HCG Diet

One diet rising in popularity is the HCG diet. It is based on a hormone produced in women during pregnancy called Human Choriogonadotropin. While the diet involves very specific food choices and calorie limitations, it is centered around this hormone, which proponents claim causes users to lose one to two pounds a day.

How to Do the HCG Diet

Preparation Phase: The diet begins with a two day Preparation phase in which you should ensure your body is ready for the diet, as the calorie restrictions are pretty severe. In this phase, you can eat as much as you like, but eat healthier than you normally would and try to eat enough food to fill you up. While you shouldn’t try to pack in calories like a bear before winter, you should try to prepare your body for the subsequent 21 days of near fasting. This includes ensuring that you are well hydrated and that you are physically active.

Maintenance Phase: The next part of the diet lasts for 21 days and is called the Maintenance phase. For 21 days you must limit your daily calorie intake to 500, eating only 200 grams of meat and a narrow selection of fruit and vegetables. For breakfast, you should only have tea, though how much you drink is not important. Lunch and dinner are to subsist of 100 grams of meat each along with a large portion of vegetables. The meat can either be veal, chicken breast, shellfish, fresh white fish, or lean cut beef. The vegetables can include lettuce, chicory, spinach, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, red radishes, beet greens, chard, cabbage, asparagus, and white, yellow or red onion.

Of course, you must also purchase the HCG hormone itself and take it regularly, according to the directions on the product. During this phase of the diet, strenuous exercise is not recommended as your calorie intake is not high enough to support extreme physical exertion.

Stabilization Phase: The last part of the diet is called the Stabilization phase. During this period, the type of food you eat remains the same, but you increase your calorie intake to 800 for women and 1000 for men. This period lasts for another 21 days so that your body can ease back into a larger calorie intake.

HCG is heralded by some as a miracle drug, a diet to beat all diets, but there are plenty of detractors and skeptics. Dr. Oz recently did a piece on the HCG diet on his show in which he questioned the claim that the hormone is the cause of the weight loss. Dr. Oz stated that anyone taking in that few calories a day for an extended period of time would lose just as much weight, with or without HCG. He also pointed out that the FDA has not approved HCG as a weight loss tool, only for use in pregnant women.

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