A public relations executive out of Chicago recently did quite well with my HCG 2.0 protocol, losing almost 30 pounds in her first round. She reached out to me via my private Facebook group to show her appreciation for all the help she received from my staff. Obviously thrilled with her results, she told me she wanted to make HCG 2.0 and InsideOut Wellness a household brand.

While that sounds great, I warned her that it would be a struggle. It's not easy retailing HCG products or even weight loss in general. The FTC has qualified HCG and many other supplements marketed for weight loss as pseudo-pharmaceuticals, making traditional credit card processing impossible. The FDA made very disparaging remarks about HCG in a press release in 2012. And it's not widely accepted by the medical community as a legitimate weight loss solution.

It makes you wonder, if Alisa, my PR rep, and so many others, 20,000 of them members of my private Facebook group, are having success with the HCG diet, why all the controversy?

To help her address the press when pitching HCG, Alisa asked me if I could answer a few questions about HCG weight loss so she could better communicate the diet to her media contacts. Since these are the same questions that many of my dieters have had to ask before taking the HCG leap of faith, I thought I would post them to a blog for all to read and better educate themselves.

There is a lot of noise on the web and social media. A lot of misinformation. I hope that this blog can clear the air and provide accurate information so that consumers can make the educated decisions that are needed to make in regard to their health and well being.

Why is the HCG diet so controversial?

I've been working with weight loss patients since 2009. For many, they've never had success with dieting. So they attribute their lack of success to a poor product or a gimmick diet. I've always stuck to my message that HCG is not a miracle pill. In fact, I make it very clear that HCG is not even what is responsible for the weight loss that is experienced on the diet. The weight loss that is a result of my low-calorie, low-carb, ketosis based diet protocol. The HCG supplement merely targets weight loss so that the dieter can maintain healthy muscle mass while strictly losing from unwanted fat. It does this by facilitating ketosis which is a metabolic process that is entirely safe and healthy, and is the only way to tap into unwanted fat reserves.

Many don't get that message because there is too much misinformation being circulated about "the miracle weight loss secret that nobody is talking about." Or "lose 10-15 pounds without diet or exercising."

If it sounds to good to be true, it almost always is. And unfortunately, my HCG 2.0 protocol get's lumped into that group of non-sense that clouds the market and makes it difficult for consumers to find accurate information.

What is even more frustrating is that all of the noise and nonsense leads to a lack of trust in the marketplace. Weight loss is difficult enough. If you can't find a program or protocol that you can trust, you'll never have the confidence needed to succeed with a diet plan. One thing I've learned in my 10 years of weight loss experience is that morale is absolutely critical. If you have to second guess your diet plan or your diet supplement, you won't succeed. Peace of mind and confidence in your plan is the key to successful weight loss.

What makes HCG 2.0 different than the original HCG diet protocol?

When I first began working with HCG in 2009, I worked with the original HCG diet. I was struggling with my chiropractic practice and I was looking for a way to bring in more mainstream patients to my clinic rather than compete with other the chiros in the back pain market. Obesity in the US was, and still is, an obvious problem, so I saw it as an opportunity. I researched a bunch of diets and only found one that made any sense.

My process in researching supplements is still the same today as it was in 2009 when I discovered Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity by Dr. A.T.W Simeons, which is the original manuscript that outlines the specifics of the original HCG diet. If the physiology makes sense, which it did with HCG, then I want to see it in practice. I want to see if people are actually getting results with it. With HCG, the physiology added up. It made sense. And, people were getting incredible results with it, so I introduced it into my practice. I hired an MD to be my medical director so he could write prescriptions for pharmaceutical HCG injections while I handled the patient education side.

That said, there were a lot of things about the original HCG diet that didn't add up. Particularly, the fact that the diet was very specific about the allowable calories. It allocated only 500 calories per dieter, whether that dieter was a large man or a small woman. That was a big red flag to me, as men have greater protein requirements than woman. Size and age obviously matter as well. How can you have a cookie cutter, fixed amount of calories for each and every dieter? You can't. Five-hundred calories may work for some, but it's unhealthy, even dangerous for others.

So the first thing I did was incorporate a clever Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculation that individualises the diet to each and everyone's body type based on their age, gender, height and weight. It's quite brilliant, even if I say so myself. Your BMR is the amount of calories that you require to maintain "at rest" body function. These are the calories that keep your heart beating, your lungs oxygenating, your kidneys filtering and your brain thinking. This calculation is what makes the diet doable for absolutely everyone and the reason that you will lose fat, maintain muscle mass, and not be incapacitated by hunger.

