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hCG Diet

A controversial diet that calls for hormone injections.

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1950s
  • Founder: Dr. A.T.W. Simeons
  • Accessibility: Injections and drops
  • Diet Type: Extremely low calorie along with hCG drops or injections
  • Gender: Male and female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Snookie (Jersey Shore), Jenni Farley, Britney Spears
BACKGROUND

See our interview: hCG Diet Reviewed by FullBar's Dr. Michael Snyder

A potential diet supplement administered through injections or oral drops, the hCG Diet is a very controversial weight loss method. HCG stands for the hormone Human Choriogonadotropin, which is the same hormone that is produced by women in their early stages of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the surge of this hormone signals the hypothalamus in the brain to start moving nutrients and fat into the placenta. When used as part of a weight loss program, it is the fat-mobilization aspects of the hormone that has garnered attention for its seeming ability to help facilitate weight loss.

Even though the FDA has approved hCG shots for fertility reasons, there is no scientific evidence that shows the hCG Diet can significantly promote weight loss. Although it is used in conjunction with a very low calorie diet, any weight loss that occurs is likely to be due to the reduced caloric intake rather than the hCG shots or drops themselves.

Many side effects have been shown in those who take hCG shots for weight loss. Blood clots, depression, headaches and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in women have all been cited as common, and even deadly, side effects associated with hCG use. HCG drops avoid the inconveniences of a daily injection, but no clinical studies have been conducted to determine if hCG drops have any change in side effects.

Typically, the hCG Diet lasts for three weeks and is monitored by a health professional.

PRO
  • May promote weight loss when used in combination with a reduced calorie diet

CON
  • Not considered safe
  • Weight loss is more likely to due to extremely restricted caloric intake rather than injections or drops
  • Weight loss is temporary
  • Side effects can be very serious. According to the Mayo Clinic, side affects associated with hCG include fatigue, irritability, headache and male breast enlargement.
INGREDIENTS

hCG injections and drops contain the hormone Human Choriogonadotropin.

ADMINISTRATION

An injection of 125 iu of hCG is administered daily or a daily dose of oral drops.

DIET and EXERCISE

Those who use hCG injections to lose weight must also follow a very strict diet that amounts to no more than 500 calories a day.

For the first two days of the injection you are allowed to eat excessively. Following the third injection, you must adhere to the 500-calorie diet until 72 hours following the last injection given. Sugars, very sweet fruits, processed foods and heavy starches are not allowed.

An hCG Diet protocol outlined by advocate Dr. A.T.W. Simeons looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Coffee or tea with artificial sweetener and one tablespoon of milk. Lunch is 100 grams of lean meat, poultry or fish in addition to one low-glycemic vegetable like spinach, celery, cucumbers or cabbage. One Melba toast and one fruit like half of a grapefruit or an apple is also allowed.
  • Dinner is the same as lunch.

In addition, shots of apple cider vinegar can be taken as a daily supplement. Products and make-up that contain any fatty substances like mineral oil or almond oil cannot be used.

Websites dedicated to promoting the hCG Diet contain recipes and additional protocol information and tips.

CONCLUSION

The hCG Diet is highly regimented and a very controversial weight loss program that involves the administration of either hormone injections or oral drops coupled with a very low-calorie diet. Popular amongst steroid users and those daring and desperate to lose weight quickly, the hCG Diet is not a weight loss program that is readily endorsed by health and medical professionals for its obvious flaws and real risks for dangerous side effects.

Common Misspellings

HCG, hgc diet, hormone diet, pregnancy hormone diet, hcg injection diet, Human Choriogonadotropin diet


Related Diets: Calorie Restriction Diet , The Pregnancy Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, hCG Ultra Diet Drops, Your HCG, HCG Diet Made Simple, HCG Easy Gourmet Diet Cookbook, HCG Guide, HCG Safe Start Method


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User Feedback

(Page 12 of 24, 476 total comments)

Jean

What happens if you consume a little gatorade by accident or snything that's not on the HCG diet, do you have to wait 3 weeks or start over from the beginning or can you continue have and have about the same results? Please answer.

posted Feb 26th, 2011 8:07 am


candall

For cravings, do something interesting with Sweetleaf Flavored Stevia drops. (Whole Foods, iHerb, Amazon.) They come in all kinds of flavors and they're so versatile. You can combine the rootbeer and vanilla creme with carbonated water to make a passable "rootbeer float." Or use your fruit plus the orange and vanilla to make a dreamcicle. And there's a chocolate flavor! The plain drops, combined with some Bragg's Amino Acids (tastes like soy sauce) make the basis for a good salad dressing or some sweet-sour sauce for shrimp, etc.

The party line that I've heard from others is that small cheats during P2 might not affect your weight loss, but will create problems later on when you're trying to stabilize in P3. I don't know for sure--just passing that along.

