An HCG diet is a low-calorie protocol designed to produce significant weight loss in a short time. HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced in the placenta which became Food and Drug Administration-approved for the treatment of infertility. Physicians are permitted to prescribe it for weight-loss purposes. One of the hormone’s main functions when used for weight-loss purposes is to suppress hunger, according to A.T.W. Simeons, the British doctor who developed the diet. Before going on an HCG diet, talk to your doctor about the benefits, side effects and possible dangers.
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Eat as much food as you can for two to five days before starting an HCG diet. This is the calorie-loading phase. The purpose is to develop fat stores which your body will tap for energy while in calorie-restriction mode.
Take your HCG daily. According to Simeons, the hormone also acts as an appetite suppressant. Any interruption in your injections will likely result in feeling famished. Simeons writes in his book, “Pounds and Inches,” that HCG patients "never feel hungry in spite of their drastically reduced food intake.”
Follow the recommended diet. Only two types of foods are forbidden: sugar and starch. If your diet was high in sugar prior to starting the HCG protocol, you can expect to experience cravings. If you resist the desires, avoiding sugar will eventually get easier.
Spice your meals with sweet, flavorful herbs like cloves, cardamom and coriander. These spices are permitted on an HCG diet and can eliminate the feeling of total deprivation.
Exercise as much as possible. While on the 500-calorie diet, you may not have much energy. Walking briskly or doing a few lunges or squats around the house can slightly increase your energy levels. An HCG diet, which is not dissimilar to a dietary detox, can reset your appetite and reduce sugar cravings, according to Frank Lipman, M.D., author and integrative medicine specialist.
Remove sugary snacks and beverages from your house prior to beginning an HCG diet. If no sugar is in your home, your cravings won’t be as difficult to battle.
Add a dash of sugar substitute to your morning coffee. A small amount of sugar alternative is permitted.
Save your fruit portions for when you crave sugar. On an HCG diet, there’s no objection to breaking up your meals and eating your fruit as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or late-night snack.
- "HCG Diet Info"; Pounds & Inches; A.T.W. Simeons
- "ABC News"; Is Your Sweet Tooth an Addiction?; Courtney Hutchison; June 2010
- "Huffington Post"; 20 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings and Kick the Addiction; Dr. Frank Lipman; November 2010
- "U.S. News Health"; HCG Diet Dangers: Is Fast Weight Loss Worth the Risk?; Angela Haupt; March 2011