Want to get into your slim fit jeans again? Though you should love the body you are in, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, and take care of your physical and mental well-being. If you feel that losing a little weight will help you feel good inside and out, you can consider going on a weight loss regimen. One of the options most people consider is working on their diet. You would’ve heard about the ketogenic diet, the Paleo diet, the Vegan diet, and the low carb diet, but the weight loss diet which has become increasingly popular over the years is the HCG diet. Imagine losing pounds of your weight by consuming a natural hormone! Let’s take a look at what HCG is and how it can help you lose those love handles.
What is the HCG diet?
If you are considering the HCG diet, you need to know what exactly it is, how it can be consumed, and what its benefits are. The HCG diet gets its name from Human chorionic gonadotropin, which is a natural hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. Basically, HCG is known only for being crucial to developing the fetus and treating fertility problems. The HCG levels are used to indicate if a woman is pregnant or not. Dr. Simeons, a reputable British endocrinologist, was instrumental in discovering the connection of HCG with weight loss after working with malnourished pregnant women in India. According to his research, the hormone HCG was responsible for helping in burning calories naturally. Though these women were on a low-calorie diet, they were able to deliver healthy children, with normal birth weight. He also did a study on boys with pituitary problems and concluded that they lost weight when they were treated with lose doses of HCG. When HCG is consumed, it triggers a reaction to your brain, which helps in regulating hunger. As a result of this, the person on an HCG diet consumes fewer calories. Simeons conducted numerous tests to support this groundbreaking theory.
How HCG works – the four phases
Before taking any diet, it is highly recommended to visit your doctor and ask them if you are fit enough for resuming the diet. As far as the HCG diet is concerned, your doctor will let you know how the supplements can be consumed, what you need to eat, what food you should avoid and how to consume only 500 calories. The HCG diet is split into four phases. Let’s take a detailed look.
- Phase 1
As per the HCG diet, you can only consume a very low-calorie diet, i.e. just 500 calories per day. That being said, in the first phase, you need to increase your calorie intake. This phase is called the loading phase. This is crucial because once you start the second phase, the hormone will use the fat stored in your body for energy. The best thing you can have during this period are those things you will tend to crave during the most important phase. You can binge on your favorite pizza, double cheeseburgers, and sundaes in this phase. You must also start taking your HCG supplements in the first phase, which generally lasts for two days.
- Phase 2
The second phase is the longest one, roughly between 4 to 7 weeks; and it is during this phase that you notice your weight dropping. A low-calorie diet of 500 calories, coupled with regular intake of supplements will ensure that no extra fat cells are stored in the body. Only the fat stored from Phase 1 will be used by your body, as a result of which, you will notice your jeans and T-shirts becoming looser. Some may even lose up to 2 pounds per day! But again this would differ from person to person. It is important to do your mathematics and split the calories per meal time, as per your convenience. For instance, you could opt for 150 calories for breakfast, 200 for lunch and 150 for dinner. No matter what, you must not cross 500 calories.
- Phase 3
The third phase is the maintenance phase. During this phase, you need to stop consuming your HCG supplements, and slowly increase your diet to 700 calories in week 1, and then to 1200 – 1500 in the succeeding weeks. Your doctor will suggest what type of food you need to take during this period. Your body will slowly start getting used to your calorie intake, without any supplements. Most of the people of HCG diet even lose weight in phase 3.
- Phase 4
In Phase 4, you will be at the weight you’re targeting. In this stage, you should slowly start consuming sugar and starch – what you’ve been avoiding in the preceding weeks. Just like phase 3, your body will take its own time to get used to the food, and help in burning extra calories. By now, you would be used to eating the right portions at the right time. Most people continue a healthy lifestyle after phase 4. However, not everyone’s bodies react the same way. If you notice that you’re slowly gaining weight, you can speak to your doctor and restart the HCG diet plan, which should be only after three weeks of phase 4. While you may eat meat, vegetables, fruits, and dairy, you need to avoid consuming food items which have a lot of sugar, starch or trans fats. Some of the food items you need to avoid are processed meat, sweetened yogurt, ketchup, honey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, beetroots, carrots, peas, bananas, mango, and watermelon.
In what ways can HCG be consumed?
The HCG hormone can be consumed as drops or pellets or via injections and sprays. The most commonly used methods are drops and injections. This page shows a detailed guide how HCG diet drops can be consumed. When Dr. Simeons made his discovery, he had used HCG injections. HCG drops came in much later. While you need a doctor’s prescription to get yourself injected with the hormone, drops are taken orally under the tongue, which is the easiest way to get medication into your bloodstream. There are two types of HCG drops – prescription drops and homeopathic drops. Once you purchase your HCG prescription drops, you need to mix them at home and close the bottle immediately after use. This is because the quality of the hormone could decrease. Also, remember to refrigerate your drops after mixing. You aren’t supposed to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes before and after consuming the drops, in order to make it more effective. The homeopathic drops are made using the HCG hormone, with basically energy boosting ingredients, so it is not the purest form of HCG. Unlike the prescription drops, these are not distributed by a drugstore.
Which is the most preferred method?
Many people have a phobia of injections, and there are chances of getting bruised while being injected with the hormone. However, some might find the process of mixing and refrigerating the HCG drops quite a hassle. You can opt for the supplement which suits you best, as both basically have the same ingredients (except for the homeopathic HCG drops). No matter what type of HCG supplements, you are planning to consume, it is very important to go with a reputable brand with excellent reviews. You could also browse the web and find a lot of blogs regarding the best brands available in store.