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HCG Diet

The initials HCG stand for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a natural hormone, found during pregnancy of women and the great apes. It helps in carrying the pregnancy to term. This means it is not found in males. The hormone helps in regulation of menstruation and facilitates conception. It is also found in rare cases when the residue of placental tissue continues to grow in what is known as chorionic epithelioma. During pregnancy, a woman produces large amounts of HCG, as much as one million International Units per day in her urine.

Administration and Mode of action

HCG is administered by under the tongue drops as well as subcutaneous injections. Subcutaneous injections tend to produce greater results in weight loss than the sub-lingual administration. It is packaged in pre-sealed syringes thus avoiding the mixing and drawing of correct amounts. Most people find the subcutaneous abdominal injections simple and learn how to use them prior to beginning the diet.

The full mechanism through which HCG works is not well known. However, it is believed that it makes the body metabolism sensitive to oils and fats hence decreasing weight loss during the diet. This means the HCG diet resets the hypothalamus to improve metabolism, allowing the body to release abnormal fat stores and use them for fuel.

Weight loss and HCG treatment

HCG has been known for over half a century, and has been used in treating obesity in both men and women. Studies have found that injection of 125 units per day can reduce weight at approximately 1-2 pounds per day. HCG diet is combined with a low calorie diet, usually 500 Calories, and exercise for maximum results. HCG diet allows one to lose weight in areas most difficult such as the abdomen, hips, and upper thighs.

Experience shows that patients seeking HCG treatment and who had been taking thyroid preparations over a long period tend to have a slightly lower average weight loss once introduced to HCG as compared to those who never took thyroid preparations. During the treatment period, weight may plateau, but one will be losing on inches during this time.

Duration of treatment

Patients, who require losing 15 pounds or less, are treated with 23 daily injections for 26 days. After the last injection (on day 23), the patients continue with a 500-calorie diet for three days to avoid putting on alarming weight if they resume to normal eating. Once the abnormal fat is lost, patients tend to feel hungry (usually on days 4-10), however once the normal weight is reached, they are put on 800-1000 Calories for the rest of the treatment. It will take longer to lose more than 15 pounds with 40 daily injections.

During menstruation, no injections are given, however the diet is continued. Patients needing to lose more than 34 pounds have two or more courses administered with an interval of not less than six weeks.

Safety of HCG and Side effects

It is advised to undertake the HCG diet under the supervision of a physician. Common symptoms experienced during the diet are:

  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Irritability
  • Fluid retention
  • Breast tenderness
  • Depression

Just like any other form of diet, HCG does not lead to permanent weight loss, but just helps in giving one a start to beginning a healthier lifestyle.

 

What can I eat on the HCG Diet?
Drinks and Seasonings permitted on the HCG Diet
  
The juice of one lemon daily is allowed for all purposes.
Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, majoram, etc., may be used for seasoning, but no oil, butter or dressing.
Tea, coffee, plain water, or mineral water (2 liters of water per day is recommended) are the only drinks allowed, but they may be taken in any quantity and at all times.
The fruit or the breadstick may be eaten between meals instead of with lunch or dinner, but not more than than four items listed for lunch and dinner may be eaten at one meal.
No medicines or cosmetics other than lipstick, eyebrow pencil and powder should be used without special permission. Do not get massages while using the HCG Diet.
 
Portions and specially prepared unsweetened, low calorie foods
The total daily intake must not exceed 500 Calories if the best possible results are to be obtained, that the daily ration should contain 200 grams of fat-free protein and a very small amount of starch.
 
Important Highlights
The 500 calorie limit must always be maintained.
 2 small apples are not an acceptable exchange for “1 apple.”
Very occasionally we allow egg – boiled, poached or raw – to patients who develop an aversion to meat, but in this case they must add the white of three eggs to the one they eat whole.
        Cottage cheese made from skimmed milk is available 100 grams may occasionally be used instead of the meat         

 

When you are finished with your injections, you can transition into phase 3 portion of the diet.  The phase 3 diet protocol details how to start adding calories and carbs slowly back into your diet.

