HCG Treatment Warnings
Before diving into the process of HCG treatment, the various phases, and how the diet works, it is important to understand the warnings and guidelines to keep dieters safe. Simeons outlines these warnings in his protocol, and ensures that careful steps are outlined on how to successfully use the drops and injections, and how to follow the approved meal plan. He clearly lays out that the HCG is not simply something you can take-up without research and that “any patient who thinks he can reduce by taking a few ‘shots’ and eating less is not only sure to be disappointed but may be heading for serious trouble.” While the hormone can provide incredible benefits and results in just a few weeks, the way in which it should be done is strict, but easy to follow. The most important thing, is to follow a physician’s instructions when thinking about joining the HCG diet.
While developing the HCG diet, Dr. Simeons was examining the diencephalon, a part of the brain and central nervous system that controls most automatic animal functions of the body, including breathing, heartbeat, digestion, sleep, sex and the urinary system. Historically, from an evolutionary view, the diencephalon is one of the oldest organs in the body, dating back to more than 500 million years ago. It is one of the main reasons that we have been able to evolve as a species. The diencephalon is balanced perfectly in the body, and any alterations to it must be done carefully, while taking other parts of the digestive and nervous system into account. When a patient is obese, the balance of the diencephalon is off and can only be “restored,” as Simeons puts it, by following the technique laid out in his protocol. He continues to stress the little details and ensuring that his teachings are followed carefully and exactly. Dieters who raise their caloric intake to 600 or 800 from the requested 500, will fail to see the results outlined through this program. Similarly, the dosage of the HCG hormone must not be exceeded, which can often reverse results.
Deciding on HCG Treatment
The first step of the HCG diet is to meet with a physician and start to discuss the process of introducing the HCG hormone to the body. When a patient first comes in, a general history will be taken, including questions about when the first signs of excess weight or obesity seemed to occur. Doctors will also look to record the highest weight that the patient has been at in their life and if they have tried any previous dieting or nutritional programs. Simeons observed that patients who had been taking thyroid preparations, on average see less weight lost while on the HCG diet after prolonged use. Other questions the doctors may ask include: Do you suffer from headaches? Rheumatic pains? Menstrual disorders? Constipation? Breathlessness or exertion? Swollen ankles? Do you consider yourself greedy? Do you feel the need to eat snacks between meals? Once all questions are asked by the doctor, the patient strips down and is weighed and measured to attain a starting weight. Statistical averages and charts are consulted to find out the normal weight and height for someone of their stature and age. From this consultation, the “degree of overweight” is then calculated, so the duration of treatment can be decided on. This is roughly based on an average weight loss of one pound per day. Simeons also notes that regardless of sex, age and degree of overweight, the 300-400 grams-per injection, per day is relatively consistent across all sizes and demographics.
Difference Between 26 and 40 Day Kits
Many first time HCG dieters ask about the difference between the 26 and 40 day kits, and the reasons behind choosing each. Patients who are looking to lose 15 pounds or less, should use the 26 day treatment, with 23 daily injections. The 3 days where there are no injections, is due to the extra 3 days in which the 500-calorie diet should be followed after treatment. More information about this post-injection phase will be discussed later. It is important to note that there is no treatment lasting less than 26 days for patients who only want to lose a few pounds. Simeons states that the diencephalon needs at least 3 weeks of treatment in order to make a difference, and anything less will yield little results. Something else to keep in mind is the careful planning of the treatment, and the fact that an early stop in HCG hormone drops can lead to weight being put back on right away. When patients have gotten rid of their abnormal fat, they will soon feel hungry without continued drops. This is due to the fact that abnormal fat is the only thing being put into circulation, with normal fat deposits remaining untouched. If patients reach a normal weight faster than the 26 days, they are given a diet of 800 – 1000 calories for the rest of treatment. This ensures that their weight remains constant throughout the remaining days on the HCG hormone. These early cases of weight loss are rare, and are mostly seen among film actresses and models who generally weigh less than normal. However, as Simeons puts it, “we undertake to cure a disorder, not to create a new one.” The HCG method is self limiting and becomes completely ineffective when all abnormal fat stores are used up.
