August 1, 2021

HCG Diet: Is It A Safe Way To Lose Weight?

Jenny Lynn

There are many different diets out there, but not all are the same. Some work, but some do not, which is why it is hard to know what diets are the best for you. So, let me tell you a diet that is considered the most effective way to lose weight. I want to introduce you to the HCG diet. You could have heard of it, or it may be new to your ears. Either way, this article will be all about the HCG diet.

HCG diet can be the answer to your weight-loss woes, especially if no diet works for you. It is the reason why I am going to write about it because I am curious about what makes the HCG diet unique and compelling. We will talk about what the HCG diet is, how to use it, its benefits, and the side effects that we need to know.

At the end of the HCG diet article, you will get the whole idea and decide if the diet is the right fit for your lifestyle. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!

What Is An HCG Diet?

what is HCG

HCG Diet is mostly based on a diet that involves a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a protein-based hormone produced during pregnancy that can impact ovulation and female fertility and increase the production of testosterone if used by men. 

HCG became popular in weight loss because it can help enhance one’s metabolism. When the hormone is introduced to the body, it will boost metabolism and help you lose weight quickly, which is why it became a powerful tool because the process of metabolism uses food to produce energy. If you have a slow metabolism, you appear sluggish and slow and will find it hard to lose weight.

HCG diet became known because of A.T. W Simeons a physician who published findings that suggest HCG injections are linked to continued weight loss. It first started when they used the hormone to treat children with Fröhlich's syndrome, which includes obesity and the slow development of organs such as the reproductive system. After finding out that it can help children with the disease, they tried it on people who wanted to lose weight.

The studies involved injecting the hormone to help people who are obese to help them lose weight. The study concluded that HCG alone can’t help you lose weight, but it does help you shed weight when you follow a 500 calories diet a day for a few weeks. This is because the hormone is a potent appetite suppressant, however, this was debunked by further studies. 

Why Use An HCG Diet?

Now that we know the origins of the HCG diet, let us understand why you should use this as an avenue to help you lose weight. If you think that nothing is working out for you as you’ve tried every supplement, meal plan, and weight loss app, and you still don’t get to get the body you desire, it is probably time to try a new method.

HCG diet will help you deliver the kind of weight loss you want. You have the option to take HCG drops that are made from all-natural ingredients or get an HCG injection. In conjunction with taking HCGs, you should also be on a strict diet that I will discuss later. 

The HCG diet is considered an effective and safe method, and it would be safer to get a medical professions opinion offered by companies that promote HCG diet.

What Is HCG?

You might be wondering why HCG is the significant component in the HCG diet. Let me tell you the reason behind this hormone and why it can help you lose weight.

As I explained earlier in this article, HCG is known as human chorionic gonadotropin, a protein-based hormone that women produce during pregnancies. It can affect ovulation, fertility and can increase testosterone production in men.

According to some studies, HCG can promote weight loss in men and women because it helps its metabolism. If HCG is introduced in our bodies, it can boost metabolism, a powerful tool to help the body lose weight quickly. It can easily turn food into energy, and you won’t have any problem with the retention of fat because most of it becomes energy that you release.

What Causes Slow Metabolism?

Everyone has different body types, and no one is alike. It is the reason why nobody has the same factor why they can’t lose weight. However, one thing is for sure, that it boils down to slow metabolism. Why do we have a slow metabolism?

Let me give you the factors that you may or may not have.

One’s Age

Age is a factor why our body’s metabolism becomes slow. Do you remember when you were younger, you could eat everything and didn't gain weight? However, when you step into your 30s, you will see that it isn’t that easy anymore and will worsen when you are in your 40s. As you see, metabolism slows as we age because of the decrease in your day-to-day physical activities. So slowing of metabolism is inevitable as we age.

Water Dehydration

Water is vital when it comes to survival as most of our body is composed of it. Did you know that dehydration can cause a decrease in metabolism? So if you are not drinking enough water, then you will have a problem losing weight. It is suggested that you should drink at least eight glasses of water in a day.

Your Eating Habits

If you are an eater of carbohydrates, you should know that too much of it can slow down your metabolism. Carbohydrates turn into sugar once the body breaks it down. It can turn in two ways: to be burned quickly or stored as fat when the body’s metabolism slows down. Sugars and grains are hard to keep your metabolism moving, which is why you are not losing weight.

Your Genetics

Genetics plays a vital role in your metabolism because you cannot control it and was passed down to you. You should know what the traits that you’ve inherited are, the more you know, the more you will understand what your body is like. By acknowledging this factor, you will be able to adjust what is needed to lose weight in your way still.

Your Hormones

Hormones are also important for losing weight because it can influence our body on how they process the food we take. Hormonal imbalances can significantly affect metabolism and is a factor in how you lose weight. We can control our hormones through medications, but for some people, you cannot control it.

Your Inactivity

If you are lazy, sluggish, and don’t like physical activities, you can be blamed for having a slow metabolism. If you are active and do exercise regularly, your body will release hormones that can help increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.

Your Medication

If you have medications, you should know that they can affect your metabolism. Drugs such as antidepressants, hormone therapies, steroids, and many more can slow your heart rate and even add to your weight gain. These medications will be a factor for you not to lose weight.

