When Dr. Simeons came up with the HCG diet plan in the 50s, he was in India, researching the treatment of starvation and obesity and how they relate with one another. While studying its effects closely, Dr. Simeons realized that HCG mobilized lipids (fat and cholesterol) in all of his patients, leading to the removal of fat cells from the body. This unique property was something new and had the makings of a breakthrough. Over the years, numerous studies have been conducted to prove/disprove Dr. Simeons’ findings but one thing is clear beyond doubt: the HCG diet not only offers extreme results, but also extremely fast results.
The 4 phases of the HCG diet plan:
- Load – Eat high fat foods for 2-3 days with HCG during the last two days
- Lose – Continue taking HCG and follow a strict 500 calorie diet for 3-6 weeks depending on your weight loss goal.
- Maintain – A two-part plan to maintain weight loss while gradually incorporating all foods.
- Live – Enjoy your new weight and keep it steady.
Quick Start HCG Diet Plan
Phase 1 | P1 | Load days
The load days consist of preparing your body to handle the first week or so of the VLCD without being hungry. You’ll eat high fat foods, like heavy cream, butter, bacon, sausage, cheese, ice cream, fast food, etc., at least 250 grams of fat per day. The first phase may sound like fun, and it can be, but it is also very important.
The important thing to remember is that the intake during these 2 to 3 gorge days should consist more of fatty foods with as little carbs and sugars as possible.
Two days of high fat eating are required for phase one of the diet but some people benefit from three load days. There are several reasons for this. A person that has tried a lot of different diets especially right before starting the HCG diet could benefit from an extra gorge day. Someone who usually eats healthy may also want to consider a third day. Remember, even if you do decide that three load days would be best for you, you should only take HCG during the last two.
The HCG will start to make you feel fuller quicker by the second day you are taking it but you should continue to eat as much fat as possible.
Phase 2 | P2 | VLCD
The next phase of the HCG diet is the VLCD (very low calorie diet) portion. During this phase your calorie intake is restricted to no more than 500 per day. These calories should also only come from the foods allowed on the diet and in the manner the diet states. This is the most important phase for keeping an HCG diet meal plan and has the most widely available examples.
This phase is when you get rid of all those fat stores that have been building up in your body, usually in the most unattractive places, like belly, inner thigh, upper arms, and back fat. You will eat specific foods while taking HCG for 21 to 55 days. Then you will stop the HCG and continue on those foods for 3 more days to get the HCG out of your system before starting maintenance.
Some important points for VLCD/Phase 2 are:
- Count everything
- Look for approved recipes to give variety
- Check ingredients
- Drink at least 2L of water a day
- Be cautious of personal care items (they can absorb into your skin and impede weight loss)
- Do not begin an exercise regimen if you don’t already exercise regularly.
- Be cautious of supplements – they may contain sugars or starches
- Aspirin is the only approved pain reliever while on phase 2
- Do not discontinue prescription medication
Phase 3 | P3 | Maintenance | Stabilization
The next phase of the HCG diet is Maintenance. Over a 6 week period you will gradually begin reintroducing the foods that were not allowed during VLCD. The process is important to follow carefully so that you don’t risk regaining the weight you lost. The first three weeks of the maintenance phase you can’t have any sugar or starch. Even your fruits and vegetable choices must be the lower starch and lower sugar items.
This is the time when your goal is to stabilize at your new weight, so it is critical to follow the rules because you don’t want to end up gaining back the weight. Each week is specifically laid out as to how you incorporate other foods.
The first three weeks are without any sugar or starch other than fruits and low-starch vegetables. If you are not diligent during this time, you will gain back everything you lost.
The second three weeks include a gradual addition of starches and sugar. The goal is to keep your weight within two pounds from the last day you took HCG on the diet.
Be sure to stick to the calorie guidelines for your weight and be careful when starting out in maintenance. You want to be completely sure you have stabilized your weight after the first week before you continue. If you are continuing to gain or lose after this time you may need to do a steak day.
The HCG diet maintenance phase can be confusing because your meal options change from week to week. You have to be very carefully to adhere to the instructions offered for this phase to ensure to keep the weight you lost during VLCD off. The best way to do this is to create a meal plan.
