Concerned about hCG diet dangers? Side effects of the hCG diet protocol do happen. The biggest danger, though, is one that Dr. Simeons did not cover in his classic book on using hCG for weight loss.
The most important aspect of the following side effects is to be aware of them, notice whether you exhibit them, and take the recommended action if need be. In so doing, they will not become hCG diet dangers at all.
HCG Side Effects
The top three side effects that Dr. Simeons described in his book, which also seem to be the most common in recent times, are the following:
Constipation on hCG is more common than most people realize. If you have a tendency toward constipation in the first place, hCG will be more likely to make it happen. Constipation may even occur regardless of whether you have had this problem before. Here is what happens and what you can do about it.
To be specific, constipation means not having a bowel movement for more than three days. If you are expecting to lose a pound per day, almost all of your weight loss is stuck inside you when you are constipated. You must have one or more bowel movements per day to stay on track for weight loss on hCG.
Here are the best strategies for overcoming constipation during the protocol.
Several natural (i.e., non-laxative) strategies can be very helpful. The simplest and easiest one is to increase your water intake. Eight glasses of water per day can be miraculous in many ways, including preventing constipation.
It is also simple and easy to drink a daily glass of water with a spoonful of psyllium. This is the active ingredient of Metamucil, although psyllium itself does not contain sugar or artificial sweetener or any of the other useless ingredients that are in Metamucil (filler, food coloring, flavoring). Just plain psyllium should be available in any supplement store. It is also a whole lot cheaper than Metamucil.
Herbal teas are the final natural strategy before you consider the synthetic laxatives. Some herbs are, indeed, natural laxatives themselves. These include Cascara Sagrada and senna. One or both of these are often the main active herbs in dieters’ teas. These are widely available in the tea section of grocery stores and supplement stores. Licorice tea may also be helpful.
One more thing that is of great benefit in many ways, including preventing constipation, is an ordinary magnesium supplement. Almost everyone is deficient in magnesium, which causes long term problems in how your body uses calcium properly. A one-time dose of 400-500 mg of magnesium (for example, as magnesium citrate) can really loosen you up. In fact, the first time I took this amount of magnesium in a single dose, I got the runs. Sorry for the visual on this. However, it makes my point, doesn’t it?
HCG side effects include protein deficiency immediately after finishing a protocol. This issue is most common when dieters believe that they must continue a reduced calorie diet to maintain their target weight. However, it is not a good idea to continue dieting, especially regarding protein intake.
This is a common diet trap that, fortunately, is easy to reverse. Here is what Dr. Simeons had to say about quick weight gain due to protein deficiency right after finishing a very low calorie diet while on his hCG protocol (from his book, “Pounds and Inches” [1971 edition]):
You will never suffer from a deficiency of carbohydrates – ever!. However, you must make sure to take in plenty of protein and fats, especially in the critical 3-week period of what is now called Phase 3 of the hCG diet plan.
One of the most common side effects is a feeling of general weakness. Exercising becomes more difficult, and performance suffers.
Here is what Dr. Simeons had to say about changes in muscle during his protocol:
This observation highlights the notion that removing fat from where too much has accumulated is a bit of a shock to the body and requires some time for adjusting to it. Muscle weakness is, therefore, a temporary symptom of hCG side effects that goes away soon after ending the protocol – as long as you eat enough protein.
The Biggest Potential Danger of All
Many, many hCG dieters repeat the protocol because they keep rebounding back to a higher weight. Sometimes they repeat the protocol regularly. Some folks even plan ahead for a rotating hCG period or two, alternating with weight gain periods a few times each year.
The danger is not just yo-yo dieting, which is bad enough by itself. The danger comes in messing with a hormone signaling pathway.
It is just plain wrong to think that the hCG protocol is just like any old diet pill plus eating plan that can be repeated often without consequences. At its core, this strategy fails to reset any kind of permanent metabolic balance. Indeed, it guarantees that metabolism will never be right and that weight will be regained easily and quickly. It is a recipe for building abnormal fat, which becomes harder and harder to lose.
To add to this danger, way too many people who adopt this strategy get so fed up with the whole process that they give up and just let obesity reign. This is such a shame, because it is really pretty easy to stay on track for permanent weight/fat management by adopting the right post-hCG diet lifestyle.
Dr. Simeons provided the all-important directions for what this lifestyle should be for the first 21 days after the protocol. In fact, the maintenance phase is pretty close to being all you need for a lifetime of slimness and good health.
What Dr. Simeons discovered is a lifestyle that takes advantage of the real biology of fat metabolism. When done right, it is also the foundation for good cardiovascular health, appropriate sugar/carbohydrate metabolism (i.e., prevents and even reverses diabetes), hormone balance, strong bones, healthy brains – you name it. The bottom line is that so much goes wrong when people are overweight or obese, and so much goes right when people are slim. The phrase is slim and healthy.
By the way, some of the best science behind the biology of fat metabolism has been known for decades and even centuries. Such solid old science, combined with more recent research on how cells work, is the foundation for a book that I put together, called Fat Loss Biology. It is a pretty cool book, although I might be biased for it since I wrote it. You can take a look at the topic coverage that is summarized in the table of contents at this link: FatLossBiology.com. Go ahead and take a look and see what you think.
When you know how to take advantage of your own biology the way you were meant to, you may discover the lifestyle that will keep you off of hCG for good. In fact, people who have made this discovery have come to realize that this is the lifestyle that would have prevented them from ever getting to the point of doing the hCG protocol in the first place.
All the best,