!!!

posted Feb 8th, 2011 3:05 am



I read this dismissive review and then I read back through several pages of comments. No one seems to have mentioned the physiological basis for why this diet is so successful. The hcg causes your body to release the fat reserves that aren't ordinarily in play unless you're starving to death OR you have a fetus growing that needs to be nourished. On other diets, there's quite a bit of lean muscle loss because that's what your body starts consuming for energy when the calorie intake drops below a certain level. The hgc, however, causes 1500-2000 calories per day to be released into your bloodstream from your fat reserves and THAT'S primarily what you're living on, not the 500 calories per day that you're eating. I've dieted before on 400 calories per day, and yes, I lost weight, but it wasn't pretty. My skin sagged, I was hungry all the time, no energy, etc. With the hgc, I feel terrific. My weight is plummeting, I have lots of energy, I feel sharp and clearheaded. My skin gets a little bit dry, but I can fix it by boosting my water and hydrating more.

The second thing that everyone, including the reviewer, seems to be ignoring is that the whole point of this protocol is to reset your hypothalmus gland. That's the one that regulates metabolism, among other things. The three weeks after you stop the drops/injections are actually the most important part. The reserve fat stores aren't being released into your bloodstream anymore and as you slowly start adding in additional proteins and calories, your body (your hypothalmus) finds its own setpoint. And it's not where it was before, when you could sit there and eat an entire cheesecake without feeling full.
I'm not there yet--just a couple weeks into the drops--but I researched this diet for six months before starting, reading literally hundreds of reports from people who could not believe the changes they felt. Not just having lost lots of weight in a short time, but how they could hear what their bodies were craving again--when and what and how much to eat.

A couple of warnings: As the earlier posters all say, don't start this without a 100% commitment. It's a No-Cheat diet. Sneaking in a slice of pizza will ruin four or five days of perfect adherence. Second, do your homework before you start. There are plenty of Yahoo groups and forums to help you get started. It's not "Diet In A Box"--it's fairly complicated. Because word of mouth is growing, there are tons of scammers selling fake "homeopathic hgc drops" which is nothing more than water. If you get started and you find you're starving, you don't have the genuine hgc. Finding a group of people sharing their experiences online will get you going in the right direction.

Good luck, everbody--

posted Feb 7th, 2011 12:46 am


Today marks my 10th day on the hcg diet... I have lost a total of 14.8 lbs. I have cheated on this diet (guiltily) every single day so far LOL Instead of eating the fruit, I will eat a Snikers or something. I am still trying to work on this, I don't want to do this the whole, time, I have just had some weak moments :D LOL But the point is, I am still losing weight. I am not sure if that would hold true for everyone, (I only have <50 lbs to lose) but so far I have been VERY happy with the results! I can only imagine how much I could have lost this first week had I not cheated... And if you do the 3 days after the 20 or 40 days, whichever one you are doing, and then follow with the 3 week stabilization period, you will keep the weight off. The best way to look at this diet is like this... While you are taking the drops and doing the low cal diet, you melt the lbs away, to get the point where you want to be, all the while learning good healthy habits, portion size, etc., so when you are off the diet, you will be more prone to work to keep off the weight, eat healthy and eat a healthy amount each meal with less snacking. Its like a jump start and training to get you to where you want to me.

posted Feb 1st, 2011 7:14 pm


I have been on this diet now for 15 days and have lost 15 lbs.. I am ECSTATIC!!! Ive always been very healthy with my cholesterol and with my blood pressure stuff and my heart so I feel i am very healthy to be able to do this.. Ive never taken meds for anything before either so if I didnt think my body could handle it I wouldnt have started it on my own and I would have went to the dr first to see what he suggested to do.

im just sick of being 200 lbs.. ive always weight 200... every diet i have been on i have never lost weight.. the drs wont do surgery (and i would be hesitant about doing it anyhow!) because im not 100 lbs over weight.. Ever since I can remember I have been heavy.. in 6th grade i weighted 163 lbs... i lost 20 lbs the summer before I moved to a new school so I wouldnt be fat.. and guess how I did it... by starving myself.. but of course I gained it right back and then its stayed and eventually became more weight. I havent read anything bad about this HCG diet at all when I googled everything nothing negative came out of it. I have heard once you go off you gain back 4 lbs (about or a little more another friend gained 11).. then you get to the point of "oh ill just eat that and go back on the diet again" I dont want to stay on this diet for the rest of my life... I want to be able to eat whatever i want to again. I havent missed ANYTHING since I have been on it.. and it was NOTHIN for me to sit down... have a bag of potato chips and 2-3 cans of pepsi with it.. or a 1 lb bar of hershey chocolate... I have had no cravings at all. I am happy and I cant wait until I SEE THE RESULTS... just the three pictures I have taken of my stomach I can see a HUGE difference!!

