A new weight loss fad to inject pregnancy hormones is being criticised by health professionals as dangerous
Weight loss fads are normally a load of rubbish.
We can often wave them away and not take them too seriously, knowing that really there are better ways to lose weight than follow a "quick-fix" fad.
But there's a new one doing the rounds which could actually have some rather serious side effects and consequences, and has even been slammed by medical professionals as "dangerous".
We all know that quick fixes aren't really the answer (Credit: Getty Images)
In a rather concerning movement, some women are injecting themselves with the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
The hormone is produced naturally by women who become pregnant - it is released by the placenta after an embryo implants in the womb.
In some pregnancy tests, it is the detection of this hormone that identifies whether a woman is pregnant or not.
But worryingly, some women are now injecting it into themselves because they think it helps weight loss.
HCG is the hormone that indicates pregnancy in some tests (Credit: Getty Images)
Some takers are suggesting that they are losing up to a massive 30lb a month (just over 2 stone), but health professionals are trying to warn people off of using it.
Professor Bu Beng Yeap from the Endocrine Society of Australia told news.com.au: "HCG doesn't have any approval for weight loss and we strongly recommend against it."
If you buy the drug online, the diet plan associated with taking the injections is to limit your daily calorie intake to a measly 500 calories a days.
Just to help this make sense in our minds, we worked out that two slice of pepperoni pizza is about 500 calories.
Just TWO slices?! (Credit: Getty Images)
So you're not only injecting hormones into your body that really shouldn't be there, you're also literally starving yourself.
No good can come from this!
To try and make sense of this, we spoke to Nissa Moger, better known as The Hypnobirthing Midwife.
She said: "HCG is meant to aid weight loss that claims you can exist on 500 calories a day without side effects - obviously this is a false claim.
"Being on the HCG diet — just like any seriously low-cal diet — lowers your metabolism and results in serious muscle loss. And while starving yourself for a week may yield short-term weight loss, over the long haul, you are more likely to gain weight from trying the HCG diet, because when you extreme diet, your body's metabolism slows down, so when you start eating normally again it holds on to the calories."
It really doesn't sound very pleasant to us... (Credit: Getty Images)
Nissa added: "Obviously messing around with your hormones is a bad idea - the hormonal side effects are actually weight gain and depression, which affect about 25% of people receiving IVF treatment with HCG."
When we asked about side effects, Nissa said: "HCG injections are linked to hair thinning, headaches, blood clots and constipation."
Yeesh - we're not sure any amount of weight loss would be worth it for these...
We also spoke to Dr Adam Simon, Chief Medical Officer at Push Doctor, an online doctor's service. He said: "This risky strategy is not only dangerous for your health, it's unlikely to help with weight loss in the long term. Using HCG unsupervised leaves you open to side effects such as pelvic or stomach pain, shortness of breath, swollen hands and feet, vomiting, diarrhoea and difficulty going to the toilet. In short, it's not worth it."
We're convinced - we will DEFINITELY not be trying this fad any time soon.