1. What is the foundation of the use of hCG for weight loss?
hCG was first identified for its weight loss potential in the early 1950’s by British born endocrinologist Dr A.W. T. Simeons after treating and observing its astounding results across countless obese patients. Following great interest from fellow practitioners and others in the health care industry, he subsequently documented his full findings and use of the hCG weight loss cycle in the book “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity.”
Over the intervening years the hCG weight loss cycle has been used widely in Europe and other parts of the world, and more recently gaining huge popularity in the United States, with continued successful and often astounding results–as the proliferation of success stories and testimonials to affirm!
2. Can men use hCG for weight loss?
Yes, hCG can be used for weight loss just as effectively by both males and females. There are certain medical conditions where a male may be prescribed hCG, in addition to its use in weight loss, however it is only when combined with the specific hCG weight loss Cycle that fat loss results. A common observation is that males tend to lose more weight and often more quickly than females.
If you are making such positive health and lifestyle changes to address your weight issues, it can also be beneficial to undertake the program as a couple, for additional motivation and moral support.
3. What is a VLCD?
A VLCD – or Very Low Calorie Diet – involves eating small servings of food, amounting to a low overall daily intake of calories. Whilst undertaking an hCG Cycle weight loss cycle (which can last either 3 or 6 weeks, depending on how much weight you have to lose – and how quickly you wish to lose it) – you must only consume 500 calories a day.
Under normal circumstances this would not be sufficient to sustain normal brain and body functions at optimal levels; however when hCG is circulating in the system the VLCD allows your body to access your fat stores to gain all of the nourishment it requires. Due to this action, the same calorie restriction applies to both females and males, regardless of their original body weight, without experiencing any additional hardship. This is also carefully monitored over the weekly consultations with a doctor as well as phone and email support being available throughout the program to assist where any queries may arise.
Each day whilst undergoing the active hCG cycle, your body is able to release between 1500 – 3000 calories into the bloodstream – from your abnormal fat stores By accessing your abnormal fat stores, weight is able to be lost from areas where many find frustratingly hard to shift–areas such as the stomach or buttocks, thighs and upper arms, etc. This can help in creating a more desirable body contour.
Because the fat is lost from these deeper layers and not the fat that is used to support your face and the skin tone and elasticity, most find that you do not suffer the same wrinkled or haggard face or body skin that can result from other accelerated weight loss programs.
4. Can’t I just lose weight eating a VLCD without hCG?
This has been a common rebuff from those who are not familiar with the hCG Cycle for weight loss or those who have not seen first hand the remarkable outcomes for those who have undertaken the program.
Firstly, unlike pure calorie restriction, your hunger abates, so you do not feel that you are being under-nourished, not does your energy level lapse to such a degree that brain becomes foggy and your body becomes lethargic and un-responsive.
Nor will you suffer a sick, mal-nourished look; in fact the action of releasing fat from your abnormal fat stores for use as energy has been reported by many to result in higher energy levels and a general feeling of euphoria. (Although the euphoria is likely to be from finally beating the age old issue of weight gain and fat in all of the wrong places)–as this is another of the major benefits of hCG over calorie restriction alone. You will find that hard to shift far stores do finally give way–and your overall body shape improves– even if you have felt that you have “always had big thighs”, etc – it is often the case that they take on an improved body contour.
Unlike pure calorie restriction, upon completion of a 3 or 6 week course of hCG, normal calorie intake is quite quickly regained without “yoyo diet syndrome” where the body quickly regains the fat lost in its attempt to help you survive–as it prepares you for a future famine. Instead, with some simple to follow guidelines, you will find it easier to maintain your new weight, as the action of hCG at the level of the hypothalamus appears to reset your ‘weight “set-point’.
5. Won’t I get hungry on such a limited number of calories?
Those unfamiliar with the hCG Cycle for weight loss will try to tell you that eating as little as 500 calories a day is not a healthy way to lose weight, especially if you want to keep it off. You could also quite easily form the opinion that you would get pretty hungry and not be able to sustain calorific intake at that level for a few days, let alone 3 weeks!– so firstly we encourage you to read How does HCG work to gain an understanding of how this is not only possible, but will in fact be a major step towards helping you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in the longer term.
