HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotrophin. This is a hormone that supposedly aids in weight loss. The diet was created by Dr. A.T. Simeons, who authored the book, ‘Pounds & Inches”.
The theory behind the HCG diet is that for the first 2 days, you are allowed to eat whatever you wish.
And after that, the ‘fun’ begins. For the next three weeks, you are expected to adhere to a diet that does not exceed 500 calories a day.
Yup! You read it right. Only 500 calories a day. Unlike the paleo diet or Atkins diet, the HCG diet is not so strict.
For the most part you are encouraged to eat healthy organic stuff. Meat, fruit, veggies, etc. Wholesome, single ingredient foods. However, whichever food you decide to eat, the 500 calorie rule applies.
The HCG diet is not permanent.
You will be expected to slowly return to a normal diet with the normal recommended caloric intake.
However, theory states that you will not gain weight drastically and you will still keep off the weight lost during your HCG phase.
So, basically the HCG diet has three phases. The loading phase, maintenance phase and the stabilization phase. Once all three phases are completed, you’re expected to have lost weight.
There are also some people who go for HCG injections or use HCG drips. These products are supposed to suppress your appetite so that you can complete the HCG diet successfully.
Now, let’s examine if this diet is good for you. No! Definitely not.
Common sense should tell us that restricting your calories so drastically is never a good idea. It will shock your body and is very stressful.
When you put your body under stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to fat storage indirectly.
When your calorie intake is so low, your body goes into ‘starvation mode’. That means it holds on to every bit of fat it has for future use. It needs to protect its fat stores because it doesn’t know when it will get food.
Now, it becomes more difficult for a body to burn fat.
Another side effect of a super low calorie diet is decreased metabolism. When your metabolic rate drops, you will burn less calories and this will lead to increased fat storage.
Any weight lost during a HCH diet is probably muscle weight.
Burning fat off requires a caloric deficit of 500 calories. Not a caloric intake of 500. Big difference.
All the hype, HCG diets, drips and drops are highly not recommended. The drops can be costly and many companies produce drops of inferior quality.
You are not only wasting your money but putting your health at risk. To make matter worse, this is not even a good way of losing weight.
The reason anyone would even embark on this mad caper is because they want to shed the pounds ASAP. But then… what is the rush? You did not gain the weight overnight.
It took months and even years to gain the fat. It will take time to burn it.
That is the healthiest way. Exercise and a sensible diet. There are no shortcuts to losing weight successfully. Hard work, sacrifice and most importantly patience, is required.
Yours in Health,
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