When sifting through dieting options you may come across a diet known as the HCG diet. HCG is a naturally occurring hormone that a woman’s body produces while she is pregnant. People who back this diet claim that the use of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in support of a very low calorie intake will cause your metabolic rate to “reset.”Thus you are able to drop a pound a day without feeling starved or tired. The HCG claims have created buzz and it has become an increasingly appealing diet for those looking to lose weight fast.
On the HCG diet your calories are not to exceed 500 a day during an 8 week period. While reducing your calories, you are to be taking the HCG. This can be accomplished by injection or by homeopathic options found at some stores in the form of pills, sprays, or liquid drops.
Be warned, the over-the-counter versions of HCG are not only unapproved by the FDA (like many diet products), but are also illegal. Physician injected doses are legal since they are also approved for treating infertility but are still not FDA approved for weight loss.
The HCG diet allows you to consume two meals per day. Each is to contain a single serving of protein, vegetable, fruit, and bread while maintaining the strict calorie count.
Protein choices include beef or chicken that has been broiled or grilled. White fish, crab, lobster, and shrimp can be protein servings as long as they are lean. Fatty fish, tuna, or any fish that has been pickled or dried are not permissible.
Optimal vegetable choices are leafy greens such as spinach, chard, or kale. Other choices can include vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, onion, or asparagus.
Bread is very minimal and can only include either one slice of melba toast which is very thinly sliced and similar to a cracker, or you may eat a single breadstick.
Fruits can include a full serving of smaller fruits like an orange or apple. You can choose a handful of loose fruits such as berries or a half of larger fruits such as grapefruit.
You are allowed to drink as much water as you would like. Coffee and tea are also allowed unlimited as long as there is no sugar used for sweetening or milk. Sugar substitute is allowed. Milk is limited to a single Tbsp per day and any fats or oils are strictly prohibited.
Sticking to this strict low calorie diet is challenging. Calories as low as 500 are not likely to satisfy your nutritional needs without supplementation. If you are considering this diet, you may also want to consider the help of your physician or a dietician to monitor your progress.