RHONJ’s Dolores Catania lost 25 pounds on HCG diet, calls it worth it

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Body shamers are everywhere lately, and they’re routinely being put in their place, fortunately. Another kind of troubling conversation around bodies involves people who promote diets that sound too good to be true, and that promote extreme eating behaviors, rather than sensible, backed-by-medical-professionals guidance. Jameela Jamil has been crusading against this.

One of the disturbing diets being touted by some celebrities is the HCG Diet. It’s most recent proponent is Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania. If you aren’t familiar with the HCG Diet, get ready to cringe:

“I lost 25 pounds,” she said. “I’m a yo-yo dieter. Food is my vice, it’s comfort for me. I grew up eating not the healthiest food. I’ve always struggled so now I found, I had to just get a grip.”

Catania, 48, said she started following the controversial HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy) diet, which limits calorie intake to 750 per day and requires daily injections of the hormone.

“You get small injections every day, but it’s really not bad,” she said. “You’re only allowed 750 calories for 45 days but you lose 30 pounds. It’s worth it.”

As for what she ate, Catania said she cut all fats out of her diet and limited her portion sizes. According to Healthline, most participants lose an average of 1-2 lbs. per day on the diet.

This sounds absolutely terrible, not to mention dangerous. People includes a caveat for anyone considering the diet:

While Catania praised the diet, the HCG protocol has also been widely criticized. The Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers to steer clear of over-the-counter weight-loss products that contain HCG. The FDA also warns about maintaining such a low-calorie intake, claiming it can cause side effects including gallstone formation, an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body’s muscles and nerves functioning properly, and an irregular heartbeat.

[From People]

A person’s daily caloric needs are dependent on numerous factors, but, according to these guidelines from the U.S. government, “Estimates range from 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women and 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for adult men.” Dolores’ 750 calories per day is less than half of that lower estimate for women. I can’t even fathom only eating 750 calories per day for over a month.

Dolores isn’t the only celeb who has tried the HCG diet. Laura Prepon and Jojo were on it, too. Jojo called it, “the most unhealthy thing I had ever done,” and said that she gained all the weight back, which is what I would have assumed would happen. I’m not a medical professional, but I also don’t think it sounds wise to inject myself with a hormone that I’m a.) not producing naturally, but also, b.) don’t need in order to be healthy. I’m curious about who, exactly, is providing these injections? I wouldn’t think that reputable professionals would do it, but would instead work with a patient to create a healthy, safe plan for weight-loss. I hope that this is one fad that eventually disappears, but in the meantime, I hope Dolores and others who are on it are having their health monitored for any potential complications.

Note by Celebitchy: The first two photos of Delores below are from July. I’m not going to say much except that she looked happier then.

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16 Responses to “RHONJ’s Dolores Catania lost 25 pounds on HCG diet, calls it worth it”

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  1. lana86 says:

    Extrem diets is Evil, no one should starve themselves… And eating crap and too much sugar is evil too. Especially for kids. Just yesterday I saw a little girl mentioning she eats Nutella for breakfast every day. How is that normal! She’s like 10 years old and already quite overweight. Not optimistic

  2. heygingersnaps says:

    That sounds horrible!! It’s been three years and I’m still trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m still learning to unlearn a lot of unhealthy habits/thinking when it comes to food, so steering clear of crash diets/fad diets now.

  3. Joanna says:

    I think it’s nuts to do that. A coworker did that diet, lost a bunch, then of course, put it back on. She was on and off dad diets for years. Finally she decided to get a gastric sleeve. Had to see a dietitian before she could get the surgery to see if she could lose it without surgery. But she actually purposely gained so she could be overweight enough to get the gastric sleeve. And she did. Haven’t seen her since I left that job, my husband saw her out and said she’s thin now, he was shocked. Not worth it to me. And I think she had to pay like 12 thousand.

    • SamC says:

      I had a gastric sleeve two years ago. If she just did the sleeve without behavior modification, she’s probably going to eventually out-eat the sleeve and put it back on. It’s a tool, not a miracle cure. Also guessing she also did some major doctor shopping to find one that would do it since she paid out of pocket. There’s a whole protocol, beyond seeing a dietician, before a reputable surgeon will proceed.

