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Diet Scam Infiltrating Lincoln

If there’s one thing that really ticks me off it’s diet scams, supplement scams, or any other health/fitness scam.  They prey on your desires for weight loss or a quick and easy fix and laugh their way to the bank.

Like scams?  You'll love this one.

Like scams? You'll love this one.

The internet and TV infomercials are flooded with the things and they rake in billions every year.

I’ve been hearing more and more about a diet scam (HCG Diet) being sold by doctors that I thought went away long ago because it’s been shown – by the FTC no less – to be a scam and consumers have been warned about it for years.

In case you’ve never heard of it, here’s the rundown on the HCG diet.

Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) is a hormone that’s only found in the urine of pregnant women.  Read that again – a hormone found in the URINE of pregnant women.

Around 50 years ago a British doctor came up with the idea that HCG injections would allow dieters to get by on a 500-calorie a day diet.

Yes, you read that right…500 calories a day.

He claimed that the HCG would rid your body of unwanted fat, suppress your appetite and move the fat around your body, thus getting it away from your hips, stomach and thighs.

Let’s look at this from a monetary standpoint from the doctor’s point of view.  If someone wants to go on this diet, they have to see a physician because it’s injected and the government doesn’t allow Biff The Muscleman down at GNC to give injections (thank God).

Not only that, but they have to come in regularly – monthly or weekly – to get their injections and, more often than not, there are meetings, either private or group, for the social support of going on this ridiculous diet.

Cha-ching!!! Very smart from a business standpoint, especially given that there are no insurance papers to fill out, not having to worry if Medicare or Medicaid will reimburse, etc. because it’s all a cash business.

The only problem is that this diet has no basis in reality.  I take that back…losing weight on a 500-calorie a day diet is very real.

If you only consume 500 calories a day it is impossible for you NOT to lose weight – you’ll lose so much weight that you’ll look skeletal, lose muscle mass, be tired all the time, mess up your hormones, mess up your menstrual cycle (or stop it completely), get a little dumber (the brain runs off carbohydrates and needs a lot of ‘em to function) and just be a pain in the a$$ to everyone around you.

Back in 1976 (yes, 1976), the FTC ordered a bunch of medical clinics to stop claiming their HCG programs were safe and/or effective.

They could still sell it and inject folks, but they had to give their patients the following statement:

“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 obesity or weight control.  There is no substantial evidence that HCG increases 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.”

She must've been on the HCG Diet

She must've been on the HCG Diet

To boil that down to “normal people speak”, that said these docs are giving you a compound that has no basis in reality and is not proven to do a damn thing for you in the arena of weight loss and will not help you lose weight in any form other than via the whacked out super-restrictive 500 calorie diet they put you on.

Luckily the use of HCG-based diets is not widespread here in Lincoln, but there are a couple docs advertising it.

So to sum up…

HCG-based diets are ridiculous.  They’re not based in reality and the only reason anyone loses weight with one is that they stick you on a 500-calorie a day diet – but ANYONE who consumes that amount of calories WILL lose weight.  It’s impossible not to.

It’s silly and it’s dangerous and these doctors should be ashamed of themselves for preying on people’s emotions and desires like this.  They are stealing money and could be doing some major harm to their patients – all in the name of weight loss.

It sickens me actually.

I feel dirty just having had to do research on that stupid diet.  I need to go eat an apple and film some videos – and lucky for me I’m not on that diet otherwise I couldn’t eat anymore than my normal 6 pieces of fruit a day (that’s roughly 500 calories).

I hope you have a great day…and remember this article anytime you hear your friends say they’re going to give this whacked out diet a try.

Talk to you soon!


About The Author

Ed Scow, also known as "The Fit Dad", likes long walks on the beach, snuggling, hand stand push-ups and pretending to work. He's also a fitness & nutrition expert, proud papa and husband to a smokin' hot wifey.

Number of Entries : 165

Comments (11)

  • Dani

    I’ve got a friend who tried this diet and it’s horrible! I tried to get her not to do it, but she didn’t listen and had some pretty bad side effects because of it.


  • Jami

    500 calories a day? You have to be freaking kidding me. of course you loose weight on this diet. anybody would on 500 calories a day!

  • Nigel Hansch

    i always monitor my calorie intake from my diet because i have a very slow metabolism and i dont want to get overweight.:~:

  • Ed Rivas

    From a medical Providers prospective, this website is bias to Eds own product. What he doesn’t tell you is that the plan is 28 days long only, and the HCG diet treatment has worked for thousands of people. Also the HCG hormone helps increase the use of your own stored energy (fat tissue) therefore helping control hunger and maintain enough carbs, fats and sugars on a 500 cal diet. I use the HCG on moderate to sever obese patients everyday. The outcome is fantastic. I advise everyone trying to loose weight to research every plan from diet to exercise with medical provider, and don’t let anyone stir you away from a good method of help for obesity.

