The hCG diet has remained popular for years. Although hCG is not intended for weight loss and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called the diet dangerous, hCG diet reviews from those who have used it are largely positive. The reason the FDA warns against the diet is that it is extreme. The diet claims to provide up to a pound or two of weight loss per day.

The hCG diet is a very low-calorie diet, which restricts food intake to 500 calories per day but promises that you won’t feel hungry while you are on the diet. Reading hCG diet reviews and comparing it to other diets can help you find the best method for you to reach your weight loss goals.

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What Are HCG Diet Reviews?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the hormone that is present in the body during pregnancy and detected by home pregnancy tests. The hormone is also used for infertility in men and women. An off-label use of the hormone is weight loss, but it is not approved by the FDA for this purpose. The diet was developed in 1954 by a British physician named Albert Simeons, and hCG diet reviews have been largely positive from that time until now.

Dr. Simeons developed the diet with two components: a diet of only 500 calories per day and daily hormone injections of hCG. You can learn about the effectiveness and results others have gotten from this diet by reading hCG diet reviews and comparing the results with other diet plans.


How Does the HGC Diet Work?

Advocates of the hCG diet assert that the diet is effective for boosting the metabolism and curbing hunger, so you lose weight and burn fat without feeling hungry. There are several theories that explain the weight loss mechanism of this hormone. Detractors of the diet insist that the weight loss benefits gained from the diet are solely caused by the very low-calorie diet and not from the hormone.

One major problem with diets, in general, is that there is often a loss of muscle mass, as well as fat loss. When calories are severely restricted, this becomes an even greater concern. However, the use of hCG promotes fat loss and limits muscle loss. The hormone elevates other hormones in the body and boosts metabolism. This leads to an anabolic state, or muscle building state, which helps you burn fat without losing muscle mass.

Three Phases of the hCG Diet

Phase one of the hCG diet is known as the “loading phase” and during this phase, you do not have to restrict calories or the foods that you enjoy. The loading phase lasts for the first two days of the diet. During this time, you are encouraged to eat plenty of high fat and high-calorie foods. Enjoy all your favorite foods and do not limit the quantity of the food you are eating. You will begin taking hCG on the first day of the diet and continue throughout the first two phases.

Phase two is known as the weight loss phase of the diet. This lasts from three to six weeks, depending on the amount of weight an individual has to lose. During this phase, you will continue to take the hCG and consume a diet of only 500 calories per day. There are many food restrictions during this phase of the diet.

Phase three is the maintenance phase. You will stop using hCG and increase your food intake gradually. You should avoid sugar and starch for the first three weeks of the maintenance phase and then you may have sugar or starch in small amounts. It is important to note that you may regain the weight you lost if you go back to a high-fat, high-calorie diet after the maintenance phase. Stick to healthy food choices to maintain your weight loss.

Foods on the hCG Diet

When you are in the weight loss phase of the diet, you are only allowed 500 calories per day. This is usually limited to only two meals, lunch, and dinner. However, if you have blood sugar issues, you may need to have a small snack in the morning. If you have a health condition, you should talk to your doctor before trying any weight loss method to make sure it is safe for you.

There are several food restrictions on this diet. You cannot have sugar, butter, or oils of any kind. During each of the two meals, you are directed to include one protein, one vegetable, one bread, and one fruit. However, there are many restrictions on the foods that are allowed.

The meats that are allowed are broiled or grilled chicken breast, beef, veal, fresh white fish, crab, shrimp, or lobster. There should be no visible fat on the meat. Vegetables include spinach, beet greens, tomatoes, green salad, celery, cucumbers, chard, onions, asparagus, fennel, and cabbage. Fruits that are allowed on the diet include an apple, orange, half a grapefruit, or a handful of strawberries. Bread can be either a breadstick or melba toast. Drinks are limited to water or coffee or tea without sugar.

Choosing Quality hCG

One reason that hCG diet reviews are mixed may be attributed to the quality of the hCG that people are using. The original diet calls for the use of hCG injections, which contain the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin. There are also diet drops that contain true hCG. However, there are a variety of products on the market now, including drops, sprays, and pellets.

It is important to note that not all of these products actually contain hCG in amounts that are sufficient for curbing hunger on the diet. Some products sold in stores are homeopathic drops, sprays, or pellets. These may contain little, if any, hCG. If you are feeling starved on the diet, make sure you are actually taking authentic hCG, since the homeopathic products may not contain enough of the hormone to produce the desired results.

Cost

The cost of the diet is the cost of your food and the hCG injections, which can vary in price depending on how long you are on the weight loss phase. For example, if you are on it for six weeks, the injections will cost twice as much as if you only stayed on it for three weeks. Various hCG diet reviews mention the cost of the hormone as between $ and $$ per injection.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare to hCG diet reviews.

Diet Doc

The Atkins Diet

Intermittent Fasting

HGC Diet

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Price $$$

Between food and injections this diet can get pricey.

Variety of Food (3 Stars)

The food choices are severely limited, so there is not a lot of variety. Because of the limitations, this diet is very difficult for people who are vegetarian or vegan to follow. In addition, it is not gluten-free.

