FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - HCG DIET
hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) is a biologically natural substance that is produced in abundance in women during pregnancy, at which time its purpose is to use stored fat to nourish the developing fetus-whilst preserving the mother's muscle tone. When used for weight loss, hCG allows the body to mimic these effects on the body- allowing ready access to fat stores.
The use of hCG as a weight loss protocol was originally identified, researched and refined over many years by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons-a British endocrinologist who established a clinic in Italy in the 1950s, specialising in the treatment of clinically obese patients.
Dr Simeons spent over 40 years of his life in research and clinical observation of thousands of cases, leading to the concept of the hCG diet, which he documented in his manuscript Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity.
In this manuscript Dr Simeons outlines his clinical observations-amongst them the discovery that hCG is an effective treatment for fat loss when combined with a very low calorie diet (VLCD); the synergy of which allows the body to shift its source of energy from food to your stored fat reserves, to meet its nutritional requirements. Acting in this way, whilst undergoing an hCG Protocol weight loss cycle, the appetite reduces with no experience of hunger; such as you would certainly experience without the effect of hCG in your system.
Dr Simeons' further observation was that hCG seemed to works at the level of the Diencephalon or Hypothalamus.
The insight arising from this observation was that hCG was seemingly acting at the level of the diencephalon to influence the hypothalamus. As this master gland regulates many of your body's hormones, including metabolism and fat storage, once the active hCG Protocol cycle helps to get the weight to drop off quickly-and with guidance for some simple lifestyle strategies - your body can be primed to keep the weight off permanently!
*This is not to say that individuals can feel free to no longer take any responsibility for their health and eating patterns, however if you have a commitment to follow a few simple guidelines post treatment, this is now certainly a very real possibility for many.
The hypothalamus is part of the diencephalon area of the human brain. The diencephalon is the part from which the central nervous system controls all the automatic animal functions of the body, such as breathing, the heart beat, digestion, sleep, sex, the urinary system, the autonomous or vegetative nervous system and via the pituitary the whole interplay of the endocrine glands.
One of the many functions of the endocrine system is regulation and control of your metabolism, weight and fat storage and weight. Basically the hypothalamus controls how much fat you store and where you store it. hCG is believed to act at this level to reset your metabolism-and when the metabolism is healthy and working at its optimum remaining fat free in the longer term becomes a real possibility.
To understand the answer to that question, you first need to understand What is hCG? In Dr Simeons' founding research and subsequent manuscript, he goes further and explains the Three Kinds of Fat - and the function and reason for each:"In the human body we can distinguish three kinds of fat.
- The first is the structural fat which fills the gaps between various organs, a sort of packing material. Structural fat also performs such important functions as bedding the kidneys in soft elastic tissue, protecting the coronary arteries and keeping the skin smooth and taut, it also provides the springy cushion of hard fat under the bones of the feet, without which we would be unable to walk.
- The second type of fat is a normal reserve of fuel upon which the body can freely draw when the nutritional income from the intestinal tract is insufficient to meet the demand. Such normal reserves are localized all over the body. Fat is a substance which packs the highest caloric value into the smallest space so that normal reserves of fuel for muscular activity and the maintenance of body temperature can be most economically stored in this form. Both these types of fat, structural and reserve, are normal, and even if the body stocks them to capacity this can never be called obesity.
- But there is a third type of fat which is entirely abnormal. It is the accumulation of such fat, and of such fat only, from which the overweight patient suffers. This abnormal fat is also a potential reserve of fuel, but unlike the normal reserves it is not available to the body in a nutritional emergency. It is, so to speak, locked away in a fixed deposit and is not kept in a current account, as are the normal reserves.
When an obese patient tries to reduce by starving himself, he will first lose his normal fat reserves. When these are exhausted he begins to burn up structural fat, and only as a last resort will the body yield its abnormal reserves, though by that time the patient usually feels so week and hungry that the diet is abandoned.
It is just for this reason that obese patients complain that when they diet they lose the wrong fat. They feel famished and tired and their face becomes drawn and haggard, but their belly, hips, thighs and upper arms show little improvement. The fat they have come to detest stays on that the fat they need to cover their bones gets less and less. Their skin wrinkles and they look old and miserable. And this is one of the most frustrating and depressing experiences a human being can have".
