What is HCG and how does it work?
The HCG weight loss diet consists of a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) accompanied with treatments of HCG given either via injections, a topical cream, or nasal spray.
The average HCG dieter experiences rapid weight loss averaging 1 to 3 pounds per day. In addition to the loss of unwanted fat, the true benefit of the HCG protocol is its ability to help modify the dieter’s relationship with food and eating, resulting in easily maintained, long-term weight loss.
HCG is an abbreviation for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. This is a hormone naturally produced in a woman’s body when she is pregnant. It has many functions and is used medically to treat a variety of conditions. It is the pregnancy hormone that almost completely controls metabolic functions. This hormone allows the body to mobilize fat and use it as energy for both the mother and the fetus. This acts as a “fail-safe” mechanism when energy is needed immediately.
For weight loss, we use only small amounts of HCG to capitalize on this same mechanism. Using HCG in this way does NOT mimic pregnancy; in fact, it can be safely used by both adult men and women.
Why would I do the HCG Diet?
Many people have tried multiple diets without success. They are frustrated by not losing weight, despite reductions in their food intake and multiple sessions at the gym. After all their struggles, they just can’t understand why the extra rolls of fat just don’t melt away.
If you are one of these people, then the HCG Diet is an option for you. Instead of only relying on your dieting and exercising expertise, rely on the amazing properties of HCG to change your metabolism to help you.
Is the HCG hormone safe?
HCG is extremely safe. All women experience very high levels during the nine months of every pregnancy with no adverse effects. The small amount used for weight loss has very few, if any, side effects.
Can men do this diet?
Absolutely. Men usually get a better result than women, and it is equally safe in men as women and usually no significant side effects are seen. It does not give you “man-boobs” or estrogen effects as it is not a sex hormone lie estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone. It is more like the hormones adrenaline or thyroxine.
If HCG works so well for weight loss, why don’t pregnant women lose weight?
HCG works to mobilize abnormal fat for utilization by the body only when there is a decrease in calories and fat. A starvation state must exist for HCG to work. For pregnant women, this helps preserve the fetus, by ensuring that adequate nutrition is continually given to the fetus for its survival. For weight loss, a very low calorie diet triggers the HCG to help rid the body of fat. Pregnant women could lose weight if they did a low-calorie diet, but this is not recommended during pregnancy.
How Does HCG cause the weight loss?
HCG plus the Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCDiet) works in 3 distinct ways:
- HCG causes your hypothalamus to mobilize the fat out of the abnormal fat storage locations so that it’s available for use. The very low-calorie diet of 500 calories a day triggers your hypothalamus to change your body’s metabolism, to continually release the stored nutrients in the abnormal fat stored in your body. Because of this, your body is actually operating on thousands of calories a day, but most of these come from the stored fat. The result is that your body uses these thousands of calories of fat from your abnormal fat stores, and you lose weight. This is the reason why HCG users lose 1 to 2 lbs of fat or more, per day.
- Maintains a normal basal metabolic rate. This is our resting energy needs. If one does not maintain intake of calories to equal your BMR, your body goes into conservation mode; it wants to conserve the calories stored in your body because it does not know when you’re going to feed it. HCG makes sure you don’t go into this slower metabolism mode; hence you continue to feel good while on the program.
- Resets the hypothalamus to prevent future regain. After you have been on the diet for the 40 days, your body will continue to want to stay on it even after you stop using the HCG. This resetting of your hypothalamus metabolism continues or a few days to a few weeks after stopping the HCG so you can continue to lose even more weight.
Will my metabolism slow down if I’m on a very low-calorie diet?
Normally when we cut back our calories and eat a very low calorie diet, our bodies tend to preserve fat and nutrient stores. Our hypothalamus sees that there are not many calories in our blood, thereby making our metabolism slow down. Our body wants to conserve the fat because fat is really a life-saving source of stored energy.When HCG is utilized with a very low calorie diet, however, the hormone causes the hypothalamus to signal to the body to mobilize the calories out of the abnormal fat storage locations and use these stored calories for energy burning to fuel our daily actions. The excess or abnormal fat reserves are reduced, and you lose weight. In fact, your body is actually operating on thousands of calories a day which enables you to lose 1 or 2 pounds of fat per day.
Wouldn’t I lose the same amount of weight eating a very low-calorie diet without HCG?
