HCG is known as the pregnancy hormone since it is found in pregnant women and used the first trimester to test for pregnancy. Proponents of the weight loss program claim the hormone, in conjunction with a 500-600 calorie diet, results in weight loss. Is it the starvation diet of 600 calories causing drastic weight loss or is something else occurring?
Theory of HCG and Weight Loss
HCG controls metabolism during pregnancy in order to assure care for the fetus. Fat calories are released and used or discarded. The diet program demands a low fat diet is necessary so the depleted fat cells don’t take in more fat calories. The body must be in a starvation state for the hormone to mobilize fat for weight loss.
Hunger is abated since the circulating fat is an energy source for the body. A magical 10-12 pound weight loss the first week is presented as a possible result.
HCG Stops Hunger Theoretically
Concentration camp survivors were estimated to live on 500- 800 calories a day of soup and bread. Average people forced to eat less cannot do this without medication aid in the form of anorectics.
Small amounts of HCG utilize stored fat enabling the dieter to lose 2-6 pounds a week on up to 12 pounds..
The clinics will give injections of the hormone or sell injections to self-give, sometimes along with a vitamin B12 shot. Daily injections are recommended. The HCG is to target the areas of excess fat and then burn it. Some clinics will also offer weight loss pills, anorectics, to aid in the non-hunger effect. Various manufacturers have come out with powders, sublinguals, and mixing apparatus to self inject. Since fat is targeted, muscle loss otherwise prominent in starvation diets, will not be affected here, is the belief.
The HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) Diet
Some plans advise fat loading before starting in order to have fat to burn. Once the injections or sublingual pills are begun the diet is official and no fat is allowed. Different forms of the hormone may or may not produce results.
An alternate plan introduces supplements to purchase along with special organic teas, thereby increasing the cost of the program beyond the injections.
- Breakfast is coffee, tea and sweetener and a total of one tablespoon of milk daily allowed
- Lunch is 100g of veal, beef, chicken, white fish, lobster, crab, shrimp. A single vegetable of a red or green specified variety. Some plans allow 100g skim milk cottage cheese for non meat eaters.
- Snack might be a breadstick or piece of Melba toast, an apple, or ½ grapefruit, or small palm full of strawberries
- Dinner same as lunch, lemon juice may be a seasoning, as can a few spices such as salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, parsley.
- Water: 1-2 liters a day
The hunger experienced the first week (if not also on anorectics) decreases as the hypothalamus adjusts and releases body fats. There is a disclaimer of the possibility of regaining all weight lost if HCG is not fully eliminated from the body before eating normally. Thus the dieter is advised to continue the near fast another 3 days after stopping the hormone before normal consumption.
Concerns about HCG Weight Loss Program
- FDA has not approved HCG as a weight loss hormone
- A 500-600 calorie diet is a starvation diet. HCG supposedly prevents muscle loss that otherwise would be inevitable in such a low calorie diet.
- What happens when the supplement is stopped?
- Inexperienced patients are sometimes self-injecting increasing the risk of infection
- This is a synthetic hormone
- Although much smaller dosing than with fertility treatment, no injection is recommended during menstruation
- The strict diet prevents it from being part of a daily activity or social life.
- Doctor visits can cost over $100 week.
Other Hormone injection diets include HGH and Weight loss: The Human Growth Hormone Diet.