At Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA, we understand how frustrating the struggle to lose weight can be. We also understand how hard it can be to hold onto hope and keep making good choices when you’re not seeing the results of all your discipline. We pride ourselves in helping our clients look and feel their best. That’s why we’re proud to offer an HCG weight loss program.
HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is sometimes referred to as the pregnancy hormone. It’s known as the pregnancy hormone because pregnant women produce it in massive quantities, but it plays important roles in both men and women. The HCG weight loss program has been followed since the early 1950s to help people lose lots of weight quickly and easily. Today, we’re taking a closer look at this program, including how long it lasts.
How Long Can You Take HCG Injections for Weight Loss?
You can take HCG injections for weight loss for up to six weeks at a time. However, depending on the amount of excess weight you have, it may only be advisable for you to enroll in a three-week HCG weight loss program. The length of your HCG protocol will be determined during an initial consultation based on your health and goals.
How Much Fat Can I Lose?
Individual experiences vary, but most people lose two to three pounds of fat per week while on this diet. If you’re on the fence about a VLCD (very low-calorie diet), you may want to eat 1,000 calories daily during the weight loss phase of this program. If you need to consume 2,000 calories daily to maintain your weight, you will burn 1,000 calories from stored glycogen and fat. This will result in a deficit of 7,000 calories per week.
Since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat, you will lose two pounds per week. If you burn 2,000 calories daily and consume only 500 calories daily, you will net a caloric deficit of 10,500 each week. This will result in three pounds of fat loss each week. Depending on how many calories you consume and burn each day and how long your weight loss phase is, you can generally expect to lose between six and 18 pounds of fat in 21 to 42 days.
Will I Lose Muscle Mass?
If you are not sedentary during your HCG weight loss program, you don’t have to worry about losing muscle mass. Usually, muscle mass loss occurs when muscle tissue is damaged beyond repair and needs to be catabolized to make room for stronger, healthier muscle cells. The muscle tissue can also be broken down if the body is truly starving. However, you won’t reach this point while on the HCG diet.
If your goal is rapid weight loss, it’s a very good idea to get lots of exercise while taking HCG injections. One of the most incredible benefits of this hormone is that it revs the metabolism. This means that you will burn a lot more calories while exercising than you normally would. Another benefit of this hormone is that it helps to curb hunger. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about feeling ravenous after exercise and eating back your workout calories.
What Should I Expect While Following This Diet?
What to Expect During the First Phase
The loading phase is the first phase of the HCG diet. It lasts a mere 48 hours, and there are no real restrictions. You may eat whatever you want, and you may eat however much you want. However, you should bear in mind that the second phase of the HCG diet will be easier if you avoid carbs as much as possible. If you restrict carb consumption enough during these 48 hours, you may be in ketosis by the time the second phase starts.
Ketosis is a metabolic state in which, instead of burning glucose for fuel, your body burns fat. Since glucose is a much more accessible form of fuel, this won’t happen until your body has burned through its glycogen stores. This compound comprises one part glucose and three to four parts water. Every four calories you burn will result in the loss of one gram of glucose and up to four grams of water. Once you’ve burned through your glucose stores, your body will turn to fat.
What to Expect During the Second Phase
People often call the second phase of the HCG diet the weight loss phase because it is during this phase that most of the weight loss occurs. Remember, this phase typically lasts between three and six weeks, and you can generally expect six to 18 pounds of fat loss. There is no limit to the unsweetened tea or coffee you can drink during this phase, and you’re free to drink all of the water you want to keep your stomach full.
If you want to drink something sweetened, pure Stevia is the only acceptable sweetener. If you usually drink heavy cream or half-and-half in your coffee, you may use up to a tablespoon of fat-free milk to flavor your morning beverage. If you’ve decided a 500-calorie diet is the best way to achieve your goals, it is essential that 400 calories come from protein. Similarly, 80% of your calories should come from protein if you decide on a 1,000-calorie diet.
Good Foods to Eat During the Second Phase
Some of the best foods to eat during the second phase of the HCG diet include white fish, chicken, shrimp, crab, and lobster. These foods are very high in protein and usually lean. If you want red meat in your diet, steak, veal, and very lean ground beef are okay. It’s crucial to opt for lean meat and seafood because protein has only four calories per gram, and fat has nine calories per gram. You can also eat low-carb fruits and veggies.
What to Expect During the Third Phase
It is not uncommon for the third and final phase of the HCG diet to be called the stabilization phase. This phase of the diet usually lasts for a full three weeks. During the first three days of this phase, you should stick to the diet you followed during the second phase of the HCG protocol. After that, you can slowly start adding more foods to your diet. It is highly advisable that you add one new food to your diet per day so you can assess your body’s reaction.
You won’t be able to eat starchy carbs or sugar during this time. However, you can start adding such foods as whole milk yogurt, nut or seed butter without added sugar, and olive oil. If you want to eat sugar-dense fruits, like bananas and mangoes, keep your portions small. At the end of the stabilization phase, you can assess your goals and determine if you want to start the protocol over from the beginning.
How Hard Is It to Stick to the HCG Diet?
It may seem daunting to cut your daily calories down to only 500 or 1,000. If you drastically cut carbs during the loading phase of the diet, you will be in ketosis when you enter the weight loss phase. When you’re in ketosis, you feel a lot less hungry and irritable. You also think a lot more clearly. This clarity of mind is important because you may be tempted to eat bad foods even if you are not hungry.
If you’re worried about sticking to your daily calorie allowance, we strongly encourage you to plan out your meals in advance. To reduce the likelihood that you eat something you shouldn’t, you may want to prepare, portion, and store your meals so you just have to grab a container out of the fridge.
Discover Today If an HCG Weight Loss Program Is Right for You
You may be able to take daily HCG injections for three or six weeks, depending on your unique circumstances. During this time, you can expect to lose a couple of pounds of fat per week. In addition, you can expect to lose a lot of water weight as your body burns through its stores of glycogen. Contact us today at Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA to schedule an appointment and find out if an HCG weight loss program is right for you.