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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.

How Does hCG Diet Compare?
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(Page 18 of 25, 489 total comments)


There are a lot of different ways to take HCG, I am on day 5, and taking the HCG transdermal gel. I have lost a little over 5 pounds so far. I go through periods for being really hungry and times when I'm not at all. I am doing the protocol through a clinic so it is with supervision. It is difficult at times but I'm excited when I see the weight coming off. I'm excited to see how much I'll loose by day 30.

posted Oct 1st, 2010 8:26 pm


I am on day 17, almost at my goal. I use the hcg platinum drops, bought at health store. I've lost 15 lbs. Someone asked if it's necessary to stop using lotion, etc. I live in AZ, very dry skin...kept using my Eucerin face and body creams (both have oil in them). I already use mineral powder makeup. I also exercise...1hr/day walking and 20 mins of swimming laps. Other than that...I follow the diet exactly.

posted Sep 30th, 2010 11:39 pm


Do I need to got to the Dr. to get the drops? If no, then where do I find them? I am eager to try this diet. I am currently 186, and would like to be down to 135. I just learned about this diet today. Any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!

posted Sep 30th, 2010 6:57 pm


It seems that this diet has good reviews! I am 17 and have pcos...So this would be good for me!

Also, @ mlocket, the person we talked to said you should not really be excercising while being on the it the first month I believe. Just walking...

posted Sep 28th, 2010 11:04 pm


I am considering trying the shots but I cannot afford to go to the clinics. I have seen them for sale on the internet sites. Has anyone purchased them off of one of these sites?

posted Sep 28th, 2010 12:43 pm



Just started this diet last Friday. So far, so good. The Fat Load Days were enjoyable, but the VLCD is taking some adjusting to get use to. I couldn't believe when I got on the scale this a.m. I had lost about 4 pounds. I haven't been able to lose that much on any other kind of diet ever. Anyway... Those of you on maintenance - are you counting beans or corn as a starch?

posted Sep 28th, 2010 12:14 pm


I have a question for people that are already on this HCG diet. I am about to start tomorrow and I want to ask the people that are doing it if really matter change all the cosmetics/shampoo/body lotion/etc...I'm kind of asking myself why should I change all of that and not only my eating habits and exercising.
Wish me luck all. My weigh now is 186 and my goal is 132. I have a long way to go!! lol

posted Sep 27th, 2010 3:23 pm



I have been on and off diets for my entire life. I have always been very active as I am a server and on top of that I exercise 45 minutes a day 6 days a week and train horses. I have been on starvation diets before in desperation to lose weight and have never been able to lose more than 5 lbs no matter how long I stayed on it. For that matter any diet I have tried I had not been able to lose more than 5 lbs. I was once on a diet eating 1500 calories a day and exercising off 1500 calories in addition to just living and burning calories. According to my calorie counter I should have been losing 3 lbs a week. I wouldn't lose a thing and I was on that diet for 6 months. I decided to try the hcg diet under medical supervision and amazingly lost 20 lbs in just 23 days. Once I was off the diet I immediately gained 3 lbs back and have been stable ever since. I have returned to a 2000 calorie diet with no special restrictions. I am currently on maintenance for another couples weeks before I am allowed to try again to finish off my weight loss with another 20 lbs. I know a lot of people who have lost a lot of weight on this diet. I know a man who lost 70lbs and has kept it off now for 9 months! The key is not to do it online, but spend the money and go to a clinic. It is very hard to stick to though. I won't lie you feel horrible (just no energy) on this diet. BUT it works. If you will do anything to safely lose weight you have to try it. I recommend this only to people who have a really hard time losing weight. It is not worth it if you can cut calories and exercise. If I could lose 2 lbs a month cutting calories and exercising I would have done that before this diet (thats how hard it is and how drained you feel). If you have tried everything and are desperate to lose weight though this diet works.

posted Sep 27th, 2010 1:28 am


"Further, you claim to be taking in 200-300 calories daily.
That's pretty much a starvation diet!
If you were a nurse, would you teach a PT to take 200-300 calories daily and expect them to stay healthy."