If You Are Sleep Deprived

Having a good sleep is essential for us to be healthy. An average person should have seven hours to nine hours of sleep because it can create a vicious cycle affecting your body and health. When it comes to metabolism, not enough sleep will slow it down. It can also spike your blood sugar, increase your insulin which is the one that converts to fat.

If You Are Stress

Stress can cause many things because if we feel pressure, our body can produce cortisol. If you have overexposure to cortisol, it will lead to a drop of your testosterone production that can decrease muscle mass and burn fewer calories.

If You Vitamin Deficiencies

Getting the right vitamins and minerals is vital to our body, and if you are not getting enough, it will cause a deficiency and slow down your metabolism. According to studies, if you are deficient in vitamin D, calcium, B vitamins, and iron which are crucial to metabolism.

How Does HCG Diet Work?

You might wonder how all the things I discussed are helpful in the HCG diet. The diet's focus is about your body’s metabolism, and the HCG is going to help you increase it. However, it won’t work alone because you need to have a calorie count diet and HCG. 

The calorie count is essential when it comes to weight loss, and this is one thing that makes an HCG diet successful. If you observe, many people eat more calories compared to what they burn every day. If you want to lose weight, you need to reduce your calorie intake, and there are two ways to do it: exercising and food restriction.

If you restrict your diet by only eating 500 calories per day, you will lose weight. It isn’t to monitor your calorie intake. By using the HCG diet, you can restrict your calories and get the support you need.

You might worry that restricting your diet to only 500 calories a day will make you very hungry. But that won’t be the case with the HCG diet because you will have HCG supplements that will help suppress your appetite and make your metabolism move much quicker.

The HCG diet will provide you a tailor-made treatment schedule that can cater to the person's individual needs. All you need to do is discuss your goals, and you will be assisted with the right treatment plan.

How To Start Doing the HCG Diet?

The HCG diet has three phases: customizable depending on how much weight you want to lose. The diet has three phases that can be designed to fit your custom weight loss.

Here are the three phases:

Phase One

In starting the HCG diet, you need to take the necessary hormones, whether from HCG drops or HCG injections. You need to start introducing the hormone to your body and continue eating high-calorie food for two days. In this time, you need to prepare for your next phase and be included in that preparation to get to know the approved foods that you need for the diet. You will also have this time to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the upcoming changes to your diet.

Phase Two

In phase one, you will get to eat high-calorie food for two days. At the start of the phase, you will begin your restrictive diet and supplement. On your third day, you need to reduce your calories to 500 with the given approved foods that you need to eat. The second phase also requires customization, and you should know what weight you want to lose. It usually lasts from three to six weeks.

In phase two, you will find out that your body doesn't need the excess calories and food that it was used to. During the process of phase two, you will learn more about your eating habits and every possibility about your body. You will also be able to see the transitions that your weight is melting away during the process.

Phase Three

In phase three, you need to stop taking the HCG, and you need to increase the food calories you take. You still have restrictions on the way you eat as you still need to avoid sugars and starch. 

Phase three is also called the maintenance phase because you need to implement the things you learned throughout the stages. At the end of this phase, you will be able to eat sugar and starch again.

Even though you aren’t taking HCG anymore and the diet isn’t that strict, you still need to stick to the eating habits that you learned throughout the phases to help you more in weight loss.

What To Eat IN HCG Diet?

what to eat

As you know by now, the HCG diet is a results-driven type of diet, as you need to follow a strict diet to see the results. You get to eat two meals a day composed of protein, fruit, vegetable, and drinks from an approved list.

The food list should be composed of protein, carbs, sugar, and fat. It would help if you were strict in following the approved list, and it will significantly impact your diet. Your diet should only be composed of only 500 calories per day.

Here is an example of the approved list in each category.

Protein

In your diet, you must have 200 grams of protein in each meal. 

Here is the list of proteins. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can choose any plant-based protein.

  • Buffalo

  • Extra-lean grass-fed only beef

  • Chicken

  • Cheese (cottage)

  • Crab

  • Eggs 

  • Lobster

  • Scallops

  • Shrimp

  • Tofu 

  • Non-breaded veggie or black bean burgers 

  • Whitefish

Vegetables

In the HCG diet, you are approved to eat one cup of vegetables in each meal. 

Here are the approved vegetables:

  • Asparagus

  • Beet greens

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Chard

  • Cucumber

  • Fennel

  • Greens

  • Onions

  • Radishes

  • Shallots

  • Spinach

  • Tomatoes

Fruit

Fruits are known to be sweet and yummy, the diet doesn’t deprive you of sugars from fruits, and you are required to have two servings each day.

Here is the list of approved fruits:

  • Apples

  • Blueberries

  • Grapefruit

  • Lemon

  • Oranges

  • Raspberries

  • Strawberries

Drinks

Water is the best-recommended drink for the HCG diet, and keeping yourself hydrated is one of the ways to keep your metabolism pumping. You can drink as much water as you want because it doesn’t have any calories. 

