A frequently asked question about the Hcg Diet, is how much weight can I lose?
Weight lost on the hCG diet is directly related to primarily two variables: 1. the patients metabolic rate (BMR) and 2. their ability to stick to the Hcg diet’s precise protocol. The results are different based on the person’s own factors. Let’s take a look at these, including examples, so you can see just how much weight you can lose on the Hcg Diet.
Exercise does not generally play a large role in this medical weight loss program, although there is room to add reasonable amounts and to modify the protocol for athletes. The diet is heavily restricted and that creates a very large caloric deficit which results in weight loss that is directly proportional to the amount of energy the person is expending.
In trying to estimate how much weight you can lose while on hCG hormone, we would need to estimate both of these items relative to each patient. This is the reason a 6’3 250 lb. male loses more weight per day than a 5’3 150 lb. female. Their metabolism is very different, but the diet recommendations are often similar and so the larger person has a greater deficit which results in greater weight loss.
Example Weight Loss Rates
For example, if somebody was burning 2000 calories per day (their BMR) and they ate 500 calories per day, they would lose 1500 calories per day. This roughly equals half a pound of fat per day. For someone burning 1500 calories per day eating the same diet, they would lose 1000 calories per day which is roughly one third a pound of fat per day.
By most estimates for women in the general population, 1500-2000 calories per day range would account for most people in terms of what the simple math can tell us on fat loss expectation, 1/3 to 1/2 lb. of fat per day.
Scale Weight vs. Body Fat
This brings us to the next important point of scale weight versus body fat. Scale weight includes changes in; fat, muscle, water and stool. For people for whom the dated and standard protein recommendations are not adequate they will lose quite a lot of muscle on the hCG diet which can account for ‘weight’ lost above what you may expect from calculated fat loss.
Often people following older versions of this diet can lose a little more ‘weight’ per day but this is at the expense of lean muscle tissue. This is why tall men on the Simeons diet can get close to losing 1lb. per day because of the fat+muscle skewing of their results. Often very overweight people may lose at a higher rate initially as well.
We are actually more concerned about people losing weight much faster than what would be expected based on the simple math because of the concern of muscle loss.
Another factor effecting weight mostly in the first week but not so much fat loss is the loss of glycogen weight as one enters ketosis during the first week. Glycogen is a storage form of glucose primarily in the liver and muscle. When carbs from the diet are cut off, this is the first source of fuel that has to get used up before you can enter ketosis.
The reason it causes so much weight loss, is that it gets stored with water, so when your body uses it, that water gets dropped off as well. Glycogen weight is generally proportionally to overall body weight, and muscle mass and can account for 3-5 pounds of the weight loss initially in the first week (which is a mix of water/fat etc).
This black and white way of looking at calories in and calories out will account for the vast majority of all the progress because of the simple law of thermodynamics. What it doesn’t account for is the effect of hormones on metabolism and the effect of dieting on metabolism. The metabolic effects are much more individual as they are tied to overall health, lifestyle, age and many other factors and these can influence the numbers estimated above by huge margins.
This is why it is very difficult to predict exactly how much weight you can lose, and more important to focus on constantly making all the correct choices while dieting and lose as much fat as your body is able to.
One of the top reasons people fail is their expectations were higher than their results. Knowing this can be powerful when you start a diet plan to focus on what will keep you motivated, vs. what we know can be derailing.
In summary, the average female dieter on hCG can probably expect around 1/2 pound of actual fat loss on average per day.
The first week the rate can be much higher due to glycogen weight also being lost. If the overall rate of fat loss is much higher and not accounted by the overall size or activity level of the patient, then muscle loss becomes a concern as we do not want it to contribute to the weight loss numbers.
Overall weight loss based on scale weight can be higher than actual fat loss which accounts for the higher numbers reported by many dieters. The diet does work, and well. However the overall amount of weight loss, is dependent on the patient’s dedication and physical factors.