The HCG diet plan was developed in the 1950s which promised a change in body composition and weight loss of up to 30 pounds in as little as 30 days. Believe it or not, at one point the HCG diet was the most prescribed medical weight loss plan in the world.
The plan revolves around a very strict low-calorie diet supplemented by HCG shots for approximately 30-40 days a time until you lose the weight you are hoping to lose.
Before you go looking to buy HCG injections online, in a clinic, over the counter or dismiss the program entirely, review the information that follows to understand the basics of the diet as well as the potential results of the program.
HCG Diet Theory and History
A British endocrinologist named Albert T.W. Simeons theorized that Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) could promote rapid weight loss in patients suffering from obesity. Dr. Simeons reached this conclusion in three separate steps.
First, Dr. Simeons specialty involved understanding how hormones work in the human body and treating those with hormonal issues. While working with boys that were suffering from pituitary issues such as delayed puberty, he used HCG to stimulate normal hormonal activity. During this treatment he noted that the boys that were overweight would change their body composition by losing fat and increasing their muscle tone.
Next the Doctor went to India to study the effects on newborn children of women who were malnourished. During this observation period he found that many of the babies born to these mothers were normal in size, weight and health. It is well known that HCG levels increase when a woman becomes pregnant which is why the HCG diet is sometimes called the pregnancy diet.
Finally, Simeons conducted test on obese individuals by severely limiting their daily calories while injecting them with HCG for a period of 30-40 days. The test subjects were allowed to eat specific foods but were limited to only 500 calories a day.
At the end of his study, he concluded that his short term very low-calorie diet would not only result in significant weight loss but would also change the body composition when combined with HCG injections.
Dr. Simeons went on to publish his findings in a manuscript called “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity” in 1954 which still available today.
The Importance of HCG Injections While on the Diet
The HCG diet protocol as studied and written by Dr. Simeons was done with real HCG. This is critical to understand because with the rise of the internet anyone can create a website and publish whatever they want.
As a result, the web is flooded with individuals and companies that are claiming to sell HCG in drop form, pill form or tablet form without a prescription. The fact that real HCG is only available by prescription cannot be stressed enough. There are plenty of vendors that will sell you these products that they call HCG, yet the product will not have any HCG in it all.
Real HCG is available in drop and tablet form as well, but even then it requires a prescription to be obtained legally and ensure that you are not getting a counterfeit version of HCG. The downside of prescription HCG in tablet or drop form is that it still has to go through the digestive process before entering your bloodstream, this may dilute the effectiveness of the HCG. On the other hand, you would not have to take injections which is a benefit for those that are scared of needles.
In short, if you find a website or location that is selling what they call HCG and there is not a medical intake form or there is no prescription required do not waste your hard-earned money on that product. You may as well take nothing since you are taking a placebo.
Any diet you decide to participate in should be based on a few sound principles as illustrated below.
Safety– The diet should be safe for you. It is useless to start a diet that makes you feel worse than when you start it. The reasons for this feeling may come in any form such as calories allowed, food types or even the required supplements you are asked to take. After all, it makes no sense to start a peanut butter diet if you are allergic to peanuts.
Effectiveness– The diet should work. You should be able to achieve your weight loss goals by strictly sticking to the diet that you choose. It can be a short-term diet or a long-term lifestyle changing diet, that does not matter. Weight loss progress and improving health should happen as part of the plan.
Good long-term habits– The diet should present positive long-term habits. It is useless to begin a diet plan that does not provide for future success. The idea is to take the weight off, become healthier and stay lighter and healthier for years to come.
It is important to note that the HCG diet was never intended to be a life long eating plan. The goal of the HCG diet is to help people who are overweight or obese lose as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time.
This is another reason why those interested in the plan should always make sure it is a prescription product. A prescription involves a doctor and a doctor can screen you for any health risks before giving you the product, provided you are honest with them. This is true even if you are ordering online, a physician consultation should always be part of the ordering process.
But just like any other diet, the HCG diet does teach life long eating habits, they just do not happen while you are actually on the weight loss phase of the program. It is added at the end of the program which is known as Phase 4.
What is in the HCG Diet Menu
Once you begin the weight loss phase of the plan the original protocol outlined in Dr. Simeons manuscript, the program becomes extremely strict. According to Dr. Simeons any deviation from the program may result in stalling your weight loss for days. Normally going a few days without losing weight is not a problem, you eventually will start losing weight again as you continue working within the framework of the plan that was chosen.
The temporary nature of the HCG program makes it different from most other diets. You should continuously see progress depending on how much weight you have to lose. Any weight loss stall lasting more than a few days should be cause for concern. This is why it is important to stay with the program as directed.
The diet may be modified depending on who you are working with and weight loss goal but to give you an idea of what to expect, here is the HCG diet food list when it was originally written.
Breakfast consists of tea or coffee only, no sugar allowed, one tablespoon of milk is allowed. If you need sweetener, you may add Stevia or Saccharin to your beverage.
Lunch and dinner include your choice of certain very lean cuts of meat. You are also required to remove any fat that you see before you prepare your meal. No oils or butter are allowed but you are allowed to use seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, vinegar etc.…
The HCG diet approved meat list is 100 grams (roughly 3.5 ounces precooked) of the following: Chicken, veal, beef, white fish, shrimp, crab and lobster.
You are allowed one serving of the following vegetables with your meal: green salad, chard, spinach, chicory, beet greens, tomatoes, onions, fennel, celery, red radish, asparagus, cucumbers, asparagus or cabbage.
You may have one bread stick or melba toast.
An apple, half of a grapefruit or a handful of strawberries are also allowed.
You may split up your meals if you would like to. For example, if you want skip the fruit at lunchtime and eat it a snack between lunch and dinner or save it for bedtime, you are allowed to do that. This gives you a tiny bit of flexibility with the plan but that is just about the only adjustment you are allowed to make on your own.
There are 3 rules that are unbreakable according to the original plan.
- Don’t try it without real HCG
- Do not exceed 500 calories per day
- Do not deviate from the approved food list
Making Your Decision
This information is presented with the sole purpose of providing a basic understanding of the Simeons HCG diet. It is not here to convince you to try it nor stop you from trying the program.
In addition, the information is not complete. The Pounds and Inches manuscript is more than 50 pages long and goes into greater detail and it also provides a look at what Dr. Simeons was thinking at the time he provided the information.
The bottom line is your choice should be made based on your needs, your goals, your health and your ability to complete the program. As always, be sure to consult with a health professional before starting any new weight loss program.