Firstly what is the “HCG diet”? As a pharmacist I’ll break it down in terms of the science so you know what you’re getting yourself into, the benefits, the risks, what to do and what not to do, along with any myths and misconceptions you might have read about.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is actually a hormone which is produced primarily during pregnancy which aids in the baby developing. It’s also used medically for a wide array of conditions including to help cause ovulation in women and to increase sperm count in men.
The hCG diet plan essentially has two components, the first being the hCG drop/injection/pills and the second being the actual diet involved.
The hCG Diet (Nutrition)
Loosing weight can simply be summarised into a simple formula:
Weight Loss = Calories Consumed – Calories Burnt
If this number is positive it will result in weight gain/maintenance, however if this number is negative it’ll result in weight loss which is the goal of the diet.
In the hCG diet it usually lasts for around 8-12 weeks depending on how committed you are and how much weight you actually want to lose.
During the hCG diet you will be restricted to 500 calories daily. An average man or woman will burn around 1500-1620 calories a day just by carrying out daily tasks and body functions. As you should already be able to see this calorie restriction will result in a negative calorie intake and thus weight loss!
The drops/injections/pills will aid in this weight loss by resetting your metabolism allowing you to burn extra calories meaning a larger negative calorie intake.
Meals – What’s In and What’s Out
During this diet you can say goodbye to big meals and any treats you’re usually indulging in. It should be known that this diet does require serious willpower and discipline. You’ll be limited to only two meals daily – lunch and dinner. In both meals you will need to have one bread, one fruit, one protein and one vegetable.
For protein you should get used to boiling or grilling such foods as chicken, beef, veal and white fish which should all be lean cut and contain no fat.
It should be noted that salmon and tuna are not allowed during this diet.
This again is fairly limited with one breadstick or a piece of toast. Wholemeal bread is better than white bread as it’s also better for digestion.
This category is fairly easy to choose from – anything green is good! Vegetables are essential for all healthy diets and provide all the nutrients required to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight loss program. Spinach, green salads, green beans, onions, broccoli, cucumbers and cabbage are all good options.
Over the course of this diet you’ll find fruit is your new best friend. It provides naturally occurring sugars (in the form of fructose) which is what your body will be craving for due to the calorie restriction. Examples of good fruits include: oranges, apples, strawberries, grapefruit, berries and grapes.
It should be noted that you can drink as much water, coffee and tea as you like but you must limit yourself to only one tablespoon of milk daily (so a lot of black coffees). No sugar is allowed to be added however!
During the diet butter and oils are also off the menu. So to put it honestly the diet will leave your taste buds very deprived!For a more comprehensive list, see the expanded version here
Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans?
From a medical point of view the diet restriction make the hCG diet VERY hard for vegetarians or vegans due to the very low protein intake and we’d recommend consulting your doctor before starting this calorie restriction diet.
The Three Phase Plan – Using the hCG drops
Right so by now you should know what the hCG diet is and what it involves. Now we’ll be explaining how exactly the 90 days will be broken up into. As per the diet it is divided into three phases to ensure the weight loss desired and how to maintain it.
This is literally the first two days of starting the hCG diet. It allows you to eat as much as you like and allows you to drink one gallon of water a day (minimum of half a gallon). It shows you how to best utilise the hCG drops.
During this phase you’ll be starting and decreasing your daily calorie intake until the ultra-low calorie diet is reached. This is where you’ll see all the weight loss you desire. Aided with the hCG drops you can lose weight fast without compromising your health.
This phase is basically the maintenance phase. You’ll find yourself in this phase around day 45 or so depending on when you reach your desired weight goal. This part of the hCG diet plan is what sets it apart from many other diet plans on the market.
It teaches your how to MAINTAIN your weight loss. You’ve already dropped down to the weight you desire and in this phase you’ll keep your weight steady by following the plan. You will no longer have a calorie limit but you need to keep a control of what you eat and drink to ensure you don’t put the weight back on.
Where to buy hCG diet from?
After reviewing the hCG drops/injections/pills extensively that are on the market, we are going to be honest here and from all the research conducted it seems as though many products in the hCG market do not actually contain the hCG hormone. The most efficient and guaranteed way to ensure you’re getting hCG is to visit your doctor and get a prescription for it. However, this can be costly and a lot more hassle for first time hCG dieters.
The second option is to buy the drops/injections/pills online. We recommend using the Official Hcg Diet Plan as we’ve found this to be the most secure and legitimate site online for the hCG diet plan related products. Ideally we’d advise using the drops over other methods purely for a faster absorption into the body as well as it being very easy to administer. On top of this the cost is fairly low compared to the injection you get from the doctor (you’ll be spending around $130 for a 3 month course which works out to only $1.44/day!)
