More than 60 years after publishing his 1954 book, “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity,” British endocrinologist Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons’ hCG diet is still riding the weight loss wonder wave. In fact it continues to rack up evidence as a proven “off label” treatment—often where last-chance dieters are concerned. Utilizing hCG—or human chorionic gonadotropin—injections in tandem with a restrictive 500-calorie a day diet, dieters report experiencing minimal or sometimes even no hunger pangs and headaches in the first week, and generally a feeling of complete satiation in ensuing weeks on the protocol, attributed to the hormone.
Among the diet’s many pros is the opportunity to consume very few calories comfortably, because the body is supported by the hCG hormone in the bloodstream which takes away appetite. HCG also catalyzes the body make to make more hormones. Since hormone deficiency or imbalance is often a reason for weight gain, whether it’s thyroid, or menopause (or andropause—low testosterone), hCG provides help. HCG injections keep you from losing muscle while you diet. By elevating hormone levels in the body, the hCG hormone creates an anabolic state (muscle-building) which counteracts the catabolic state (muscle-breakdown) that frequently occurs in extreme calorie-restricted diets.
But even with all the advantages of the hCG diet protocol, which can be undertaken for several weeks in duration, calorie and specific food restrictions may lead to a dearth of important nutrients found in these items. For example, most dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, plus eggs and fortified cereals, contain important vitamin B1, as do clams, mackerel, herring, Bluefin tuna, salmon and rainbow trout—all not allowed on the diet due to their high fat content. As they are the seafood sources that rank highest in vitamin B12, adding a B12 supplement is often recommended.
What Can B12 Do For the HCG Diet Plan?
Integral in converting carbs into glucose in the body, vitamin B12—vital to the metabolism of every cell in the body— leads to energy production and a decrease in fatigue. B12 also facilitates brain function, reducing depression and the effects of stress. Ample supplies affect the nervous system, and play a part in healthy cholesterol levels protecting against stroke and hypertension (high blood pressure). It also aids in cell turnover and skin renewal. Though not getting enough of it for the duration of the diet probably won’t result in such serious diseases as pernicious anemia, which take considerable time to develop, if you undertale the diet protocol low in B12 to begin with, you definitely won’t find enough in the allowed food choices to keep you in the normal zone—even low normal.
While we’re on the subject, many of the excluded fish above also rank extremely high as a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for optimal health. In this respect, experts recommend taking a multivitamin, one which includes Omega-3 fatty acids, to help ensure the body remains in tiptop form while on the hCG diet.