HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin and as you can surmise from the name, it is produced by humans, pregnant humans, to be exact. A woman’s body produces this hormone during pregnancy to tell her brain (the hypothalamus if you must know) to use fat stores for any extra nutrition rather than going for her easier-to-burn muscles.
Although this hormone is produced in women, it’s safe and effective for men. It does not cause any abnormalities in men and taking it won’t detract from their masculinity one bit.
The HCG hormone diet was developed by an endocrinologist named Albert T. W. Simeons who studied pregnant women in parts of India where food was scarce and people with a rare pituitary glandular problem called Frolich’s Syndrome. The nickname for people with this syndrome is “fat boys”—this gives you an idea of the problems associated with such a disease.
Dr. Simeons observed that low doses of HCG helped these two groups to lose fat rather than lean tissue when they ate a low amount of calories. This is why the HCG hormone diet has become a popular weight loss aid today. The low-calorie diet helps to lose extra pounds and the HCG, which can be in the HCG drops or injections form, keeps your body from burning your muscles instead of your fat.
You do have to consider if there are any dangers involved.
There are three phases to the diet: the loading phase, the diet phase, and the maintenance phase. The loading phase is only two days long. The diet phase is a bit more variable and depends on how much weight you need to lose. Generally, it goes for 23 to 40 days.
You are not supposed to go past day 40 though even if you have more weight to lose. You can do another round of the diet later on if needed, but you don’t want to keep your body on low-calorie diets for too long of a time.
The maintenance phase lasts for three weeks and during this time you lift some of the restrictions from the diet phase, but still stay away from starches and refined sugars. So, if you go the maximum amount of time in the diet phase, the diet will take you a little over two months.
Not bad–especially when you consider that you will lose half a pound to two pounds every day of the diet phase and as I mentioned before, you can do more rounds of the diet once your body has had a chance to get back to consuming a normal amount of calories for a while.
The food included in the diet is pretty easy to find. Everything is usually available at your local grocery store. If not, it’s definitely available online. The diet is low-calorie and high in protein, meaning most of your calories will come from protein.
Breakfast on the diet is pretty light, only some coffee or tea with saccharin or liquid stevia as sweetener and a tablespoonful of milk as cream, but you may substitute items from the lunch and dinner choices to get your energy levels up in the morning.
The choices for lunch and dinner are exactly the same but they are varied enough that you shouldn’t have to eat exactly the same thing for lunch and dinner—unless you want to. For these two meals you get a 3.5 (weighed raw) serving of meat, a serving of vegetables (from a specific list), a serving of fruit (from a specific list), and one Italian breadstick known as grissini or a piece of Melba toast (I saw these by the crackers last time I was at the store).