The second thing I did was make it totally ketosis based. Less carbs and more keto. In today's world, this is obvious, but 60 years ago, it was unheard of.

HCG 2.0 is a smart diet. You don't have to beat yourself up to experience rapid, yet healthy weight loss. You just have to eat smart. In fact, HCG 2.0 is more about calorie replacement rather than calorie reduction. The body requires nutrition, not just calories. The quality of the calories are much more important than the quantity. If you give your body the nutrition it needs (healthy fats, adequate protein and the phytonutrients found in vegetables), it will reward you with a healthy satiety response. If you only give it the empty calories so prevalent in the Standard American Diet, appropriately acronym'd SAD, your fullness will be very short-lived. As soon as the stomach walls retreat from the distention following your SAD meal, your body will still be craving the nutrition you didn't give it by reminding you're hungry again.

HCG 2.0 provides you all of the calories you need to satiate the nutritional requirements of your body without the empty calories of the Standard American Diet.

How does HCG contribute to weight loss?

As I said above, the weight loss, the actual reduction and depletion of fat and pounds, is only an indirect result of your HCG supplement. The weight loss is a result of the low calorie, ketosis diet that accompanies the HCG. This is what HCG 2.0 and the BMR calculation provide.

When a woman becomes pregnant, her placenta produces enormous concentrations of HCG, but pregnant woman don't lose weight. The don't lose weight because they're eating normally. HCG must be accompanied by a low-calorie diet in order for it to result in weight loss. So this is evidence that HCG is not responsible for losing weight.

To explain how HCG contributes to weight loss, let me describe why HCG is produced naturally during pregnancy. As a species, the human body is designed to retain calories in the form of fat. It's an evolutionary trick that allowed us to survive famine and long winters in the early stages of our evolution. The less food that is available, the more efficient your body will become with the limited amount of calories that it is receiving. This why dieting is such an uphill battle and so difficult to do. Not only are you struggling to resolve your poor and habitual eating habits, but you're also struggling with a genetic predisposition that forces your body to retain and store calories in the form of fat.

However, this "caveman physiology" get's flipped upside down during pregnancy because the growing baby needs a 24/7 calorie supply for proper development.

Enter HCG

The HCG that is produced naturally by the mother's placenta interacts with a gland in the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, in turn, regulates the thyroid. It's this feed forward process that allows the mother to top into her fat reserves to provide a perpetual calorie source for the baby growing inside her uterus. This is why woman in 3rd world, underdeveloped countries that are at or near starvation can still give birth to healthy, full-weight babies. It's a miracle of evolution. This observation is what inspired Dr. Simeons to explore and eventually write the original HCG diet back in the 1950s.

To summarize, in the absence of a pregnancy, if HCG is supplemented, even in very low doses, it has the same effect. It allows the dieter to sustain themselves on their own stored fat. In other words, in combination with a low-calorie diet, HCG exacerbates the metabolism of stored fat making those unwanted calories that are stored in your belly, thighs and chin available to you as a useable energy source. To summarize even further, HCG exacerbates ketosis.

How does HCG re-set your metabolism?

This I'm less sure of. Is it possible to sustain your weight loss following the HCG diet? Absolutely. But if you lose 25 pounds on a round of HCG then immediately go back to your old eating habits, you will absolutely gain the weight back. Once again, there is no miracle pill for weight loss.

To be honest, losing weight with HCG 2.0 is the easy part. Most are capable of modifying their behaviour for a 30-40 day window in order to lose weight. But making the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain it are a bit tougher.

That said, maintaining your weight loss is a really good problem to have. How many of your friends would love to have that problem? My book contains a very specific maintenance protocol that makes the process very doable. The first three weeks following your diet are critical to maintaining your weight because that is the time that your body is most determined to replenish it's fat reserves. If you can make it through the first 3 weeks without resorting to old eating habits maintaining your weight loss will only get easier.

What is homeopathic HCG and why does it work as well as "prescription" strength?

This is a bit complicated. It's covered very comprehensively in my book and I'll do my best to summarise it here.

The homeopathic HCG found in my HCG drops and my HCG patches contains the real and active HCG hormone, but not in the concentrations of the prescription HCG.