The 40 day kits are meant for patients who are looking to lose more than 15 pounds during treatment, which takes a longer amount of time and 40 treatments. Patients can lose a large amount of weight on the HCG diet, but anything more than 34 pounds in one course is not recommended. Treatment is stopped when either 34 pounds are lost or 40 injections/drops have been given. The only exception to this rule is for grotesquely obese patients who are allowed an extra 5-6 pounds of weight loss before the limit of 40 cycles of drops has been reached.
Specific HCG Situations (Immunity, Menstruation, Conditions)
Building off the 40 day treatment section of his manuscript, Dr. Simeons explains that the reason for stopping at 40 days is due to the fact that certain patients can show an immunity to the HCG hormone. Simeons states that it is relatively unknown why this might occur, but the breakdown of HCG in the body might occur faster, with less overall effects. After the 40 days of treatment, Simeons observed that it takes around six weeks for this immunity to resolve itself and the HCG hormone can become effective again. Signs of this immunity can be a sudden feeling of hunger in the final days of treatment, something that was absent in previous days. Patients should continue to monitor their hunger and fatigue levels during the full 40 days of treatment to ensure that the hormone is working correctly. If they begin to look weak, tired and fatigued, treatment should stop immediately, due to the fact that any further weight loss can begin to eat away at normal fat, which is then regained after treatment has ceased.
During menstruation, drops should not be taken, but the diet can be continued. Once menstruation has ended, drops should be continued right away, as to not leave the patient feeling extremely hungry without the hormone. However, if patients find themselves to be hungry, there are a few ways to curb hunger while on the HCG Diet. Simeons also makes note that with teenaged girls, their periods may in rare cases, be delayed or sometimes stop altogether while taking the HCG hormone.
Once the patient’s data is collected, and the various warnings discussed, the probable duration of HCG treatment can be calculated and explained to the patient. When a plan is set up and all treatment processes understood, the patient is usually examined by a doctor. Various parts of the body are measured and recorded. These include the size of the first upper incisor, a pad of fat on the nape of the neck and various other measurements. Blood-count, estimated uric acid, cholesterol and blood sugar can also be recorded to have on record. Once all this information is collected, it is time to start the process of the HCG diet.
First Days of the HCG Diet (What to Expect)
The first step of the HCG diet, laid out in Simeon’s protocol, is the stage of “gain before loss.” This is a period of anywhere from 3 days, to one week before treatment, where patients are asked to force feed to maximum capacity. If a patient’s condition is very low, they are asked to eat to capacity for a full week. If a patient is in a satisfactory general condition, they begin force feeding on the day of their first drops. There are many reasons for this feasting, one of which is to stock the normal fat reserves before cutting the diet down to 500 calories per day. They are asked to eat the most fattening foods possible, up until the day of the fourth drops. Patients are not asked to begin eating the limit of 500 calories until three drops have been taken, since it takes that amount of time for the hormone to start circulating fat in the body and making the abnormal fat deposits available. The first three drops can often be referred to as “non-effective,” since they are preparing the body for the subsequent “effective” drops which aim to deplete the abnormal fat reserves that have become available on day three. Some patients may be afraid of eating so many calories in the days leading up to the drops, but all weight gained (which can often be 4-6 pounds in 24 hours), is lost in the first 48 hours of dieting. The feasting re-stocks depleted normal fat reserves in obese patients, and the hormone draws on abnormal fat deposits only, leading to an overall healthier body. Foods that should be eaten during this period of full-capacity eating include milk chocolate, pastries with whipped cream, fried meats (especially pork), eggs and bacon, mayonnaise, bread with butter or jar, and any other fattening foods. Simeons emphasizes that concerns about this kind of eating are unfounded, and patients who follow this protocol will be rewarded with results later on. He also points out that during the two days of forced feeding between the first and third cycles of drops, some patients have noticed that they do not actually gain much weight, and in some cases have even lost weight. This can be due to proper hydration during the diet, and the release of excess water from the body, or the increased protein intake, which can also limit retained water.
