As far as diet trends go, it's fair to assume that most guys already know that the quick fix doesn't exist. We’ve been trained to believe that fat has to be melted off with hard work and hours in the gym. That approach has served us well. We don’t shy away from work. Some of us even believe it’s part of the reward. So, when someone brings up a diet that is based on long-since dismissed science that includes injecting yourself with urine, we tune out pretty fast. But what if you could lose a lot of fat with these injections? What if you could lose more than a pound a day? What if it could protect your muscle gains, possibly even help boost growth, and target just the fat? Well, that makes it something that a lot of guys would consider. What is this seemingly miraculous fat loss diet? HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin.
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is the hormone in urine that determines if a woman is pregnant. Before you dismiss it as nothing more than the sorcery that dictates if you’ll be a dad, it has been used in hormone replacement therapy — especially for men with deficient testosterone levels. It became a weight loss technique in the 1930s, and was later partnered with serious caloric restrictions for even more weight loss. The results were accidentally discovered by endocrinologist A.T.W. Simeons, who was trying to jumpstart testicular growth in young boys who were underdeveloped due to malfunctioning pituitary glands. When his subjects started losing weight, he decided to partner the injections with a low calorie diet and his now infamous and highly debated HCG protocol was born. The real hook back in the day (and to this day to some extent) was that patients weren’t hungry when they took the injections, even though they were often only consuming 500 calories each day. That’s a whopping 1,500 calories less than what a normal male should consume on a given day, if you’re keeping score.
Still not convinced to prick yourself with a needle full of urine? There’s a lot more to HCG than just pissing on a stick. Pregnant women produce HCG, which helps the healthy development of the fetus by ensuring that there are more than enough nutrients for the unborn child and mother during pregnancy. HCG is the catalyst to make the mom’s brain produce chemicals that release fat stores into her bloodstream that are burned up as energy. What does this mean to someone who isn’t a pregnant woman who is producing their own HCG but injecting the hormone into their bloodstream? They’ll also be releasing fat stores into their bloodstream to be used as energy, which theoretically results in burning more fat than if HCG weren’t added to their system.
So, great, you inject yourself with some not-so-mellow yellow and you’ll start losing pounds by the day, right? Wrong. HCG doesn’t just melt fat without any effort or changes in the user’s caloric consumption. In order for it to aid weight loss, it has to be combined with a significant caloric reduction. In the past, that meant consuming 500 calories each day for a little under a month. Weight loss was definitely the result, but whether it was from the HCG or the crash diet was always the unanswerable question. Ultimately, many people would rebound and regain the weight they had lost. It was easy to dismiss the diet — as with all crash diets — based on this alone. And the community ultimately did just that. But the theoretical promise of HCG wouldn’t go away that easily.
For years, there have been countless gurus, swamis, healers and medical practitioners who have tried to dust off the old HCG promise with little to nothing new in their pitch. They made some money, some folks lost some weight, others struggled with a seemingly impossible diet and the experts came out of the woodwork to dismiss the legitimacy of using the hormone to aid in weight loss. The cycle came around more times than the McRib (and we’re not sure if these phenomenon weren’t related).
So, why are we talking about it now? Research presented at the American Society of Bariatric Physicians 62nd Annual Obesity Symposium has lent some credibility to the use of HCG as a tool to help people lose weight. The results, while still debated, indicate that the use of HCG isn't so much a fat burner, but a possible muscle protector and retainer when undergoing crash diets with severe caloric depletion.
When a person goes on a low calorie or near starvation diet to lose weight, the scale dips rapidly but with any fat loss comes losing a lot of muscle in the process. This research indicates that using HCG might protect muscle and isolate the fat. What does that mean for you? If you wanted to lose a lot of weight fast and were considering a seriously low calorie approach to get it done, using HCG might be the only way to ensure you lose more fat than muscle.
A new plan that takes this one step further is Colin F. Watson's HCG Diet. In this particular approach
you're still injecting daily and dieting hard but you're given more calories, and there are mandatory workouts. With a host of health issues and reaching rock bottom, Watson tried HCG and lost 37 pounds in 32 days. He became a believer almost as quickly as the fat came off. From believer, he became experimenter, evangelist and coach. “I increased the protein intake and daily calories, added high intensity training workouts and made a 26-day plan,” Watson said. “I had already lost weight with HCG, but when I made these changes, I was down to 7% body fat,” Watson recalled. Adding in workouts and boosting calories seem to fall in line with Watson’s findings that “HCG targets the fat and protects the muscle.” Beyond evolving the diet to include more lean protein consumption,
workouts and coaching sessions, Watson has also added in a retreat for HCG successes and protégés to help build on his mission. What better motivation to drop weight and look your best than visiting a 5-star beachfront resort in La Paz, Mexico, right? For more information on upcoming HCG retreats
go to his website.
But if it works, why does the FDA still remain adamantly against the use of HCG? Well, their most recent statements on the use of the hormone focus on HCG pills and drops that have become all the rage at your local homeopath’s office. The FDA unequivocally states that such sources of the hormone do not work, and the only method to receive it with any chance of effectiveness is via injection. Does that mean they’re saying it works? No. Does that mean they’re saying it doesn’t work? No.
Where does the truth lie? The truth can be found in thousands of stories indicating weight loss and with hundreds of researchers who call it bunk. The truth is that a growing number of people are believers in HCG and whether it be a placebo effect, a starvation result or an outright lie, if users are able to embrace the lifestyle change that must come as a result, then maybe using HCG is a viable tool to aid weight loss. “If people take HCG, learn to eat right and commit to being active and lose weight as a result, that’s great,” Watson stated, “but it won’t mean a thing if they don’t keep those new-found habits of proper nutrition and working out.” What does that mean for you? You can’t drop a bunch of weight with HCG and go back to eating Taco Bell every other day without expecting to gain all of it back. Sorry.
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