Difficulty to Follow (4 stars)

For many people, this diet is difficult to follow, due to the limitations on food choices. Some hCG diet reviews from people who have tried the diet mention that eating out in a restaurant is very difficult, if not impossible. However, if you are willing to stick to the food choices, the diet is not hard to follow and the directions are clear.

Long-Term Effects (4 stars)

The hCG diet reviews vary widely on the long-term effects. As with any diet, you can’t go back to your old ways of eating and expect to keep the weight off. However, if you commit to healthy lifestyle changes, you will keep the weight off.

Research (5 stars)

This diet is based on research from Dr. Albert Simeons, as well as many other studies. The results of the studies do vary, with some showing results and others insisting that the hormone does nothing for weight loss and attribute the weight loss to the low-calorie diet alone.

Pros

  • Significant weight loss
  • Appetite control
  • Burns fat, not muscle

Cons

  • Food choices are severely limited
  • Requires strict adherence to the protocol
  • Not easily adaptable for vegetarians

Diet Doc

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Diet Doc is a personalized weight loss program that involves consuming between 800 and 1250 calories per day, depending on the individualized program. Prescription medications in the form of injections and sublingual tablets are prescribed by doctors after an online consultation. The diet website claims that their plan helps people lose a lot of weight while curbing the appetite.

Price $$$ 

The cost of the medicines, supplements, and support is between $$-$$$ per month, plus the cost of food.

Variety of Food (3 stars)

The verity of foods varies, depending on your customized weight loss plan. However, there are many food restrictions on this diet.

Difficulty to Follow (4 stars)

You must commit to following the customized food plans that are provided.

Long-Term Effects (4 stars)

They claim weight loss benefits of 10 to 15 pounds per month, but you must commit to long-term behavior modification and lifestyle changes to maintain weight loss.

Research (3 stars)

The Diet Doc website claims that their methods are based on research, but don’t provide details or results of studies.

Pros

  • Customized weight loss plan
  • Licensed US-based physicians
  • Access to online support

Cons

  • The website is vague about what is in their medications
  • The medication cost can be high
  • Lack of details of research

Atkins Diet

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The Atkins Diet was developed by cardiologist Dr. Atkins. The diet has two different programs, depending on how much weight you want to lose. The Atkins 20 limits carb intake to 20g per day and the Atkins 40 allows up to 40g of net carbs. The diet promises to lower sugar levels, help you lose weight, reduce fat storage, and control hunger.
 

Price $$

The cost of your foods is the only cost. There are prepackaged Atkins foods, but you don’t have to use them.

Variety of Food (4 stars)

A variety of foods are allowed on this diet, but it is low carb. You will need to stick to the plan for all four phases of the diet.

Difficulty to Follow (3 stars)

The food restrictions on this diet can make it difficult to follow. You may find that it is difficult to eat in restaurants and stick to the food restrictions.

Long-Term Effects (4 stars)

You will need to commit to lifestyle changes in the long term to maintain your weight loss. Otherwise, you may gain the weight back.

Research (5 stars)

The diet is based on research by Dr. Atkins based on how the body burns fat and uses food as fuel. There have been dozens of clinical studies that show the diet can produce results.

Pros

  • No need to count calories
  • Cholesterol levels are often reduced
  • Learn to eat healthy carbs

Cons

  • The diet plan is strict
  • Eating out is challenging
  • High risk of bingeing

Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting can be done in a few ways. You can feast and fast on alternate days, use a modified fasting plan of five days of normal eating and two nonconsecutive days of fasting, during which you limit your intake to 500 calories per day, or use time restricted food limits, which limits food to a specific time window, such as 12 hours of eating and 12 hours of fasting. This is the most common way that intermittent fasting is used.
 

Price $$

The only cost if the money you spend on food.

Variety of Food (5 stars)

There are no food restrictions during the times when you are allowed to eat. However, if you eat high fat, high-calorie foods during these times, it may limit your weight loss results. It is important to stick to healthy food choices most of the time to get results.

Difficulty to Follow (4 stars)

Can be difficult to follow for some people. For example, if you work late at night, it can be difficult to maintain the hours of fasting. In addition, if you want to go out at night with friends, but you are in your fasting hours, it can be hard to stick to the protocol.

Long-Term Effects (4 stars)

Proponents of this weight loss plan claim that the weight loss benefits can be maintained, as long as you stick to the program and limit food intake to earlier in the day.

Research (4 stars)

This diet is based on research into your circadian rhythms, metabolism, and limiting food intake late at night, which is known to prevent weight loss and contribute to weight gain.

Pros

  • Promotes weight loss
  • Works with your natural circadian clock
  • Prevents overeating at night, which contributes to weight gain

Cons

  • Some studies have shown no difference in weight loss
  • Can be difficult if you work a non-standard schedule, such as shift work
  • Higher dropout rate than other diets

Conclusion

measure the waist

Image via Pexels

The hCG diet has produced results for many people since it was developed in 1954. There are many positive hCG diet reviews from people who have lost a significant amount of weight. However, you must be committed to the low-calorie diet and willing to take injections daily. In addition, you must stick to positive dietary changes to maintain weight loss.


Featured Image source: Pixabay.com

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