Lose a pound a day... This diet uses a natural hormone called hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, to assist weight loss. In this weight loss program, a very small amount is used to stimulate the body to burn fat cells for energy while the body is on a very low calorie diet (VLCD.)
Normally on a VLCD, the body goes into “starvation mode,” and in that mode our body stores fat, a protective mechanism during periods of starvation. When using hCG in conjunction with a VLCD for a short period of time, you stimulate your body to burn excess fat cells while on the low calorie diet. So, you are in fact losing the fat you want to lose instead of storing it...
The Dead-End Cycle of Dieting:
Most people who have dieted have tried many different programs with no successful results. Most diets deal with reducing calories, and this causes the patient to spiral downward into the pit of obesity. When an overweight/obese patient tries to reduce calories to lose weight, they will first burn their normal reserve fat cells. Once these are all used up, the body will move on to burning the structural fat cells (both of these types of fat are necessary, and are not the kind of fat that leads to obesity). The last fat cell on the list to be utilized is the abnormal fat, or the fat that causes people to be overweight.
By the time the patient gets to this point they feel hungry, fatigued, and generally give up on the diet. This type of dieting causes patients to feel exhausted, to lose fat in the wrong places (from face leading to sagging skin versus belly, hips or thighs). It also depletes them of nutrients, which leads to further complications.
This is where the hCG diet comes in and is set apart from other diets. Yes, the calories are restricted, but when this is done in combination with using the hormone hCG, the body is able to successfully burn fat. Not only is the body now burning fat, but also it is burning the abnormal fat, so people are able to lose it in the areas that they are seeking, such as belly and thighs.
Is hCG safe?
Yes, it is very safe. The amount of hCG used in weight loss programs is only a fraction of what is naturally released in pregnancy. The only contraindications for the use of hCG are hormone related cancer, allergy to hCG, or precocious puberty in teenagers.
Why don’t pregnant women lose weight if they have large amounts of hCG circulating in their bodies?
The hormone hCG works to mobilize and burn fat for the body to use when there is a significant decrease in calories and fat. The body must go into a starvation state for the hCG to work this way. This is why it is a protective mechanism in pregnancy, especially for women who do not know they are pregnant, and live in poor economic status where they may not have enough food available to them. Most pregnant women do not fall into this category; therefore they do not lose weight, but instead gain weight appropriate for the growth of the baby. For weight loss, we use a very low calorie diet to stimulate hCG to help rid the body of fat.
Will the low calories diet cause my metabolism slow down?
The normal response to a low calorie diet (seen as starvation by the body), is to store fat and slow metabolism to ensure survival. However, when hCG is used in conjunction with a low calorie diet, the body’s excess fat reserves are burned as energy to support it’s needs. This prevents our bodies from storing fat and our metabolism from slowing down during the short period of time while on the VLCD and hCG.
If I eat a very low calorie diet without hCG, will I lose the same amount of weight?
No, because on a VLCD without hCG, you body goes into “starvation mode,” as mentioned above. In this mode your body is programmed to store fat instead of burning it, in order to create reserves to make it through the period of starvation.
Why are some people calling hCG the “weight loss cure”?
HCG is also being called the "Weight Loss Cure," because after taking it for weight loss, it reprograms your body to use stored fat for energy when calories are reduced for a period of time. It helps you maintain your weight and not regain the pounds you've lost. This is generally the opposite of what most people have experience with dieting, and this leads them to think of the hCG diet as the cure to weight loss problems.
How much weight will I lose on the program?
The average amount of weight loss is between 10 to 25 pounds for the three-week interval. This varies from individual to individual, and the closer you are to your body’s ideal weight, the slower you will lose weight. The slowest loser usually loses about 1/2 a pound a day.
Does weight loss slow down after the first month?
Most people will have a large amount of weight loss in the beginning, and then they begin to level off or plateau. This does not mean they stop losing weight, only that they are losing it at a slower rate (but most importantly, they are still losing). Some patients opt to do a second round of hCG, and during this time period, they can have another large drop in weight, followed by a leveling off stage as well.
Can men use the hCG program?
Yes. HCG is NOT a sex hormone, and its actions are identical in men, women, and children. Men can safely use the program (as long as they do not have a hormone dependant cancer, such as prostate cancer). HCG never virilizes a woman or feminizes a man.
What blood work do I need before starting the program and why?
We run basic blood work, which includes a Complete Blood Count (CBC), and Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), and Thyroid blood work (TSH and total T4). The purpose of this is to ensure there are no underlying medical issues before we begin the diet, such as a thyroid problem, liver disease, or diabetes.
What does VLCD mean?
It is an abbreviation for “Very Low Calorie Diet.” You will see it throughout this diet plan to describe the 500-700 calorie diet.