hCG Diet, Simeons Diet and Kevin Trudeau’s Weight Loss Cure: the same dangerous diet

“I’ve heard you can lose 3 pounds a day on the hCG Diet, and that it redistributes fat from your waist, hips and thighs to leave you with a better shaped body without the need for exercise. That is a loss of 21 pounds a week? Does it really work that well and how safe is this weight loss plan?” I get asked regularly. Honestly? This is probably one of the worst diets ever to have seen the light of day. The hCG Diet is really a very unhealthy fad diet to follow and the way this diet is designed leaves the field wide open for scam artists and unscrupulous vendors to take advantage of so many people battling obesity.

First things first, let’s understand how this diet is supposed to work. On the hCG Diet you are required to to restrict your food intake to 500-800 calories per day, which is dangerously low if you keep in mind that diets allowing for 1200 calories per day are already considered to be very low calorie diets. While on this diet you will receive daily injections of hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin), or you will take hCG in oral form. hCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy; initially by the developing embryo and later on by a part of the placenta. It is believed hCG plays a role in programming the hypothalamus to protect lean muscle and mobilize the use of stored body fat for energy. hCG is manufactured using extracts from the urine of pregnant women.

In theory, hCG results in the release of 1000 to 1500 calories of energy from fat tissue in your body, meaning you won’t feel hungry and should have lots of energy even though you are on a super low calorie diet. It should be rather obvious that if you restrict yourself to 500-800 calories per day; it doesn’t matter what you inject with — you’re going to lose weight. This “miracle cure for weight loss” is nothing else but a starvation diet, so along with the fat you will lose lean muscle mass and water weight. All starvation diets end up slowing down your metabolism, making it more difficult for you to reach and maintain your goal weight in the longer term. The hCG Diet or Kevin Trudeau’s Weight Loss Cure is no different.

The hCG Diet, also called the Simeons Diet, was originally developed by the British endocrinologist A.T.W. Simeons in the 1950’s. Simeons studied two groups of people that were treated with low doses of hCG: pregnant women on a very low calorie diet (VLCD) in India and overweight boys with pituitary problems also on a VLCD. He observed that both groups lost fat rather than lean muscle tissue. Simeons believed that the hCG must be programming the hypothalamus to release fat tissue for energy in order to protect the developing fetus, and that it should have a similar effect on men and women that are not pregnant.

Simeons then proceeded to develop the hCG Diet using low-dose daily hCG injections (125 mg) in combination with a customized super low calorie (500 calories per day) diet. The diet is high in protein and low in both carbohydrates and fat. The Journal of the American Medical Association issued a warning against the Simeons Diet in 1962, and in 1976 clinics and promoters of the Simeons Diet were ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to inform prospective patients that there is no substantial evidence that the hCG injections offers any weight loss benefit, as demonstrated by the results of clinical trials published by the Journal of the American Medical Association and the America Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Kevin Trudeau is an author, salesman and self-proclaimed alternative medicine guru website here. He is no stranger to controversy, and is one of the people responsible for the popularization of the hCG Diet. Trudeau is well known for his conspiracy theories in which government organizations and large companies are always out to keep the truth from the general population. In April 2007 he released a diet book, The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You to Know About, in which he described his weight loss plan based on the Simeons Diet. Of course all the studies published in prestigious medical journals played directly into Trudeau’s hand, in that “they” just don’t want you to know about it.

In his diet book Kevin Trudeau describes a three-phase diet plan. The first phase involves switching to all organic foods with repeated cleansing programs for the liver and colon. This phase is followed by a period of daily hCG injections (while following the prescribed diet) under the direction of a health care provider. In the third phase, use of hCG stops, but all foods must continue to be 100 percent organic. He also recommends walking for at least an hour a day and doing breathing exercises.

During the infomercials on his book Kevin Trudeau indicated that the weight loss plan outlined in the book is easy to follow, can be done from home, and allows you to eat whatever you want. Of course when you buy the book it quickly becomes clear that it is a complex and grueling weight loss plan that requires severe calorie restriction, daily injections of hCG which is not always easy for customers to obtain, and then, to maintain the weight loss – lifelong and severe diet restrictions.

In the early 1990’s Trudeau was convicted of fraud and larceny. He has been sued repeatedly by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In November 2007, a court found Kevin Trudeau in contempt of court (based on previous injunctions to prevent him from making false claims regarding products he promotes) for yet again making deceptive claims in his books. In August 2008 Trudeau was fined more than $5 million for continuing to make deceitful claims pertaining to the book The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You to Know About. He was also banned from making infomercials for three years.

hCG is approved by the FDA as a treatment for infertility as it can trigger ovulation in female patients and stimulate the leydig cells to synthesize testosterone in male patients. When used for fertility treatment processes in medical institutions, the manufacturing of the drugs are controlled to adhere to safety standards, and use of these drugs are carefully monitored by physicians. Medical doctors are legally allowed to prescribe hCG for weight loss in the United States, but most prefer not to do so due to the nature of the diet and the lack of FDA endorsement for hCG as a weight loss aid.

