After all the long hours spent in the gym and the days you have withstood hunger pangs, the scales still refuse to budge. To make things more disheartening, you have tried every possible diet plan under the sun. If you are looking for a miracle, it is right here…in a hormone that is produced by a woman during pregnancy. Surprising as it may sound, HCG is the answer for all the woes of dieters who have been struggling for weight loss. The HCG diet plan has become a buzzword today, thanks to the thousands of people who have vouched for fast and effective weight loss by following this regimen.
HCG diet plan refers to a combination of the hormone (taken in the form of injections, pills, drops or spray) and a very-low calorie diet for a period of 8 weeks. Together, these strategies lead to rapid weight loss, with the dieter shedding as much as 1 pound a day on an average. To add to it, the plan does not leave you starving or depleted. Doesn’t that make this protocol the miracle weight loss method that we have all been waiting for? Let’s know more about this miracle weight loss aid and how it works.
HCG- The Hormone vs. The Diet
Let us begin by understanding the HCG as a hormone differs from HCG as a diet. The human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is a naturally-occurring hormone in human body, in men as well as in women. However, its secretion goes up during pregnancy. Being a natural metabolism booster, the hormone increases the energy available for the fetal growth. For years, the hormone has been used for treating women with fertility issues. Currently, it has emerged as an effective weight loss aid, even though the amount administered for this purpose is much lesser than that for fertility treatment.
Now it is important to understand the difference between the hormone and the diet based on it. While HCG is a natural hormone, the HCG diet uses the hormone in synthetic form, with the drops being the most widely used options. The diet protocol requires the dieter to take 8 drops under the tongue thrice a day. In addition, a strict adherence to a very-low calorie diet is required, with the diet restricted to only 500 calories a day. The results are amazing and it is possible to lose as many as 30 pounds a day. Now that the efficacy of HCG hormones for weight loss has been established, it is important to learn about the benefits and possible side effects of the diet protocol.
Benefits and risks of HCG for Weight Loss
Just like a hormonal weight loss technique, HCG too has its own set of benefits and risks. You need to weigh these benefits and risks before taking up the plan. Let’s talk about the benefits first:
- Regulation of metabolic function: Primarily, HCG as a hormone is responsible for the stimulation of hypothalamus, the gland which regulates the metabolic function. These drops function by increasing the metabolic rate for faster fat burning, which results in effective weight loss.
- Regulation of appetite suppression– Another important aspect of weight loss is suppression of appetite. A dieter needs to suppress the appetite levels to ensure that the caloric consumption is limited to the desired levels. With HCG diet, it becomes easier to control cravings as the hormone plays a key role in suppressing the appetite.
- Regulation of sex hormones– The benefits of HCG diet are not confined to weight loss via metabolic boost and appetite suppression. In some cases, weight loss becomes difficult for women with excess levels of sex hormones such as progesterone and estrogen. The hormone regulates these levels and promotes weight loss.
- Improvement of thyroid function– HCG is also known to stimulate the thyroid function, which could be another cause of unprecedented weight gain.
Besides these positive benefits, you should consider the risk factors of choosing HCG diet as your weight loss strategy. Here are some risks associated with the diet protocol:
- Irritability, which may subside over time as the body becomes adjusted to the regimen
- Headaches, which too may fade over time
- Water retention or bloating, which is generally associated with dosing and is reversible
- Depression and fatigue in some dieters
These negative side effects are reported in rare cases and can be reduced by personalizing the dosage for such patients. Most of the times, the hormone is well tolerated. Consulting an expert is a good idea as they can help you find the right dosage of the hormone to maximize the benefits and minimize the side effects.
HCG Dosing and How to Use it
The benefits of HCF diet are greatly dependent on the right dosage and optimal use of the hormonal supplement. The standard diet plan combines calorie restriction with 8 drops taken thrice a day. However, the dosing may be personalized according the individual’s sensitivity to the hormone. Right dosage limits the potential side effects as well as promotes sustained weight loss.
- The HCG drops are to be taken under the tongue as it ensures that the hormone reaches the bloodstream more rapidly. A thrice a day regimen is recommended as it enables fat burning as well as appetite suppression throughout the day.
- Use a glass dropper to take exactly 8 drops of HCG.
- Adhere to a fixed schedule with the dose timings set right from the first day so that you can avoid missing any dose.
- A missed dose does not mean that you double up the next dose but maintain your regular schedule after that.
- Use the drops during the first and second phases of the diet and discontinue during the third phase so that your body becomes used to maintaining the weight loss even without the hormone.
Gender-wise Efficacy of HCG Diet
HCG is often helpful for women looking to lose weight. The key aspect of the efficacy of the therapy is its ability to regulate the levels of estrogen and progesterone. Imbalance of these sex hormones is one of the reasons of weight gain in women. In fact, the fat mediated by estrogen and progesterone can be challenging to lose and conventional exercise and diet routines can be totally ineffective. HCG diet comes as the best measure for such women as it not only brings weight loss by increased metabolism but also restores the balance of sex hormones to prevent further weight gain.
HCG diet is equally useful for male dieters too as it gives a boost to the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is the primary male hormone that promotes sperm production and sexual development. It has been seen that weight loss for male dieters using this protocol has been quicker and more effective in comparison to their female counterparts. Moreover, HCG diet does not result in muscle loss as it focuses on melting the fat reserves only. Hence, it addresses the concern related to the loss of muscle mass in the male dieters.
A Final Word
Seeing the extensive benefits of HCG diet for weight watchers, it can be rightly called a miracle plan. However, it is always better to be completely aware of the risks too so that you can handle them with personalized strategies. Before initiating the diet plan, consult with your physician for a complete health assessment. Discuss about your intent to take up HCG weight loss plan and get expert advice first, particularly if you have a chronic health condition or are taking regular prescription medications.