What is the HCG diet?
The hCG diet was developed in the 60s. The term metabolic cure is used synonymously. This weight loss method is supposed to achieve a large weight loss with little or no side effects.
Originally, participants were injected with the hormone hCG. This is a hormone that is secreted by the body during pregnancy. It attacks fat cells in order to supply the adolescent with sufficient nutrients at any given moment. Combined with an extremely calorie-reduced diet, the metabolism is supposedly stimulated and fat pads are broken down more quickly. Today the injections have been replaced by globules, drops or tablets.
Medical evaluation and diet
From a medical point of view, a radical diet like the hCG diet cannot be recommended. Surely it is possible for severely overweight and healthy persons to eat extremely low calories for some time. However, one should be aware of the possible side effects and risks. If athletic performance or even everyday life is severely restricted, a crash diet is not recommended.
The course of the diet
The diet consists of two phases, followed by a so-called stabilization phase. The first phase consists of two “loading days”: The participant should eat what he or she feels like eating. Recommended are 4000kcal or more, which is more than twice the daily requirement.
At this point, the participant already starts taking the globules. Then the actual dietary phase of the metabolic cure begins: in addition to the supposedly effective globules, only around 500-800 kcal are now permitted. This is planned for at least 21 days, but can be continued at a high initial weight until the desired weight is reached.
The list of permitted foods is limited. Mainly lean meat, fish, vegetables, salad and a few fruits are on the list. All other forms of carbohydrates are prohibited, as well as milk, alcohol, butter and oils and sugar.
The acquired vital substances and vitamins should guarantee the supply of all important nutrients during this time. In order to avoid muscle breakdown and to achieve a feeling of satiety, the diet should always be based on protein-rich recipes. A calorie deficit of just under 1000 kcal per day can be achieved by following a strict diet, depending on age, sex, initial weight and lifestyle.
The so-called stabilization phase is added to the at least 21-day diet phase: there is no strict calorie requirement, but if you increase your intake again, it should be reduced again. It is no longer necessary to continue taking globules. Alcohol, carbohydrates and sugar are still excluded from the dietary plan.
In the stabilization phase the final weight should level off. It is maintained for about 3 weeks. After the end of the diet, participants are still advised not to eat above their energy requirements in order not to jeopardize their success.