What homeopathy does, is use a magnification process to magnify the potency of the original hormone. Again, this is covered more thoroughly in the book, but what you have to remember is that the concentrations of HCG are not relevant to its affect on weight loss. If it was, pregnant woman would not gain 25-50 pounds with pregnancy. In fact, the mere presence of HCG, in combination with the right diet, is enough to achieve the desired weight loss results.

What's the difference between your HCG patches, HCG drops and prescription HCG?

For the most part, I answered this above. First off, hormones are very large molecules so they don't get readily absorbed through the GI. As a result, you have to find alternative delivery systems. The most common are sublingual HCG drops, HCG injections and now my trans-dermal HCG patches.

The prescription HCG will come in higher doses and must be prescribed by an MD. It usually comes in the form of injections, but take my advice and stay away from those. Unless you're a nurse, you're not qualified to inject yourself with anything. In addition, most of the prescription HCG comes from compounding pharmacies that are largely unregulated. John Oliver recently did a great piece on compounding pharmacies that you might find quite disturbing. Just because you're injecting yourself with a needle doesn't mean that it's more therapeutic. If you want to do prescription HCG, request it in the sub-lingual form which is a tablet that dissolves under your tongue. There is just too much margin for error with needles. HCG injections are unnecessarily invasive.

My HCG drops are what I founded my business upon. The injections and the expenses they required had to be forwarded on to my patients. They were no longer cost effective if the same results could be achieved for a 1/4 of the cost. As a result, I abandoned the injections and proceeded with drops and have not looked back. My homeopathic provider/manufacturer has been the same since 2012. He operates an FDA approved homeopathic manufacturing facility in Arizona. In addition, he is also a pharmacist. He has a pharmacy license in Arizona as well. He's brilliant at what he does.

The HCG Patches were added to my store in March of 2018. They're more than just HCG. It's like having a whole food supplement multi-vitamin on your arm 24/7. In addition to the HCG, the patches also contain natural metabolic boosters in the form of Forskolin, African Mango, Green Tea Extract and many other vitamins and minerals. It's been a big hit. I've had trouble keeping them on the shelves.

Although I feel the patches are a better product, they're twice the cost of the drops. And some people like the idea of taking the drops twice per day. It reminds them that they're on the diet. With the HCG patches, you stick it and forget it.

Why do you think there is such a "red flag" from the medical community about the HCG diet?

The same reason consumers don't trust HCG is the same reason medical professionals don't trust it. There is too much misinformation out there. And there are too many opportunistic fools out there trying to make a buck off of a hot industry. Just because someone is good at marketing and building websites that rank high with Google doesn't mean they are qualified to sell a weight loss plan, which is a perfect segue into the last question.

What do you have to say about the FDA calling it "dangerous, illegal, and fraudulent?"

In 2012, the FDA sent cease and desist letters to seven homeopathic manufactures of HCG. Within the letter they said that the providers were, among other things, dangerous, illegal and fraudulent.

And in fact, the FDA was exactly right in sending those letter. The manufacturers that received letters were reckless and dangerous in the lack of concern the misinformation they gave their buyers. Additionally, they were fraudulent in the way they marketed their product by making outrageous and exaggerated claims about HCG. That is illegal.
All this being said, it's not illegal to retail HCG online as I am doing, as long as I don't make false claims about its effectiveness, which I clearly do not do. So until the FDA tells me directly that I can no longer retail HCG, I will continue to sell HCG supplements. Because in combination with my HCG 2.0 protocol it is a safe and effective way to lose a lot of weight really quickly.
If I can give any advice, stay away from companies that offer money-back guarantees. That is an immediate red flag. Medical professionals never offer guarantees because there are no guarantees in medicine. If you see money-back guarantee, that should immediately tell you that there are no medical professionals on staff and they are to be avoided.

In summarizing the HCG controversy

I hope this will clear up some of the controversy surrounding the HCG diet and allow readers to make educated decisions about the direction they want to take their health.

My philosophy with weight loss is the same as my philosophy with my pain management patients. Let's get you out of pain as quickly as possible then fix you structurally so that it doesn't come back. In regard to weight loss, let's get the weight off of you as quickly as possible then worry about keeping it off.

If you still have questions and concerns, you should join my private Facebook group. It's a great source of information and support. It's like a family. I'm really proud of it.

Best of luck in reaching your weight loss goals.

Dr. Zach