It seems these days everyone is on a different, extreme fad diet. Which might leave you wondering: do they really work? Although some diets are subject to how your body processes nutrients, the HCG Diet takes a different approach. This plan is a low-fat, low-calorie approach to weight loss comprised of three phases, diligently monitored for maximum weight loss.
What is HCG?
Human chorionic gonadtropin (HCG) is a hormone that skyrockets during early pregnancy and generally helps to regulate the production of estrogen and progesterone. It’s not only present in women, however. This chemical has been used to treat certain hormonal issues in both men and women for years. The hormone’s use for weight loss was first discovered in the 1950s when a doctor working with malnourished pregnant women realized it helped the body burn fat and keep lean muscle as a way to keep the baby healthy during pregnancy. After experimenting with doses of the hormone mixed with specific amounts and types of foods, the doctor realized it could easily be utilized as an agent for weight loss.
How Does the Diet Work?
This diet operates on two main rules: limit calorie intake to roughly 500 a day, and inject yourself with the HCG hormone regularly. It focuses on keeping your diet extremely low in fat and calories to allow the hormone to transform your body’s make up. There are three phases in the typical HCG diet: loading, weight loss, and maintenance. In the loading phase, you’ll start administering HCG and eat plenty of high-fat and calorie foods while your body adjusts to the extra hormones. This stage is typically only two days long. The next phase, weight loss, is where you start to focus in on a strict protocol. You’ll continue taking HCG daily, but limit your calorie intake to 500 each day, typically by eating only two meals per day. A healthy meal on HCG should look like a serving of lean protein, one vegetable, and a piece of bread or fruit to supplement it. This is where you’ll start to avoid fatty foods as well, and you’ll continue this pattern for three to six weeks, depending on your weight loss goals. Finally, the maintenance phase is where you start to reintroduce more calories each day and stop taking HCG. You’ll want to continue avoiding starchy and sugary foods for at least three weeks, but you can start reintroducing those fatty snacks or higher calorie meals.
What are the Benefits?
People who have succeeded with the diet claim it helps to boost metabolism and lose weight all without feeling hungry between meals. In fact, some people claim they’ve lost up to two pounds a day! It also burns fat evenly throughout your body, so there’s no unwanted leftover flab on certain areas you weren’t able to target. Some also say it increases energy and lowers cholesterol.
Unlike other fad diets with pages of rules and regulations, the HCG diet is a fairly straightforward way to shed fat and feel better.