My Experience with the HCG Diet

My Experience with the HCG Diet

I am writing this article to share my experience on the HCG diet for those who may be doing their research or are curious what it is all about.

About 4 years ago, I was desperate to lose weight. I had a vague understanding of healthy eating; obviously I knew that chocolate and chips was not a sustainable or healthy way to eat, but beyond that I didn’t have much of an idea.

I stumbled across HCG after googling “quick ways to lose weight” and similar sentences that google probably sees millions of times a day and after reading some online reviews, took the plunge and ordered my ‘starter kit’ for $179.

 

 

What is the HCG Diet?

HCG is essentially a homeopathic hormone. You use a little dropper to drop it under your tongue, hold it there and then magically have no appetite all day. You eat a severely restricted diet, based around very, very low fat and only 500 calories per day. There are also HCG injections that you can get from certain doctors, but my understanding this is for those who have a lot of weight to lose.

I was eating things like rice crackers and cottage cheese, celery and cottage cheese, cottage cheese and cottage cheese and occasionally some chicken breast.

I lost weight, and lost it very quickly. In the end I lost about 8kgs over the first 2 weeks. It was noticeable and fast. I couldn’t exercise but that didn’t bother me as I was seeing the scales plummet.

You go from one phase to the next, slowly introducing more foods.

 

Does the HCG Diet Work?

While I did lose weight, here’s why it didn’t work for me:

  1. I would binge eat as soon as I was in the ‘maintenance’ phase. See, I love food. Food is all I think about, whether it’s what I’m having for lunch, what I’m going to cook later on, what recipe I can come up with for my blog. Food is life for me, and to be so severely restricted just lead me to binge once my options opened up.
  2. While the weight loss was fast, I didn’t feel great. I was hungry quite a lot but was determined to at least give it a go
  3. Its not sustainable at all and there really aren’t any quick meals you can grab out with friends. Compared to keto, this is quick fix weight loss tactic, not a life long way of eating
  4. I read somewhere that homeopathic hormones have such a tiny amount of the actual hormone, it can’t possibly have any affect other than the placebo. Well. That ruined everything for me, once I knew it was all placebo that I wasn’t hungry a lot of the time, the hunger kicked back in!

 

Benefits of HCG Diet

I think a big benefit of the HCG method is that you are actually fasting. I have written an article on intermittent fasting here, and there are also a heap of studies detailing why extended fasts can have great regenerative effects on your body and health. So really, using the HCG drops is just a way to put your body into an extended fast and you don’t need drops worth $179 to do that.

 

Once big bonus though was that I joined a HCG group and came across the wonderful Nikalene Riddle, who has her own website and facebook page called Skinnymixers focused on Thermomix recipes. She has some great meals on there and I have seen her go along the same journey as me – from HCG to LCHF/Keto. It seems to be a common progression and it makes sense why – you see how great you feel on a low carb, low fat diet but you are hungry, so you read up about the satiating power of fat, and the next logical step is on to Keto.

 

Would I Recommend the HCG Diet?

For anyone wanting to try HCG, to be honest I would steer clear. The weight I lost so quickly came back on just as quickly because I hadn’t dealt with WHY I had put on weight and what a sustainable life long diet looked like. While it did lead me to Keto in the end, I don’t think it’s a sustainable healthy way to lose weight like Keto and the LCHF way of eating is.

 

Have you tried HCG? Was it effective for you?

 



13 thoughts on “My Experience with the HCG Diet”

  • HCG was a blessing for me. I lost 85 lbs. in 2 sessions under a doctors care. that was 10 years ago and my understanding is the homeopathic drops are not hcg. everyone I knew that did homeopathic drops were miserable the entire time. for me it was fabulous and i followed it to a T.. Keto opens the door for a life style change which can be carried for the rest of ones life and I feel blessed to have been introduced to it. Thanks for your site, it’s a great resource!
    Aloha, Taj

    • Hi Taj, thanks for sharing your story – yes I think under doctor supervision it really has some merit! I’m amazed the ‘homeopathic’ method is still allowed. I got through it and thought I didn’t feel hungry, but wonder now if it was just my stubbornness since I was on the homeopathic drops. Fantastic work 🙂

    • Hi Becky, I probably wouldn’t do it again. I remember at the time I felt very weak and dropped weight suddenly, but put it on just as quick. Im not sure whether it slowed my metabolism but I did feel it was harder to lose weight in a healthy way afterwards.

