Prescription strength human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone prescribed for rapid weight loss. Combined with vitamins, minerals and a low calorie, yet balanced diet, HCG can yield losses of up to a pound per day, by stoking metabolism while preserving lean muscle tissue.

The treatment was developed in the 1950’s by British endocrinologist, Dr. Simeons, who had been experimenting with HCG to help overweight boys with low levels of testosterone develop normally. His studies found that with supplemental HCG, weight loss occurred solely through the breakdown of fat stores while lean muscle tissue was preserved.

Dr. Simeons continued his studies, comparing his findings to a control group who used diet and exercise alone to lose weight. Simeons confirmed that when HCG is used in conjunction with a nutritious, calorie-restricted diet, dieters could burn fat stores without compromising muscle, making the treatment much more effective than diet and exercise alone. Without HCG, metabolic processes which increase energy levels, suppress appetite, burn fat stores, and stimulate receptors to protect muscle tissue from deterioration couldn’t take place.

In 2007, the diet was further refined to include a four phase plan for firing up metabolism, burning fat stores with an 800 calorie diet, transitioning to a 1500 calorie a day diet, and finally, gradually upping calories in increments until the individual user discovers the optimal intake to remain lean.

HCG comes in a convenient pill form.