Muscle for life

Diet Plans That Suck: The HCG Diet

Diet Plans That Suck: The HCG Diet

Many people turn to the HCG diet for rapid weight loss, and many suffer through the side effects. Here’s why this diet sucks, and what to do instead.


The “HCG diet” is very simple:

You eat 500 calories per day, and you inject or ingest a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is supposed to instruct your body to burn fat, not muscle.

It was started in the 1950s by a British physician, and it has enjoyed a nice resurgence of popularity thanks to hucksters like Kevin Trudeau (whose weight loss shenanigans got him a $5 million fine from the FTC and 3-year ban from infomercials), and “diet and pill of the day” pseudo-gurus like Dr. Oz.

People generally resort to the HCG diet for one, simple reason:

It results in rapid weight loss.

There’s no denying that it “works” in that sense–yes, you will lose weight, and yes you will lose it quickly.

HOWEVER…there’s more to this story. The HCG diet is not everything it’s cracked up to be, and is not advisable even as a temporary way to “jump start” your weight loss.

Let’s look at why.

HCG Doesn’t Help You Lose Weight, Preserve Muscle, or Feel Better

One of the big selling points of the HCG diet is the claim that the hormone will cause your body to burn fat and preserve muscle. There are also often claims about it blunting hunger and simply making you feel good.

Well, these claims have been repeatedly and categorically disproved in scientific literature.

Here’s how the scientists behind this definitive meta study of several decades of research on HCG and weight loss (24 clinical trials in all) summarized their findings:

“We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss of fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.”

As if that weren’t enough, you should also know that in 2011, the FDA began yanking off the market the pills, drops, and sprays containing hCG, denouncing them as “fraudulent and illegal.”

And what did the scammers do in response?

They started selling “hormone-free” pills, drops, and sprays that contain a mixture of amino acids that are claimed to deliver the same benefts.

Yeah, right.

So if HCG is worthless for weight loss purposes, then what about eating 500 calories per day? Is that a good way to lose weight?

The Truth About Very-Low-Calorie Diets and Rapid Weight Loss

Most weight loss diets are marketed in the same way:


The larger X is, and the smaller Y is, the more excited people generally get. They figure they can do anything for a few weeks if it means losing 10, 20, or even 30 pounds.

There’s a kicker, though:

Rapid weight loss is deceptive, is often followed by rapid weight gain, and can even harm your health.

How so?

When you restrict your calories, whether moderately or severely, a fair amount of the weight you initially lose is simply water.

You’ve probably heard this before, but you may not know why.

It boils down to your body’s utilization of a substance known as glycogen, which is a molecule stored in the liver and muscle tissue that can be used for the generation of cellular energy.

Your body produces glycogen from carbohydrate you eat, and every gram of glycogen requires 3-4 grams of water for storage.

When you restrict your carbohydrate intake, glycogen levels decrease, which also decreases the amount of water you hold in your bodyThe less carbohydrates you eat, the greater the effect.

As most very-low-calorie diets have you eating little-to-no carbs, the water loss can be quite significant.

Yes, you can lose 10 pounds in 5 days, but don’t think that’s primarily fat–it’s mostly water. In one study, subjects ate 300 calories per day for 36 days, and in the end, water accounted for 21-31% of total weight lost.

There’s more, though. What happens when you start eating again, and increase your intake of carbs?

That’s right, your glycogen levels quickly rise again, and with that comes a rapid increase in water weight.

This can be quite baffling and discouraging, and has led many people to believe the severe caloric restriction “didn’t work.”

Screw it then, bring on the pizza, and so begins the spiral of regaining any fat actually lost while dieting. (More on that in a minute…)

When you severely restrict your calories, you don’t just lose water and fat–you lose muscle too.

This is yet another reason why just praying for the scale go down isn’t enough.

Large caloric deficits induce muscle loss, and the larger the deficit, the more muscle you lose.

This is why many women wind up with the dreaded “skinny fat” body after several rounds of starvation diets–they just lose too much muscle along the way.

This isn’t just bad for your physique, either. Many people don’t know that the amount of muscle you have actually has a direct impact on your health

Increasing our body’s lean mass…

  • Accelerates metabolism.
  • Bolsters the immune system.
  • Decreases risk of chronic disease.
  • Improves bone health.
  • And more.

Believe it or not, muscle strength alone is a reliable predictor of all-cause mortality. Yes, the weaker your body’s muscles are, the shorter your life span.

When you consider the fact that you naturally lose muscle as you age, you can see how important it is to combat this with exercise and proper nutrition, and how unhealthy it is to burn up muscle with starvation diets.

Severe caloric restriction often comes with severe hunger and discomfort.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, but you feel pretty miserable when you barely eat.

Sure, you can supplement with fiber to reduce hunger, but don’t expect it to make a huge difference. Starving sucks, period.

  • Your energy levels plummet.
  • You have intense cravings for food.
  • You find it harder and harder to focus.
  • You can feel depressed
  • And more.

Suffering like this really isn’t worth it when you can just follow a moderate weight loss regimen and lose weight without any physical or psychological stress.

Many people slowly, or quickly, regain the weight they lose on a very-low-calorie diet.

Even if someone has the will to defy their body’s needs for energy and tough it out for a month or two of starvation…

Eventually they stop, and they can’t wait to eat. And oh, do they eat.

This results in the rapid increase in water weight discussed earlier, and as the overeating continues, a slow–or not so slow–return of the fat lost while dieting.

Unfortunately, however, the muscle lost stays lost, so in the end, many people utilizing starvation diets accomplish nothing more than burning up some muscle as well as their nerves.

What is Healthy Weight Loss?

Here’s what healthy weight loss looks like:

  • Slow but steady weight loss. You should lose between .5 – 2 lbs per week depending on your current body fat percentage.
  • Little-to-no muscle loss. You still experience the initial “whoosh” of water weight, but after that, nearly 100% of weight lost should be from fat.
  • No real hunger issues. You may wish you could eat that steaming pizza or frosty ice cream, but you should never have to suffer through major hunger pangs.

When you lose weight healthily, it’s an easy, enjoyable ride, really. And fortunately, it’s very simple as well.

If you want to learn how to lose weight healthily, check out my article on flexible dieting, which is, in my opinion, the absolute best way to go about it.


What do you think about the HCG diet? Have anything else to add? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • António Alves

    Hey Mike,

    just in the name of research, I think you should check this out. http://www.thechaosbulk.com/ If he is right, which I might be leaning towards, after reading his other blog articles, he is just destroying the whole bulking/cutting philosophy at least for us skinny fats.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yikes can’t stand that sales page, but anyone that claims they’ve “hacked” the bulk and cut process is full of shit.