If you're hungry, try adjusting your dosage--usually you need less, not more. You really shouldn't feel hungry at all.

Best,
Candall

posted Feb 22nd, 2011 1:45 pm


userfile
maggiedav

I've been on P3 for a little over a week now and have maintained my ending weight! Whoo! I haven't done as well, eating-wise, as I should. But I'm still maintaining. I'm such a believer in this diet even though I'm constantly hearing from my friends/coworkers how it's stupid diet. After the first week I was NEVER hungry, I lost almost 20 lbs, and so far, it hasn't come back. It really is a miracle diet.
MONIE - As far as cravings go, there is a wonderful cookbook designed for phase 2. It's called 'The HCG Diet Gourmet Cookbook' It really is great. It makes you feel like you can eat normal food and it teaches you cooking habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. If you're having chocolate cravings like myself, I found Russell Stover's Sugarfree chocolate didn't affect my weight gain/loss as long as I didn't eat too much. 1 or 2 squares.

Good Luck!

posted Feb 21st, 2011 9:32 am


monie

I have been on the hcg plan for 7 days now and have lost 6 pounds. I found a lovely clinic in my area that actually has the pill in lieu of the shot. I can honestly say I am not hungry although I still have terrible cravings! I have gotten to the point where I actually dream of Krispy Kreme donuts at night!!! I tried phentermine a few years ago and had great results with no cravings and no hunger but gained double after program completion due to lack of will power and being lazy (no regular exercise). Additionally, my sister, who started thehcg program before me, has lost approximately a pound per day as well (shes down 20lbs). No side effects so far. PS... if anyone has ANY advice to help with my cravings, please let me know!

posted Feb 18th, 2011 9:30 pm


candall

The best place I've found for questions is the hcgnewbie group on Yahoo--un/reliable places to buy, approved foods, transistioning to P3, etc. Lots of information, encouragement and support there, although the policy is strict adherence to the original Simeons protocol, so look elsewhere if you want to experiment with the steps or the food. Christian Walker has a very good site for people who sort of want to follow the protocol, but are interested in seeing whether this or that affects their results.

Short answers to the questions posted below:

All Day Chemists is one of the best places to purchase RxHCG. Good customer support, excellent prices.

In P3, you need to spend three weeks maintaining the weight at which you ended P2. This is the time for stabilization and resetting your metabolism. The P2 rapid weight loss is dazzling, but P3 is actually the most important for the long term goal of changing how your body deals with food.

No worries about developing secondary opposite sex characteristcs for either gender--specifically addressed in Simeons P&I.

To the people who tried it and felt hungry all the time, you almost certainly got fake homeopathic hcg. The scammers out there are multiplying like rabbits and there's not anything much easier to fake than homeopathic drops. With genuine hcg, a very small percentage of people experience some hunger for the first couple of days, which can usually be traced back to not eating enough during the "loading" days. Most people never feel hungry, have tons of energy and feel great.

Finally, the feedback site at the bottom of a column denying the effectiveness of the whole protocol probably isn't the best place to find answers and support. There are some really good online groups out there and it helps a lot to go through this with others who are just as committed as you are.

Good luck everybody,
Candall

posted Feb 17th, 2011 12:42 pm


Nina

I used the HCG Platinum and lost weight. Now I went to buy it again and they are selling a new HCG platinum X-30, this is without hormone (no HCG) I am not getting it. When I asked the person in the store told me the product has a recall but she couldn't explained too much about it. Can anybody help me out? Had anyone try this new product already? thanks

posted Feb 17th, 2011 9:13 am


Aaron

Any guys taking this experiencing this?My concerns for this diet don't only start with the 500 calories but the fact that a side effect for men is male breast enlargement. Any guys taking this experiencing this? It seems as this IS a female hormone and it could make some sense.

posted Feb 16th, 2011 7:47 pm


idmari

Great comments! where can i go to find the good quality HCG?

posted Feb 16th, 2011 4:48 pm


Karen

Hello everyone, I was doing the shots for about 6 mons or so and lost alot of weight. ( Total of about 68 pounds) I felt good about myself and everyone noticed my weight loss... For the first time in my life i was happy with myself. Anyway It got to expensive to keep up and it got harder and harder to do the injections. I just wondered if anyone could give me a few pointers on the drops, are they the same as the shots?

posted Feb 16th, 2011 1:51 am


userfile
pozoverde71

Can anybody recommend a good oral product?Hi, I am interested in doing the sublingual drops and I was wondering if anybody could recommend a place to purchase an RX strength product that they have had success with? Thanks to all!

