There has been a lot of debate of the health implication of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin better known as hogs since it first appeared on the scene as a weight-loss solution. While hailed as an easy to drop some weight when combined with a specific meal plan, there has been plenty of debate as to whether or not the HCG is a healthy or long-term option.
How did HCG get its’ start for weight loss?
HCG was first pioneered by a British born endocrinologist Dr. ATW Simeons to treat low testosterone levels in young boys. The boys being treated also began losing weight in addition to elevating testosterone levels. He continued his research now focusing on using HCG as a winning solution to lose weight.
HCG is a hormone produced in a pregnant female’s placenta and helps the fetus develop properly; it is made up of 244 different amino acids. HCG helps both male and female fetuses develop sexual organs as well as help ensure that there are enough nutrients and calories for mom and baby. When HCG , is taken in combination with Dr. Simeons specific diet plan, the body will lose weight. In 1967 Dr. Simeons published a book “Pounds and Inches, a New Approach to Obesity” which gained international attention—and the opening of fat clinics in the U.S. and Europe.
How it works
There’s no question that many have experienced very positive results by using HCG along with the “HCG diet.” Weight loss occurs because HCG stimulates the hypothalamus which then produces chemicals that release fat into the bloodstream that is used by the body as energy. In an expectant mom, the nutrients that are stored in fat are released and provides sustenance to mom and baby. If taken when there is no pregnancy, HCG still releases stored up fat into the bloodstream—causing weight loss—when used with a low calorie diet.
One of the biggest concerns that many have about HCG and the accompanying diet plan is the limited number of calories allowed each day, only 500 during phase 2 of the diet, when additional calories are added to the diet.
How much can you expect to lose?
People that have accurately followed the process and diet have reported initial weight loss of half a pound to two pounds a day; of course it depends on each individual and the amount of weight they need to lose.
There are different durations of the diet based on the amount of weight loss is desired. People that are looking to lose 10-20 pounds can do so with the 15-day HCG diet; those looking to lose 25-40 pounds usually opt for the 30-40 day plan. For those that need to lose a substantial amount weight can follow the 45-90 day plan, but need to be under the strict care of a physician throughout the diet as in extreme situations, vitamin deficiencies and even malnutrition can occur. Of course, anyone choosing the HCG diet or any diet for that matter, should consult with their physician before starting this or any diet.
Are there side effects associated with the HCG diet?
There are some side effects associated with the HCG diet, they are not from the hormone but are actually from the change in diets and lower caloric intake. Many report tiredness, headaches, being light-headed, dizzy and dehydration. It is imperative that those on this diet take vitamins to insure that you are maintaining good health and reducing side effects.
It is believed that the minor side effects are less serious than the effects of being overweight or obese, which can increase the likelihood of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Keeping the weight off
One of the biggest issues with the HCG diet and any diet for that matter is that people gain weight after they go off the diet. People that lose weight need to change their ongoing eating habits or else the weight will go back to pre-diet weight. And, unlike the original diet from Dr. Simeons, which does not suggest exercise during the HCG diet plan, exercise should be a part of a regular health routine.
A physicians’ thoughts on the HCG diet
Dr. Sheri Emma, who has amended the HCG diet to be safer and equally effective, had this to say about the original HCG plan as developed by Dr. Simeons. The original “HCG Diet had some odd rules” said Dr. Emma. “For example, it required the consumption of only one vegetable per meal, prohibited the use of oil, body lotions and hygiene products, and limited use of the HCG hormone to odd cycles of 23 and 46 days. The diet also did not allow exercise. My protocol is supported by numerous studies and clinical trials, the latest of which was presented to weight loss physicians at the October 2012 meeting of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. My dosing method is customized, with much higher doses than previously published, and I’ve created specific guidelines for patients based on age and gender. I offer diets ranging from 500-1500 calories, and the diet should be chosen based on the patient and their history. I also encourage the proper types of exercise.”
Before starting any diet, consult your physician who can work with you to find the right diet plan for you.