HCG Injections & Weight Loss

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A subcutaneous HCG injection
A subcutaneous HCG injection (Image: "injection needle 3-1-08 8278" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: stevendepolo (Steven Depolo) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone found in pregnant women and, according to Weight Loss Guide, it allows women to metabolize nutrients. HCG injections are used as a method of weight loss by men and women because proponents say the hormone allows dieters to lose a large amount of weight quickly. HCG is not available in the United States without a prescription, so you must speak with a physician or weight loss clinic to obtain it.

History

In the early 1960s, Dr. Albert T. Simeons suggested that injected HCG would curb the appetite and allow dieters to eat a very low calorie diet. However, the FDA ruled in 1975 that HCG products must carry a label stating that the hormone is not a proven weight loss drug. According to dietscam.org, the use of HCG decreased but made a comeback in 2007 after Kevin Trudeau promoted the injections in a book he wrote.

Function

You are allowed a maximum of 500 calories per day on the HCG diet. Your food choices are limited to lean proteins and certain fruits and vegetables. No carbohydrates, sugars or fats are allowed on the plan; however, you may have unlimited coffee and tea. According to Weight Loss Guide, dieters will lose 1 to 2 lbs. per day on the HCG diet.

Types

The most popular method for taking HCG is injections. Intramuscular (in the upper thigh or buttocks) and subcutaneous (the fat on the stomach) injections are available. For the dieter cautious of needles, most clinics offer a sublingual—under the tongue—formula for drops. In addition, many online vendors offer homeopathic HCG (HHCG) drops. Speak with a certified clinic before purchasing HHCG as some dieters claim the homeopathic method does not always work.

Time Frame

Dr. Simeons suggests two plans for HCG injections: 26- and 43-day programs. You can stay on the plan for less than 26 days; however, Dr. Simeons advised not to go past 43. The first two days of each plan consists of “loading” on unlimited fatty foods while taking HCG. You continue administering the hormone once the very low calorie diet begins. For the last three days of the plan, you must stop taking HCG but continue the low calorie diet so the hormone will leave your body.

Considerations

Always consult your primary physician before starting the HCG diet as the hormone may interact with other medications. If you choose injections, it is essential that you let certified health care professionals administer the HCG to prevent harming your body. As of 2009, the HCG diet is still not recognized as a method of weight loss by the FDA.

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