  • The Fit Dad

    @Ed. I’m assuming that by “medical Providers prospective” you are saying that you are a doctor…yes?

    It doesn’t matter whether or not the plan is 28 days long or 5,000 days long, the fact still remains that the FTC claimed it was a scam long before I wrote this post. Unless something has changed, I’m assuming the statement I quoted in the post must still be stated:

    “…There is no substantial evidence that HCG increases 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.”

    Beyond the obvious – you get to charge people boatloads of money for injections and whatever else is sold along with them – ANYONE will lose weight by following a 500-calorie per day diet…regardless of the injections.

    And to say that all of the weight lost is fat is ridiculous. Anytime someone is overweight or obese they will develop a certain amount of muscle tissue to sustain all that fat and when they lose the fat – just walking and moving their bodies is resistance and weight-bearing activity that will produce some muscle gain – and when they lose weight some of that is muscle.

    It’s a scam plain and simple.

    And about your first statement “this website is bias to Eds own product.” I give away a TON of free information on this site – diet tips, workouts, workout tips, exercises and very rarely do I pimp anything I sell and even if I did it’s my website and I am here to earn a living and I earn my living by helping people get fit, healthy and strong with sound principles.

  • Ed Rivas

    To: the fit dad.. I would like to thank you first for having such a nice website, a forum where all people can state there own opinion.
    Like you I have devoted my life to helping others, as a Family Practitioner I have developed my own conclusion from results that I have witnessed in my own patients. In a perfect clinical world everyone would have the capability to diet and exercise for weight control, but unfortunately its not a perfect world. Patients that are unable to ambulate normally, have psychosocial issues, and impairments do not have that luxury. We have developed several methods to fight obesity, surgical, physical training, medication therapy, and psychological. Not all methods are for everyone.
    I believe when the HCG program is done correctly and for the correct patient (BMI >31) it is a good treatment for obesity. Yes anyone that stays on a 500 cal diet will lose weight, but it is difficult to maintain such a low cal diet without chemical enhancement, and that’s the spirit of the diet.
    The only reason the HCG diet has not been approved by the FDA is because there has been no grant for a formal study.
    The TONS of money that I charge for a the HCG diet is $295… it includes a complete physical exam, complete blood screening, Urinalysis and an electrocardiogram. Again I advise to seek the proper treatment for obesity with your doctor.

    • The Fit Dad

      Thank you for the kind words and for your side of the hcg story. It doesn’t change my opinion on the hcg diet…and I don’t know that anything will. It doesn’t smell right. And as for the lack of funding: I don’t believe that for a second. If it was as viable as you and others make it seem, some pharmaceutical company would have funded a giant study because there would be BILLIONS to be made through this approach. The drug industry is looking and spending countless millions trying to come up with something that works and if they thought it worked…they would fund the research and go through the hoops of getting FDA approval.

  • !!

    Hey the fit dad! A friend of mine told me about this today.. and as soon as they mentioned “but it’s a 500 cal diet”… I was like… oookaaay. You do realize that you would lose weight ANYWAYS on 500 freaking calories… IF you stuck to it. Then you would gain everything back eventually because who can really stay on that for any longer than a week?? This diet sounds more like anorexia to me.
    Iv’e lost 20 pounds eating healthy and not starving myself.
    This is really scary that doctors are doing this instead of focusing on helping obese people learn to eat the right portions and get the correct amount of nutrients that you could never get in a 500 calorie diet…. someone said that “oh but its only 20 something days…” Yeah if I starved myself for that many days I can tell you now that I would gain the weight back in three days because of the massive food binge I would go on.

  • TR

    Ill have yo know i have done the 6 week hcg program and lost 30 lbs and stayed this way, you need to understand that alot of drugs come from animal or human urine, urine happens to be very sterile, dont knock something you yourself have not tried, also when you write these stuff your giving us a opinion, not a fact. As far as the FDA goes, here is a FACT its another Govt intity that works like the Govt it doesnt, they could tell you eating horse dung is good and you would believe it, why because its the FDA, wake up, nothing is being brought to you in STRAIGHT FORWARD AND HONEST MATTER, i suggest you keep your opinion to yourself, unless you try the diet. Im not obese just needed to loose some weight due to a very slow matabolism, which is inherited>

    • The Fit Dad

      Ummm, wow. Just wow. That’s all I have to say about this comment. Okay, no it’s not… Keep my opinions to myself? It’s my blog. “don’t knock something you yourself have not tried.” okay. I haven’t tried heroin so I better not knock that either. I don’t have to try something to comment on it or have an opinion on it. I do research. I read and use my head and my research and my head tells me this diet is straight up stupid.


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