HCG Weight loss
HCG Hormone vs The HCG Diet
It's important that we set the record straight on the difference between HCG the hormone and the HCG Diet. HCG is actually just a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin. It is naturally secreted in high amounts during pregnancy. In fact the amounts that pregnant women are subjected to is much higher than any dose that most people use for weight loss (including in the HCG diet). HCG the hormone itself has some special properties (which we will discus below) that make it a valuable tool when and if you are trying to lose weight.
The problem that HCG gets a bad name because the name itself is often associated with the HCG diet. Which is why we need to spend some time to separate these two ideas. The HCG diet is a combination of a sustained very low calorie diet which is coupled with HCG injections (or drops) throughout the weight loss phase. The problem with the HCG diet is the duration of the calorie restriction, NOT the HCG hormone itself.
The prolonged calorie restriction in the HCG diet often causes metabolic damage and thyroid changes which almost always result in regaining any weight that was lost during the diet.
Despite this known side effect many people still decide to use the HCG diet, presumably for the temporary weight loss that results.
At Virtue of Health we have created our own weight loss protocol that does not have you restricted to 500 calories a day, but on a diet that is specifically customized to your body type, weight, height, gender, age, BMR and BMI. This diet is also customized to your diet preferences whether you’re vegan, dairy free etc, we’ll make it work for YOU.
Positive benefits of using HCG
May help regulate sex hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone - Some women have excess levels of sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which can make weight loss difficult.
May help regulate appetite suppression - Normalizing appetite levels is important when considering caloric consumption. Eating a sufficient amount is required for proper metabolism but some hormone disorders can cause excessive hunger and/or cravings for certain foods which may retard weight loss efforts.
May help increase testosterone (especially in men) - HCG may stimulate and promote normal testosterone levels which can become dysregulated by other hormone imbalances such as insulin resistance.
May support thyroid function - HCG has been shown to stimulate thyroid function in pregnant women and this effect may be part of the reason that HCG is effective as a dietary aid in some diets.
HCG for Women
HCG is often very helpful for certain women who are trying to lose weight.
Much of this benefit may stem from HCG and its ability to help regulate estrogen and progesterone levels.
The imbalance of estrogen to progesterone may be responsible, at least in part, for weight gain in certain areas of the body (think breasts, butt, thighs and so on).
This distribution of fat differs from other hormone imbalances such as insulin resistance which tends to promote weight gain in the abdominal cavity or surrounding the organs (so called visceral fat).
The problem with fat mediated by estrogen and progesterone is that it can be very difficult to treat and typically doesn't respond to conventional exercise and diet routines.
Even if these women tend to lose weight, if they don't improve their estrogen/progesterone balance they may end up with an abnormal fat distribution such as very little fat on the abdomen but excess fat on the arms/thighs and so on.
Women who fit this category may benefit from the episodic use of HCG as a complementary therapy to other weight loss therapies.
I've included a list of potential patients who may benefit more than others from the use of HCG based on my own personal experience and based on various clinical studies.
Which women should consider using HCG?
Women who suffer from "stubborn" weight that is difficult to lose (especially fat in less common areas such as the upper arms, lower legs, etc.)
Women with a large proportion of their weight in the hips/thighs/butt area
Patient who desire appetite suppression or who need help in regulating their appetite due to other hormone imbalances such as leptin resistance
Women with high baseline estrogen (estrogen dominance)
Women with low baseline progesterone (even if estrogen is normal)
Women who have 50+ pounds to lose or who have failed other weight loss medications
Note: If you fall into any of these groups then HCG is more likely to augment your weight loss
HCG for Men
HCG also has many benefits for men and may be the reason that men do so well on the conventional HCG diet when compared to women.
Because HCG looks similar to LH (at least to cellular receptors) it may sit on and activate LH receptors and lead to a normalization or natural boost to testosterone levels in men.
Because testosterone is so important (for both men and women, but especially in men) at promoting the male physique the use of HCG may stimulate weight loss in men through this mechanism alone.
HCG should also be considered an integral part of normal testosterone replacement therapy which should include bio-identical testosterone, HCG to retard testicular atrophy and an estrogen blocker.
For this reason men tend to benefit greatly from the periodic use of HCG especially during weight loss.
It should be noted, though, that HCG should not be used in place of testosterone or for extended periods of time.