posted Feb 15th, 2011 10:28 am



Christiana Gems

I love the diet. My doctor did it himself. I like the FACT it is geared to maintain muscle mass and targets fat for weight loss. There are no special meals to purchase...so you eat REAL food and you are aware of calories you consume. THUS the transition to non-dieting should be easier. YOU can go higher than 500 calories a day if you add some mild exercise. If you do not plan on following the specific allowed foods do not bother with the diet. You can add some "adipex" as needed for hunger. I never need more than 1/4 of a 37.5 mg tablet a day for that. Ignore the naysayers. Great diet to target excess belly fat. But always go with your M.D.

posted Feb 13th, 2011 8:16 pm


jm

Carl - Where did you buy your drops from? If they won't honor their money back guarantee, we all need to know about that site. It sounds like it's not the real thing, or maybe they were old/expired. I purchased drops online about a year ago and was also starving the 1st week. I think those were not true hcg drops. I just started with a local dr. using injections, and have not been starving like before. I'm also watching my body fat percentage on my scales to make sure I'm actually losing fat (body fat percentage decreasing) instead of losing just water and lean muscle mass.

posted Feb 13th, 2011 2:34 am


userfile
maggiedav

I'm about to enter Phase 3 and I was really excited about being able to finally excercise and lose a little more weight. But after doing some reading, I see that you're not supposed to lose any weight during phase 3 because it could interfere with the re-setting of your hypothalamus. Is anyone on phase 3 and could give me some insight?

posted Feb 8th, 2011 2:46 pm


userfile
maggiedav

Carl - You probably bought from a fake. If you're ever willing to try again, just check out the company first. Buy from a company a friend has bought from. Don't go just by the reviews on the website. I have lost almost 20lbs in 6 weeks. I guess the diet may work for some, not for others but I know 6 people other than myself on it and we have all had great results.

posted Feb 8th, 2011 2:16 pm


Carl

This product did not work at all. I did everything the way you were supposed to and I did not lose any weight. I still felt hungry and it was supposed to surpress my hunger. Also, the website says that if the product does not work you can get your money back. WELL THAT IS A LIE! THIS COMPANY IS NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK SO DO NOT TRUST THEM!!!!!

posted Feb 8th, 2011 3:05 am


candall

I read this dismissive review and then I read back through several pages of comments. No one seems to have mentioned the physiological basis for why this diet is so successful. The hcg causes your body to release the fat reserves that aren't ordinarily in play unless you're starving to death OR you have a fetus growing that needs to be nourished. On other diets, there's quite a bit of lean muscle loss because that's what your body starts consuming for energy when the calorie intake drops below a certain level. The hgc, however, causes 1500-2000 calories per day to be released into your bloodstream from your fat reserves and THAT'S primarily what you're living on, not the 500 calories per day that you're eating. I've dieted before on 400 calories per day, and yes, I lost weight, but it wasn't pretty. My skin sagged, I was hungry all the time, no energy, etc. With the hgc, I feel terrific. My weight is plummeting, I have lots of energy, I feel sharp and clearheaded. My skin gets a little bit dry, but I can fix it by boosting my water and hydrating more.

The second thing that everyone, including the reviewer, seems to be ignoring is that the whole point of this protocol is to reset your hypothalmus gland. That's the one that regulates metabolism, among other things. The three weeks after you stop the drops/injections are actually the most important part. The reserve fat stores aren't being released into your bloodstream anymore and as you slowly start adding in additional proteins and calories, your body (your hypothalmus) finds its own setpoint. And it's not where it was before, when you could sit there and eat an entire cheesecake without feeling full.
I'm not there yet--just a couple weeks into the drops--but I researched this diet for six months before starting, reading literally hundreds of reports from people who could not believe the changes they felt. Not just having lost lots of weight in a short time, but how they could hear what their bodies were craving again--when and what and how much to eat.

A couple of warnings: As the earlier posters all say, don't start this without a 100% commitment. It's a No-Cheat diet. Sneaking in a slice of pizza will ruin four or five days of perfect adherence. Second, do your homework before you start. There are plenty of Yahoo groups and forums to help you get started. It's not "Diet In A Box"--it's fairly complicated. Because word of mouth is growing, there are tons of scammers selling fake "homeopathic hgc drops" which is nothing more than water. If you get started and you find you're starving, you don't have the genuine hgc. Finding a group of people sharing their experiences online will get you going in the right direction.

