The Skinny on HCG Side Effects

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. HCG helps to utilize the nutrients in the fat stores of our bodies. In this way nourishment is provided on demand whenever needed.

How it Works

Basically, HCG dieters follow a seriously high caloric feast the first two or 3 days of the HCG diet. This is the fun part. If you have been following these blogs, you know you can eat just about anything at all.

Total fun fest.

Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, potato chips, you name it.
It can be right there on the table.

No holds barred.

Then, things get serious.

Following the loading phase, during the next 3 weeks your caloric intake is a strict 500 calories per day.

Foods rich in sugar and starch must be avoided. Remember, simple starches contain sugar; or rather they convert to sugar. A fresh baked baguette, for example even topped with salad remains off limits.

During this phase you must take the HCG injections. HCG supplies will provide you with everything you need to administer the HCG hormone (purchased separately).

A Stabilization phase or Phase 3 reintroduces some of the foods cut from your diet in Phase 2.

During this phase you may discover some foods enjoyed before such as bread, pizza, dairy; you’re now sensitive to. Feelings of sluggishness and general moodiness may indicate that a reintroduced food or its ingredients are no longer right for your body.

Remember, you have essentially detoxed your body from additives including sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, MSG, and simple starches.

Phase 4 is the phase where you will eat for life. So in other words, your new diet is now your lifestyle. During phase 3 you should have realized what foods work for you now and which do not.
But what if any are the side effects?

Preparation is Key

There is no denying that this weight loss program has worked wonders for many who have reported weight loss of between 15, 20 and even 30lbs during the three-week weight loss phase.

The use of HCG hormone is meant to maintain muscle mass and properly redistribute the body fat during the weight loss phase. HCG may also help to prevent loose and sagging skin from dieting. This is the benefit of the HCG hormone. Without the hormone, dieters may lose muscle mass in addition to fat, resulting in rapid weight gain after the program ends, even with a continued modified diet.

Muscle burns fat, so maintaining muscle increases the likelihood of maintaining weight loss after the program ends. This is particularly true with dieters following healthy food choices and continuing workout programs afterwards. Weight training is great because the anaerobic activity continues to boost metabolism after the workout has ended.

Cynics argue that weight loss has more to do with the calorie restriction and nothing to do with the HCG hormone. Those in favor of the founder, Doctor Simeons’ Protocol, argue the results and the benefit of the HCG program were suppressed by mainstream diet companies and researchers from around the 1970’s onwards. They suggest that today it is presented as an unconventional and new diet when in fact it has been around for over 60 years.

Clearly, there will be food cravings. It seems we are programmed to crave something we can no longer have. Tell a child not to eat the cookies before dinner, and you can bet from that moment, all the child thinks about is eating cookies before dinner even if they hadn’t thought about cookies all day!

This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t modify a busy routine. Nobody is suggesting your usual 3 hours a week Zumba. In fact, it is discouraged. What is recommended is gentle exercise. Additionally, nobody suggests tackling this diet while pregnant, or planning to become pregnant. Common sense should always win out.

Nutritional Deficiencies?

The misconception with HCG diet plan is nutritional deficiency. There are plenty of meal plans available. In fact, HCG Supplies offers a free download to help you with your diet plan.

The HCG diet even allows you to eat steak, shrimp, even lobster. What it does not allow you to do is to eat the entire cow, the entire lobster and an entire catch of shrimp.

So sure, if you’re used to loading your plate at every single meal, you may experience some hunger. Remember, for the health of your life, you are trying to retrain your brain to smaller portions, and a healthy approach to eating.

The HCG diet allows you to eat fruit and vegetables, even a few small crackers. The 500 calories are spread throughout the day with the injections taken at the same time each day. You are encouraged to drink plenty of water. You are also able to drink black coffee and unsweetened black tea.

Swinging Moods

Mood swings are another concern with critics of the HCG diet. But think of it this way. You are removing excess sugars and additives from your system. This may include alcohol, preservatives, and MSG. That can come as a shock to a body used to consuming those things regularly.

Some of those food and drink choices may have been a habit; they may even have been addictive.

Sugar, for example can be very addictive.

Think about that 2:00pm chocolate fix. Prior to starting the diet, you may not normally have eaten lunch, but you would have an afternoon chocolate bar. That is your habit. You don’t think of it as an addiction but, if you are dependent on it to get through the afternoon….

The same goes for the 5:00 o’clock wine and spirits when you arrive home after a crazy day at work. These routines become habits, potentially altering the brain chemistry.

Psychologically, if your attitude on the HCG diet is one of deprivation then our mood is going to bottom out even more. Attitude can really be everything.
Your HCG diet brain is rebelling. It is doing absolutely everything possible in order to survive.

We are hardwired to not like change. It keeps us safe. It keeps us warm. It maintains everything we know and trust.

It’s called survival.

So even though we want to eat healthy, even though we know we want to lose weight, even though our brain says, yes let’s do this, behind our back, it does everything it can to sabotage our efforts. Hence the mood swing as we reach for a treat that is no longer there.

Understanding the psychology can help us get through those moments. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as you know why it’s there.
Remember, you are removing toxins and bad habits from the body.