Prior to commencing a hCG Cycle, you may have well experienced hunger- especially the late afternoon slump that seems to have you craving carbs, any carbs–such as bread, cakes, chocolate or almost anything sweet!
A phenomenon of the hCG Cycle is the resulting lack of hunger dieters experience while eating only 500 calories a day, as under its influence the body is re-directed to make up the deficit by taking all of the nourishment it needs from your stored fat reserves. The same calorific intake applies to both females and males, regardless of size or starting weight.
There are however some things that can influence hunger whilst on the program that you need to be aware of and should immediately raise with your doctor or consultant if you do experience hunger:
• hCG must be kept refrigerated at between 2 – 8 degrees Celsius. It must also be kept out of direct light as exposure to either heat or light may begin to degrade its efficacy. It must also not be violently shaken or dropped from a height.
• For the first 2 days of your hCG course you will be told to load – focusing on high fat foods. This may seem at odds with what you would imagine is going to assist in your weight loss, however you must trust that is a vital part of making the program as successful and issues free as possible. Failing to load correctly may result in hunger for the first 4-5 days of your program – which for some can make it difficult to see how they will be able to get through the rest of the 3 or 6 weeks. If you have not loaded correctly, for most the hunger usually begins to abate late into the first week, however we encourage you to follow this simple (and may I say somewhat pleasurable) guideline so that you do not have to suffer in that way.
• Another reason why you may find yourself beginning to feel hunger is if you are experiencing “immunity”, where basically your body has adapted to the hCG and you need to stop the diet and take an extra-long break, otherwise the hCG will no longer acting in the appropriate way in your system.
• You may also be close to or have already reached your appropriate weight wherein your body simply does not have enough abnormal fat left to burn off, thus it is vitally important to keep in close contact with your consultant so that you can be booked in for a review, or advised of strategies to begin to move you into the maintenance phase.
• If you experience unusual levels of hunger, it is best to contact the studio to review if any of these scenarios apply to you and for appropriate steps to be undertaken.
6. What to do if you do start to experience hunger?
When followed correctly the fat loss results of the hCG Cycle is often nothing short of amazing, so it is important that you try to distinguish if your hunger is really hunger or, being a creature of habit, “fake” hunger is triggered. This could be by missing a certain food you may have historically had a craving for or not snacking or eating at a time of day that you normally would.
Please ensure you drink lots of fresh bottled or filtered water. This is vitally important and can also assist with quickly abating any small amount of hunger. Green or herbal teas will also assist to take the edge off.
Some other strategies are to separate one of your servings of grissini sticks/melba toast or fruit to either the morning or mid-afternoon; whenever it is that you find you are most in the habit of looking for something to nibble (as long as 2 of the same item re not kept and eaten at the same time).
7. How much weight can I expect to lose?
Most can expect to lose approx. 400gms a day–however for some people weight loss is not always that linear, thus usually averages out to somewhere between 2–4kg per week or 7–10kg over the course of the 3 weeks of the program. Some have lost even more in 3 weeks, or continued on with a 6 week course, depending on how much weight you have to lose.
The other benefit of using hCG for fat loss is that by its specific targeting of only abnormal fat reserves, it will not take your body beyond a healthy weight. Its effectiveness and actions in the body cease once you reach the appropriate level.
Exact weight loss on the hCG Cycle is subject to individual variation, which includes such differences as age, sex (men tend to lose more weight and more quickly than women) your general level of health, as well as any historical factors that may have a longer term impact on your metabolism.
8. How long do I need to stay on hCG?
For females who have up to 7kg to lose, or males up to 10kg, a 3 week program is normally sufficient.
For those who have more than 7-10kg to lose, we suggest a 6 week program, or 2 x 3 week programs–however a second cycle will need to be undertaken after a minimum of 6 weeks have passed, so that your body does not build up an immunity to hCG and potentially reduce the effectiveness. It can also allow your body a break in between.
For those with more to lose, further programs can be successfully undertaken, providing the break between is just a little longer for each subsequent course. This can be repeated until your goal weight is achieved.
9. I have heard I can’t use any oil, even on my skin?
Yes, that is correct. Although you may find it hard to believe, fats, oils, creams and ointments applied to the skin are absorbed and, even though it may only be in the most trace amounts, may interfere with weight reduction with hCG, just as if they had been eaten. This is due to the need for strict adherence to a specific number of daily calories from specific food sources for hCG appropriately to act as a means of weight loss.
