The HCG diet plan has been around for quite a while. Now it is common knowledge that being overweight is dangerous. Heart attack, diabetes, hypertension and even cancer: these are just some of the health problems that are synonymous with excess body weight. Most people with weight problems are actively trying to cut down, but obviously not everyone gets to achieve their goals. One of the biggest problems for most people is finding a genuine diet plan because there are just so many out there. As mentioned the HCG diet is one of them, and that is exactly what this article will focus on.
What Is It?
Obviously the first question that any sensible individual trying to lose weight would ask before taking up this plan is: what is it all about? To answer this question comprehensively, one first needs to understand the various types of body fat that exist. First we have what is known as subcutaneous fat, which is what the body metabolizes to produce energy when there is a calorie deficiency. The second type of fat is referred to as visceral fat; this acts as a shock absorber and is found around organs. Last but not least we have the abnormal fatty deposits which are what most people hate and would do just about anything to get rid of. This fat usually accumulates around the waist, bum and thigh region; it is the extra stuff that the body does not need.
So what does all this have to do with the HCG diet? Well it is that last type of fat that HCG targets. HCG stands for human chorionic Gonadotrophin; it is a hormone that is found in the bodies of expectant mothers. The work of HCG is to convert extra fat in the body into nutrients that the placenta can use to keep the fetus healthy. It is from this understanding that Dr A.T.W Simeons formulated the HCG diet plan a little over five decades ago.
Before taking up the HCG diet, it is important to first seek advice from a qualified physician. It is only after being given a go-ahead should you proceed. The hormone is delivered into the body intravenously or in the form of drops. The entire plan is made up of 3 main phases.
This is a very vital phase, but quite a number of people tend to ignore it because what one is required may seem somewhat illogical. The whole idea basically is to increase your calorie intake with an emphasis on fatty foods as you take the HCG hormone. This is usually recommended for a period of about three days. Those who choose to ignore this particular phase are more likely to fail in their quest to lose weight, and as a result, may end up dismissing the entire diet plan as a waste of time. The purpose of this phase is to have the HCG hormone mobilize fatty cells, as opposed to letting the body store them as a new layer; this will go a long way in facilitating speedy weight loss over the course of the diet.
For most people, this is the most grueling stage of the diet plan. It is here that you will be required to lower your calorie intake tremendously. The daily recommended calorie intake is between 2000 and 2500. Under the HCG diet plan, however, you will be forced to restrict yourself to not more than 700; all this while taking HCG. Lean meats are encouraged while fatty foods are discouraged during this stage which can last for up to 2 months. It is during the first few days of this phase that the most significant results will be witnessed with some people losing in excess of half a pound on a daily basis.
A good number of those who have used this diet plan claim that this is the least challenging of all the three phases. At this point, you can increase your calorie intake to around double that of the second phase (up to 1400). This will effectively reduce if not eliminate the feelings of hunger that might have been a bit of a problem in the previous stage. However, you will still be required to keep fat intake on the low as well as avoid foods that contain unnatural hormones, which could disrupt the weight loss process. It is here that you will stop taking HCG. The next three weeks will then be dedicated to ridding the body of all traces of the hormone so as to encourage the body to lose weight without entirely relying on the same.
One of the downsides of lowering calorie intake to the levels that the HCG diet requires is that a person may start craving sweet foods. Obviously indulging in these can significantly lower the effectiveness of the diet plan. The great thing about the HCG hormone is that it helps with this particular problem. While it may not completely eliminate the said cravings, it will make them more manageable hence reducing the chances of falling by the wayside.
Most other diet plans need to be complemented with an exercise regimen. There are many people to whom this is not a viable option for one reason or another. The HCG plan is different, once you are on it there will be no need to start running, cycling etc all in the name of facilitating the weight loss process; it is capable of working all by itself.
HCG also increases the body’s rate of metabolism. Under normal circumstances, when this happens muscle loss might follow. Obviously is not something any dieter would want to happen. HCG, however, does not allow this to happen and so for those who are looking to develop their muscles after the diet plan probably by going to the gym or something of the sort won’t have to worry about starting from scratch. Just like most other diet programs, the HCG diet plan has a few side effects including muscle pain, headache and body weakness, but in most cases, these usually disappear after the first 7 days as the body adapts to the new diet plan.