The seemingly miraculous action of hCG is that it allows you to finally have a way to access these abnormal fat stores.
But let's be very clear on this next point: hCG alone will not result in weight loss.
Because of its very specific actions within the body, hCG must be combined with a very low calorie diet (VLCD). As the name suggests, this involves intake of small servings of food that contain a low overall number of daily calories. Under normal circumstances this would not be sufficient to sustain normal brain and body functions at optimal levels; however when hCG is circulating in the system the VLCD allows your body to access your fat stores to gain all of the nourishment it requires. Due to this action, the same calorie restriction applies to both males and females, without experiencing any additional hardship.
By accessing your abnormal fat stores, weight is able to be lost from areas where many of us find frustratingly hard to shift - areas such as the stomach or buttocks, thighs and upper arms, etc. which can mean no more worrying about exercising those abs or thighs like crazy, in hope of some miracle spot reduction. hCG looks after this for you, resulting in more even fat distribution and more desirable overall body contour.
What is more, hCG combined with the specific diet protocol, not only removes abnormal problem fat deposits, but actually works to replace important structural fat in needed areas, which can work to prevent the haggard or toneless/saggy skin and sunken face that can result from other weight loss programs.
What other weight loss programs enables you to:
- Experience Amazing fat loss!!! - in shorter time than you would have previously thought possible!!
- Typical weight loss is 2-4kg per week (average 400gms per day).
- Over a 3 week program, you can typically expect to lose 7-10kg* or more if you undertake a 6 week program. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, if further fat loss is required a new second course can be undertaken at a later time (as long as there is a minimum of 6 weeks between treatments so that your body does not develop any immunity) and again achieve a similar fat loss result.
- Experience No Hunger Pains, as your body is taking the nutrition it needs from your stored fat reserves.
- Access abnormal fat stores like no other diet or exercise program
- Preserve your muscle
- Reset your metabolism so that in the longer term it is easier to keep the fat off
- Experience an increased sense of wellbeing-many saying they feel higher energy and improved sleep
- Experience fat loss even if you have struggled for years with hormonal or other health issues that have kept you from losing weight-or "mysteriously" gaining weight, despite best efforts at diet and exercise
- Experience a sense of euphoria at finally being able to finally lose weight-which has the bonus of also being a great depression buster!
- Retain the firmness and vitality of your face and body-unlike the sunken appearance that can result from other forms of accelerated weight loss.
- Fat loss will still occur, regardless of the level of exercise*
- Works equally well for males and females
First you may need to understand What is hCG?
hCG was first identified for its weight loss potential in the early 1950's by British born endocrinologist Dr A.W. T. Simeons after treating and observing its astounding results across countless obese patients. Following great interest from fellow practitioners and others in the health care industry, he subsequently documented his full findings and use of the hCG weight loss protocol in the book "Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity."
Over the intervening years the hCG weight loss protocol has been used widely in Europe and other parts of the world, and more recently gaining huge popularity in the United States, with continued successful and often astounding results-as the proliferation of success stories and testimonials affirm!
Yes, hCG can be used for weight loss just as effectively by both males and females. There are certain medical conditions where a male may be prescribed hCG, in addition to its use in weight loss, however it is only when combined with the specific hCG weight loss Protocol that fat loss results. A common observation is that males tend to lose more weight and often more quickly than females.
If you are making such positive health and lifestyle changes to address your weight issues, it can also be beneficial to undertake the program as a couple, for additional motivation and moral support.
No, hCG is not a sex hormone. When used for weight loss, it will not make men grow breasts or interfere with their virility nor does it make women grow a facial hair or deepen their voice. hCG is a hormone in the same way that the thyroid, insulin, cortisone, adrenalin etc, are hormones - unrelated to sexual function. As Dr Simeons so succinctly expressed it in his original manuscript:
A VLCD - or Very Low Calorie Diet - involves eating small servings of food, amounting to a low overall daily intake of calories. Whilst undertaking an hCG Protocol weight loss cycle (which can last either 3 or 6 weeks, depending on how much weight you have to lose - and how quickly you wish to lose it) - you must only consume 500 calories a day.
