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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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?