HCG Diet – What you need to know

hcg diet ultimate guide

Have you heard about this popular weight loss program or consider starting the hcg diet yourself? This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about the diet, from how it works to what you can expect. So if you’re ready to get started on your weight loss journey, read on!

The HCG diet is a weight loss protocol that involves a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) in combination with the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The hormone is typically taken in the form of injections. Drops, pellets and troches are also advertised in many places online, however among these are many questionable products that do not contain the needed hormone: human chorionic gonadotropin.

The diet itself is quite strict, as it requires participants to consume no more than 500 calories per day. This calorie restriction, coupled with the hormone HCG, is said to help the body burn stored fat for energy, resulting in weight loss.

It has been around for several decades and was originally developed by Dr. Simeon, a British endocrinologist. However, it has gained renewed popularity in recent years thanks to celebrity endorsements and social media.

There are a few different versions of the diet, but the most common involves a Phase 1 “loading” phase where participants eat high-fat foods for 2-3 days; followed by Phase 2 where they consume only 500 calories per day for 3-6 weeks; and finally Phase 3 where they slowly reintroduce calories back into their diet.

what is the hcg diet

Who Created The Hcg Diet?

Dr simeons
Dr. A.T.W. Simeons

Though the origins of the hcg diet are often disputed, most medical researchers agree that English physician A.T.W. Simeons created the hCG Diet in the 1950s. Simeons’ work was based on his previous research on pregnant women in India who were malnourished, yet still able to give birth to healthy babies.

He attributed this to the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced during pregnancy and causes the release of stored fat into the bloodstream to nourish the developing baby. Simeons believed that hCG could also help non-pregnant people lose weight by tricking their bodies into thinking they were pregnant and causing them to burn stored fat for energy.

To test his hypothesis, Simeons treated a small group of obese people with daily injections of hCG and put them on a 500-calorie diet. He found that his patients not only lost weight, but also experienced a decrease in hunger and an increase in energy levels. Inspired by these results, Simeons published “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity” in 1954, which detailed his hCG Diet protocol.

HCG Weight Loss Action Explained

The hypothalamus is a key player in the regulation of energy homeostasis and body weight. hCG may have an impact on its functions and how it controls other hormones, namely ghrelin, leptin and insulin. These hormones are responsible for appetite, satiety, energy balance and glucose metabolism. The role of insulin in weight management has been well documented, but the role of ghrelin and leptin in energy homeostasis is less well understood.

Ghrelin levels have been shown to be directly linked to hunger. When ghrelin levels are high, it signals to the body that it is time to eat and can lead to feelings of ravenous hunger. Conversely, when ghrelin levels are low, it can help to control appetite and keep hunger at bay.

Leptin is another hormone, that is produced by the fat cells, and it signals the body to stop eating.

However, more research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms by which hCG affects the hypothalamus and its role in weight loss.


Phases Of The HCG Diet

The HCG diet is divided into three distinct phases. Each phase has its own set of rules and guidelines, and it’s important to understand all three before starting the diet.

Phase 1: Loading Days

The first phase of the HCG diet is often called the “loading” phase, and it lasts for 2-3 days only. During this phase, you’ll start your hcg shots and will eat as much high-fat foods as you can. This may seem counterproductive, but it’s actually an important part of the diet. The goal is to load your body with enough fat to fill up the body’s storages, so that you will not feel hungry during the start of the very low calorie phase that comes next.

Some people may feel to load up on processed junk food during their Phase 1, but this isn’t advisable. In fact, it’s best to consume healthy, nutrient-rich fatty foods  – think about : Avocados, fatty fish, meats, full fat dairy products, eggs incl. yolk.

Phase 2: VLCD + HCG

The main weight loss phase where you’ll continue daily hcg injections and follow the restricted calorie diet. It should generally last for 30-60 days to allow the system time to work.  

The VLCD (very low calorie diet), is one of the main components of the hcg diet. This type of diet is intended to help people shed weight quickly by restricting their calorie intake, while allowing the hcg to do its job.