  • SandraD

    I did the hcg diet two years ago with the blessing of my physician. My diet was approx 800 or 900 calories per day,per my doc due to my workout schedule. I continued to do daily crossfit workouts and swam 1/2 mile per day most days, golfed both days on the weekend and did not experience any side effects. I am 3lbs lighter now than my finishing weight with hcg. After 3 years of nothing working, this was the best thing I ever did. No more muffin top and definition in my arms and shoulders. Female, 57, 5″5″, 130 lbs.

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow, that’s great! Good job!

    • EH

      Hi Sandra. Did you do the injections or homeopathic. I did the diet for one round but then gave it up because it discourages exercise and I really want to work out. It claims that you stall? Was that not your experience? Thank you.

    • Andy Jackson

      All I know is that if you rely on hcg for weightloss,Be careful! I too thought this was the best thing in the world,but I didn’t see it coming in the beginning.This diet will raise cortisol levels that will mess you up further down the line.I did it 2 times in a year,and since then suffer with a chronic insomnia and gain belly fat as a result from too much cortisol release because the body does perceive this as stress when you lower your calories that much.Most people on the diet perceive it as great because it gives you a lot of energy,but this my friends is the result of high cortisol.And it will kick those adrenals in high gear,and that is definitely not good for the body.Wish I knew it then,So yes, I too enjoyed a fine body i was proud of,but the stress I put myself under won at the end.And it was not worth the damage.

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  • Not For Me

    I gained back so much weight after doing this diet. I lost weight and was really careful about what I ate after that but I ended up fatter. The diet also had some terrible side effects for me. I really agree with others that this is the worst diet out there.

    • Michael Matthews

      Sorry to hear that. 🙁 It really is a crappy diet.

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  • Joseph J Villalva

    At the end of the day it all comes down to Calories IN / Calories Out..

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup, and balancing macronutrient intake of course (low-protein dieting is bad for weight loss, for instance).

    • Andy Jackson

      That’s old school man.It has to do with the hormones that control your weight.Lets see if when you get to be in your 50’s or 60’s you will suceed with your calories-in/calories-out old school method.

    • Joseph J Villalva

      I’m 52.. I Carb Back load. Hybrid my macro intakes, kick it & trick it ( (Metabolism) daily.. Fast when I feel like it. lost over a 120 llbs 2 years ago and I eat what ever I want to. I just don’t eat crap like I use to..lol
      .You’re body will adapt to and plateau to anything if you do it long enough continuously. If it works for you..Keep on keeping on.. ..

      • Michael Matthews

        Great job! That rocks.

  • J 40

    I successfully completed this diet in 2012. I lost 40 lbs. in 33 days of Phase 2 of the diet. During Phase 3, I stabilized my weight and was the thinnest, most energetic, and mentally happiest I had been in over a decade.

    I was hungry for the first few days, but after that I was fine. Maybe not everyone’s results are the same, but I enjoyed dramatic weight loss.

    I agree that living a healthy life should include moderate exercise and healthy eatimg habits- but I feel quite offended by the remarks the writer has made in regards to a product that changed my life. Especially when you use the FDA as a reference. This is the same department that allows: GMOs to thrive, alcohol manufacturers to hide their ingredients, livestock farmers to use antibiotics, and the tobacco industry to use known poisons in their products.

    If you don’t know someone that has personally used this protocol and PROPERLY followed Dr. Simeons’ directions, then you really don’t have the authority to speak on its effectiveness.

    • Michael Matthews

      Starving yourself works. No doubt. HCG does not help the process. Review the scientific literature I cite to learn why.

      • J 40

        I never felt starved past the first few days though- but I also didn’t do the Phase 1 “Loading Stage,” which they claimed would prevent that feeling. I was also full of energy throughout the 33 days.

        I also didn’t take the homeopathic version, I injected the actual hormone every morning. I’m totally open to the possibility of a placebo effect, but the 40lbs I lost wasn’t water weight or muscle mass- which kind of negates the placebo theory, no? (honest question.) And after that much weight loss, I didn’t have any hanging, flabby skin that most would assume to be a normal after-effect of starving yourself.

        Does any of that give evidence of the diet’s effectiveness in my case, or is my body just programmed to react to starvation differently?

        • Michael Matthews

          Just because you don’t FEEL starved doesn’t mean your body isn’t starved.

          Trust me–500 calories per day is starving your body.

          That’s good on the injections. At least it did SOMETHING, but it doesn’t help you lose weight. Just review the clinical research I cite in this article.

          It can increase free T levels though.

          You lost fat because you ate very little food for an extended period of time, that’s all. And yes some people’s bodies do better with starvation than others. The more fat you have, the easier it is.

          If you want to have your mind blown, check this out:


          • Emm

            our bodies were not starved. The HCG caused our fat stores to be released, so realistically we’re living off of 2,000-3,000 calories per day. For example, if someone is injecting you with let’s say, 2000 calories per day, and they tell you to eat only 200 calories, that doesn’t mean it’s starvation because the food you are eating is not your only fuel. Without HCG, 500 calories is starvation, and is dangerous. But of course the signs will be there- reduced strength, dizziness, fatigue, obsessing about food, passing out, etc.

    • Janine Jordan

      I’m on the HCG protocol now. It’s so amazing to see the number on the scale go down every day. I only needed to lose 18 lb, but if any of you think that is easy to do for everyone, it’s not.That doesn’t happen for me with ordinary dieting and exercising. I gave in and decided to do the HCG protocol, after working hard, dieting low carb for 4 months and losing nothing!!! My sister did it and lost 48 lb. and has kept it off for three years. I have lost 8 lb. in 2 weeks, and without HCG, that would happen after 9 months of walking up a steep incline behind my house carrying a backpack with a 20-lb bag of kitty litter in it and eating 1000 calories of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables per day. We who have sluggish thyroids want to be lean just like people with normal ones. I should be finished with the protocol July 6th. I’ll let y’all know.

      • Michael Matthews

        Make sure you reintroduce food slowly as your metabolism is going to slow down quite a bit with what you’re doing:


        • Andy Jackson

          I have done HCG,and that’s what is so unique,that your metabolism does not slow down.Although I will say this,that you cannot do this diet 2 or 3 times in a year and expect not to affect you because it will raise your cortisol levels too high to the point that you will suffer insomnia,and it took me a long while to realize this after many sleepless nights.Cortisol will raise your stress levels and cause you to start gaining belly weight and that’s what will interfere later with losing weight the conventional way.It will not happen because of the high cortisol and stress.For that reason this diet should be done cautiously and not one treatment after another.I do believe that the energy many experience is due to the cortisol that you release because of low calories.If you are still young and healthy your body can bounce back but the older you are the harder it will be to bounce back Your adrenals will be in stuck mode elevating cortisol and stress.That’s the downfall.In the beginning it may seem miraculous,but it comes with a price to pay later.

