HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone present at high levels in early pregnancy. In fact, this hormone is used as a marker in home pregnancy tests. HCG has also been used to treat fertility issues in both men and women. A British doctor named Albert Simeons first proposed HCG as a weight-loss toll in 1954. His diet consists of two main components:

  • An ultra-low-calorie diet of around 500 calories per day.
  • The HCG hormone administered via injections. HCG is a protein-based hormone produced during pregnancy that tells a women’s body that it is pregnant.

HCG helps maintain the production of important hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which are essential for the development of the embryo and fetus. After the first three months of pregnancy, blood levels of HCG decreases. Proponents of the HCG diet claim that it boosts metabolism and help you lose large amounts of fat – all without feeling hungry. Various theories attempt to explain HCG’s weight loss mechanisms. These studies compared the effects of HCG and placebo injections given to individuals on a calorie-restricted diet. Weight loss was identical or nearly identical between the two groups. Furthermore, these studies determined that the HCG hormone did not significantly reduce hunger.

One common side effects of weight loss is decreased muscle mass. This Is especially common in diets that severely restricts calorie intake, such as the HCG diet. Your body may also think it’s starving and reduce the number of calories I burns in order to conserve energy. However, proponents of the HCG diet claim that it only causes fat loss, not muscle loss. They also claim that HCG elevates other hormones, boosts metabolism, and leads to a growth-promoting, or anabolic, state. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. If you are on a low-calorie diet, there are much better ways to prevent muscle loss and metabolic slowdown than taking HCG. Weightlifting is the most effective strategy. Likewise, eating plenty of high-protein foods and taking an occasional break from your diet can boost metabolism.

The HCG diet is a very low-fat, very low-calorie diet. It is divided into three phases:

  • Loading Phase: Start taking HCG and eat plenty of high-fat, high-calorie foods for two days
  • Weight loss phase: Continue taking HCG and eat only 500 calories per day for 3-6 weeks.
  • Maintenance phase: Stop taking HCG. Gradually increase intake but avoid sugar and starch for three weeks.

While people seeking minimal weight loss may spend three weeks on the middle phase, those seeking significant weight loss may be advised to follow the diet for six weeks – and even repeat all phases of the cycle several times. During the weight loss phase, you’re only allowed to eat two meals per day – usually lunch and dinner. HCG meal plans generally suggest that each meal should contain one portion of lean protein, a vegetable, a piece of bread, and fruit. You may also get a list of approved foods to select from in specific amounts. Butter, oils, and sugar should be avoided, but you’re encouraged to drink a lot of water. Mineral water, coffee, and tea are allowed as well.

We get it. You’re eager to lose weight, but you don’t want to eat the same thing every day! Boring, tasteless meals cause people to fall off the diet bandwagon, but that’s not a problem when the permitted foods are prepared in tantalizing ways. You guessed it; we’re talking about your spice cabinet! With the right spices kept on hand, boring food can be transformed in a matter of minutes. Fresh herbs and spices that add zing to your HCG meals include:

  • Basil
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Beware: Not all spices are HCG-friendly. Spice mixes sold in stores almost always include too much oil, sodium or other ingredients – such as sugar – which may affect your weight loss journey. Always choose spices if possible.

HCG diet plans are fantastic way to get healthy. But there’s a catch: It is virtually impossible to find a restaurant with an HCG friendly menu. When the temptation to grab a “healthy” meal at restaurant might kick in, odds are the results will throw off your diet. Dining out is one of the major ways in which an HCG participant find themselves cheating on their diet, and for the HCG diet plan to work, strict compliance is necessary.

This is why HCG meal group is a must! But who has the time to daily meal prep? The solution is simple: prep a week’s worth of food ahead of time, so you know suitable food is waiting for you once you get home. If you’ve had a busy day at work, the last thing you may want to do is cut the fat off raw meat and ensure the serving is exactly 3.5 ounces. Making several meals at once is much more convenient. For example, cook several chicken breasts at a time and consume them within three to four days. Choose a day when you have plenty of time and can enjoy the process. Freezing your meals is another option, as long as you remember to defrost them so they are ready when you are. That’s not all! There are other benefits to advanced meal preps. When you first start out on a 500 calorie per day diet, your body needs to adjust. That means you’re likely to become very hungry. When your meals are waiting, there is less chance of your breaking your diet just to east those hunger pains.

Of course, there are times when your HCG meal isn’t prepared, and you need to whip up something quickly. While the HCG diet menu is designed so that most of your calories are consumed at lunch and dinner and include 3.5 ounces of lean protein occasional substitutes are fine. Eggs are probably the best type of replacement for lean beef, fish, or chicken, but low- fat cottage cheese also fills the bill. Many HCG dieters may end up having to prepare meals for themselves, as week as their kids. Since HCG meals are healthy, there is no reason kids can’t eat them. First, the ultimate goal is to keep junk food out of the house permanently to avoid temptation.

Here are two HCG recipes:

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup fat-free milk (plus more as needed)
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar or colby jack, shredded
  • 1 cup fat-free mozzarella or Italian blend, shredded
  • ¼ cup low-fat Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz fat-free cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Cut cauliflower into small florets and place in a large microwave safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and steam for 8-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. You can also boil the cauliflower is tender. You can also boil the cauliflower in water on the stove top for 5 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is steaming, head a large pan or pot to medium high heat. Add the olive oil and onions. Cook onions or 3-5 minutes or until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook for just 30 seconds. Add the milk and cheeses, stir mixture until the cheese is fully melted and the texture is smooth.
  • Pour in the steamed cauliflower and mix until fully combined. Boil for 3-5 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and tender or to your preference.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 158
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Sugar: 6g

 

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ cup pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Mix dry ingredients and pieces together in medium-large sized bowl
  • Mix wet together in small bowl
  • Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix together until smooth
  • Pour batter into 2 small greased loaf pans (or 1 large greased loaf pan)
  • Bake in 350 degrees oven for approximately 40-45 minutes. Bread is done when knife inserted in center comes out clean
  • Remove from oven and cool on rack

Nutrition Facts (per slice):

  • Calories: 179
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Sodium: 44mg
  • Sugar: 5g

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