In addition, if you think water won’t satisfy you, drinking coffee and tea is okay. You shouldn’t add any sugar, creamer, or milk, but you can add a little stevia to sweeten your drinks. Remember to drink plenty of fluids every day because it is a vital part of the HCG diet.

Benefits Of HCG Diet

Before you try a diet, the first thing you want to know is its benefits right? For the HCG diet, many people are curious about what makes it different from other diets and what makes it more effective.

Here are the benefits when you get into the HCG diet.

Can Help In Weight Loss

The HCG diet can help people lose weight, and you can see the results immediately. However, it will still depend on the users, but most people who used the diet lost about 28 pounds during their treatments.

Can Improved Health

The diet can give you many health benefits since you have a restricted diet. Aside from losing weight, you can get many health improvements. It can lower your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, can decrease your risk of diseases, and even increase your energy. Also, you will be able to experience fewer aches and pains and can even improve insulin levels.

Can Help In Slimmer Appearance

One of the main benefits of the HCG diet is that you get to lose weight, and if having a slimmer appearance is your target, you are on the right path. A lot of people who took the HCG diet confirm that they look better and slimmer.

Can Enhance Performance

When you do an HCG diet, it can increase your everyday’s performance, especially in working out. You won’t have a problem losing your muscle mass even with its restrictive diet. It also has become an ideal testosterone enhancement which is suitable for bodybuilders who don’t want to use steroids. 

Can Boost Libido 

People who used the diet also said that their libido increased while doing HCG. The sexual hormones are also part of the equation that HCG can balance in the body.

Can Support Fertility 

Using HCG can support fertility in both men and women. It can trigger ovulation for women and can help them if they want to get pregnant. While for men, it can help increase their sperm count and is essential in conception.

What To Know Before Going Through The HCG Diet?

what to know

The HCG diet isn’t perfect, as there are some things you need to know before you start the diet.

The diet is known for its 500-calorie diet, and you need to follow the rules surrounding it. It is rigorous and not for everyone. It will seem easy at first but you should know the average adult must have 2,200 to 2.400 calories a day. You need to follow a strict list of food and shouldn’t eat anything outside of it.

The use of HCG hormone in the HCG diet doesn’t contain HCG hormones. The supplements with HCG are not the hormone itself but came from a combination of all-natural ingredients. HCG is not an approved over-the-counter prescription, and if you need the natural HCG hormone, you need a doctor’s prescription. The HCG supplements that you see are not regulated and controlled by the FDA.

The HCG diet is not considered safe and could have dangerous side effects. You may experience headaches, irritability and fatigue, and especially hunger because of the severe calorie restriction. You may also have gallstones, imbalance of electrolytes, and can experience irregular heartbeat.

The diet may be prevalent in losing weight, but no concrete clinical trials prove that it supports the diet plan. No scientific evidence can backed-up the results of the HCG diet and even the HCG itself.

Side Effects Of The HCG Diet?

HCG isn’t safe for everyone as it can cause some side effects to its users. As you know, HCG has FDA approval to treat fertility issues, but the HCG you can purchase over the counter isn’t approved because it is known for being supplement. It is also not approved as a weight loss agent.

Here are some side effects that you might encounter when using HCG as part of the HCG diet.

  • Erratic moods

  • Fluid buildup 

  • Can enlarge breast of male users

  • Can cause blood clots

  • Can cause malnutrition

  • Can cause irregular heartbeat

  • Can cause gallstones

Pros And Cons

The HCG diet isn’t a perfect diet plan. Before going into it, you need to know its pros and cons.

Pros

  • It can give you rapid weight loss

  • Easy to follow

  • Well structured diet plan

  • Customizable meal plans

  • Uses HCG supplements for support

Cons

  • HCG supplements are not FDA approved

  • HCG supplements doesn’t contain actual hormones

  • Using HCG supplements are illegal

  • Hormonal injections are expensive

  • Can cause extreme hunger

  • Can experience many side effects

Final Thoughts On HCG Diet

final thoughts hcg

Losing weight isn’t an easy thing to do, and people are finding ways to make it easier, especially when all the avenues they know are not working. The HCG diet has become popular because of its effectiveness in helping one lose weight quickly. 

Its well-structured phases and well-planned food list that can be customized to the dieter's needs is appealing, especially if it promises that you will rapidly lose weight. However, there is no scientific backing that the diet plan can help you lose weight. Also, it seems like it is one of the dangerous diets out there because of its extreme calorie count restriction.

I believe the HCG diet is for people who want to lose weight in no time. It is not suitable for people seeking a long-term solution for their weight loss because this serves as a band-aid. You won’t survive on 500 calories a day. It is suicidal and will be extreme for your body to take.

If you really want to lose weight rapidly and are eager to do the HCG diet, you need to consult your physician first and make sure you are healthy to take on this kind of diet. Not everyone is suitable to use the HCG diet plan. 

The best diet out there is the one that gives you the right balance and can fit your lifestyle. Extremes ones like the HCG diet plan won’t be right if you have health issues as it will be risky to your health. The HCG diet plan is a quick fix and could be tempting, but it won’t be a good option if you are looking for a healthier way to lose weight.

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