Should I Exercise While on the HCG Diet?
Eat less and exercise more. It’s the classic diet plan, the one that gets many people into shape – and keeps them there. And it makes sense, really: if you burn more calories (through exercise) than you take in (through eating), the pounds will drop.
Unfortunately, though most people can see the logic behind this tried and true method, it’s a hard regimen to stick to. This could be for any number of reasons, but the main one is this: it’s simply too slow. People going on a diet want to lose weight quickly. They want fast results to show for the effort they’re putting into their diet.
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Enter the HCG drops diet – the latest diet craze that promises quick weight loss (up to 1-3 pounds per day) by ingesting small amounts of the HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone. This hormone is found in the body naturally, but by taking small amounts in the form of HCG drops, it can aid in the loss of fat, most notably in “stubborn” areas like the butt, hips, and thighs.
So where’s the catch? Well, in order for the the HCG drops to be the most effective, they must be combined with a low calorie diet – usually only about 500 calories a day. The idea is that, because of the low calorie intake, your body will tap into abnormal fat stores to gain energy. The HCG directs the body to these abnormal fat stores (instead of letting it deplete the useful ones, like muscle), and aids in speeding up the process.
Unfortunately, this low calorie diet has many dietitians and healthcare professionals worried about the safety of the HCG diet. One reason for this is that those on the HCG drops diet are encouraged to severely limit their exercise, since the 500 calorie limit does not provide the body with enough energy to sustain itself during a workout.
So where’s the compromise? Years of research have proven that healthy eating habits, coupled with exercise, is the best way to maintain a healthy weight. But, if you use the HCG drops diet, will your motivation or ability to exercise decrease, leaving you to ride the infamous ups and downs of unsustainable weight loss?
As is the answer with any diet, what happens is up to you. But you do need to realize the risks associated with exercise while on the HCG diet, and the impact it could have on your weight loss. Remember these things when trying to decide how to balance your HCG diet with that little voice inside your head that’s telling you to jump on the treadmill.
Exercise increases hunger. With your calories limited to 500 a day, the last thing you want is to spend your time on the HCG drops diet hungry and miserable, dying for a protein bar or sandwich. If you already have an exercise routine, think about how you can adjust it to make it less fatigue inducing.
Risk of starvation. If your body goes into starvation mode – burning the same number of calories than you have taken in (or more) – it will hold on to any excess stores of energy/fat. And isn’t that exactly what you don’t want to happen?
You don’t have to eliminate exercise entirely. Easy walks are a great way to stay active while on the HCG diet. Consider spending the time you would have spent on an intense workout taking a short walk and meditating instead. This will keep you from getting lazy and promote continued exercise once you are finished with the diet.
Yoga, anyone? Yoga builds lean muscle, strength, and flexibility. Because of this, it can often complement the HCG diet. But remember to take it easy. If it’s making you tired or fatigued at all, it’s time to stop.
When trying to find a balance, the important thing to remember is that you do need to limit your intense exercise routine while on the HCG diet, but you also need to make sure your body and mind are prepared to go back to a decently challenging exercise routine once your cycle with the diet is complete. When done correctly, this could give you the best of both worlds: quick weight loss that is sustainable and healthy.