What Is the HCG Diet?
Are you looking to lose some weight in the new year? Are you thinking about starting a new diet but aren’t sure which one to choose?
From keto to paleo to Atkins, there are all kinds of diets out there to try. One diet that is gaining a lot of traction is the HCG diet. HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone that indicates pregnancy.
What does this hormone have to do with losing weight? How can it help you achieve your weight loss goals?
Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about the HCG diet.
What is HCG?
Before we talk about the HCG diet, we first need to talk about HCG. As we mentioned, this hormone is an indication of pregnancy. Pregnant women also produce HCG during the early stages of their pregnancies.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body starts to produce HCG from cells developing in the placenta. (The placenta is a tissue that provides nourishment to the growing fetus). Trace levels of HCG can be detected around eight days after ovulation in the event of early pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant, this means you could receive positive test results a few days before you expect your period to start.
Doctors will sometimes prescribe HCG injections to women who are suffering from fertility issues. Sometimes, doctors also prescribe HCG injections to males to combat symptoms of hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a disorder that slows down the production of testosterone.
Proponents of the HCG diet claim that this hormone can help you support weight loss and reduce feelings of hunger.
What is the HCG Diet?
The HCG diet consists of two main components: daily low-calorie consumption and HCG hormone injections. On the HCG diet, you’re only supposed to eat 500 calories per day.
This is significantly lower than the number of calories you’re supposed to eat to maintain your weight. Depending on your gender, lifestyle, overall health, and body composition, you’re supposed to eat between 1600 and 3000 calories per day for weight maintenance.
Obviously, reducing your calories by such a significant amount can be difficult. This is where the HCG injections come in. As we mentioned earlier, HCG can help curb your appetite, so you won’t feel like you’re starving on 500 calories per day.
HCG Diet Foods
It’s also important to note that you can’t just eat whatever you want on the HCG diet. In addition to reducing your calories, you also need to avoid certain foods on this diet. On the HCG diet, you need to avoid:
- Processed foods
- Sugars and sweets
Instead, you’re to eat raw, whole foods such as:
- Nuts, nut butter, and nut milk
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat and seafood
After a certain period of time, you can reintroduce the foods you love. However, if you stick to the diet, you should notice that you don’t crave sugars and junk food as often.
History of the HCG Diet
In 1954, the British doctor Albert Simeons invented the HCG diet as a tool for weight loss. Dr. Simeons was treating adolescent boys with low testosterone levels when he noticed that they were losing an abnormal amount of belly fat.
Dr. Simeons knew that HCG had a positive effect on the hypothalamus gland, so he hypothesized that this gland played a role in abnormal and normal fat regulation.
Over the next decade, Dr. Simeon started to experiment with the HCG hormone and food plans.
The Original HCG Diet
The original HCG diet varies slightly from the HCG diet methods of today, as the original diet was a bit stricter. In the original diet, you were to eat no more than 3.5 ounces of meat for lunch and dinner. Permitted meats included:
- Chicken breast
- Veal (cooked or grilled)
- Fresh white fish
There were certain types of seafood you were supposed to avoid, including tuna, herring, pickled fish, eel, and salmon. Before consuming the meat, you were to weigh it raw to make sure you were eating exactly 3.5 ounces.
The diet also including daily HCG hormone injections, which began on the third day of the diet.
Benefits of the HCG Diet
In addition to weight loss, the HCG diet offers a variety of other benefits. These include:
- Better Endurance: Losing weight will make it easier for you to exercise and build your endurance
- Hormone Regulation: HCG can help balance other hormones in your body, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone
- Reduce Cholesterol Levels: When you couple your HCG injections with a low-calorie diet, you can see a decrease in your cholesterol levels
- Increased Energy Levels: As you lose weight and start to eat healthier, you should notice higher energy levels
- Improve Metabolic Function: The HCG diet can also help boost your metabolism, making it easier for you to burn fat
Additionally, the HCG diet can help kickstart a healthier way of eating. As you cut out sugars, carbs, and refined foods, you’ll notice that your body craves them less and less.
HCG Diet Tips
Here are some tips you can employ to help you succeed on the HCG diet:
- Drink plenty of water (aim to drink two or three liters of water per day, and always drink water before consuming a meal)
- Keep snacks and prohibited foods out of the house
- Plan your meals ahead of time
- Speak to a specialist to help you plan your HCG diet
- Learn how to properly inject the HCG hormone
You can also check out this beginners guide to learn more about the HCG diet.
HCG Diet: Time to Start
Now that you know more about the HCG diet, it’s time for you to start your weight loss journey. If you’re looking to shed some pounds in the new year, this diet can be the perfect catalyst.
Check back in with our blog for more HCG diet tips!