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  • Eve Gillespie

    I found HCG Drops as a victorious tool in regaining myself confidence. Our family has history of obesity and it got me too. I have been stubborn and lifeless even during my early college days. One of my shielas told me she was double her current weight (55 kilos) a couple of months back and what salvaged her from depression was HCG Australia Wide drops. I was hesitant but then, desperate at the same time. I have tried various programs and none of them worked. HCG Australia Wide did miracles to me. In a week I lost 4 kilos. Currently, after a month of usage I am wearing clothes 2 sizes down. I was blown away with this product and I surely want to share this inspiration with you all. I lost the weight I wanted to and it helped me heaps. You can check the thing yourself at http://www.hcgaustraliawide.com. Just sharin’ my happiness and success with everyone.

  • goldeneagle78

    It’s wasy for people blessed with good genes like the author is to say that eating right and exercising is all it takes, and that it’s easy to do that and lose weight. Well, it’s not so simple for many people out there, and it’s a bit arrogant to ignore that fact. Many people are like me. They can eat healthy and go to the gym every day, and lose about 3 pounds in 3 months. Or worse yet, lose nothing at all.

    I’m in my 5th week of HCG. I’ve lost 20 pounds, and gone from 28% body fat to 20%. Ive maintained my muscle mass and feel great. So the myth that HCG just makes you “skinny fat” is just that…a myth. I know countless people who have done the protocol at the same clinic. All lost a lot of FAT. All have kept it off. All have nothing but great things to say about it. All looked super healthy, toned, and athletic afterwards. Granted this protocol is not the 500 calorie protocol. It encourages 1000-1200 calories per day, but the principles are the same.

    I’m tire of closed minded people finding a study that matches their view and saying “look scientists agree with me”. Well, scientists said there was a 0% chance of rain today and it stormed all afternoon. Scientists said that we were going to be in an ice age by now. Then those same scientists turned around a few years later and said that all of the world’s ice would be melted by now. Fact is that scientists don’t understand 10% of how the human body works and can’t ever agree on what’s good or bad for people.

    Bottom line is do what works for you, and ignore the naysayers that are jealous of your success.

  • MarkW

    Found your site while researching muscle building after HCG diet. I’ve lost 45 lbs, and want to preserve/protect my new body!

    I’m 50 yo male, 6′, now 165, with a background of running/biking.

    I had rotator cuff/bicep tendon surgery a few years ago that got me off my exercise routine, and left me afraid of lifting (hence the weight gain!). Now I’m finally back into my old clothes, when nothing else seemed to work (not here to debate HCG, but it worked for me).

    I have a new appreciation for clean eating and ready to make permanent changes to diet/lifestyle, thanks to this protocol.

    My question…can your program still help me build muscle? Is it too late to teach an old dog new tricks?

    Thanks for all you do!

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  • Morgen

    Holy crap! Just 500??…I’d murder someone for sure, if I was only allowed to eat 500 calories a day. I guess they just diet with no exercise? :/

    • Michael Matthews

      Some people also exercise. It’s horrible.

    • Emm

      500 calories a day here for over 30 days. On fake HCG (drops) I was ready to murder someone and lasted only 4 days. I now do injections and forget to eat (I know, wtf? That even surprised me). I have too much energy- so much so that my house is spotless. I also workout because I’m not hungry, so kind of bored from not prepping meals. My face is glowing, my husband and I are doing this and our families are amazed. We look younger, more vibrant, and have more strength. We rennovated the kitchen out of boredom from not having to eat very much. HCG is not a willpower diet. If the dose is correct it is easy. Almost too easy. If the dose is off, you will feel like murdering someone.

      • DystopianPotato

        Can you please shut up? You’ve been promoting it here. Promote HCG on a HCGforum or on an HCG website. This place is for people who are interested in building muscle and making gains. It’s not a soapbox for your domestic life, radioactive face and family woes. Go away.

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  • L 50

    I stupidly undertook the hcg diet with injections for two weeks before going overseas because I just wanted to lose 5kg put on over winter. I certainly lost the excess, but quickly regained it all and more. Now I am back at the gym working more than ever and cannot lose a gram or if I do it comes straight back. Granted, there was no hunger; granted, I lost weight quickly and easily and I hadn’t been working out too regularly so there wasn’t much muscle to lose.

    Now I am just angry at spiel I was given and even angrier that I bought the rubbish spouted. The Dr Oz vids used to show how good and safe and long lasting it is just tops it off.

    There are so many stories on the Internet identical to mine even more than a year after taking this crap. Everything that used to work to lose weight or maintain weight doesn’t any longer. Being perimenopausal it’s not the best time To try something that is going to turn you in to a much larger version of yourself.

  • jack

    The HCG diet cannot come under the classification of a low calorie diet as the HCG pulls the extra calories needed from your stored fat. That is the whole reason for taking it… it tricks your body into using its fat stores to make up the deficit instead of wasting muscle. Seriously i think you could have written a really good article here if youd read up on the facts and protocol first.. so many people read/hear 500calories and then immediately jump to the seemingly obvious conclusions way too quickly.

    • Michael Matthews

      Sorry Jack but that’s just a marketing pitch. There’s no science to back up those claims.

      • Janie

        You don’t need science, just facts from the many patients who have lost the weight, with no hunger and not feeling hopeless as they shed pounds and reshape their bodies. It is a lifestyle change. I have found so many foods that my body is affected by. They effect my metabolism and as I introduce new foods back into my life, it is eye opening to see which ones are good for me and which ones are not. I am Getting healthier As each day goes by. You should never comment on something you have never experienced yourself. It is life changing. 42 lbs off and I have never felt better and learned a lot about discipline and my body. Excercise is so much easier along with weight lifting. How it has shaped my body is another area of wonderment. The many diet plans before have left me flabby with no clear cut plan on what foods my body works the best with. I would certainly advocate HCG for anyone under a Doctors orders, no fly by night online ordering. That’s what the FDA had not approved, not the injections themselves by Dr’s. You need to get your facts straight. Also your body burns fat at a higher rate without effecting muscle mass, so the 500 calories are sufficient. It’s statements such as yours that propagate ignorance of it’s total effectiveness. Many of us are glad to prove your opinions wrong. As in any program, if you are lazy, not motivated to follow the program it won’t work. It’s a process thru three phases. Each phase is made to help you learn about your body and food. All while shedding pounds for life. to those who gained it back, it’s a lifestyle of giving up. It’s not HCG!

        • You could lose all that weight without starving yourself and losing a bunch of muscle to boot.

          • Emm

            I have lost zero muscle. I am stronger and stand taller than I did 30 days ago. When I do chores I run up and down the stairs rather than walk- there’s just too much strength and energy in me! Like I said above, I redid my kitchen and moved heavy furniture, all on 500 calories.