Under normal circumstances this would not be sufficient to sustain normal brain and body functions at optimal levels; however when hCG is circulating in the system the VLCD allows your body to access your fat stores to gain all of the nourishment it requires. Due to this action, the same calorie restriction applies to both females and males, regardless of their original body weight, without experiencing any additional hardship. This is also carefully monitored over the weekly consultations with a doctor as well as phone and email support being available throughout the program to assist where any queries may arise.
Each day whilst undergoing the active hCG cycle, your body is able to release between 1500 - 3000 calories into the bloodstream - from your abnormal fat stores By accessing your abnormal fat stores, weight is able to be lost from areas where many find frustratingly hard to shift-areas such as the stomach or buttocks, thighs and upper arms, etc. This can help in creating a more desirable body contour.
Because the fat is lost from these deeper layers and not the fat that is used to support your face and the skin tone and elasticity, most find that you do not suffer the same wrinkled or haggard face or body skin that can result from other accelerated weight loss programs.
This has been a common rebuff from those who are not familiar with the hCG Protocol for weight loss or those who have not seen first hand the remarkable outcomes for those who have undertaken the program.
Firstly, unlike pure calorie restriction, your hunger abates, so you do not feel that you are being under-nourished, not does your energy level lapse to such a degree that brain becomes foggy and your body becomes lethargic and un-responsive.
Nor will you suffer a sick, mal-nourished look; infact the action of releasing fat from your abnormal fat stores for use as energy has been reported by many to result in higher energy levels and a general feeling of euphoria. (Although the euphoria is likely to be from finally beating the age old issue of weight gain and fat in all of the wrong places)-as this is another of the major benefits of hCG over calorie restriction alone. You will find that hard to shift far stores do finally give way-and your over all bodyshape improves- even if you have felt that you have "always had big thighs", etc - it is often the case that they take on an improved body contour.
Unlike pure calorie restriction, upon completion of a 3 or 6 week course of hCG, normal calorie intake is quite quickly regained without "yoyo diet syndrome" where the body quickly regains the fat lost in its attempt to help you survive-as it prepares you for a future famine. Instead, with some simple to follow guidelines, you will find it easier to maintain your new weight, as the action of hCG at the level of the hypothalamus appears to reset your 'weight "set-point'.
Those unfamiliar with the hCG Protocol for weight loss will try to tell you that eating as little as 500 calories a day is not a healthy way to lose weight, especially if you want to keep it off. You could also quite easily form the opinion that you would get pretty hungry and not be able to sustain calorific intake at that level for a few days, let alone 3 weeks!- so firstly we encourage you to read How does HCG work to gain an understanding of how this is not only possible, but will infact be a major step towards helping you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in the longer term.
Prior to commencing an hCG Protocol cycle, you may have well experienced hunger- especially the late afternoon slump that seems to have you craving carbs, any carbs-such as bread, cakes, chocolate or almost anything sweet!
A phenomenon of the hCG Protocol is the resulting lack of hunger dieters experience while eating only 500 calories a day, as under its influence the body is re-directed to make up the deficit by taking all of the nourishment it needs from your stored fat reserves. The same calorific intake applies to both females and males, regardless of size or starting weight.
There are however some things that can influence hunger whilst on the program that you need to be aware of and should immediately raise with your doctor or consultant if you do experience hunger:
- hCG must be kept refrigerated at between 2 - 8 degrees celsius. It must also be kept out of direct light as exposure to either heat or light may begin to degrade its efficacy. It must also not be violently shaken or dropped from a height.
- For the first 2 days of your hCG course you will be told to load - focusing on high fat foods. This may seem at odds with what you would imagine is going to assist in your weight loss, however you must trust that is a vital part of making the program as successful and issues free as possible. Failing to load correctly may result in hunger for the first 4-5 days of your program - which for some can make it difficult to see how they will be able to get through the rest of the 3 or 6 weeks. If you have not loaded correctly, for most the hunger usually begins to abate late into the first week, however we encourage you to follow this simple (and may I say somewhat pleasurable) guideline so that you do not have to suffer in that way.
