The HCG Diet is a much talked about plan for weight loss. There are many professionals and successful dieters who favor it, as well as professionals who have questioned its effectiveness. Knowing what the HCG diet program entails, you will be better able to decide whether it is for you.
The underlying purpose of this diet program is to help you change eating habits; no special food purchases are required.
Once you are clear about this purpose, you need to know the following: The duration of a comprehensive HCG diet program should be 42 days (6 weeks) for Phase I and should include weekly visits with your medical doctor. During the 6-week program, patients should expect average weight loss of 20 – 30 pounds for women and 25 – 40 pounds for men.
Phase 2 of a comprehensive HCG diet program is the real heart of the program. It consists of a 3-week transition phase following the initial 6-week program. During Phase 2, no HCG is used. Instead, the patient resets his/her metabolic requirements. The food allowed is similar, though with more choices and increased calories. Patients must continue the good eating habits and lifestyle changes they have made during the first 6 weeks, and if they have been found to have an under-active thyroid, continue their thyroid support.
Before we look more deeply into the all-important Phase 2, here are the major components of a comprehensive HCG diet program:
- Initial consultation and subsequent visits
- Thyroid evaluation, and therapy if necessary
- HCG injections drawn up specifically for each individual on a weekly basis
- Weekly vitamin B12 injections to maximize metabolism
- Weekly weigh-ins, progress monitoring, counseling/coaching, etc.
- Weekly MIC Plus Injections (fat burning amino acids + B12 shots)
- Optional DNA genomic testing
After finishing your HCG drops or injections, you should be instructed to remain on 500 calories for two more days. On the third day, Phase 2 actually begins during which you are resetting your metabolic requirements to a new set point that will allow you to permanently keep off the fat you have lost. You must perform Phase 2 correctly. Skipping this step almost guarantees you will regain the weight lost. Phase 2 lasts for three weeks and consists of continued weekly B12 + MIC injection for energy, and eating the same types of food you have been eating: lean protein, vegetables and fruits, but in larger quantities. It’s suggested that 2200 calories/day for women and 2500 calories/day for men works best. This number becomes your new set point (calories/day). After the three weeks, you can reintroduce other foods that you have been avoiding; as long as your daily caloric intake is no more than your new set point, you will not start gaining weight.
Be sure to work with your medical doctor to set your calories/day high enough. If your set point is too low, then after Phase 2 is completed and you start eating more typical American food, you will find you are eating more than the allocated calories/day and will start gaining weight back.
Taking these simple steps is easy and if followed properly will result in permanent weight loss and increased health and wellness.
Dr. Clair is an integrative medicine doctor and founder of Vibrance Rejuvenation Center in Rancho Mirage. He can be reached at