The History of the HCG Diet

June 19, 2014

HCG Friendly VegetablesAt DreamBody Medical Centers, we offer a service called the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin diet, also known as the HCG diet, modeled after the original diet method by Albert T.W. Simeons. The HCG hormone is only naturally in women, and is typically only found in the body during pregnancy. The effects of having this hormone in your system include:

  • A faster metabolism
  • Decreases hunger
  • Provides energy1

When taking part in the HCG diet, it is recommended that you avoid over-exerting yourself. Since you are on a low calorie diet it is dangerous to attempt to burn those few calories2.

The Father of the HCG Diet

The HCG diet was discovered by a well-known British endocrinologist, by the name of Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons. Simeons was born in London in 1900, and attended the University of Heidelberg, in Germany.  After graduation, Simeons continued his studies in endocrinology which he studied in both Germany and Switzerland. After he completed his studies in endocrinology, he became fascinated and concerned with the tropical diseases which seemed to be growing at a rapid pace. Simeons’ interest in the subject led to his enrollment in The School of Tropical Medicine in Hamburg. Simeons wanted to get closer to the problem as a means to find a solution, thus he moved to India in 1931. During his time in India, he was determined to gain a deeper understanding of Malaria and Lepra.  Simeons’ determination led to him being awarded the Red Cross Order of Merit for adopting the practice of using injectable atebrin in the treatment of Malaria. Simeons ended up spending 18 years in India, studying an array of tropical diseases. In the late 40s, Simeons left India for Rome and began his studies involving weight management issues, and began conducting experiments on dieting and the HCG hormone. Simeons published a study on the HCG diet in 1954 titled, “Pounds and Inches.” The knowledge about HCG that Simeons provided helped an expansive group of people feel comfortable in their bodies. Simeons passed away while he was in Rome in 19703.

Pounds and Inches

The HCG diet gained initial notoriety in the 1950s after Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons published his study on the effects of HCG and obesity. In his 1954 book, “Pounds and Inches,” Dr. Albert T. W. Simeons outlines causes of obesity and explains his approach to the HCG diet. Shortly into his book, it is apparent that Simeons was aware that there are many causes of obesity, as opposed to other physicians in his time who believed an obese person simply ate too much. In his book, Simeons states that he sees obesity as a disorder in which those who have the disorder will gain weight regardless of the amount that they eat; the belief is reversed for those who do not suffer from the disorder.  Simeons sees other means of losing weight as a temporary fix for a permanent situation.

During his discovery of the HCG diet, Simeons first tested out his theory of HCG as being a diet aid by testing it on participants who suffered from Froelich’s syndrome. After the success with the patients of Froelich’s syndrome, Simeons realized that it could be used in other cases too. With both groups of participants, Simeons reports that while giving small daily doses of HCG, the participants said the two meals they would have daily, totaling at 500 calories, seemed more than they needed/wanted.

Throughout Simeons’ findings, he discovered that if the calorie intake is regularly increased by even 100 or 200 calories, it can have a big effect on the results. Comparably if the dosage of HCG units is increased to a level of 200 or more on a daily basis, the desired effect can be reversed.

In his book, he gives an outline to approved meal ideas. Dr. Simeons stressed that anything not included in this list was meant to be not included and should not be eaten4.

Sixty Years Later – What’s Changed

Although it’s been 60 years since his works first came out, the most current lists of HCG approved foods are the same as those published by Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons.  The same food groups remain and there only seem to be a few differences between various lists, which come in the form of additions to Simeons list.

*Aside from these additions, new lists have extended the original list to include what could be considered beef and fresh white fish.

In addition to a few new vegetables and a fruit option, updated lists often include portion sizes. Portion sizes were not clearly defined in the Albert T.W. Simeons book. The portion sizes make it easier for the dieter to add a variety to their diet plan. For instance, instead of having one kind of vegetable for dinner you could have smaller amounts of a few options. As long as the food is clearly listed as an approved food, and you keep the calorie count for the day at 5005.

Closing Thoughts

At the end of his published studies on HCG, “Pounds and Inches,” Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons leaves us with a closing thought.

“The problems of obesity are perhaps not so dramatic as the problems of cancer, but they often cause life long suffering. How many promising careers have been ruined by excessive fat; how many lives have been shortened. If some way -however cumbersome – can be found to cope effectively with this universal problem of modern civilized man, our world will be a happier place for countless fellow men and women4.”

Although it’s been 60 years since his works were published, when it comes to weight issues, it seems as though not much has changed. Obesity has kept many people from leading the lives they want to lead, whether it’s because they are uncomfortable, physically can’t, or have developed a disease and are unable to.


  1. https://www.dreambodycenters.com/services/hcg-diet/
  2. http://www.hcgdietdangers.com/top-3-dangerous-behaviors-during-hcg-diet/
  3. http://www.your-hcg.com/dr-simeons/dr-simeons-book-pounds-and-inches/
  4. http://www.hcgplan.net/Pounds%20&%20Inches.pdf
  5. http://hcgdietinfo.com/weightlossguide/2013/03/expanded-hcg-diet-foods-list/
  6. http://www.hcgdietdrops.com/hcg-diet-cheating-foods.html
  7. http://www.hcgdietplanhelp.com/list-of-foods-you-should-eat-while-on-the-hcg-diet/