With the popularity of the HCG diet plan, many people are wondering “but, will this work for me?” Well, look no further. We’ll give you the 411 on this diet and how it affects men, women, diabetics, vegans and a few things in between.
First off, let’s explain exactly what this diet consist of. There have been rave reviews surrounding this plan, but let’s examine the science to see whether the HCG diet is Fab or simply a Fad.
The Science behind the HCG Diet
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a naturally occurring hormone. It has a number of functions, but of interest to most people interested in weight loss, is one glaring benefit. HCG has the ability to promote the use of fat stores as a primary means of energy. The way this diet works is that an individual is only allowed to consume 500 calories a day. The restricted caloric intake, along with taking HCG, either as injections or drops under the tongue, creates an environment known as ketosis, where your body turns to stored fuel (fat) for energy. The result is often rapid weight loss.
It’s interesting to note that HCG production increases in women during pregnancy. This allows the baby to consume her stored energy and grow, even in those early months where she may be too nauseous to eat much, or is vomiting after every meal. The HCG allows the baby to feed uninterrupted and is the reason why many pregnant women with morning sickness initially lose weight.
Now, HCG may sounds like a dream if you can survive on 500 calories without passing out. However, depending on your gender, body type and lifestyle, you may have a different outcome than the next person. Below is an explanation of how the HCG diet affects various groups so you can decide whether this plan is right for you and your lifestyle.
Men and the HCG Diet
Ok, first up are the fellas. As we mentioned, HCG is a hormone that increases in women and you should know that it also increases the level of estrogen in the body (female hormone). So, for men that chose this diet, there may possibly be some interesting side affects.
It has been reported that men on the HCG diet plan have experienced growth in their breast tissue, similar to that of a pregnant woman. This is because of the estrogen increase and while this may be a deal breaker for some men, others may feel that the weight loss potential outweighs this inconvenience. Luckily, the breast growth is not permanent and resolves once the diet is stopped.
Another thing for men to aware of is that the prostate gland may also become enlarged with repeated HCG use. This may be worrisome for some men, especially is you are dealing with prostate cancer or have a family history of enlarged prostates.
Woman and the HCG Diet
Now, for women, growth of the breast tissue may not be an unwanted side affect, but there are other issues that women should pay particular attention to. The increase in hormones in the woman’s body may make her more likely to become pregnant. Also, if she does become pregnant, because increased HCG can cause multiple eggs, she may be more likely to experience multiple fetuses, or even ectopic pregnancies.
Should Diabetics try the HCG Diet?
As a diabetic, you have to be very careful when changing your diet and lifestyle routine. That being said, the HCG diet can have some benefits for diabetics, but it should only be undertaken under the strict supervision of a doctor.
Though not true for every case, many diabetics have seen their blood sugar levels drop while on the HCG diet and their insulin levels stabilize. This is because sweets and overall calories are restricted. However the results may vary based on the severity of the illness, the patient’s weight and lifestyle and other variables. Patients have also seen a drop in cholesterol and combat obesity, which contributes to diabetes. Consult your doctor before starting this diet.
Individuals who adhere to a plant based diet have also found the HCG diet beneficial. However, there are a few additions for vegetarians and vegans. The main difference is that vegetarians recommend doing a deep body cleanse for at least a few months before attempting the HCG diet.
The theory is that it is best to totally cleanse the body first to allow the diet to be most effective. Also, there are a great many toxins stored in fat tissue, so breaking up fat for energy without first cleansing can be harmful.
Another note is that the vegetarian must make sure to restrict their calories adequately. Many vegetarians and vegans consume a lot of fruit in the form of juices and smoothies and this can send them over the mark easily.
So you see, there are different considerations for each person considering the HCG diet plan. Be sure to thoroughly research your own unique situation and make the choice that’s right for you.