Losing up to a pound a day for twenty makes HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) a successful yet controversial method for weight loss. It was first used for weight loss about fifty years ago after being discovered by Italian physician, Dr Simeon. There are numerous modifications around, and HCG has been used in the US for about thirty years. How does it work to cause weight loss?
HCG is a hormone normally found in huge amounts during pregnancy. It is made by the placenta and helps maintain pregnancy. It is conventionally used by doctors to treat female patients for infertility or boys for delayed puberty. During pregnancy women may make up to one million units of HCG daily, while the HCG weight loss programs use less than two hundred units daily and has no effect on fertility or sexual development.
The HCG diet program consists of a very low calorie diet (500 calories per day) and the daily administration of HCG. The weight loss occurs due to the calorie restriction. The included foods are from a specific list of meats, fruits and veggies.
The HCG seems to allow the hypothalamus or control center in the brain easier access to control the breakdown of abnormal fat reserves such as those found on hips, buttocks, and abdomen, leading to a quick reduction of fat in these areas. This easy access to fat stores that are broken down for calories and energy may be why people on the diet do not get hungry, or feel tired.
After the twenty-day diet phase of the program there is a very important three-week transition phase in which sugars, starches and oils must be slowly re-introduced. This phase is critical in allowing time for the hypothalamus to readjust back to a healthy long-term “normal” diet. The HCG seems to “reset” the hypothalamus so that it continues to more easily control access to fat stores.
HCG is a great starting point to help people on their journey back to health but is only one part of successful weight loss program. I suggest a more holistic approach to weight loss in which HCG is only a catalyst.
Our medical HCG program starts with a one-hour exam, screening for underlying health conditions that may have caused weight gain, such as food allergies, low thyroid or other hormone imbalances. We also address behavioral problems that will slow efforts at weight loss. For two months after the HCG diet portion our Health Coach continues to work with patients to insure they are following a healthy long-term diet plan, getting regular exercise, restful sleep, and managing stress.
HCG is not magic, but it certainly works to help lose weight. Our typical patient loses fifteen to twenty pounds during the program. Some patients do longer or repeat courses and many have lost over one hundred pounds. By masking cravings, opening access to stored fat thus providing energy, HCG works to get weight off. By resetting the hypothalamus and reprogramming the body to crave healthy foods, HCG seems to provide a long-term benefit in helping patients control weight.
HCG is highly regulated and available by prescription only. There are numerous online sources of HCG, some of which have sketchy suppliers and most of which offer no support or oversight.
After writing several thousand prescriptions for HCG I have found it to be a very successful part of an overall weight loss program. I suggest only working with a program that is overseen by a physician and designed to help you take the first step toward living a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime.
For a free consultation to see if HCG is right for you, call (970) 245-6911 to schedule a free consult.
Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement for men and women, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia and other complex medical conditions. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (www.imcwc.com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezzalaser.com). Call (970) 245-6911 for an appointment or more information.