Lose Weight With Hormones: How Useful Is The HCG Diet Really?

Losing weight with a pregnancy hormone? Sounds crazy and it is, say experts. The hCG diet promises maximum fat burn – if you accept side effects.

The fact that most Hollywood stars spare no effort to get a perfect figure is nothing new. They sweat during hard workouts, starve themselves or try out the craziest diets.

Always topical: the hCG diet, or also called metabolism cure or Hollywood diet, which the British doctor Dr. Simeons made famous.

Celebrity ladies like Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones claim to have successfully lost weight using the controversial weight loss method.

However, nutrition experts warn against the diet method.

How does the hCG diet work?

With the hCG, Diät Abnehmwillige takes daily only 500 kilocalories to itself. Parallel to it the followers of the Diätmethode each day a certain dose of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human Choriongonadotropin) is administered since this is to diminish according to Dr. Simeon’s fat depots.

The hormone is injected, but alternatively, drops, tablets, or nasal sprays can be taken. As a metabolism cure, the injections can nowadays also be exchanged for globules. Fat, carbohydrates, alcohol, and sugar are taboo during the diet.

The diet is carried out over a period of at least three weeks, followed by three weeks of the so-called stabilization phase, in which the calorie intake is increased again.

More about the four phases during the metabolism cure you find below.

hCG hormone: How it works

The basic idea of the metabolism cure makes use of the ingenious characteristics of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human choriongonadoptrin). This hormone is produced by pregnant women to ensure that the unborn life in their womb is adequately nourished at all times.

Normally, the baby eats along with the mom – but if a supply gap occurs, hCG causes the mother’s body to break down fat cells to pass the converted energy to the baby.

Dr. Simeons’ basic idea is that hCG attacks fat cells even when there is no baby – it just depends on the hormone being taken and a low-calorie diet being followed.

Then the deficiency perceived by the hormone triggers the killer command: The metabolism is stimulated – hence the name metabolism cure – and the fat cells are on the hit list.

Alternatively, there are also hormone-free hCG globules to buy. They promise the same effects.

Four phases: This is how the metabolism cure works

With the metabolism cure you do not take hormones nonstop but work with different phases.

The first phase consists of two loading days, during which you eat whatever you want. At the same time you start taking hCG and after the loading days you go on a low-calorie diet. This diet phase lasts 21 days and should not put more than 500 calories on your plate per day.

A high-protein diet ensures that you are not too hungry. To avoid deficiency symptoms, dietary supplements may be advisable.

The diet phase is followed by a 21-day stabilization phase, during which you are slowly allowed to eat more again. The hCG globules are now no longer taken.

Step 1: The loading phase

Loading phase – the name says it all: Always purely with it, because you should take gladly 4000 calories per day, in order to bring your metabolism properly in the course. So you are allowed to eat and this is in stark contrast to the following weeks.

The only thing that is forbidden is alcohol, as it inhibits the metabolism. It is also important to drink a lot during the first phase: about three to four liters of water a day.

Step 2: Calorie reduction

After the feast, it’s time to get serious. The second phase lasts three weeks. Per day no more than 500 calories are permitted, some offerers of an hCG Diät are somewhat “looser” with 800 kilocalories per day.

Milk, alcohol, sugar, sweeteners, pasta, bread, and potatoes. The dishes should be prepared as far as possible without fat, so olive oil, butter, and coconut milk are also taboo.

Instead, there is lean meat and low-fat fish, tofu, tempeh, lupine products, eggs, fruit such as blueberries, apples or oranges (unfortunately, grapes and bananas are omitted because of the high sugar content), vegetables, low-fat cottage cheese and the like.

The high-protein diet ensures that you are not too hungry and that there is no unwanted muscle loss.

In addition to this very strict diet, you will now also take the hCG hormone.

To avoid deficiency symptoms, dietary supplements may be advisable.

Step 3: Stabilization phase

Now the hCG hormones are no longer taken.

The metabolism should slowly return to normal during the stabilization phase. In concrete terms, this means gradually increasing the number of calories until the daily requirement is reached again.

Healthy fats may now be consumed again – and carbohydrates in moderation are also okay.

As a guideline for the calorie increase can serve approx. 100 kilocalories per day. This is to avoid the dreaded yo-yo effect.

Step: Maintenance phase

The stabilization phase is followed by the maintenance phase – it would be a great pity if the lost kilos were soon back again.

In concrete terms, this means: All foods are allowed again, but you should eat mainly vegetables and protein-rich foods.

The individual energy requirement should not be exceeded and also one should not fall again into its old nourishing patterns – then long-term success remains missing. A balanced diet in combination with exercise and sport helps to say goodbye to the lost kilos for good.

