The HCG diet is a low-calorie diet which supports the intake of only 500 calories per day, which is achieved through the use of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin This is a hormone based on glycoproteins and produced by pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Studies show that this hormone is helpful to speed up metabolism ( body fat consumption ) without causing decreased muscle mass.The HCG diet emerged in the 1960s, presented by Dr. ATW Simeons as a natural solution for obesity.It aims to lose up to 3 kilos a week and is intended for both women and men.
According to its advocates and promoters, the HCG diet plan is effective for quick, sustainable weight loss. When this plan is used, a person’s ideal weight point will be correctly reset. When your weight is reset, you will be able to maintain your ideal weight.This method is very effective but requires strict adherence to the protocol. Satisfaction from significant weight loss is a huge moral builder as well as a step toward better health.
HCG is not a starvation diet plan. The HCG you take triggers the body system to release fats from your body and burn it as energy. During this phase, your body is using many stored calories. Thus, pounds and inches are decreasing.
This diet plan can be set up with two different time frames. The 23-day plan with 20 days of taking HCG is for those who need to lose 15 pounds or less. The longer plan is 43-days with 40 days of taking HCG. The last 3 days of the diet plan HCG is not taken as it needs to be moved out of the body system to maintain the new weight loss. The loss of pounds varies with each person. The average loss is from .05 to 1 lb of weight per day.
Phases Of The HCG Diet
The 3 phases of the HCG diet plan are clearly laid out and easy to follow. During all 3 phases drinking lots of water is a must. Coffee and tea are allowed, especially green tea. Completely cutting out all sugar and starches along with oils is necessary.Phase 1
It is called loading days, consists of taking the HCG while “gorging” on food. These foods need to be high in fat and calories. Enjoy this phase as you can eat everything you have been restricting yourself from and feel no guilt. In fact, it is important to eat constantly and heavily for 2 days.
Yes, you may gain a few pounds. However, they will be lost within a day or two. Some people will lose weight on this phase. Do not be concerned as your body is doing what it knows best. There is no right or wrong except not eating enough. At this point, overeating is important as it sustains your body and helps alleviate hunger during the diet.Phase 2
It’s the VLCD or very low-calorie diet. This phase is either 20 or 40 days in length. The food is restricted to 500 calories per day with a well laid out list of proteins, vegetables, and fruits.In this phase the daily eating plan consists of 2 proteins, 2 vegetables, 2 fruits and 2 melba toast crackers or an Italian breadstick called, Grissini. All of these are from a specific list of foods, only!
Vegetarians do not be afraid to use the HCG diet plan. In more recent applications of HCG, there are vegetarian type options that work. Replacing the meat protein with 1/2 cup Quinoa, 1 egg and 1 egg white, specific protein powders, or 1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese. These are some examples.
As progression is made, there may be interruptions in the second half of the longer 40-day diet plan. Interruptions of weight loss will most likely be a dietary error, salt intake, women’s menstrual cycles, or reaching a former weight loss set point. Both of the following protocols are used during phase 2 and phase 3 to break plateaux.
The first way to break a plateau is by waiting until noon to eat. In the next 24 hours the allowance is 6 large apples with all liquids, except water, being restricted. The second day that is all the fruit eaten that day, however, resume eating the allotted protein and vegetables.
The second recommendation to break a plateau is to have a steak day. Abstain from food all day, until your evening meal. Cook your steak and eat it with a raw tomato or an apple. Resume eating the VCLD 500 calorie plan the next day. The scales should show at least a 2 lb weight loss the morning after either of these plateau breakers.Phase 3
It entails ending the use of HCG. This 6-week portion is considered the stability or maintenance phase. In the first 3 weeks, diet restrictions are lessened by upping the calorie intact to 1,500 calories. In this phase, much more vegetable, fruits, and proteins are consumed.The importance of this time frame is to stabilize your weight. If you have a 2 lb gain, be sure to do the plateau breaker.
The second 3 weeks follow the same eating plan but slowly add sugars and starches back in. In these 2 phases continue to weigh yourself every day. Do not starve yourself or your body will not hold its new set point. Your body wants to recover the lost pounds, so this is a crucial phase. Be sure to eat your calories of healthy foods and make sure you are eating enough protein.
The HCG diet plan has some stringent restrictions on the use of oils. All oils except coconut oil must be stopped. Oils hinder weight loss so be careful of this even in skin care products, lotions, bubble baths and even some makeup.
Sugar absolutely must be cut out; this includes honey. The only sweetener allowed is natural plant-based stevia. It is best to eliminate all artificial sweeteners, too. Check all salad dressings, spice combinations and condiments for added hidden sugars. There are choices without sugars.
Side effects of HCG
An article written by Dr. Sheri L. Emma, creator of “ Dr.Emma’s HCG Protocol ” posted on the Famous Doctor OZ Show website clearly states
Do HCG injections work for weight loss? My answer is yes, absolutely. The trickier question is: How does HCG work for weight loss?
According to research by the doctor, injections or HCG drops do not make you lose weight; it is actually the diet that helps to achieve weight loss. The detail is that the HCG changes the way our body behaves.
And she continues:
HCG is a pro-hormone which helps the body make more hormones. Since hormone deficiency or imbalance is usually part of the reason for weight gain, whether it’s your thyroid, or menopause (or andropause), this hormone offers help.
Dr. Emma indicates that only hCG injections have shown an increase of the hormone in the blood. Therefore this is the only acceptable way of taking it. She also points out that the hCG in its form of drops or tablets dissolve before reaching the blood. Since Injections are the only proven way to raise those levels of the HCG hormone in the blood, people on the diet should only take them with a prescription and under medical supervision.
Those who want to lose weight are bombarded with hundreds, possibly thousands, of different diets, each claiming unprecedented benefits for body weight, fitness, and overall health. Unfortunately, most diets simply do not work in the long run. And while the shortcomings of some dietary recommendations are obvious even to the uneducated, others sound too scientific to be simply discarded.
First, we must emphasize that although the hormone is natural and safe for our body, its presence is not natural if not in pregnancy period. On the other hand, the amount of this hormone that promotes fat release with a very restrictive and very low-calorie diet can impact our metabolism which is reduced to protect us. Notably, there are various health benefits of working through the HCG diet protocol, but If you are still thinking of trying this diet, it is also advisable to consult a good nutritionist or doctor before starting due to increased risk of side effects associated with this diet approach which include, Vomiting,Sickness,Abdominal pain,OHSS( ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome )Headache,Fatigue
People who are doing this diet should not be deceived, but have to think that the most important thing is to learn to eat with proper eating habits, taking into account the food pyramid and the right portions.The HCG diet plan works but is not for the faint of heart. There can be abundant satisfaction in losing pounds as well as inches so quickly. If you are on a diet and have the desire to start exercising, you should talk to your doctor.
The New HCG Diet | The Dr. Oz Show. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.doctoroz.com/article/new-hcg-diet?page=1