GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - If you've ever tried to lose weight by cutting calories, you know the sluggish feeling that sneaks up on you. But what if you could shred fat without feeling hungry?
It may sound like a "magic diet..." although HCG is anything but magic. It's actually a naturally generated hormone created in pregnant women. The magic is in its ability to actually reset the brain's ability to handle how we take fat in to our bodies. Those who've tried it seem pleasantly surprised with their results.
"I knew my metabolism was just gone after having four kids,” says Michelle Christopherson.
Overweight and bordering on obesity, Michelle knew it was time for a change.
"For the last 15 years I’ve been the same weight. I haven't been able to lose it, or I’ve just plateaued. And I needed something to jump-start my metabolism,” she says.
After countless diets proving ineffective, both Michelle and her husband knew it was time to get serious.
"We’ve been married 24 years, so we gained weight together,” says Michelle.
So together, they decided to try HCG.
"HCG stands for human chronic gonadotrpin, thus HCG is a whole lot easier to manage,” says Dr. Scott Rollins, MD, Medical Director at Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado.
You might be surprised to find that HCG is a pregnancy hormone, created naturally to regulate fat metabolism in pregnant women.
"About 60 years ago, a British physician Dr. Simione, figured out that it could be used as a helpful way to lose weight. His theory was that during pregnancy, you can starve a mother, and all the resources of the body will go toward protecting the developing fetus. And so it made sense that this may play a role in fat metabolism,” says Dr. Rollins.
Although the hormone is generated in women, it's safe and effective in both male and female patients.
"We think HCG works by resetting the set point at which the body balances deposits and withdrawals of fat. That seems to be how it works when you're taking it. After you're done with it, there's a very important transition back to a normal healthy diet,” he says.
But it's more than a quick fix. Dr. Rollins says it’s the beginning of a lifestyle change.
"It’s pretty much cutting out all your oils, your sugars, and then you're on the 500 calorie diet,” says Michelle.
The difference is it limits hunger unlike any other diet plan.
"That’s what's unique about it. If I just put you on a restricted calorie diet, in two three days you'd be very unhappy with me,” says Dr. Rollins. "People don't lose muscle mass, they lose fat. The HCG seems to help them just shred fat first."
"It’s a life change, and that's what it’s been for me. I haven't had a pop since September 27th, that was the last time, and I don't crave it. And I drank pop my whole life,” says Michelle.
Michelle, who actually works at Integrative Medicine Center, says she lost 25 pounds in just 20 days during treatment. She's down two dress sizes and a ton of inches on her body. Yet her husband, who she calls “the poster child for HCG,” managed to shred 30 pounds in 20 days. More importantly, she says, they both feel great and have created a new lifestyle for their entire family of six.
Dr. Rollins says HCG should not be your last resort in weight loss. Rather, it should come before more invasive procedures such as lap band or gastric bypass.
A recent report from the FDA ruled that over-the-counter HCG is illegal because it uses a tiny amount of the federally regulated hormone. However, the FDA does approve the hormone for fertility treatments, just not weight loss.