  4. Originaltessa says:

    I just lost my last 10lbs of baby weight. Took 4 months. Just cut snacking between meals, worked out for 40 minutes 3 times a week, and when it came time to plate up my dinner, I gave myself about 2/3 of what I would regularly eat. Nothing particularly healthier, we generally eat healthy, just a bit less and some exercise. It took time. It wasn’t over night. But you can lose weight if you just create a small calorie deficit and stick with it. Dangerous diets are so extreme!

    • manda says:

      Exactly. I reduced my sugar (which includes reducing carbs in general but not excluding them) and moved my evening sweet treat to an afternoon sweet treat, and after a few months, I was down ten pounds. I wasn’t really trying to lose weight even, so it was a pleasant surprise. It was more that I realized I really ate badly, and my blood sugar levels were approaching the pre-diabetic level. My husband and I would just eat a bag of candy every night. It was so good but so bad. In the 90′s, they would tell us to avoid fat but sugar was fine!

      I have also been considering trying intermittent fasting, which seems easy and not bad that bad if you don’t choose a crazy schedule, but haven’t done all the research yet

  5. Swack says:

    HCG is not a new diet. Have a friend (a nurse no less) who went on it at least 10 years ago. At that time you were not allowed to consume any types of oil or use lotion that contained oil as it somehow (I don’t remember how) it effected the weight loss.

  6. Eliza says:

    Wow, she lost weight eating less than half of her daily caloric requirement??? You don’t say?? Shocking!

  7. L84Tea says:

    Good Lord people, just go to Weight Watchers. You lose weight and still get to eat like a normal human.

  8. Noodle says:

    I did the HCG diet (maybe?) ten years ago. I bought it from an online store, had to measure and mix the hormone myself, then inject myself. They say the hormone makes you not-hungry, and they LIE. I was starving as I ate a red bell pepper and slice of deli turkey for lunch and dinner. It was awful, awful times. I could stay on only 2 weeks, but I lost 20 pounds, which I very quickly gained back (plus more!) once I stopped starving myself.

  9. Caitrin says:

    Oof, this hits close to home. I had a hypertensive crisis on Friday (I’m only 40!), and nearly had a stroke. Having never experienced high blood pressure before, I had to take a serious look at how I eat, how I sleep, how I exercise, and how I destress.

    And I have to emphasize healthy choices, not FAD choices, and I still have to eat at least 1,200 good, solid, nutritious calories a day.

    745 calories a day is a starvation diet, and it’s utter bullshit that could damage your body longterm.

  10. Lua says:

    I did it for Hawaii. Lost 33 pounds in two months. Kept it off too until I got pregnant. I was actually eating better than before the diet (on the diet eating three oz lean meat cooked with no oils and a serving a veggies twice per day and coffee with tbsp half and half and an apple for breakfast, fruit as a late snack on the diet). Post baby I gained back ten. Thinking about doing the diet again to get back down. You stay at the weight as long as you don’t add oils and sugars back and you exercise. Went from 150 to 117. Gained 30 pounds when pregnant.bPost baby I’m back to 130 at 5’6. I didn’t do the hormones, just cut calories bc you’ll obviously lose the weight on 500 calories/day. drink lots of water, I was never hungry. Taught me to portion control too.

  11. Susan says:

    I did this diet about 15 years ago so it’s not new. Oh, and it caused me to develop a major blood clot.

  12. Hello Kitty says:

    I danced between 10 lbs from high school until about 32 years old, when I realized protein and weight lifting were the keys to a great body. I’ve been a toned size zero ever since. Caveat: currently pregnant and couldn’t follow a consistent diet and exercise regime my first trimester so packed on 20 lbs immediately 🤣 but still believe nothing gets you fit for life look good ole diet and exercise.

  13. coolspray says:

    My mom did the HCG injections, but not the extremely low calorie diet. It worked for her. Obviously not as extreme. She is doing it for the third time now, not because she gained the weight back but because it seems to have a compound effect. Each time she has lost 10-15 lbs and has kept it off. She is not diet or nutrition focused at all (eastern European, everything is full fat and butter), and does not exercise besides low impact walking. It has done wonders for her. Of course, losing weight is as simple as burning more than you take in but if there’s someone who needs to lose weight (for whatever reason) but can’t or won’t increase their exercise or decrease their calorie intake (i.e. the LAZY way of losing weight LOL) then this does seem to work.