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Updated October 31, 2020

What is HCG and the HCG Diet Plan?

Is the HCG Diet Plan EffectiveIt is a well-known fact that millions of people throughout the world are struggling to lose excess pounds and avoid weight related health problems. The HCG diet plan has recently moved to the forefront as a popular program for those who have not experienced success with traditional weight loss methods. Although developed over 60 years ago, this particular diet did not become well known until 2008. The plan is a combination of severe caloric restriction and the use of HCG supplements, which can be taken in the form of an injection or through the use of sublingual drops.

The Role of the HCG Hormone

HCG is an abbreviation for Human Chrorionic Gonadotropin-a pregnancy hormone that signals a woman’s body to burn stored fat throughout the entire course of her pregnancy. When this hormone is taken by individuals who are not pregnant, its fat burning effect is the same. This makes it possible for one to drastically slash the number of calories he or she consumes without becoming weak or listless. Provided the HCG drops or injections are taken regularly, the person’s body will burn its fat stores to replace the missing calories, thus allowing the dieter to lose a significant amount of weight in a short time.

Men and women following this diet typically find that despite the severe restriction of calories, they do not experience the fatigue, physical weakness or mental dullness usually associated with very low calorie diet programs. The absence of these unpleasant effects is the result of the HCG hormone’s presence in the dieter’s system.

Benefits of the HCG Diet

As with all weight loss plans, there are both benefits and risks associated with the use of the HCG program. The advantage of the plan is obviously the fact that one can reduce the number of calories eaten quite radically, while still having an adequate amount of energy to complete his or her normal daily activities. The hormone supplement is also thought to quell the hunger pains that almost always accompany diets featuring severe caloric restrictions, thus making it easier for dieters to resist forbidden foods.

Administration Methods

There are two HCG hormone administration methods from which dieters can choose: HCG injections or sublingual drops. Injections must be administered in a diet clinic or similar facility by a qualified individual and are given subcutaneously, usually in the upper arm. Drops are the newly developed and less complicated method of delivery for the HCG hormone, as well as the most popular. Taking the hormone supplement through this route is pain-free as well as less costly. Through standard homeopathic medicine principles, the hormone supplement is distilled two or more times, and each time it gains a higher potency. The drops are then ingested by placing them under the tongue several times a day. Sublingual drops offer the same dramatic weight loss results seen with the injectable form, but in a way that is more convenient, less expensive and pain-free.

Risks and Side Effects of the HCG Diet Plan

The way one chooses to take the hormone supplement has a lot to do with the type of side effects he or she will experience. Injections and sublingual drops are the two methods of delivery through which one can receive his or her daily does of HCG. Formerly, injections were the only avenue through which the body could adequately absorb the hormone and while some dieters still choose this route, they must be aware of the potential for after effects such as leg cramps, fatigue, headaches, stomach pain, mood swings and rashes. These side effects are not typically seen when drops are used.

However, regardless of the administration method one chooses, there are potential risks associated with the HCG diet. For example, most health care professionals believe that such a severe restriction of calories will result in certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Additionally, those with underlying health problems such as diabetes or high or low blood pressure may unknowingly exacerbate their conditions when following such a diet. Another concern is that many individuals enroll in programs of this type without first seeking the advice of a physician. This can lead to mistakes along the way, such as misuse of the HCG supplements.

Additional Considerations

Many people have stated that they shed pounds quickly when following the HCG diet. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the Human Chrorionic Gonadotropin hormone for this purpose. Therefore, as with all weight reduction plans and dietary supplements, individuals should consider both the risks and benefits of the HCG diet plan prior to beginning the program. Also, anyone who experiences unusual or serious side effects from any diet or supplement should immediately cease participation. In addition, it is always in one’s best interest to discuss any new weight loss program or supplement with a doctor or other licensed health care practitioner. safe and effective.


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Joe Costello
Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
Joe Costello is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA), author, and internet blogger. Joe has more than 9 years of experience in the sports nutrition industry and over 3 years of experience as a supplement and nutrition blogger. As a certified NWC who specializes in dietary supplements, Joe strives to deliver accurate, comprehensive, and research-backed information to his readers.

You can find more of Joe’s work including his E-Books about fitness and nutrition at his official website, or connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, or YouTube. Joe Costello is one of the founders of and years after the creation of the site, partnered with TEK Naturals, a nutritional supplement company.