Eating a well-balanced, reduced-calorie diet and exercising are the main ways to weight loss. Nowadays certain drugs can serve as powerful adjuncts to weight loss. Using these certain drugs can help for short-term weigh loss but still alongside with a diet and exercise. HCG and Phentermine are two of the popular substance that is used to boost weight loss, let’s see how these drugs will help.
The HCG diet has been popular for many years. It is an extreme diet, it can cause fast weigh loss of up to 0.5-1kg per day. It is also said that you’re not supposed to feel hungry in the process. The HCG diet uses a combination of HCG and extremely low calorie intake to achieve dramatic weight loss.
HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone present at high levels in early pregnancy. This hormone is used as a marker in home pregnancy tests and also been used to treat fertility issues in both men and women.
Now, HCG products are sold in various forms, including oral drops, pellets and sprays. All of them are available through countless websites and some retail stores.
Proponents of the HCG diet claim that it boosts metabolism and helps you lose large amounts of fat-all without feeling hungry. Multiple studies have concluded that the weight loss achieved by the HCG diet is due to ultra-low-calorie intake alone and has nothing to do with the HCG hormone.
These studies compared the effects of HCG and placebo injections given to individuals on a calorie-restricted diet. Furthermore, these studies determined that the HCG hormone did not significantly reduce hunger.
One common side effect of weight loss is decreased muscle mass; it is common in diets that severely restrict calorie intake. The body may also think it is starving and reduce the number of calories it burns in order to conserve energy.
However, the HCG diet enthusiasts claim that HCG elevates other hormones, boosts metabolism and leads to a growth-promoting, or anabolic, state. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
The HCG diet is a very low-fat, very low-calorie diet. It is generally divided into three phases:
- Loading phase: start taking HCG and eat plenty of high-fat, high-calorie foods for two days.
- Weight loss phase: continue taking HCG and eat only 500 calories per day for 3-6 weeks.
- Maintenance phase: stop taking HCG. Gradually increase food intake but avoid sugar and starch for three weeks.
For those who seek minimal weight loss may spend three weeks on the middle phase, and for those seeking significant weight loss may be advised to follow the diet for six weeks. During the weight loss phase it is only allowed to eat two meals per day, usually lunch and dinner. See also: Paleo vs Vegan.
HCG meal plans generally suggest that each meal should contain one portion of lean protein, a vegetable, a piece of bread and a fruit. Butter, oils and sugar should be avoided but drinking a lot of water is encouraged. Coffee and tea are allowed.
Most of the HCG products available online are homeopathic and do not contain any real HCG. Real HCG can only be available through a doctor’s prescription, since it is in form of injections which is the one that can raise blood levels of HCG.
Side effects associated with the HCG diets are headaches, depression and fatigue. Until now the safety of the HCG products is questioned and not been approved as a weight loss drug, since the ingredients are unregulated and unknown.
A big different from the HCG, Phentermine is a prescription weight loss medication. It is a controlled substance due to its chemical similarities to the stimulant amphetamine making it only available with a prescription. Doctor may prescribe it if you’re obese which means your body mass index is greater than or equal to 30.
If you have one-weight related condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes and you are overweight with a BMI greater than or equal to 27 you may also be prescribed with Phentermine.
Phentermine belongs to a class of drugs called “anorectics”, also known as appetite suppressants. Taking it can help suppressing the appetite, therefore limiting how many calories to eat. Over time, this leads to weight loss.
The drug is thought to act by increasing neurotransmitter levels in your brain, which is the body’s chemical messengers and include norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.
When the levels of those three chemicals increase, the feeling of hunger decreases. You may build a tolerance to the appetite-suppressing effects of phentermine within a few weeks; this means you should stop using it altogether.
Several clinical studies have proven that phentermine can boost fat loss. The expected average weight loss is 5% of your initial body weight. Over 12 weeks it can be as high as 10%.
This equals to a weight loss of 4.5-9kg for a 90.7kg person. Phentermine may work better when combined with Topiramate. Topiramate is a drug that has been used on its own to treat seizures but also has appetite-reducing properties.
The combination of Phentermine and Topiramate may help reduce binge eating in people with binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa.
In a small 12-week study in obese or overweight people with BED, this drug combination was associated with significant reductions in weight, BMI and binge-eating episode frequency. By reducing binging episodes, the drug combination may help the estimated 40-805 of people with BED or bulimia nervosa.
In 2016 the lowest effective dose that has been approved is 8mg which can be taken up to three times daily. Prior to 2016 the available doses were 15,30 and 37.5 mg.
Phentermine and Topiramate which is sold under the brand name Qsymia is available in four doses, ranging in from 3.75 to 15mg of phentermine and 23 to 92 mg of Topiramate.
Phentermine alone is designed for short-term use only as there are no long-term studies on its safety. The most common reported side effects for the combination of Phentermine and Topiramate are dry mouth, sleeping problems, dizziness, and heart palpitations, flushing of the skin, fatigue, constipation and irritability.
If you have heart disease, hyperthyroidism, glaucoma or if you are pregnant and nursing then you shouldn’t take phentermine.
HCG Diet vs Phentermine
|- 1000-1600 calories per day||- 600-1000 calories per day|
|- 30 grams of total carbs, including dietary fiber (or 15-20 grams of NET carbs) if possible, but you may have up to 100 gram of carbs with good weight loss results||- 30 grams of total carbs, including dietary fiber (or 15-20 grams of NET carbs)|
|- Lean meats, eggs, low-carb cheeses||- Lean meats, eggs, low-carb cheeses|
In the end, the best way to gain weight loss is to do regular exercise and have a healthy eating plan. Using both of these drugs can have an advantage to certain people with certain conditions. If you still want to lose weight in a short-term then the Phentermine is your choice since it can actually be prescribed by the doctors and the safety of it is not questionable.