 

 

Breakfast:
Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or Stevia may be used.
Lunch:
1.    100 grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken breast must be removed from the bird.
2.    One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.
3.    One breadstick (grissino) or one Melba toast.
4.    An apple, orange, or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit.
Dinner :
The same four choices as lunch (above.)

 

HCG Phase 3 – Stabilization

Maintaining Your Loss/Stabilization (Phase 3)
The maintenance phase is the 3 week period after you finish your injections.
  • you must weigh yourself every day
  • you must remain within 2 pounds of your last injection weight (over *OR* under) and,
  • you cannot eat sugars and starches (which is carbohydrates minus the fiber)
It is extremely important to eat plenty of protein during this period, a lot of people can eat at least 100 grams of true protein (about 400 grams of actual meat weighed raw). If you go over the 2 pounds, you must immediately do a steak day  “As long as their weight stays within two pounds of the weight reached on the day of the last injection, patients should take no notice of any increase but the moment the scale goes beyond two pounds, even if this is only a few ounces, they must on that same day entirely skip breakfast and lunch but take plenty to drink. In the evening they must eat a huge steak with only an apple or a raw tomato. Of course this rule applies only to the morning weight. Ex-obese patients should never check their weight during the day, as there may be wide fluctuations and these are merely alarming and confusing. We want to be clear that this 3 week period is crucial to the success of the diet.
When the three days of dieting after the last injection are over, the patients are told that they may now eat anything they please, except sugar and starch, provided they faithfully observe one simple rule. This rule is that they must have their own portable bathroom-scale always at hand, particularly while traveling. They must without fail weigh themselves every morning as they get out of bed, having first emptied their bladder. If they are in the habit of having breakfast in bed, they must weigh before breakfast.
It takes about 3 weeks before the weight reached at the end of the treatment becomes stable, i.e. does not show violent fluctuations after an occasional excess. During this period patients must realize that the so-called carbohydrates, that is sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries etc, are by far the most dangerous. If no carbohydrates whatsoever are eaten, fats can be indulged in somewhat more liberally and even small quantities of alcohol, such as a glass of wine with meals, does no harm, but as soon as fats and starch are combined things are very liable to get out of hand. This has to be observed very carefully during the first 3 weeks after the treatment is ended otherwise disappointments are almost sure to occur.”
OK, so here is the thing: The day that you give yourself your last injection, you count 72 hours (continuing on the 500 calorie for those 72 hours) from that last shot, *then* you start your maintenance/stablization phase. It is critical that you follow this phase as faithfully as you did the injection phase, because *now* is when your hypothalamus will reset, clearing off all the ‘bad old days’ of yo-yo dieting and poor eating habits. That weight that you were the morning of your last injection is the weight that you use as a basis for your maintenance phase. Many call this LIW (Last Injection Weight). Anything OVER two pounds from that weight calls for a steak day.
NOTE: The time period to begin this phase is not 3 days after your last injection, it is 72 hours! (For example, if you administer your last shot on Monday at 8 am, you will begin the maintenance phase on Thursday at 8 am.) 
When you start the 3 week maintenance/stabilization process, *definitely* increase your calories to at *least* 1500.  Don’t try to continue the 500 calorie diet after the hCG is out of your system, because you will become weak and tired, and your body will begin to go into ‘shutdown’ mode where it doesn’t burn calories. This will completely ruin your Phase 2, and you’ll have to start all over. Don’t worry, your weight will go up and down a bit the first week or two; this is normal. A reset doesn’t mean you never ever have any weight change, daily activities will see that you bounce around some. Do a steak day if you need to. Your weight will eventually stabilize. This is your body settling into the new process. Watch the starch and sugar religiously during the 3 weeks.  ***NO STARCH OR SUGAR*** Read labels. Eat whatever you want, without starch or sugar, during the maintenance phase. Make sure you are eating enough, many people think they need to keep eating like they’re on a diet, DON’T DO THIS. Use healthy fats and dairy products to up your calorie intake if necessary. Drink enough water.

