The HCG Diet; Does It Really Work?

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It seems like we are constantly bombarded with new ways to lose weight only to be told months, or even years later that the “diet” was a fraud and doesn’t really work. So, what about the hCG diet? Does it really work, or is it just another fad diet?

hCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is the hormone that women make when they are pregnant. How does this help you lose weight?

Supposedly, hCG helps to curb your appetite while at the same time target your body to use fat stores for energy rather than muscle. However, the hCG diet doesn’t just utilize injects of hCG, it also requires that the person on the diet restrict their calorie consumption to 500 calories a day. Yes, that’s right. 500 calories a day. Considering that the recommendation for an average man is 2500 calories a day and 2000 for a woman, 500 is a significant drop! Most people don’t recommend losing more than a pound a week in order to have a healthy weight loss that can be sustained after the diet is ended. This means eating 500 calories less a week, not eating ONLY 500 calories a day.

So, is the weight loss seen during the hCG diet really due to hCG injections, or does it stem from the severe restrictions on caloric intake?

According to people who promote the hCG diet, it can result in the loss of 1/2 - 1 pound a DAY. Not a week. A day. Is it really healthy to lose weight that fast? Apparently, that’s where hCG plays an important role. By taking the hCG injections, the person on the diet is controlling how the weight is being lost. With the help of hCG, muscle loss (a common effect of rapid weight loss) is reduced while fat loss is increased. Why is this important? Because people who lose muscle tend to regain the weight faster whereas those who lose more fat are better able to keep the weight off.

The diet itself is done in 3 stages: Loading, Burning, and Maintenance.

Loading: Days 1 and 2. This stage only covers the first two days of the diet when the dieter prepares their body for the hCG diet. It requires the consumption of foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates.

Burning: Days 3 to 26, up to 43. This is the difficult stage of the diet when the person needs to severely restrict their caloric intake and follow a strict diet. Dieters can only eat 2 meals a day and must include protein in both of them (important for retaining muscle) as well as a bread (likely for the carbohydrates which provide long term energy as the body takes longer to them break down into sugars for energy), a vegetable and a fruit (for important vitamins and minerals). Also,the protein source cannot be a fatty meat and any visible fat seen on the mean must be removed and both butter and oil are not allowed.

Maintenance: Done for 3 weeks after the end of the Burning stage. During this time, dieters cannot eat any sugar or starches.

Here are a few examples of meals that someone on the hCG diet could enjoy during the Burning stage:

100 grams of grilled or broiled chicken breast, fat removed, steamed spinach, a bread stick and half a grapefruit.

A mixed greens salad with lemon juice dressing, a handful of strawberries, a small portion of walnuts, and a breadstick.

100 grams of grilled salmon and asparagus, a piece of melba toast and an apple for dessert.

For more information and suggestions, this is a good website: http://www.hcgmealplan.com/hcg-meal-plan

So, does the hCG diet work? Yes, but it requires a lot of willpower to stick to a 500 calorie a day diet! Like any diet, it is best to talk to your doctor before starting, and, like any diet that severely restricts your calories, it is best to meet regularly with a physician while following the diet.

Additional information:

Ashapz wrote:

You should not feel hungry if you’re using REAL hCG. The real hormone CANNOT be purchased at Walmart, Amazon, health stores, etc. It is controlled and requires a perscription. I will say that you CAN get a prescription online and do an over the phone consult with a doctor to get your prescription.

I recommend doing the injections, you can get legit hormone containing drops (also requires prescription), but the way this program was developed to be was with injections once daily of hCG. And no, prescription hCG doesnt “come from a pregnant woman”. It’s made synthetically in a lab. Hcg is naturally occuring in the body and is produced in excess in pregnant women, but your prescription is NOT hCG from another person. Lol.

Also, doing drops without the real hormone will cause you to not only lose muscle, but you will feel STARVING. You will also not be resetting your metabolism and will almost surely gain all the weight back. This protocol only works PROPERLY with the real hormone. Research the book “Pounds and Inches” by Dr. Simeons. He developed this protocol in the 50’s.

Image by the FDA via Flickr

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.

One Comment:

  • Vale: If anyone is on the hCG diet, please share your experiences below! Similarly, if you have any meal suggestions or diet tips, let us know :D

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