People seldom think about the nutritional value of the foods they put into their mouths. Typically, the taste of the food is all that matters. Given what the food industry has done to make treats plentiful and tempting, it’s no wonder that so many of us end up fat! It can become a vicious cycle of eating, followed by looking for ways to burn off the resulting, unsightly fat. One weight-loss solution that has caught the attention of dieters everywhere is called the HCG diet.
HCG is a hormone–human chorionic gonadotropin–that can be taken in the form of drops, sprays, tablets, or injections. This hormone is produced during pregnancy, and can be found in plentiful supply in the placenta. It’s one of the hormones used to detect pregnancies, in fact, because it can be detected at around eleven days after conception. What the hormone does is that it provides a fetus with access to a mother’s fat supplies, allowing it to draw upon her stores energy and use it for its own growth needs. Dr. Albert Simeons, a British scientist working in the 1950s, made popular the concept that this hormone could also be harnessed to facilitate weight loss in adult humans. The idea is simple: since HCG allows embryos to more efficiently burn its mother’s fats stores, the same hormone could help adults burn through their own fat stores more efficiently, too.
If you caught the reference to injections, above, don’t worry! HCG comes in tablet and liquid drop forms, too. Aside from that, people who wish to try the HCG diet must commit to following a twenty-three to forty-day protocol. As with any diet program, there are rules about what one can and cannot eat while on the diet. Along with the HCG itself, success with this diet requires that one limit the number of calories taken in. First, a dieter gets to load up on food. (A great way to start, don’t you think?) The first two days of the diet plan call for the build-up of fat stores. This is done by eating lots and lots of high-fat and high-calorie foods. After that–especially for those who have opted for the forty-day plan–the next thirty-eight days will require no more than 500 calories per day. The maintenance phase comes next, which will last for three weeks. During that time, the HCG dieter may not eat sugars or starchy foods. Also, during the entire diet, one must keep up with the recommended daily doses of the HCG itself.