HCG is the short form for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. This is a hormone that is formed during pregnancy.
What does HCG Do?
The HCG hormone is responsible for ensuring that a woman’s unborn child gets sufficient nutrients to grow and develop during pregnancy. It enables the body to utilize stored fats in order to provide food and nourishment for the developing fetus.
As it occurs naturally in pregnant women without causing any harm to the mother or fetus, it is considered a safe treatment, when used as drug. However, it is given in comparatively smaller doses.
HCG stimulates testosterone production in men and may trigger cell growth within the body. In spite of the fact that growing tumours may produce HCG, HCG itself does not lead to cancer. It is often used by men to prevent the negative sexual side effects of testosterone injections.
The HCG Diet:
The HCG diet is a balanced diet which combines a low calorie diet with the use of a prescription drug called human chorionic gonadotropin. It was popularized in the 1950s by a London based physician. He believed that the use of HCG might help in weight loss and redistribution of fat from the thighs and buttocks to other areas of the body.
The basic purpose of this diet is to limit the daily caloric intake to 500-800 calories. This drastic calorie restriction is responsible for causing short term weight loss of up to 1 pound per day.
Lunch-MEAT- 100 grams(raw) of ONLY the following options:
|Breakfast||-Unlimited tea and coffee without sugar|
|-1 tablespoon of milk (per 24 hours)|
|-Saccharin or Stevia are ” ok”|
|Veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh water fish (not salmon, tuna or any pickled fish), lobster, crab& shrimp|
|***All visible fat trimmed prior to cooking|
|Vegetable- 1 type of following options:|
|Salad greens, Beet greens, celery, asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes , fennels, onions|
|Grain- 1 piece of the following options|
|Breadstick(grissino) or toast ( Melba)|
|-Fruit 1 Price following options:|
|apple, orange, strawberries(handful),grapefruit(1/2 of fruit)|
|Dinner||Same as lunch|
|other||Liquids- unlimited amount of following options:|
|Tea , coffee, plain water or mineral water|
|Fruit/ Grain- can be eaten between meals rather than with meals|
[ Read: Ada Diet ]
How To Follow The HCG Diet?
The HCG diet is basically a low calorie diet directed towards short term weight loss by restricting the caloric intake to an average of about 500 calories per day. The success of this diet solely depends upon your loyalty to the 500 calorie diet.
Weight loss is guaranteed if the HCG diet menu is followed in a precise manner.
- In order to achieve the 500 calorie mark, you can have 200 grams of lean meat, 2 servings of vegetables and fruits, and 2 bread sticks per day.
- Water, tea, coffee and no calorie drinks are allowed in unlimited quantities.
- However, only artificial sweeteners should be used in tea or coffee.
- A person following this diet should drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
- Those drinking lemonade can only use 1 lemon in a day according to the diet.
- Cooking oil should not be used.
- Spices like salt, pepper, mustard and parsley are allowed as they do not increase the calorie content of the diet.
- The fruit portions of lunch and dinner can be eaten as snacks.
- Vitamins can be taken with this diet but gummy vitamins or candy vitamins with added nutrients should, particularly, be avoided.
- Potassium and magnesium supplements should be taken.
- One must avoid wearing too much of makeup and women should avoid using flavored lipsticks and lip balms.
- The diet recommends a break from the regimen every 4 to 5 days.
- On these days, high protein foods like nuts and steak, and low calorie vegetables like spinach should be consumed.
- Cooking oil is also permitted.
- Eggs are not allowed but vegetarians can replace whole egg whites with meat.
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and bread are not recommended for consumption.
- These days, known as high protein days, are recommended after 2 pounds of weight loss.
- The protein intake prevents the dieters from starvation and muscle loss.
- Fresh fish can be taken but tuna should be avoided.
- It is advisable not to consume turkey as it causes a feeling of tiredness and bloating.
- After a steady weight loss over a few weeks, the diet suddenly stops working. An apple a day is the solution to this problem.
- On this day, it is recommended to eat 6 large apples, while continuing with the HCG diet.
- The apples can be eaten at any time of the day.
- Tea and coffee should not be taken on these days and only that amount of water should be taken which is sufficient to quench the basic thirst.
[ Read: GM Diet Plan for Weight Loss ]
Effects Of HCG Diet:
Despite the fact that the HCG diet drops and diet plan has proven to be effective in short term weight loss, it is known to have certain negative effects.
In fact, the FDA has not approved this diet as a healthy dieting formula. Though it is approved as a fertility treatment, those following this diet should be aware of its side effects and dangers.
- Use of these prescription drugs may lead to occasional side effects like headaches, depression, restlessness and risk of formation of blood clots in the body. In certain cases, HCG can cause ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is a fatal disease.
- The human body requires at least 1500 calories for its proper functioning. But the HCG diet recommends fewer than 1000 calories. Due to drastic reduction in food consumption, it poses a grave danger to the body which solely depends on nutrients. A balance, therefore, is required to be maintained between calorie intake and calorie reduction by large amounts.
- A low calorie diet without HCG causes the body to go into starvation mode. The body is unable to respond to the nutrients that it receives in a day. Therefore, you are more likely to gain weight as the body is not equipped to handle a very low calorie diet. HCG injections are used to combat this problem. These injections ensure that the hypothalamus is tapped into the body’s fat stores to provide the body with energy to function.
- HCG treatment may prove to be expensive as it is not covered by general health insurances. In fact, studies have shown that people who followed a low calorie diet (500 calories), in general, did equally well in terms of weight loss. Also it is not clear as to whether the weight loss will be sustained after the completion of treatment.
[ Read: Low Protein Diet Plan ]
We hope you understood the good and the bad of the same. Make sure you keep both the positives and the side effects in mind in case you are planning to use the HCG drug or follow the diet.
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