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A friend of mine recently lost 18 pounds in one month on the HCG Weight Loss Diet.   Results like these are not uncommon.  Many individuals who have tried the diet have reported losing as much as one pound a day.

The traditional diet (often called the "Simeons Protocol") involves consuming only 500 calories a day while getting injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a pregnancy hormone. 

Advocates of the diet say that the HCG tricks the body into burning fat and resets the metabolism without the need to exercise and without leaving one feeling hungry or weak. 

Critics say that the diet is basically a starvation diet and that the extreme weight loss is due to the severe calorie restriction, not the effectiveness of HCG.  They also warn against potential loss of lean muscle mass and other possible side effects and negative health consequences. 

HCG injections are normally prescribed by physicians, making it cost-prohibitive to many individuals. However, due to the massive popularity of this diet, HCG has become widely available in a much more affordable over-the-counter (OTC) droplet, pill and spray form.  Questions have arisen over the effectiveness of the OTC droplets, pills and sprays.