Starting HCG Treatment
For women, the best time to start taking the HCG hormone is immediately after her period. If needed, treatment can start later, but should be done within 10 days of a period. Also to note, at least three cycles of drops should be given after the period, followed by the normal three days of dieting. Simeons also shares in his protocol, the most common experiences of dieters starting the HCG diet. On the first few days, some patients claim that they feel a difference, others feel very little. Check out more information on what to expect on your first week of HCG treatment here. Some common symptoms such as mild headaches or increased hunger can occur when first starting treatment, but generally subside. As patients move into the second and third day of the 500 calorie diet, which coincides with the fifth and sixth cycles of drops, patients should start seeing a weight loss of around two pounds per day. At around the third day, different experiences can begin to develop depending on how the forced feeding, also known as the “loading days” went. Patients who ate at their full capacity often feel much better, lighter and clear-headed. Those who have ignored the instructions of loading days, can instead feel minor discomforts for the first week. When patients reach the fourth and fifth day of dieting, the weight loss amounts begin to drop down and settle at an average of around 1 pound per day. Men often lose weight more consistently over the 23 or 40 days, whereas women can go through fluctuations when it comes to average weight loss per day.
Interruptions to Losing Weight
When it comes to daily weight loss, there are four factors that can cause inconsistent numbers and interruptions of weight loss. The first factor is during the first few days of taking the hormone, in which the body is still working to lose the weight from the loading days. Patients may not see consistent numbers until the fourth or fifth day of dieting. The second type of interruption is known as “the plateau” which can occur during the second half of a full 40 day course. Patients who have lost more than the average of one pound per day, can see a 4-6 day stall in which their weight remains relatively the same. However, plateaus always correct themselves, and should not be of concern. Even though plateauing will correct itself, there are a few ways, for pure psychological benefits, to break up a plateau. One solution is to do what Dr. Simeons calls an “apple day.” An apple day starts at lunchtime and continues for 24 hours until the next day’s lunch. Patients can only eat six large apples, and are told to eat one each time they feel hungry, but should not eat more than six apples in the 24 hour period. During this apple day, no other foods or drinks are allowed, except for plain water. The apple-day should produce a gratifying weight loss the next day, which can help patients mentally. The third interruption can last ten days to two weeks, which can often be avoided due to the fact that it is most often found in patients that for some period of time in their lives, maintained a fixed degree of obesity for ten or more years. When this previous weight is reached once again, it can stall the weight loss for up to two weeks, despite taking the HCG hormone and following the diet. The final interruption is a menstrual interruption, in which weight loss is stopped a few days before and during the menstrual period. Simeons also notes that if a woman becomes pregnant while following the HCG diet, weight loss will most likely cease.
HCG Hormone Preparation
The process of taking the HCG drops is specific, but easy to follow. The HCG drops or Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin most often come in one ounce bottles for the 26 day course and two ounce bottles for the 40 day plan. 8-10 drops should be placed under the tongue 3 times per day, allowing 5 minutes for the drops to absorb. Holding the drops under your tongue for approximately 60 seconds before swallowing is best. It is recommended that you should not eat or drink 10 to 15 minutes before or after taking the drops. This should be done for the full course, according to Dr. Simeons manuscript.
