Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Fad or effective?

Posted by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 4:04 PM
  • 146 Replies
16 moms liked this

Ok ladies.. I am sooooo very concerned over the fact that so many of our new ladies want to try starvation diets. I am going to post a bunch of diets and information about them as well as my opinion of them. The bolding at the end of the post will be my comments/opinion.. 

" I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Moderator- Healthy Weight Loss
Moderator- Adoptive Moms

by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 4:04 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by Darby on Dec. 13, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Sounds good to me!  Can't wait to hear what you have to say about them:)

by Claire on Dec. 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM
1 mom liked this

First, let's take a look at the HCG diet. 

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone

  • This hormone is excreted in the urine of pregnant women and is the marker of pregnancy as the fetus is producing and releasing the hormone as well as the placenta. The hormone is believed to stimulate the continued production of progesterone essential for fetal development and it’s believed to prevent an immune response from the mother which would result in the rejection of the fetus.
  • This hormone is also excreted by certain tumors and can be a marker of cancers such as testicular.
  • The interaction of this hormone in adults is not understood and it isn’t believed to have an active role in humans after prenatal development.
  • HCG is used in combination with some anabolic steroids and is therefore listed on some of the illegal sports drug lists.

The HCG diet would be classified as a Fad Diet as there isn’t much evidence that HCG works in promoting weight loss in healthy adults, but only has been proven effective in boys with Fröhlich’s syndrome. In fact, researching the history of HCG, shows that in the 60′s and 70′s some doctors were paid up to $100,000 a year to sit in a room and write prescriptions for HCG once a week for the weight loss clinics without ever seeing any of the patients.

In a recent double blind study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was determined that using HCG was ineffective in promoting weight loss.

HCG Diet Basics

The core of the HCG diet consists of extreme Calorie restriction of around 500 Calories a day mainly from lean protein and a daily injection of 125mg of the HCG hormone. Other programs promote taking the hormone orally. The diet proponents claim that the body will begin to burn fat reserves as the HCG prevents the body from breaking down muscle for energy. They claim that dieters can expect to lose “26 pounds in 26 days” with up to 3100 fat calories being used for energy per day.

Recommended Foods

Lean protein (fish, turkey, chicken, beef), celery, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, onions,  strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, apples, and tea.


Exercise isn’t recommended on the HCG diet, in fact, it is discouraged.

Program Costs

There are many HCG diets springing up everywhere as this fad continues to gain popularity, but expect to pay around $140 per month for the HCG dropsand additional costs for recipe guides, books, and meal plans. Costs could be significantly higher for those that go to clinics for their injections and consultations.

Discounted HCG supplies are available here.


  • Dramatic, fast weight loss is possible.


  • Weight loss is most likely due to Calorie restriction, not HCG.
  • Side effects include headaches, risk of blood clots,  restlessness, and depression.
  • Exercise is not promoted as part of overall health.
  • Calorie restriction is way below what is deemed safe by the majority of the medical profession.
  • Side effects of the long term use of HCG are not understood.
  • Some cancers could not be caught early as HCG injections will hide tumor markers.
  • Lifestyle changes aren’t stressed, but falls under the quick fix mentality.
  • HCG is not approved by the FDA


While many dieters are lured in by the HCG Diet’s claims of fast weight loss without exercise, dieters are warned to steer clear from the HCG diet as it is not a healthy way to lose weight and the use of HCG drops could potentially lead to other health problems down the road. The 100′s of testimonials being promoted across the internet are no doubt from people who experienced weight loss, but did so because of the extreme Calorie restriction and the high protein diet which promotes ketosis.

The HCG diet is not recommended, but if a Calorie restricted plan is what you are looking for why not try a healthier option such as the Medifast Plan.

