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The skinny on losing weight with the HCG Diet

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GERMANTOWN (WITI) — Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows there's more than one way to lose weight. But is there a safe way to lose weight, and lose it fast?

A woman from West Bend called the FOX6 Investigators and complained she had paid $1,411 to lose weight on the HCG Diet -- but instead, she had gained.

"I have some special weddings coming up and I wanted to look good for these people I haven't seen in a long time," Tiffany said.

Tiffany

"Tiffany" talks about the heavy toll this ordeal weighs on her mind.

Tiffany is not her real name. She says she's too embarrassed to show her face.

"I am embarrassed of my weight and how big I've become," Tiffany said.

Desperate to lose weight fast, she sought the help of a medical weight loss clinic in Germantown.

"They said they had miracle results 100% guaranteed," Tiffany said.

Initially she says she was given an appetite suppressant.

weight loss supplements

Supplements used in weight loss program.

"They prescribed this medication and it caused me heart palpitations, more anxiety, so I ate even more and I gained five pounds in six days," Tiffany said.

When that didn't work, Tiffany says she went back and was convinced to try the HCG diet.

"The program itself costs $1,200," she said.

Tiffany says she was told she could lose 40 pounds in 43 days by eating 500 calories a day and giving herself a daily injection of HCG, the hormone women's bodies produce during pregnancy.

weight loss shot

Injections used as part of the weight loss process.

"So they gave me seven shots in a little lunch bag. I had to pay them $502," Tiffany said.

"Well I gained weight with it, " Tiffany said. "My doctor said it is impossible to lose 40 pounds in 43 days and it's so unhealthy for your body."

clinic interview

Lindsay Carmody opened Forward Medical Weight Loss two years ago. She's helped more than 150 lose 30-100 pounds.

Lindsay Carmody, a licensed nurse practitioner opened Forward Medical Weight Loss two years ago. She says she's helped more than 150 people lose anywhere between 30 and 100 pounds.

"If there were issues with this, I wouldn't do it," Carmody says. "I treat you like I would treat my family, myself, my friends, and if I didn't feel this was safe and effective, I wouldn't do it."

Carmody says she's seen the average woman lose .65 to 1 pound a day with HCG, and men lose about two to three pounds per day. HCG, she says, targets extra fat on your body. Because the diet requires patients only eat 500 calories a day, HCG pulls fat cells from your body and burns them as energy instead of extra food. Carmody says the program is highly supervised, and she meets with her patients every week to track their progress and hear their concerns.

Carmody says Tiffany is the first person to ever complain, or want their money back.

"I'm out $1,411," Tiffany says. She admits she never actually finished the HCG treatment because she started to worry it was unhealthy.  "And that doesn't include the misery, the weight gain, the heartache, the pain that I all went through," she says.

Craig Strowig disagrees. He started going to Forward Medical this year, and lost 45 pounds in his first 45 days on the diet.

craig 3

Craig Stowig shows before and after photos of his weight loss success.

"I mean, that's incredible. I have young kids, and they're at the age where they're getting involved with activities, soccer and things like that. And I didn't want to be the fat daddy anymore," Strowig said.

After researching the program offered at Forward Medical, he and his wife signed up for the HCG treatment.

"Right away you start losing that weight," he says. "I thought 'I'm going to have to wait two to three weeks before seeing results.' No. You start seeing it right away."

The Better Business Bureau says it's never received  a complaint about Forward Medical Weight Loss. But as clinics like this one become more popular, it can't hurt to do your homework.

Over-the-counter HCG products are illegal. If it's not prescribed, and it's not injected, don't trust it. HCG is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Critics of the hormone say HCG doesn't make you lose weight — eating fewer calories does. But Carmody says her patients' success is proof enough that the diet works with close medical supervision.

If you only have 10-20 pounds to lose, a medically supervised weight loss program is probably not for you.

"It's not healthy to be fat. It's not healthy to lose weight fast, either. But this seems to be a good middle point," Strowig says.

He and his wife are returning soon for their second round of HCG treatment next week.

"The other day I was at Fleet Farm and I bought a bag of 50-pound solar salt to put in our softener," Strowig says. "I picked that up and I was like this is what I had on my body that I just lost. That was heavy. And I was carrying that around constantly, everyday it was on my knees, on my body. To have that off of me and to lose maybe another one of those bags — it would be incredible.”

49 comments

    • Ash

      The thing is.. any diet will work if you restrict your calories to just 500 per day. Plus with all the possible side effects it’s just not worth it. If you want to lose weight and KEEP it off for good, then check out the Venus Factor. It’s designed specifically for women and will help you maintain healthy weight loss. You can find it at: http://www.VenusGuide.info

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  • bargaonc971

    The HCG Diet is amazing if you use real hcg drops, otherwise you would be wasting your time. This site http://topratedhcg.com/ really helps in which HCG Drops you should choose. Good luck on your journey guys! i lost 20lbs in less then a month and couldn’t be happier!

  • Serge Duval

    I guess one explanation is just that people’s bodies are different. Some diets work for some people but not others. I definitely agree that it’s good to do these diets under medical supervision. I’m really happy for those who have seen great results from these procedures. Thanks for the article!