          • That’s most likely because you weight a lot less now and thus feel lighter.

          • JB

            Did a DXA scan before and after my HCG and only lost 3 pounds of muscle + 17 pounds of fat.

          • Nice. 🙂

          • DystopianPotato

            You’re running more because you’re less heavy. The same thing would happen if you went on another diet. Shut up Emm.

      • Emm

        it’s widely known that HCG in a pregnant woman protects the fetus by drawing nutrients and calories from fat stores. A pregnant woman has upward of 17,000iu in her system at a time. The HCG diet only requires 100-150iu. It’s miniscule, but it works the same. I’d be crawling on the floor or passed out at this point, if I were just eating 500 calories per day for 30 days and starving. I also refinished my kitchen and moved heavy furniture the past few weekends and have zero muscle weakness. How is that even possible on 500 calories? It’s the HCG flooding my system with energy from my fat. Trust me, I was skeptical before I tried the Rx injections. It does in fact work. I have 20+ years of dieting and exercising under my belt and I have never ever felt this energy before. My house is spotless because I don’t know what to do with myself. My dogs get a 60-minute power walk daily. All on 500 calories. It’s pretty great.

  • Michael Matthews

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Julie

    I love the HCG diet. I lost 25 pounds and 5 years later never gained it back. Best thing I ever did in my life.

  • Pleb Blabflap

    Your article is ridiculous and opinionated. True, HCG will not help you gain muscle, but no exercise program in the world will help you lose fat tissue as quickly as the HCG protocol. For the obese, the sheer amount of fat tissue is a hindrance to starting any exercise program, both due to restriction of movement and the fear of ridicule.

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  • Mark Z

    I have been working out for over a year and a half and starting watching what I eat and work out 5 times a week with a trainer. I turned to HCG because I hit a wall with my weight loss and nothing seemed to budge. I went into the HCG protocol with an open mind and read many articles good and bad. I am about 15 days into it and man it’s rough. I am loosing the weight as predicted and I am looking at this as a well to discipline myself to eat better all of the time. The issues I had in the past was I would eat clean for the week and on the weekends I would blow it. I feel that since this is a strict diet I am learning to be more on point with my eating. so if anything whether this is a good or bad diet, I want to take something away from the experience. There is always going to be opinions and facts and science on the majority of these things. I guess it just comes down to the person and their expectations. I appreciate all the articles that agree or disagree with HCG, just gives more perspective on it. I did enjoy your article and looking forward to finishing this program so I can get back into the gym and eating my regular clean meals all the time vs just during the week.

  • Guerilla

    HELLO, Thanks for the article I agree with a lot you have said about diets. it should be healthy and not a punishment. on the discussion on the hcg. I agree but don’t agree. I agree that the so call hcg pills,drops,et is garbage and does not work. but on the other hand the real hcg injections work GREAT. I TRAINED day in and day out for a competition. getting closer to the competition I had stubborn fat that wouldn’t move. I did 45 min of cardio twice a day and still nothing. my trainer told me about hcg injections. inject very little into the fat area once a day. surprisingly it dropped fat like crazy. between water and fat I averaged a pound a day. in 45 days I went from 210 to make the 185 class an looked great. REAL hcg is hard to find but it works.
    thanks again for the article

  • Rebecca Davis

    I’m surprised by your article. Have you tried the HCG program or spoken to anyone that has completed the 83 days. The HCG program is not only about losing weight in the 40 days but also learning about your body & how it interacts with food. I have done this program & lost 11kg in 40 days, I have struggled with my weight for so long that it was a relief not to have to diet for an extensive amount of time. I am now a consultant for this program & have helped 30 clients go through the program. All my clients have successfully lost weight, I agree it’s not an easy program to do but where else do you get these type of results. Only a handful have put a little of the weight they lost (under 5kg) & they know where they have gone wrong. You can exercise on the program but its light exercise due to the amount of calories being consumed but also a lot of large people can only do light exercise to begin with as it’s painful.

    The Maintenance period of the program is about controlling your weight not only by food choices but also by exercise. Can you advise me of any other weight loss program or exercise that when you lose excessive weight & you not get loose skin. Thats only one of the benefits of the HCG program. The program is about losing the weight but also learning about portion sizes, your body & how to maintain your weight loss so you don’t have the yo yo effect.

    I think you should do your research thoroughly before passing judgement on a diet you obviously don’t know about.

  • Jim Walker

    Great article Mike,
    This diet sounds like some “The Biggest Loser” shit. Fuck that show.

  • Emm

    sorry but this article is completely off from my persnal experience with HCG. I am on day 30 of 500 calories and 130iu HCG injections, and from the very beginning I felt FABULOUS. I have so much energy, focus, and vitality that I often forget to eat my 500 calories (but then I make sure I do). Have you even tried it for yourself? (not the drops, which are fake, even if they list HCG). It must be the perscription to be the real hormone. Drops do not work and had left me hungry, tired, and starving. I have lost 20lbs in 30 days of pure fat (proven through body fat measurments). I also look like I’ve been lifting, but I haven’t been. The HCG is absolutely preserving my muscle mass. It is an awesome tool and is 100% natural. Everyone has HCG in their system. You’re just adding a miniscule amount more to cause fat burning. What’s more organic than that?

    • Thanks for sharing and HCG can stimulate natural testosterone production but otherwise isn’t doing anything to help you preserve muscle…

    • DystopianPotato

      I think that’s a load of bullcrap. HCG does not make you preserve muscle mass. If you were pitted against someone who actually works out, has great muscle mass and ate a much healthier balanced diet then you’d definitely lose. Congratulations on your weight loss but you’re lying saying that you look like you’ve been lifting. The only people who look like they’ve been lifting are the ones who actually are lifting,.

    • Jim

      I agree with Emm, I’ve tried every kind of diet and muscle training that has come around and only several 28 day rounds of HCG injections with less than 500 calories/day has worked. Unfortunately I have to wait 6-8 weeks between rounds but it works. The numbers may be a bit deceptive to some because the weight loss is considerable but if you run the real numbers based on your calorie shortage most active people only loose 1/2 lb per day of fat. If I have lost any muscle it is negligible because I am very physical and lift and lug more now than I did when I was 30 lbs of actual fat heavier. Its hard for people who have not actually carried the extra fat and used the injections to form an honest opinion on HCG they can only speculate based on the distorted and outdated so called scientific facts from the big pharma industry. Although we are all different and nothing works equally well for everybody, HCG is a miracle treatment for me. Also I agree the drops are an ineffective method for HCG in comparison to the typical daily self administered injection of 150iu HCG. Also I believe the feeling of well being may be attributed to the reduced inflammation that is an effect from the HCG in addition to the normalization of high BP that often accompanies being over weight. I also believe the reduced stress on my knees, ankles and back from lowered weight plays a large roll on my state of mind and feeling of well being. No pain makes me feel better, who would have guessed?

