When was the last time you ate only 500 calories per day and felt full? This is the claim of the HCG diet. HCG has become one of the most recent diet crazes. By using injection, sublingual, or drops of HCG daily along with a 500 calorie diet of only certain foods–which do not contain starches, sugars, or grains–you will loose many unwanted pounds. And to top it all off, the claims state you will not even feel hunger!
So are you ready for your next shot of HCG?
If you have not been exposed to the HCG diet, here is the basic premise:
- Phase 1, which was added after the initial HCG diet was published, includes eating more frequent meals, no fast food, walking daily, doing colonics and cleansers. This is done for 30 days prior to starting HCG.
- In Phase 2 starts with 2 days of eating any and everything one wants. The goal is to gorge on calories to prevent hunger and to burn fat during the next 21 days of Phase 2.
- Phase 2 is the weight loss phase where one should see pounds disappearing. The diet is very strict and consists of 500 calories per day–no starches, sugars, grains, and only certain vegetables, fruits, white fish, organic chicken, beef, or veal. After 21 days (maximum of 40 days), one steps into the maintenance phase where she can slowly add some foods back, but one must continue to refrain from starches, sugars, nitrites, and trans fats. One may repeat the cycle of HCG after 6 weeks.
Basically, the HCG diet is another unsubstantiated diet craze. There is no scientific evidence that HCG suppresses hunger and increases fat loss. What is known is that anyone can loose weight if they restrict their caloric intake to 500 calories a day (an extremely low calorie diet). This is well below the recommended daily intake of 1200 -1800 calories per day. It is nearly impossible to obtain the recommended daily intake of vitamins, minerals, and other necessary nutrients in just 500 calories, therefore, long term this diet is detrimental.
When was the last time you were able to maintain a diet which had very little variety?
This is one of the main reasons most diets are unsustainable. The HCG diet definitely subscribes to a very strict diet with few options. If you are able to tough out the 21 day cycle on 500 calories, you will, more than likely, gain the weight back as fat when you revert back to your normal eating habits. And although there are claims that HCG promotes fat loss and not the loss of muscle during a state of starvation, this is not the case. So as you gain the weight back, often the muscle mass that was lost is now replaced with fat. This is another large draw back to the diet.
One last thing to think about is how intense was your last workout when you skipped breakfast and lunch?
Working out on 500 calories a day leaves your body incapable of performing at a decent level. Notice, the HCG diet only calls for walking 1 hour a day. Just think if they had called for 1 hour of intense cardio and/or weight training, how many people would actually make it through the week?
You have to decide for yourself if HCG is worth your money, but remember there is no evidence to support the medical claims and most gain the weight lost back.