What Is the HCG Diet, and How Does It Work?

hcg diet

For several years, the HCG diet has been quite popular. Its supporters claim that it can help you lose up to 12 pounds (0.5 kilograms) each day. You’re also not expected to feel hungry during the practice. So, here we will be discussing a little more about the science behind the HCG diet in today’s post.

What’s HCG?

Early in the stage of pregnancy, the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is present in high concentrations in the body. This hormone is utilized in home pregnancy tests as a marker. It’s also been utilized to help men and women with fertility problems. However, elevated HCG levels in the blood can be a sign of a variety of cancers, including placental, ovarian, and testicular cancer. HCG diet includes two key components:

  • A 500-calorie-per-day diet is considered ultra-low-calorie.
  • Injections of the hormone HCG

HCG is now available in a variety of formulations, such as oral drops, pellets, and sprays. They’re available on a variety of websites and at certain retail stores as well.

HCG’s function in the body

HCG is a protein-type hormone that the body generates during pregnancy. It supports the healthy growth of the uterus and fetus by maintaining the synthesis of key hormones like progesterone. HCG levels in the blood reduce after the first 3 months of pregnancy.

HCG and weight loss

The HCG diet’s proponents say that it accelerates metabolism and assists you to lose a lot of weight without making you hungry. Various theories have been proposed to explain the weight-loss processes of HCG. Several studies over the years, however, have determined that the HCG diet’s weight loss is due only to its ultra-low calorie intake along with the HCG diet drops. The majority of these researches examined the effects of HCG versus control injections given to people on a low-calorie diet and concluded people lose weight successfully and remarkably without any harm. 

HCG’s effect on body composition

Muscle mass loss is a general side effect of weight loss. This is quite common with calorie-restricted diets like the HCG diet. To preserve energy, your body may believe it is hungry and lower the number of calories it burns. The HCG diet’s proponents say that it only induces fat loss and not muscle loss.

They further believe that HCG stimulates the production of other hormones, increases metabolism, and causes an anabolic (growth-promoting) condition. Low-calorie diets provide quick weight loss in the short term and are equally effective in the long run as well.

When you eat a very limited diet, your body adjusts by raising hunger hormones and lowering energy expenditure, making to body tend to maintain the condition of your weight loss in the long run as well. And that’s how the HCG diet helps to maintain your body weight even in the future. 

The rules of the HCG diet

The HCG diet is a very low fat, very low-calorie diet. It’s generally divided into three phases:

  • Loading phase- Start consuming HCG and for 2 days, eat lots of high-fat, high-calorie foods.
  • Weight loss phase- Continue intaking HCG and for 3 to 6 weeks, consume only 500 calories every day.
  • Maintenance phase- Don’t take HCG anymore. Increase your food consumption gradually for 3 weeks, while avoiding sugar and starch.

While those seeking minor weight loss may spend three weeks in the middle phase, those wanting major weight loss may be recommended to stick with the diet for six weeks, and potentially repeat all phases of the cycle more than once. You’re only permitted to have two meals each day during the weight-loss phase, which are normally lunch and dinner. HCG meal routines normally recommend that every meal must contain:

  • One portion of lean protein
  • A vegetable
  • A piece of bread
  • A serving of fruit

You can also be given a list of approved foods items to choose from in certain amounts. Butter, oils, and sugar must be avoided, but you’re allowed to drink a lot of water. Mineral water, coffee, and tea are completely allowed to consume as well.