Which vitamins during the hCG diet?

The classic hCG cure according to Dr. Simeons relies on the pregnancy hormone hCG to additionally fuel the metabolism. Other metabolism diets do without the intake of the hormone or replace it with hormone-free alternatives, which should bring a similar effect.

Many of the hCG preparations contain vitamin B12 to support the metabolism.

Since the diet is very low in calories and restrictive, supplements can be taken to avoid possible nutrient deficiencies.

For example, critical nutrients in the metabolism diet include omega-3 fatty acids and certain fat-soluble vitamins.

Most metabolism diets also recommend the following supplements:

  • MSM, organic sulfur: Is intended to prevent a deficiency of sulfur. Sulfur promotes detoxification of the body as it binds harmful substances and carries them out of the body with urine.
  • OPC, grape seed extract: rich in antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories.
  • Multivitamin supplements: they contain vitamins, minerals and sometimes omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
  • Protein powder: the use of protein powder is a simple and quick way to increase the protein content in his diet and be saturated despite low-calorie count, for example, as a protein shake.

Should you try the hCG diet?

Help, only three weeks left until your summer vacation? The metabolic diet, like other crash diets, aims to lose a lot of weight as quickly as possible. It’s convenient for those who want to get rid of some unwelcome love handles for a specific event.

The cure is unsuitable for children and teenagers, pregnant women, and all people who work hard physically because of the strict calorie requirements.

However, one thing must be clear to you: A metabolism cure is hard – and connected with renunciation.

If your goal is to still fit into your new bikini in two months, to lose weight in the long term, and to live healthily: Hands off the hCG diet. The same goes for other crash diets like the Thonon diet.

hCG diet: dangers and side effects

With a reduction of the daily calorie intake to 500, possible undersupply is pre-programmed. Means: The body can not absorb enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

According to the German Society for Nutrition, this can lead to cardiac arrhythmias, among other things. In addition, depression, water retention, headaches, and fatigue are reported more often as side effects of the metabolism cure.

For this reason, experts warn against the hCG diet. The German Obesity Society even strongly advises against the method.

In the area of weight reduction, hCG is also not approved. Normally the hormone is used by physicians with women with child desire.

Jo-Jo effect with hCG diet?

A weight loss success with the hCG diet is certain with this low-calorie intake, but whoever resumes his normal eating behavior afterward will not have to wait long for the yo-yo effect. During the hCG diet, the body switches to a saving mode.

If one eats then after the Diät again normally, the body stores everything, and the dreaded Jo Jo effect strikes.

Conclusion: hCG diet to recommend or not?

1954 invented Dr. Simeons the HCG Diät, and since then it is explained again and again to the trend. However, to date, there is no clear evidence that the diet actually works and that the pregnancy hormone provides weight loss.

With this extreme reduction of the calorie supply the Abnehmwilligen loses anyway at weight, healthy is this radical method however not at all.

There are currently no scientific studies on the fact that the hormone hCG supports weight loss. The partly impressive Abnehmerfolge of the Diätanhänger can be explained according to DGE by the strongly energy-reduced Diät, which goes along with the administration of the hormone.

Whether an investment in hCG drops, Globulis or other food auxiliary means – which are to be bought by the way to steep prices on the Internet and in the pharmacy – is worthwhile itself, is therefore very questionable.

The German Society for Nutrition strongly advises against treatment with the hormone hCG for weight reduction.

Assessment by nutrition expert Katherine Zeratsky

Nutrition expert Katherine Zeratsky from the Mayo Clinic advises against the metabolism cure on the website of the famous US clinic. Their effectiveness is not yet scientifically proven, stressed the expert.

That you lose weight with a reduced calorie intake of 500 to 800 calories is clear anyway – that would happen even without the hormone.

In principle, diets that quickly lead to extreme weight loss should be viewed critically, as the dreaded yo-yo effect is pre-programmed.

They do not help to change the diet sustainably and to eat more consciously. Those who would like to decrease healthily and durably, do not come around to put their eating habits on the test stand and change.

In addition, Katherine Zeratsky warns of the side effects of hCG intake. These include fatigue, irritability, inner restlessness, depression, water retention, and, in men, swollen breasts, as well as more serious dangers such as the risk of blood clots and thrombosis.


If you eat so few calories over a long period of time, you can cause long-term damage to your body. So if you want to lose weight healthily and permanently, it’s better to change your diet, do enough regular exercise, and at the same time consume enough calories, instead of going on a diet with pregnancy hormones, the effectiveness of which has not been proven.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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