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What is an HCG Diet? And Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Some diets, even when they sound convincingly scientific, do not necessarily offer in their promises. The HCG diet is one of the approaches that look good on the surface, but can cause more harm than good.

What is an HCG Diet? And Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Those who wish to lose weight are bombarded with hundreds, possibly thousands, of different diets, each claiming unprecedented benefits for body weight, fitness and general health. Unfortunately, the vast majority of diets simply do not work in the long run. And while the shortcomings of some diet recommendations are evident even to people with no education, others sound too scientific to be simply dismissed.

The hCG diet belongs to the latter group. In effect, it may provide certain advantages for weight loss, but it is evident that at the expense of other factors.

What is an HCG Diet?

HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone present in large amounts in a pregnant woman. Uses fats stored in a mother’s body to provide the calories needed for the fetus to grow. This attribute of using stored fat is the basis of using the hormone as a weight loss treatment. Research has shown that hCG (when taken orally or by injection) increases metabolism in non-pregnant people (men and women).

Initially developed and studied by Albert Simeons, the diet is refined and now includes a four phase fat removal method.

Phase 1: During this phase, the person is asked to consumemuch food as possible, especially fats, more than two days.

Phase 2 and 3: In this case, the daily calorie intake to 500 calories consistent decreases in fruits, vegetables, salads or lean meat with a daily dose of the hormone hCG. This phase continues for three weeks. Halfway through this period, the hCG dose is stopped.

Step 4: Return to a normalhealthy diet.

HCG diet, a diet to lose weight?

Although research on the use of hCG hormones to lose weight and be part of a diet plan is deficient, some studies clearly show that hCG is not an effective way to promote weight loss. A clinical study of 51 obese women was conducted over a 32-day period. All of them were put on a 500 calorie per day diet and half of them received hCG injections. At the end of the study, we found that there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of weight loss, hip and waist circumference, hunger sensation or weight loss per injection. Therefore, the conclusion that HCG does not contribute much to lose weight.

In another study, 82, pre-menopause, healthy nonpregnant women participated for 28 days. All of them were put on a 500 calorie per day diet. Only a small part of them received injections of hCG, while others were given no injections.

During the first week, all participants experienced strong feelings of hunger and adjustments in diet improved considerably more for those who did not receive hCG injections. During the course of the experiment, two participants also experienced side effects and both belonged to the group taking injection hcg. One woman developed ovarian cysts and the other woman suffered a severe headache. At the end of the study, it was concluded that hCG offered no advantage over caloric restriction and diet success was based on motivation rather than on hCG administration.

A lot of recommendations for the hCG diet have been mentioned in various sources, not to use body lotions and oils to avoid consumption of alcohol, sugar and dairy products. Some recommendations even discourage any form of exercise. A review of these studies clearly showed that hCG is ineffective in the diet and is not recommended for use.

If you are still thinking about trying this diet, it is also advisable to consult a good nutritionist or doctor before starting because of the increased risk of side effects associated with this diet approach.

Pregnant or lactating women should avoid going on a diet as artificially raising HCG hormone levels in the body can pose a threat to the baby’s development and produce serious birth defects. It can also cause problems for the mother’s health.

HCG Diet Plan Facts

What do you need to know about the hCG diet plan before you even start considering it as a weight loss option for yourself? Quite as it turns out. These are important facts about the hCG diet plan everyone should keep in mind.

Although an hCG diet can result in rapid weight loss in a short time, it is certainly not a healthy and permanent way to lose weight.

The evidence of rapid weight loss with this diet that can be found online seems very convincing, but a closer look clearly indicate that the HCG diet can cause serious health risks. There are many studies that show that the use of extreme diets offer more risks than benefits. So instead of putting your body at risk by trying these types of diets, it is best to find a meal plan that fits you well and have been scientifically proven to work and to be safe.