A new business in Fargo says it can spray your fat away.
Spray Your Fat Away opened Oct. 4. It is co-located with Laser Advantage, behind Hair Success, along 32nd Avenue South.
The business sells an HCG diet program. Its key component is a 1-ounce bottle of a "proprietary homeopathic energetic spray," which is sprayed under the tongue.
Steven Fitch, owner of Spray Your Fat Away, said followers of their plan can lose a pound of fat per day.
"We've had such success with this program in Las Vegas, I wanted to bring it here," he said. "I wanted to bring this home."
Fitch is a Fargo native who lives in Las Vegas and works in marketing. He's done marketing work for A New Me, a Las Vegas weight-loss clinic that sells the spray developed by Carol Ann Chaney. Chaney has a doctorate in nutrition.
Fitch said he saw the success of A New Me clients in Las Vegas and Miami, and tried it himself. He said he lost 27 pounds in 22 days this spring. His younger sister lost 65 pounds in 90 days, he said.
Fitch describes the product as safe and natural. He said it triggers your brain into releasing or metabolizing 2,000 calories within the body.
Followers of the program binge on high-calorie foods for three days. On the fourth day, they start eating a 500- to 800-calorie-per-day diet, spraying three squirts of the HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, spray under their tongue in the morning and at night.
Hunger is not an issue, Fitch said, because of the spray.
"It's not a magic spray," Fitch said. "There are only two reasons why people gain weight: poor metabolism and bad eating habits. We've taken care of both."
The program also includes an appetite suppressant and B12 vitamin supplement. A 30-day supply, including one bottle of the spray, costs $449, and a 60-day supply costs $599, though the clinic holds periodic sales and offers a free initial consultation.
Jill Krahn, co-owner of Hair Success, said she has known Fitch for years. He called her when he was looking for a location to set up the business in Fargo. Hair Success had been thinking about opening a diet and wellness center under its roof.
"I had heard about it a lot before he even made the call," Krahn said. "It's a very, very, very big concept in California and New York."
Krahn said she has friends in the industry who have had great results from the HCG diet.
Lori DeJong, who owns Laser Advantage, started using the spray in early October. She said she's lost 15 pounds without really trying.
"From day one, when I first sprayed, I wasn't hungry at all," she said. "It's so easy."
The plan is not without critics. HCG injections have been around since the 1950s. The American Society of Bariatric Physicians has stated "numerous clinical trials have shown HCG to be ineffectual in producing weight loss," according to an article at www.dietscam.org.
Jennifer K. Nelson, a Mayo Clinic nutritionist, wrote: "Because the HCG diet combines injections or supplements of the HCG hormone along with severe calorie restriction, you may lose weight - at least for the short term. But it's the calorie restriction that causes the weight loss, not the HCG.
"In addition the safety of HCG for weight loss is uncertain, and the hormone has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for obesity or weight control."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556