CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - When it comes to choosing a diet plan, you want to pick on you can maintain.
Which is why local fitness trainer Tamatha Crowson wants to share her concerns about a plan known as the HCG Diet.
"HCG is the hormone that a woman will secrete when she's pregnant," Crowson said. "The guy, who kind of invested this diet, was giving people this hormone and noticed that they were experiencing weight loss. Now, you can take these drops that contain the hormone and you will lose weight. Of course, at the same time you're also only eating a 500 calorie a day diet."
Crowson said eating only 500 calories a day is unhealthy.
"I would never recommend this diet," Crowson said. "I get people coming to me all the time who have done this particular diet. You cannot maintain this. The phase two, which is where you are on the 500 calorie a day diet, only lasts about six weeks. Then you move on to the next phase. You'll start upping your calories a little bit by at least 1,500, but you have to be very careful. When you're eating a diet with that low of calories, when you go off it, you have to do it a certain specific way. If you reintroduce the wrong kinds of foods too quickly, it can have a devastating effect on your body and metabolism."
The diet works in four phases.
"Phase one is actually an interesting phase," Crowson said. "Phase one is two days of eating everything you want, as much as you possibly can, not restrictions, go to it. Actually, it's called the gorge phase. Phase two is your 500 calories a day. Phase three is where you start to reintroduce some foods into your diet and phase four is the maintenance phase."
The meal plan is accompanied by the over-the-counter H-C-G drops.
"I do want to mention too about these drops," Crowson said. "The HCG drop are not FDA regulated. So, you don't really know what you're getting. In the original study, the HCG hormone that people were getting was actually a prescription hormone. It was injected. Now we take drop and they're over-the-counter drops. Is this actually an HCG hormone? My idea is probably no, because I don't know any other hormone you can just buy."
Before beginning any diet, it is important to consult your doctor.
Click here for addition information from the Mayo Clinic regarding the HCG Diet.