Home > Thoughts & such > My experience with the hcG diet – an honest review

My experience with the hcG diet – an honest review

I have a confession to make. When I mentioned before that a doctor put me on medication and I lost weight, I wasn’t entirely honest. That’s because I do not want people to get too interested in the said medication because I personally do not believe that it is 100% safe, despite what its many adherents say.

The medication is hcg – Human Choriogonadotropin, the hormone produced by pregnant women in the early stages of pregnancy. The theory is that this hormone will trick the body into delving into the fat storage while you’re taking a very low calorie diet. In fact, for the one month I was on hcg, I ate only 500 calories.

I wasn’t wild on the idea of injecting hormones into my body, but I was sick, desperate and at the end of my rope. I thought I could never lose weight the normal way and that I was just so screwed that injecting hormones into me won’t make it any worse.

Did it work?
It did. I lost about 10kg in one month. Yes, a month. And I had incredible energy despite the low calorie diet. (The explanation is that your fat storage was used to provide you energy.) Yet, despite the obvious success I had with hcg, I can’t openly recommend it to people.

My reasons:

The cost
First, it’s expensive. Very expensive.

Getting real hcg can be a challenge
You need a doctor that knows his stuff to administer it for you or else things could go wrong. I read about people regaining weight because of wrong hcg dosages and all. In the US, there are many charlatans selling hcg that is not hcg, so there’s another danger there.

Unhealthy obsession over the number on the scale
But most of all, I’m highly suspicious about the diet’s rules, one of which encourages one to weigh oneself every day and to eat only one meal a day after gaining a kg in a day. Your weight fluctuates daily thanks to water weight or when you gain muscle etc. Women often gain as much as 4 pounds before their periods!

Although I agree that inflammation is also a culprit (Paleo folks believe that if you ingest things that do not agree with your body like wheat, it gets inflamed inside – I think) this obsession over the scale just breeds paranoia and doesn’t reflect true progress.

Back when I was using hcg, I frowned when I read how people would panic when they go up two pounds and then proceed to only eat the recommended steak and apple at the end of the day. It may work to reduce the inflammation etc, but it just breeds an unhealthy obsession with your weight. Plus, in the long run, I don’t think it’s healthy to do this!

It makes hcg dieters afraid to lose weight on their own
One rule of the diet is that after the one month (sometimes, for others, it is longer) of hcg use, they must make sure that the weight doesn’t go above or below 2lbs of the weight they had on the last day of their injection. If you go below, so goes the wisdom of hcg dieters, you’ll cannibalise muscle. To lose weight, just use more hcg. I smell a ploy to promote sales of the product.

Saying that we can’t lose weight on our own is tantamount to saying that the human body is unadaptable. If our bodies were truly that unreliable and stupid, I doubt that the human race would’ve survived this long.

I lost about 18-20lbs on my own after my hcg treatment mostly by following the Primal Blueprint and Paleo Diet lifestyle. I am leaner, fitter and more energetic than before. And the best thing? The lifestyle is affordable, easy to follow and does not involve drugs! Hell, I don’t even need a gym, but that’s a topic for another post.

Most importantly, no lifestyle change = weight loss won’t stick
If you’re out to look for a quick fix, hcg is probably it. But the weight will come back if you return to your old habits. Hcg dieters talk about “resetting your hypothalamus” and some misunderstand and believe that they can eat anything after they lose the weight.

No. No, and double no. If you continue eating wheat and the processed crap you ate before, you will gain it all back.

Verdict? Yes, hcg does work, but please be very aware of the risks. Don’t be like me, jumping into the treatment without realising the long-term consequences. Till this day, I worry about what the treatment might have done to my health in the long term.

I owe hcg for helping me get a headstart; perhaps by losing that much weight quickly, it helped me lose weight easier as my IR wasn’t so bad as a result. I don’t know.

But still, I maintain that the best way to lose weight is the most boring way – and one that you’ve heard a million times: Change your lifestyle and diet. Exercise.

But I admit this from my long experience – finding the right lifestyle, diet and exercise is like navigating a maze full of booby traps. I hope you stick around so that I can show you how you can spare yourself the pain.

  1. August 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve always stayed away from “miracle cures”. I honestly believe that a healthy diet & exercise are the best and only real way to lose weight and keep it off permanantly!

  2. Elizabeth
    September 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Amen, moralia!

  3. March 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

    A few years ago, I tried hCG. It was difficult to find the real thing and the very low calorie diet was difficult to stick to. I did lose weight, but the best way to approach weight loss is always fresh (and preferably organic) vegetables and fruits and lean meats in reasonable portions.