      • Jim

        I forgot to mention I also take “Serrapeptase” supplements daily to remove the vascular structures that excess fat stores in your body require. I believe it speeds the bodies acceptance/normalization to the new basal weight. Also I always adjust my basal caloric goal in my calorie counter (basal metabolic rate) after I finish a round. Hope this helps someone.

    • bward

      Completely agree… Please everyone if you can’t get the real hormone, injections from a doctor, don’t do the diet. Fake drops will not help you preserve your muscle, nor provide energy. You will only be starving your body and loose the wrong weight. Haters only hate because they are either starting with fake HCG or they are not following protocol.

  • Medea Nyx Gray Nannarone-Tran

    Hi, I have read this article and many of the comments people left, I wanted to share my story. I am hypothyroid along with a number of autoimmune disorders and a cancer survivor, my body is shot. I worked out did everything right with doctors and so on and just got bigger, they kept telling me nothing would change and kept offering me surgeries, that I kept turning down. I trained with an incredible personal trainer who was also a female body builder and even she was stumped at my bodies resistance to change ( i could gain muscle by my body refuses to let go of fat)

    Two years ago I tried HCG as my last resort I had no where left to turn, and it worked and each round kept working (I used homeopathic drops) but no matter how strict I was on my maintenance it kept coming back bit by bit.
    This stuff can help some people but it seems for many (not all) it is only temporary. I would weight train in between rounds because I did notice I would lose muscle mass, and I was not able to do any works out even if I did the 1000cal protocol.
    I lift weights, eat clean and keep getting bigger in a bad way. I wish I could say there is an answer on both of these spectrum (this site & HCG) but I am one of the few who is not.
    Good luck to everyone.

  • Darice

    I did HCG injections and lost 18 pounds in 6 weeks. It ate up muscle and left all the belly fat. I knew my muscle was gone when I would sit on a chair and was in pain because my tail bone had nothing protecting it. I was very moody and so hungry on the protocol. Now 6 years later I’m struggling to lose any weight no matter how hard I try. My metabolism is definitely reset to only lose on super low calorie. I’m now working with a body builder to lose the fat and get my metabolism working again. It’s so slow, I curse the hcg diet and wouldn’t ever recommend any one do that. You will know what I’m taking about when your body decides it’s had enough abuse of the hcg. All of my friends have struggled to lose weight the healthy way ever since they have done the hcg as well. All are bigger than they were pre hcg. If anyone is considering it please find another way. The hcg ruined my life.

    • Sorry to hear of the effects the HCG diet had on you. 🙁

      For help getting your metabolism back up, check this out:


      Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • bward

    I respectfully disagree. I am a 49 year old that has had a very different experience under a doctor’s supervision. Not only have I lost 35 pounds in 8 weeks, but I have kept every pound off. I continued to loose through phase 3. HOW?? You ask?? It’s simple.. I followed the protocol exactly, from the correct foods to the amount and type of exercise. From the right amount of water intake to adding more calories slowly and doing fast paced walking (about 2 miles per day) for 5 days a week all through only phase 3. The best part is that I kept most, if not all of my lean muscle mass. When I began at 247 pounds, I could barely do 20 push-ups non stop. At the end of phase 3, I did 75 push ups nonstop. If significant muscle was lost during the injection phase, there is no way I would be able to complete 75 push ups without stopping. To be fair, prior to gaining all the weight because of bad diet and work travel schedules, I was a gym rat most of my adult life. Maybe there was some advantage there, but, I am not for certain. As a diabetic, I was very careful how I added starchy carbs back into my diet. I am most proud to report that my fasting blood sugar readings have not been above 85 for seven weeks now. This is not only a HUGE win, but a major health blessing for me. Maybe this diet is not the best for folks who are not disciplined and have a difficult time with cravings as my wife has, but, to say there is no science and the diet flat out doesn’t work, is down right WRONG and in my opinion, simply “hating.” And by the way, I felt fantastic most of the time, lots of energy and my sex life has even drastically improved.

    All I can say is there will always be haters, people who don’t believe because something is different, or they lacked the discipline to finish and are looking to blame their personal failure on the diet. I have even seen professionals that have a career in place in the fitness or food industry and because this diet by natures cuts into their lively-hood, they hate or blog negatively about the diet.

    I promise If you are true to yourself and figure out how to dig deep for the required discipline, HCG is AMAZING..

    God Speed,


    • Great job on the weight loss.

      The point is you don’t have to starve yourself to lose fat and keep it off.

      There are healthier ways of going about it.

      • Angelique

        You advocate eating less and exercising more so in reality…For person who works and has kids, obligations..? You eat 100 grams of chicken with a salad no dressing with a piece of rye toast, a piece of hard cheese- you have to work out an hour to burn that off. And that is your first meal! So unless you have an hour to burn for every meal you eat you will never get to food deficit and burn fat. So, really you do have to starve because if you eat 1,200 cories a day you have to basically work out 2.5 hours to even break even. To cancel out the calories and create a deficit that burns fat. Who has 2 hours to do serious catdio to burn enough calories to burn fat? It is not realistic.

  • Bec Asmar

    Hi Mike, So I’ve been on the HCG Drops for 2 weeks when I came across this article which lead me to TLS. I’ve been on and off HCG for a few years now but am super unhappy with them because I always end up putting the weight back on and now that I think about it, I definitely loose muscle. HCG was good cause it made me change my eating habits from pizza and curry to actual real food, however I like the balanced, sane idea of TLS. I stopped HCG and I want to dig straight into TLS however the HCG protocol calls for a maintenance phase of 3 weeks with no starchy carbs to stabilise my weight, which runs counter to your plan. Any suggestions?

    • I hear you on not being happy with the HCG diet. That’s the problem with severe calorie restricted diets. You lose not only fat but muscle too, and the weight comes back on quickly after being in such a big deficit for so long.

      Glad you like the idea behind dieting in TLS.

