Essential Items You Need for a Successful HCG Diet Journey
What You Need for the HCG Diet
The HCG diet has become an increasingly popular weight loss method over the past several years. This diet combines a very low calorie plan along with injections or oral drops of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone produced during pregnancy.
The HCG diet was first developed by British endocrinologist Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons in the 1950s. He published a book called “Pounds and Inches” outlining his protocol, claiming that HCG could help people lose large amounts of fat while preserving muscle mass on a 500-calorie diet.
While controversial, many people still follow a modified version of Simeons’ original HCG diet today. Supporters claim that the hormone helps suppress appetite, boost metabolism and promote abnormal fat mobilization.
The diet consists of two main components: HCG supplements and an ultra-low calorie diet plan.
HCG can be taken as injections, oral drops or pellets that dissolve under the tongue.
The diet involves three phases: loading, weight loss and maintenance.
During the weight loss phase, calories are restricted to 500–800 per day.
Only specific foods and portions are allowed during the low-calorie weight loss phase.
The diet claims to help people lose up to 1–2 pounds per day.
Side effects may include headaches, irritability, restlessness, depression and swelling.
The FDA does not approve HCG for weight loss and warns about potential risks.
“Nearly a third of U.S. adults (31.7%) were obese in 2003-2004.” – Journal of American Medical Association
Below is a detailed overview of what you need to know and have on hand to follow the HCG diet protocol.
To start the HCG diet, you will need to purchase HCG as well as the recommended foods for each phase of the diet. Here is what you will need:
HCG is not approved for over-the-counter use by the FDA. However, you can purchase homeopathic HCG drops, pellets or sprays online. Another option is to get a prescription for injectable HCG from a medical provider like a weight loss clinic.
Some options for acquiring HCG include:
Prescription injections: HCG injections require a prescription from a doctor and are typically administered three times per week.
Homeopathic oral HCG: Homeopathic HCG drops or pellets are diluted forms sold over-the-counter without a prescription.
HCG nasal sprays: HCG nasal sprays provide small doses of HCG through sprays administered multiple times per day.
No form of HCG has been shown to significantly boost weight loss beyond severe calorie restriction. More research is still needed on its effects.
The diet involves carefully planned meals for each phase. Here are the recommended foods to have on hand:
High fat foods like fatty cuts of meat, oils, butter and heavy cream
High carb foods including bread, pasta and fruits
Weight Loss Phase:
Lean protein sources like chicken breast, white fish, shrimp, lean beef, eggs or egg whites
Non-starchy vegetables including spinach, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus and broccoli
Certain fruits like strawberries, apples, grapefruit and oranges
All foods allowed in weight loss phase
Starchy vegetables like yams and potatoes
Whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa and barley
Legumes including beans, peas and lentils
Be sure to stock up on the approved foods and plan out meals before starting the diet. Having healthy snacks on hand can also help manage hunger.
In addition to HCG and the recommended foods, having certain supplies on hand can make the HCG diet easier:
Investing in a food scale to weigh portions is highly recommended. The plan requires weighing foods to ensure you stay within the strict calorie limits. Look for a digital food scale for the most accuracy.
Meal planning is key to success on the HCG diet. Helpful tools include shopping lists, meal plans, recipes, food journals and calorie counting apps. These can help you stay organized and on track.
Some HCG dieters take over-the-counter supplements to help minimize side effects. Options include electrolyte tablets, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B complex. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking supplements.
Because the HCG diet is so restrictive, it helps to find new recipes to add variety and prevent boredom. Look for HCG-friendly recipes online or purchase an HCG cookbook.
The low-calorie diet can be challenging. Having positive reminders and a support system can help motivate you to stick to the protocol. Join online HCG groups, enlist a diet buddy or use positive affirmations.
With these supplies and tools, you’ll be fully prepared to start and stay compliant with the protocol of the HCG diet. Just be sure to consult your healthcare provider before changing your diet or starting supplements.
The HCG diet involves three distinct phases, each with its own set of rules and recommended foods. Here is what to expect:
Duration: 2-4 days
The loading phase starts the diet by boosting calories, fat and carbohydrates to prepare your body for the low-calorie diet. During this phase you should:
- Eat high-fat foods like fatty meat, butter and oils
- Consume high-carb foods including bread, pasta and fruits
- Avoid sugars and starches
- Begin taking HCG as directed
This phase helps provide calories to prevent hunger during the next phase.
Duration: 3-6 weeks
The weight loss phase restricts calories to a very low 500-800 per day. During this phase you must:
- Weigh and measure all foods to stay under calorie limits
- Eat 2 small meals per day with specified portions
- Avoid most carbohydrates and fats
- Continue taking HCG
- Drink plenty of water (at least 64oz)
This is when most weight loss occurs, with claims of losing 1-2 pounds per day. Stop the diet if you do not lose a minimum of 2 lbs per week.
Duration: 3-4 weeks
The maintenance phase slowly reintroduces higher calorie levels to stabilize weight loss. During this phase you should:
- Gradually increase calorie intake
- Carefully add carbohydrates, fats, starches and sugars
- Stop taking HCG
- Transition to a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Maintain an exercise routine
This phase helps prevent regaining the weight that was lost. Lifelong lifestyle changes are encouraged.
The HCG diet requires discipline and willpower to follow the strict protocol. Here are some tips to help make it successful:
Consult your doctor – Get medical guidance to ensure safety based on your health.
Plan meals – Mapping out meals and snacks will help prevent cheating.
Get support – Having encouragement can boost motivation and accountability.
Avoid temptations – Keep trigger foods out of sight during the diet.
Manage hunger – Stay busy, drink water and chew sugar-free gum when hungry.
Exercise – Add in 30-60 minutes of activity like walking 4-6 days per week.
Take before photos – Take photos to track your progress and stay motivated.
Weigh daily – Weigh yourself first thing in the morning to ensure the diet is working.
Supplement wisely – Be cautious with supplements and get doctor approval.
Transition slowly – Gradually ease out of the diet with a post-HCG meal plan.
Make lifestyle changes – Stick with healthy eating and exercise habits after finishing the diet.
With preparation and commitment, the HCG diet can effectively produce short-term weight loss results for many people. Just be sure to consult your physician before starting any new diet.
Health nut turned blogger, spreading the wellness bug with a side of humor. Dishing out nutritious advice, fitness antics, and wellness wisdom, all while keeping health journeys as fun as a barrel of kale!