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HCG Diet FAQ - Tavicare
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HCG Diet Frequently Asked Questions

What is HCG and how does it work?

HCG is a natural hormone produced in the body. It has many functions and is used medically to treat a variety of conditions. It is the pregnancy hormone. This hormone allows the body to metabolize fat and use it as energy for both mother and fetus. This acts as a “fail-safe” mechanism when energy is needed immediately. For weight loss, we use only a very small amount of HCG to capitalize on this same mechanism.

Is HCG safe?

HCG is extremely safe. Women may experience very high levels during pregnancy with no adverse affects. Currently there are no known established clinical side effects to homeopathic remedies and medicines. Before beginning this diet, you will have an initial consultation with Dr. Tavakoli. She will assess your condition and situation and suggest the most optimal approach to your weight loss. If you have any swelling, shortness of breath, dizziness or heavy redness call our office immediately so that your symptoms can be evaluated and responded to appropriately. Of course, in the case of any severe reaction(s), call 911 immediately.

Is HCG safe for men?

The HCG hormone is naturally present in men. It is found in every human tissue, including males, pregnant women, and non-pregnant women. Men get even faster results and tend to lose more weight than women.

Will my metabolism slow down on this low calorie diet?

It is true that normally when cutting back on calories and fat, our body stores fat and our metabolism slows down. This happens because fat is really a life-saving source of stored energy. When a very low calorie diet is used in conjunction with the HCG, the hormone signals the body to used stored fat for energy, and will eliminate excess fat reserves. It is a natural process, so no ill effects on your metabolism will result. The HCG keeps the body from going into starvation mode and holding onto fat as it resets your metabolism.

Wouldn't I lose the same amount of weight on a low-calorie diet?

You can lose weight simply by eating fewer calories and fat, but because the body stores fat during times of deprivation, you will most likely lose muscle and bone before fat. This causes cellular metabolism to slow down, so in the long run, it would make gaining weight easier, as well as decrease bone density and muscle mass. By using HCG with the low calorie diet, extra fat is mobilized for energy and the rest is eliminated; the low calorie diet is vital in preventing immediate refilling of emptied fat cells. You benefit by preferentially getting rid of excess fat without affecting your bone and muscle. With HCG you can lose the weight quickly and keep it off!

Will I be Hungry?

It is common to feel mild hunger during the first few days. This will most likely pass or lessen greatly and by the second week you will find your servings to be satisfying. Because HCG mobilizes fat and makes it available to the body as an energy source, it naturally reduces appetite. So even though you are taking in fewer calories, your body can access the energy you have stored in fat cells. Drinking lots of green tea all day (we like the cold fruity sweet one sweetened with stevia) helps a ton as a natural appetite suppressant and your energy level. Overall, most people have plenty of energy and feel good while on the program. Also another good metabolism boosting tea is oolong tea. All teas may be sweetened with stevia.

Will HCG interfere with any medications i'm taking? What about birth control pill or Depo-Provera?

HCG formulas do not interact with ANY medications, including birth control pills or Depo-Provera.

Will I experience any changes in my menstrual cycle while on the HCG?

Because the amount of HCG is so small, there are no changes to your menstrual cycle. Likewise, HCG will not affect your ability to become pregnant, nor will it increase your chances of getting pregnant. It is best to avoid starting the HCG diet if you are within 5-6 days of your menstrual period. Wait until after your menstrual period is complete to start HCG. Once on HCG and you have a menstrual cycle again, you can maintain the diet but discontinue taking HCG during your menstruation time.

What about pregnancy and taking HCG?

If you are pregnant do not take HCG. If you become pregnant during the HCG diet, stop taking HCG and consult your OB-GYN.

How much weight can i expect to lose on the program?

Most people will lose between 25-35 pounds on the 40-day program. Everyone is different. It depends on many factors including how much excess weight you have and how much weight needs to be lost. Often, people lose 7-10 lbs in the first week.

Does the weight loss slow down after a couple of weeks?

Many times there is a large amount of weight loss in the first week, then a plateau or leveling off of weight loss. This does not mean that your weight loss has stopped. Typically, inches are being lost continuously while on the program, and after a period of time, patients will experience another large drop on the scale. Weight loss is thus achieved in this stair-step fashion.

Is it ok to skip a meal, or protein, for a meal?

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never skip any of your meals. It’s important to eat all of your 500 calories and especially your protein so that you lose fat and not muscle.

Can I exercise daily?

If you must exercise, low key exercise only. You can do about 20 min. of walking a day and a few sit ups or push-ups if you feel that is needed. Exercise burns calories and therefore causes your hunger to increase. The combination of low calorie intake and exercise could cause your body to go into starvation mode. This can negatively impact your stamina and commitment to the diet. So take it easy. And remember, you will be losing fat. So when you do go back to the gym, it’s a skinner, more energetic you!

Do I have to take vitamins while I'm on this diet?

A good Multi Vitamin helps, make sure it is sugar free and has no fat soluble

ingredients like fish oils or vitamin D. Potassium is also good especially if you experience leg cramps (which can be common while on this diet). Calcium/magnesium combo is also a good vitamin to take if needed. We also recommend taking the hormone supplement, DHEA. This has the dramatic action of preventing the story of fats and it is also an appetite suppressor. Another supplement that we recommend taking during your diet is melatonin. Melatonin promotes sleep, which promotes weight loss.

Is it normal to get a headache during the 1st week?

