It works and you should do it.* But you have to actually do it. What I mean is, the hCG Program is a wonderful tool to aide in rapid weight loss but it is not a magic bullet that alleviates you of responsibility. Success lies in your ability to plan and execute a very low calorie diet (VLCD) for a relatively short amount of time. Among other things, hCG helps to curb one’s appetite which makes eating so little food, doable.
hCG Discovery and Education
I had never heard of hCG (despite it’s resurgence in popularity around 2011) until 2013 when my previous employers decided to send me to an hCG expert physician for training. I’ll admit, I was extremely skeptical at first. Most people know that eating only 500 calories per day will make you lose weight, so I needed some proof that hCG aided in in the process.
The premise is that hCG, in the presence of a VLCD, will make your body utilize your fat stores, rather than muscle mass, as energy. This allows for preservation of lean body mass while burning body fat.* After personally doing the program and helping hundreds of patients do it, I’ve seen this result in action and have concluded the hCG Program will change your weight and your shape.*
I began to ask, “Why isn’t there much research on the subject?” I was astonished at the lack of quality information on the internet about the use of hCG for weight loss. There is certainly a lot of misinformation and ranting available, but I have a theory as to why it is difficult to learn find scientifically-backed research on the subject-
The original protocol by Dr. Simeons contained some very far-fetched and somewhat unsubstantiated guidelines. There were strange requirements such as not applying body lotion during the diet and not mixing vegetables in a meal. The scientific community scoffed at this protocol, likely due to some of these absurd guidelines… but I suppose they made sense to him at the time. That old protocol is no longer the generally accepted practice. Today, we have a much better handle on what is necessary and what works when using hCG for weight loss and it’s pretty simple; administer the proper dosage of hCG, follow the diet, and you will see results.
Most importantly, you have to be in the proper mindset to complete the hCG program. For the most part, people report being not hungry, feeling normal or better energy and do not have significant cravings. These patients do very well with the program. Unfortunately, I have also seen patients who struggle with the program. This happens for a few reasons-
First, they are not mentally prepared. They ruminate about the fact that they can only eat 500 calories per day. This seems to lead down a rabbit hole that ends in perceived constant starvation, being in a bad mood and ultimately cheating on the diet. It’s best to keep yourself busy, especially at times where you may look to food for comfort. Remember, your body will get as much fuel as it needs utilizing fat reserves.
Second, they are not physically prepared. This diet takes upfront dedication to meal planning and prepping. You can count on having a difficult time if you think you can simply get the type of food you need on the go. There are very, and I mean VERY few fast food/restaurant options that are appropriate for the hCG diet. I very much try to dissuade people from doing hCG if they are planning any travel during the diet period.
Another pitfall is not having a good support system or, even worse, having people in your life who discourage you when results start to be noticeable. We all know that weight loss goals can be difficult to achieve, and having a spouse/partner/friend who isn’t supportive may lead to you not attaining what you set out to do.
My Personal hCG Experience
I apologize now for the poor quality of my before/after photos… I did them on my own. But I believe they accurately show my significant transformation. My favorite part about it was that although I only lost 15 pounds, which was 5 pounds fewer than my initial goal, I was very happy with the new shape of my body and did not feel 5 more pounds lost would make me love my results that much more. Hopefully that makes sense to you! The point is that, like me, you may find that you don’t lose as much weight as you initially hoped but because of the preservation of lean muscle mass you may still get great results with your body shape.
I was diligent in my diet and meal planning. I maintained my regular exercise regimen, which was fairly intense. My husband (boyfriend at the time) didn’t kick me out so I must have been somewhat tolerable. All in all I would say it was a good experience, and I was very happy with the results. The toughest part was definitely planning my meals. I didn’t have a ton of time to come up with delicious recipes, although there are many out there, so my meals ended up being mostly bland… I hate bland. In the end, I made a decision: I wanted to have the body that reflected my health and lifestyle and was tired of making excuses. The hCG Program was just what I needed to jumpstart my journey and reset my metabolism and mindset for healthy eating going forward.