Using the above site also has its financial benefits (apart from being very cheap), it offers a money back + $10 if you’re not satisfied within the first week with no questions asked. That is a very bold offer for a company to undertake but it shows that their product does really work for many people all over the world.
FREE SAME DAY SHIPPING (Must order before 4 PM MST)
2x 4oz Bottles of Homeopathic HCG Diet Drops (with Vitamin B12 Supplement & NO alcohol)
The Official HCG Diet Weight Loss Program Guide – (PDF)
Original Pounds & Inches ebook – (PDF)
Best HCG Recipes eBook – (PDF)
Original Weight Loss Log – (PDF)
As you can see this is a massive value bundle which actually provides you all the tools you need to lose weight. The recipe book you’ll receive is wonderfully written and you can use it even when you’re not on the hCG diet as we always recommend healthy eating.
Exercising while on the hCG Diet
The hCG diet is a combination of using the hCG hormone and its tailored diet plan to achieve weight loss. It relies heavily on a negative calorie deficit which is far below the average calorie consumption of an adult. Any form of exercising further increase this calorie deficit. This is one of the few diets we’d recommend not exercising purely because it’ll put your calorie deficit to dangerously high levels.
However once you’ve reached phase three of the diet we would recommend introducing exercise into the plan as the calorie restriction is limited during this phase. You will find introducing exercise during this phase will actually allow you to more easily maintain your desired weight while allowing you to eat that little bit more without putting on weight.
First Time hCG dieters
If this is the first time you’re trying the hCG diet you should understand this is not an easy diet to jump into and you should be prepared for a rough ride during the first few weeks. The hCG drops are safe to use and you should have no concern with them if you use the website mentioned above.
The main problem first timers usually face is obtaining the hCG but we’ve cleared that up for you already. The second most common problem is the diet itself. We’ve outlined the whole diet below, with what to eat and what to avoid. The main advice we’d give is to try gradual calorie restriction a few weeks before starting the hCG diet to allow your body to get used to a lower amount of calories to function. You’ll find that when you do start the diet itself you’ll be more equipped than jumping in “cold turkey”.
How much weight will I lose?
This is the golden question for all diet plans. The hCG diet plan DOES work. The combination of the drops and calorie restriction is PROVEN to lose weight. How much weight will be dependant on individual aspects and body make-up. People have reported losing up to 1lb a day!
From our research you will find that during the first 4-6 weeks you’ll lose the majority of the weight you desire as your body will be shocked by the change and thus this is where most weight loss will occur. After this you will see a slower rate of weight loss, but it will continue as long as you follow the phases as instructed.
- Use hCG drops
- Use the Three Phase hCG Diet Plan
- Safe for first time Dieters
- Cheap and Effective
- Fast and Healthy Weight Loss
As you can see the hCG diet does have a solid foundation on which it is built from. It uses an ultra-low-calorie diet plan which has had numerous scientific studies undertaken to show its effectiveness. It works on the basis that you take in a lot less calories than you’re burning meaning your body will burn fat to release energy which otherwise would have been provided by food. This burning of fat results in weight loss. The hCG drops aids in this process and allows the body to “reset its metabolism” meaning a faster and more efficient fat burning process.
The diet is safe for first time dieters to experienced dieters as long as you follow the information provided here. As mentioned above we recommend using the hCG drops found at Official Hcg Diet Plan
The Ultimate Guide To A HCG Diet: The Approved HCG Diet Food List For First Time HCG Dieters.
Now that you know what the HCG Diet is, it’s time to focus on all the fruits, vegetables and meat that are allowed on a HCG diet. Given below is a comprehensive list of the different kinds of food types and the calorie count of each item, so that you never cross the 500 mark.
Apples: Apple (small) – 55 calories, Apple (medium) – 72 calories, Apple (large) – 110 calories
Oranges: Orange (navel) – 69 calories, Orange (Florida) – 65 calories, Orange (California) – 59 calories, Strawberries: 12 large – 72 calories, Strawberries, 20 medium – 80 calories
Grapefruit: Pink Grapefruit (California) – 92 calories, Pink Grapefruit (Florida) – 74 calories
This table gives you at a glance the vegetables and the amount of calories to help you plan your diet better.
|Vegetables||3.5 oz||1 cup||Size
On an average a fish has 98 calories. Given below are the different fishes and how many calories per 3.5 oz.
|Lean ground beef||150|
|Sirloin tip steak||130|
|Top round steak||166|
White Fish List: Cat Fish, Cod, Coley, Dover, Sole Flounder, Flying Fish, Haddock, Hake, Halibut, Hoki, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Ling Monk Fish, Parrot Fish, Plaice, Pollack, Pomfret, Red & Grey Mullet, Red Fish, Red Snapper, Rock Salmon/Dogfish, Rohu, Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Shark, Skate, Tilapia Turbot, Whiting.
