The HCG diet has been a favorite low calorie diet for many years. The diet claims that the patient will lose weight at a rate of 1 pound each day. Many people have experienced positive results. However, the FDA has deemed it dangerous. Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone that is present during the early stages of pregnancy. It is used to treat fertility concerns in both women and men. The regimen requires that the patient sticks to a 500 calorie diet per day. People must also receive HCG hormone injections or take it via pellets or oral drops during the first stages of the diet.
The regimen can boost metabolism and help you burn significant amounts of fat without feeling hungry. A patient who participates in a 500 calorie diet can stimulate weight loss. However, limiting calories could cause you to lose lean muscle mass. The more muscle mass a person has, the more fat they will burn at rest. It is possible to lose up to 2 pounds a day on this meal plan. You can maximize fat loss by increasing your intake of low calorie vegetables and healthy salads. Fiber and water are especially important to help flush out fat and toxins from your body as you’re losing weight.
There are three crucial phases you must complete on this low calorie hormone-based diet.
This is the loading phase where you take your hormone supplements and eat foods high in fat and calories for two days. This step is vital because the loading phase stocks normal fat cells and prepares the body to burn abnormal fat, resulting in rapid weight-loss. The purpose of this step is to raise fat stores to prepare for phase 2. The HCG will build up in your body during these two days until it reaches full strength to release fat stores by the third day effectively. You will not be successful on the HCG diet without this phase. People who don’t follow this component tend to have stronger cravings and are more likely to give up.
This is the weight loss phase where you will continue to take the hormone component and only eat 500 calories per day for 3 to 6 weeks depending on how much fat you need to lose. You are only allowed to eat two meals per day, preferably lunch and dinner. The meals should consist of vegetables, lean protein, and a small serving of fruit. For breakfast, you should drink diet or zero calorie liquids such as coffee, water, or tea. Lunch and dinner should include a serving of vegetables, 4-5 ounces of lean meat, and one serving of fruit. For protein, you are allowed to eat shrimp, beef, white fish, lobster, chicken, and veal. The approved list of vegetables includes 2 cups of cabbage, onions, celery, cucumbers, beet greens, asparagus, tomatoes, swiss chard, chicory, or radishes. The approved fruit options are strawberries, apples, grapefruit, and oranges.
This is the maintenance phase where you will stop taking the hormone supplement and increase your food intake gradually. You should still avoid starch and sugar for three weeks. Your insulin and blood sugar should be stabilized at this point. Whether you are finishing the 26 day round or the 46 day round of HCG, this phase is the same for everyone. You can slowly incorporate higher amounts of protein, fruits, and vegetables. Take caution with fruits that have high sugar content. You should still avoid rice, sweet potatoes, and other starchy foods.
There are many side effects associated with this diet including headaches, depression, dizziness, fatigue, restlessness, and irritability. This is mainly in part due to the low-calorie intake. Putting your body into starvation mode can be extremely dangerous. Some people may even experience blood clotting and pelvic pain. However, physicians are coming up with healthier versions of this protocol that are proven successful.
Dr. Robbins has developed an 800-1200 calorie version of the diet to make the regimen more comfortable for individuals who still wanted to maintain their activity levels and lose a pound per day. Many of his patients complained that the original diet was too restrictive. They wanted to be able to consume a little bit more calories but still lose weight. His patients also wanted to be able to eat more protein than the diet allowed. Those who follow the human chorionic gonadotropin plan don’t get enough protein needed for metabolism and muscle growth. The daily requirement is 0.5 grams of protein per pound of muscle mass.
With Dr. Robbins plan, the patient is allowed to eat up to 1200 calories a day. The diet is more satisfying than the original and gives people the right amount of protein they need without losing muscle mass. You will still lose up to 1 pound of body fat per day. Dr. Robbins believes that dieting is about trial and error. There are many skeptics and critics when it comes to the HCG diet. However, he has come up with a regimen that genuinely works. Within the first week, you will notice the pounds fall off quickly. By the second and third week, the weight loss is more dramatic. This will build momentum and keep you motivated to stick with the diet. During the course of the diet, Dr. Robbins will monitor you closely and check your numbers frequently. He will make sure nothing harmful is happening in your body while on this HCG diet. Regardless of gender, age, or health, he will go above and beyond to help you improve the health and well-being of the patient.