The HCG Diet: Pros, Cons and How it Works

Updated on August 14, 2020

Losing weight is always tough to execute effectively. But how about using a hormone that’s naturally produced inside the body to lose weight? That’s what happiness sounds like, right? That’s exactly how the HCG Diet came into existence.  Named after the hormone itself (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), and is still pursued and followed by millions around the world.

So, how did it become this popular? During the 1950s, Albert T.W Simeons, a British endocrinologist noticed malnourished pregnant Indian women, giving birth to healthy children. He proposed a theory that the HCG hormone converted the stored fat of pregnant women into energy for their babies. Thus, he said it could be a handy tool in losing weight for anyone.

Simply put, when you’re on a super low-calorie diet, the HCG Diet is proven to reset your metabolism, and thus, you lose up to a pound per day, that too, without having the feeling of hunger or weakness.

How it Works

Typically, an HCG Diet plan comprises three distinct phases, namely: Loading, Weight loss, and Maintenance.

As you can guess, the loading phase is prepping your body to face the restriction of calories once the weight loss phase commences. The loading phase is usually just two days of consuming fat, as much as you can – generally up to 250 grams per day or roughly 2,250 calories only from fat per day. Taking it a lot of calories just before a calorie embargo – preparation is critical to keep the healthy fat cells and burn the abnormal fat. During this phase, daily HCG hormone supplements and injections start. 

Secondly, the weight loss phase asks people to continue the ongoing HCG supplements and, at the same time, consuming no more than 800 calories per day, distributed between two meals. Lean, fat-free protein, a handful of selected fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, coffee, and tea are acceptable food items to have in this phase. On the other hand, dairy, high-carb meals, sweets, desserts, and sugary beverages aren’t allowed. The timeframe of this phase varies based on your weight loss goals, but it usually lasts from three to six weeks.

Now that you are done with the hard parts of the diet, the maintenance phase comes into play. Reduce the supplementation of the HCG hormone and increase your calories at a mild pace. Typically, 1,200 but 1,500 calories at best is the perfect target to continue weight loss, as mentioned by some.


It Causes Rapid Weight Loss more Often than Not.

In the initial stages, the HCG diet results in a sudden loss of weight, although reports suggest that the HCG hormone injections cannot affect the amount of weight lost. The impressive HCG weight loss results originate from the fact that you restricted your usual calorie intake to just 500 or 800 calories for quite a while. But whether starving yourself is a good idea – is up for debate.

It Ensures a Clear and Organized Plan

The HCG Diet is structured brilliantly – even the blueprint is impressive. It has three phases, as mentioned, and every aspect has a purpose and process attached to it. A definite calorie intake amount irrespective of initial weight, obesity, etc. is what creates an appeal to people who are used following strict rules. Even the hormonal injections are specific in number.

It’s Natural

As HCG is extracted from humans, it’s safe and completely natural for consumption. Compared to other weight loss supplements, HCG won’t trigger dangerous implications after use. HCG rather detoxifies your body.


It’s Pretty Expensive

The price of an HCG injection kit ranges between$225 to $400 for a supply of four to eight weeks. Thus, it isn’t easy on your wallet at all.

It has Safety Concerns.

When the HCG Diet forces you to starve, the body sucks protein from the heart. This process irritates the muscles of the heart, resulting in hazardous contractions termed as ventricular tachycardia. Extra breast tissue can develop in some men who take HCG supplements, and that’s an issue as well.

It causes a Deficiency of Nutrition.

Nutrient deficiencies arise when you’re supposed to go without a bunch of food like grains and dairy for a few weeks. Vitamin levels, as well as minerals, run exceedingly low while you’re on the HCG diet.

It Results in Hunger and other Side Effects

During the HCG diet, you’re supposed to be away from a handful of food, which ultimately leads to hunger to a large extent. Gradually as calorie deprivation enlarges, other uncomfortable side effects also come into play. They are headaches, fatigue, dizziness, to name a few. Sometimes, when hunger hits intensively, people may be swayed away into non-routined eating or binge eating, turning from limitation to surplus indulgence.

Nowadays, the HCG diet has become a phenomenon amongst a plethora of foods to lose weight rapidly. But there’s been a notable lack of evidence regarding the efficiency the diet ensures. Add the hazards of its rigorous calorie restriction routine, and you’ll stumble across a path you’d consider less in the long run. No diet is perfect for everyone to achieve their weight-loss mission, so think before leaping into the HCG diet bandwagon because it has its drawbacks.


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