Sceptics credit the low calorie intake that comes with the HCG diet as being responsible for the rapid weight loss associated with it (anywhere from .5 – 2lbs a day while on the HCG diet, and anywhere from 30lbs – as much as 90 pounds over the course of the diet). However, this assessment is short-sighted. HCG drops work in a number of ways to make weight loss easier, faster, and more effective.
To begin with, HCG usage reduces feelings of hunger, allowing people to resist cravings. It is believed to be an appetite suppressant; in pregnant women, HCG often causes feelings of nausea in the early stages of pregnancy.
HCG supplements also prevent muscle loss while you diet; muscle loss would otherwise be an unavoidable consequence of such extreme calorie restriction. By elevating the level of hormones such as testosterone, the HCG hormone creates an anabolic state (muscle-building) which counteracts the catabolic state (muscle-breakdown). And, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even while at rest, because carrying muscle raises your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The hormone-promoting nature of HCG drops can also counteract the effects of menopause and andropause.
How does HCG do this?
Well, HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that is naturally found in pregnant women, where it aids in developing the .
HCG has two primary functions; the first is to develop the sexual organs of the fetus, and the second is to help ensure that there are adequate nutrients and calories available for both the mother and child-to-be during pregnancy.
HCG performs these functions by stimulating the hypothalamus to produce chemicals that release stores of fat into the bloodstream to be burned as energy. During this process, nutrients that are normally stored in fat are also released into the bloodstream, helping to provide sustenance to the mother and growing fetus. Pregnancy is not required, however, for HCG to cause fat to be released into the bloodstream—and this is where its benefit to dieters becomes clear.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that HCG was not really meant for weight loss, and so it does have some side-effects, including mood disorders, headaches, and changes in the female reproductive organs, such as swelling of the breasts and irregular menstrual flow.
There have also been reports of complications with cardiovascular problems, heart ailments, and blood clots. Doctors have warned that these supplements may cause a rapid increase in the metabolism and thus heart palpitations, an irregular heartbeat, and mood swings can occur.
But, in an otherwise healthy person, these side-effects are not likely to be severe; certainly, the risks from obesity are much more pronounced, so you if you need to lose weight rapidly for the sake of your health, HCG drops might be the right choice for you.