Are you interested in trying the HCG weight loss diet? This article explains everything that you need to know about this diet plan including the key stages, how it works, and the vital benefits and that you can explore.
If you are searching for a diet plan that pays off, you might want to consider the HCG diet. This has been popular for years with some people dropping between 1 and 2 pounds each day they remain on plan.
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. The hormone is present in high levels during the early stages of a pregnancy and it is actually what is measured during pregnancy tests. It was proposed as a weight loss tool in 1954 and is key to maintaining the production of crucial hormones in the body. Researchers have discovered that HCG boosts levels of metabolism and helps individuals lose large amounts of fat. During the HCG weight loss plan, individuals take regular doses of HCG while altering their diet in key ways through several stages.
There are 4 key phases of the HCG weight loss diet. These are:
The first phase only lasts one or two days and may also be referred to as the loading phase. During this stage, you can eat whatever you wish while taking HCG. A lot of people will focus on eating fatty foods as these provide fat stores for the days that are ahead in the diet. This may ensure that the shock to the body is reduced when calories are reduced on the third day. If you do gain weight here, it will be lost rapidly during the second phase. The foods that you eat during this phase should be high in calories.
The goal here will be to ensure that you eat as much as you can because this is going to build up and essentially max out your fat stores. At the beginning of each day, you will take your HCG injection and then continue to eat throughout the day. It’s vital that you ensure that you are satisfying your appetite. This can seem counterproductive but it’s an essential part of the diet plan.
When you overload the body with calorie dense foods, it signals to the hypothalamus that hormones should be triggered to lose weight. By starting with stores of abounding glycogen, the brain can work out the levels of hormones needed to max out the release of fat deposits. This will also ensure that fat burns off in areas where it is typically hard to lose and increase the metabolic rating. It guarantees that you are going to get the max weight loss results that you want from day one.
If you skip this phase, then you are always going to have a low level of results during your weight loss plan. You will also experience extreme hunger during the later stages.
Phase 2 can be considered the real weight loss phase of the diet. During this phase, individuals should consume only 500 calories in total each day of the diet. This might sound like a low amount and that’s the point. It will ensure that the HCG in your system uses the stored abnormal fats to create energy.
Since there are fat stores in the body, you are not going without the calories you need. Instead, the body simply gains the calories from a different source. Indeed, during this stage of the diet, your body releases between 1,500 and 4000 calories from the abnormal fat stores within the body. It’s important to note that the 500 calories are highly food specific.
You should be consuming limes, oranges, lemons, strawberries, and apples during this phase. In terms of protein, you should be eating white fish and chicken. Some people will also eat beef which is fine as long as the oils and fats are drained. You can also consume spinach, tomatoes, and lettuce as well as various other vegs to get vitamins and fiber. Phase 2 can last up to the forty-second day of the diet, depending on the plan that you are following.
Remember, there’s no limit on what you can eat. You can choose starches like potatoes, sweets such as cheesecake, fried meats like chicken and pork, or processed meats like hamburgers.
You will increase your weight during this stage. However, this will drop off quickly, usually within the first week of your diet.
This is just as important as the weight loss phase. The transition or maintenance phase is used to maintain the metabolic function and change your metabolic balance to match your new weight. This phase will last a total of three weeks and it must begin after the last day of low calorie dieting.
Through this phase, you should gradually boost up the level of calories that you are intaking to about 15,000. This will consist of three meals as well as snacks. The meals in question should consist of healthy foods and these do need to be spread out throughout the day.
Your diet is now less specific. You can consume a wider range of meats, fruits, cheeses, milk veg, low sugar dairy products, and eggs. However, you do need to ensure that you are avoiding certain foods that contain starches like potatoes and corn. You also need to ensure that you are staying away from sugary foods too. If sugar and starch are combined, then you will put on weight rapidly. Remember, at this stage, you are still transitioning and therefore your weight is not stable yet.
At this stage, you can also introduce oils back into your body but these must be healthy. Some examples include coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and flax seed oil. You still need to largely avoid unhealthy options like shortening butter or vegetable oil but they can be used on occasion.
During this stage of the diet, you should not gain any weight. If you do, then you could still be consuming some of the foods that you need to avoid.
During phase 4, you can introduce more foods back into your diet. For instance, you can start adding starches back slowly while keeping sugars to a minimum level. You can also add healthy carbs back in moderation.
