HCG Diet: what you should know
If you are thinking of reducing weight, or have an overweight body and have been searching out for some solution, you should be acquainted with the HCG diet. There is a mixed reaction among people regarding its authenticity in providing positive effects, with some advocating for it while others are discrediting it.
At worst, some authorities, as well as government agencies, have labeled them as dangerous and harmful substances. It seems that there is a never-ending controversy over its benefits and side effects. In this article, the HCG diet will be reviewed with all the facts surrounding it, and you will be able to find out whether you should use it, or not.
HCG diet: A brief history
This diet is often sold as a perfect solution to obesity or excess fat, which is a growing problem in different nations across the world affecting millions of people. But what exactly is HCG diet? Well, for a proper understanding of the term, a look into the past will help you to find its potential and importance.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is abbreviated as HCG, a hormone that is found naturally inside the body. However, this hormone is secreted in huge amounts during pregnancy in women. That’s why it made its way for testing the pregnancy, and that can be done at the comforts of the home.
The very reason why pregnant women produce this type of hormone at high levels is that it boosts the production of estrogen and progesterone, which are both hormones. These are needed for supporting the growth and development of the fetus and embryo. The levels remain very high for the first 3 months of pregnancy, and after that, it begins to decline slowly.
However, higher levels of HCG in the bloodstream indicate other things apart from pregnancy. The elevated levels tell you about certain types of cancer that include testicular, placental and ovarian cancer. Now, you may be wondering what could be the relation between this thing and the HCG diet.
In the year 1954, Dr. Albert Simons, who was an English endocrinologist, first suggested that the HCG diet could be the way to fight excess weight or obese. These were from the observations he made during the studies that show a connection between HCG usage and weight loss when conducted on various participants. The study made by Dr. Simons has given birth to a whole new level in the HCG industry for several years.
However, it is unfortunate that a huge majority of products in the name of HCG are fake, especially those items that are sold online. There are no traces of HCG that were sold through online stores. Products that contain HCG are administered typically through injection, while the counterfeit products are not taken in that way.
Moreover, the correct HCG is only prescribed by licensed doctors or physicians and used for deriving another benefit such as solving fertility issues. As a matter of fact, both women and men are treated for fertility problems with the help of HCG injections.
What are the benefits of the HCG diet?
The benefits derived from the usage of HCG are many, and they are not limited to only weight loss. However, when you take this product, it will help you in shedding about 1 to 2 pounds of fat every day. Now, that’s quite an impressive way of reducing fat in such a short frame of time. It will also put a brake on your appetite or hunger, and prevent you from eating junk foods, which is the main reason behind weight gains. HCG is derived from the placenta, and that makes the product much more natural.
Are there any possibilities of side effects from using the HCG diet?
Just like with other natural products, HCG has certain kind of side effects that includes fatigue, depression, and headaches. By taking the HCG diet, you will go into starvation or calorie deficit. And that’s the reason why these side effects might pop up during that period. However, apart from starvation, there are possibilities of some other side effects that might be caused by its usage. For instance, there are reports of blood clots in the legs and lungs of some people. Such an adverse reaction might have severe consequences on the overall health.
What is its dosage and how it is administered?
As you know, the HCG diet was introduced by Dr. Albert Simon as a pioneer model that he came up with during the 1950s. The diet is composed of two parts. The first one, an extremely low diet of about 500 calories per day, and secondly, HCG injections. This was the first basic model that was inscribed by Dr. Simon, but in recent years, it has many variations of usage.
These days HCG is available in different forms that include pellets, oral drops and sprays. The HCG diet is administered typically in 3 stages, and they are discussed here.
Loading phase (stage 1) – During this stage, you will be prepared for future needs. As such, you will be allowed to take higher amounts of foods rich in calories, such as high sugar content or high-fat content. It will continue for 2 days, and this regime should be followed along with HCG.
Weight-loss phase (stage 2) – During this stage, you will be allowed to use about 500 calories a day. This routine will be continued for another 3 to 4 weeks, along with the intake of HCG. You will be allowed to follow two meals each day, which will consist of lunch and dinner.
Maintenance phase (stage 3) – During this phase, you will have to stop the intake of HCG. At the same time, you can go back to your regular intake of food, but keep in mind not to jump on it and increase your intake slowly. You have to follow this regime for about 3 weeks. Sugar and starch-based foods are strictly prohibited in this last phase.
So that was the basic model of the HCG diet, and people may design different plans according to their goals. This can even include moderate to extreme plans. Moderate plans can stretch for about 3 weeks, and suitable for those people who want to achieve minimum weight loss. For people who want higher weight loss, can opt for the extreme plan that will continue for 6 weeks. It may even require to repeat the different stages for effective results.
The HCG diet plan should have meals that consist of a vegetable portion, lean protein portion, fruit portion, bread portion, and plenty of water that includes mineral water, tea, and coffee. On the other hand, the HCG diet plan must avoid certain kinds of food such as sugar, oils, and butter.
How does the HCG diet work?
This diet system consists of a two-part package. There is a need to change the normal diet and shift to a low-calorie diet. Apart from this, you need to take HCG through injection or choose other forms such as pellets or drops. People in support of this type of diet, have thought that it revs up the metabolism and helps in burning fat.
Moreover, such a feat is achieved without making you experience hunger or appetite. As such, many people are still in doubt, and couldn’t accept the fact. They even brought out some of their own thesis and explanations regarding the matter. Regardless of all this, what does the actual analysis say? Researchers have conducted several tests, where participants were given an HCG diet and a placebo.
Here, placebo denotes a false treatment disguised as an HCG diet. For general information remember that the work of placebos is only to eliminate any type of biases, which may happen because of other causes such as the participant’s psychological factors, apart from the diet. The studies have shown that there isn’t a big difference in the loss of weight for both groups.
Further studies also showed that there is no evidence to support the other benefits as claimed like reducing hunger feelings. Hence, the claims that were made for the HCG diet is not supported by scientific evidence or clinical tests.
Pricing and availability of HCG:
There is an abundance of HCG products on the market. These are available in many retail stores, and you can even buy them from online stores, as well. From these sources, you can have HCG in different forms such as oral drops, sprays, or pellets. The price range for this product varies from cheap to expensive. You can find oral drops relatively cheaper than injections. That’s why they are preferred more by people.
These are available in two different forms based on their purity. You can buy prescribed HCG from retail stores and registered pharmacies. From these sources, you can only get the purest forms of HCG. Most of the HCGs found are homeopathic, as they are diluted from them. It is unfortunate that many online vendors sell their products labeled as pharmaceutical-grade, but they are homeopathic and probably there won’t be any HCG.
HCG diet has become one of the popular ways to reduce weight, and it has a long history of providing results since the 1950s. However, there is no scientific evidence that proves its worth. Even the FDA has marked the HCG as illicit, dangerous, and fraudulent products.