You might have been trying to lose weight for quite the while, following every eating regime out there… to no avail. But what if we told you there’s a diet that promises you a one-pound of weight loss a day, and there are dozens of people out there who swear by it?
A diet that could help me lose up to thirty pounds a month? Shut up and take my money!
Easy there, champ. The diet we’re talking about is known as the HCG Diet, and it’s a food plan of extreme calorie restriction. So before selling your soul to the devil, you might want to understand first how it works, and why it works.
The HCG Diet: What It is and How It Works
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, and it’s a natural hormone produced by the placenta of pregnant women. It is said that this hormone encourages the body to burn more fat, increase metabolism, and reduces the feeling of hunger. This is what gave Dr. Albert Simeons the idea to start the HCG back in 1954.
Dr. Simeons proposed the HCG diet: an extreme weight loss program that limits you to 500 calories a day, with injections of the HCG hormone to aid with the weight loss. While the diet is frowned upon by many medical specialists, and the FDA has not legalized the use of HCG as a weight loss agent, many physicians and obese patients still recommend and follow the diet.
Studies have shown that the HCG hormone doesn’t really aid with the weight loss, arguing that any diet that limits you to 500 calories a day will definitely make you lose weight. So using HCG at this point is suggested to help with reducing the feeling of hunger during this extreme calorie restricting diet.
Injections are the most effective form to take the HCG hormone. There are other forms available in the market as well, such as the sublingual drops. The issue with these products is that, many of them are homeopathic products that don’t really contain any HCG. So care should be taken before getting just any product. Once you make sure of the HCG product you’re getting, you can learn about the best way to load your syringes as explained on HCGDiet.com.
The Phases of the HCG Diet
The HCG diet has three phases:
1. Loading Phase
You start the diet by eating as many dense, high-calorie, foods as you can. It lasts for two days, during which you also start taking the HCG hormone.
2. Weight Loss Phase
This is the longest and most crucial phase of the diet, where weight loss actually happens. For a duration of 3 to 6 weeks, you’ll continue taking the HCG hormone will restrict your calorie intake to 500 calories a day.
3. Maintenance Phase
This is where you maintain the weight you’ve lost. In this phase, you stop taking the HCG hormone, and gradually increase your calorie intake.
Maintaining The Weight Loss
It might be tempting to jump right back on the junk train as soon as you finish the diet, but that would be counter-productive. Take care to increase your food intake gradually, and stay away from sugar and starch for a while. On the other hands, you’re very much encouraged to consume large amounts of protein-containing food, to replenish your body with any nutritional deficiencies resulting from the diet.
Does HCG Diet Work For Everyone?
With such as an extreme weight loss program, that also introduces a hormone into the body, it’s natural to assume that it shouldn’t be followed by everyone. The HCG diet isn’t suitable for the following conditions:
- Patients with prior history of HCG hypersensitivity (i.e. Allergic to HCG)
- Early boomers (or boys who’ve hit puberty earlier than expected)
- Cancer of the prostate gland or of the testis
- Tumor of the pituitary gland
- Blood Vessels obstruction by a blood clot
- Enlargement of the ovary following infertility treatment
- Visible water retention
- A tumor that’s dependent on estrogen for growth
Meanwhile, if you have any of the following conditions, you should tell your doctor before starting the HCG diet so they can monitor the treatment and further modify it:
- Cystic Ovary, or PCOS
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Breast feeding.
Lose Weight But Stay Healthy
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to lose weight, is that you’re doing that to be more healthy. You’re losing weight to regain the use of your body and the full potential of your life, not just to look good. Looking good will surely come after. So with any diet program you follow, make sure you’re keeping healthy and supplementing your body with what it needs to function properly.