What Are HCG Weight Loss Programs?
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy and is thus called the pregnancy hormone. Its levels are highest during pregnancy. However, a high level of HCG could also be a symptom of placental, ovarian, or testicular cancers. HCG has been used to treat fertility issues in both women and men. According to the Male Medical Institute, it can treat erectile dysfunction in men. Apart from the reproductive system, the hormone has been used in weight loss programs as well. According to Business Wire, the U.S. weight loss market was worth $72 billion in 2019. In such a huge market for weight loss, how does the HCG diet fare?
The HCG Diet
HCG weight loss programs consist of two main components. These are HCG hormonal injections and an ultra-low calorie diet. The diet has its roots in the 1950s when British endocrinologist, Albert T.W. Simeons, theorized that the hormone could turn fat into energy. He reasoned that because undernourished women still delivered healthy babies, the hormone must have been converting the fat in the women to energy for the babies. As such, it could be used by others to aid weight loss.
HCG weight loss programs are typically done in three phases. First, you start by taking the HCG hormone and lots of fatty, high-calorie foods for two days. For the second phase, you still take the HCG hormone, but this time you only consume 500 calories a day for three to six weeks. In the last phase of the HCG diet, you stop taking the hormone and gradually increase the food you eat. However, you need to avoid starch and sugar for three weeks.
HCG weight loss programs dictate that during the second phase, also known as the weight loss phase, you can only eat two meals a day. Approximately 250 calories per serving are ideal. The foods recommended by the program include a portion of lean protein, a piece of bread, a vegetable, and a serving of fruit. The HCG diet encourages drinking water, but you must avoid butter and oil. You can still consume tea and coffee as well. For more information regarding HCG weight loss programs, please reach out to us. We would love to help you reach your weight loss goals.