The average person on a VLCD will consume between 500 and 800 calories per day. This is significantly lower than the recommended daily caloric intake for most people, which is around 2000-2500 calories per day. While this may sound daunting, it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. This is because you will also be taking a daily dose of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), around 166-250IU per shot. The hormone helps to suppress your appetite and makes it easier to stick to the low calorie diet.

There are a few different ways to follow a VLCD. One common method is to purchase prepared meals that are specifically designed for this type of diet.

These meals can be found at many different retailers, or they can be ordered online. Another option is to create your own meals using recipes that are specifically designed for a VLCD.

This can be a bit more challenging, but it can also be more affordable. When cooking your own hcg diet plan meals you will also be able to control the quality of the ingredients.

There are a few things to keep in mind when following a VLCD. First, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients and vitamins. Especially B12 vitamins are important as they regulate mood and energy levels, as well as nerves and muscles. B12 is particularly hard to replenish for vegetarians, as it is not found in many plant-based foods.

This can be done by taking supplements, or by making sure that your meals include vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.

It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Finally, remember that this type of diet is not sustainable in the long-term. For most people, it is only meant to be followed for a few weeks at a time.

Phase 3: Maintenance Or Stabilization

The hcg diet phase 3 is the final stage of the diet, and it is when you are able to eat more foods and increase your caloric intake. This phase can last for several weeks, and it is important to follow the guidelines set forth by your doctor or nutritionist.

During this phase, you will likely see some weight gain, but it is important to remember that this is part of the process and necessary in order to return to a sustainable diet and keep the desired weight.

phases of the hcg diet

HCG Products: Injections, Drops, Pellets, Troches

The HCG diet is a popular weight loss plan that involves using a daily dose of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG. HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy, and it helps to regulate the body’s metabolism and hunger signals.

There are four different types of HCG products that can be used for the diet: injections, drops, pellets, and troches. Injections seem to be the most common form of HCG used for the diet.

HCG Injections:

Injections of HCG are typically done once per day, and the hormone is administered into the muscle or fatty tissue. Injections are the most effective form of HCG for the diet, as they provide a consistent level of the hormone in the body. There are 2 types of injection techniques used to administer the hormone:

Intramuscular injections

Intramuscular injections are a type of administration that delivers the  medication deep into the muscle. This allows for a more localized and higher concentration of the medication to be delivered than other methods, such as oral.

Subcutaneous injections

Also called SubQ, these injections are given under the skin, typically around the abdomen, using a very short and thin needle. The needle is inserted into the fatty tissue just under the skin. This method can be easily followed for self-administration.



HCG drops are usually placed under the tongue, where they are absorbed into the saliva. Drops are less effective than injections, as some of the hormone may be lost during absorption. Most drops do not even contain the hormone in the first place.


One of the main advantages is that they are easy to take. You simply place the pellet under your tongue and let it dissolve. This is a much simpler process than having to measure out doses of liquid every day. They are typically less expensive than other methods.

The big problem though with pellets is they contain homeopathic hcg, which isn’t human chorionic gonadotropin, as required for the diet to work.


Troches are small, hard, pill-like tablets that are taken sublingually (under the tongue). They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which allows them to work quickly and effectively. Same as with Pellets it is questionable if the hcg hormone is bio-active in this form at all.

plan your diet success

Getting Started With The HCG Diet Program

Here is a list of what you need to start:

1. It is important to follow the correct program for the hcg diet and understand the different phases. What to avoid, along with general recommendations. Your first step is to download this essential PDF file and familiarize yourself with the hcg program before you start.

Pounds and Inches by Dr. A.T. W. Simeons

The original manuscript for the HCG diet, using IM or SC injections of human chorionic gonadotropin along with a calorie restricted diet.Download / Open PDF »

2. A quality HCG supplement: This is the most important part of the diet, as it is the HCG hormone itself that helps to signal the body to start burning stored fat for energy. Without this supplement, the diet simply will not work. You can do this by either getting a prescription from your doctor or purchasing it online.

monthly hcg kits

3. Good protein sources: As you will be eating a very low calorie diet while on the HCG Diet, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough protein in order to maintain muscle mass. This can come from lean meats, poultry, fish, egg-whites, tofu, or legumes.