      Hmm. Let’s reverse diet out of your HCG diet and then go into a cut. Check this out:



      • Bec Asmar

        Thanks Mike. I read your reverse diet article but I was going up about 100cals a day cause I was so hungry and now I’m sitting on 1000cals for the week (there is definitely some kind of hunger suppressor in the drops cause I was way more hungry than I had been)

  • Noelle Lawton

    I agree with some of your points. I would not advocate or suggest sever calorie restrictions to anyone because it can cause muscle wasting, binge eating, rebounds, if not monitored carefully. For most people, it’s too restrictive and harmful. However, I don’t think you have any personal experience with the HCG diet from what I can tell. I did it about 2 years ago and my results were exactly as promised. I lost 40lbs. (I was definitely overweight) in about 45 days. I did not feel hungry at any point (read hungry, I still had cravings) and I have kept that weight off for 2 years. Did I lose a little muscle mass? Certainly. Did I lose some water weight? Sure. But I lost mostly fat. I only did the diet for the first 45 days to “kick start” my weight loss journey. After that, I reversed my diet back to a normal calorie range and used slower dieting methods combined with cardio sessions after that. About a year ago I started incoporating weight training and I have put on a good amount of muscle over the past year. Today, I’m not as lean as I would like, but I have been bulking. I start a 12 week cut in March to try and eliminate about 10-12lbs. Now, I use IIFYM for cutting and reversing and flexible dieting for maintaining or bulking. While HCG is certainly not the safest or necessarily the healthiest method of weight loss, it can motivate you into a better more healthy lifestyle if you are having a difficult time getting started. That’s my experience.

    • Thanks Noelle!

      I’m glad you did well on the program and very low-calorie diets can definitely work, but they’re just not advisable for most people. If someone is VERY overweight, it can make sense, but otherwise, IMO it’s better to take it slower and preserve muscle, mood, energy, etc.

  • karen kelleher

    I know someone who has been doing this HCG1234 drops for at least 6 years that I know of. He goes on it for a couple weeks or so, and acts like a monster, loses 30 lbs, THEN he goes off of it. THEN the binge eating begins, and puts 50 lbs back on. Every month I see him do this. I tell him that this is so bad for him, that he’s losing muscle every time he does this, and is messing his body up something awful. This is not a spring chicken either, he is 50 yrs old! So Dangerous. He won’t listen, he says he does it the “right way”. I don’t think the “right way” involves cheating on the diet and sneaking food when he thinks no one is looking, and he is SO miserable while he is dieting, he makes everyone miserable right along with him. I think he is mad at himself for doing this diet and cheating and getting fat again, over and over and over. I think this is WORSE than Yo-Yo dieting! Is there some definitie thing I can tell him that would make him stop this? I agree with your weight loss plan, (that’s how I did it), and tell him that’s the only safe, healthy way to lose weight, calories in less than calories out. slow and steady. he won’t listen. stubborn

  • Nnnnnn

    I have to disagree with you on the HCG diet. I did the diet through my doctor and was monitored the whole time. I lost 50 pounds on the diet and looked and felt amazing afterwards! And what I had lost I kept it off. For the first time in my life I actually wanted to exercise. And I became the “fun mom” to my son because I had so much energy and was able to run around and be crazy with him. When I reached a normal BMI my doctor told me he wouldn’t prescribe it anymore but I wanted to loose just 20 more pounds. So, I decided to do the drops. And of course they worked, but only because I was basically starving myself. After I was done with them the weight would slowly creep back on. Not a lot, but you could definitely tell the difference between what doing real HCG does to your body vs fake HCG. On the fake HCG I was always hungry. But anyways I eventually reached my goal (even though it was harder with the fake stuff). I managed to keep the weight off for 3 years. Unfortunately I went through a bad breakup and was extremely stressed and sleep deprived while going to school that I began my old eating habits and I gained 30 pounds. Then I had another baby and gained another 16 that I haven’t been able to lose. So I’m right back where I started. Anyways, I’ve found a legal way to get real prescription HCG and I’m going to do it again because I am miserable. You see, some people, like myself, cannot lose weight by dieting and exercising. I get discouraged very quickly and end up breaking the diet and gain whatever I lost back. It’s an endless cycle. And my doctor recognized that. Fat people don’t like to exercise because they are self-conscious and there are body parts that flap. But when you lose weight first you feel great. Then you can exercise and maintain your healthy weight. And doing real HCG has amazing results. Not the homeopathic or any drops that claim to contain “real HCG”. That is just starving yourself.

    So, no, the HCG diet does not suck at all. It is a wonderful thing and there are a lot of people out there who feel the need to bash the diet because they have never tried the real thing or they are misinformed.

    • You can definitely lose weight if you eat 500 calories per day and injecting HCG can raise testosterone levels but there isn’t any scientific evidence that it can deliver on the many claims used to sell the HCG diet protocol.

      • Angelique

        Explain your statement please.

        • jasmine johend

          Mike you are just parroting the same thing over and over. Regardless of “scientific evidence” it works. Of course one could lose eating 500 calories but who can stick to 500 calories for 21+ days without going insane? Nobody – unless you are taking HCG – it’s and appetite suppressant and some feel it affects leptin signalling but no “scientific evidence” is going to show this unless someone measures my leptin signalling before and after. Who cares about scientific evidence when people come here telling you it works and all you do is parrot the same of tired stuff I hear from personal trainers all the time. You don’t seem to have even tried it so why are you knocking it?

          • You might be surprised at how easily very overweight people can stick to a low-calorie diet when they put their minds to it.

          • jasmine johend

            Yes those fat, lazy people just need to put their minds to it; congratulations on solving the obesity epidemic. I agree if someone overweight sits watches telly/plays computer games all day, eats excessive junk food, drinks soda/beers and then suddenly joins a gym/eats clean then the results can be spectacular (then they become instant experts telling every obese person how easy it is). However for a very obese person (as I used to be) who has tried and tried, succeeded, fallen, despaired, tried again, succeeded, fallen…etc…etc… you are way out of your depth in telling me I just need to put my mind to it. As a formerly obese I am still a ” fat person inside” as weight loss only shrinks adipocytes- they are like sponges pulsating in eagerness to refill. I am and will always be an overweight person and everyday is a weary battle to regain, and so what if we use something to help us along. I find it ironic that the local gym dudes who would fat shame me for using HCG/evil diet sodas (boo..hiss) have no hesitation in using steroids/clen/brom/insulin/ephedrine/EPO/DNP to achieve their goals – why don’t they just put their minds to it instead.

          • The ironic thing is the reason for your success was very much your ability to put your mind to it. There’s no scientific research to support HCG’s use as an appetite suppressant.

          • Thousands of THINNER satisfied USERS are all of the ‘Scientific Evidence’ anybody desiring to lose weight safely and permanently (without starving themselves) anyone needs.

          • EXCELLENT QUESTIONS!!!!!

      • I beg to differ here….. it worked for ME and it’s worked for THOUSANDS of others… the PROOF is over-abundantly apparent on YouTube… I advise your posters to go and see for themselves.

        • Did you read the article?

          My position isn’t that it doesn’t work, it’s that it’s unhealthy and unnecessary.

