Human chorionic gonadotropin or human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) is a naturally occurring hormone produced during pregnancy. HCG is also produced in the pituitary gland of males and females of all ages.
HCG and Weight Loss
In the 1950's, a British physician Albert Simeons proposed that a HCG could help to bring about weight loss. Simeons believed that an injection of HCG could allow people lose survive on 500 calories a day, burn stored fat, with little hunger and a reduce appetite. Dr. Simeons reported in the medical journal the Lancet that patients who followed the Simeons HCG Diet protocol for 40 days lost 20 to 30 pounds, and that 70% of them maintained their weight loss after going off the diet. Dr. Simeons credited the hormone with making fat available for metabolism and enabling his patients to remain on the low-calorie diet without feeling weak, dizzy or excessively hungry.
Simeons HCG Diet Protocol
Under the direction of a licensed physician, patients following the Simeons HCG Diet protocol will receive an HCG injection daily, administered into the fatty tissue (belly area preferred.
Each round of HCG treatment with on the Simeons HCG Diet protocol lasts a minimum of 26 days, and 23 of those days require a daily HCG injection. HCG Treatment may last as long as 43 days (with 40 HCG injections), unless a patient loses 34 to 40 pounds (15 to 18 kilograms) before the allotted time has passed. Patients don’t receive HCG injections for the last three days of any Simeons HCG Diet treatment period so that the HCG can cycle completely out of their bodies before they resume a normal diet. (It also takes about three days for HCG’s weight loss effects to “kick in”).
Why stop the Simeons HCG Diet treatment after 43 days? Simeons noted that subjects seemed to develop immunity to HCG after 43 days and required a six-week break from the Simeons HCG diet to fully resensitize to the HCG injections. Simeons recommended no more than four total HCG treatment cycles, separated by breaks.
In addition to receiving HCG injection, dieters are instructed to cut their daily intake of calories to 500 a day, but not until after the third HCG injection. Once the HCG is active in a dieter’s body, its release of long-stored fat provides the body with the calories it needs to burn to get through a day (a day, it should be noted, without much exercise). As long as fat deposits are being released for use, the 500 daily calories being ingested is supposed to be enough to sustain the dieter without the crazy hunger pangs one would normally experience on a 500-calorie diet. Once a dieter drops the excess weight, the HCG treatment stops, because HCG only affects stored fat. Once the fat is used up, the body will quickly reject a self-imposed limit of 500 total daily calories.
What little food can be consumed is supposed to be high in protein and low in starches, carbohydrates and high-fat foods. Alcohol is forbidden, and updated versions of the Simeons HCG Diet protocol sometimes include additional appetite suppressants, such as daily injections of phentermine or other stimulants.
HCG Diet Cons
- The FDA did a study on Dr Simeons “original” Simeon HCG Diet. They reported that the extreme calorie and protein restrictions of the “original” Simeons HCG Diet protocol was unsafe for weight loss.
- The restricted calories required by the Simeons HCG Diet protocol for weight loss encourage ketosis. Ketosis is a dangerous condition which leads to the blood pH becoming extremely acidic, and even becoming corrosive towards internal organs. However, damage typically occurs during long term ketosis, while reputable HCG Diet Clinics do not advise patients to employ the Simeons HCG Diet protocol for more than 23 or 40 day cycles.
- 500-calories per day is severely restrictive and can result in feelings of irritability, and decreased energy.
- If proper amounts of protein are not consumed, or too many calories are expended through intense exercise following the Simeons HCG Diet protocol for any extended period will mostly cause a loss of muscle tissues, and organ tissues. This may be avoided if those following the Simeons HCG diet protocol go back to a “normal” diet for several weeks before restarting the Simeons HCG diet protocol.
- If managed poorly, the Simeons HCG Diet protocol can result in a stalled metabolism.
- Some women using HCG have developed a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), especially after the first treatment cycle. OHSS can be a life-threatening condition.
- The “original” Simeons HCG diet protocol starts out everyone with the same amount of calories (500) and protein (100) grams, regardless of their weight, height or body fat composition. Common sense tells a “one size fits all” diet is not necessarily the best approach for fat loss.
- Following the Simeons HCG diet protocol can be expensive. HCG injections can come at a significant cost: Online HCG Injection prices range from $30 to more than $600 for a month’s supply.
HCG Diet Pros
- HCG is a hormone, which can increase energy, metabolism and encourage fat burning. Therefore, using HCG as part of the Simeons HCG Diet protocol can help maximize fat burning while maintaining muscle when managed carefully.
- Proponents of the Simeons HCG Diet protocol claim the HCG hormone shrinks your fat cells and delivers up to 2000 calories of energy for your body to utilize which prevents hunger and weakness.
- Proponents of the Simeons HCG Diet protocol claim that women on average will lose 25-40 pounds and men will lose 35-47 lbs in a 4-6 week period.
- The weight loss that many people following the Simeons HCG Diet protocol achieve can result in a reversal of Type 2 diabetes, a reduction in high blood pressure, an improved blood lipid profile, reduced risk for heart disease and an overall improvement in a myriad of other health conditions, like osteoarthritis and sleep apnea.
- The reason the Simeons HCG Diet protocol is effective is because prescription HCG targets a specific type of stored fat. Under most conditions, the body will hold on to this fat, refusing to give it up. HCG releases it, which gives the dieter calories—in amounts between 1500 and 3500 a day depending upon the person. In addition, food provides another 500-700 calories, so the dieter should have a comfortable level of calories available at all times.
- The restricted calories of the Simeons HCG Diet protocol encourage ketosis, a natural appetite suppressant.
- The Simeons HCG Diet protocol includes eating low calorie foods followed by some light exercises. This approach is conducive to weight loss.
- HCG is available in various forms like intra-muscular injections, pills or oral drops. If you don’t want the pain of HCG injections while following the HCG Diet then you can opt for sublingual HCG while following the Simeons HCG Diet protocol.
- Those following the Simeons HCG Diet protocol often find a reduce craving for carbohydrates and sweets and an overall decrease in appetite which aids in weight loss. Decrease cravings for carbohydrates and sweets also has favorable hormonal effects on the body for fat burning.
- HCG injections used for the Simeons HCG Diet protocol increases libido in men and women
- Proponents of the Simeons HCG Diet protocol claim that the hormone HCG allows dieters on a restricted caloric intake to burn fat, without being hungry. Many calorie restricted diets result in dieters binging, and unable to maintain weight loss associated with restricted calorie diets.
Before Considering the HCG Diet
You should not consider starting the HCG diet until you have received medical clearance from an independent medical professional.
You should not receive HCG injections if you have ever had an allergic reaction to HCG, or if you have a hormone-related cancer (such as prostate cancer).
Before receiving HCG tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs or if you have:
- a thyroid or adrenal gland disorder;
- cancer or a tumor of the breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland;
- heart disease;
- kidney disease;
- an ovarian cyst;
- premature puberty; or
- undiagnosed uterinebleeding
Bottom Line on the HCG Diet
The HCG Diet is not for everyone. HCG can help expedite weight loss if it is used in conjunction with exercise and a sound low fat diet where the dieter is buring more calories than the dieter is taking in. Like all calorie restrictive diets, dieters should consult a physican prior to starting the HCG Diet.