Seeing as the FDA has decided this plan is ineffective and dangerous, that should be a clue that it is not safe. There is no substantial research that it works. One thing to ask yourself: can I do this forever? That is what you would need to do in order to keep the weight off. This does not teach healthy eating habits nor does it teach you to be active. It teaches you to rely on a hormone to lose weight, but you will not end up being healthy in the long run. 

by Claire on Dec. 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Cabbage Soup Diet

Next, we will analyze The Cabbage Soup Diet: 

The Cabbage Soup Diet is a 7 day meal plan, aimed at achieving fast weight loss. It is not a long-term weight loss solution, but is known to be effective over the short term. Apparently it originally came from a hospital (Sacred Hearts Hospital) to stimulate weight loss for surgery patients – but this cannot be verified.


  • Fast weight loss.
  • The change from some of our normally junky eating habits can be beneficial.
  • Vegetables from the Brassica family (such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) have been found to aid in preventing cancer.
  • Many say they enjoy eating the soup.


  • Some complain that the Cabbage Soup a little too bland.
  • Be prepared for gas…
  • Requires will power.
  • Lacks good nutrition
  • High in salt.
  • Not a long-term answer.

Cabbage Soup Diet Plan

This diet is not recommended

Day 1
Homemade cabbage soup, plus any fruit, apart from bananas.
Day 2
Homemade cabbage soup, plus other vegetables, including a baked potato with butter for dinner (potatoes are off-limits on other days)
Day 3
Homemade cabbage soup, plus other fruits and vegetables.
Day 4
Homemade cabbage soup, plus anything up to 6 bananas and fat-free milk.
Day 5
Homemade cabbage soup, plus 6 tomatoes and up to 450 grams of meat or fish.
Day 6
Homemade cabbage soup, plus meat(beef) and vegetables.
Day 7
Homemade cabbage soup, plus brown rice, pure fruit juice, and vegetables.

No bread, carbonated beverages, or alcohol.

Cabbage Soup Recipe

6 large green onions
2 green peppers
1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
1 bunch celery
1/2 head cabbage
1 package Onion Soup Mix
1 or 2 cubes bouillon (optional)
1 48 oz. can V8
Juice (optional)
Season to taste (salt, pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc).

Really? Cabbage soup for 7 days? It is seriously lacking in macronutrients - fats, carbs and proteins. Your body has to have the proper balance of macronutrients as well as micronutrients to function properly. Do you want to eat the same exact thing for 7 days straight for every single meal? I sure don't. This is just ridiculous. You can acheive the same results by incorporating lean proteins, more produce and whole grains into your daily diet. 

" I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Moderator- Healthy Weight Loss
Moderator- Adoptive Moms

by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 5:05 PM

can you dig up some info on the paleo diet and give your thought? I would be very interested in that.  Great so far I find the HCG diet terrifying! I think it should be banned, and as far as the cabbage soup, eh there could be worse things for 7 days, but absolutely not a great idea.

by Claire on Dec. 13, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I have a slew of them coming! LOL.. I just have to take a break since I have to take Lilly to karate in a few minutes. 

" I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

Moderator- Healthy Weight Loss
Moderator- Adoptive Moms

by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I'll be back later to check out the lists and comments

by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 5:32 PM
Great idea claire!!! I'm curious about this stuff as well..
by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:14 PM
1 mom liked this
I just think either diet is not normal! I'm sure people will lose some weight but I'm even more sure they will gain it back. I never heard of the cabbage soup diet - dang you'll need beeno for that one lol! Count me out!!!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I have a friend doing the HCG diet and she has lost 50 lbs on it.  She told me the first two days you have to eat 5,000 calories and then on the third day back off to 500 calories.  WHAT!!!!!! 

by on Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Of course, I have a diet that worked really well for me, but no one will take me up on that one. 

I call it the oral cancer diet.  :)  I lost 100 lbs going through oral cancer treatment because I could not eat anythign by mouth, I was feeding tube fed only.  Unfortunately I have had a difficult time keeping it off and have gained about 30 of that back.  I need to lose that again.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)