  • Christie Barnes

    While using the hcg injections, I was not hungry, noticed a decrease in joint pain, slept better (like drooling on the pillow better) and had very good energy throughout the 21 day period. I was a skeptical at first but did it with a friend to help support her weight loss goals. The key to any diet is not letting yourself get too hungry going too long between meals. This diet works because it is actually enough protein for a sedentary person and increases the amount of whole foods ingested. Working out would be possible with an caloric increase to support the extra movement. Staying hydrated is essential. Prolonged use obviously would be hard on your organs.as the fat intake it too low.

    • HCG can definitely benefit you by stimulating testosterone production. Glad to hear you did well on the diet.

  • ritika

    Hii,this is Ritika here,I m taking hcg injections, bt not getting the result,I have joined gym also for my body fat.I want to loose fat from my waist line,arms and bust line.u plzz suggest me which exercise I should do for breast size reduction.

    • Hey Ritka! Weight loss all comes down to energy balance and then macros when composition is concerned. So, if you’re not losing weight, you simply need to eat less and/or increase activity level. Check this out:


      Personally, I’d recommend you stop the HCG diet and do a proper RD and then follow a standard cut of a 20-25% deficit from TDEE. You can see how to RD here:


      For making any part of your body smaller, you just need to focus on losing weight and getting leaner.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

    • Ritika…. I’m a Woman and there is no exercise… NOTHING besides weight loss that will result in breast size loss… (except for breast reduction surgery)…. Keep on the HCG and you’ll SEE it works…. and I would advise you keep the exercise to a minimum (20 to 30 mins of walking everyday is fine) while on the HCG …as it’s not required and actually too much exercise impededs the Hormone’s ability to do it’s Job… the HCG Hormone will burn the FAT while you mildly exercise… (which is recommended)….

  • Angelique

    You have no idea how hard it is for the majority of women to lose fat. I worked out, got great muscle to e, reduced caliries and guess what?!?!?! I had a fat firm body. It is not proof to me that the more muscle you have the faster you burn fat – so tired of this trope. It may work who already have low fat to muscle ratio. You are woman with breasts – resl not implants- a d cup and larger – you collect fat. Your diet does nothing to address Either how hormones mess with a woman’s body. please stop saying how simple it is to loose weight.

    • It’s true that some women tend to be fatter than others (genetics, hormones, lifestyle, etc.), and it’s true that women generally have a harder time losing fat than men (same reasons), but you absolutely CAN lose fat and get lean by simply regulating caloric intake and exercising regularly.

      • THAT logic is a Myth and has been scientifically quelled. You need to come up to date Mike. Before I discovered the HCG Diet I did EXACTLY what you were recommending and it resulted in only a 2 lbs. loss in 4 months…. A ‘calorie’ is simply not a ‘calorie’ anymore…. Equal CARB Calories are NOT the same as FAT or Protein Calories…. that’s the OLD Paradigm of thinking…. Once People understand the NEW Paradigm on Calories… they WILL lose weight… but MOST won’t without help from the HCG Hormone that aids in both ‘healing’ and ‘re-setting’ the Body’s metabolism.

    • xerxez

      u mad sister?

  • Angela Montey

    Wow it’s one thing to talk about the “scientific evidence” and actually experiencing the hcg diet yourself. At 43yrs old I am in the best shape of my life and look 10 years younger, I put it all down to the magic of hcg protocol. I’ve been into fitness most of my life and eat so well but my hormones have always let me down and I could never shift my weight with anything I tried until I was introduced to the hcg diet. It taught me about mindless eating, gave me willpower, sense of clarity and razor sharp focus and lost 8kg! I also now practise intermittent fasting as a way of fat burning.
    Hcg is a life changing protocol that I would recommend to anyone that wants a successful WEIGHTLOSS journey that is sustainable.

    • Starvation dieting “works” in that yes, you will lose weight. It’s not the best way of going about it though…

  • Joel Sheldon

    Hello Mike,
    I read your book and loved it.
    I literally just began HCG injections 2 days ago and I must admit I am a little annoyed at the having to stick to 500 calories. I am only 18% bodyfat but hoped this would help get me closer to the 10%. I have been training heavy on your program and eating well for a bit over a year and have seen good results.
    what has been the feedback on the injections? im not after a miracle cure here. I want to know if I stick to my 2200 calories a day which should be a moderate deficit and incorporate the HCG injections will I see much quicker progress??

    • Thanks Joel!

      You don’t need to mess with the HCG diet. Just follow a more sensible approach of a 25% deficit or so as laid out in the book. The HCG injections may temporarily raise T levels, which can help slightly.

  • Rozemary

    Hey! Hey! Hey! I’ve gotta say, I have tried every diet out there, and the ONLY diet in my LIFE that has ever helped me lose 34 pounds EVER was the HcG diet!!! I am tired of being on so many diets to lose only 5-10 pounds ONLY!!! I have spent $2,000 with the “quick weight loss” program that took 2 months to lose only 10 pounds max!! I”ll never do that again!! I have many times substantially cut my calories, cut out all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, no junk food, etc. I eat only organic, and drink lots of water. I have, and still do intermittent fasting, I have even starved myself for four days and gained 2 pounds!! I have eaten 6 small meals. I’ve done it A L L!!! If you don’t honestly READ ALL the info about the HcG diet and HOW the “500 calories only” is NOT so horrible, and why and how the HcG works, then you have NO RIGHT bashing the diet. If you do it right, do the preparations, it is the EASIEST diet I have ever done and I actually felt great and lost the weight!! I have gone back on the diet several times after a few holidays and vacation eating, and then “enjoyed” being back on the diet watching the weight come off again!!!

    • Thanks for the comment. You can certainly lose weight by starving yourself, and that’s all the HCG diet is.

      • Brittni La Tulip

        For someone who’s in the business of writing “books” and telling people how to lose weight it surprises me that you obviously haven’t read Dr Simeon’s book on the HCG protocol. You aren’t starving on the diet. You’re just not using the food you ingest as your energy source. Whatever you feel or think, you are just as much of a hoaxter as you claim others to be.

  • Well it’s apparent you are no authority on the HCG Diet, because I lost OVER 22 lbs. on it and have NOT gained it back!!!! The HCG Prescription Injections were the ONLY Diet that worked for me in the TEN Years that I suffered due to a faulty Metabolism. Y’know? All any of these People on this Thread need to do is go to YouTube and enter the search “HCG Diet Reviews” and I think the HUNDREDS of Videos testifying to it’s efficacy weighs far heavier than this ABSURD and INACCURATE Review you posted here.

    • Did you read the article?

      My position isn’t that it doesn’t work, it’s that it’s unhealthy and unnecessary.

