If you’ve been briefed on the hCG diet you have no doubt been intrigued. The biggest dilemma for most people that want to go on a diet is that they won’t get to eat what they want. This is the battle that rages within us, wanting to eat unhealthy foods, but still lose weight and feel great. It’s the best of both worlds, and the promise of many diet pills and potions.
hCG is a substance that is produced by pregnant women during pregnancy, and a doctor got the idea that it could help both men and women lose weight, without doing much else but getting injected with it. Voila, the next diet craze was born! This one has the perfect mix of being derived from a natural source, human chorionic gonadotropin, so it can’t be bad for us, right? And it doesn’t require too much, because you’re just getting shots, although nowadays you can get drops as well. But of course there are risks involved, which we’ll explore further below.
Those that support and promote an hCG diet claim that it provides an easy path to weight loss, and all that is required is getting it into your system and carrying on as you normally would. It was originally proposed that this should be used to assist with a very heavily restricted caloric intake of 500 calories a day or less. Talk about extreme, and a high chance of crashing and burning, and reverting back to your old, more normal eating habits.
Sooner or later science will come up with the pill that allows you to eat whatever you want and stay trim and healthy. Consumers will always be on the lookout for it, and are ready to pounce on it when anything claims to come close. It may also come in the form of an injection or some other delivery method. The only problem is that frauds and hoaxes will pop up along the way, and if it reaches a tipping point, everyone will try it before it gets debunked.
The cost of hCG will vary depending on the manufacturer and distributor. Whatever they can get you to believe in regards to the quality and purity of the hCG they are using in their product will effect the purchase price. That’s why you should be very careful about where you get it from, and double check the source for quality trol.
The commitment is high for those that don’t like needles. The thought of getting an injection in order to lose weight might be more than they’re willing to commit to. Less effective doses can be had in pill and tablet form, as well as drops placed under the tongue, but to get the biggest effect it is recommended to see a professional that can inject it right into you.
And this is not just a one-time injection, the original program suggested up to 40 injections in just as many days. That’s a high commitment no matter how you look at it. The hassle of going in to a clinic to get an injection every day for a month is more than most people are willing to commit to. If you stop to think about it, getting injected by any substance daily for 40 days just can’t be good for the body.
Other than that the commitment level is rather low as far as what you have to eat and how much you have to exercise. Of course proper eating and regular exercise can increase the effects you’ll see, and is always recommended regardless, but there is no hard and fast rule that says you have to eat lots of veggies and healthy foods or do any sort of activity. The whole point is you don’t have to change your lifestyle on this diet. If you follow the 500 calorie rule, you’ll only be setting yourself up for future disaster.
Since there isn’t a whole lot of evidence that points to the success of an hCG diet for the majority of people who try it, it’s unlikely that it does what it claims to do. Also, there are no long-term studies to see what kinds of effects it has on the body over time. Because of the limited amount of research that’s been done, and the feedback that has come in showing iffy results, if any, it can rightly be concluded that this isn’t the magic weight loss discover, and just another false alarm for ever-hopeful crash dieters.
What Doctor Oz Said About the hCG Diet
He didn’t say much, but he’s an artist when it comes to saying things without actually saying them. While he did question whether it’s healthy to eat 500 calories a day, he seemed to be won over by Dr. Emma when she said it was OK that the body starts pulling calories from stored fat deposits. He gave a brief history of how hCG came about, which from the sounds of things was mostly pulled from Wikipedia.
Does an hCG Diet Really Work?
An hCG diet seems to be just another flash in the pan in the world of dieting and weight loss. There’s no scientific evidence that it works at all, or is nearly as effective as proponents claim. You can rightly and smartly avoid this program, the injections, the cost, and the hype. Turn your attention to things that have been proven over time to work. Invest the money in a personal trainer or a dietitian and take real steps towards real and lasting progress.
At this point in time there is no replacement for smart eating, and regular exercise. A quick fix just isn’t the answer to long-term well-being. Start taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle and you see marked improvement in both the way you feel as well as the size you are and how heavy you are. The major problem with an hCG diet is that it is so extreme, there is no good exit strategy, and people often wonder what they should do once they’ve been on it.
hCG Diet FAQ
Since people have a lot of questions about what an hCG diet does to the body, and since most of the sites out there answering these questions are also selling their hCG diet products, we thought it would be best to provide answer to frequently asked questions so you can get a quick idea of what you’re really getting into.
What Are the Allowed Foods on an hCG Diet?
When you’re trying to keep your caloric intake to 500 a day, you are going to be pretty limited as to what you can have. Things like broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, and kale and other green leafy vegetables are good because you can eat a lot of them and not put a big dent in your calorie count. Sweet foods like ketchup, kiwi, grapes, jello, and watermelon should best be avoided because while they’re healthy to eat, the sugar in them increases their calories,
Diet sodas may seem alright, but they contain artificial sweeteners which are not good for you, and are best avoided. The same is true for gum, while sugar free gum may only have a few calories, it’s going to contain artificial flavors and sweeteners to make it taste good.
