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HCG Diet Plan - Food List

Updated on March 24, 2014

The HCG diet plan is a well-known weight loss program which involves a 500- calorie diet and HCG injections. HCG is a short form for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is a hormone released by placenta at the time of pregnancy. The metabolic functions are managed by HCG via the hypothalamus during pregnancy.

It may be noted that HCG used in the HCG diet plan is not the same as that used during fertility therapies. Also, all forms of HCG used in medical therapies are natural, but manufactured in labs from sterile cells. It is incorrectly believed that HCG is taken from animal urine or women.

The stages of the HCG diet plan

The HCG diet plan is the brainchild of Dr. A.T.W. Simeons. He has elucidated the details of this weight loss program in his book ‘Pounds and Inches.’ The HCG diet plan consists of three stages as listed below.

The First Stage

The first phase of the HCG diet plan consists of 2 loading days. People need to intake a high-fat diet consisting of 1500 to 2000 calories in the first two days as well as commence a dosage of HCG drops on a daily basis. The amount of HCG taken differs from one individual to another as per the weight loss target, the kind of HCG, age, general health, etc. Users are required to overstock the body cells with fat to prevent the onset of starvation during the low-calorie phase which follows. It is important to eat foods that are abundant in ‘good’ fat in the first phase of the HCG diet plan.

The Second Stage

The second stage of the HCG diet plan is also referred to as very low-calorie diet or VLCD and consists of a 500-calories per day diet. Users need to adhere to the strict diet that involves intake of restricted foods belonging to the fruit, protein, and vegetable groups. The second stage can last between 21 to 40 days and is dependent on the type of HCG drops, the weight loss target, etc. Both HCG shots and oral HCG offer equal benefits. In the last 3 days of this stage HCG is halted but the diet continues. It helps in removal of all HCG content from the body, thereby preparing the body for the next phase of the HCG diet plan.

The Third Stage

The third and final stage of the HCG diet plan is called the ‘stabilization phase,’ because it aids in steadying the metabolic rate of the body for the new weight. People need to avoid starch and sugar for 21 days post VLCD, except that got from certain vegetables and fruits. Followers of the HCG diet plan have to intake around 1500 calories a day. These calories can be obtained from vegetables, protein, and fruits. However, the variety of choices needs to be wider than the VLCD phase. People need to consume healthy organic foods during this phase.

Things to Remember

  • Cosmetics or medications, barring eyebrow pencil, lipstick, talcum powder, oral contraceptives, and aspirin are not permitted during the varied stages of the HCG diet plan.
  • The diet plan does not include exercise and hence some people find it to be easy. Massages of all types should also be avoided.
  • Some people may need to repeat another round of the diet program. Before commencing the second round, such individuals need to take a breather for 6 weeks and eat normally, but avoid starch and sugar. People who need to go for a third round can commence it only after taking 8 weeks off.

The food list for HCG diet plan

  • Meat and fish: People can consume fishes that have low mercury content and meats such as skinless organic chicken breast, and organic fed beef or veal for dinner and lunch to get the required proteins.
  • Fruits: People can consume bread sticks or fruits in between meals, instead of consuming them during dinner or lunch. Organic strawberries, apples, and grapefruits are recommended.
  • Beverages: Any quantity of mineral or plain water and organic coffee or tea without milk can be consumed at any time.
  • Vegetables: People can include vegetables such as tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, celery, and cabbage in dinner or lunch. Do not use fats or oil to cook the vegetables. It can be taken as grilled, boiled, or steamed. It is also important to remember that only one type of vegetable can be eaten per meal.
  • Seasoning: Salt, vinegar, pepper, mustard powder, sweet basil, garlic, parsley, majoram, and thyme are permitted while butter, oil, or dressing need to be avoided.

It is important to note that the vegetables and meat eaten during lunch should be avoided during dinner that same day. Certain seasonings and herbs are however allowed at all times as per the HCG diet plan.

People who follow the HCG diet plan usually lose about one to two pounds a day, with a minimum of half a pound per day and a maximum of more than three pounds per day. Dieters will normally lose around one pound on the first day.


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