HCG Diet: an overview
Have you ever heard of the HCG Diet? If you have been seeking to cut weight or if you are obese and have been hunting around for a solution for some time, the HCG Diet must be familiar to you.
This diet has sent sparks flying with some proponents advocating for it and others discrediting it as ineffective. At worst, some authorities, including some government agencies, have termed them potentially harmful and dangerous. But what is the public to believe amid this never settled controversy over the benefits of this diet?
In this review, I will take you through the facts surrounding the diet, its history, pros, and cons; then, I will be telling you if HCG Diet is right for you.
The HCG Diet is often touted as the solution to excess weight or obesity, a growing problem across the world that is affecting millions. But what is the HCG Diet? It will help to look a little bit back into some history to understand its real importance and potential.
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone found naturally in the body. However, it is secreted in peak amounts in pregnant women. It’s why it’s a favorite way of testing for pregnancy in women, and this can be conducted even at home.
The reason pregnant women produce high levels of HCG is that HGC boosts the production of the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which are needed to support the growth of the embryo and fetus. Those levels remain high during the first three months of a woman’s pregnancy, after which they start to decline. High HCG levels in the blood, however, can indicate other things besides pregnancy. It can tell you that you have some types of cancer, including placental, testicular, or ovarian cancer. But what does all this have to do with HCG Diet?
In 1954, Dr. Albert Simons, an English endocrinologist, was the first who suggested the HCG diet as a way of fighting excess weight. This followed studies he had made, which seemed to show a link between the loss in weight and HCG used in the study participants.
This pioneering study by Dr. Simeons has given rise to a whole HCG industry over the years. Unfortunately, the vast majority of HCG products are fake, especially those sold online. The products they distribute often contain no HCG. Products that do contain HCG are typically administered by injection, contrary to the fakes which are not. Moreover, they are doctor prescribed and used for a different benefit than weight loss – fertility. Incidentally, both men and women are treated for fertility using HCG injections.
What are the benefits of the HCG Diet?
- Acts fast by helping you to shed 1 to 2 pounds per day
- Curbs you hunger or appetite which prevents you from going for junk food which is behind most weight gains
- It is natural sources since HGC is a natural product. It is usually derived from the placenta
What are the side effects of an HCG Diet?
HCG Diets usually require you to go on a calorie deficit or starvation. It’s these that are behind many of the symptoms listed above.
However, other side effects of the HCG diet not related to starvation are possible. Some people have developed blood clots in the lungs and legs, which can have severe consequences on one’s health.
Ingredients, Dosage, and administration
As I pointed out, the HCG Diet was inspired by Dr. Albert Simeon’s pioneering model, which he came up with in the 1950s. Simeon’s diet, which was composed of two parts looked something like this:
- An extremely low-calorie diet (about 500 calories a day)
- HCG injections
From this basic model, the HCG Diet has gone on to take many variations today. The HGC used also comes in many forms, such as sprays, pellets, or oral drops.
The administration of the HCG Diet generally consists of 3 stages.
- Stage 1 (Loading phase): In preparation for future needs, you are allowed in this stage to take high amounts of high-calorie foods, such as those with high-fat content or high sugar content. This can run for two days. This is also taken along with HCG
- Stage 2 (weight loss phase): At this point, you limit your use of calories to 500 per day. This continues for 3 to 4 weeks. Also, HGC intake is maintained. Meals are down to only two each day which could consist of only lunch and dinner
- Stage 3 (Maintenance): Here, you halt your HCG intake. You also resume your food intake but only by a gradual increase. This can last for three weeks, and starch and sugar should still be avoided.
From this basic model, different people can design different plans which suit their goals. These can vary from extreme to moderate. Moderate plans can go for 3 weeks, given its goal of wanting to achieve minimal weight loss. Extreme plans which target higher weight losses can go for 6 weeks and may even require repeating the stages here many times.
An HCG meal plan should have meals with
- A portion of lean protein
- A vegetable portion
- A portion of bread
- A fruit portion
- Lots of water, including coffee, tea, and mineral water
An HCG Meal plan should exclude the following
How does HCG Diet work?
The HCG Diet has a two-part package. You are supposed to change your diet to a very low-calorie type. Along with this, you are to take HCG in some form or other (such as drops or pellets)
Those advocating for this diet argue that it revs up your metabolism, thus burning fat. However, it does this without causing you to experience hunger. But people have wondered how this occurs and attempted to bring up various explanations.
Regardless, what does the research say? Researchers have done studies in which participants were treated with the HCG diet and a placebo (false treatment purporting to be an HCG Diet). Keep in mind that placebos aim to eliminate any biases that may occur as a result of other causes (for example, participant’s psychological factors) other than the HCG Diet. These studies showed that there was no difference in weight loss for both groups. It also showed no evidence to support the other claimed the benefit of HCG – reducing hunger feelings. Thus overall, HCG seems to have little to support it in terms of clinical or scientific evidence.
Price and availability
There is no shortage of HCG products in the market today. You can buy them from many retail stores as well as online stores. From these sources, you can get HCG in various formats such as pellets, spray, or oral drops. Prices can also vary from expensive to cheap. Oral drops are cheaper than injections, which makes them preferable. They also come in two forms in terms of purity. Prescribed HCG can be bought from registered pharmacies and some retail stores. They are the purest HCG you can find. Most HCGs are homeopathic, which is a diluted form of HFG. Unfortunately, many vendors pass off their products as a pharmaceutical-grade when they are homeopathic.
- Based on natural or non-artificial sources
- Not FDA approved as a weight-loss drug
- Few published research in support but other studies show its lack of efficacy
- Most online products are homeopathic and so are unlikely to have any HCG at all
- Potentially harmful to health according to the FDA
HCG diet has become all the rage among those fighting weight problems. It has a long history, stretching all the way back to 1954 when English doctor – Dr. Simeons – made some observations that seem to link weight loss to HCG.
Since then, the HCG market has gone wild with never-ending versions of the diet being coined by different producers. For all the hype about this product, however, there are no clinical studies to show that it works at cutting weight.
With its limitation of daily calorie intake to 500 sustained sometimes for weeks, it’s a harsh weight loss program. I am inclined to believe the detractors who say that the weight loss achieved on this diet comes from the cut in calories rather than the HCG. Therefore these results can come from using an extreme calorie cut only. The HCG brings nothing at all to the table. Given the typically high price of most HCG products, this is a pointless waste of money.
Moreover, HCG can only effectively get into your blood via injection, which is not what most HCG Diets administer their HCG. Also, most HCG products don’t contain HCG making this a giant scam. Some of the HCG products are homeopathic, which is based on the idea of minimizing the quantity of the active ingredients.
One should also not ignore the misgivings of numerous professionals, including government agencies, on the HCG Diet. For example, the FDA has termed the HCG as dangerous, illicit, and fraudulent.
- FAST MUSCLE GAINS
- INCREASES STRENGTH
- 100% LEGAL
- BOOSTS TESTOSTERONE
- BURNS FAT
- NO SIDE EFFECTS