At Optimal Chiropractic, we get a lot of patients who come in to the office asking for advice about weight loss and specific diets or programs. One of the many "fad" diets out there is called the HCG diet. It may go by different names depending on the type of health care office you are at. In this blog, we will answer many questions about what exactly the diet is, why it works, and more importantly, how to make an educated decision on whether or not to start his diet plan.HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. It is a hormone produced in pregnant women, and is the specific hormone detected when using a pregnancy test. So why would you want to use a hormone for pregnancy when trying to lose weight?? HCG is used to assist the body in resetting your metabolism, and also helps to break down long chain fatty acids. Neither of these claims, however, has ever been evaluated or approved by the FDA. In fact, HCG itself has never even been approved for weight loss.The next question we always get asked, is "then why does the HCG diet work?" The simple answer has nothing to do with the HCG injections, drops, or any other way the hormone is administered. It has to do with the details of the diet itself. On average, humans should consume anywhere between 1200-1500 calories per day. With the HCG diet, calories are restricted to 500-800 calories at the most on a daily basis. There are specific types of foods to eat throughout the day, reduced portion sizes, and very little to no exercise recommended due to the low caloric intake.An article found on healthline.com put these numbers in perspective, a single slice of pepperoni pizza or two handfuls of peanuts is equal to about 250 calories. To make a long story short, OF COURSE you will lose weight when consuming such a low number of calories, regardless of whatever else you take with it.When making an educated decision on weight loss you should always ask yourself a few different questions. Is it safe? According to the FDA, the answer is no, and you should steer clear of this diet. Does it work? Yes, the HCG diet CAN help you lose weight. Again, this is due to the calorie restriction being much lower than what people need on a daily basis. Can you maintain the results? It depends. If you go back to your typical diet and schedule, the weight will come back on just as quickly if not faster than you lost it. If, however, you use this diet to kick start a change in your life and develop a healthier diet and lifestyle, then it is possible to keep the weight off.Our suggestion is this, instead of following the unhealthy "fad" diets, such as this which only yield temporary or unhealthy results, find something that will help you achieve the results you want in a healthy way. The doctors at Optimal Chiropractic encourage a diet which will help you to achieve your optimal health inside and out and to sustain long lasting results. Contact our office in Post Falls, Idaho at (208) 777-4305 for details to start achieving your best health today.