  4. Daisy
    March 9, 2011 at 4:35 am

    I thank god that I found this post today. Truly. I did one round of HCG injections thru a doc supervised clinic. I lost 24 pounds in 40 days. however…I am convinced I lost muscle mass. I only lost 10 inches and NOT off the places that its been the “hardest” for me to loose. I did this as a quick fix to try and get a head start to loosing quick to fit into my gym clothes again as I gained 50 pounds over the last 2 years due to depression. Had I known how messed up this diet would have made me…I would never have done this quick fix. I didnt even loose more than 1 percent body fat! I started at 194 pounds and am at 170 and ending/stabalizng my weight or trying to on this phase 3…Im a BIGGER 170 than I have ever been. I never cheated and stuck to the protocol to a “T”….and I should have lost more weight/inches. some people think this is a miracle.

    I am done on sunday with phase 3…and adding in different foods…but mostly will stick to healthy protiens and low carb and no sugars…I gained just by eating a low carb yogurt with splenda in it….and a protien bar that was less than 150 calories and low carb/sugar when I used to eat those with no weight gain. Im afraid HCG has ruined my metabolism.

    I saw this page today and how this person wrote SHE LOST WEIGHT AFTER HCG ON HER OWN!! and thought there is a god in heaven. I do not want to be a slave to HCG and do round after round …..and do steak days….its nuts! its enuf to drive you crazy!

    I want to loose the rest of the 20 pounds I have to get off the old fashioned and healthy way…eating clean and working out. Im praying I can do it and this weight dosent come back on.

    this is the FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER SEEN ANYONE write that they were able to loose weight after HCG…everyone is telling me that Im going to have a hard time loosing it and even if I work out a ton and watch my diet that I will need to do a 2nd round of HCG to get to my goal.

    I will prove them wrong. I pray.
    I needed to read this today. I feel the same way about HCG. for some its a miracle. for me…I lost weight fast yes…but not thru working out and eating RIGHT…but by a quick fix..injections…and now I have to deal with the consequences of seeing how long its going to take my body to get back to NORMAL if it ever does! and loose weight and INCHES and BODY fat on my own!
    thank you for this post!!!!!! did it take you extra long to loose the rest of the weight?????

    March 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I also have lost an additional 4 pounds in the last month after completing hcg. I basically stick to no simple sugars or complex carbs slike potatoes, rice beans etc. I eat lots of veggies , low gylecemic fruit and lean protein. I eat dried berries and nuts in small amount . This has been a lifesaver for me. I no longer am obsessed with food and seem to eat only what my body needs. In fact I have to concentrate on keeping my weight where it is since I do not wish to lose additional weight which would be structural and have a negative impact on my health. good luck!

  6. Rusyda
    January 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Oh gosh. I just spoken to my husband about this n he was willing to provide financial support if i were to opt for this diet. I quickly went online n search for information. Now that i knew this i must say i was shocked! I thought it IS THE BEST way in weight lost and shedding those extra pounds. Thank you so much. And now i must stick to the normal regime…hit the gym and work out.

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  8. Nicole
    June 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    The hunger cravings and food obsessions were what always did me in. I’d learned to cope with stress with food. HCG helped that. Its like a crutch to get off of another addiction. HCG should not be a permanent crutch however. Going up and down is depressing and this diet is HARD! Its a hard diet to be social on and you always feel worn down. I work while I’m on it and it isn’t fun. I just go home and sleep thank God I don’t have kids yet. I am scared about going back up, so I’m thinking I might do another round after this one and get from 145 5’6” to 135 so that if I do go up a little over the harsh winter I won’t be miserable come spring. It also helps to keep junk out of my house and exercise doing things I actually like to do. I just hardly ever visit my parents because that’s where all of the junk food is hence why I was overweight when I lived with them.

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  13. Kai
    December 28, 2013 at 10:08 am

    LOVE HCG!!!!!!! It’s not a waste of money, it works, you learn to eat differently and healthier, I’m more aware of my choices, I guess those aren’t serious will go back eating crap and get fat again, I tell so many people about it when they ask me my “secret” when I tell they’re like ” oh no! I could never eat 500 cal a day!” Or ” oh that’s so dangerous!” Etc, etc, etc,. Well stay fat then,

  14. Amy
    April 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    How long did it take for your metabolism to return to normal after HCG?

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  1. August 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

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