An introduction to HCG Diet
As obesity continues to become a prevalent problem in many parts of the world, a by-product of the crisis has been the mushrooming of ‘healthy solutions’ that promise to help you shed all that extra weight in no time at all.
First things first, we should address the issue of time and weight loss. Here’s the thing; no one gains all those extra pounds overnight; they accumulate over a significant period of time. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to lose that weight in one night as well. It will take time regardless of how stellar your workout and diet regimen is. Losing weight gradually is the best way to go about it to ensure that your health is not compromised.
This is why you should constantly be wary of solutions whose promises sound too good to be true. Nonetheless, according to user reviews online, some of them do work. One of the most talked-about weight-loss solutions today is the HCG diet.
It is said that this diet can help you lose as much as between 1 and 2 pounds a day. As much as that all sounds like hogwash, the diet has been around for more than 60 years. Meaning that it must be delivering some results; otherwise, it wouldn’t have survived for that long.
This article will look into the HCG diet to find out whether it is all that it claims to be.
What is HCG?
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that we naturally produce in minute quantities, but is secreted in significant quantities by pregnant women. The main function of this hormone in pregnant women is to utilize the extra fat in the body to provide the calories needed for sustaining new life.
Another thing that HCG does is to regulate metabolism. These capabilities by HCG are what inspired the founder of the HCG diet, Dr. Simeons, to come up with the HCG diet plan.
At a fundamental level, hormones usually work as messengers. The hormone HCG works by relaying instructions to the cells to convert fat into energy. For a pregnant woman, this makes a lot of sense since they need all the calories they can get without overeating. You can also see why anyone looking to lose weight might wonder whether the hormone would work the same way for them.
Nevertheless, HCG works so well, why aren’t pregnant women the skinniest? You see, after the fat cells burn through the fat to provide calories, they must replenish their fat stores to have fat to burn the next time they are instructed to. As a result, any food that the individual consumes is more than likely going to be converted into fat.
After understanding that process, Dr. Simeons made the deduction that if the individual denied those fat cells food following an HCG spike, fat loss was bound to happen since they would not have fat to cling to. This is what gave rise to the HCG diet drops.
What are HCG Diet Drops?
Different from the drops Dr. Simeons created 60 years ago, the current drops are known as Homeopathic HCG drops. Being homeopathic, this means that the HCG is diluted multiple times over until only traces of the original substance are left. In layman’s terms, this implies that there is no HCG in homeopathic drops. An argument could be made about the impact of the traces of the hormone in the drops. Following that line of thought, one is supposed to believe that these traces are what make the drops effective. However, it is essential to point out the fact that the creator did not endorse the drops as the sole means of achieving weight loss; rather, the diet plan. Let us then delve into that.
HCG drops diet plan
The HCG diet’s roots go as far as 1954 when Dr. Albert Simeons started administering HCG injections to overweight people. The plan, however, included restricting their calorie intake to 500cals each day. Additionally, his clients were to refrain from consuming any fat. Dr. Simeons backed up his plan by stating that the real key to its success was the appetite suppressing properties that HCG offers. This is what enables you to push through the calorie deficit and achieve fast weight loss.
To this date, the diet plan has not changed. The effects of the drops plus the calorie deficit are supposed to see you release between 1500 and 4000 calories each day while keeping your hormones and metabolism in balance.
Do the HCG drops work?
If the feedback from the multitudes of HCG dieters is anything to go by, HCG drops for weight loss do work.
The underlying principle is that once the hormone is absorbed, it works tirelessly to suppress your appetite, keep your energy levels at an optimum, and mitigate the adverse effects that arise from a low-calorie diet. The hormone can achieve these feats by enhancing the rate at which the body processes its fat stores effectively.
It is recommended that to get the best results out of the diet plan, you need to follow the HCG multiple phase protocols. The protocol usually begins with the colon cleanse, which is optional. The first stage is the mandatory loading phase, followed by the most important of the four steps, which is phase 2. The third and fourth phases involve reducing the HCG intake, re-acclimatizing your body with a higher-calorie intake diet, which is less restrictive. We shall look at the protocol in detail shortly.
It’s the following of this protocol to the letter that ensures you burn fat and lose weight while altering your metabolism so that you can maintain this fat-burning state for longer.
Typically, the success of the HCG drops diet will be determined by the quality of HCG drops you purchase, and your discipline to the restrictive diet.
HCG four-phase diet protocol
At its inception, Dr. Simeons recommended the HCG drops dosage to be kept at a minimum every day taken alongside a customized low-calorie diet. The 500 calorie diet is supposed to be low in fats and carbohydrates while having high protein content. The goal is to eliminate adipose while retaining muscle tissue.
Dr. Simeons, however, does not recommend the use of the phases in his diet plan. The phases were designed by Kevin Trudeau, who is famous for re-introducing HCG drops diet. He discovered that following these phases helped people go through the program successfully.
HCG Phase 1
The most ignored phase, this stage prepares your body for the HCG weight loss diet. You are recommended to undergo cleansing, particularly that of the colon, so that you can be able to reap maximum benefits from the hormone.
HCG Phase 2
This is where your weight loss begins. Initially, this phase was supposed to go for around 25-45 days, but some HCG drops claim you can reduce the number of days in this stage to 15.
This level of the protocol is arguably the trickiest as it contains three parts in itself. They include:
Loading Phase: This stage takes around three days. Here, you will feast on foods that are high in fat content to have sufficient fat reserves as HCG starts accumulating in your system. Additionally, you should also have your HCG drops dosage three times a day. To take the drops, simply place them under your tongue and hold them there for two minutes so that the HCG can be absorbed sublingually.
Core Phase: This is the focal point of the second stage, and should last between 20 and 40 days. Here, you will continue with your HCG dosage while following a specially crafted 500 calorie diet. Apart from ensuring that you are comfortable while on the restrictive diet, the drops make sure that the weight cut comes only from adipose tissue.
Taper Phase: This occurs in the final three days of the phase and involves dropping the HCG drops intake while retaining the 500 calorie diet. This part allows the HCG levels in your system to subside before entering the next stage.
HCG Phase 3
Popularly referred to as the stabilization stage, it is believed to be the most crucial phase in your weight cutting process by HCG dieters. The stage involves finding your new ideal weight during the three weeks. Here, you completely stop your HCG drops intake and are free to consume anything apart from starch and sugar. The only thing you have to do is ensure you do not cut or gain weight for the 21 days.
The creator of HCG, Dr. Simeons, explains the purpose of this stage is to reset your hypothalamus to your new bodyweight so that your body can remember it and prevent any future weight gains.
HCG Phase 4
If you are at this stage, it means that you have completed your weight loss journey, and you are all about maintaining your new weight. This phase contains no diet restrictions; neither will you be taking the HCG drops. You will only need to actively maintain your new weight for three weeks before it becomes second nature.
If you are a bit on the plus side, you might have to go through the phases multiple times until you get down to your preferred ideal weight.
HCG dieters claim that it works and even offer visual transformation pictures as evidence. Skeptics, on the other hand, insist that there aren’t enough clinical studies done to sufficiently conclude that the drops work. One might also believe that the caloric deficit is the biggest contributor to weight loss. One thing is for certain, maintaining such a low caloric intake would be nearly impossible without an appetite depressant. HCG drops diet, therefore, can be considered as a weight cut option.