Often people make the mistake of thinking that when on HCG diet you have to avoid only certain meats, protein sources, fruits and vegetables. They ignore the spices which are a key to any kind of cooking. We have provided a comprehensive list of spices that can be used when on HCG diet.
List of approved spices
- Cayenne pepper
- Celery salt
- Chili powder or seasoning
- Chinese-style five-spice
- Cocoa (unsweetened)
- Creole seasoning
- Cumin seed (ground)
- Dill (leaf and seed)
- Garlic (cloves, granules, flakes, powder, salt)
- Ginger root
- McCormick (garlic pepper grinder, Italian herb seasoning grinder, steakhouse seasoning grinder, broiled steak seasoning salt, rotisserie chicken seasoning, herb chicken seasonings)
- Mint leaves (dried or fresh)
- Onion (powder or salt)
- Oregano (dried)
- Parsley (fresh or dried)
- Pepper (ground and peppercorns)
- Poultry seasoning
- Reese all-purpose steak salt
- Rosemary (fresh or dried)
- Sage (dried)
- Spice Islands
- Thyme, thyme leaves
- Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- Weber Grill Creations N’Orleans Cajun seasoning
- White pepper
So, you see that it is not such a bad list after all. It’s up to you with a little help from this article to whip up appetizing meals while sticking to the HCG diet plan.
To make it easier for you, we have compiled a few recipes and segregated them according to the three phases.
Phase 1 diet
The Loading Day diet
Take a deep breath and start this new day as you are about to embark on the new diet that will shape you up. It’s time to catalog your weight and get your HCG diet ready.
So follow these steps:
- Weigh yourself.
- Take your HCG drops
- Start gorging.
The loading phase is all about filling yourself with lots of fat and carbs and hence the menu too will have generous doses of cream, cheese and butter.
Sample Menu 1
Breakfast: Begin with delicious fatty cream cheese atop a bagel alongside bacon and a sausage. If you can handle it then top it with some more cheese on an omelet and some ham.
Midmorning Snack: A creamy donut or pastry followed by some berries.
Lunch: Go load yourself on buttery veggies, carb rich baked potato and sour cream and pork.
Afternoon Snack: Any ice cream of your choice or a milkshake will do.
Dinner: Pasta with your favorite sauce accompanied by some more cheesy garlic bread. Some healthy fat in the form of avocado salad can be had too. Round off the dinner with a cheesecake or any pastry of your choice.
Late Night Snack: If after all this loading you still feel like having more food than reach out for the potato chips, or ice cream or frappe.
This day too eat whatever you crave for and feel like because from day three you cannot eat any carbs and fats.
Phase 2 diet
Testing times – VLCD (very low calorie Diet)
Following the HCG diet requires loads of will power and determination. This is where you start taking 500 calories a day and drinking lots and lots of water. A few points to note before we proceed further:
- Only 1 tbsp of milk a day is allowed
- Stevia is the only sweetener used
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day
- Always weigh your food, especially meat
- Skip HCG on menstruation days( for women)
- You can mix up your menu options as long as you don’t exceed the 500 calorie mark.
Here are a few sample menus for the phase 2.
Day 1 Sample Menu:
Breakfast – Coffee or tea with 1 tbsp milk or just black
Snack – 1 medium apple or pureed apple( recipe at the end of the article)
Lunch – Curried chicken and celery
Snack – 1 melba toast
Dinner – baked curried fish with lettuce salad with sliced strawberries as dessert
Day 2 Sample Menu:
Breakfast – same as above
Snack – 1 Melba toast
Lunch – Chicken & apple salad
Snack – 1 orange or spiced orange lollies
Dinner – Grilled chicken and veggies
Day 3 Sample Menu:
Breakfast – same as above
Snack – 1 apple or apple cookie
Lunch- tuna and lettuce salad with mustard sauce and Melba toast
Snack – Melba toast with some fruit toppings
Dinner – grilled chicken with baby spinach salad and grissini stick.
