Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s the list of our most frequently asked Riordan Clinic Questions. If you have a question you’d like answered and can’t find it in the list, please feel free to call us: 316-682-3100 or contact us.

HCG Rx Weight Loss Intervention

  • Why is this diet important?

    The Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention is not just about weight loss. Because it accesses visceral fat and resets your hypothalamus, it creates sustainable weight loss. We think of it as a lifestyle renewal program. Considering the risk of obesity related diseases, taking action to improve your health is vital to your future well-being.

  • What is HCG?

    Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone naturally produced by the body. It increases your body’s ability to metabolize fat for energy, among many other needs.

  • What is HCG used for?

    HCG is FDA approved to treat infertility via an intramuscular injection. When used for infertility treatment the dosage is generally 5,000 – 10,000 IU’s daily. The dosage for HCG weight loss is 125 – 180 IU’s (12.5mg – 18mg) daily via a nasal spray.


    The Riordan Clinic honors the intent of the FDA’s statement, which is protective in nature. The FDA statement does not address the more substantive issue, which is the significant risk of not taking action to reduce your weight and risking future illness. The Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ weight loss intervention cannot make any guarantees, it nevertheless provides a time-tested approach to weight loss that is physician supervised and individually monitored for safety and effectiveness.

  • Where does the HCG used in the Riordan Clinic program come from?

    The HCG we use is made in the U.S. and comes from two different pharmacies depending on the delivery method you have chosen. One pharmacy is in Wichita, Kansas, the other is in California.

  • What is the history of the HCG diet?

    From the 1950s -1970s, Dr. Albert T. Simeons, a British-born physician, developed a weight loss program that used HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), a natural hormone that is produced when a woman becomes pregnant. Dr. Simeons reasoned that because HCG utilized the pregnant woman’s own fat reserves to sustain fetal nutrition during periods of maternal food deprivation, it would be possible for a small amount of HCG to be administered daily to non-pregnant women (and also men) to assist in better utilizing unnecessary visceral fat reserves, thereby facilitating rapid weight loss while on a very low calorie diet (VLCD.)

    Under Dr. Simeons’ medical supervision, his patients received a subcutaneous injection (into the belly fat area) of HCG daily for a period of 30-40 days. Women on average lost 25-40 pounds and men lost 35-47 lbs, though results varied with each individual. (NOTE: The Riordan Clinic HCG program will use nasal spray, which has been shown to produce identical results without the pain of injection. Sublingual drops or subcutaneous injections are available if medically necessary.)

    Dr. Simeons created a research manual, “Pounds and Inches” that focused on the use of HCG as a weight loss solution. He found that HCG alone did not cause weight loss. However, if used in combination with a specific low calorie diet, combined with mild exercise, significant weight loss could occur.

    During his research, Dr. Simeons found a relative lack of “starvation symptoms” that would otherwise be expected for a patient on such a low calorie diet (approximately 750-800 calories.) For example, his patients had minimal or no headaches, hunger pains, generalized weakness, or irritability as long as the low calorie diet was combined with HCG.

    (NOTE: In the 60 years since Dr. Simeons’ initial research, many more environmental chemicals have been introduced to widespread use. These chemicals tend to be stored in the body’s fat reserves and are released when fat is rapidly utilized. This can give rise to unpleasant detoxification symptoms, for which the Riordan Clinic has developed various treatment strategies.)

    Despite thousands of weight loss success stories resulting from the combination of HCG and caloric restriction the FDA has never approved HCG as weight-loss medication, although it does not prohibit its use.

  • What is a very low calorie diet (VLCD)?

    A VLCD is medically defined as a diet of 500-600 calories per day or less. In the case of our HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention the daily calorie intake is 500 calories, in combination with the HCG prescription, sublingual B12 and a specially formulated vitamin regimen.

  • How does HCG Work?

    First identified as a hormone released by the body of pregnant women, HCG metabolizes fat for energy for both the mother and the maturing fetus. Dr. Simeon discovered that in prescribed doses HCG offers the same rapid fat-burning benefits to both men and women trying to lose weight.

    The presence of HCG does NOT “trick” your body into thinking it is pregnant. Dr. Simeons believed that HCG acted in a manner that reset the brain’s “set point” (located in the hypothalamus.) Each day, while using HCG with a 750-800 calorie diet, this “reset-action” mobilizes several thousand calories of fat from the body’s visceral fat reserves, which are normally resistant to calorie burning.

