The HCG diet is one of the extreme weight loss diets that shows results effectively and efficiently. In this diet, an individual will be restricted to consuming 500 calories each day and daily injections or drops or pills of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
HCG is actually a prescription medication used to treat fertility issues. It is also a natural hormone produced in a significant amount during pregnancy.
While the HCG diet is becoming more popular these days and doses are being supplied in pills, sprays, injections, and drops, using the HCG weight loss diet is illegal. However, you will still find them, specially labeled as homeopathic, in stores and are sold over-the-counter in most places.
This article will discuss HCG diet programs and how it is used to lose excessive weight.
Phases of HCG diet
Three phases of the HCG diet last over the time of several weeks. Discussed below are each of the phases of the HCG diet and brief information about each.
Phase 1 of HCG diet: The Loading Phase
The first two days of the HCG diet is the loading phase. While the critical factor of the diet is consuming very low fat and very low-calorie foods, in these first two days, you will have to eat foods with high fat and high calorie.
Some of the high fat and high-calorie foods you can consume in this phase are ground beef, peanut butter, almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and olive oil.
Phase 2 of HCG diet: The Weight Loss Phase
In this phase, you will start implementing the 500 calories per day rule. The weight loss phase will last for three to six weeks, and you will need to be extremely strict about your food and doses of HCG. However, you will lose most of your weight in this phase.
Here is an example of a diet chart you can follow for the second phase of the HCG diet.
- Breakfast: Coffee or tea (with 1 tbsp. of milk if you prefer)
- Morning snack: 1 serving of fruit of choice
- Lunch: 1 veg, one fruit, one starch with 3.5 oz. protein
- Dinner: same as lunch
- Evening snack: 1 handful of high-fiber and low-carb fruit
Phase 3 of HCG diet: The Maintenance Phase
This last phase will last for three to six weeks, and you will need to learn to incorporate higher calories and higher fat food once again gradually. You will lose very little weight in this phase as you try to increase the amount of food you consume daily. You will also stop taking your daily dose of HCG in this phase.
Here is an example of a diet chart you can follow for the third phase of the HCG diet.
- Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with berries and two eggs
- Snack 1: Nuts
- Lunch: Burger patty with toppings and salad with dressing
- Snack 2: 1 Fruit of choice
- Dinner: Tacos with no fat and with lettuce instead of tortillas
- Snack 3: Apple with peanut butter
Tips for HCG diet
If you want some simple tips to increase your chances of losing maximum weight while you are on your HCG diet programs, here are some tips.
- Drink green tea
- Eat food with high-fiber
- Exercise daily or regularly
- Take your HCG doses at the right time
- Always try to reduce your stress
Approved and disapproved food in HCG Diet Plan
While the HCG diet plan is easy to follow, it is still quite strict about how many calories you can intake. Thus, there is a list of approved and disapproved food from experts for individuals who want to follow the HCG diet programs.
Here is a list of approved food:
- Lean Protein – Egg whites, chicken, crab, white fish, scallops, lobster, bison, and extra-lean beef.
- Fruits – Citrus fruits, berries, and apples.
- Vegetables – Chard, spinach, cabbage, beet greens, celery, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, asparagus, radishes, and shallots.
- Beverages – Coffee, tea, and water.
- Herbs and Spices – Lemon juice, garlic, pepper, salt, thyme, and rosemary.
Here is a list of disapproved food:
- High-Carb Food – Muffins, grains, pasta, bread, and other high-carb food.
- Dairy – Cheese, ice cream, yogurt are not allowed, and only one tablespoon of milk is allowed each day.
- Sugary Beverages and Alcohol – Beer, wine, and soda.
- Fats and Oils – No food with fats and oils are allowed.
- Sweets and Desserts – No sweets and desserts are allowed.
Average weight loss on HCG diet
When you start the HCG diet, you are bound to lose one to two pounds every day on average, as the HCG diet is extreme for weight loss.
Not losing weight on HCG diet
If you are not losing weight on your HCG diet program, here are some of the reasons why:
- You might not be taking your HCG doses regularly and on time.
- You might not follow the strict diet rule and might be cheating on the diet every once in a while.
- You might not be exercising regularly or exercising too much. You must make sure you are doing the right kind of workouts based on your body type and diet.
- You might not be having proper and healthy bowel movements.
How to maintain weight loss after HCG
Contrary to popular belief, preventing weight gain after completing your HCG diet is more straightforward than one would expect. This is because while you are on the HCG diet, you become more conscious about the food you consume and overall more aware of what you eat. In addition, your relationship with food is bound to change. Thus it easy to maintain that attitude and mindset even after you are done with your HCG diet.
However, discussed below are some suggestions on how you can maintain your weight after the HCG diet.
- First and foremost, you must stay hydrated. Do not forget to drink water timely and regularly. When you are hydrated, you will not feel hungry before proper mean times. If you are an adult male, you will need 125 ounces of water in a day to remain adequately hydrated. If you are an adult female, then you will need 90 ounces of water in a day to stay properly hydrated.
- Take your supplements. Although you will increase your calorie intake after the HCG diet, it is advisable to take multivitamins still daily.
- After the strict and limited calories of the HCG diet, you might feel uncertain and reluctant about increasing your calorie intake. However, it would help if you increase your calorie intake to avoid unwanted and severe body damage.
- Once you are done with the maintenance phase of the diet, you can now relax as your metabolism will increase, and you can manage your weight more quickly.
Advantages and Disadvantages of HCG Diet
Here are some advantages and disadvantages you might face while following an HCG diet.
- You will lose your unwanted weight quickly.
- It is easy to follow the HCG diet plan.
- HCG diet plan is on the expensive spectrum of diet plans.
- You might always feel hungry due to low-calorie intake and show side effects of going hungry like fatigue and headaches.
- HCG supplements you will need for the diet to work are illegal for diet plans.
- You will have to deal with nutrient deficiencies.
To sum up, the HCG diet is effective and efficient. Therefore, if you want to lose weight fast and need to do it urgently for some personal reasons, then HCG diet programs will help you.
However, keep in mind that the HCG diet plan can be harmful, too, as you will quickly put your body through extreme change. In addition, the decrease in the intake of food will be difficult and might end up causing physical and mental health issues.
Thus, whatever you decide, make your decisions after consulting experts and doing thorough research.