Anyhow..eating the 500 calories on its own would diffently put you into the starvation mode and I have NO intentions of staying this way. I am hopeing this change will make it so I dont think I can eat a whole bag of potato chips or a whole candy bar or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream.. or a whole cheescake... cause that is what I would do before! I havent ever felt healthier either... hopefully I can eventually eat what I want again and stay a healthy skinny weight.

posted Jan 31st, 2011 12:42 am

kim lindsey


I call BS, you can carry a magic rock in your pocket and lose the one pound per day, if you are eating only 500 calories a day. It's dangerous and has not been approved by the FDA. And lots of diets will enable you to lose the weight, but it's keeping it off that's the issue for most. Lifestyle changes via diet and exercise is the only "real" solution to true long term results and maintenance. Create a calorie deficit by eating less and moving your body, even if it's just walking. Come on people, stop looking for that immediate gratification and work for it already! Geesh!

posted Jan 30th, 2011 8:55 pm



I am a Certified Personal Trainer with my B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science. After 2 kids and being burnt out from a long collegiate track career, I put on a lot of weight. I one day decided I was a hypocrit when I couldn't do my own workouts I was giving my clients. So, I made 2009 my year and decided to try several different diet plans to lose the weight, and blog about it (askcandice.blogspot.com). I tried Body for Life and lost some weight, but hit a pleatue. Tried Jillian, tried P90X, tried Insanity, South Beach, Atkins... and HCG. By far, HCG was the most successful. I ended up doing 3 rounds total and lost 55lbs over the year. But here's the kicker - I did it with lots of testing/research. I tried doing the 500 calorie diet with out the drops, and only lasted a week - I was starving!!! (my review -askcandice.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-hcg-or-not-to-hcg.html) I then did a 23 day round with the pellets. The last week, I tested for ketosis everyday with urine strips, and always tested NEGATIVE. I also had my RMR tested - it was 9% above normal at 1645 (I'm 5'9 - 155) IT WAS RAISED - NOT LOWERED!!! While I don't believe hCG is for everyone, I do believe IT WORKS! If the FDA were to come out and say it works, it would rock the foundation of the $60Billion weight loss industry. If you follow the protocol, I guarantee you will lose the weight, but at the same time, if you aren't willing to change your habits and start working out after, I guarantee you will gain your weight back. It's that way with ANY diet program (look at the first season of Biggest Losers - winner...). My best advice is find what works best for you, and go for it, but you have to ready. Feel free to follow me on my FB page "Absolute Results Fitness Training" I love helping people in any way I can. And if you are looking for a good quality hCG, I have it linked on my blog. Good luck everyone, what ever your path is!

posted Jan 29th, 2011 9:02 pm


I've been on the diet for almost a month now and have lost 17lbs. My question/concern is, if the tiniest cheat will make you gain, what's going to happen when I stop the drops? If i were to drink a cup of milk today, I'd probably gain some weight. Why will it be any different when I stop the drops? Is anyone on phase 3 that can give me some insight? I'm really afraid all the weight will come back once I'm off the drops. Thanks!

posted Jan 27th, 2011 2:20 pm



I've been on the drops now for 32 days. I've lost 21.4 lbs as of today. I love this diet and highly recommend it. JUST DON'T CHEAT and you'll succeed. I haven't cheated once. I'm going for the 40 days. I got my drops it has B-12 in the drops and no alcohol.

posted Jan 27th, 2011 2:12 pm


I did the injections about 19 months ago and lost about 25 pounds and have kept it off...I felt great on the diet and would like to try and lose an additional 10 pounds and was thinking of trying the drops.

Has anyone has success with the drops?

posted Jan 26th, 2011 4:24 pm


I just ordered the drops and am going to start as soon as they come in. My concerns are that 500 calories a day is not a lot! Do the drops really curb your appetite? Do they give you energy? Is it recommended to work out with taking the drops? Any help is MUCH appreciated!!

posted Jan 25th, 2011 2:53 am



This diet has changed my life! I love it and I've been able to maintain the weight loss for MONTHS now! So happy!

posted Jan 22nd, 2011 11:05 pm


Wow! I would really love this to be the magic bullet. Is the recommended diet a low-carb diet? if so, that would seem to be driving a lot of the weight loss

posted Jan 21st, 2011 3:50 am


I am getting ready to begin the drops. My father-in-law and mother-in-law have both been very successful on them. I am just wondering...is it essential to change my shampoo and conditioner?

posted Jan 19th, 2011 5:47 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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