The Pregnancy Pee-Pee Diet

{This ISN’T mine.}

It seems like I have been seeing zillions of ads for something called the hCG diet. Now, anyone who’s ever obsessively read the instructions that come with the pregnancy test sticks knows that hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin–a hormone that’s produced very early on in a pregnancy.

I love pregnancy tests, and obsessively took test after test WAY TOO EARLY each time I was pregnant. And a few times I was not. Anyway, it’s the hCG in pregnant urine (pee pee) that makes the pregnancy test “positive.”

hCG is thought by some to be the hormone responsible–at least partly–for the nausea that pregnant women often experience in the early weeks. Both my pregnancies were heavy on the nausea–as in weeks of moaning and gagging on the couch and being unable to open the refrigerator.

So what’s this hCG diet thing? Apparently, a doctor named Albert Simeons first tried using hCG injections–plus a starvation diet of 500 daily calories–in 1954. And recently, thanks to aggressive Internet promotion, the diet has been making the rounds as a ‘miracle’ weight loss tool with astonishing claims of weight loss of a pound a day or more.

But there are a few things to consider:

1. hCG used in this way is NOT approved by the FDA–in responsible clinical trials, there was no evidence that hCG actually aids in weight loss.

2. 500 calories a day is next to nothing–easily only one-third or one-fourth what most of us actually need in a day. The potential for nutritional deficiency is very, very high.

3. Weight loss from such an extreme diet pretty much never lasts.

4. hCG comes from urine. Eee-yuck!

My take: stay away!

One thought on “The Pregnancy Pee-Pee Diet

  1. Haha! “I love pregnancy tests, and obsessively took test after test WAY TOO EARLY each time I was pregnant. And a few times I was not.” This made me smile so much because I did/do the same thing. Andrew claims I just love peeing on a stick.
    With both my pregnancies I had a few neg tests before the pos. I also have taken a few on other occasions- partly to reassure myself that I’m not pregnant since when I nurse my cycle is very confusing! I can’t believe people are using this hormone as a dieting method though. In both my pregnancies I was so sick for the first 20 weeks I initially lost weight before gaining but obviously unintentionally. If this hormone is part of the reason I wonder if it can cause that aversion to food/ nausea that happens in pregnancy. If that is the case and that is why this helps weight loss then surely it is close to being a method of eating disorder?

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