You can definitely lose weight by simply eating fewer calories and fat. Unfortunately, because the body stores fat during times of deprivation, you will most likely lose vital lean muscle before fat. This results in loss of muscle mass which is not what you want to happen. You want your body to chew up the fat cells, not your muscle cells. Moreover, this causes our metabolism to slow down because your body goes into conservation mode. The nutrients in the blood will drop, and you will have massive hunger and it is tough to be disciplined with famine hitting you. In addition, the slower metabolism results in fatigue, so you feel sluggish and tired. This does not motivate you to continue with this type of diet. The result is that you most likely will not lose your problem abnormal fat deposits. Your body will not be reshaped. When you stop the diet you will immediately gain all the weight back, plus more! By using HCG with the very low calorie diet, weight loss comes directly from the mobilization of the abnormal fat tissue rather than stripping the body of the much-needed muscle. Your metabolism is maintained as is your energy level, and the excessive amounts of fat-stored nutrients are released into the blood stream to be absorbed by the body. The low-calorie diet is vital to creating the negative calorie balance necessary to lose weight. In addition, it can help prevent the immediate refilling of emptied fat cells. You benefit by preferentially getting rid of abnormal excess fat without affecting your lean muscle and normal fat stores.
The HCG diet is very low calorie, will I get hungry?
Because HCG mobilizes fat and makes it available to the body as an energy source, it naturally reduces appetite. Your appetite center sees your blood rich in nutrients, so it is not stimulated to make you hungry. Therefore, even though you are consuming fewer calories, your body can access the energy you have stored in fat cells and use it for your normal daily metabolic needs. The thousands of calories of fat that already exists in your abnormal fat stores are mobilized making you lose weight as these stores shrink. However, this effect is not immediate. The first three days of the diet help begin the metabolic change from the HCG, so you eat normally. The next three days will be 500 calories a day, and this is the toughest part. We therefore recommend you do the diet with a buddy for support. Shortly, within the first week of the diet, most patients notice a significant decrease in their appetite. Moreover, most people have adequate energy and feel good while on the program. Short-term appetite suppressants are usually not necessary and can create problems. However, we don’t want you to fail because you are excessively hungry.
Can I change the diet as long as I stick to 500 calories?
No. This protocol has been shown to be successful only as directed. The unique combination of the HCG plus a very strict 500 calorie specific food consumption plan has been shown to work while other regimens have not. The specific foods used cause specific chemical reactions in the body and with the HCG activate the hypothalamus into mobilizing the secure abnormal fat reserves, causing dramatic weight loss without the loss of muscle or structural fat. It is of the utmost importance that you must strictly follow this to the letter, but you will get results. Dr. Simeon of Rome, Italy, who created the diet, found that any variance away from these guidelines resulted in less success at losing weight. Thus, we only recommend strict adherence to the guidelines of the diet.
Will it help to eat even less than 500 calories a day?
Studies have shown that eating less than 500 calories does not improve the results. The reason for the very low caloric intake is to create a negative calorie balance. An excessive negative doesn’t help and may change your metabolism for the worse. Eating lower amounts of calories do not speed up the process. Eating smaller quantities of food may actually stop the fat mobilizing mechanism.
What If I am not hungry on the HCG, do I have to eat everything listed in the Very Low-Calorie Diet?
Yes, whether you are hungry or not, you must eat the lunch and dinner in their complete form as directed. You cannot have one big meal per day. You may take the fruit from either lunch or dinner and eat it at breakfast. No other changes or substitutions are allowed as they slow or stop the fat burning process.
What are the advantages of the topical cream of HCG compared to the injections?
The difference is primarily ease of use. If you use the cream, you have no needles, no mixing, no bruising, no risk of infection, and no loss of potency in the short time. The cream is a lot easier to use than the injections yet some people prefer the injections because they believe they have better absorption. Compliance is easier to achieve with the cream, making the effectiveness far higher because patients are more consistent with their dosages.
Will it affect my appearance? Will I get wrinkles or stretch marks if I lose all this weight?
No, not with this method. Abnormal fat deposits should disappear. Double chins, pot bellies, and fat around the thighs should be the first to go. The treatment does not deplete the subcutaneous or other essential fat. The face retains its freshness and natural appearance. Most people see a noticeable difference in their facial appearance due to the thinness or the face. The skin usually retracts and tightens on its own over time, no matter where it is on the body.
Will HCG work without a diet?
Although there is no dramatic weight loss without the accompanying diet, HCG can cause a reduction in inches rather than pounds. However, this is not recommended due to the time constraints of using the HCG.
Has this method been used before?
Yes. When first reported in the Medical Journal Lancet in November of 1954, it had been used in thousands of cases. Since then, it had been used in many more thousands of people with great success. References are everywhere on the internet for those who are interested.
