Is HCG Diet Safe? Compared to what?

By now you’ve begun your own research into whether HCG diets are safe and effective. Clearly people are having success (including me) but should you trust these results? What does the medical community say?

You are going to find mixed messages, at least I did. When I learned my medically supervised weight loss would be HCG I didn’t know what to think. When I started searching for information on the internet, I became a little concerned. How could anyone live on 500 calories a day? Could HSC really be safe?

Let’s Discuss Some Basic Questions.

Do people have success with HCS diets? I think the answer here is yes. People are even having success following Simeon’s protocol written decades ago. You can find a discussion board here. Of the detractors, I usually find three major camps:

  1. Those who could not deal with the 500 calorie limit or any VLCD.
  2. Those who question if HCG actually contributes to the weight loss.
  3. Those who believe the weight loss would be short lived.

Should You Consider a VLCD Diet?

The typical diet is based on 1,800 – 3,000 calories a day, depending on age, gender and activity level. The truth is that most people consume more than they need. Far more to be honest. One of my favorite sandwiches for lunch was a Chick-fil-A chicken deluxe sandwich with an order of waffle fries and usually a water or a lemonade (let’s stick with water for this discussion). That’s a 500 calorie sandwich + 310 calorie waffle fries = 810 calories for one meal. It isn’t very nutritious but there are probably far worse lunches. The website healthyeating.sfgate.com featured an article written by dietician Erin Coleman stating American men self reported consuming about 2,640 calories a day. But since most are obese, the assumption is underreporting by at least 25%.

If you are someone who is obese, and most of us are by the time we reach our 40’s if we’ve been eating like the typical American, your doctor may advise a very low calorie diet (VLCD) for a period of time. Generally it may be prepared foods and shakes but they also may be prescribed menu items of lean meats and unprocessed foods. Starting to look like my HCG menu plan now?

Sample menu
The sample menu provided to me. Note: MCT is not actually Coconut Oil but can be derived from it.

Other forms of diets for the obese might include a juice cleanse (which I’ve mentioned earlier). If you are considering surgery, a gastric bypass will also reduce your caloric intake to between 800 – 1,000 calories for a period. So a VLCD, when medically supervised, can be an important tool in weight loss if used as part of an overall lifestyle change.

Does HCG Actually Contribute to Weight Loss?

I’ve read several articles that basically cannot determine if HCG contributes to weight loss, attributing the weight loss to the VLCD diet. It may be true that the HCG is not contributing to the weight loss directly; my understanding is the HCG impacts how the weight loss occurs by protecting your muscles and burning the fat. I never believed product pages that suggest targeting weight loss in specific areas. Not only does that not align with logical thinking, it also defeats the purpose. The fat that we see is not attractive but it’s the fat that we don’t see, the visceral fat, that is harming our health.

HCG is pro-hormonal and can help with getting to the causes of (visceral) belly fat, but the combination of Phentermine and HCG is what controlled the hunger for me. I have too many friends who attempted HCG diets using homeopathic drops and no phentermine. They all failed. As of this writing, I have already lost 27 pounds in a little over a month. And I ate foods like grilled shrimp salad for lunch.

Grilled Shrimp in mixed greens salad
One of my favorite items for lunch!

Will the Weight Loss be Short Lived and Weight Come Right Back?

This is the tough question and I think it depends on the person. If you are expecting to go right back to your eating habits that lead to the need for this diet, yep – I think the weight comes back. If this is part of a multi-faceted lifestyle change (as it should be) then I think you can not only keep off the fat, but also transform your body with a new canvas that is lean, accustomed to eating clean, and sufficiently motivated.

Conclusion: HCG is Safe Compared to High Cholesterol and Insulin Resistance

I’m not an advocate of the original protocol as described in Pounds and Inches. I don’t have experience with it. My protocol kept me between 800 and 1000 calories. If you are comparing this protocol to having high cholesterol and insulin resistance I would have to say yes, it is very safe. Think of it as a kick start to your future self. Yes, it will be difficult sometimes. But you will receive compliments as friends and family look on with astonishment at your weight loss.

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