Every year, around 45 million Americans go on a diet. If you’re one of these Americans, then you’ll know how hard the struggle is to find a diet that works for you and keeps the pounds off.
You may be frustrated with diets don’t keep you full nor do they fill you with energy, which can lead to you quitting before you even see results.
One diet that may be promising is the HCG diet. If you’re interested in losing weight with this diet, then keep reading. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to HCG protocol.
What Is the HCG Diet?
The HCG diet was first proposed back in 1954 by a British doctor, Albert Simeons. “HCG” stands for “human chorionic gonadotropin,” which is a type of hormone found in the female body during early pregnancy.
At this point, you may have raised eyebrows: what does a pregnancy hormone have anything to do with losing weight? If anything, shouldn’t it make you gain weight?
Well, we’ll get to that in a little bit. First, a small explanation of what this diet entails.
The HCG diet is essentially a combination of eating ultra-low calories per day, as well as introducing HCG into your system. In the beginning, you’d inject HCG, but today, you can find this hormone in other forms, such as sprays, oral drops, and pellets.
How Does It Work?
It’s believed that the HCG hormone may boost your metabolism. As a result, you should be able to drop the weight quicker and more easily.
If you’re on a diet, it’s recommended you don’t go below around 1,000 calories per day if you’re a female. Because the HCG diet suggests you eat 500 calories per day for several weeks, this would usually result in low energy and increased hunger.
However, this is where the HCG hormone is supposed to help. It’s believed that HCG can both keep your energy levels up and stave off hunger.
Proponents claim the HCG diet doesn’t burn off muscle mass, but instead, your excess fat.
What Is the HCG Protocol?
As with all diets, there’s a certain way to do the HCG diet to get optimal results. Below, we’ll explain the different phases in the HCG protocol.
Do note that if you go with the injection method, you’ll need to get both bacteriostatic water and HCG. When you inject anything into your body, you need to ensure it’s as sterile as can be to minimize your chances of infection.
You can get bacteriostatic water that’s completely sterile to mix with your HCG. It’s a much better and safer alternative to use than just sterile water. Plus, it lasts longer; sterile water can only be used for a single dose while bacteriostatic water can be used for a mixture that lasts around a month.
Make sure you use an alcohol pad to disinfect everything before injecting yourself with HCG.
The first part of the HCG diet is the loading phase, where you prepare your body for the weight loss phase. The loading phase can last anywhere between 2 to 6 days; the length will depend on your own weight loss goals.
During this period, you’ll eat high-fat and high-calorie foods. Some examples of what you can eat include:
Keep in mind that you need to eat high-fat and high-calorie foods, but you need to stay away from carbohydrates. So foods like fries and pizza aren’t good for this phase.
During the loading phase, you’ll start your HCG injections (or sprays, drops, or pellets).
Weight Loss Phase
Now that your body is well-prepared and stocked up on fats and calories, you can proceed onto the weight loss phase. Here, your diet will basically do a 180 for anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks. Again, the length depends on your personal goals.
Instead of filling yourself up on high-fat and high-calorie foods, you’ll need to drop your daily caloric intake to 500 calories. Some of the allowed foods in this phase are:
- Protein-rich foods (such as lots of fish, rabbit, chicken breast, venison, white pork, filet mignon, lean ground beef, and white turkey)
In this phase, you’ll still be administering HCG through your chosen method.
In the maintenance phase, you’re trying to return your body back to normal. This means you can eat anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 calories again. This phase goes on for 3 weeks.
During this time, while you can eat normal amounts of calories again, you do have to avoid sugars and starches. Here are some suggestions of good foods to eat during this period:
- Brown rice
Unlike the other 2 phases, you won’t be taking HCG anymore during the maintenance phase.
What to Do After
After you’ve completed the HCG diet, you can slowly start eating starches and sugars again. However, it’s better if you avoid junk food, like chips, fries, donuts, and cakes. Replace those foods with things like bread and pasta.
Some people choose to repeat the HCG diet protocol several times. This is all up to you; if you’re not satisfied with your weight loss, you can try it again a few times.
Lose Weight by Trying the HCG Diet
Now that you know a little about the HCG diet and HCG protocol, you have enough information to determine whether or not it’s right for you.
Because it’s such an intense diet, it’s definitely not for everyone. If you lead a highly active lifestyle, such a low-calorie intake may be unhealthy or even dangerous for you.
Make sure you understand the protocol completely and can commit yourself to it without detriment to your health. If at any point you don’t feel well, stop the diet, as a little weight loss isn’t worth risking your wellbeing over.
For more articles on health and fitness, please check out our other blog articles.