    This program does not produce metabolic slowing, because the daily quota of calories needed are being met from visceral fat reserves. Protein, healthy carbs, and vitamins are provided by the 750-800 calorie diet plus a specially designed vitamin program used in conjunction with the HCG nasal spray. There is no malnutrition. Program participants look and feel healthy while on the program.

  • What is visceral fat?

    Visceral fat is different from other body fat. Visceral fat, also called intra-abdominal fat, refers to the fat that surrounds the internal organs. Studies have shown that those with visceral fat are more susceptible to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension. Sedentary people, smokers and drinkers have been shown to have more intra-abdominal fat, or visceral fat, than active people who are non-smokers and non-drinkers. Stress may also be a factor in the storage of visceral fat on the body.

  • Why is visceral fat so hard to get rid of?

    Visceral fat is the fat that develops deep inside your body and surrounds your internal organs; it can feel like it’s a “one way” deposit. It is centered in your abdominal area and is harder to lose than the regular fat, which lies just beneath your skin. You need to lose visceral fat because it is closely linked to diseases such as: diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and high cholesterol.

  • How does this diet access visceral fat?

    The key to accessing visceral fat is HCG. HCG changes the metabolic process so visceral fat is accessed and burned; that is what sets it apart from other weight loss programs.

  • Is HCG safe to use for weight loss?

    Prescription HCG has been used successfully by physicians for years and has proven to be safe and effective when used properly and under a licensed doctor’s care. Although there are homeopathic versions of HCG available on the internet, which do not require physician supervision, the Riordan Clinic believes a doctor supervised program is the best course of action.

    Known clinical side effects to prescription HCG are minimal, however it is still recommended that all HCG users consult at licensed physician prior to use and remain under the physicians care while using HCG. Additionally, a medical professional should be contacted immediately if any of the following occur; dizziness, difficulty breathing, swelling or redness.

  • How is the HCG administered?

    The Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention program offers four prescription HCG delivery options: nasal spray, sublingual drops, oral tablets, and injections. We offer the delivery-system options to accommodate personal preference; choose the delivery method that best suits your needs. The type of delivery system you use will not impact your weight-loss success. During your first doctor/nurse educator appointment, you will receive instructions on how to properly administer your HCG.

  • Tell me more about the HCG injections.

    The prescription HCG injections are self-administered. We will supply you with the alcohol swabs, syringes, HCG and instruction you need to give yourself the daily injection. If you are not comfortable with injections, you can select the prescription HCG nasal spray or sublingual drops. The type of delivery system you use will not impact your weight-loss success.

  • When will I get my HCG?

    The HCG itself is a prescription product that you will need to have filled at an approved pharmacy. You will learn more at your appointment and you should be able to start the program within a few days.

  • Can men safely use HCG?

    Yes. Since the HCG hormone occurs naturally in small amounts in BOTH women and men it is perfectly safe for men to use. Studies indicate that men often respond more favorably, which can result in even quicker weight loss with more pounds lost.

  • If HCG is so effective, why don’t pregnant women lose weight?

    HCG is “activated” by the body to mobilize fat for energy conversion only when there is a substantial decrease in fat and calorie intake. Pregnant women are advised to maintain a healthy diet, thus they arenít experiencing a calorie deficit.

  • Why can’t I just go on a 750-800 calorie diet (VLCD) without the HCG?

    Dr. Simeons’ original manuscript on HCG weight loss. There are three types of stored fat:

    • Normal fat: This type of fat easily accessed by the body to draw energy or be stored. Normal fat doesn’t take a lot of effort to lose; on a VLCD without HCG this is the type of fat you lose first.
    • Structural fat: You don’t ever want to lose this fat as it pads various organs and cushions bony areas. It is vital to your health and well being. On a VLCD without HCG this is the fat you lose when the normal fat is depleted.
    • Abnormal fat (VISCERAL FAT): This type of fat is the unhealthiest and the hardest to lose. With the help of a VLCD and HCG the body accesses this stored fat first to create weight loss. Visceral fat gives rise to unhealthy inflammation and insulin resistance – the precursors to diabetes and heart disease. By losing your visceral fat you can improve your overall health and prevent many serious degenerative diseases.

    A VLCD diet without HCG uses normal fat and then starts to use the structural fat and muscle. Although you can lose fat, it is not the type of fat you want to lose. The loss of structural fat and muscle tissue can adversely affect your health and well-being. In addition VLCD diets without HCG can cause you to be excessively hungry. When using HCG combined with a VLCD the body uses abnormal/visceral fat and helps prevent hunger. This is the most positive fat loss outcome to achieve overall health improvement.

  • Can’t I just take HCG to lose weight?

