Everyone’s talking about the hCG diet and you’re wondering what is it and what is all the fuss is about. It’s really quite simple. On the hCG diet, a low calorie diet is combined with supplementary hCG. This acronym stands for human Chorionic Gonadotropin and it’s a hormone that naturally occurs in your body. The levels of hCG are particularly high in pregnant women and it has been noted that it increases their ability to burn fat.
If you’re a man, you don’t have to worry about this: it will also boost your testosterone production, but that’s not why you’re considering it. You want to know about weight loss and fat burning is what you need. Of course, you’ll have to limit your calories before your body decides to burn fat and that’s where the diet comes in.
The History of the hCG Diet
Although this might seem like a new fad, it certainly isn’t anything of the sort. The hCG diet was first promoted by a medical doctor, Dr Simeons, after observing pronounced weight loss in adolescents with hypogonadism when treated with hCG combined with a low calorie intake. They reported reduced feelings of hunger too and this led Dr Simeons to undertake years of work on weight loss, low calorie diets and the effects of hCG. His magnum opus, ‘Pounds and Inches’, a book detailing his original protocol was published in 1967.
In 2007, Kevin Trudeau re-discovered the work of Dr Simeons, adding a few refinements of his own and the resulting sensation has led to the revival of the hCG diet as an effective weight loss program. Participant reviews on the effectiveness of the diet are varied however it is interesting to note that in most cases when the diet was completed correctly, the reviews were very positive.
Is it a ‘Crash Diet’?
Answer: both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Yes, you’re going to lose weight really fast, but if you stick to the diet and follow all the phases carefully, you’ll keep the weight off.
In truth, the hCG diet is the introduction to a lifestyle change to healthier eating and a metabolic change that helps you to burn fat even after you’ve moved to higher calorie eating. The hCG diet is one that recognizes the fact that you do need more than the initial weight loss calories, but doesn’t leave you to wallow in French fries once the diet is ‘over’.
If you’re going to take on this diet, be sure you’re committed to healthier eating in years to come for maximum results!
What Does the hCG Diet Consist Of?
This phased diet begins with an ‘eat all you like’ phase of up to three days. Thereafter, you’re going to experience a limited time (up to eight weeks) in which your calories are severely restricted. The original diet recommends a 500 calorie daily intake for up to six weeks, but variants consisting of 800 and 1200 calories per day exist.
The diet is supplemented with hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin) a naturally occurring hormone that promotes fat burning and prevents the loss of muscle mass so often associated with ‘crash diets’. Thereafter, you gradually re-introduce extra calories in a planned manner and you continue to monitor your weight in order to determine what your ‘maintenance calories’ (the number of calories you should consume to maintain your new weight) are calculated.
Although not absolutely necessary in most cases, it’s probably wise to undertake this endeavor with the aid of medical advice and supervision. You’re more likely to stick to the program, will be equipped to deal with any side effects that may occur and you’ll have help and support when questions arise.
How do advocates of the hCG diet claim that it works?
Although consuming a very restricted diet would cause weight loss in just about anyone, advocates of the hCG diet claim that coupling a low calorie intake with doses of hCG make it all a whole lot easier. So how does it work? It’s pretty simple: you follow the detailed diet plan which, although limited in calories (at times as few as 500 per day) includes really healthy foods and some delicious recipes. Plus, you use daily doses of hCG to enhance your weight loss of stored fat.
There are numerous testimonials from people who shed kilograms really fast and who say that the weight stays off as long as you pay attention to your lifestyle. Obviously, you don’t stay on the diet forever, but you should stay away from foods that made you overweight in the first place.
What role does hCG hormone play in the HCG diet?
When we start talking about dosing oneself with hormones, many an eyebrow will be raised. Can it harm you? Exactly how is it supposed to help you? Here’s the skinny on hCG and how it helps you to lose weight.
First of all, adverse effects of hCG in the dose used on this diet are rare. hCG naturally occurs in the body and during early pregnancy, the concentrations of hCG rise to a level that’s nearly 2000 times the concentrations you’ll be adding to your system. While taking hCG will affect your metabolism, it is unlikely to cause any imbalances in your system as a whole.
HCG acts on your hypothalamus, an organ that regulates your weight by controlling your sensations of hunger and appetite and by regulating how much fat should be stored and how much should be burned. The effect of hCG is to instruct your hypothalamus that it’s fat burning, rather than fat storing time.
The problem with a low calorie diet on its own, is that you’re as likely to burn muscle as fat and that means you’ll pile the weight back on as soon as you stop the diet as your body tries to regain lost muscle. If you add hCG to a low calorie diet, you burn off fat. This also limits the potential dangers associated with a low calorie diet. The fat you burn provides you with ample energy to keep on functioning effectively.
At the same time, hCG tells your hypothalamus that you’re not hungry, so you don’t experience an overwhelming desire to eat. Sticking to the diet becomes easy.
How is this different from a normal very low calorie diet?
If you’ve ever tried a very low calorie diet, you’ll know that you feel weak, tired and grumpy all the time. You crave food and sometimes you end up binge eating simply because you can’t take it anymore. What’s more, the minute you start eating normally again, your body turns everything you eat into fat because you’ve managed to convince it that you’re starving. Having got that message, your metabolism decides it needs to store as much fat away as possible for the next time there’s a food shortage. The result? Rapid weight gain as soon as you stop dieting.
Since hCG promotes fat burning, you don’t get as tired and weak as you ordinarily would on a low calorie diet. Fat is pure stored energy and burning it up helps you to feel more energetic and comfortable than you normally would on such a low calorie diet. As a result of the release of all that stored energy, your body doesn’t go into starvation mode. It’s quite happy with things as they are and if you’re careful to follow the recommended steps for discontinuing the diet, there’s no radical weight regain.
Will I Be Hungry On The HCG Diet?
If you are thinking about using HCG injections and following the HCG diet you might be concerned about feeling hungry eating so little food. Surprisingly, most people report that they don’t feel hungry during this protocol, despite a big reduction in food eaten. The theory behind the reason for this again falls back to the effect HCG has during a normal pregnancy. It is believed that high levels of HCG in pregnancy may be responsible for the nausea and loss of appetite known as morning sickness. When taken in the much lower dose used for weight loss, experts believe HCG reduces appetite in a similar way, but without stimulating nausea.
Is This Really Enough Food To Live Off?
Many people are also concerned that 500 calories is too little food to live off. Firstly, it is important to keep in mind that you are also going to be living off your own body fat stores which will be burnt to supply energy needed.
Secondly, it is important to remember that these very severe calorie restrictions are only temporary. The goal is to get you down to a healthy weight as quickly as possible in a manner which is going to enable you to maintain the weight loss when you do reintroduce more calories back into your diet. Please keep in mind that you are best to consult your doctor or a dietitian as to the correct amount of calories to consume.