      • I did read your Article…and it’s misleading at best and horribly inaccurate at worst… and you strongly ‘infer’ in your Articke that the HCG Diet Plan is ineffective and unsafe (Muscle & Water loss as opposed to actual FAT loss… which is totally UN-TRUE!) and that MOST will gain all of the weight back (Water weight again) once they’ve completed the Protocol… and that’s simply not true.. At least for the People who actually ‘work’ the Protocol correctly…..”Your” Plan for weight loss will only work for younger People and will not be ‘sustainable’ for most…. unless they become a body-building professional like yourself. MOST People don’t have the time, money or physical ‘ability’ to do what you’ve done… so the BEST & healthiest plan for MOST People will be the one that is most effective, most safe, aids in losing the maximum amount of weight in the least amount of time and is ‘sustainable’… meaning a Plan that once the weight is off they can maintain for Life. HCG is far safer than being morbidly obese, and I can GUARANTEE with 100 percent certainty & accuracy that Prescription HCG and working the HCG Protocol (executing it according to Dr. Simeon’s original Protocol) will do all the above far better than what you’re advocating. It is my firm position that HCG has the ability to SAVE Lives and that Articles like yours actually does more harm than good…. So in the best interest of the Public, I think you need to re-open your Investigation to ‘incorporate’ HCG as a viable alternative to YOUR Plan.

    • Mejgan Mumtaz

      Can you please give me the exact HCG injections you took and that worked so I can get the same one?

  • FeelingGreat

    This article is full of intellectual mumbo jumbo that is pure theory and not practice. I lost 15 pounds with HCG, didn’t feel hungry and kept it off. Cutting out starch and sugar may have been the reason I feel so much better, but without this diet, I wouldn’t have done it. For anyone reading, beware of intellectual arguments that are based in actual experience.

  • Mai

    I am so miserable! I began the HCG diet in
    November 2015…lost 40 lbs after 3 cycles and am now up 30 again. Plus my muscles aren’t as strong as the y used to be and I’m really more fat than muscle. Their phase 3 and 4 sucks and I couldn’t keep the weight off despite asking
    For help from the center and now I’m pretty much worse off than where I started. I decided to go back to my “slow and steady” diet and workout plan but I’m so discouraged and have no idea what to do.

  • Charisse Squires

    I did the Hcg diet last year, supervised by my naturopath and friend whom I trust implicitly. I followed the diet to the tee. A year later, I’m fatter than I’ve ever been, I developed a horrible acne problem on the diet which is still going strong, and it totally messed up my thyroid so that loosing weight is even more difficult. I did the diet because I was already only eating 1200 calories a day and working out regularly all to try to stay under a size 14. Now I’m back where I was and I’m in worse shape. I could deal with the weight gain, but severe acne on top of it? I’ve never felt so ugly and ashamed to leave my house. This diet gave me hope something could change for me, but now I’m just miserable.

  • rachael

    I did multiple rounds of HCg, both drops and injectables. At first, I lost weight and it was great! I tried to follow the maintenance rounds as well. However, over time, I gained it all back, plus some. It’s been so frustrating to try to lose it again, as hardly anything causes me to lose weight. I’ve been trying to do the Fit for life with no gluten/no dairy and am already a vegetarian, but not seeing my weight budge. Any ideas for how to get past whatever damage HCG did to my system?

  • Catherine Figueroa

    Ugg. I’m reading this article in the middle of my HCG diet. This is the third time in my life I’ve used it to lose weight. The initial success is somewhat addicting, but there is this little voice telling me that it’s putting me onto a path to an eating disorder at age 40. Ridiculous. I only want to lose about 20 more pounds, but last time I did this the bounce back was almost immediate. What he is saying rings true to me; I am losing muscle and I’m not enjoying family or life at this calorie level.

  • behrouz

    HCG will rise testosterone level by 200% or even 400% depending on the dosage you take , and testosterone is the hormone which increase lipolysis and preserves muscles not hcg , so your claim that there isn’t any scientific evidence is misdirecting , there are lot of studies and research about the effect of testosterone in decreasing bodyfat and building muscles .

    • Would you mind sharing the data showing that the dosages of HCG used on this protocol raise testosterone?

  • Igor Chak

    Mike, I think you need to give more detail on how HCG works. It is mostly used for men to produce testosterone, in no way it should be prescribed to women…It is not a fat burner! So all the women on here do need to understand that they should not be taking it unless you want to build muscle.

    Now, all of the people gaining fat, as HCG is a testosterone booster, it converts in to estrogen, unless you control the estrogen, men and women will start to develop fat tissue and with men you can develop gyno (men boobs)

    People also have to remember that fat doesn’t just appear from no where, poor diet and lifestyle causes fat. You could be taking all of the fat burners in the world but if you follow a very poor diet it will not work. If you want to loose weight do what everyone does, work out, and decrease your caloric intake by 10% of your maintenance calories but remember, you still need to consume carbs, protein and fat to maintain a healthy body. Some people just stop eating and still gain fat, you have to understand that our body is a complicated machine, you restrict below average caloric intake and you will shut down your immune system, your body will think it is starving and will convert every calorie in to fat as energy storage, making you very tired and sick.

    It’s not rocket science, you have an infinite amount of information in front of you, just learn how to use that information and there is no magic pill for weight loss, there are things that will help you loose weight but you still need to have a proper diet.

    • Thanks for sharing, Igor. I fully agree that HCG is not the way to go if you want to lose weight.

  • Brenda Webb

    Hello. I only did 1 short round of hcg for 24 days. I developed gallstones even though I’ve had gallstones before hcg, I’m pretty sure the VLCD and low fat triggered the gallstone attack. I ended up quiting all together and I ate a peanut butter sandwich with some vanilla almond milk.. I didn’t even go into eating VLCD without HCG. I just can eat that food anymore. It literally makes me sick. What do you suggest I do to reverse these 24 days on hcg and get back to my normal way of losing weight? Plus I had to quit hcg due to the gallstones. I lost 19 pounds and want to at least keep some of it off. Thank you!

  • J Duncan

    I wish I hadn’t done the hcg diet. I definitely lost a LOT of muscle and as a runner this has impacted my performance. Now, after a run, I have very sore quads for days. It’s so disheartening. Is the muscle in this area gone forever or can I rebuild it?

  • AJ

    Yeah, this is one of those diets that I went “Wtf..” when I first heard it AND I WAS A KID! I have stomach fat all my life, but I’m not desperate enough to take drops, pay a lot of money for visits and so on just to listen to someone guide me through it (big warning right there as a broke college student now), and then bouncing back and forth from no weight to a lot of weight the moment you step off. Yeah, I would rather gain muscle and lose fat and have it take a long ass time (I’m a woman so my fat liked to stick around no matter what) than be on the point of seeing Jesus from starvation.
    Also, why the hell are people are still listening to Dr. Oz? Wasn’t there a rumor of him not being an actual doctor? Or is he the “doctor” thanks to having a high education level like most of my college professors? Either way, the guy looks shader than a drug dealer in an alleyway with his smile *shudders*

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