A peculiar feature of the hCG method is an extreme sensitivity to even very minor increases in nutritional intake and, if ignored, could interfere with maximising your results. You will never know how much weight you could have lost by not abiding this one important point.
If you are in the habit of using luxury creams and lotions every day, this may feel like this is somewhat of an adjustment; however under treatment with hCG normal fat is restored to the skin, so does not seems to result in the same impact with loss of facial and body skin tone, which can often occur using other traditional methods of weight loss.
Cosmetics that are permitted are: lipstick and lip-gloss, eye brow pencil, mineral powder and eye-shadow and any lotions that are entirely free of fatty substances. You can still use conditioner on your hair, but do not rub into the scalp. You may find your own alternatives, but to cut down on time for you to get started the program without a concern if your own products are suitable, upon commencement of the program we can provide you with a list of suggested oil free face and body products that will not interfere with your results.
10. What if I am taking prescription medication and/or supplements?
The administration of hCG will not interact with any type of birth control pills nor most commonly prescribed medications–however if unsure, check with your medical practitioner.
If you do however wish to continue any of your own supplements–you must ensure they do not include any fat or oil based substances–such as those used in fish oil, vitamin E, flax seed oil, etc. or contain additives (such as rice, etc) or have any calorific value (for example Spirulina). Even unknown fillers used in some supplements may compromise your results, so if unsure it is better to refrain for the short period of the active cycle.
In addition to ceasing ingesting fat or oil for the duration of the active hCG cycle, you will also need to discontinue externally applied face creams or body lotions; however upon commencement of the program we can offer you some suitable alternatives.
11. Does hCG need to be kept refrigerated?
As the hCG used in the hCG Cycle is a pharmaceutical grade medication, it is imperative that it is kept in the right conditions to maintain is efficacy; this includes keeping your hCG refrigerated, between 2 – 8 degrees Celsius. Refrigerate, do not freeze and protect from light. If this is not strictly adhered to, one of the first reactions is that you may begin to experience hunger; this can be a sign that the product is compromised. If this occurs you must immediately contact the studio.
12. Do I need to buy special hCG diet food?
Foods that are included on the hCG Cycle for weight loss are those often commonly found in your kitchen. The good news is all food is food-based (not shakes or meal replacement bars) and very cost effective, due to the reduced intake of daily calories, with most finding that they save a significant amount on their food bill! A food list and recipe booklet is provided.
13. What is involved in the hCG Cycle diet?
The diet is nutritionally balanced to include specific portions of protein, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, but as hCG is only effective when your body undergoes a VLCD (Very low calorie Diet), the portion size will seem to be quite different to your normal intake. This allows your body to shift its source of energy from your food to your fat stores. It is in this vein that fats and oils are also restricted for the active hCG cycle, however can be indulged in somewhat freely in the first 2 days upon commencement of the program (loading stage)–and slowly introduced again upon completion. In fact close to normal caloric intake is to be resumed quite quickly upon completion.
14. Does the hCG Cycle allow for vegetarians?
A VLCD must be followed for the active hCG cycle, that allows for 2 meals of 100gms of lean, quality protein per day. For those who follow vegetarian principles, options include eggs (1 whole egg (yolk and white) + 3 egg whites) equivalent to 100gms lean protein. These can be poached or boiled.
Other non-meat alternatives include lean cottage cheese (if available from skim milk) – but no other cheese are allowed–due to the higher fat content that needs to be limited during the active cycle.
Other alternatives for vegetarians include substituting 500mls of skim milk for either of the 100gms protein portions–however it has been observed in some this may slightly slow the weight loss, so not suggested to be used as the main source of protein.
Vegetarians can consume the same fruit and vegetable options as non-vegetarians, but most refrain from vegetable proteins from leguminous plants such as beans or from wheat or nuts, nor should they substitute rice for their complex carbohydrate portion (grissini stick or melba toast).
15. How we help you get the best fat loss result
Neither a low calorie diet, nor hCG alone, will result in permanent weight loss.