Now, a disclaimer. If you have a history of depression, anxiety, or any other medical condition, consult with your doctor before embarking on this or any diet.

At the end of the day, where the real side effect is weight loss, and a healthy approach to nutrition and portion control, what is there to lose? The answer is pounds and inches.

HCG Diet Phase Four. Welcome to Food!

Congratulations! You made it. You absolutely did it. What a journey it has been. From the early days of Phase One, when, in between bites of anything you wanted, you wondered what Phase Two would be like. To the re-imagining of yourself during Phase Three when you carefully began redesigning your eating habits toward a more permanent, balanced lifestyle.

Here you are at Phase Four of your HCG Diet Protocol. Awesome.

But wait! What exactly is Phase Four? Does this mean there are more restrictions? Do I have to up my intake of the HGC hormone? Do I have to eat a plate full of weird looking green pasta from a health shop?

No. Because Phase Four is all about re-entering the so called real world of food, and learning to make educated, healthy choices during normal dining experiences with friends and family.

Getting Out Again

During the three previous phases, chances are, you might have stayed home a bit more. Particularly if this was your first time cycling through the diet plan. Outside of any lunch breaks with your co-workers, you might have felt a bit odd sitting in a restaurant, turning down just about everything on the menu, much to the annoyance of family and friends.

Phase Three meant you were able to start re-introducing certain foods back into your diet, while watching for carb, dairy, and sugar sensitivities, their reaction on your weight, and overall wellbeing. Phase Three was also about slowly rebuilding your daily caloric intake, finally bringing you to around 1,500 calories per day depending on the demands of your lifestyle; highly physical or fairly sedentary.

Think of Phase Four as the phase without an end. This is how you eat going forward. Essentially, now you are responsible for maintaining a healthy weight and to continue figuring out what meals are best going to help you stay on goal.

For some dieters, this can seem intimidating. The previous three phases offered the support of a structure. No matter how many times we might have railed against the caloric restriction, or the Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) shots, now we are standing out there alone; we appreciate the structure we once had.

Maintenance Level

No diet comes without maintenance. The HCG Diet Protocol helped get you to your goal. The goal however, is not to remain at Phase Three or Phase Two forever. It is important to continue making the healthy choices at the right portions similar to the final week of Phase Three where you reached almost 2,000 calories per day.

Fail to maintain and you could be pulling those fat jeans back out of the closet again!

Maintenance though, does not have to be a challenge. Think about it, just being on the HGC Diet Protocol, you are already aware of what you are putting into your body and how it affects your mood, water retention and other factors. During Phase Three where a careful reintroduction of food types took place, you might have discovered a sensitivity to some foods. Prior to being on the diet, you were unaware of the negative effects on your body that certain foods may have had, due in large part to their being just lumped in with everything else you were eating at that time.

Now, with greater awareness, you have a default structure built in, and it is this structure that will maintain your path to continued success.

Still a Diet?

Don’t think of Phase Four as a diet per se. You are literally eating for life. As in better long-term health with more energy to do the things you enjoy doing. Eating well through nutritiously dense calories packed with protein, vitamins, and micro nutrients just makes sense!

So, instead of telling people you are on a diet, tell them, this is your diet instead. Far more empowering, giving you more control over how you view the new lifestyle emerging from your weight loss.

Check your Labels

Restrict all processed foods as much as possible, but if you absolutely must, check labels for salt, fats, and sugar. Go for fresh and if possible, organic every time. Allow a little extra time for grocery shopping, so you can check labels. Salad dressings are notorious for high sugar in the form of fructose. Oil or vinegar-based dressings are always going to be better for you.

Stay clear of fast food restaurants, and avoid simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bleached flour, rice, and sugary foods. Anything that is refined. As you introduce foods back into your digestive system, opt for whole grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables. In fact, your carbohydrates should ideally come from these.

Research on line for foods that you like, as well as recipes. Check your HCG Supplier for recipe downloads and tips. Nowadays there are some great savory and sweet food combination ideas for just about every diet out there. HCG is no exception!

Join an on-line HCG Diet support group where you and others can share your HCG Protocol journey along with others. Groups can be a great support, especially if you have fallen off a little bit during a special occasion.

Treat Yourself!

Not with food! Now that you have squeezed into your ideal size, it might be tempting to throw everything aside for a day or two and indulge. After all, you tell yourself; you have earned it!

While, undoubtedly you have, indulging in carbs and sugary foods will only lead to feelings of self-doubt and guilt later on. Not to mention the possible revisiting of a pound or two or more.

Instead, treat yourself to a new dress or a new pair of jeans. Something that makes you feel good and showcases the dedication you have put into transforming your life.

Get Appy

Apps and websites are great resources to help you stay on track. Phase Four is all about setting up for continued success, so yes, there will be calorie counting. Apps and websites can give you a complete calorie, fat, and nutritional breakdown of each of the different foods you want to eat. If possible, download one or two of these apps onto your device or smart phone, so that no matter where you eat, you remain in control of your healthy lifestyle.

So here we are. Phase Four. Reach out to your HCG supplier for information about meal planning, recipe ideas, and calorie counting.

You have come this far. You’ve got this. Trust me.