There are lots of choices here such as whole gains, wheat bread, and oats. For instance, you can have porridge for breakfast. You do still need to make sure that you avoid heavy starches. These are found in potatoes, rice, and yams. You also need to make sure that you are avoiding processed foods as well as high volumes of fructose syrup. This is often present in soda, fruit drinks, canned fruit, and similar items. You need to make sure that you continue to stay away from fast foods or food that is heavily processed.
It’s worth noting that you might not achieve your weight loss goal during the 1st cycle. If that’s the case, you can move onto the 2nd cycle. This is a complete repeat of the first however, you should take time off between the two. Typically, it’s recommended that you take between 2 and 4 weeks off between each cycle that you complete. Once you have taken the time off you can continue on until you reach your weight loss goal.
It’s possible that over several cycles of this diet, you could lose as much as 150 lbs. You just need to make sure that you remain consistent with the guidelines of the different stages.
There are numerous key benefits of this weight loss plan and clear reasons why it is so popular. First, the diet does typically lead to a rapid level of weight loss, particularly during the second stage. You will usually see evidence of weight loss immediately. This is largely due to the dramatic changes to your calorie intake which will trigger the release of the hormone necessary to lose weight.
It’s also worth noting that HCG ensures that fat burns across different areas of the body. As such, you will lose weight around the thighs, butt, neck, arms, and waist. You won’t deal with a reduction in weight that is unbalanced and it does target areas that are often missed during typical weight loss plans.
Another clear benefit is that the plan is easy to follow. All of the stages are laid out clearly, including the number of days that you need to follow each party. The calorie targets are also highly specific and this makes them easy to follow. You don’t even need to worry about the level of calories being different for each individual. The hormone injections are the same for everyone as well. As such, there is a limited level of guess work involved here. That means that anyone can follow this diet, often without expert support. It’s perfect for people who like structure and following rules.
Another key point to consider is that usually when you go on a weight loss plan, you experience an increased level of hunger. Indeed, the body can feel like it is starving and struggling to get the sustenance it needs. This is due to the slowdown of the metabolic function. With the HCG weight loss diet plan, the opposite is true and the metabolic rate speeds up.
The other common side effect of dieting is that it tends to reduce your levels of energy. You can feel exhausted and as though you are suffering from extreme levels of fatigue. When you use HCG, your body releases adipose fat and turns it into energy. As such, through the first few days of your diet, you could find that you have a lot more energy than usual. This does mean that you are going to be able to exercise and breathe easily. A lot of people on this diet find that they can work out for longer and harder. They can use the extra energy to burn even more fat with the right workout and it ensures that you will be able to keep your exercise routine.
The diet even regulates the hormones within your body. This can have benefits for both men and women. For instance, the HCG diet has been shown to have positive effects on levels of testosterone in men. This can lead to increased or improved libido. It can also improve estrogen levels in women because they are more regulated by taking HCG injections. This provides bodily homeostasis which helps ensure that the level of weight loss remains healthy.
One more side effect of a typical weight loss plan is that it tends to cause you to lose moth muscle and fat. This is a problem because when you stop dieting, it’s a lot harder to put the muscle back on, and trying can lead to you adding back the pounds of fat that you lost. With the HCG diet, it’s possible to preserve muscle mass and ensure that you can still shed the stored fats. As such, you will be able to keep your bones and your muscle healthy while you are on the diet and through the final stage.
Finally, since the HCG diet is based on reducing fat in the body with a lower than usual calorie intake, it does reduce levels of cholesterol too. As such, if you maintain healthy eating habits, then you will decrease your chances of developing heart related diseases as well.
We hope this helps you understand the HCG weight loss diet, how it works, and why it is so popular. Many people see amazing results with the HCG diet, particularly when they complete numerous cycles the right way. You’ll find that you can lose weight rapidly and that your body looks great because you drop the pounds in all the right places. You’ll feel great too, filled with energy, and discover the countless benefits of hormones being regulated in your body.
Dr. Anand Thakkar is a licensed Internal Medicine physician. He is Board Certified in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine. He has been a member of the teaching faculty for students at Chicago Medical School and has been featured on ABC, FOX, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes as a recognized authority in wellness, fitness & nutrition, weight loss, anti-aging, hormones & metabolic medicine, holistic medicine, lifestyle coaching and women’s & men’s health.
Learn more about Dr. Thakkar or Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinics here.