- Another reason why you may find yourself beginning to feel hunger is if you are experiencing "immunity", where basically your body has adapted to the hCG and you need to stop the diet and take an extra long break, otherwise the hCG will no longer acting in the appropriate way in your system.
- You may also be close to or have already reached your appropriate weight wherein your body simply does not have enough abnormal fat left to burn off, thus it is vitally important to keep in close contact with your consultant so that you can be booked in for a review, or advised of strategies to begin to move you into the maintenance phase.
If you experience unusual levels of hunger, it is best to contact the clinic to review if any of these scenarios apply to you and for appropriate steps to be undertaken.
When followed correctly the fat loss results of the hCG Protocol is often nothing short of amazing, so it is important that you try to distinguish if your hunger is really hunger or, being a creature of habit, "fake" hunger is triggered. This could be by missing a certain food you may have historically had a craving for or not snacking or eating at a time of day that you normally would.
Please ensure you drink lots of fresh bottled or filtered water. This is vitally important and can also assist with quickly abating any small amount of hunger. Green or herbal teas will also assist to take the edge off.
Some other strategies are to separate one of your servings of grissini sticks/melba toast or fruit to either the morning or mid afternoon; whenever it is that you find you are most in the habit of looking for something to nibble (as long as 2 of the same item re not kept and eaten at the same time).
Most can expect to lose approx 400gms a day-however for some people weight loss is not always that linear, thus usually averages out to somewhere between 2-4kg per week or 7-10kg over the course of the 3 weeks of the program. Some have lost even more in 3 weeks, or continued on with a 6 week course, depending on how much weight you have to lose.
The other benefit of using hCG for fat loss is that by its specific targeting of only abnormal fat reserves, it will not take your body beyond a healthy weight. Its effectiveness and actions in the body cease once you reach the appropriate level.
Exact weight loss on the hCG Protocol is subject to individual variation, which includes such differences as age, sex (men tend to lose more weight and more quickly than women) your general level of health, as well as any historical factors that may have a longer term impact on your metabolism.
For females who have up to 7kg to lose, or males up to 10kg, a 3 week program is normally sufficient.
For those who have more than 7-10kg to lose, we suggest a 6 week program, or 2 x 3 week programs-however a second cycle will need to be undertaken after a minimum of 6 weeks have passed, so that your body does not build up an immunity to hCG and potentially reduce the effectiveness. It can also allow your body a break in between.
For those with more to lose, further programs can be successfully undertaken, providing the break between is just a little longer for each subsequent course. This can be repeated until your goal weight is achieved. Contact us for a free consultation to assess what would be best for you.
Yes, that is correct. Although you may find it hard to believe, fats, oils, creams and ointments applied to the skin are absorbed and, even though it may only be in the most trace amounts, may interfere with weight reduction with hCG, just as if they had been eaten. This is due to the need for strict adherence to a specific number of daily calories from specific food sources for hCG appropriately to act as a means of weight loss.
A peculiar feature of the hCG method is an extreme sensitivity to even very minor increases in nutritional intake and, if ignored, could interfere with maximising your results. You will never know how much weight you could have lost by not abiding this one important point.
If you are in the habit of using luxury creams and lotions everyday, this may feel like this is somewhat of an adjustment; however under treatment with hCG normal fat is restored to the skin, so does not seems to result in the same impact with loss of facial and body skin tone, which can often occur using other traditional methods of weight loss.
Cosmetics that are permitted are: lipstick and lip-gloss, eye brow pencil, mineral powder and eye-shadow and any lotions that are entirely free of fatty substances. You can still use conditioner on your hair, but do not rub into the scalp. You may find your own alternatives, but to cut down on time for you to get started the program without a concern if your own products are suitable, upon commencement of the program we can provide you with a list of suggested oil free face and body products that will not interfere with your results.
The administration of hCG will not interact with any type of birth control pills nor most commonly prescribed medications-however if unsure, check with your medical practitioner. You may also discuss any existing medical conditions with the doctor in your initial consult, whereby your suitability will be assessed and other weight loss options may be discussed.
Upon commencement of the hCG Protocol you will be provided with a number of nutritional supplements to be taken in preparation the week before the active cycle begins and then carried on throughout the 3 or 6 week cycle, that are suitable for use with hCG.
