This is a comprehensive plan based on the administration of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the placenta. It is FDA approved for treating certain problems of the male reproductive system and in stimulating ovulation in women who have had difficulty becoming pregnant. There has been no evidence to substantiate claims for HCG for weight loss, therefore, you will be unlikely to see any benefits if taken alone without adherence to strict diet.
This diet was first described by Dr. Simeons dating back to the 1954. He discovered that this hormone could accelerate fat mobilization from certain areas of the body if combined with a Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD). Dr. Simeons describes three types of fat (structural fat, normal fat reserve, and abnormal fat reserve). Our structural fat is the fat necessary to maintain our body structure (i.e. it is the fat found between various organs, fat that keeps the skin taut, and the fat that provides the hard fat that provides the springy cushion under the bones of the feet). Our normal fat reserve is the fat we use for energy when needed or on a daily basis. Abnormal fat reserve is fat that gets deposited in areas of our body when the body attempts to save fat after being exposed to excessive quantities of fat. This stored fat is not readily available to be used for energy. Our bodies attempt to utilize energy from normal fat reserves or extract protein from our muscles before accessing the abnormal fat reserves. Here is where HCG helps.
HCG alters your metabolism so that the energy from the abnormal fat reserves is used thus preventing the drastic muscle loss noted in diets with low calorie intake. This is crucial to maintaining a stable metabolism, maintaining weight loss, and not regaining weight at the conclusion of the diet. Since muscle is important for metabolism, losing muscle makes it harder to maintain a lower weight, may result in quick regain of the lost weight, and may potentially result in the gaining of more weight. This is unfortunately common with many diets. Frustrated individuals work hard to lose weight only to regain more weight compared to when they started. These individuals attempt to lose weight multiple times without success and potentially make subsequent weight loss attempts less likely to succeed. This results in excessive weight gain and frustration.
However, the HCG protocol focuses on correcting low metabolism, excessive hunger, emotional eating, and cravings. The idea is to reset your metabolism to a new normal level so that once your plan has finished, you can gradually eat normal without gaining weight. In other words, this protocol lowers your body’s set point allowing you to have fluctuations in weight but ultimately maintaining the lower body weight.
The HCG protocol varies in length with the first phase lasting from 26 to 43 days. This first phase consists of the subcutaneous administration of HCG along with a severely calorie restrictive meal plan. The second phase lasts for 3 weeks and consists of eating regular foods except for sugars and starches. Next is the third phase which is another 3 weeks, but during this time sugars and starches are slowly added back to the list of allowed foods. Following strict this strict protocol, you can expect to lose an average of 0.5 – 0.75 pounds/day for women or 0.65 – 1 pound/day for men.