Do you know the “skinny” on the 800 Calorie HCG Diet Plan lifestyle?

Do you know the “skinny” on the 800 Calorie HCG Diet Plan lifestyle?

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The remarkably effective HCG diet plan was discovered (not created) in the 1950’s by a British researcher named Dr. Albert T. W. Simeons who observed that pregnant women in India shed fat while they were pregnant while still maintaining their lean muscle mass.

They were malnourished, but they still gave birth to very healthy babies. It was then that he realized right away that pregnant women had something most people don’t.

Young pregnant black woman holding a green apple, isolated on white background - African people

It turns out that pregnant women carry a hormone (HCG) that would pull calories and fuel from stored fat INSTEAD of lean muscle mass to feed the baby in their womb.

Of course, Dr. Simeons believed that anyone could use that same hormone to reach their weight and fat loss goals safely – while keeping their lean body mass. And (surprise, surprise) he was right!

HCG is a peptide naturally produced in large amounts by the placenta during early pregnancy. It has many functions in utero and is used medically to treat a variety of conditions. HCG was thought by Dr. Simeons to work on the hypothalamus of the brain where it encourages the body to release “fixed” or “abnormal” fat stores for fuel.

How does the HCG Diet Plan work?

The plan is simple: eat a low (500-calorie/day) diet and take HCG hormone supplements – the same hormone pregnant women produce – and shave off pounds and pounds of fat safely, without harming your body’s natural metabolic rate.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, yes and no. The trick is NOT to just eat less calories. If that was all there was to it, you wouldn’t really need to use the hormones would you? (Trust me: I get that question all time time, so I know that’s what you’re thinking).

The trick is actually NOT in the calorie count but in the strict reduction of fat, sugars and carbs from your diet. ONLY when you reduce fat can your body try to use the fat is already has and ONLY when you take HCG injections does your body turn to your stored fat INSTEAD of your lean muscle mass.
Warning: Without the hormones and only the diet, YOU WILL lose lean muscle mass and risk damaging your natural metabolic rate.

Warning: Without the hormones and only the diet, YOU WILL lose lean muscle mass and risk damaging your natural metabolic rate.

Stage 1: The Indulgence

The first step in the HCG Diet Plan is to get your body ready to burn all that fat in the first place. For the first 2-3 days, you should indulge yourself without overdoing it. Take your HCG supplements or injections, but eat as much of your favorite foods as you would like.

Why not just jump right into the diet plan?

It takes about 2-3 days after taking the hormone for your body to access your “abnormal fat stores,” which are key to losing weight long term. You want to keep your normal fat stores well-stocked until that point. After the first 3 days, you should be ready for the 2nd stage.

Stage 2: The Burn

The 2nd stage is the main stage of the HCG diet. Once the 2-3 day indulgence (or “loading”) phase is over, it is time for the real work to begin. The #1 rule is to limit yourself to 500 calories per day of lean meats, vegetables and fruit.

Note: Just following the 500-calorie a day rule and ignoring the rest will NOT get you the results you desire. You can’t eat whatever you want under that limit. Instead, you need to focus on eating lean proteins, fruit and vegetables, while limiting your fat, sugar and carbohydrates. Also, as always, be sure to drink plenty of water.

To learn more about fats, starches and what to avoid, read this guide from Harvard on good fats, bad fats and those confusing “in-between” fats.

Here is what an average Stage 2 Day on the HCG Diet Plan looks like:

Stage 1-The Indulgence i (2)

According to Dr. Simeon, breakfast should just be liquids, such as coffee or tea.

Lunch and dinner follow this simple formula: one lean protein, one vegetable, one fruit, and one starch.

Proteins (2 servings a day) can include the following:

  • chicken breast (no thighs or fatty pieces)
  • lean beef
  • lobster
  • crab
  • shrimp
  • veal or any white fish
  • *Avoid fatty fish, such as eel, herring, salmon or tuna.

Vegetables (2 servings a day) can include the following:

  • Beet Greens
  • Spinach
  • Green Salad
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Red Radishes
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage

Fruits (2 servings a day) can include the following:

  • Strawberries (a handful)
  • Small-medium sized orange
  • One apple
  • 1/2 of a grapefruit

Starches (2 servings a day) can include the following:

  • One low-fat breadstick
  • One Melba Toast
  • Two Melba Rounds

Side note: I have had several patients who spread their dinner and lunch menus out during the day to avoid skipping breakfast. This is perfectly fine! As long as you stick to the basic menu items and 500-calorie plan, you will get the results you desire.

Stage 3: Stabilization

In his book, “Pounds and Inches,” Dr. Simeons recommended following a strict protocol for 3 weeks AFTER finishing Stage 2 and stopping your HCG drops or injections.

Here is what he recommends during this stage:

  • Weight yourself every day to make sure you remain within 2 pounds of your most recent injection weight
  • Avoid ALL sugars and starches (or, realistically, limit your intake greatly)
  • Eat AT LEAST 100 grams of cooked, lean protein per day (if you go over your 2 pounds of Stage 2 weight, plan a steak day right away)

Even though you are done with your injections, this stage is 100% crucial to the success of the HCG diet. Why?

From the day you stop your last HCG injection, your body will be very sensitive to high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods. It is critical that you follow this phase as faithfully as you did Stage 2.

During Stage 3, your hypothalamus will reset, rewiring your metabolism and erasing the effects of yo-yo dieting and poor eating habits. The weight you reach on the morning of your last injection is the weight that you should use as a basis for your maintenance phase. Many call this Last Injection Weight (LIW).

Here are some words from Dr. Simeons himself that illustrates this point:

“It takes about 3 weeks before the weight reached at the end of the treatment becomes stable, i.e. does not show violent fluctuations after an occasional excess. During this period patients must realize that the so-called carbohydrates (that is: sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries), are by far the most dangerous.

If no carbohydrates whatsoever are eaten, fats can be indulged in… But as soon as fats and starch are combined things are very liable to get out of hand. This has to be observed very carefully during the first 3 weeks after the treatment is ended otherwise disappointments are almost sure to occur.”

Ready to try HCG for yourself and melt those extra pounds away? Here are some key reminders and tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid using oil-based cosmetics or skincare products, as added oils can interfere with the hormones and derail your results
  • Always plan your meals ahead of time, and set yourself up for success. If you get hungry before lunch, “borrow” a fruit or vegetable from the other meals. As long as you stay under 500 calories, you will still be on target.
  • Take the maintenance phase seriously, as outlined above.

Why use medically-supervised weight loss instead of following the HCG plan myself?

After Stages 1 and 2 of the HCG Diet, it is important to make significant dietary and lifestyle changes to support your body and sustain the weight loss. With medical supervision, the HCG Diet also provides a safe and reliable means to treating obesity.

HCG diet programs that provide the best results offer a medically-supervised program that supports the patient before, during, and after weight loss. As with any weight loss program, it is not uncommon for patients to put pounds back on once they go back to eating the standard American diet.

One of our favorite things about the HCG Diet protocol is that our patients lose the majority of their weight from fat mass and not lean mass. However, the HCG Diet is not a “magic wand.” You cannot remove fat stores forever or simply reset the hypothalamus and go back to eating a normal diet. To achieve the best lifelong results and change, consider a medically-supervised plan with a doctor who is experiencing in helping patients gain long-term results.

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