While the HCG diet is considered yet another weight loss craze, it cannot be denied that thousands of people swear by its effects. Those who are looking to lose the extra pounds should take a closer look at this diet plan, particularly its merits as well as its potential drawbacks in order to determine whether HCG is the best method to use.


What are the Merits of the HCG Weight Loss Plan?


Effective Appetite Suppression


Cutting back on food consumption is vital to making this diet work. HCG drops can suppress appetite effectively so that you feel full for most of the day. The 500-calorie daily limit for HCG users can only be achieved with the help of suppressants such as those present in most HCG drops.


Fast and Continuous Fat Burning


Since the body only consumes 500 calories per day, it will be forced to tap into reserve calorie sources thereby burning off excess fats particularly in problem areas such as the thighs and stomach. Claims have been made that a person can lose up to 30 pounds per month, which is considered a bit of a stretch.


Healthy (and probable) weight loss is around 10-15 pounds per month or 3-4 pounds per week. Anything beyond this is not advised, and can actually be dangerous.


No Exercise Required


Unlike most other weight loss plan today, the HCG program does not require a person to keep up with rigorous workout routines. In fact, there is no need to exert much effort throughout the course of the diet plan as long as the daily 500-calorie limit is maintained along with the intake of HCG drops, per the recommended diet schedule.


Relatively Affordable


HCG drops are sold in packages, thus the varying prices. However, the most one will need to spend is around $150 for a 60-day supply. Compared to most other weight loss plans today (most of which require you buying workout DVDs and meal plans), the HCG program is obviously much cheaper since you only need to purchase the drops.


Drawbacks


Severe Calorie Restrictions


500 calories per day is extremely limited considering the Daily Recommended Allowance is around 2500 for women and 2000 for men. This type of restriction is considered extreme, especially by medical professionals, and believed to have severe long-term health ramifications, if continued for very long.


In addition, people who undergo the HCG protocol can experience prolonged hunger pangs due to the curtailed consumption of food. In most cases, people do not last the entire 60 days, which entails wasted effort and money.


Possible Weight Gain Post Diet


While HCG is considered highly effective as far as the rate of weight loss is concerned, there is also no guarantee that you will be able to keep all the weight off permanently. In most cases, some weight gain re-occurs as soon as the individual is off the 500 per day calorie restriction.


In order to maintain one’s weight post-diet, it is necessary to either consume 500 calories a day (which is hard and unhealthy long term), or resort to other methods such as exercise or cutting back on fast burning carbohydrates and bad quality fats. The HCG diet is undoubtedly effective. While the method is certainly polarizing, especially among medical professionals, HCG certain brings about good results in many people – for a minimal amount of effort.