It’s been around some 50 years yet still stirs up a mound of controversy at the mere mention of its now trendy initials. The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) weight loss program works by stimulating the brain to release stored fat rather than muscle while on a low-calorie, restricted-fat diet plan. While the FDA still has not approved HCG for use in weight loss, we’ve heard nothing but rave reviews and it’s piqued our curiosity.
So what do the HCG experts have to say about the rumors that surround this weight loss program? We went to the Valley’s premiere weight loss and hormone therapy clinic, La Bella Vita Health and Wellness Center in Scottsdale to set us straight.
Here are their answers to the top six HCG diet myths.
1. You don’t really have to follow the diet, you can still lose weight by just giving yourself injections.
Fact: Your body needs to think it is in “starvation mode” in order for the HCG to release your stored fats to live on. Many people have “cheated” and still lost weight, but those getting the best, long-term results are the ones who follow the protocol exactly.
2. You can’t eat late at night while on HCG.
Fact: WHAT you eat matters much more than WHEN you eat. Following the protocol and making sure you are eating enough protein and nutrient-rich vegetables are the most important ways to ensure you are losing fat, not muscle.
3. Cosmetics, oils and body creams keep you from losing weight while on the diet.
Fact: When Dr. Simeons pioneered the HCG diet in the 1950s, nutritional research was in an infancy state. While he was right about a lot of things, his belief that cosmetics, oils and body creams prevented weight loss while on HCG has been proven false by decades of further research and understanding. Yes, ladies, you can continue to use cosmetics while on HCG.
4. You cannot exercise while on HCG.
Fact: The HCG diet is considered “exercise neutral,” meaning that people lose weight whether they exercise or not. Although we don’t recommend that you start a new, intense exercise regimen while on the diet, most people are able to do whatever activities they have energy for and feel good doing. If your body is used to daily workouts, keep them up!
5. Anyone can lose weight eating only 500 calories a day. You don’t need the injections.
Fact: If you go on a very low calorie diet without HCG, your body goes into “starvation mode” and your metabolism slows down. In this mode, your body is programmed to store fat instead of burning it, in order to create reserves to make it throughout the period of starvation. Then when the diet ends, the body will store even more fat as normal calorie consumption begins, to prepare for the next possible period of starvation. This is the common cycle people tend to fall into when dieting, and this is the reason they never keep weight off. With HCG in your system, your body is stimulated to burn fat during the low calorie period, so it does not fall into the cycle of storing fat as reserves, and your metabolism continues to stay high since your body is working to burn that fat. This will keep you from storing unwanted fat during the diet, and from having a rebound weight gain after the diet has ended.
6. You can order the HCG drops online and don’t need medical supervision to follow the diet.
Fact: The highest quality and concentration of HCG is not available without a prescription so if you order the drops online, you’re getting a diluted and possibly low quality form of HCG. Our studies have found that injections work better than the drops because injection clients are less hungry and more regimented about follow-through. It’s important that you follow the diet under medical supervision so that a doctor can monitor your progress and ensure that you are losing fat not muscle. The diet itself can be a challenge for some patients and with medical supervision and support, you are more likely to lose the desired amount of weight and keep it off.
La Bella Vita Health and Wellness Center is located at 10810 E. Via Linda in Scottsdale, AZ. For more info on HCG and hormone therapy, call 480.391.9999 or visit www.bemeagain.com.