What effects can I expect from the medication itself?
Usually, a loss of appetite occurs and patients notice that the severe compulsive hunger disappears. Most feel good to great and maintain an adequate energy level. The afternoon can sometimes be a bit weak, but this can occur with a normal diet.
What if I miss one or more doses?
This can just delay the total effectiveness of the program, potentially 3 days for every dose missed. You may experience increased hunger and cravings. If you miss more than 3 doses in one week, the effect of the HCG is nullified, and you may need to stop altogether or start over.
Can I maintain the diet even if I engage in daily hard physical labor?
Yes. However, you may get tired quicker so be aware of this. The good thing is that the HCG mobilizes and uses abnormal fat stores for calories and energy instead of stripping the muscle of protein for energy. It thus prevents the breakdown of lean muscle.
Does the diet require a lot of work in planning and preparation?
Because the diet is very simple, it is simple to comply and is one of the easiest diets to do. You need a food scale to measure the 3.5 oz (100gm) of meat, white fish, chicken or shrimp. Whitefish fillets and frozen precooked shrimp placed directly on the grill makes a freshly prepared tasty meal in just minutes. Place on organic greens from the bags with fresh lemon and you are eating a quick, fulfilling meal. The same is easily done with frozen boneless chicken or lean steak as well. If you don’t have a stove, purchase a Forman grill at your neighborhood department store or a GTXpress 101 indoor electric cooker at this website. Most upscale grocery stores have organic meats and produce that are very reasonable. Organic sliced apples are available everywhere now and great for on the go.
What do you recommend I eat at a restaurant?
Avoid eating at restaurants during HCG therapy. Most of these foods are heavily processed, loaded with trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, flavor enhancers and almost never fresh. The portions are outrageously huge as is the price. If you have to eat out, choose seafood and ask that it be prepared dry with no oil or butter. You can order grilled chicken, but only eat the 3.5 oz as directed. Ask for steamed vegetables, but choose from the prescribed list or participate in the salad bar without the dressing and extras.
What about protein and vitamin deficiencies during the diet?
The diet is a very specific combination and balance of protein, carbs, and fat. However, you must replenish your essential vitamins and other nutrients daily. Certain supplements are recommended and available at very modest prices. We recommend a high potency multivitamin be taken while on the program as well as on an ongoing basis. Vitamins and minerals are the basic foundation for optimal health and generally deficient in appropriate amounts in our food due to multiple reasons, including over farming and overusing the soil. Some vitamins have antioxidant properties and should be taken in larger amounts than in a single multi-vitamin tablet.
What if I occasionally get jittery or shaky due to the reduced quantity of food?
Although common without HCG, with HCG these usually do not occur due to the mobilization of thousands of calories from fat. However, blood glucose levels could fluctuate creating these symptoms. A 15 calorie Lifesaver or extra fruit when necessary, usually controls this and does not interfere with the weight loss.
Can my overweight children use this program?
No, this program is not advisable for persons under the age of puberty. Please visit your pediatrician for other methods available for these cases. The diet should be used in people over age 16.
Do you guarantee that I will lose weight with this method?
As with any weight loss method or other medical treatment, no guarantees can be made. However, most of our patients have lost an appreciable amount of weight with this program. It is the most effective method we have experienced in weight reduction.
Is there a difference between structural fat, normal fat, and abnormal fat?
Yes! Structural fat provides a cushion effect to our skin, such as on the hands or soles of our feet. This is good fat. Normal fat is also good, and is a good reserve of fuel for us, plus it is easy to metabolize away. However, abnormal fat is also a reserve of fuel, but it is difficult for our bodies to metabolize abnormal fat without HCG. However, with HCG, our metabolism changes so we mobilize this abnormal fat and this is the reason why the diet works so well. HCG works primarily on abnormal fat and not on normal fat. Thus, if you don’t have much abnormal fat, you lose minimal weight and/or you can’t do the diet because you’re too hungry. Thus, the diet does not work for people who want to lose just a few pounds. So, if you are trying to fit into those smaller size jeans and you already are small, this is not the diet for you.
Will HCG interfere with any medications I am currently taking? What about birth control pills or Depo-Provera injections?
HCG does not interact with ANY medications, including birth control pills or Depo-Provera, so there are rarely any side effects.
Will I experience any changes in my menstrual cycle taking HCG?
Although the amount of HCG is small, there may be changes to your menstrual cycle. Likewise, HCG will not affect your ability to become pregnant nor will it increase your chances of getting pregnant and it will not make your contraceptive less effective. However, because it is a hormone of pregnancy, for women it is recommended to start it after a menstrual cycle.
