The hCG diet protocol involves a hormonal medical therapy to lose weight. Along with shots of hormones, a strict control over diet is also imposed to lose weight faster. Read on for the details.
You can use cottage cheese that’s made of skimmed milk. No other cheese varieties are allowed.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone found in the body of women during the early stages of pregnancy, mostly during the first 14 weeks. The fact that it was capable of inducing weight loss was first conceived by Dr. A. T. W. Simeons. He observed that boys who were given shots of this hormone for underdeveloped sex organs lost weight without having severe hunger pangs. He implemented the same idea that women are also capable of losing extra fat from their shoulders, hips, thighs, upper arms, and buttocks through these injections. Not being just some instant weight loss therapy, the hCG + diet method is a treatment for obesity.
In his book Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity, Dr. Simeons stresses, “The benefit the patient can derive from reading this part of the book is a fuller realization of how very important it is for him to follow to the letter his physician’s instructions.” Hence, this just shows how necessary it is to follow the protocol set by your consultant.
Administration of Shots
The duration of treatment under the hCG + diet protocol is dependent on weight loss goals. The shots are paused during menstrual cycle, but the diet plan must be continued to avoid regaining lost pounds.
›› Patients who need to lose only up to 15 pounds, are given 26 days of treatment with 23 daily injections. The diet is to be maintained for the extra three days after the injections to ensure that all traces of the hormone are eliminated from the body.
›› On the other hand, for those who need to lose more than 15 pounds, the treatment includes 40 injections. However, the limit of 40 injections is never exceeded, so as to avoid immunity to hCG. It takes those particular patients about 6 weeks to get over this immunity.
It should also be noted that this treatment only mobilizes abnormal amounts of fat, not the normal deposits, although it does avoid extra intake.
hCG Diet Protocol Phases
The protocol consists of three phases: loading, maintenance, and stabilization phases. During each phase, either oral hCG is consumed or shots are injected. The phases are described below in detail.
›› Loading Phase
This lasts for 2 days between the first and third injections, which are, as it is termed, non-effective in case of weight loss. This phase is called loading phase because it actually requires forced feeding. This is done to build up excess stock of fat in the cells so that they are not starved during the next low-calorie maintenance phase.
›› Maintenance Phase
Maintenance or very low calorie diet (VLCD) phase generally lasts for 21 days. 500 calories intake is permitted throughout the duration of this hormonal therapy. You won’t experience hunger pangs as the food reserves during the loading phase shall satisfy your hunger. In case of patients who lose the abnormal, superfluous fats before the end of this treatment, frequent hunger pangs are again observed. Hence, when they get back to their normal weight, they are put on a 800-1000 calorie diet for the rest of their treatment.
›› Stabilization Phase
For 3 days post the injections, the preceding diet pattern is retained. It takes at least 3 weeks before the newly reduced weight is stabilized. Hence, to help this phase, carbohydrates like sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, and pastries should preferably be avoided. Fats and starch, when combined, can risk your condition. You are sure to risk gaining weight again if you do not follow the rules for this last phase after the end of treatment.
The 500 Cal Diet
The weight loss program of hCG + diet restricts the consumption of calories. The 500-calorie diet is prescribed for patients post the first two days of treatment, in the event of subsequent injections that are termed effective. It is continued till the patient reaches his/her normal weight, or till the end of the treatment, whichever comes earlier. As per a diet sheet mentioned on page 28 and 29 of A. T. W. Simeon’s book:
›› For breakfast, tea or coffee in any amount is permitted, though without sugar. Artificial sweeteners are permitted. In the case of milk, barely a tablespoonful can be consumed in 24 hours.
›› For lunch, the following four choices are available.
- 100 gm of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp can be grilled or boiled without additional fat. The meat should be weighed raw, and all fat should be removed before cooking. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, and dried or pickled fish are a strict no-no.
- Any one vegetable from the following can be chosen: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, and cabbage.
- One breadstick or Melba toast
- Half a grapefruit/handful strawberries/one apple.
›› For dinner, the same four choices as those for lunch are repeated.
›› The breadstick or the fruit may be eaten between meals instead. One must note that not more than four items given in the choices can be had during one meal.
›› Tea, coffee, and plain or mineral water are the only drinks allowed at all times, in any quantity. The juice of one lemon daily is also permitted. Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, majoram, etc., may be used, but oil, butter, and dressing are to be strictly avoided.
›› Appetite-reducing drugs are not necessarily required during this treatment. In fact, apart from birth control pills, aspirin, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, and powder, no medicines, or cosmetics containing animal or vegetable fat may be used, without consulting the physician.
While explaining the diet protocol, the patient is informed that no variations whatsoever, apart from those listed, may be done. Also, whatever is not listed is obviously not permissible as per the physicians. Breaking down of meals can be done, provided you are not adding extra calories to the diet. Snacks should be deducted from the meal to adjust and fit in the 500-calorie mark.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by a nutritionist/dietitian on the subject.