    By itself HCG will not cause weight loss. When you combine HCG with a very-low-calorie-diet, the HCG triggers the access to and release of visceral fat. This sets the HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention apart from other diet programs that only emphasis calorie restriction.

  • Will a low calorie diet slow down my metabolism?

    Low calorie diets that do NOT include the use of HCG can slow down your metabolism as your body clings to the energy found in stored fat (starvation mode). When using HCG in combination with a low calorie diet your metabolism will NOT slow down. Signals are sent to your body by the HCG to actually use this stored visceral fat by converting it to energy. In this way excess fat reserves are eliminated. HCG prevents your body from entering starvation mode as your metabolism is reset for greater effectiveness.

  • Is this a starvation diet?

    If you weren’t accessing and burning your visceral fat stores, because of the use of HCG, it would not be a healthy program. Because you are accessing your visceral fat stores your body has all the calories and energy it needs.

  • Will I always feel hungry/tired/irritable with the very low calorie HCG diet?

    There is the potential during the first few days of the HCG diet to experience these issues. To combat possible symptoms the Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention recommends receiving IV Essentials intravenous nutrition during the first week of the program. This is a unique and exclusive benefit offered only with the Riordan Clinic HCG program and is based on our 35 years of experience administrating intravenous nutrition for a wide variety of conditions.

    The IV Essentials will help to lessen the symptoms, however generally these symptoms should pass on their own by the second week. As HCG mobilizes the stored fat as an energy source for the body it naturally reduces the appetite.

  • What is “intravenous nutrition”?

    IV Essentials intravenous nutrition, known clinically as the “mini Myers,” was first developed in the 1970s by Dr. John Myers in Baltimore. The “essentials” formulation contains a special blend of vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B complex, magnesium and calcium. Since 1975 the Riordan Clinic, along with hundreds of other clinics and medical institutions around the world, has safely and successfully used “mini Myers” intravenous nutrition. Specifically at the Riordan Clinic we have administered more than 50,000 nutrient IV’s in the last 35 years. Your IV Essentials experience will be comfortable, almost pain free and take an estimated 30 minutes to administer in the hands of our experts. (Intravenous nutrition is an optional component of the HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention program at the Riordan Clinic.)

  • Will I experience constipation while on the program?

    Some participants have reported this issue. If you experience this problem we recommend you increase your water intake and take a natural supplement such as Turkey Rhubarb 500 mg.

  • Can I take birth control and other medications what taking HCG?

    Yes. Since prescription HCG is a natural hormone found in your body, it should NOT interact adversely with ANY medication or birth control. The patient application requires that participants list any/all medication that youíre currently taking as a precaution.

  • Will HCG change my menstrual cycle?

    The amount of prescription HCG prescribed for weight loss should not impact your menstrual cycle. Sometimes dieting alone can effect a woman’s cycle, but the change is not impacted by HCG.

    You should not use the HCG nasal spray during your first two full-flow days of your period; you can begin to use the HCG spray again after abstaining for the two full-flow days. If you take HCG during the first two full-flow days of your menstrual cycle you may experience cramps and increased flow. The body is naturally producing HCG during menstruation, thus introducing additional HCG spray while on the diet can have uncomfortable side effects.

    It is recommended that you should delay the diet if you are within 5-6 days of your menstrual period. After you have completed your menstrual period you can then begin the diet.

  • Can I take HCG while pregnant or nursing?

    No. Do not take HCG while you are pregnant or nursing. If during the HCG diet you become pregnant, stop taking HCG and consult your medical professional.

  • Can I continue to take my regular vitamin supplements during the HCG diet?

    You can NOT take oil-based supplements such as fish oil and vitamin E. The HCG diet is very sensitive to fats and oils, thus taking oil-based supplements could negatively impact your results. All other supplements that are not oil-based are okay to take.

    To make sure you receive the optimum amount of vitamins and nutrients during the program nutritional supplements are supplied to you as part of the Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention program.

  • My urine is a brighter, more vibrant color of yellow than usual; what is causing this?

    The change in urine color is caused by the B vitamins. It is noticeable but nothing to worry about.

  • What if I get sick (flu/vomiting) during the program; should I continue to take my HCG?

    If you get sick during the HCG program you should stop the entire program and resume again, from where you left off, once your symptoms subside.

  • How much weight can I anticipate losing?

    The majority of people have been able to lose up to 1 pound per day by adhering to the program. (Note: It is essential that you have at least 12-pounds to lose to do the program.)