The supplements provided and your own body fat will supply you with all of the nutrition your body requires, thus there is little need to take additional supplement
If you do however wish to continue any of your own supplements-you must ensure they do not include any fat or oil based substances-such as those used in fish oil, vitamin E, flax seed oil, etc or contain additives (such as rice etc) or have any calorific value (for example Spiralina). Even unknown fillers used in some supplements may compromise your results, so if unsure it is better to refrain for the short period of the active cycle.
In addition to ceasing ingesting fat or oil for the duration of the active hCG cycle, you will also need to discontinue externally applied face creams or body lotions; however upon commencement of the program we can offer you some suitable alternatives. See I have heard I can't use any oil, even on my skin?
As the hCG used in the hCG Protocol is a pharmaceutical grade medication, it is imperative that it is kept in the right conditions to maintain is efficacy; this includes keeping your hCG refrigerated, between 2 - 8 degrees celsius. Refrigerate, do not freeze and protect from light. If this is not strictly adhered to, one of the first reactions is that you may begin to experience hunger; this can be a sign that the product is compromised. If this occurs you must immediately contact the clinic.
Foods that are included on the hCG Protocol for weight loss are those often commonly found in your kitchen; however for those of you who do not regularly go to the market or cook at home, you may need to make some additional purchases. The good new is they are all food-based (not shakes or meal replacement bars) and very cost effective, due to the reduced intake of daily calories, with most finding that they save a significant amount on their food bill!
Your consultant will provide you with full list of allowable foods and suggestions on where to buy for good quality to optimise your overall health.
The diet is nutritionally balanced to include specific portions of protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, but as hCG is only effective when your body undergoes a VLCD, the portion size will seem to be quite different to your normal intake. See How does hCG Work for weight loss? This allows your body will shift its source of energy from your food to your fat stores. It is in this vein that fats and oils are also restricted for the active hCG cycle, however can be indulged in somewhat freely in the first 2 days upon commencement of the program (loading stage)-and slowly introduced again upon completion-be that after a 3 or 6 week course. Infact close to normal calorific intake is to be resumed quite quickly upon completion.
The answer is YES! Our HCG PROTOCOL Diet is just as suited to vegetarians and vegans. We've had many vegetarian and vegan patients achieve successful fat loss results using our HCG Diet program.
A VLCD (very low calorie diet) is followed for the active HCG cycle, that includes 2 meals of 100gms of lean, quality protein per day.
Those who follow Vegetarian or Vegan principals can consume the same fruit, vegetable and starch options, however we have adapted our program to include vegetarian and vegan protein sources.
Supplements included in our HCG Diet program also include both vegetarian and vegan options.
Neither a low calorie diet, nor hCG alone, will result in permanent weight loss.
The hCG Protocol is doctor prescribed and monitored. At your initial consultation the program will be discussed in full-and-once it is agreed that it is a suitable option for you, your weekly reviews will be scheduled in. This is a vital component of the program, as whilst hCG can give fast and amazing results, these only reach their maximum potential if a number of set guidelines are followed. The weekly review is not merely for your weigh- in, but to check other markers to ensure that everything is on track and look for any areas of refinement that may be necessary. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions that may arise during the week.
Our consultants are also available by phone and email to offer you support the whole way, for any queries or concerns that may arise that you feel cannot wait till your next visit to the clinic.
The hCG Protocol follows a number of fundamental nutritional principles and once the active 3 or 6 weeks cycle is completed-plus a further 3 days where you do not inject but must continue with the prescribed diet to ensure that hCG is out of your system-your normal calorie intake can be resumed again quite quickly.
To lock in the fat loss result, there is just a further 3 week period where you must restrict sugars and starches. Whilst this may seem difficult when thinking about it now, we often find that after completing a course of the hCG Protocol eating habits have been improved and this is no great chore - infact can be a pleasant experience. We also offer you some great recipe ideas so that you do not feel that you have to work it all out alone or that is will be boring or hard to stick to.
Our experienced consultants are here to help you through all of the stages, including the pre-treatment, treatment and post treatment, to ensure we help you you maximise your results, both during and at the completion of your program-and-just as importantly, to set you up for the longer term.
Contact us for a free consultation to assess if the program would be right for you!