With the holiday season rolling around the corner, any hope to start or stick with a diet plan may soon be thwarted. Many people joke about gaining a few extra unwanted pounds after the holidays and scramble to lose the weight during the new year. It is a vicious trap that many Americans fall into. However, this holiday season you can stay on top of your diet plan with a little help from one of the nation’s most talked about “diet”–the HCG diet. Before you dive headfirst into this diet, do some research to understand how this diet plan works, weigh the pros and cons, and make an educated decision.
The reason why many of us have an excess layer of fat is because we overeat. Since the beginning of time, our bodies were biologically programmed to save calories in the form of fat just in case we find ourselves running out of food. Though this might have been helpful many centuries ago, having enough food is no longer a concern for most of us in today’s day and age. In fact, most of us are presented with an excess of food that ends up being stored in areas such as our hips, legs, stomach, and arms.
What is HCG?
HCG, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that is present in pregnant women. During pregnancy, HCG ensures that the fetus is well nourished by converting calories into nutrients needed for development. HCG takes the mother’s stored fat and daily consumed calories and turns it into the appropriate nutrients for her baby. In the 1930s, HCG was originally used by a doctor named Simeons to enhance underdeveloped sex organs in boys. He stumbled upon the weight loss effects of HCG as he noted how the boys were able to eat less, not be hungry, and maintain proper nutrition at the same time.
How Does it Work?
HCG treatments usually last at least 26 days, 23 of which require a consistent dose of HCG on a daily basis. It is usually administered in the form or drops or injections. No HCG is consumed during the last 3 days of a treatment period to ensure that the hormone is out of their body before they go back to a regular diet. Usually HCG diet does not go past 40 days because the body develops an immunization to the effects of HCG. In the beginning of the diet, patients are advised to eat as much as they want for the first two days of the diet cycle. After those two days, there is a strict diet requirement to only consume 500 calories per day. Usually people consume anywhere between 1500 to 3000 calories, depending on sex and build. With only 500 calories, most people would be starving. However HCG hormone allows dieters to only consume 500 without feeling hungry or being undernourished. HCG hormone converts stored fat into usable energy.
A strict diet plan consisting of only fruits, veggies, and lean meat must be adhered to. Absolutely no consumption of sugars, fats, and alcohol. If for any reason, the dieter fails to adhere to the diet, he/she must be subjected to drinking water and eating apples as their daily meal to make up for the additional consumption of food. If most of the excessive weight has been lost, HCG hormone will no longer work because it only targets stored fat.
What do People Say?
Many people who have tried this diet state that it works wonders. It works because anyone who is able to only consume 500 calories a day will lose weight. Think of HCG as an aide to help you not feel any hunger pangs and stay nourished on a simple 500 calorie diet. Some people who have tried the HCG diet have had some side effects such as cramps, headaches, constipation, restlessness, and slight depression. Because HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy, for the 30 days or so while the dieter is on the HCG hormone, they might undergo same feeling as a pregnant woman would experience.
All in all, the HCG diet seems to work for most. However it should not be viewed as a “miracle” drug. Remember, in addition to taking HCG hormone, you will need to adhere to a 500 calorie diet for around 30 days or so. Keep in mind that depending on your own body, certain side effects may or may not appear. Also, it is important to adhere to a healthy lifestyle after a HCG treatment. Think of HCG diet as a booster to help you become motivated to start losing the pounds once and for all. Be sure to ask your local doctor or clinician for more information and HCG diet costs.
Emily currently lives in Atlanta. She enjoys reading about current health and beauty topics. in her spare time she also blogs for Look Young Atlanta’s blog.