" I only ate 200-300 calories a day, because I just wasn't hungry" The protocol calls for 500-800 calories daily, but I just wasn't hungry. There is a big differrence in advising someone else of how many calories a day to eat and simply reporting what you ate on a daily basis. Some days you are hungier, some days you are not. I ate whenever I was hungry and that works for me considering I used to eat all day and all night. I'm sure that wasn't to good for me at all"
I use a different website with support groups to track what I am doing instead of this site. Mainly because this site has some people who prefer to be nasty to those who simply report their activities. I believe in a person's right to gather information and choose their own path. Noone has a right to tell anyone what to do with their life or liberty. Offering factual information and directing a person to legitimate science is what people do when they really care. If a person seeks to understand what I am doing, they must first understand what I am doing!

posted Sep 24th, 2010 12:49 am


Reference the defamation I recieved by the member "Fit4Life"!

Have you read the book and reviewed the research & trial studies done on Dr. Simeon's Protocol? I was a skeptic about this diet myself and yes, I have been a nurse for over 25 years. I have also learned that just because something goes against my training, it doesn't mean that its quackery. I have learned to not only think for myself and review the science behind whatever I see, but to not ridicule people who feel or think differently than myself. I am sure that many great people in history stood against the majority also. I read the book and reviewed the science behind the diet after my physician suggested it and decided to try it for myself before I call it a bad idea. I have been monitored by a licensed physician, had labwork, vital signs and weekly checkups during my HCG experience, and for your information the nurse practitioner and other nurses I know that are doing the protocol have not only lost weight, but have lowered their blood pressures and LDL level. I have completed my first round of HCG and gone on stabilization for three weeks and have lost a total of 41 pounds. I am still being monitored by a licensed physician and have bloodwork monthly. My blood pressure has gone from 216/106 to 118/62. My cholesterol level has gone from 191 to 160, my BMI has gone from 41 to 35. My weight has gone from 237 to 196 so far. You can say what you want about my profession and question my competence as a nurse for the rest of your life, but God called me to this profession at the age of 12, and I have spent my like caring for and advocating for the patients in my care, to make sure that they receive the best possible care. I am the one who is responsible for making sure the patient gets the correct medications. Again, I ask: Have you read the research and do you actually understand the science behind the protocol. It isn't a way of life, it is a short term jump start to weight loss. I now eat 1700-2200 calories a day and I am loosing about 2-3 pounds a week on average. Previously on HCG, the weight loss fluctuated some days I lost 0.88 lbs, and some days I lost 1 lb. Somedays I lost 2 lbs. Somedays I lost nothing. Anyone who has been on the protocol knows that the weight loss fluctuates based on what you eat and when you eat. On HCG, You are actually consuming 2000 to 3000 calories daily, just in case you did get that in the book. There is even a way to test the theory, go figure? Regardless of anybody's opinion.. Hell, I'm 41 pounds lighter and I feel better, I look better, and my doctor is getting ready to take me off blood pressure meds. To top it all off, I am not a size 20 anymore, I can wear a size 16. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted Sep 24th, 2010 12:30 am

linda auer


Made me very ill the first day. I was sick enough to go to the ER. Terrible headaches, weak, sick to my stomach. I couldn't finish my work day.

posted Sep 16th, 2010 10:35 pm



Phase 2 day 19 lost 15 lbs. Hard to stick with but worth it!

posted Sep 15th, 2010 9:52 pm



in 2008 I got my prescription filled for injection

posted Sep 13th, 2010 9:54 pm



I have been on the Hcg diet now for 2 weeks. I am sticking to a reduced calorie healthy diet. I am a nurse and when they presented me with an 800 calorie starvation diet I smelled a rat. A starvation diet will make you lose weight in itself but then you gain it back twice as fast. I am going finish the next two weeks and then will let everyone know the results. I have been doing about 1300 calories a day and going to zumba 3 days per week. I burn approx 1000 calories every zumba session. I have lost maybe 2 lbs which I could have done without the shots. I want to acheive healthy weight loss and I do not think 800 calories is healthy for anyone. By the way on my paperwork from the clinic it states that if you dont stick stricktley to their diet you will gain weight.