There is absolutely no scientific support for claims that hCG can help you lose weight. If anything, it may act as a placebo. Placebos can be of great help in the medical field, but it is important that you know exactly what you are taking or injecting. Due to the lack of controls on many hCG products, you may even be subjecting your body to untested and dangerous drugs. Many people resort to importing pre-filled hCG syringes, drops or pills (often referred to as the oral alternative to hCG). Some of these products may not even contain hCG at all and are complete scams.

Know that what you really are on when you follow the HCG Diet is a very, very low calorie diet. You will inevitably lose weight, but you are guaranteed to put your body in starvation mode. You will also invariably find that you regain all the weight you may have lost and you will have to deal with a slower metabolism on completion of this diet. As much as we would have wanted this to be the miracle cure for weight loss promised by Simeons and Trudeau; the only way to permanently lose weight is to follow a healthy lifestyle encompassing a nutritious and balanced diet as well as plenty of exercise.

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6 Responses to “hCG Diet, Simeons Diet and Kevin Trudeau’s Weight Loss Cure: the same dangerous diet”

  • I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome 3 years ago, after 2 years of sticking to a diabetic diet, exercising, and taking medication I had lost 10 pounds and my blood sugar went from 310-175. After 6 weeks of HCG I lost 21 pounds and my blood sugar got down to a healthy level, 80. I’ve now been off of HCG for 6 weeks and I still have not had to go back on my diabetic medication. Love IT!

  • I am trying to lose weight. After two kids, women can understand how hard it is to lose the pregnancy weight. But to limit my body to only 500 calories? Nobody can live off of that. If doctors don’t want to give this to patients for weight loss and the FDA disapproves of it, then that should be clear warnings for people who want to lose weight. There are better ways. You can get a colon cleanse and lose 15-20 pounds right off the bat. Congrats to the people who have done this diet, but considering that a woman just DIED from doing this diet, that should be proof enough that it is unsafe.

  • Unless you use it, you shouldn’t even talk about it. Funny reading these sites on people complaining that HCG is unhealthy or doesn’t work. Try it – you’ll see what we all see. There’s a loading day for a reason, you eat a certain amount of calories for a reason. Lost 40lbs in 35 days. 26 years old. Tell me what’s unhealthy about that? I work out, I’m perfectly fine, I feel better, look better, all is well. I get doctor checkups regularly and they tell me all is fine. If you haven’t done it and just talk crap about it; go bad mouth something else; you’re wrong and no one gives a damn.

  • I totally understand the desparation. I went on this diet when I was 24 years old. That was back in 1978. At that time there were clinics you could go to that would administer the injection daily. I stuck to my 500 calorie per day diet and I went every morning for the injections. Thirty days later I had lost 25 pounds. Four years later I had gained all my weight back plus more. My metabolism had been severely slowed by the diet, so to lose weight again I had to exercise even harder. I have been struggling with my weight ever since. I know you don’t want to hear this because I also wanted a quick fix. But the bottom line is that changing your eating and exercise habits only works if it is a life change, and no one can live on 500 calories for the rest of their life. Just wait until the next holiday and/or party when you are hungry and you will see.

  • Well I have done this HCG injections and have lost 53 pounds and kept it off for a year!!! Even though I am 20 pounds heavier than I was in High School, I can still wear the same size I did back then and I look better because all my extra weight I carried in my stomach and thighs are gone. So it is incorrect about losing 3 pounds a day, it’s 1 pound a day. This may vary due to how much weight you have to lose because the heavier you are, the faster you will lose. It is true that this is a restrictive diet but with the HCG releasing 2,000 calories of stored fat a day, you are not caloric deprived (maybe of comfort foods) but it’s not like you think you are going to pass out or anything. So having said that, doesn’t it make sense that the diet/fitness industry don’t want us to know about this weight loss program because people wouldn’t be obese anymore. There is big businnes for gastric bypass surgery, fitness equipment and diet pill. Thin people don’t buy diet pills!! So there goes their billion dollar profits!!!

  • I wish all you so-called experts can understand the desperation of obese people. Until you have been so overweight that you find yourself absolutely revolting – you have absolutely no idea. When you are that much overweight, you simply don’t For me, the hCG diet was a lifesaver. I lost 60 pounds on this diet over a period of two months, and have kept the weight off for three months now. Sure it wasn’t always easy, and it takes a lot of discipline now, but that comes easy when I look at myself in the mirror. hCG is the answer to weight loss!

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