Why are some people calling HCG the “Weight Loss Cure”?
HCG is also being called the “Weight Loss Cure” because after taking it for weight loss, it reprograms your body to use stored fat for energy when calories are reduced for a period of time. Even after you stop using HCG, you still can maintain a low-calorie diet and continue to lose weight. Essentially, it helps you maintain your weight and not regain the pounds you’ve lost once you resume normal caloric intakes. However, you still must be disciplined, eat right and exercise appropriately.
How much weight can I expect to lose on the program?
Much of it depends on your starting point. The more weight to lose the more weight is lost. On average, our patients lose around 15-40 lbs. per month. It is not unusual for some people to lose 10 to 12 lbs. in the first week.
Does the weight loss slow down after the first month?
Many times what we see is a large amount of weight loss in the first month, then a plateau or leveling off. This does not mean that our weight loss has stopped. Typically, inches are being lost continuously while on the program, and after a period of time, patients will experience another large drop on the scale. Weight loss is thus achieved in this stair-step fashion.
How long can I continue the medication?
After 42 doses, the effectiveness diminishes due to the body’s ability to develop temporary immunity to the HCG. However, if necessary, subsequent courses of Phase 1 can be resumed after a 3-week stabilizing period. In some instances, 4 or more courses have been given with continued effectiveness if a 3-week interval has been observed between them.
Will I gain the weight back once I stop the program?
Some degree of moderation in eating will be necessary because of the tendency to gain weight after any type of weight loss program. Many people find their stomachs have shrunk, and they can continue eating the low-calorie diet for many weeks. Stability of the normal weight is relatively easy because the weight loss is from storage fat and not from structural fat.
Why can I stay on HCG for only 40 days?
After you have used HCG for 40 days, it has been shown that your body develops an immunity to the medication. Thus, it is not able to mobilize the fat as well. Thus, you must stop the HCG after taking it for the 40 days.
When can I start taking HCG again?
It takes around six weeks for the HCG immunity to go away. After that time, you can start another 40 days of HCG if you have not reached your weight loss goals. This leap frog schedule can be continued until you have lost the weight you desire.
What if I am vegetarian or vegan?
If you are vegetarian, there are a few alternatives but the weight loss is generally slower. It is more difficult to participate in the program as a vegan but can be done with soy protein or a willingness to consume seafood. Just make sure you ingest the equivalent of 3.5 ounces of meat twice a day.
Do I have to exercise?
It is recommended that you maintain good physical activity through the diet program. You don’t have to overdo it or exercise for long hours of time to lose the weight. Physical activity is essential in maintaining total health for the body. A physically fit and healthy body is the result of exercise and good nutrition. A few additional benefits of exercise are improved sleep, healthier body composition, prevention of disease and chronic illnesses, and increased energy. Due to the very low caloric intake with this diet, we suggest brisk walking as the maximum form of physical activity.
Does this mean I have to go to the gym every day for one or more hours each day?
No, in terms of resetting your body weight’s set point, walking at any pace one hour a day is the very effective and mostly everyone can do it! We suggest developing an exercise routine that fits into your daily routine. If you do not already exercise, start off slow and increase at your own pace.
Will I still lose weight if I don’t exercise?
Yes, but light to moderate exercise is important in lowering stress, clearing the brain, improving strength & flexibility, controlling insulin utilization, managing weight, burning more calories, and increasing lean muscle mass. Not to mention the reshaping and re-contouring it can contribute. Exercise is encouraged for those reasons but is not necessary.
What happens if I get constipated?
That is uncommon if you are consuming the recommended water, fiber and magnesium supplementation. Black coffee is helpful as are multiple over the counter products that contain high fiber content without calories. Animal protein does not contain any fiber and although the diet includes fruits and vegetables it is vital that you consume extra fiber and a lot of water.
Calorie Content of the HCG Diet Foods
There are many websites that give you calorie amounts of the foods you eat, such as Nutrition Data or The Calorie Counter. The diet has information on eating a good well-balanced diet mixed with appropriate exercise and motivation. This should be used as a guideline for the maintenance phase of your diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you can’t find the standard calorie amounts on the websites, check the package labels for calorie content calculations whenever possible. Always remember to record what you eat in a food journal every day. Only eat the amounts and the choices of foods listed in this guide. Your daily caloric intake total per day should be 500. Your total calorie intake should not be less than 500 calories. If it is, make sure you eat enough of the vegetable serving to total the 500 calories.