Reality Check: Weight Loss Shots

by in Diets & Weight Loss, May 10, 2011

weight loss shots

The diet industry is always looking for the newest craze, and among the newcomers, there’s lots of chatter about weight loss shots. Some of these “magical injections” have been offered to weight loss clientele for years, but there’s also a new shot on the block with a mountain of potential dangers. Get the facts.

B-12 Injections
Over the years, many weight loss clinics have offered injections of vitamin B-12, promising to help boost metabolism and promote weight loss. B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin responsible for DNA formation, healthy red blood cells, and a properly functioning nervous system. Not getting enough can lead to fatigue from anemia, but unless you have a deficiency, B-12 supplements can’t do much for you. Even if you aren’t getting enough, weight loss isn’t a function of the vitamin. The good news is, there’s a very low risk of toxicity from B-12 shots, but why bother getting poked with needles? Foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and fortified cereal and grain products are the best way to get some.

HCG Diet
Even more disturbing than B-12 injections is the newest trend in weight loss, the HCG Diet. HCG stands for “human chorionic gonadotropin,” which is currently available by prescription as a fertility treatment. Recently, it has been inappropriately prescribed as a weight loss aid. Shots of hCG allegedly trick the body into thinking it’s pregnant, burning fat for a developing fetus that isn’t actually there (kind of creepy, no?).

The HCG Diet includes daily injections along with a 500-calorie diet. Clever marketing on part of supporters promise that this regimen will allow women to lose a pound a day without hunger, while mobilizing and burning fat from the arms, belly and thighs.

HCG isn’t only available in injectible forms.  The FDA recently released a warning that  “homeopathic” forms of hCG, like lozenges and sprays, sold over the Internet and in some health food stores, are fraudulent and illegal if they claim weight-loss powers.”

Risks associated with use of hCG include blood clots, depression, headaches and breast tenderness or enlargement. Don’t count out the risk to your bank account: Some doctor charge over $1100 a month for hCG treatments. Equally as frightening, the accompanying 500 calories a day is far below anyone’s needs. Trying to maintain this low intake will likely do irreparable damage to your metabolism.

Needless to say, there’s very limited research to back up that hCG works better than a calorie- restricted diet. Nor does this type of diet fad teach or promote healthy eating habits, so how do you maintain it long term? Yale University’s Dr. David Katz put it best in a recent interview for ABC News “This diet is appalling. It takes irresponsible diets to new heights.” Learn more from Dr. Katz in his previous interviews for us.

Bottom Line: Sorry: Just like there’s no magic pill or food, there’s no magic shot. The keys to effective weight loss come from fewer calories, more exercise, education about nutrition and good, old-fashioned will power.

TELL US: What’s your take on weight loss injections?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

You Might Also Like:

More posts from .

Similar Posts

5 Ways to Stick To Your Healthy Eating Resolutions (Remember Those?)

Now is the time many folks start breaking their New Year’s resolutions. At the gym, lines for the elliptical machine are slowly dwindling, while at home, healthy eating habits are beginning to slide. If you’re starting to fall off the wagon, instead of going back to your old habits for the remaining 11 months of the year, brush yourself off and get back on.

Comments (346)

  1. Google says:

    Usually posts some incredibly interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site.

  2. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!

  3. Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the easiest factor to take note of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same time as folks consider issues that they plainly do not understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  4. Wilma Ulrich says:

    Awfully enlightening many thanks, It looks like your current readers may possibly possibly want even more blog posts similar to this continue the excellent effort.

  5. 1z9s2c1a says:

    It’s really a nice and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Ple

  6. teen porn hd says:

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>