4. Multivitamins: When calorie intake is severely restricted, it is important to make sure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to function properly. A good multivitamin will help to fill any gaps in your nutrition. Along with the HCG many people inject Vitamin B12 to prevent any deficiency in these vitamins.

5. A food scale: In order to accurately follow the protocol and avoid any weight gain, you will need to weigh your food on a food scale.

6. An HCG-friendly cookbook: The HCG Diet can be a bit restrictive in terms of what you can and cannot eat. Having a good cookbook with recipes specifically designed for the diet can make it much easier to stick with it.

HCG Diet Foods

The HCG diet allows for a limited variety of foods, including lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. However, the diet is very restrictive in terms of calories, and dieters are typically only allowed to consume 500 calories per day.

This can make it difficult to get the nutrients your body needs, so it’s important to carefully select the foods you eat while on the HCG diet. Choose nutrient-rich foods that will help you feel full and satisfied while staying within your calorie limit.

Approved Foods:

    1. Lean protein including white fish, chicken, shrimp, lean beef, tofu, vegetarian protein options.
    2. All vegetables except for starchy ones like corn, peas, and beans. For example: spinach, chard, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, tomatoes, fennel, onions.
    3. Low sugar fruits, including apples, oranges, berries, guava, citrus fruits in general are ok.
    4. Very limited amounts of bread like melba toast, as well as some snack in the form of bread sticks.
    5. Nuts or seeds as long as they’re low in calories.
    6. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil per day.
    7. Limited amounts of milk, but unlimited amounts of water, herbal tea, and black coffee.
salad cookbook

Where To Find HCG Diet Food Recipes?

There are many sources for HCG Diet Recipes online and in cookbooks. Some popular sources include the HCG Diet Info website and pinterest. There are also many books available that specialize in HCG Diet Recipes, such as “The HCG Diet Gourmet Cookbook” by Tammy Skye. You can find even some free ebooks on amazon on this topic. Below, you’ll find some examples of approved recipes. From breakfast to dinner (and even dessert), we’ve got you covered. So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking!


-Egg Scramble with Broccoli and Cottage cheese: Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast that will keep you full until lunchtime. Simply scramble some eggs and mix in some chopped broccoli and add cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

-Omelet with ham and vegetables: Another great option for a hearty breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunch. Feel free to mix up the ingredients in your omelet based on what you have on hand. Common additions include ham, cottage cheese, and vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers.


-Tuna Salad: A light but satisfying lunch option that takes no time at all to prepare. Simply mix canned tuna, diced celery, diced onion, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve over a bed of lettuce or atop a slice of HCG diet-friendly bread.

-Chicken Salad: Another great option for a quick and easy lunch. Mix cooked chicken breast, diced celery, grapes, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


-Beef Stir-Fry with quinoa: A delicious and healthy dinner option that’s perfect for busy weeknights. Simply stir-fry some lean beef strips with your favorite vegetables (like broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms). Season with soy sauce and garlic powder to taste. Serve over a bed of quinoa.

-Chicken Parmesan: A classic chicken dish that’s sure to please everyone at the dinner table. Simply bake some chicken breasts that have been dredged in flour and eggs then coat it in parmesan and breadcrumbs. Top with tomato sauce and veggies and over some whole-wheat pasta.


-Fruit salad: A healthy and refreshing dessert option that’s perfect for hot summer days. Simply mix together your favorite fruits (we like watermelon, berries, guava) then top with a light dressing made and stevia and lime juice.

