Everybody wants to have an ideal body weight. But you should not rely on an instant way to achieve that. In the following article, we will show you the differences between HCG Diet vs Intermittent Fasting. The truth is, there is no miracle pill that can help you lose weight in a single day; at least, not without dangerous consequences.
What we will discuss below include:
- What HCG Diet is and how it goes
- The science behind HCG Diet
- The objective and scientific proof of HCG Diet and its side effects
- How to go on Intermittent Fasting
- The benefits and potential side effects of Intermittent Fasting, if any
- Which one between HCG Diet vs Intermittent Fasting that is generally more recommended for you
HCG Diet – What Is It?
HCG Diet has been quite popular in the recent years. It is often described as an extreme diet that will make you lose weight rapidly, as much as two pounds per day. Still not amazing enough? There’s another thing. According to the claims, you won’t be left feeling hungry while you are in the diet. Losing weight without the hunger – who doesn’t want that?
However, the FDA has cautioned that the HCG Diet is fraudulent and potentially dangerous. Even if you are one of those people who don’t trust the FDA, there is a real scientific explanation to why the HCG Diet is not recommended for people.
Let’s start from what HCG is. According to Healthline, HCG stands for “human chorionic gonadotropin”, a hormone which is usually present at high levels in the early stage of pregnancy. As a matter of fact, the presence of this hormone is usually used as a marker in pregnancy tests.
In the human body, the function of HCG is maintaining the production of other hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which are essential during pregnancy for the development of the embryo. After about three months into the pregnancy, HCG levels in the blood will decrease.
Outside of pregnancy, high levels of HCG that occur in the body may be a symptom of a placental cancer, ovarian cancer, or testicular cancer. In the medical world, HCG is sometimes injected into the body to treat fertility issues, for both men and women.
However, in 1954, HCG was proposed as a weight loss treatment by Albert Simmons, a British doctor. He recommended taking an ultra-low-calorie diet limited to 500 calories per day in addition to the HCG hormone injections. Nowadays, though, “HCG” products are sold in a wide range of forms, including pellets, sprays, and oral drops, available in many retail stores and websites.
HCG Diet – Does It Work?
The HCG Diet is very low-fat and very low-calorie. Today, people who take the HCG Diet usually go through three phases: loading phase, weight loss phase, and maintenance phase.
In the loading phase, which goes for two days, you are required to start taking HCG while eating plenty of high-fat and high-calorie foods. Then, in the weight loss phase, you continue your HCG consumption but should your calorie intake to just 500 calories per day. This goes for 3 – 6 weeks. Finally, in the maintenance phase, you have to stop taking HCG while increasing your food intake gradually, but you still need to avoid starch and sugar for about three weeks. See also: HCG Diet vs Phentermine.
People who only want minimal weight loss may spend only three weeks in the second phase, but those who want to achieve dramatic weight loss may spend up to six weeks in the second phase or even repeat the cycle multiple times. Supporters of the HCG Diet vs intermittent diet claim that it can boost your metabolism and help you lose a large amount of fat without making you feeling hungry.
However, multiple studies have shown that HCG Diet is not truly beneficial for weight loss.
The weight loss effect from the HCG Diet actually comes from the ultra-low calorie intake. The HCG hormone has nothing to do with it. The studies compared the weight loss achieved by people who took HCG and that of the people who took placebo injections. The results from both groups were similar.
Furthermore, the studies also showed that HCG did not reduce hunger significantly. People who took HCG still feel hungry.
Supporters of the HCG Diet also claim that the diet does not cause muscle loss. It only causes fat loss. In addition, it is said to boost metabolism, which can bring your body into the growth-promoting anabolic state. Unfortunately, there is no real scientific proof to support these claims.
If you want to take a low-calorie diet, there are more effective ways than taking HCG to prevent muscle loss and decreased metabolism. An exercise like weightlifting is one fine example. You can also eat high-protein foods and take short breaks from the diet to maintain your metabolism rate.
HCG Diet – Any Side Effect?