Fish can be good for you while on the diet, but make sure you choose a type of fish that keeps its calories down. Leans cuts of turkey might also work for you, but avoid ground turkery unless it’s specifically low in fat and calories. Japanese food like sushi, teriyaki chicken, or tempura would be hard to eat while on this, because it usually packs a caloric punch.
Can an hCG Diet Affect My Period?
One of the concerns that women have is that their period will be effected. Many things can alter when your period arrives, and restricting your calories to 500 is one of them. You might notice that the day it comes might change by a day or two. There hasn’t been any reports on it changing whether you have a heavier or lighter period because of an hCG diet.
Can an hCG Diet Cause False Positive Pregnancy Test?
If you are getting the real drug administered in a clinic there is a chance that it will give you a false positive, because this is specifically what they are looking for when they test for pregnancy. You should stop taking hCG and let it get out of your system so that you can be sure of the results you’re getting. A company that says their hCG product won’t effect your test is probably selling you something that doesn’t have hCG in it, or is selling homeopathic hCG drops.
Can an hCG Diet Cause Heart Problems?
If you call heart rate fluctuations a heart problem, then yes. This is just one of the side effects reported by people that have gone on the hCG diet. Your heart is going to be strained because it also is effected by the foods you eat, or don’t eat in this case. If you also exercise while on this you could be heading for a catastrophe, which is why it’s not recommended to do any sort of intense cardio or other exercise while doing this.
Can an hCG Diet Cause Pregnancy?
No, it doesn’t cause you to become pregnant. It is the hormone that is released during pregnancy, and can help infertile women get pregnant, but taking hCG on its own will not cause pregnancy.
Can I Cheat On an hCG Diet?
Of course you can cheat on it, but you won’t get the same sort of benefits as you would if you didn’t. The whole point of getting the injections or taking the drops is that it’s supposed to make you not hungry. The reason people typically cheat on diets is because they get hungry and eventually cave in to their hunger. By not being hungry you shouldn’t have the desire to cheat, and if you do you need to address those specific food cravings.
Can I Do an hCG Diet For 1 Week?
You can, and you’ll see limited results, but if you’re only trying to lose 5 pounds for a woman or 10 pounds for a man this might be all the time you need. You’re not supposed to be on this diet indefinitely, and you should only stay on it as long as you need to to reach your goal weight. Don’t just start it with a vague concept of “losing weight”. Have a specific number you want to hit so you know when to stop.
Can I Do an hCG Diet While Breastfeeding?
It would not be recommended to do an hCG diet while breastfeeding because you aren’t getting the proper amount of nutrients that your body needs to make nutritious breast milk for your baby. You should wait until you naturally stop breastfeedng before you attempt any extreme diet plans like this one.
Can I Do an hCG Diet While Pregnant?
No. This is a very restrictive diet and not recommended for pregnant women, or those attempting to get pregnant.
Can I Smoke On an hCG Diet?
You’ve probably heard it several times before that smoking is bad for you, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the results you will get from being on this diet. And since it’s better to be thin and smoke than be fat and smoke, maybe it’s better to knock one thing out at a time.
Can an hCG Diet Cause Cancer?
No proof has come to light about an hCG diet causing cancer. Dr. Sherri Emma said on the Dr. Oz show that she does not recommend the diet to anyone that has a pre-existing cancer, and especially one that responds to hormones.
Can an hCG Diet Kill You?
Severe caloric restriction, as that proposed by those recommending an hCG diet, can put the body into a different state than it normally is. Over a long enough period of time your body would give in to the deprivation and malnourished state. It is not something you would want to do for the rest of your life, nor would you need to. But be careful because an extreme diet like this can cause severe eating disorders, and you might be prone to one of these if you are looking into radical weight loss measures.
Can You Drink Alcohol On an hCG Diet?
You shouldn’t drink alcohol while on this, because it is empty calories and sugar, no matter if you’re drinking vodka, beer, or wine. The calories are your biggest concern on this, and it doesn’t make sense to eat 500 calories during the day and then go out at night and drink a thousand calories or more with alcohol. Alcohol usually involves eating, as well as spontaneous eating and late night eating, all of which will set your progress back.
Can You Exercise On an hCG Diet?
Only light exercise would be recommended, and nothing that overexerts yourself. You’re already at a caloric deficit, so there’s no need to burn anything off. A light walk outside in the sunshine for 10-20 minutes would be all that you need to get some Vitamin D, get your blood flowing, and your body moving.
Does an hCG Diet Cause Acne?