Loading Phase, Phase 1, Phase 2 Phase 3
Overall, there are three official phases of the HCG diet laid out by Dr. Simeon. The first being the loading phase or phase 1 of the HCG diet. This is when patients are asked to consume heavy, dense, high fat and high calorie foods for a few days. The HCG injection, pill, and drop phase, also known as phase 2 is when patients follow a 500 calorie diet and take drops for either 26 or 40 days. The final phase is referred to as the stabilization phase, maintenance phase or simply, phase 3. In this phase, patients have completed their injections or drops and follow the 500 calorie diet for 3 more days as they finish out the program. After that, the daily caloric intake will begin to rise once again to a normal amount of calories, and patients can go on with their regular eating routine. After treatment, Simeons outlines two common problems that some patients run into. The first, having been mentioned before, is the body creating a tolerance to the HCG hormone, and as a result, the lack of calories will leave them weak and malnourished.The second problem is that of being over-enthusiastic following treatment. Patients begin to realize that they can eat fairly normally without regaining any of the weight. Simeons protocol states that during this time, however, they should avoid sugar and starch for a while. Small amounts of foods such as egg, cheese or milk should be introduced slowly and carefully, not all at once. Easing the body back into consuming more calories should be done in small increments to help it better adjust. When it comes to protein, the opposite should occur. Patients are encouraged to consume a large amount of protein in order to make up for any deficiency while on the HCG diet. Foods such as eggs, steak, and cheese can all be consumed in large quantities during the days following treatment.
HCG Relapses and Concluding
While 60-70% of patients experience little or no difficulty in holding their weight off permanently, some relapses can still occur. It is important to know that without carefully watching the body in the days and weeks following treatment, weight can quickly be put back on. For women, pregnancy or menopause can often cause a reverse of previous treatment as weight is put back on. Teenage girls often suffer from compulsive eating, and are likely to relapse if not managed carefully. While relapses do occur, Simeons emphasizes that patients can come back for multiple treatments, and he observed that multiple courses can often prove to be even more satisfactory than a single course. At the end of his manuscript, Simeons states that the HCG method “involves a highly complex bodily mechanism” and emphasizes that “it is useless to hand the patient a diet-sheet and let the nurse give him a shot.” In order for patients to see the full effect of what the HCG diet can do for them, they must research, learn and understand what is going on in their bodies and the various steps it takes to see results. Dr. Simeons worked for hundreds of hours to develop a program that is repeatable, sustainable and gets results consistently. Following the plan closely and researching as much as possible before treatment is the best way to enjoy the pleasures of weight loss through the HCG diet.
HCG Diet Dictionary:
HCG 26-kit: HCG hormone bottle that lasts for 26 days of treatment.
HCG 40-Kit: HCG hormone bottle that lasts for 40 days of treatment.
100 grams: 3.5 ounces, the common serving size of protein, vegetables or fruit eaten on the HCG diet.
Apple Day: Common practice to break a stall in the HCG Diet, in which patients eat only apples for 24 hours. See section on “Interruptions to Losing Weight.”
Diencephalon: A part of the brain and central nervous system that controls most automatic animal functions of the body, including breathing, heartbeat, digestion, sleep, sex and the urinary system.
Grissini: Pencil-sized breadsticks, originally from Italy.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin): A hormone produced by the placenta after implantation.
Loading (Phase 1): 2-3 days of eating high fat, high sugar, and high calorie foods, usually preceding HCG treatment or in the first few days of taking injections/drops.
Melba Toast: Dry, crispy and thinly sliced toast made of wheat flour, salt, yeast, molasses and vinegar.
Phase: Various periods of time on the HCG diet, in which a new process or plan should be followed.
Phase 2: Part of HCG diet in which the 500 calorie plan is followed and drops have begun.
Phase 3: Part of HCG diet following phase 2, where caloric intake is increased, while still avoiding sugars and starches.
Pounds and Inches: Dr. Simeons manuscript explaining his theory and protocol of using the HCG hormone, and following a 500 calorie diet.
Stall: Not losing weight for a sustained period of time. See section on “Interruptions to Losing Weight.”
VLCD: Stands for Very Low Calorie Diet.