Fat Loss Biology

Why the HCG Diet Plan Works

Fat Cells - hCG Diet Plan

The hCG diet plan is hormone-driven. It works because it specifically enhances the metabolism of excess fat. In contrast, simply eating less, including starvation, leads to loss of muscle tissue. Here is how to tell the difference.

How much fat are you carrying? Unless you know this detail, you will not be able to tell whether your weight loss on the hCG diet plan is due to losing fat, muscle, or water weight. If you have done your research about the Simeons protocol, by now you should know that it is designed to eliminate abnormal fat. This is the fat that builds up primarily in your abdomen, hips, or thighs, depending on your age and gender.

Your weight and your appearance are the obvious indicators, at least at first, that you are carrying too much fat. Let’s look at my own experience as an example of such a starting point.

Before I discovered the Simeons hCG protocol, I was about 25 pounds overweight. I knew how to reduce it based on past experience, pre-hCG. My strategy was always to go nuts by exercise. I would go into marathon training mode, running 40 miles per week in preparation for my next marathon. This was physical abuse, pure and simple. However, I could always drop 10-20 pounds this way, within about 3 months.

Unfortunately, I always got sick during my training, with whatever that season’s flu virus was. Long-distance running created a tremendous inflammation load on my body, with one consequence being a diminished immune system. This is not news to science. Indeed, it is typical.

I also knew that I could lose weight by eating less, although this doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, since then I have learned that it doesn’t work for anyone as a long-term, sustainable strategy for health and weight management. Besides, I have never been too interested in the idea of being hungry every day for the rest of my life, even if it did work to keep my weight down (which it wouldn’t).

Does This Sound Like You?

If any part of my experience sounds like yours, then the good news is that reduced calorie dieting and exercise won’t help you any more than it helped me. I say that this is good news because it drove me to find different solutions to my predicament. The first one that I found, although not the only one, was the Simeons protocol.

As a scientist, I think it is important to dig into the research behind something and to understand how it works. That second part isn’t critical, or even necessary, although it is how I have been trained to think.

The Critical Point

This is why I immediately discovered the critical distinguishing feature of the Simeons protocol: fat loss. NOT weight loss! Fat loss!

Why is this a critical point? Imagine following the hCG diet plan without taking hCG. You would be consuming a specific diet consisting of certain foods that added up to a maximum of 500 calories per day. All by itself, this is a starvation diet, regardless of what the foods are. You can most likely lose a lot of weight by following this starvation diet. Maybe even a pound per day, just as you could with the full hormone-driven protocol.

If you or I followed this starvation diet, we would be shorting ourselves anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 calories, or even more, each and every day for a month. Do you think we would be hungry? Absolutely! Miserably ravenous every single day!

Our weight would drop super fast. Our body fat, however, would hardly change at all.

Now for the clincher on what should happen, and did happen, when I went on such a diet accompanied by daily intake of hCG: Within a month I dropped 25 pounds AND 8 percent body fat.

8 percent body fat!

When I calculated the amount of fat that I had metabolized away during that period, my 8 percent drop in body fat composition amounted to about 17 pounds. This is the key information for you to know when you undertake the hCG protocol.

(By the way, the remaining amount of weight loss was primarily water weight, which I flushed within the first week on the protocol. This is typical for any such diet that is highly restrictive of carbohydrate intake.)

In other words, I knew that Dr. Simeons’ claims about reducing what he called ‘abnormal fat’ were on the mark, because that is exactly what I experienced. In fact, keeping track of my actual body fat composition wasn’t the only indicator. My waist size shrunk, my knee blobs went away (those fatty deposits on the inside of each knee – take a look at your own knees to see what I mean), my turkey neck tightened up (that loose flab under my chin … a disgusting, and unnecessary, indicator of aging), and my face started taking on its former oval shape again (i.e., not as round and chubby looking).

The Most Important Thing To Do

On any diet, whether it be the hCG diet plan or some other, the most important step you can take is to keep track of your body fat composition. If your body fat does not drop, then you are heading to dieting failure. This is the failure that underlies yo-yo dieting programs that drive weight loss without addressing the underlying metabolism of fat.

By the way, nowadays keeping track of your body fat composition is super easy and inexpensive. All you have to do is pick up a bathroom scale that includes a bioelectric impedance device that measures your body fat at the same time you weigh yourself. Nothing fancy. Department stores carry them – I think I got mine at Target for under 40 dollars.

