Lose Weight Naturally

What is the HCG Diet and Does it Work?

The HCG diet has been popular for many years. Patients love it because you can lose up to a pound a day without being extremely hungry. It is a great start to changing eating habits and setting the stage for long-term weight loss goals.

HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone present at high levels in early pregnancy. This diet consists of two main components:

  • An ultra low-calorie diet of around 500 calories per day.
  • The HCG hormone administered via injections.

What HCG Does in the Body

HCG is a protein-based hormone produced by the body to help heal and maintain tissues. Most people have heard of HCG as being associated in pregnancy although the hormone has many restorative functions.

Treats:

  • Weight Loss and Management

Duration:

  • 30 minutes

Does HCG Help You Lose Weight?

The HCG diet can boost metabolism and help you lose large amounts of fat, all without feeling hungry. Most patients report how great they feel after a few days of starting the injections. The fat loss is attributed to the low calorie diet but it is the HCG that allows your body to feel good and not battle severe hunger.

Does the HCG Diet Improve Body Composition?

One common side effect of weight loss is decreased muscle mass. This is especially common on diets that severely restrict caloric intake. However, the presence of HCG facilitates weight loss resulting from fat loss only, not muscle loss. HCG also supports other hormones, boosts metabolism and leads to a growth-promoting (anabolic) state.

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How the HCG Diet is Prescribed

The HCG diet is a very low-fat, low-calorie diet. It is generally divided into three phases:

  1. Loading phase: Start taking HCG and eat plenty of high-fat, high-calorie foods for 2 days.
  2. Weight loss phase: Continue taking HCG and eat only 500 calories per day for 3 to 6 weeks.
  3. Maintenance phase: Stop taking HCG. Gradually increase food intake but avoid sugar and starch for 3 weeks.

For people who have less weight to lose, 3 weeks is recommended for the weight loss phase. Those who need to lose a lot of weight may be advised to follow the diet for 6 weeks and possibly repeat the cycle (all phases) several times with 6 weeks break in-between cycles.

Involved Team Members:

Gloria Hakkarainen, MD, FACOG, FASBP, FABAAM
& AnnMarie Koehler, MA
& Jackie Pett, LE & Health Coach

Juliet Laser, IV TherapyNutrition Response
LSW_Team-Member_dr-h_ann_jackie.png

Safety and Side Effects

HCG is quite safe and has been used on patients for infertility for many years. Side effects associated with the HCG diet relate to the lack of food and if you have any of the following, you should call and notify the staff at Laser Skin & Wellness:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Severe Hunger

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