Good luck, everbody--
Candall

posted Feb 7th, 2011 12:46 am


Eva

Today marks my 10th day on the hcg diet... I have lost a total of 14.8 lbs. I have cheated on this diet (guiltily) every single day so far LOL Instead of eating the fruit, I will eat a Snikers or something. I am still trying to work on this, I don't want to do this the whole, time, I have just had some weak moments :D LOL But the point is, I am still losing weight. I am not sure if that would hold true for everyone, (I only have <50 lbs to lose) but so far I have been VERY happy with the results! I can only imagine how much I could have lost this first week had I not cheated... And if you do the 3 days after the 20 or 40 days, whichever one you are doing, and then follow with the 3 week stabilization period, you will keep the weight off. The best way to look at this diet is like this... While you are taking the drops and doing the low cal diet, you melt the lbs away, to get the point where you want to be, all the while learning good healthy habits, portion size, etc., so when you are off the diet, you will be more prone to work to keep off the weight, eat healthy and eat a healthy amount each meal with less snacking. Its like a jump start and training to get you to where you want to me.

posted Feb 1st, 2011 7:14 pm


Terri

I have been on this diet now for 15 days and have lost 15 lbs.. I am ECSTATIC!!! Ive always been very healthy with my cholesterol and with my blood pressure stuff and my heart so I feel i am very healthy to be able to do this.. Ive never taken meds for anything before either so if I didnt think my body could handle it I wouldnt have started it on my own and I would have went to the dr first to see what he suggested to do.



im just sick of being 200 lbs.. ive always weight 200... every diet i have been on i have never lost weight.. the drs wont do surgery (and i would be hesitant about doing it anyhow!) because im not 100 lbs over weight.. Ever since I can remember I have been heavy.. in 6th grade i weighted 163 lbs... i lost 20 lbs the summer before I moved to a new school so I wouldnt be fat.. and guess how I did it... by starving myself.. but of course I gained it right back and then its stayed and eventually became more weight. I havent read anything bad about this HCG diet at all when I googled everything nothing negative came out of it. I have heard once you go off you gain back 4 lbs (about or a little more another friend gained 11).. then you get to the point of "oh ill just eat that and go back on the diet again" I dont want to stay on this diet for the rest of my life... I want to be able to eat whatever i want to again. I havent missed ANYTHING since I have been on it.. and it was NOTHIN for me to sit down... have a bag of potato chips and 2-3 cans of pepsi with it.. or a 1 lb bar of hershey chocolate... I have had no cravings at all. I am happy and I cant wait until I SEE THE RESULTS... just the three pictures I have taken of my stomach I can see a HUGE difference!!



Anyhow..eating the 500 calories on its own would diffently put you into the starvation mode and I have NO intentions of staying this way. I am hopeing this change will make it so I dont think I can eat a whole bag of potato chips or a whole candy bar or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream.. or a whole cheescake... cause that is what I would do before! I havent ever felt healthier either... hopefully I can eventually eat what I want again and stay a healthy skinny weight.

posted Jan 31st, 2011 12:42 am


kim lindsey

I call BS, you can carry a magic rock in your pocket and lose the one pound per day, if you are eating only 500 calories a day. It's dangerous and has not been approved by the FDA. And lots of diets will enable you to lose the weight, but it's keeping it off that's the issue for most. Lifestyle changes via diet and exercise is the only "real" solution to true long term results and maintenance. Create a calorie deficit by eating less and moving your body, even if it's just walking. Come on people, stop looking for that immediate gratification and work for it already! Geesh!

posted Jan 30th, 2011 8:55 pm


Candice

I am a Certified Personal Trainer with my B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science. After 2 kids and being burnt out from a long collegiate track career, I put on a lot of weight. I one day decided I was a hypocrit when I couldn't do my own workouts I was giving my clients. So, I made 2009 my year and decided to try several different diet plans to lose the weight, and blog about it (askcandice.blogspot.com). I tried Body for Life and lost some weight, but hit a pleatue. Tried Jillian, tried P90X, tried Insanity, South Beach, Atkins... and HCG. By far, HCG was the most successful. I ended up doing 3 rounds total and lost 55lbs over the year. But here's the kicker - I did it with lots of testing/research. I tried doing the 500 calorie diet with out the drops, and only lasted a week - I was starving!!! (my review -askcandice.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-hcg-or-not-to-hcg.html) I then did a 23 day round with the pellets. The last week, I tested for ketosis everyday with urine strips, and always tested NEGATIVE. I also had my RMR tested - it was 9% above normal at 1645 (I'm 5'9 - 155) IT WAS RAISED - NOT LOWERED!!! While I don't believe hCG is for everyone, I do believe IT WORKS! If the FDA were to come out and say it works, it would rock the foundation of the $60Billion weight loss industry. If you follow the protocol, I guarantee you will lose the weight, but at the same time, if you aren't willing to change your habits and start working out after, I guarantee you will gain your weight back. It's that way with ANY diet program (look at the first season of Biggest Losers - winner...). My best advice is find what works best for you, and go for it, but you have to ready. Feel free to follow me on my FB page "Absolute Results Fitness Training" I love helping people in any way I can. And if you are looking for a good quality hCG, I have it linked on my blog. Good luck everyone, what ever your path is!

posted Jan 29th, 2011 9:02 pm



 

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