Day 4 Sample Menu:
Breakfast – Coffee, tea and a handful of strawberries
Snack – ½ grapefruit
Lunch – grilled steak and Melba toast
Dinner –tilapia sprinkled with herbs and orange lettuce salad and 1 grissini stick
Day 5 Sample Menu:
Breakfast –Green tea sweetened with Stevia and ½ grapefruit
Snack – sliced apples maybe with Stevia
Lunch – grilled chicken and shredded cabbage
Snack – 1 orange
Dinner – shrimp, Melba toast and lettuce salad
Day 6 Sample Menu
Breakfast – Coffee or tea with Stevia and 1 tbsp of 2% milk
Snack – 1 small orange
Lunch –chicken breast, 2 Melba rounds and sliced cucumber
Dinner –peppery shrimp, 1 grissini stick
Snack – strawberries with a chocolate dash
Day 7 Sample Menu
Breakfast – Coffee with Stevia and 1 tbsp of 2% milk, ½ apple
Snack – 1 grissini stick with a few drops of chocolate Stevia
Lunch –ground beef lettuce salad
Snack – ½ apple or apple chips
Dinner—boneless chicken wings, handful of strawberries, asparagus, 1 grissini stick
Day 8 Sample Menu
Breakfast: Coffee or tea with 1 orange
Snack: Spiced orange slices
Lunch: tilapia with herbs and cabbage salad, grissini stick
Dinner: chicken bruschetta, tuna salad, Melba toast
Snack: strawberries with Stevia
Day 9 Sample Menu
Breakfast: Coffee or tea
Snack: a handful strawberry
Lunch: baked curried fish, 1 Melba toast and 1 cucumber
Snack: caramel apple pie
Dinner: melba toast and curried chicken
Day 10 Sample Menu
Breakfast: green tea with ½ apple
Snack: orange or lemon pops
Lunch: turkey sausage with lettuce salad and Melba toast
Snack: apple chips
Dinner: ground beef, cabbage salad, grissini stick
As long as you can stick to (2 fruit servings, 2 protein servings, 2 veggie serving, and 2 ‘carb’ serving. You can mix and match any recipes. For the next 26 to 43 days you have to let your creativity guide you in eating an HCG diet that doesn’t bore you. Our recipes listed at the end will help you.
After you have got over the difficult phase 2, the next phase is all about maintaining the hard work of the previous weeks. Now you are practically open to eat all the forbidden food of the last phase but have to be extra careful around sugar and starch.
Meat: All meats but stay alert while eating bacon and hot dog because of the very high fat content
Fish: Anchovy, Bass, Catfish, Clams, Eel, Herring, Mackerel, Mahimahi, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon, Sardines, Squid or Calamari, trouts, Tuna
Poultry: Pheasant, Turkey, Duck, Goose, eggs
Protein: All nuts, Soya, Tofu
Vegetables: All vegetables except the starchy kind like potatoes and corn. They too can be had in moderation.
Fruits: As long as you stay away from bananas, dates, mangoes and grapes and reduce intake of figs (very high sugar content) you can eat all berries, citrus fruits and other fruits.
Dairy: All kinds of cheese, milk and yoghurt. Butter in moderation is allowed.
Others: After checking the sugar content in fruit juices, mayonnaise, butter, dressings and salads you can have anything
Avoid the food in the below table
|All beans- black, lima, pinto, garbanzo, white||artichokes||banana|
List of recipes
Ground beef lettuce salad
3.5 oz Ground Beef
1 tsp Onion, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
cumin, chili powder,
2 cups Lettuce
1 Tomato, finely diced
In a non stick pan, brown the onions and the ground beef. Once done add the finely chopped garlic and the spices. Mix it well and let it cook a little more for the flavors to mix.
Next arrange your lettuce leaves and place this mixture on them. Your HCG tacos for lunch are ready.
Apple chicken salad
cooked chicken cubes -100 gms
Apple 1 large
Lemon Juice 3 Tbsp
Cinnamon- a little over a pinch
Nutmeg- a pinch
Sea Salt to taste
- Chop the apple into cubes
- Mi the lemon juice, cinnamon powder, nutmeg, salt and mix it up.
- Add the chicken cubes and apple cubes to the above.
A salad dressing that can be made and stored in the refrigerator is a mixture of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and Stevia. Adjust the quantities to suit your individual taste; an acceptable recipe though comprises of ¼ cup of vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 15 drops Stevia and a dash of pepper.
Boneless Chicken Wings
- Boneless and skinless chicken breast – 100 g
- Fat free chicken broth – 1.5 cup
- Cayenne to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Chili powder to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Dip the marinated chicken in chili powder and place on the oven tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes turning it halfway.