Low Carb Vegetables

This list is roughly arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate counts, but all are non-starchy and generally low in carbohydrates. Exact carb count depends on serving size. Remember when counting carbs in vegetables that the fiber is not counted, and can be subtracted from the total.

  • Sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc.)
  • Greens – lettuces, spinach, chard, etc.
  • Hearty Greens – collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.
  • Radicchio and endive count as greens
  • Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
  • Bok Choy
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Cabbage (or sauerkraut)
  • Mushrooms
  • Jicama
  • Avocado
  • Cucumbers (or pickles without added sugars)
  • Asparagus
  • Green Beans and Wax Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peppers
    • Green Bell Peppers
    • Red Bell Peppers
    • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Summer Squash (including Zuchinni)
  • Scallions or green onions
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Leeks
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Snow Peas (pods)
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Okra
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Celery Root (Celeriac)
  • Carrots
  • Turnip (see Carb Counts of Root Vegetables)
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Pumpkin

Starchy (High Carb) Vegetables

The main veggies to be avoided when reducing carbohydrates are the starchier vegetables:
  • Beets
  • Carrots on some diets, but they aren’t as high as others in this group
  • Corn
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Plantains
  • Potatoes in all forms
  • Winter Squashes (particularly acorn and butternut)

Eat Low Sugar Fruit

Fruit, you’ll find, is not particulary welcome on some low carb diets, as some depend more upon glycemic index or glycemic load (South Beach, Zone), while others just look at total carbs (Atkins, Protein Power). Also, some diets (Atkins, South Beach) don’t allow fruit at all in the first phase. In general, your best bet fruits are these, but do check carb counts, and watch your weight. Not everyone can have fruit in maintenance. These are sort of arranged by sugar content, taking volume and weight, into account. This is not an exhaustive list.
Good news: the fruits lowest in sugar are some of the highest in nutritional value, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients.
Fruits lowest in sugar:
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Melons
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Guava
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Papaya
Fruits fairly high in sugar (avoid these in maintenance, even though some were in P2):
  • Grapes
  • Tangerine
  • Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
Fruits to be avoided in the maintenance phase:
  • Bananas
  • Dried Fruit
  • Mango
What to Avoid:

Avoiding sugar means this: avoid cookies, cake, pie, candy, cupcakes, frosting, soft drinks, corn syrup, kool-aid, processed food, energy drinks, fruit juice, honey, yogurt, donuts, cookies, pudding, maple syrup, brownies, canned fruit in heavy syrup, ice cream, cool whip, boxed breakfast cereals, breakfast bars, granola – nothing with sugar. READ LABELS!!!! And remember, you’re avoiding starches too. Nearly all processed foods in todays’ stores contain high fructose corn syrup or some other kind of sugar. Here are some of the names you’ll know are sugar to avoid in foods:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Free Flowing Brown Sugars
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado or Barbados Sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered or confectioner’s sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
Be sure to read food labels, check to see if sugar is added into a product before you buy it. Nearly every product in a can or box contains sugar in one of its many names. The first five ingredients listed on an item is the majority of the product, so be sure that sugar is not in the top five.
Avoiding starch means avoid cornstarch, white flour, wheat flour, any flour, pasta, any bread or bread product, breadsticks, bagels, hamburger and hotdog buns, crackers, tortillas, oatmeal, rice, polenta, peas, corn, lentils, pita bread, pretzels, corn chips, potato chips, yams, potatoes, pancakes, muffins, nearly all root vegetables, any breading on fish, chicken, or other protein., beans, grains, acorn squash, butternut squash, cereals, granola, cereal bars, popcorn, biscuits, corn bread, taco shells, croutons, rice cakes, Cream of Wheat, corn meal, and some nuts.
Most restaurants and fast food places add sugar to nearly every product, so be wary of eating out all the time. Other meats to watch out include deli meats, bacon, ham, prosciutto, sausage, and hotdogs.
Do not eat processed cheese (i.e. Velveeta), it contains unnecessary sugars and starches. Try not to eat processed anything for that matter.

 



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