For the first three weeks you work with a “caution” foods list. Each week you incorporate more and more of the foods on this list. Each day for this three week period you should make a plan for what you will eat at each meal. The further in advance you do this, the easier it will be to follow. You can have all of your shopping done and just need to prepare the meals on the menu as you go.
Things to remember during maintenance are:
- Caution foods should not be added until week 2
- 2 pound up or down is all the fluctuation you should experience
- A steak day can help drop if you’ve exceeded 2 pounds
- Carbs are added during week four – one per day, and during week 5 – two per day
- Weigh every day
- Do not try to loses weight during maintenance
Phase 4 | P4 | Life Phase
Your metabolism has been reset to a rate that will allow you to more effectively fuel your body. You should try to avoid high fat and high carbohydrate foods but this should be much easier to do after completing the protocol.
HCG Meal Plan
Having a well defined HCG weight loss meal plan can be the difference between success and failure on the diet. While the food list is short your diet doesn’t have to be boring. Preplanning your meals can make for less stress over what to eat. If you know in the beginning of the week what you are going to eat every day, you can make one trip to the store and even prepare things in advance.
HCG Diet Meal Plan Phase 1 | Load
Sample Load Day Menu 1:
Bacon and Cheese Omelet
Sausage gravy and biscuits
Bacon Cheeseburger + French Fries
Mashed potatoes w/ gravy
HCG Diet Meal Plan Phase 2 | VLCD
Sample VLCD Day Menu 1:
Tea or Coffee
Grilled Chicken Breast Tomatoes 1/2 Grapefruit Melba toast
Broiled Wild Sole Asparagus Strawberries Grissini Breadstick
Sample VLCD Day Menu 2:
Coffee w/ one tablespoon of milk
Chicken Breast 1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes 1 cup of Strawberries 1 Melba toast
Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus Kabobs 1 Orange 1 Melba toast
If you need to eat something in the morning, add a fruit, a piece of melba toast (or grissini) or half a portion of your lunch protein.
HCG Diet Meal Plan Phase 3 | Maintenance
Here are some sample breakfasts for each week during phase 3:
Week 1 – coffee or tea, 1 apple
Week 2 – coffee or tea, 1 large egg, 1 orange
Week 3 – coffee or tea, 1 large egg, 1 grapefruit, 2 slices turkey bacon
Week 4 – Vegetable juice, pancakes, 2 links turkey sausage
Week 5 – Smoothie w/ yogurt, strawberries and bananas
Week 6 – Oatmeal, choice of fruit, whole grain toast
Phase 3 Lunch/Dinner menu plan guidelines:
Week 1 – no sugars or starches – no caution foods
Week 2 – no sugars or starches, some caution foods if your weight did not move more than 2 pounds during week 1
Week 3 – no sugars or starches – a few more caution foods
Week 4 – one carb per day, different choices each day
Week 5 – two carbs per day, not at the same meal
Week 6 – gradually begin combining carbs at the same meals
There are several things that you will need to do the HCG diet plan. You can find many of your HCG diet supplies in the kits offered by distributors of HCG. Some things that you may not find in a kit that you should have to get started are:
- An accurate scale that you can use everyday
- A kitchen scale
- A calorie counter
- HCG diet approved recipes or a cookbook
- A journal and/or progress chartsA visual chart to track your progress can be an excellent way to see results and keep motivated to keep track of your diet
Some items that you can find in a kit or that you should get together in addition to the items listed above are:
- HCG drops
- List of approved foods
- A calorie counter
- Melba toast
- Grissini breadsticks
- Stevia packets
- Dr. Simeons PDF “Pounds and Inches”
Collecting all of your HCG diet supplies ahead of time is a great way to get started. Some items may be harder to find than others so you’ll really want to prepare in advance. You will also want to be sure that you get all the information about the diet before starting. While the protocol is simple and straight forward, every detail counts. You need to understand how and why the diet works so you see how important each and every part is.
It is also a good idea to have a meal plan in place before starting the HCG diet. You can take this with you to the grocery store and have all your food available so you don’t find yourself trying to decide what to eat at the last minute. A complete list of approved foods can be found in Dr. Simeon book and here.