  • Douglas Brown

    It’s always nice to have a good middle ground between two extremes, and this certainly seems like the right way to do it. As with anything else, there will be some cases where one works out better than the other, but I appreciate sharing both stories. An old roommate of mine was always trying to lose weight; perhaps this is the right method to introduce to him. Thanks for the post. http://drpacholec.net/category/hcg-diet/

  • Robyn Cavallaro

    I used the injections and lost 18 pounds in 1 month and additional 3 immediately following. Have kept it off so far…It has been 1 year. I followed the diet as directed but did cheat on a few occasions but nothing drastic. I do exercise but modified it during the time I was taking the injections

  • tsrif

    Shayla – you are not keeping things in perspective. A) it’s ONLY a few weeks, so to imply that “the diet” is callous in some way to not stress exercise is a bit much. You’re free to exercise after it’s done, and secondly and most importantly B) it ABSOLUTELY stress maintenance. For the rest of your life in fact. It’s actually THE key to keeping it off and I’ve actually shared the method with family members who didn’t want to pay/do the actual HCG and are instead doing other diets… and that’s to weigh yourself EVERY DAY!! – and the diet’s creator’s book also teaches you how to react to a gain in weight as well. This simply trick actually makes ALL their other diets, regardless of what they’re trying to do, a little more successful from the feedback I’m getting from them.

  • Kat

    I can tell you this: if you follow the protocols to the tee, you will lose weight with HCG. I have done it because EVERY other “diet” doesn’t work for me personally. But that is me. I can tell you another thing. If you go back to eating just willy nilly, you will regain the weight. You have change your eating lifestyle for good to keep the weight off. So, yes, I’ll be doing another round because I know what my temptations are with food. But I suggest doing your research, finding a reputable source and support system and committing to a food journey that can be very successful using HCG. Good luck!!

  • Natasha

    HCG diet works and I am the proof of it and my story has been published on this website http://purehcgdietdrops.com/. I took the top rated drops from that website and the mentors overthere are really helpful and experts indeed.My Fb profile has been linked to the article. You can view my real pictures and you can approach me for tips too.

  • April Perkins

    Hello everyone. The most cost effective way to use HCG injections is to buy your own HCG and mix it yourself. I sell full 30 day kits that includes real freeze dried HCG ordered with a prescription and from a real pharmacy. The kits are $100 and includes everything you need. If you read the book, Pounds and Inches by Dr. Simeon, he explains in great detail how to mix the HCG, as well as how to maintain your weight loss afterwards, and it is not by maintaining a low fat, low/no carb diet for the rest of your life. HCG is a very sensitive diet. Some people can eat healthy foods that are not on the food list and use oil based products and still lose weight. Others must follow it to the letter or will not lose, but will in fact gain weight easily. HCG works. I’ve done it using my own HCG while pregnant (long story) and miraculously lost 50 pounds during my pregnancy because I was sick and barely ate, was never hungry, but delivered a healthy 9 lb ? oz baby boy. I was smaller after giving birth than I was before I got pregnant. I know many other women have experienced the same thing I have during pregnancy, which is the motivation behind the HCG diet. I’ve also done the injections successfully, as well as many others. There are great support groups for people on the HCG diet especially for those who mix it themselves.

  • wholeselfweightloss (@wholeselfweight)

    A little bit of initial water retention is normal for some people at the beginning of this type of diet, but is typically a non issue after the first 3 or 4 days. Another possible scenario would be a change in existing medications or the introduction of a new medication that wasn’t disclosed. However, if she was truly following the diet, I don’t see how she could put on FAT while only consuming 500-800 calories/day. To do this right, you have to track EVERYTHING (myfitnesspal is a great app), otherwise it is a guessing game.

  • Callie Marie

    I’ve had a hard time trying to loose weight, even though I am not over eating. It is amazing that HGC can help people lose 30-100 pounds. Maybe this is the diet that I need to finally get back to a healthy size.

  • nancee0219

    Anyone who eats only 500 calories a day will lose weight! No supplements or shots needed..and for how long will a person eat only 500 calories a day? !?! Exactly! ! The moment you eat a normal diet your weight will come back! So sorry, there are no quick fixes, don’t waste your money. Reduce carbs and sweets, est several small meals, and get 20 to 30 min of cardiovascular in every day…THOSE will be permanent results

  • Joanne

    I am starting this on Tuesday through my orthopedic doctor due to severe issues with my knees. I have 100 pounds to lose.

  • Harry

    HCG diet is effective and also I am the evidence of it and my story continues to be published with this website http://www.fitnessguidefg.com/hcg-complex.html . I took the highest rated drops from that web site and the tutors overthere are really beneficial and specialists indeed .My Fb account has been linked with the post . It is possible to view my genuine illustrations you can approach me for ideas as well .

  • Tucker

    I doubt the woman had the will power to keep to 500 calories per day so she decided to blame it on the program. When are people going to take responsibility for their own health?

  • Halex

    Better advice, don’t trust anyone’s opinion and try to find scholarly articles pertaining to the efficacy of hcg. I don’t know whether it works or not but don’t trust random anecdotes, look for peer-reviewed studies and actual evidence.

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