If you are a weight loss hopeful, you have probably heard about the HCG diet. There has been plenty of controversy surrounding the topic lately; each side of the debate feels passionately about their opinion. Proponents of the diet swear by the success of the program. Opponents have brushed it off as ineffective.
Even if you’ve never heard of the diet nor had a desire to give it a try, your curiosity has probably been peaked. After all, diets don’t normally spark such strong feelings! You’ve probably asked yourself a variety of questions. How does the HCG diet work? What foods should and shouldn’t be eaten? How does the HCG factor into the plan?
Today, we are going to answer all those questions and more!
The Rest of the Story
The discovery of the HCG diet is accredited to Dr. A.T.W Simeons. The launch of the weight loss plan correlates with the publication of his 1954 book, Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity.
Prior to releasing his book, Dr. Simeons was conducting research in India. He had been working with adolescent boys, using HCG to treat an unrelated medical condition. While interacting with his research participants, Dr. Simeons noticed significant weight loss.
His research led to the discovery of three types of fat storage in the body:
- Structural fat protects the organs, arteries, and other important systems of the body.
- The body also has a store of natural fat which supplies necessary energy.
- The body’s store of abnormal fat acts kind of like a bank’s safe deposit box. The fat is stored away, kept “safe,” and remains untouchable.
The abnormal fat is extremely difficult to lose. For most people, exercise and a restricted diet won’t get the job done. In fact, cutting back on calories can sometime increase the body’s store of fat. Consuming fewer calories makes the body’s metabolism slow down. As a result, the body hangs on to every bit of fat possible because it needs the energy.
What Will Happen
The best way to get rid of abnormal fat is to combine an ultra low calorie diet with HCG. HCG tells the body to use the abnormal fat as energy.
A dieter needs to consumes an ultra low amount of calories and basically put the body in a brief “starvation state.” Under normal circumstances, this would be extremely dangerous because the body doesn’t naturally resort to using the abnormal fat for energy. Luckily, the presence of HCG guarantees the body doesn’t actually starve.
The HCG diet should only be used temporarily. Medical professionals recommend cycles of about 25 days with extended breaks between each cycle. Otherwise, the restricted calorie consumption will slow the metabolism if continued for extended periods of time.
This diet only works if the dieter sticks to the low calorie consumption. By indulging in the occasional “treat,” the body won’t be forced to use the abnormal fat. Weight loss won’t happen.
In conjunction with daily doses of HCG, the dieter must limit calorie consumption to 500 per day. This restricted amount of calories probably produces three thoughts:
- It will be extremely difficult for me to adhere to that limited amount.
- I won’t be able to eat any “real” food. With only 500 calories, my food choices will be extremely limited.
- I will probably miss out on a lot of vitamins and nutrients with this plan.
Rest assured – you don’t need to worry about any of these things!
It’s Not as Bad as it Sounds
Once you get into an HCG diet routine, the restricted food consumption really isn’t that hard to abide by. Not only will you be able to eat at regular meal times, the HCG will help suppress your appetite.
There are a wide variety of foods to choose from for each meal. Each time you eat, you’ll be able to enjoy proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruit.
Yes, there are certain vitamins and nutrients you’ll miss out on. However, there is a pretty good chance you’ll be making healthier meal choices with the diet than without. In fact, most American’s don’t take in the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. The HCG diet demands healthy, nutritious food choices.
What Can I Eat?
Like any normal eating schedule, the HCG diet is broken up into meals.
The diet focuses on two, 250-calorie meals. The first is at lunch and the second is at dinner. For breakfast, dieters are encouraged to enjoy a refreshing cup of tea or coffee. Since sugar isn’t a part of the diet, reach for some Sucralose (Splenda) instead.
Lunch and Dinner
Each meal is awarded half of the 500 calories (250 each). While there are some restrictions on which foods you should consume and how much of each, there are still plenty of options available.
For each meal, enjoy 3.5 ounces of lean, fat-free protein. Choose from beef, chicken breast, veal, lobster, crab, shrimp or other fresh white-fleshed fish. Before boiling or grilling your protein selection, remove all the visible fat.
For non-meat options, try some eggs for low-fat cottage cheese.
Choose one vegetable for each meal. Your options include chard, chicory, celery, tomatoes, beet greens, spinach, fennel, onions, cucumbers, cabbage, asparagus, and red radishes.
When preparing your vegetables, remember to avoid, butter, oil or sauce.
A piece of Melba toast or a breadstick will be a healthy carbohydrate addition to each meal. These food items are perfect for the HDC diet because they don’t contain fat, sodium, or cholesterol. They are also low-calorie options.
Don’t forget to add some fruit to your meals! An apple, orange, handful of strawberries or half a grapefruit will round out the meal nicely.
There is no limit to the amount of tea, coffee and water a dieter is allowed. However, weight loss hopefuls should drink at least two liters of fluids each day.
When preparing your meals, don’t shy away from seasoning your food. There is no reason why your food selections can’t taste great in addition to being healthy. Sprinkle on some salt, pepper, mustard powder, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram or garlic. Add a bit of zest with vinegar or lemon juice.
If you are preparing to embark on the HCG diet, good luck. Once your weight loss plan is underway, let us know how it is going. If you have already completed a cycle of the diet, share your experience with us. If you aren’t interested in giving it a try just yet, tell us why.
This is a guest post by Emily Adams from Trimnutrition.com – home of the top natural menopause therapy. If you are also interested to write for HealthResource4u, Please check our guest posting guidelines at write for us.