HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy which tells the body to change the way it stores and uses fat. In simple terms it means that this hormone tells the body to use up the stored body fat instead of burning the muscle mass or the normal fats taken in. It leads to rapid weight loss with some users losing as much as one pound per day. And along with the weight loss you will also get the added benefits of lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and increased levels of energy in the body.
Almost two thirds of the adult population in the US suffers from obesity and its related health conditions and risks. Among the many diet plans and pills, the HCG is a boon for those who want to lose significant weight. It is known to effectively suppress appetite and trigger the use of body fat for fuel.
Introduced by Dr. Simeons almost 50 years ago, this diet plan remains popular to this day. A typical HCG diet plan restricts dieters to 500 calories per day. The diet consists of raw, unprocessed and organic foods which are supplemented with HCG injections or serum drops. In just 45 days dieters see significant difference in their weight.
A Look at the 3 Phases of Typical HCG Diet Plans
Phase 1 of HCG diet plans: This phase prepares the body for the rigorous diet regimen to come. Before you begin the very low calorie diet of 500 calories per day, you need to take in excess calories in the first two days. This would almost be 2000 calories to give body the excess energy it would need during the diet. Apart from providing energy it also kick starts the metabolic process which will now work actively burn stored fat.
Phase 2 of HCG diet plans: From the third day onwards you stick to a 500 calorie chart and supplement that with HCG injections or drops. The HCG in the system will now prevent the new fat cells and lipids from being stored in the body. Instead the focus will be on mobilizing the fat that is already stored in the body. This is the largest phase in the diet and lasts from 23 to 46 days depending upon the dieter. During this time the dieter needs to stay on the strict 500 calorie diet. This diet will restrict the intake of excess calories while the HCG will mobilize the burning of stored fat – together they lead to rapid weight loss.
Phase 3 of HCG diet plans: This is called the maintenance and stabilization phase. Here you can slowly start increasing your calorie intake from 500 and go up to a 1200 or 1500 calorie chart. However, what you consume is important especially the avoidance of dietary fat. The HCG intake also stops here. By this time the body has become accustomed to stored fat burning so it steadily continues to lose weight, even without supplementation. The body also slowly starts getting used to regular amount of food.
What goes into the menu of HCG diet plans?
A common complaint by HCG detractors is that the 500 calorie plan is not sufficient for the body and may have untoward side effects. Contrary to popular belief the HCG diet plans include all essential nutrients to ensure that your body is getting all that it needs to survive and maintain proper energy levels.
HCG diets have a significant amounts of fish, chicken and lean beef which provide the body with adequate proteins and vitamins. The only difference is that most of these are prepared in low sodium recipes with very little or no oil. Add a healthy dose of fruits and veggies to this and you have a low calorie power diet to see you through the day.
The other components of HCG diet plans are soups and salads. These are filling, give you lots of fibers, essential nutrients and are tasty to the boot. They give you all the nutrients you need without increasing your calorie intake. They are delicious and keep one satiated for a long time. Of course, here too you need to exercise a bit of caution. Make sure your salad dressings are lean and free of oil. The soups should not contain gelatin but should always be of clear stock.
Benefits of HCG Diet Plans – At a Glance
• Helps in rapid weight loss
• Burns fat faster
• Effective appetite suppressant
• Helps improve the eating habits
• Regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels
• Strengthens the immune system
• Helps in getting and maintaining a great figure
Possible Side-effects of HCG Diet Plans
Some people suffer from fatigue and lack of energy during the initial days accompanied by occasional headaches. Bu these tend to go away once the body gets adjusted to the diet. In serious cases however the extreme diet may head to diarrhea or gastro-intestinal disorders, and even gallstone formations. This reaction differs due to different system structures of individuals. It is a good idea to consult and physician or a nutrition expert before you start your diet.