HCG Diet: Side Effects, Dangers, and Review

Another addition to my fad diet reviews, the HCG diet has been around since the 1950s when claims that using this hormone might help with weight loss and seems to have sparked some popularity back in 2011.

What is the HCG diet?

The diet works by eating 500-800 calories and you use a drug called human chorionic gonadotropin which is where the term “HCG” comes from.

This is an example of a super low-calorie diet that, when used with HCG has a synergistic effect and helps you lose as much as a pound a day without feeling weak or hungry.

An excerpt from Dr. Simeons manuscripts, “Pounds and Inches” shows the original 500 calorie a day food menu:


Tea of coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoon of milk allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or Stevia may be used.


  1. 100 Grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crap, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, ell, tuna, herring, dried, or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken breast must be removed from the bird.
  2. One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: Spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, or cabbage.
  3. One bread stick or one Melba toast.
  4. An apple, orange, a handful of strawberries, or one half of a grapefruit.


The same four choices as lunch.

How Does it Work?

Before I impart my opinions on this diet, you will lose weight on this diet no doubt about it. You are eating an extremely low amount of food and taking a pro-hormone that is supposed to help with hunger management and hormone production. I don’t think the HCG has any real effect on the diet but eating such a small amount of calories is what really makes you lose the weight.

What are the side effects?

There are many side effects that are linked to trying this diet.

Crashed Metabolism

Going from eating 2500+ calories down to a starvation diet of 500 calories is going to kill your metabolism. Your body will start to go into a starvation mode and start trying to conserve as many calories as possible.


You are going to start feeling tired all of the time from the nervous system trying to conserve as much energy as possible.


Along with feeling tired you are going to feel weak. If you are a strength athlete you know that the nervous system is where strength comes from so when it’s reducing output, you’re going to be weak.

Dizziness/Light Headed

You are going to feel light-headed, queazy, and dizzy once the fatigue and limited amount of calories are starving the body.


HCG has been tested and studies show that HCG isn’t the cause of weight loss and taking it in hopes of losing weight is ridiculous.

This is a starvation diet and you will lose a lot of weight on. The lack of calories is what causes the weight loss and eventually your metabolism will crash and make 500 calories your maintenance calories.

Once your metabolism crashes and your maintenance calories is closer to 500 calories, the diet is “over” and you start eating the same calories or hopefully a little less than you used to and you gain weight back.

Eating no fat, low carb, low protein, extremely low calories is a recipe for disaster and I advise you to not attempt this diet. If you are trying to lose weight, exercise and start eating healthier before you go through drastic measures to lose weight.

I had to do research on this diet when someone asked my opinion on it and I am shocked that this is being passed around as a “good way to lose weight.”

Take your time and lose the weight the right way, you can thank me later.

HCG Diet Side Effects

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