(NaturalNews) While the HCG diet is a weight loss diet that many people haven't heard of and many don't understand. Online discussions surrounding the protocol, as well as its popularity among those wanting to lose weight, seems to be growing. Those who don't understand the HCG diet naturally want to know what the HCG diet is. Does it work? And is it safe?
The HCG diet is actually a protocol rather than simply a diet. It is a system that uses either injected HCG, HCG drops or homeopathic HCG; the latter stimulates the body to produce more of its own HCG naturally. This increased HCG within the body, accompanied by a very specific, low-calorie diet that allows only certain foods, causes the body to release abnormal body fat, using it for energy just as the body is designed to do when food is scarce and helping to prevent hunger.
What is HCG?
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. This is a hormone that is present in small amounts in the bodies of males and females of all ages and that increases in the female body during pregnancy. It is the hormone that is tested for in a pregnancy test and one of its roles during pregnancy is to ensure that the mother and fetus do not starve when food is unavailable by triggering the release of stored body fat to be used for energy.
The history of the HCG diet
The HCG diet has been around for 60 years. It was created and used by Dr. Simeons after discovering that, by injecting HCG into those suffering from obesity, they could lose excess body fat.
Dr. Simeons used his HCG protocol for many years in his medical practice, experimenting and refining and ultimately creating a protocol that was successful for most patients. Word naturally spread about his success, so the HCG diet has spread around the world, evolving into a weight loss protocol that no longer requires a doctor or injections but can be successfully used at home via the use of HCG drops or the use of homeopathic HCG.
Is the HCG diet safe?
While there are many who have concerns about the HCG protocol and the very low-calorie diet, for most users the diet appears to be not only safe but effective. The very real dangers of obesity need to be weighed up against implied issues surrounding the diet.
Increased HCG in the body means that, although only 500 calories of food are being eaten each day, the body is using around 2000 calories of stored body fat, extracting the nutrients and energy that it needs and creating an average one pound loss of fat per day.
While there are the naysayers who are vocal in their criticism of the diet, they appear to do so based on speculation and opinion. The handful of scientific studies that have been done on the diet thus far have proved to be inconclusive, with one study contradicting the next. Meanwhile, the experiences of thousands of users worldwide validate the potential for consistent, maintainable weight loss when the protocol is followed correctly.
A quick search online will find forums full of dieters taking advantage of the HCG protocol and doing so safely and successfully. There are also those who have succeeded on HCG and are now more aware of their bodies, having learned how different foods affect them and gaining more understanding of which foods are beneficial for them personally as well as which ones they should leave on the supermarket shelves.
About the author: Sue Woledge is a natural therapist, writer and owner of Love, light & lessons: Living well in the 21st century. Sue is passionate about living well, eating REAL food and choosing safe, environmentally friendly products. Sue believes that living as naturally as possible and being mindful our thoughts and actions can reduce the impact we have on others and the planet and is key to good health and a brighter future for all. A number of books written by Sue Woledge including her latest raw food recipe book are available here.