This is one of the side effects reported. It is likely due to your body not getting the proper nutrients it needs to nourish the skin and prevent breakouts. There’s a reason for eating the amount of calories you’re supposed to eat in a day. Eating too many also causes breakouts, but people are often surprised that eating fewer calories can lead to things like more zits.
Does an hCG Diet Cause Hair Loss?
You are reducing the number of calories to such a low level that there is no way you can eat the amount of food required to give your body the nourishment it needs. For this reason you may start to see more hair in your hairbrush or comb as your body isn’t able to sustain what’s needed to keep your hair healthy, strong, and on your head. For clarification, it’s not the hCG that does it, but the reduction in calories through starving yourself, and therefore the nutrition that comes with food.
Does an hCG Diet Cause Muscle Loss?
You will probably notice some muscle degradation while you’re on the diet, because you won’t be feeding the muscles what they need to stay strong and healthy. You shouldn’t lift weights while you’re on the diet. But since it is a short term thing, you can lose the fat first and then go and build up the muscle after. This way you’ll be able to see the muscles better because they won’t be hidden by all of the fat.
Does an hCG Diet Get Rid Of Cellulite?
If you’re specifically trying to eliminate cellulite from your body, you will probably have to get a cellulite cream in addition to losing the weight. The fat deposits that give the look of cellulite are very stubborn, and even with dramatic weight loss you might still have that cottage cheese look in certain areas.
Does an hCG Diet Give You Diarrhea?
The diarrhea that is often associated with an hCG diet is not due to the hCG injections, but rather to the dramatic decrease in the amount of calories you consume. It’s your body’s way of signaling that there’s a problem. Those on the diet say it subsides after the first few days, which would be in line with the body adapting to the strains you’re putting on it.
Does an hCG Diet Make You Nauseous?
Those that were questioned about side effects, including whether or not they got nauseous replied that no, they didn’t. Of course these sort of side effects will vary from person to person, and it might be that you end up feeling nauseous, dizzy, or lightheaded the first few days. Eventually these should go away as your body acclimates to what’s going on.
Does an hCG Diet Make You Tired?
You’d think that when you’re only getting a small fraction of the calories your body needs that it would in turn retaliate by making you sluggish in an attempt to conserve energy. But they say that the body will be pulling the calories it needs from your fat stores, so you shouldn’t be tired. There doesn’t seem to be anything in hCG that is meant to give you energy.
Does an hCG Diet Work For Everyone?
It has been shown to work on both men and women, and people that have a lot of weight to lose or just a little. It really shouldn’t make a difference what kind of person you are, because this is working on the cellular level. Of course there will always be those that can’t get it to work for them.
Does an hCG Diet Work For Men?
There are men that claim to have lost weight on an hCG diet, so even though the hormone is produced by women when they’re pregnant, it seems to also work in men.
Does an hCG Diet Work Long Term?
The diet is pretty extreme, and should only be used to quickly get where you want to be so you can start maintaining your new weight level. It is designed to get you through the hardest part, the beginning, where it looks like a dire battle, and where the results come rather slowly. If you can push past that part and get to the part where you’re looking and feeling good, the idea is that this is easier to maintain.
Does an hCG Diet Make You Poop?
There isn’t anything in the injections that would make you poop, and since you’re only eating 500 calories there’s less food making its way through your system, so if anything you might find yourself pooping less. You might even find yourself getting constipated if you’re not eating enough vegetables to provide the right amount of fiber to keep things moving along. And if you’re not drinking enough water you might also have problems going.
Does an hCG Diet Really Reset or Ruin Your Metabolism?
There’s really no such thing as resetting your metabolism, because it is what it is, and always has been what it always was. If you feel that you originally had a good metabolism, but something changed and now it has shifted to a lousy metabolism, you’re not actually right. What most likely occurred is a gradual lessening of the amount of activity you did, and your body naturally got accustomed to it and took a longer time to process foods. There is a chance though that a diet like this will alter your metabolism, because eating just 500 calories a day is brutal for it.
How Long Is an hCG Diet?
You should plan to be on this only for as long as you need it. Since most people seem to lose about a pound a day, you will be on it around this amount of time, varying by how much weight you need to lose. A person with 30 pounds to lose should expect to be on it for a month. There is no hard and fast rule though, so you should be flexible. Keep tabs on how much you weigh and step down from this as soon as you hit your number.
Is an hCG Diet a Hoax?
If it’s a hoax it’s more of a conspiracy because there are several people all saying it works, and they’d all have to be lying and in on the deception. It’s hard to argue when a doctor is prescribing this treatment to their patients and they are losing weight. But heart doctors have been directing their patients to change their diet after heart surgery, and those that follow their recommendations end up losing weight, so it’s really not a fad, it’s just the mechanics of not eating as much food, and a substance that eliminates hunger so you can actually do it.