Are you looking to lose weight in the new year? Have you thought about trying the HCG diet plan?
While following the HCG diet is a great way to lose weight, there are some things you need to know before you get started. What is the HCG diet? How does it help you lose weight?
Read on to learn the answer to these questions and more!
What is the HCG Diet?
The HCD diet consists of two primary components: low-calorie meals and daily hormone injections. The diet was developed by a British physician in the 1950s who noticed that his male adolescent patients who were receiving HCG hormone injections were rapidly losing abdominal fat.
On the HCG diet, you’re supposed to limit yourself to 500 calories per day. While eating 500 calories per day isn’t sustainable in the long-term, in the short-term, HCG diet followers believe that it can help reset your metabolism.
There is also an updated version of the diet that suggests people eat 1500 calories per day, but you’ll experience more rapid weight loss on the 500-calorie-per-day plan.
What is HCG?
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. This is a protein-based hormone that women produce during pregnancy. In women, it impacts fertility and ovulation, and in men, it increases their testosterone levels.
HCG also helps boost your metabolism, which is why it’s been used for decades in the weight loss industry. The higher your metabolism, the faster your body burns calories. And the faster your body burns calories, the more weight you’ll lose.
However, boosting your metabolism naturally can be tough, which is where HCG injections come in. With daily HCG injections, you’ll notice a steady increase in your metabolic rate.
HCG Diet Phases
As we mentioned earlier, the HCG diet isn’t a permanent way of living. Rather, this diet is meant to kickstart your metabolism and kickstart your healthy eating habits so you can achieve long-term weight loss.
The diet consists of three phases: the loading phase, the weight loss phase, and the maintenance phase. The loading phase begins a couple of days before the weight loss phase. During this phase, you’re supposed to eat plenty of high-fat, high-calorie foods while beginning your HCG injections.
Eating a high-calorie diet for a couple of days will help kick your metabolism into gear once you begin slashing calories. During the weight loss phase, you should continue with your HCG injections, but cut your caloric intake to 500 calories per day.
The weight loss phase generally lasts 3 to 6 weeks. After the weight loss phase is the maintenance phase. During this phase, you stop taking HCG injections altogether. You also gradually increase your caloric intake while still avoiding sugars and starches for three weeks.
During the weight loss phase, you’re to skip breakfast and only eat lunch and dinner. How long you spend in the weight loss phase will depend on your goals. Those seeking minimal weight loss should spend three weeks in this phase, while those seeking significant weight loss should spend six weeks in this phase.
Many people choose to repeat all three phases of the cycle several times for optimal results.
What Can You Eat on the HCG Diet?
As we mentioned, you eat two meals per day on the HCG diet. Each meal should contain a vegetable, a source of lean protein, and a piece of fruit.
Your lean protein serving should be 3.5 ounces. Approved sources of lean protein include chicken, turkey, egg whites, crab, lobster, white fish, scallops, bison, and extra-lean beef. Because this is a low-fat diet, you should avoid eating fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, anchovies, and tuna.
You’re allowed to eat a variety of vegetables, including chard, spinach, beet greens, lettuce, cabbage, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. You can also eat onions, tomatoes, carrots, and shallots. However, you should avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn.
You can also enjoy a range of fruits on this diet, including oranges, apples, and berries. However, you should do your best to avoid high-sugar fruits. Even though they’re natural sources of sugar, super sweet fruits will make it hard for you to reduce your sugar cravings. For this reason, you should avoid grapes, mangoes, bananas, and melon.
While you can’t have added sugar in any form in this diet, you can enjoy a variety of spices to season your food. Examples of approved spices include garlic, rosemary, turmeric, thyme, salt, and pepper. You can also use lemon or lime juice to flavor your protein or water.
In addition to plain water and naturally-flavored water, you can also enjoy tea and coffee on this diet. There are no restrictions in terms of how much coffee and tea you can drink.
However, the coffee and tea you drink need to be completely plain. You cannot add any sugar, creamer, or milk to your beverages.
What Do You Need to Avoid on the HCG Diet?
Certain foods aren’t allowed during the weight loss phase of the HCG diet, including:
- Dairy: This includes cheese, milk, yogurt, and butter
- Fats and Oils: Fats and oils are high in calories, so they’re not allowed on the HCG diet
- High-Carb Foods: Bread, pasta, muffins, rice, lentils, and other high-carb foods should be avoided
The diet also forbids any sweets or desserts, as these contain artificial sugars. You can check out this guide to learn more about the HCG diet instructions.
Are You Ready to Try the HCG Diet Plan?
Now that you’ve read this guide, it’s time for you to give the HCG diet plan a try. Before you know it, the pounds will be falling off!
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