The HCG Diet
The human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) diet is a popular one and has been used for weight loss purposes for many years. It causes accelerated weight loss of an estimated 1-2 pounds per day, additionally, research suggests that dieters do not feel hungry during the process.
HGC is referred to as the pregnancy hormone because, during the early stages of pregnancy, it is found in women in high amounts. HCG has also been used as a fertility treatment for both men and women. High levels of the hormone in the bloodstream is also a symptom of testicular, ovarian, and placental cancer.
The HCG diet was discovered by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons in 1954. In a medical report, he stated that patients experienced weight loss with a combination of HCG injections and a diet extremely low in calories. He concluded that the diet did not cause any of the unwanted side effects associated with a low-calorie diet such as hunger pangs, physical weakness, headaches, low mood, and irritability.
Dr. Simeons had spent many years researching obesity and found that the HCG hormone had a profound effect on appetite. This led him to start testing the effects of the hormone which is how the HCG diet was developed.
There are several benefits associated with the HCG diet, these include the following:
- Weight Loss: People have reported that they have lost weight within a few days of starting the HCG diet. As a result of the weight loss, cholesterol is lowered which reduces the risk of heart problems. The HCG diet helps develop a well-proportioned body by targeting weight loss in problem areas such as the thighs, arms, and midsection.
- Improved Sex Life: HCG balances hormones in the body which boosts the release of sex hormones such as testosterone which increases libido. Additionally, the HCG diet can help to eliminate the risk of erectile dysfunction which typically occurs in older men as their testosterone levels begin to drop with age.
- Improved Gym Performance: Because the HCG diet causes weight loss, it also improves endurance during a workout. It enables you to spend more time at the gym so that you can maximize your workouts. The HCG diet also restricts the muscle mass loss that results from a low-calorie diet; therefore, users can increase their muscle retention without putting their weight loss goals at risk.
- It is a Natural Hormone: HCG is not a chemically induced hormone, it is naturally produced by the body which adds to its effectiveness. This also makes the HCG diet especially beneficial for females during the weight loss process because it helps them to get rid of fat in unwanted areas. Peri-menopausal women have reported that that HCG assists in balancing their sexual hormones progesterone, estrogen and testosterone which improves energy levels and mood.
Where to Get HCG
The Food and Drug Administration has approved HCG for male hormone treatments and female infertility. However, it can not be purchased over the counter, you will need to get a prescription from your doctor. You will often find it sold as a homeopathic remedy.
There are several side effects associated with the HCG diet, these include the following:
- Fluid build-up
- Swelling of the breasts in males
- Blood clots blocking blood vessels
Since the HCG diet involves a severe calorie restriction, it can lead to additional side effects such as:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Gallstones risk
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Muscle loss
- Risk of complications for those with diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease
Experts advise that if you experience any of the above side effects, you should book an appointment to see your doctor immediately.
Your dosage will depend on the amount of weight you want to lose, you may need to increase or decrease your dosage. However, the typical dose is between 125iu-175iu. Experts suggest starting at 150iu, and if you don’t have much weight to lose, 125iu.
In rare instances, some women have reported having to take as much as 200iu, and menopausal women have reported that they have only had to take 75iu to suppress feelings of hunger.
Those on the HCG diet must restrict their calories to a maximum of 500 per day; the majority of people on this diet consume two meals a day which consists of the following:
- A vegetable
- A source of protein
- A fruit
- Carbohydrates such as bread
There are a number of foods that can be consumed on the diet; these include the following:
- Leafy greens such as spinach
- Melba toast
- Lean ground beef
- Half a grapefruit
- A handful of berries
Those on the HCG diet can also drink unlimited amounts of water, coffee and tea, sugar substitutes can be used as sweeteners. There are several foods that should be avoided on the HCG diet; these include the following:
- Potatoes and starchy vegetables
- Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon
- Pickled and dried fish
There are three main phases on the diet, these include the following:
- Phase 1: This phase lasts for 2 days and dieters can eat as much as they want to build up fats and calories at the same time as taking the HCG supplements.
- Phase 2: This phase can last between 3 to 6 weeks and involves a calorie restriction of 500 calories per day while taking the supplements.
- Phase 3: This is the maintenance phase; the supplements are discontinued, and food intake is increased.
The HCG diet is a combination of hormone supplements and a severe calorie restriction to assist in the weight loss process. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest whether or not the diet is safe or effective.
In the United States, HGC is only available on prescription and anyone selling it outside of the legal restrictions is breaking the law.
Since the dietary restrictions are so severe, it is advised that anyone who wants to follow the diet seek medical advice beforehand.