The HCG Diet Plan is a diet used for weight loss and usually kicks off with some HCG injections that will supposedly help you with your weight loss.
But does this really work? Is it safe for health? Can these injections cause other health issues in your body?
This article will dive into the HCG Diet Plan and we will give you our final verdict.
What Is HCG?
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and is the hormone used to make the body produce more of its own natural estrogen and testosterone, which helps with weight loss.
It’s a hormone that manifests itself during the early stages of pregnancy and helps the ovaries to prepare for the development of a fertilized egg.
HCG levels start to rise during the fifth or sixth week of a normal pregnancy.
HCG is a similar molecule to luteinizing hormone, which is the hormone that is secreted from the pituitary gland in men and women.
HCG is produced by all embryos except those that are created as a result of genetic engineering.
In addition, HCG is also produced as a result of improper use of fertility drugs.
How Does HCG Impact Weight Loss?
HCG causes your body to react in certain ways, including increasing BMI and reducing appetite.
The hormone also affects the hypothalamus in the brain, causing it to release more of the hormone leptin.
Leptin is produced in fat cells and is responsible for regulating satiety.
It may also reduce your appetite by increasing your sensitivity to carbs and saturated fats but this is not proven.
The way HCG helps you drop weight is through three mechanisms:
It raises your basal metabolic rate, allowing you to use fewer calories than if you were eating normally.
By doing so, it may reduce the number of total calories that you eat at each meal, allowing you to shed pounds without changing your overall diet or eating less than normal.
It boosts your body’s leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that controls hunger and your metabolism.
The more leptin you have in your body, the less hunger you’ll feel, allowing you to eat less automatically without counting calories or feeling hungry all the time.
It reduces water retention by converting liquid fat into solid fat.
When liquid fat is converted into solid fat it is stored around the middle section of the body rather than underneath the skin, thereby reducing bloating and cellulite.
This is why HCG has been found to work very well for women who are trying to lose weight during pregnancy.
How Does The HCG Work?
To start an HCG Diet, it’s mandatory that you seek medical advice and guidance.
Overall, the diet will last 8 weeks and your weight loss journey will kick off with a consultation first and then you’ll be following a three-stage plan:
- Loading Phase
- Weight Loss Phase
- Completion Phase
HCG Diet Plan – The Loading Phase
Your HCG diet plan will start with the loading phase in which you will get your daily HCG injections for 1-2 days.
Your daily intake of HCG will be based on your weight reduction goal.
Your doctors will decide the dose on a case-by-case basis after a detailed analysis of your health and weight loss goals.
At this stage, you’ll be encouraged to have meals that are high in fat and calories.
You pair this with your HCG injections, your brain starts to become more sensitive to the hormone’s effects and signal your body to burn fat deposits for energy.
Your doctor will monitor blood work to ensure you are being dosed according to your weight reduction needs.
HCG is an incredibly powerful dieting tool that can cause dramatic changes in weight loss, but it is also very easy to over-react.
It’s more likely that you’ll be losing too much weight too quickly, not eating enough calories on a daily basis, or have some serious side effects downstream.
At this point in our HCG Diet Plan, our doctor may want us to consult with a dietitian for nutritional guidance, especially if we are trying to lose more than 10 pounds (5kg).
HCG Diet Plan – The Weight Loss Phase
In this part of your HCG Diet Plan, you’ll have to inject the HCG hormone every day.
During this phase, you should also keep a close track of your weight and monitor your progress daily.
The second phase of this diet may seem discouraging because of the very little amount of food you’ll be allowed to have.
But that’s where the HCG shots come into play. These hormones will drastically curb your normal appetite and you’ll be satisfied with your 500-calories each day.
It’s important to eat healthy and nutritious foods during this stage so that you get all the essential nutrients you require for a healthy life while on a calorie-restricted diet plan.
HCG Diet Plan – The Completion Phase
This will be the final stage of the HCG Diet Plan where your body will start to get back to normal, i.e, no more HCG injections.
From there, you’ll gradually begin to increase your caloric intake but be careful;
If at this stage, you load up on lots of carbs, fats and other junk, you might regain most of the weight you’ve lost in the beginning.
Doing this can also hurt your health and also your wallet.
It’s therefore important to educate yourself by reading about healthy eating habits and know how to practice them.
Are the HCG Injections Safe for Weight Loss & Health?
The HCG diet is a very controversial diet. Many people believe that it’s unsafe and even dangerous for women who want to lose weight.
To ensure your safety, I urge you to consult your doctor first.
Even though the FDA has not approved the HCG Diet Plan, there has not been a high rate of severe health complications.
Does HCG Work for Weight Loss?
According to many studies, using HCG for weight loss is an effective way to lose weight.
The diet has been used by many stars including Kim Kardashian, who recently revealed that she lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks on the diet.
However, the majority of the studies you will find regarding this diet are done by people’s personal testimony on fitness forums.
That being said, there are no recorded medical case studies of people who have had under-reported side effects from using HCG for weight loss.
As with any diet plan or weight loss plan, it’s always best to consult your doctor before making any changes to your health or diet regimen.
What Are The Risks of The HCG Diet?
Weight loss is always filled with good and bad.
The most important thing to note with the HCG diet is that it will ensure you are losing water weight, not fat.
That being said, the HCG diet plan does lead to an excessive amount of water weight loss if not followed correctly.
It can lead to dehydration due to the fact that the HCG hormone lowers your blood sugar levels so much so that your kidneys will export all excess water through urine.
With some people who can’t follow this diet, there are other risks involved like fatigue, dizziness and some minor side effects like headaches.
Pretty sure that’s because of the starvation situation you put your body through.
But there was a case reported in 2014 where a 64-year-old woman said to have blood clots in her lungs after using HCG diet drops.
After some medical investigation, it was found that the HCG diet plan was the cause behind her issues.
The HCG Diet Plan – What Can You Eat?
Even though, weight loss is as easy as following the three-stage plan, eating certain foods can help you lose more weight and maintain it.
At your initial consultation with your doctor, we’ll be able to analyze your diet and nutritional needs and develop a personalized diet plan for you.
Following this diet will allow losing more than 1-2 pounds every day. So the question is what should you eat and what should you avoid to reach your weight loss goals.
The diet consists of 2 meals per day and things like butter, oils, and sugar should be avoided for better results. Apart from that, you can eat almost anything as long as they are healthy.
Final Thoughts On The HCG Diet Plan
Although there have been many success stories about the HCG Diet Plan, I personally wouldn’t recommend a diet like this.
My guess is that the fact that you’re cutting out on so many calories per day is what promotes weight loss and not the HCG injections themselves.
That’s my opinion on it.
So, what should you do then to lose weight?
There are so many ways to lose your extra pounds in a natural and safe way.
Check out my 30-Day Fat Loss Challenge.