There are several side effects that are often associated with the HCG Diet, such as headaches, fatigue, and depression. Additionally, side effects that usually happen when you take a low-calorie diet, such as increased hunger, reduced concentration, and weakness, will probably still occur if you take the HCG Diet.
When choosing between HCG Diet vs intermittent fasting, you should also consider the fact that many ingredients used in HCG products are unregulated, and some of their effects in the human body are unknown.
Finally, many “HCG” products in the market are most likely scams. They don’t contain real HCG. They are simply homeopathic products that are composed of various ingredients. The only way to get real HCG administrations is from a fertility treatment, available via a doctor’s prescription.
Intermittent Fasting – What Is It?
The other phenomenon that has become quite popular among dieters and fitness enthusiasts is called intermittent fasting. And, unlike HCG Diet, this one actually works in a safe manner and can be explained by science, although you still need to consider your particular physical condition before going on any kind of diet.
Intermittent fasting is an alternating cycle between fasting and eating. People in general are already fasting every day: when they are sleeping. Intermittent fasting simply extends that fasting period a little bit more.
There are actually several variations of intermittent fasting, but one of the easiest methods to follow is by eating your first meal at noon (skip the breakfast) and your last meal before 8 PM. This way, you are already fasting for about 16 hours a day. Your eating window is restricted to that 8 hours between noon and 8 PM. This method is usually called the 16/8 method.
Between HCG Diet vs intermittent fasting, actually intermittent fasting is the easier one to follow. You don’t need to consume any pill or oral drop. People who have gone through it say that hunger is only a problem in the beginning. Once your body gets used to the fasting period, you won’t feel much hunger, and you will even get increased focus and energy while fasting.
Although no food is allowed in the fasting period, you are still allowed to drink water, tea, caffeine, and any other non-caloric beverage. Usually, taking supplements is allowed, as long as the supplements don’t contain calories.
Intermittent Fasting – Does It Work?
Multiple studies have shown that intermittent fasting can promote weight loss, improve metabolic health, and increase the body’s resistance against disease. It doesn’t restrict the types of foods that you may eat; instead, it only controls when you may eat them.
Most intermittent fasting programs are effective because of one simple reason. They limit your caloric intake. Of course, when you are going through intermittent fasting, you should be wise with the amount of food that you eat during the eating period. You still need important nutrients to ensure that your body can function properly, but do not eat too much.
Additionally, although intermittent fasting has been proven to be effective, it is not necessarily any more effective than other types of diet that restrict a person’s daily caloric intake. The charm is, intermittent fasting tends to be more flexible than most other types of diet. You may eat pretty much any food, and experts say that most intermittent fasting programs look safe.
Intermittent Fasting – Any Side Effect?
Before taking the intermittent fasting, it is wise to consult with your doctor, especially if you have a particular medical condition. It is also important to pay attention to signs that may indicate that you are going through the wrong way.
If you get really lightheaded and dizzy, or if it becomes very difficult for you to focus, you need to reach for a healthy food right away. However, for people who can still get the nutrition they need within the allowed eating period, it should be fine.
Athletes who do intense physical activities should be more careful. It is also not recommended for teenagers and adolescents, seniors over the age 65, and people who have just recovered from an eating disorder. People with diabetes may be able to practice intermittent fasting safely, but they should be supervised by medical professionals.
HCG Diet vs Intermittent Fasting
|HCG Diet||Intermittent Fasting|
|- Based on the HCG hormone||- Restricts your eating period|
|- You have to buy and consume the "HCG" products||- Doesn't require any additional drug or supplement|
|- Not recommended by experts||- Most programs are considered safe|
|- More difficult to follow||- Easier to follow|
|- May cause headaches, fatigue, depression||- Not recommended for teenagers, seniors over 65, people who have just recovered from an eating disorder|
Between these two diet methods, intermittent fasting is more recommended. It is safer, and it actually works. It has both scientific proof and real-life proof. That said, intermittent fasting is not necessarily more effective than other diets that restrict caloric intake. It is simply easier to follow.