Some people may experience light headaches during the first week, this is because your body is releasing fat cells very rapidly and you will be going through a major detoxification. You may take an Aspirin or Tylenol as long as it’s not sugar coated.

Can I take HCG longer than 40 days if i want to keep losing weight?

After 40 days you must take a break for 3 weeks before you start another session. This is to make sure your body doesn’t become immune to the HCG. You will need 1 bottle to go a 40 day round. Just remember the last 3 days of your plan is no HCG and continue diet for 3 days until the HCG is flushed out of your body before going into maintenance. Exercise is encouraged once you start maintenance and are back to 1200-1500 calorie diet.

Can I drink alcohol on the HCG diet?

In the original HCG diet protocol by Dr. Simeons, it does not mention or account for alcohol. It has been found that some HCG Users whom have been drinkers or even those that are borderline alcoholic, do surprisingly well on the HCG diet. If the simple instructions are followed correctly, the HCG diet will get them out of their drinking routine. These users have even said that they don’t even feel the need to drink while on the HCG diet because HCG works with the hypothalamus gland which controls the emotional eating/ drinking part of the brain, along with other aspects.

Can I wear makeup?

The answer is yes. However try to avoid lotions, moisturizers or liquid make-ups with oil. HCG is very sensitive to oils, creams and fats. These could slow the weight loss process down; you only want it to target your stored fat. You can use any mineral makeup or pressed powders and of course oil free foundations are fine. Other types of eye makeup and lipstick are fine. Stay away from lip glosses and Chapstick. If your lips get dry the protocol says to use Carmex. It also says if needed you can use mineral oil (baby oil) if needed as a moisturizer.

What do I do if my weight plateaus?

If the weight loss slows try the following: Increase water consumption (try to drink 1/2-1 gallon a day) and or green tea consumption. Eliminate the fruits from two to one per day. If mixing vegetables, stop. Check all condiments for sugar content. If having constipation problems, try a laxative tea. This is usually very effective. It is not uncommon on this diet to have a bowel movement once every 3-4 days, if provided you are consuming plenty of fluids. This has not lead to any disruptions. If weight loss has hit a plateau for more than 5-6 days an “apple day” may be observed. In an Apple day you consume 6 apples within 24 hours with nothing else to eat or drink except water.

We can also provide you with a series of three B-12 plus amino acids injections, which will help to increase your energy and boost your metabolism. These would be administered in our office by a medical professional.

Why can’t I just follow the diet without taking the HCG?

Of course you will lose weight eating a drastically reduced calorie diet! However, without keeping leptin levels adequately elevated, you’ll experience severe hunger, and your fat won’t supply sufficient amounts of fuel to the body. Muscle and organ tissue will have to break down to provide the fuel that fat doesn’t supply. Your metabolism will slow down because as leptin levels decline, the signal from your thyroid will weaken. You’ll feel tired, lethargic, and irritable. This makes gaining weight easier after returning to a normal calorie intake.

What if I cheat while I’m on the diet?

All food when eaten, stimulates leptin release from your fat, and too much leptin is not better. Too much leptin causes fat gain! Specifically, fat gain in the stomach area. Excess leptin is why fat is associated to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, symptoms of adrenal fatigue, sleep disturbance, menopausal symptoms, breathing disorders, inflammation, and much much more. Leptin levels that are too high explain why women gain fat easily during menopause and pregnancy. HCG, and other gonadotropin hormones (LH, FSH), strongly stimulate leptin from fat, which makes eating food hormonally less necessary. Consequently, if you cheat, you will not only put yourself at risk for hormonal imbalances, but you’re likely to gain a significant amount of fat. All it takes is just a bite, and you could gain 2-4 pounds of fat.

Is HCG approved by the FDA?

Yes – HCG has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in treating many medical conditions. It has not, however, been submitted for approval as a weight loss aid and is therefore not sanctioned by the FDA for this purpose. It’s use is considered “off label” which is a common practice for numerous medications. It’s proof, as a means to prevent starvation during the very low calorie protocol, is seen through the success of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

Why shouldn’t I buy HCG off the Internet?

HCG is a prescription medication in the United States and without a valid prescription cannot be bought off the Internet. Many of the HCG medications sold on the Internet are herbal or homeopathic preparations that have no demonstrated effectiveness and are not equivalent to the real HCG. You cannot be assured of the safety or content of any medications bought over the Internet. HCG is a hormone that influences your entire endocrine system, and should only be used under the supervision of a licensed physician.

How did HCG originate?

Dr. A T W Simeons was studying the affects of starvation on pregnant women in India, when he hypothesized that HCG mobilized stored fat to be used as nutrition for the fetus. It was from this discovery that he determined that very low doses of HCG, along with his very low calorie diet, would enhance weight loss in overweight patients. Dr. Simeons also believed that HCG acted in the brain to suppress appetite and increase a feeling of well-being. He also theorized patients would lose the abnormal, unwanted, unhealthy fat reserves without experiencing symptoms of starvation.

Will HCG affect any other medications that i am currently taking?

No – HCG does not interact with ANY other medications. However, it is very important you disclose any medication you are taking and consult with your prescribing physician before choosing to stop any medication.

Will I gain weight after finishing the HCG diet program?

Only if you return to the eating behavior that was why you gained fat in the first place. This is why we focus on changing your desires to eat excessively, in order to prevent the recurrence of obesity. Our goal is that you like eating less, eat more healthy, and you don’t need weight as motivation.