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The following information is for educational purposes only. Due to new FDA Compounding Guidelines and Telehealth Certifications,
Nu Image Medical no longer offers the HCG Weight Loss Program. GOOD NEWS! We have developed something better and easier: WAYT-less!

How does the HCG Diet Work

How does the HCG Diet Work
Sometimes it's not quite clear exactly how the HCG diet works, but before you start the diet you should have a good understanding of its basic principles. The HCG diet is a very low calorie diet where you are restricted to just 500-550 kcal per day (for the majority of patients), with strict limitations on the types of foods that you can eat as well as over the counter medications and even cosmetics. The diet utilizes the fat metabolizing effect of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin in combination with a diet that is low enough in daily calorie intake to cause rapid weight loss.

A calorie deficit results in weight loss

The average amount of calories the human body needs is around 2,000 per day. Most medically supervised very low calorie diets will provide about 800-1200 kcal per day of carefully selected foods. This type of diet usually results in about 2 pounds of weight loss per week depending on the level of calorie restriction and other factors. Although this can help a large number of people, there are many patients who need to lose a significantly larger amount of weight per week. The HCG diet often results in much faster weight loss when it is properly followed, and a properly medically supervised round of the HCG diet can realistically result in 5-15 pounds of weight loss in 3 weeks or 15 to 40 pounds or more in six weeks.

The calorie deficit is safe for patients while they are on the HCG diet because the hormone provides them with all of the energy that they need. If a patient requires 2,500 kcal per day, the hormone will help the body metabolize 2,000 calories of abnormal fat quickly to provide that excess energy. That's why patients on the HCG diet are often energized and don't feel fatigued or hungry, even though they are eating far less than what they are used to. The calorie deficit on the diet is much more sustainable than other medically supervised very low calorie diets, and that's the main difference.

Very low calorie diets like the HCG diet are proven for weight loss

The reason why the HCG diet is designed as a very low calorie diet is simply because of the fact that these diets are proven and effective for weight loss. They have been shown time and time again to result in rapid weight loss, however not all of the diets are properly designed or even safe for patients. The HCG diet is unique in the fact that's one of the few very low calorie diets that have been extensively clinically researched and proven by thousands of patients. Hundreds of thousands of patients have tried the diet and it has been life changing for the vast majority of them, and it usually provides far better results than other diets they have tried in the past.

The diet has had a few formal clinical studies which have proven that it is more effective for weight loss than other very low calorie diets. The studies have been discussed on this blog, and they have generally found that the diet is effective for preserving muscle mass while the weight loss occurs. Most weight loss diets will result in muscle mass loss unless there are measures taken to prevent it, but the hormone helps the body focus its energy needs on abnormal fat as opposed to lean muscle. Other studies have found that the hormone itself causes a faster rate of weight loss and that patients have fewer side effects when injecting the hormone.

The HCG diet has several health benefits

As mentioned previously the diet is perfectly safe and helps the body focus on metabolizing abnormal fat when the patient is on the very low calorie portion. With the substantial amount of weight loss that can occur on the diet, patients can expect to lose several pounds after the diet completed, assuming that they follow the protocol properly. The weight loss can result in several health advantages and benefits including a lower risk of developing heart disease, better mobility and fewer joint problems, an improved blood cholesterol and lipid profile, reduced inflammation levels, and a lower risk of stroke and other illnesses.

The health benefits are seen more commonly with the HCG diet as opposed to other very low calorie diets because of how effective the diet is at weight loss. On the HCG diet, patients can expect to lose more weight than they ever have on other diets, and it can improve their lives almost immediately. There are very few disadvantages to the diet, and the diet is very easy to follow and straightforward. Obese patients who may have been considering gastric bypass surgery will often be able to lose the amount of weight that they need to lose while on the HCG diet and often won't have to resort to surgery. The same goes for other patients who are at risk of hypertension, diabetes and other illnesses; they are often able to reverse their symptoms and reduce the chance of developing whichever illness that they may have had a predisposition for.

Very low calorie diets are not meant to be followed for a long period of time

In many cases a very low calorie diet should not be followed for more than six to eight weeks in a row, which is why the HCG diet is limited to that amount of time. However, this period of time is sufficient for a large amount of weight loss, and the diet can be safely repeated by the majority of patients. Those with more weight to lose can easily repeat the six week HCG diet after a brief waiting period to quickly get to their target weight. Although other very low calorie diets can result in weight loss, the HCG diet is by far one of the fastest if not the fastest. And in every case, a very low calorie diet should be medically supervised and there should be a patient screening prior to starting the diet to ensure that it is safe. For more information about the HCG diet and its benefits, contact Nu Image Medical today.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read