The hCG Diet Protocol
DISCLAMER: The hCG Diet is not exactly a “diet” per se – it is a very particular protocol. And if not followed correctly, it is sure to fail and not give you the results that you are hoping for, if any.
The hCG Diet Protocol involves a highly complex mechanism of your body by temporarily altering your body’s hormone balance. Your body will give you the results that you are looking for ONLY IF you follow the protocol correctly.
If you are not losing weight on this protocol, it is because you are not doing something correctly.
The 4 Phase hCG Diet Protocol
Phase 1: The Loading Phase
(Days 1 & 2 while taking hCG)
Nothing is held back from you in this phase. In fact, you are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to eat anything that you want during this phase, especially carb and fat-rich foods. If you do not indulge yourself during this phase, you will not lose as much weight as you could while you are in Phase 2.
Eat foods such as: Ice cream, cream-filled doughnuts, double-bacon cheeseburgers, bread and butter, pizza, candy, pasta, burritos and refried beans, Chinese Orange Chicken and Chow Mein (I know… I love it too!), and anything else that you want to eat.
This goes against every instinct of chronic dieters, but it is very important for your success in the next phase. You will gain a few pounds on this phase, but they will fall off quickly in Phase 2.
This phase is crucial because it revs up your metabolism, preparing your body for massive weight loss in the next phase.
Phase 2: The Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)
(Days 3-40 while taking hCG)
During this phase you cannot eat any more than 500 calories per day.
That’s right… it’s not much.
But keep in mind that your body will start burning 1000s of calories from your stored fat every day to make up for the calories that you’re not eating.
You will have plenty of energy and might even find that you have a tough time finishing your 500 calories of food each day.
Avoid ALL fat ingestion or application of fats to your skin because they stop your body from burning fat. This includes:
- Skin and suntan lotions
- Vitamin gel caps
- Cooking oil and cooking spray
Drink as much water, herbal tea, or coffee that you want. In fact, it’s important to drink lots of liquid throughout the day. You cannot use any sweeteners at all except for Stevia. And if you must use a creamer, you are allowed to use no more than 1 Tablespoon of milk within a 24 hour period.
1 serving of fruit from the approved list below.
100 grams (3.5 oz.) of meat from the approved list below.
1 serving of vegetables (about a handful) from the approved list below.
1 serving approved fruit.
The same as lunch.
1 serving of fruit, if both servings were not eaten earlier in the day.
(total of 2 servings may be eaten throughout the day, but not eaten at the same time)
- 1 Orange
- 1 Apple
- 1 Handful of strawberries
- ½ Grapefruit
Note: You may eat your fruit with each meal if you prefer, but do not eat both pieces of fruit at the same time.
- Any lean cut of beef
- Chicken Breast (removed from the bones prior to cooking)
- Cottage Cheese, occasionally (only from skim milk)
- 3 egg whites
- Fresh White Fish
Note: All visible fat must be removed prior to cooking. The meat must be weighed raw and cooked without the use of any kind of oil.
DO NOT EAT eel, tuna, pork, turkey, salmon, herring, dried or pickled fish.
Who WOULD want to eat dried or pickled fish anyway? Yuck!
- Beet Greens
- Green Salad
- Red Radishes
Note: The above listed fruits and vegetables were all that Dr. Simeons approved for Phase 2 of the diet, and he cautioned against mixing vegetables in meals.
Now it’s my experience (and that of many others who have followed this diet) that you can get away with mixing a few ingredients while still getting desirable results. And you will see in almost all of the cooking videos on this website that several ingredients are mixed together for the recipes. Some additional ingredients may even be used as well.
Pay attention to how your body reacts to the recipes. If you are not having the desired results, then maybe you need to just stick to 1 meat and 1 vegetable per meal.
Any kind of fresh or dried herb or spice, salt, pepper (which is a spice by the way), lemon or lime juice, Stevia, and vinegar.
Avoid other sweeteners and Stevia that has been expanded with fillers. Also, avoid all pre-mixed seasonings (like Mrs. Dash) because many of them have additives that are not allowed on the diet.
Phase 3: Stabilization Phase
(The last 3 days while taking hCG + the next 21 days)
Part 1: Remain on the VLCD for the first 72 hours (3 days) after finishing your last dose of hCG. This allows the hCG to get out of your system without giving you a sudden increase in weight when you change your diet.
hCG not only helps you lose weight at a rapid rate while on a VLCD, but it will also make you gain weight at a rapid rate if you eat normally while on it.
If you don’t follow this advice, you are guaranteed to gain back 5 – 10 pounds of fat within a few days. Yikes!
Part 2: For 3 weeks, stay away from all starches and sugars.
Weigh yourself every day. You do not want to gain or lose weight. If you drop more than 2 pounds, increase your food intake the following day. If you go above 2 pounds, have a “Steak Day”.
“Steak Day”: Only drink non-caloric fluids until dinner. Then have a large steak or chicken breast, with an apple or a tomato.
In order for your body to store white fat, it goes through a 2 day process. It will raise the level of the fluids in the body, which you might notice as excess fluid retention or bloating. This suspends the excess nutrients. So, if you have gained weight or you notice this bloating, immediately fast for 2 meals, then have a steak dinner with an apple or a tomato.
You will be using the nutrients in your blood stream, and then you will use the other nutrients that have been suspended in the excess body fluids. Then at the end of the day, when you flood the body with your high protein steak, your body will respond by dumping the excess fluids.
This will overturn your body’s fat-storing mechanism.
The body produces insulin as a result of sugar/carbohydrate consumption. And guess what insulin does? Well… among other things, it also causes your body to store white fat.
Ever hear that bread and pasta makes you fat? That’s why!
If you do not eat sugar and starch, it is impossible for your body to store white fat.
For these next 21 days you can eat lots of food, but NO sugar or starch. Eat until you’re satisfied, then stop!
No more gorging yourself!
After about 3 weeks your metabolism will stabilize and return to normal.
Phase 4: Maintenance Phase
(For the rest of your life)
While continuing to monitor your weight daily, slowly add back sugars, starches, and carbohydrates into your diet to the point that you begin to gain weight, then go on a steak day. It’s at that point that you will know what your carb-intake limit is before you start gaining weight.
Eat slowly. And learn to eat until you are satisfied, but not full.
Fluid will enter your stomach to digest the food and will make you feel fuller than when you stopped eating. Also, it takes about ½ hour for the feeling of satisfaction to come, as blood sugar and serotonin levels are raised.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that causes a feeling of satisfaction. It is produced by ingesting the combination of proteins and carbohydrates.
If you have not yet reached your goal weight. You can start a new round of hCG 3 weeks into Phase 4. You can do this for 2 rounds, but you must take an additional 2 weeks off for each round after that.
The reason for this is that it is possible to build up a tolerance to hCG and you won’t be able to lose weight on it for a while. Taking it in cycles helps prevent that.