The hCG Cycle is doctor prescribed and monitored. At your initial consultation the program will be discussed in full–and–once it is agreed that it is a suitable option for you, your weekly reviews will be scheduled in. This is a vital component of the program, as whilst hCG can give fast and amazing results, these only reach their maximum potential if a number of set guidelines are followed. The weekly review is not merely for your weigh- in, but to check other markers to ensure that everything is on track and look for any areas of refinement that may be necessary. It is also an opportunity to ask any questions that may arise during the week.
Our consultants are also available by phone and email to offer you support the whole way, for any queries or concerns that may arise that you feel cannot wait till your next visit to the studio.
The hCG Cycle follows a number of fundamental nutritional principles and once the active 3 or 6 weeks cycle is completed–plus a further 3 days where you do not inject but must continue with the prescribed diet to ensure that hCG is out of your system–your normal calorie intake can be resumed again quite quickly.
To lock in the fat loss result, there is just a further 3 week period where you must restrict sugars and starches. Whilst this may seem difficult when thinking about it now, we often find that after completing a course of the hCG Cycle eating habits have been improved and this is no great chore – in fact can be a pleasant experience. We also offer you some great recipe ideas so that you do not feel that you have to work it all out alone or that is will be boring or hard to stick to.
16. Is hCG a sex hormone?
No, hCG is not a sex hormone. When used for weight loss, it will not make men grow breasts or interfere with their virility nor does it make women grow a facial hair or deepen their voice. hCG is a hormone in the same way that the thyroid, insulin, cortisone, adrenalin etc, are hormones – unrelated to sexual function. As Dr Simeons so succinctly expressed it in his original manuscript:
” It cannot he sufficiently emphasized that HCG is not a sex- hormone, that its action is identical in men, women, children and in those cases in which the sex-glands no longer function (whether in old age or surgical removal). The only sexual change it can bring about after puberty is an improvement of a pre-existing deficiency. But never stimulation beyond the normal in an indirect way via the anterior pituitary. HCG regulates menstruation and facilitates conception, but it never virilises a woman or feminises a man. It neither makes men grow breasts nor does it interfere with their virility, though where this was deficient it may improve it. It never makes women grow a beard or develop a gruff voice. I have stressed this point only for the sake of my lay readers, because, it is our daily experience that when patients hear the word hormone they immediately jump to the conclusion that this must have something to do with the sex- sphere. They are not accustomed to think thyroid insulin, cortisone, adrenalin etc, as hormones.”
17. What makes hCG the best weight loss program?
What other weight loss programs enable you to:
• Experience Amazing fat loss!!! – in a shorter time than you would have previously thought possible!!
• Typical weight loss is 2-4kg per week (average 400gms per day).
• Over a 3 week program, you can typically expect to lose 7–10kg or more if you undertake a 6 week program. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, if further fat loss is required a new second course can be undertaken at a later time (as long as there is a minimum of 6 weeks between treatments so that your body does not develop any immunity)
• Experience no hunger pains, as your body is taking the nutrition it needs from your stored fat.
• Access abnormal fat stores like no other diet or exercise program
• Preserve your muscle
• Reset your metabolism so that in the longer term it is easier to keep the fat off
• Experience an increased sense of wellbeing–higher energy and improved sleep
• Experience fat loss even if you have struggled for years with hormonal or other health issues that have kept you from losing weight-or “mysteriously” gaining weight, despite best efforts at diet and exercise
• Experience a sense of euphoria at finally being able to finally lose weight–which has the bonus of also being a great depression buster!
• Retain the firmness and vitality of your face and body–unlike the sunken appearance that can result from other forms of accelerated weight loss.
• Fat loss will still occur, regardless of the level of exercise*
• Works equally well for males and females
• *Note, whilst a moderate level of non-strenuous exercise is recommended for the 3 or 6 week duration of the hCG weight loss Cycle, it is not mandatory.
Exercise will however help with the final outcome, being a firmer and more toned/shapely body if a moderate level of exercise is undertaken, especially any that involve light weight-bearing exercises or those that involve stretching, such as yoga, Pilates, fit ball, etc.
Walking daily is also highly recommended. If you are already in training, you will find that you will not need to work at the same level to lose fat, however hCG will work to preserve muscle tone, despite the reduction in your workout intensity.