The HCG has been popular in the food industry for many years. It is referred to as an ‘extreme diet’ that claims to lose weight fast. Like other weight- loss diets, it has also been criticized and FDA has claimed this diet dangerous, illegal, and fraudulent.
What is HCG?
Human chorionic gonadotropin generally known as HCG is a hormone that is present at high levels in early pregnancy. It has been also used to treat fertility issues in men and women.
HCG as a weight loss diet was first introduced by a British doctor, Albert Simeons in 1954. HCG diet was consisted of two main parts:
- An ultra-low calorie diet of around 500 calories per day.
- The HCH hormone administered through injections
Commonality with Other Diets
One thing the HCG diet has in common with many other eating regimens is that it doesn’t recommend eating foods with added sugars. Among the food items not allowed under the HCG diet are cookies and chocolates. The plan also doesn’t allow for carbohydrate-rich foods such as muffins, pasta and, bagels, with or without cream cheese.
The Function of HCG in our Body
HCG is a protein- based hormone that is produced during the early weeks of pregnancy and it is a clear indication for women that she is pregnant. It helps in maintaining hormones like estrogen and progesterone which are essential or the development of fetus and embryo.
How HCG Helps in Losing Weight?
Health specialists claim that the HCG diet help in boosting metabolism and helps in losing a large number of fats from the body. However, various studies have shown that weight loss in the HCG diet is due to ultra-low-calorie intake.
Does HCG Diet improve your Body Composition?
One of the drawbacks of the HCG diet is a decrease in muscle mass. Most of the diets that severely restrict the calorie intake decrease the muscle mass. Whereas, proponents of the HCG diet claim that this diet only results in fat loss, not muscle loss.
They also claim that HCG elevates other hormones, boosts metabolism, and leads to growth- promoting state. Hence, there is no scientific evidence of this claim.
Phases of the HCG Diet
The HCG Diet is a low fat and calories diet. If you are planning to follow a HCG diet, you must be aware of some of the phases of it.
Weight loss phase
Loading Phase: In loading phase, start taking HCG diet and eat plenty of high- fat, high- calories food for at least two days.
Weight Loss Phase: In the Weight loss phase, continue your HCG diet that is only 500 calories per day for 3 to 6 weeks.
The Maintenance Phase: In the maintenance phase, stop taking your HCG diet. And gradually increase food intake but avoid sugar and starch for three weeks.
What You Can Eat When You Are on HCG Diet?
Most of the day’s calories come from lunch and dinner, primarily from protein sources. Under the plan, you’d consume 3.5 ounces of lean, fat-free protein at each meal. Recommended protein sources include white fish, lobster, crab, shrimp, extra lean beef, buffalo, scallops, chicken and egg whites, according to hcgdietinfo.net. Fattier choices, such as salmon, tuna, herring, and dried or pickled fish, are off-limits. Dieters also need to remove the visible fat from protein sources before boiling or grilling them. It’s OK to substitute an egg or a serving of low-fat cottage cheese for meat on occasion.
One low-calorie vegetable is allowed as part of both lunch and dinner.
Recommended veggies include celery, spinach, fennel, cauliflower, chard, onions, beet greens, cucumbers, green salad, mixed greens, cabbage, red radishes, shallots, asparagus, tomatoes and broccoli, according to hcgdietnfo.net. You can have one fruit at lunch and at dinner.
HCG-approved fruit includes grapefruits, oranges, apples, lemons, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.