Monday, September 27, 2010

New 'Diet' Hoax On the Radar: The Hormone Diet

It always interests me to find out about the crazy sorts of scams people will come up with to make a buck, irrespective of people's health or well-being. This always seems to be the case with crazy new diets and the 'Hormone Diet' is no different.

This diet isn't based on your body chemistry or your hormones at all. No, in this case you're taking hormones - and pregnancy hormones at that! On top of that, you're only eating 500 calories a day. This just screams crazy!

The hormone in question is called HCG, which is produced during pregnancy, and signals stored fat to be mobilized in order to provide nutrients for the growing baby. In this case, the claim is that it will break down your fat stores so that you can use the fat as energy. That sounds like an interesting theory, only there is no evidence of this stuff working in clinical trials, and it's not approved by the FDA, meaning there's no information about it's safety or effectiveness. Basically, people are just losing weight because they're not eating.

Consuming only 500 calories a day, every day, is such a dangerously low number that it can cause significant damage to your health. Can you say malnutrition? You could end up with metabolic acidosis, arrhythmias and other cardiovascular problems not to mention how screwed up your metabolism will get! Stick to what you know - eat small meals more frequently and follow Canada's food guide for examples of what healthy meals and portion sizes look like! There's some sound science behind that, which is more than the creators of the 'hormone diet' could ever say!