-Chocolate mousse: A rich and indulgent dessert that’s still relatively light (thanks to the use of whipped egg whites). Simply combine dark chocolate chips, milk, whipped egg whites, vanilla extract, and stevia in a bowl then whisk until smooth. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving


Side Effects Of The HCG Diet

Although the HCG diet is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of before starting the diet. These side effects include:

  • Fatigue: One of the most common side effects of the HCG diet is fatigue. This is usually due to the fact that your body is not used to burning fat for energy, and it can take a few weeks for your body to adjust.
  •  Headaches: Another common side effect of the HCG diet is headaches. These are often due to dehydration, as your body is losing a lot of water weight on the diet.
  • Hunger: One of the main reasons people turn to the HCG diet is to help them lose weight. However, some people experience increased hunger on the diet due to the low calorie intake.
  • Muscle cramps: Some people on the HCG diet may experience muscle cramps due to the lack of electrolytes in their system. This can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids and adding salt to your meals.
  • Nausea: Some people may experience nausea or vomiting on the HCG diet, especially in the first few days. This is usually due to the low calorie intake and can be alleviated by drinking plenty of fluids and eating small, frequent meals.

If you experience any of these side effects while on the HCG diet, be sure to talk to your doctor, healthcare provider, or find more info about it online. They can help you determine if the diet is right for you and provide tips on how to minimize side effects.



The hCG diet is a popular but controversial weight-loss plan. Proponents of the diet are in the thousands, if we look to social media. They claim that it can help people lose weight quickly, but there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Critics of the diet point out that it is very restrictive and can be unsafe if not followed carefully.

If you are considering trying this diet, be sure to speak with your doctor first to ensure that it is safe for you. We hope that this guide has helped to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the hCG diet and its potential benefits and risks. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not endorse the hormone hcg as a weight loss drug.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you eat sugar on the hcg diet?

Eating sugar while on the diet could compromise the desired weight loss results. Sugar not only adds calories, but can also stimulate hunger and cravings, making it difficult to adhere to the restricted calorie intake of the HCG Diet. Additionally, consuming sugar can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which is a key factor in weight gain.

Instead of sugar, opt for natural sweeteners such as stevia, honey, or maple syrup.

What to do if constipated on hcg diet

Constipation is common on the diet protocol but can be managed with increased water intake, exercise and fiber-rich food choices. Apples work well as a natural source of dietary fiber and have been shown to be effective in alleviating constipation.

Suppositories and magnesium can be used to relieve constipation, while oral laxatives can be used if everything else failed, but make sure they do not contain sugar. If the issue persists, consult a doctor.

Is the hcg diet safe?

While the diet protocol is based on an FDA-approved medication and includes a calorie-restricted diet, the long-term safety and efficacy of the HCG diet is not yet known. Some doctors have raised concerns about the diet’s potential risks, including an increased risk of side effects from the HCG injections, nutrient deficiencies due to lack of food variety, and potential impacts to metabolism and hormones. Despite these potential risks, many dieters report successful results with the diet.

Can you eat mustard on the hcg diet?

Yes, you can eat mustard on the protocol! Mustard is a great condiment because it is without or low in calories, and provides flavor. Popular varieties such as French’s Yellow Mustard are free of sugar and carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for those following the HCG Diet.

In addition to mustard, other spices like salt, pepper, vinegar, Tabasco or Franks hot sauce, and most fresh or dried herbs may be used to season your food without compromising your diet.

Can you eat olives on the hcg diet?

Yes, you can eat olives on the HCG diet. Olives are considered a low-calorie food, and they contain healthy fats which can help to reduce cholesterol levels. They also provide essential minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E that are important for overall health. They can provide an interesting flavor to your dishes and give them a Mediterranean flair.  20 medium olives will contain roughly 90kcal. Remember that the amount of calories in each olive will add up quickly so it’s best to stick with a handful per day or use them as a garnish instead of making them the main dish.

Can you eat cauliflower on hcg diet?

Yes! Cauliflower is a nutritious low-calorie vegetable that can help support your weight loss goals. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium. Additionally, it is a very versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many different ways. One of the most popular recipes for the VLCD includes roasted cauliflower with olive oil and seasoning. You can also use it to create side dishes or soups. Cauliflower is an excellent choice for satisfying hunger while providing essential nutrients to the body.