  • Hi Rachel – thank you for your review. I had been looking for some info on this. What are your thoughts on using the hcg drops whilst already being on a Keto lifestyle/way of eating? I’ve been keto for about 2.5 months now.,had a few slip ups in between but have still managed to lose roughly 8.5kg. I’m looking to bolster my weightloss – kind of give it a boost somewhat. I already practice IF about 3 days a week, 20:4. Do you think the hcg drops would help at all?

    Thanks for a lovely site BTW 😊

    • Hi Nicky

      I think the HCG drops only really work when eating a very low calorie diet, which isn’t really congruent with keto as it tends to be higher calorie. I’ve been learning about Protein sparing fasts myself and considering it, maybe this might be a way to introduce some different fasting while still maintaining your protein needs.

  • It sounds like what you tried wasn’t HCG but just one of the thousand people selling phoney snake-oil “HCG”, and I’m sorry for that experience. Just hearing the word “cottage cheese”, I knew you hadn’t been on an actual HCG diet, but just losing weight through sheer willpower and yep starvation, which I applaud you, I could never do that (I think about other meals WHILE I’m eating hahaha.) I feel like everyone should read that book by Dr. Simeon, his protocol, before they start the diet. It’s so complex but once you read his book, it’s like “Ah, omg, it all makes sense why you’re diet is so batsh*t cray!!” LOL It’s not “suggested”reading, it’s literally an instruction manual… Like the book you have to read before you’re allowed to start driving? As for HCG, they banned all OTC hcg sales back in like 2013 so anything that says “HCG” is just playing with your feelings. But before that happened, I got lucky enough to try the real one. When I tell you, it felt like I had JUST eaten 2 plates of Thanksgiving dinner before each meal, hunny, I was FULL throughout the whole thing… And within one week, my face was healthier, chubby cheeks, thin snatched waist omg…. All the toxins from binge drinking and tacobell (University) felt like they were being flushed out… I miss that feeling. Phentermine makes me not think about food, topiramate speeds up the loss etc but HCG omg… Real HCG? It was a unicorn… And now the only way to get it for weight loss is through a doctor’s prescription (tells you something about whether the FDA thinks it works or not, doesn’t it?.. winkwink) and lots of needles (eff that, I’ll just stay chubby).

    • Sorry, just realized (read your name again) that you’re in Australia so the FDA obviously doesn’t apply to you (lucky queen… they ban all the good stuff and leave alone the actual poisons). But still, I get the sense that there were bans all over the world, considering that you can’t even buy it for weight loss anymore from international sellers 🙁

      • Really interesting Rita, thanks for taking the time to post your comments! Yes I agree, I think I was on the fake stuff… not very good. Amazingly I was that hungry though, I think it was really an early style of intermittent fasting and extreme one meal a day! Lucky I didn’t pass out though!

  • I felt amazing on HCG. I was never hungry or tired. I lost the weight and have kept it off for over a year. Of course I changed my eating habits. Lost weight will always come back if eating habits are not changed. One thing I really love about the plan is that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat or spend a lot of time preparing. Once used to the plan, it’s fairly easy.

  • I felt amazing on HCG. I was never hungry or tired. I lost the weight and have kept it off for over a year. Of course I changed my eating habits. Lost weight will always come back if eating habits are not changed. One thing I really love about the plan is that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat or spend a lot of time preparing. Once used to the plan, it’s fairly easy. I used the injections – not drops.

  • I am on day 9 of HCG injections and happened to stumble on this site. While I applaud the other commentators who felt wonderful on HCG, I do not and I wanted to share my experience to caution others. I have lost 5 pounds (so not the dramatic weight loss of a pound a day I was hoping for). I am exhausted and starving. All the time. I regret spending $700 on this product. Most of all, my heart is racing. I have been wearing a fitness tracker to see how my heart is handling this and it is averaging 125 bpm which is much faster than normal. I am going to stop the injections because I do not want to do damage to my heart and I don’t know if it is the injections or the low calories but it is not something I want to chance (which is why I am looking into LCHF to achieve my goals). But I did want to add, according to the medical practice where I obtained HCG, HCG does not actually curb your appetite, ketosis does, which is obtained by eating the 500-600 calorie diet outline (and which I have adhered to over the past 9 days). Thank you for letting me share.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience Diana, it sounds like quite a rough time for you and not worth it. I believe we can get the same results and better with the Keto diet – without the metabolic damage. I hope coming off the drops goes well for you x

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