posted Sep 12th, 2010 3:51 pm


I went to the office for hormonal consultation, but the doctor told me that I was 22 lbs over weight, and that I had to start with the weight loss program. I went into shock. I know that I am a little over weight but, if I lose the 22 pounds I thing that I will look like a ghost. I am very skeptical about this program, just because I think that you have to be mentally prepared to do this diet since is so aggressive. I have payed for the program but I have mixed emotions about it. I will keep all of you posted on how it goes.

posted Aug 30th, 2010 12:43 pm



I am a Registered Nurse and this is my second week of the Hcg diet. I am using the homeopathic drops and they are working wonders! I have lost 14lbs in 8 days and I feel better than I have in years...honestly I don't remember feeling like this even as a teenager. My start weight was 266 and as of three days ago I weighed 252. I have been a little hungry but nothing like I would be without the drops. I have tried reduced fat/calorie diets in the past and could not stick to them because I was feeling starved. It isn't like that on this diet. As a nurse I was skeptical at first until I really read up on it and decided to try it myself. For the first time in a long time I feel like exercising!! I started exercising in addition to the diet yesterday and I feel great, no increased hunger or weakness. I am excited to see the results a few weeks from now!!

posted Aug 29th, 2010 11:44 pm


I am on the hcg hormone drops under the tongue. I am on the 40 day program and I am on day 4. This is really easy if I don't think about what I'm doing. Kinda feel like I have to play a mind game with myself. Really if I drink water n black tea and eat the menu provided, yes I'm fine. It was very difficult to cook Sunday dinner for my family and not be able to eat it. I had did a good job not reacting on my cravings. I didn't eat the peanut butter cookies I made or the yummy warm corn bread. Really I do have more energy and feel good. I pray this works cause I need this weight loss and to help me to eat smaller portions and less fat n sugar. I have tried some things to help me to lose weight but this one is the first I have done to help me in a serious way. I really want to look and feel healthier. I need this badly to feel better about my body.

posted Aug 23rd, 2010 2:07 pm


I had high hopes for this diet. I'm on the 31st day of p2 40 injection .Alot of the post I read on the net was positive. No hunger, losings a pound a day , mild side effects. So i went to a clinic in Las Vegas . Got 40 day supplie of HCG and some b12 shots. The first week was ok . feeling a little weak but nothing like week 2. I felt like i was going to faint a few times . I had to stop and sit down. 3rd week I felt like a little old woman. I was getting alot more light headed . Very weak!! Still hungry. On the 4th week I developed a rash on the back of my neck and under my right arm pit. They burn and itch like crazy. With all these side effects Im still going to finish the protocol . I lost 28 lbs and still have one week to go. If i had to do it all over again I would only do the 23 day cycle. hope this helps others who are undecided .

posted Aug 23rd, 2010 2:01 am


@Bri either your a fraud or you must be the most ignorant RN i've ever come across.

In August 6th you posted "I have done away with the fruit, and the melba toast as I find that I am too carb and sugar sensitive to handle them and still lose my pound a day."

On August 14th you stated "am averaging a 3-4 lb loss per week, which isn't bad considering I am not really doing much if any exercise."

Which is it 7 Ibs/week or 3-4/week?

Either way, as nurse you should know that it is not healthy to loose so much weight so quick.

Further, please give some objective feedback, i.e., daily vital signs, resting heart rate, respiration.

If your going to present yourself as nurse, then do so objectively as you learned in nursing school and not some like a typical patient who's chief complaints are all subjective.

Further, you know better then to promote this controversial diet that requires little or no exercise.

You know-as a nurse-something smells fishy, as Helen Feuer would say.

Further, you claim to be taking in 200-300 calories daily.

That's pretty much a starvation diet!

If you were a nurse, would you teach a PT to take 200-300 calories daily and expect them to stay healthy.

In all, you are taking the easy road. "Easy come easy goes."

Please, let us know what hospital you work at, so that when a patient sees you they may run away fast!

posted Aug 22nd, 2010 4:56 am

[email protected]

where ae you know and how are you feeling, thinking of going this route/. any mood swings?

posted Aug 18th, 2010 9:37 am


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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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