- Serve hot.
- Shrimps: 100g
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
- Pepper: to taste
- Salt: to taste
- Melba crumbs
- Mix shrimp with salt and pepper.
- Roll it in melba crumbs
- Fry in heated skillet with lemon juice till shrimp is done.
- In case you feel the shrimp is not done add a little chicken broth.
Ground meat and Cabbage salad
- Beef – 100g (you can substitute with ground beef. Steak)
- Cabbage – 1
- Garlic -2 cloves
- Green onion – 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Stevia – to taste
- Black pepper – 1 tsp
- Chili powder- ¼ tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Apple cider vinegar- 1 tbsp
- Orange juice- 3 tbsp
- Water- ½ cup
- Liquid aminos – 2 tbsp
- Mix the spices and the liquid ingredients together.
- In frying pan or wok stir fry the beef and the shredded cabbage on high heat in the above mixture. Add water if necessary.
- Add additional orange slices for added sweetness if desired.
- Chicken breast – 100g
- Tomato chopped -1 medium
- Garlic Cloves chopped – 3
- Basil Leaves chopped – 3
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper – to taste
- Red chili powder- to taste
- Garlic powder- to taste
- Onion powder- to taste
- Spinach leaves – 1 cup
- Marinate the chicken with the spices.
- Grill the chicken
- Let it rest before combining it with the chopped tomatoes, basil, and garlic.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place on spinach leaves.
- turkey, ground -100g
- salt- to taste
- thyme- ½ tsp
- black pepper powder- ¾ tsp
- red chili flakes- to taste
- nutmeg- ½ tsp
- sage – 1 tsp
Pound the turkey finely and mix all the spices. Make balls or flatten and bake in oven for 30 to 45 minutes at 350.
Baked Curried fish
- Your choice of white fish
- lemon juice -2 tbsp
- Melba toast crumbs
- finely chopped onion- 1 tbsp
- garlic crushed and minced- 1
- onion powder-1/8 tsp
- garlic powder- 1/8 tsp
- curry powder- 1/8 tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley
- Mix all the dry spices and Melba toast crumbs.
- Coat the fish in the above mixture.
- Broil the fish
- Garnish with lemon and parsley
- 100 grams cubed chicken
- ¼ cup chicken broth or water
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder or to taste
- pinch of turmeric
- Dash of garlic powder
- Dash of onion powder
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Stevia to taste
- Cayenne to taste
- Mix all the spices in the broth and add to a saucepan. Add chopped onion chicken and cook till it reduces in half. Add Stevia if needed.
Tilapia with Herbs
- Tilapia fish – 100 g
- lemon juice – 2 Tbsp
- garlic crushed and minced – 1 clove
- chopped onion- 1 tbsp
- Pinch of dill
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Sauté fish in lemon juice with a little water then add onion, garlic and fresh herbs.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
- You can also bake at 350 for 20 minutes till the fish is tender and delicious.
Desserts and snacks
A dash of chocolate
Arrange oranges/strawberries or apple in a bowl. Drizzle Stevia and cocoa powder. Serve chilled.
Cinnamon: ½ tsp
Powdered Stevia: to taste
Peel and puree apple in a food processor. Add in cinnamon and Stevia to taste. Serve chilled.
Grapefruit in slices or segments -1/2
Lemon juice – 2tbsp
Pinch of lemon zest
Powdered Stevia to taste
Dip grapefruit chunks in lemon juice and coat with Stevia and lemon zest.
Freeze until firm and enjoy as an icy treat.
Caramel Apple Pie
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 packet powdered Stevia
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp water
- English toffee Stevia to taste
- Slice apple into thin slices and arrange in a baking tray.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon powder and Stevia
- Sprinkle water, lemon juice and vinegar
- Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or till crisp.
Iced and Spiced Orange Slices
- Orange sliced – 1
- lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- cinnamon – ½ tsp
- Nutmeg – a pinch
- Powdered clove- a pinch
- Powdered cardamom- a pinch
- Powdered Stevia to taste
Mix powdered spices and Stevia together. Dip orange slices in lemon juice and dredge with spice mixture. Freeze until firm. You can also use apple and strawberries in the same way.
- Apple pulp: 1 apple
- Cinnamon powder -1/8 tsp
- Nutmeg – a pinch
- Stevia to taste
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Mix the pulp with the spices and Stevia and form cookies.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Thus you see that following the HCG diet can be fun too. A word of caution that you need to keep in mind is that if for any reason you need to discontinue the diet start immediately to take 800 calories a day. Till such time, get creative, eat health and stay healthy.