Evaluating Homeopathic hCG

I have written much about homeopathic hCG products (and other so-called hCG products that contain no actual hCG) and don’t have much good to say about them. If you insist on using one, you will find them to be cheap and widely available over the counter (at Walmart, for goodness sake!). They are worth every penny, meaning not much. When using such a product, be absolutely certain that you are reducing your body fat percent during the protocol. I suspect that you will not. Oh, you will lose plenty of weight alright. And you will probably feel miserably hungry all the time.

If you, indeed, succeed in dropping your body fat percent on a cheap homeopathic or herbal product (e.g., 30 dollars for a month’s supply), then please do return to this post and make a comment about your success. I am not at all interested in how much weight you can lose, just in how much fat. Thanks in advance for your input!

All the best with your hCG diet plan,

Dr. D

15 Comments so far »

  1. by Carolyn


    I was introduced to this diet by a friend who actually completed the diet and lost about 36 pounds in 40 days. I was amazed on the result and the time it took her to lose it. Like any smart consumer, I began to search online for any information on HCG Diet Side Effects. I was not sure where to buy the HCG diet as my friend spent about $800.00 in a weight loss clinic.

  2. by Helen


    This sounds great I can’t wait to get started. I have been looking for something like this for many years so you can bet that I will give it a try. HCG is something I have seen in the health food stores so I know it is cost effective to at least see what it can do. I appreciate the advice and will comment back when I try it.

  3. by Robert


    I understand that some people truly deal with emotional eating, but lately with the hype about low- or no-carb diets, I am encountering more and more people getting into precision diets such as this one. I also have heard about some complaints of persons experiencing fatigue along with intense carb cravings. I have done hi/low carb diets and though they work, they are also very tough, especially when you are working with heavy resistance training.

  4. by Christine


    I find it very interesting how fat cells effect the way your body responds to diet and exercise. And even though I do not fully comprehend all of the chemistry and science behind it (I don’t think I fully understand exactly how the HCG diet works), I can see differences and fluctuations within my body when I eat healthy and exercise and when I slack off and drink alcohol.

  5. by Geraldine


    At first glance, this method of eating may seem a bit hard to follow, if you are a busy person on the go. But it may not be the case, especially since I noticed there is no shortage of recipe books that make it simple to plan meals that go along with this diet philosophy. I certainly hope so.

  6. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Thanks for your input, Christine. These sound like great personal discoveries that could benefit everyone.

    All the best,

  7. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Good point, Geraldine. I’m with you. I tend toward the simple recipes, since I don’t want to spend a lot of time making things too complicated.

    All the best,

  8. by Lacy


    It stands to reason that with this type of diet, you should also avoid drinking too many calories, no? Soft drinks, juices, cocktails and lattes are all full of calories, and empty calories at that. So maybe people trying this method might want to make sure to drink water (vitamin waters have calories, too) and get your calories from more satiating sources.

  9. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Right on, Lacy. Calories seem to lurk everywhere sometimes.

    All the best,

  10. by Dennis


    I am very curious to try this diet now that I have read your article and know what it is supposed to do. I would like to know where to go to find this as soon as possible and get my diet started. If I am understanding this right you really need to keep track of your body fat content right and there isn’t much change you have to make to your diet.

  11. by Dorothy


    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us that is comforting in a weird sort of way to know that you aren’t alone in your battle with fat. I had no idea though that marathon running took such a toll on the body. What do you think about yoga for weight loss and getting in shape? Do you think it gives you that burn you need to lose fat and flatten things up?

  12. by Alvin


    Where is the best place to find this diet program? Is it a completely online thing or can you get it elsewhere like a health food place or something? I am very interested and you have put a lot of work into this article with a lot of information I wasn’t aware of, thank you for turning me on to this I look forward to giving it a try.

  13. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Dennis (love your name!)…You are right about the importance of keeping track of body fat, not just weight. As for learning about the program, you can easily find an online copy of Dr. Simeons’ original book (or ask me for a more recent version) that describes his protocol in great detail.

    All the best,

  14. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Dorothy: Yoga is great in many ways. You can do very well with such an approach for general fitness, although it isn’t a well-established, long-term approach to weight management.

    All the best,

  15. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Alvin:

    Thanks for asking. You can poke around my blog here to get most, if not all, of the information that you need. Of course I am also biased in favor of my book, HCG DIET – THE NEW DEFINITIVE GUIDE, as the best and most comprehensive resource.

    All the best,

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