  • What is BIA? (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)

    During your weekly meetings with the nurse educator a BIA measurement will be taken. This is a quick, simple test that takes less than one minute to administer. You will be hooked up to a monitor that will report key measures of your body composition including: fat mass %, fat free mass %, total body water and BMI among many other important measures. This device allows us to scientifically measure your progress and for the first time allows you to see your fat mass % decrease as the you progress in the program.

  • What can I expect during the meeting with the doctor/nurse educator?

    Your initial meeting with the doctor/nurse educator will be 1 hour. During this time they will gather your baseline information including BIA, height, weight, blood pressure, waist measurement, explanation of administering your HCG, and take a photo. All future doctor/nurse educator meetings will be 30 minutes and include updates to your baseline information.

  • What if I want additional sessions with the doctor/nurse educator?

    You can schedule extra sessions with the doctor/nurse educator, in addition to the sessions included with the program. Please contact the scheduling desk for pricing.

  • Will I lose weight consistently throughout the program?

    Typically HCG users will experience significant weight loss during the first week followed by a brief leveling of weight loss. Toward the end of the cycle users again experience another weight decrease. Do not be discouraged during the expected “leveling” stage. The HCG diet targets pounds and inches, thus during the leveling period your body should continue to shed inches so progress is still being made.

  • Is it OK to skip meals or protein?

    No. Do not skip meals or protein, even if you’re not hungry. It is crucial for all HCG users to eat all 750-800 calories and take all recommended vitamins during the program. Failure to do so can lessen the potential results.

  • Can I mix different fruits or different vegetables together?

    The Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention follows the original protocol developed by Dr. Simeons in the 1970s, which does not allow for the mixing of different fruits or different vegetables together. Each participant must make the personal decision about “mixing” knowing that you may not lose as much weight as you could have without “mixing.”

  • Do I have to eat my fruits and/or breadstick with a meal?

    No. As long as you eat all the food required you can eat them at different times during the day. Many people choose to eat one of the daily apples as breakfast and one of the melba toast/breadstick servings as an afternoon snack. Consume the items at the time that works best for you.

  • Can I eat pork as a protein while on the program?

    The Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention follows the original protocol developed by Dr. Simeons in the 1970s, which did not include pork/turkey as protein options. Each participant must make the personal decision about eating pork/turkey knowing that you may not lose as much weight as you could have without eating it.

  • Is it OK to exercise while on the HCG diet?

    The Riordan Clinic HCG Rx+ Weight Loss Intervention follows the original protocol developed by Dr. Simeons in the 1970s, which did not include exercise as part of the program. Combining the HCG low calorie diet with exercise has the potential to put your body into starvation mode. In starvation mode, diet and exercise are counterproductive. Each participant must make the personal decision about exercising knowing that it may adversely impact your weight loss results.

  • Should I take vitamins while on the HCG diet?

    Yes. The program includes supplements you should take to maximize benefits and minimize side effects. In addition to the vitamins recommended as part of the program, you can also take other non-oil based supplements. (Example: a multivitamin or vitamin C)

  • Is a headache normal during the first week of the HCG diet?

    It is not uncommon to experience a headache during the first week of the program. This symptom can generally be addressed with an over-the-counter headache medicine that you would normally take for this condition. Please avoid sugar coated pills.

  • Can I take HCG for more than 23/40 days?

    No. It is not safe or effective to take HCG longer than 23/40 days. It is important to have the prescription HCG absent from the body for the same number of days (23/40) that it was present in the body (23/40). If you have additional weight to lose you can do another 23/40 day HCG session after a 23/40 day maintenance break. You will not take HCG during the maintenance phase.

  • Can I drink alcohol while using HCG?

    No. Alcohol consumption is not part of the program. HCG dieters have reported that they “cheated” on the program and had a drink or two and still lost weight. However, it should be noted that it is likely they didn’t lose the same amount of weight they would have, if they had adhered to the program.

  • Can I wear makeup and use lotions/moisturizer while on the HCG Diet?

    The HCG diet is very sensitive to fats, oils and creams. Body/skincare products that contain fats and oils should not be used as they could potentially slow the weight loss process. Each participant must make the personal decision what products to use while on the program keeping in mind the sensitivity to fats and oils.

  • I have more questions, how can I speak directly to a Riordan Clinic doctor about the program?

    You have three options available to you:

  • The very best way to communicate with your provider is through the secure Patient Portal. This allows both the doctor/provider and the nurse or MA to view the messages and reply accordingly. Please do not ask questions directly via email.
  • If you prefer, you can schedule a 30-minute consultation with the doctor/provider to discuss HCG. This cost is not included in the HCG program cost. Call 316-682-3100 to schedule an appointment and inquire about pricing.