What is the HCG Diet, Does the HCG Diet Work?, What Are the Basics? – Part 1 of 2

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What is the HCG Diet?

hCG Stands for human Chorionic Gonadtropin (say that 3x’s fast). It’s a hormone that a woman’s body produces in great abundance when she is pregnant, but a lesser known fact is that everyone, male and female (more on this here as well) produce the hCG hormone from their pituitary gland in minute amounts as well.

In the 1950’s Dr. Simeons, an endocrinologist as well as doctor, discovered that injecting tiny amounts of the hormone into patients, combined with a very low calorie diet with a specific food list, caused a great amount of not just weight loss but FAT loss and re-set the body’s hypothalamus (very interesting article and study done on the hypothalamus here) causing the body to maintain the lost weight very effectively.

Does the hCG Diet Work?

I am giving you this answer based on my own proof. You can come to your own conclusion based on your own research. The deciding factor as to whether the diet “works”, to me, is whether the weight lost on the diet is composed of mostly fat. After all, when people assume it’s a starvation diet, what they mean to say is that they believe the person is losing a large amount of muscle mass and that their metabolism is lowering itself to conserve energy thus leading you to an unhealthier state of body after the diet that will easily rebound. But is this true of the hCG Diet?

Let’s look at my own personal facts:

Thankfully, I was concerned about wanting to know the answer to this question myself, so I chose to have hydrostatic body fat testing done, one of the gold standards in bodyfat testing, before and after each round of HCG Injections I’ve done. What I’ve concluded from my own statistics over time is that

  • The majority of weight lost on the Diet is fat.
  • Any muscle loss that does occur is easily regained following the diet, while still maintaining the fat loss.
  • Metabolism has not been affected negatively as I’m able to eat without counting calories and I eat freely of healthy fats, protein, veggies and fruits and a small amount of gluten free grains.

You can see some of my actual body fat testing statistics in this category on my website and this post in particular.

Basics of the hCG Diet:

I highly recommend that you read the original protocol that Dr. Simeons wrote in his book pounds and inches. Nothing I can say on this site can replace getting the sense of how the weight loss protocol works through reading his book- do not underestimate the importance of this.

In a nutshell:

Do not exceed 500 calories

Eat the specific foods in the specific amounts from the list.

Allowable Foods on the hCG Diet:

The original food list as Dr. Simeons wrote it in his Pounds and Inches book are as follows:

Proteins: beef, chicken breast, veal, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp.

Vegetables: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.

Starches: breadstick (grissini) or Melba toast

Fruit: apple, orange, strawberries, grapefruit

The juice of one lemon daily is allowed for all purposes. Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, majoram, etc., may be used for seasoning, but no oil, butter or dressing.

Basic Rules: Calories are not to exceed 500 calories.

The diet is designed to basically have two small meals a day that are made up in this way (all foods chosen from the approved foods list)

How to Apportion the 500 calories each day:

Lunch:
1 protein (100 grams)
1 vegetable
1 fruit
1 grissini or melba toast (note: many hCG dieters leave this item out entirely- seems to add to cravings and difficulties on the protocol.)

Dinner:
Same as above

Not to exceed 500 calories.
Dr. Simeons said it was allowable to spread your meal throughout the day if you like, for instance, to have your lunch fruit for breakfast instead. However, you would never have 2 fruits or 2 proteins in one sitting.

Tea, Coffee, and Water with sugar free sweeteners in any quantity is fine. I highly recommend using stevia as your sugar free sweetener as it is one of the more “natural” ones to choose from, although in the end I guess they are all processed in one way or another!

hCGChica Side Notes

While the breadstick/melba is part of the allowed foods, I’d venture to say a large majority who do the Diet do not eat these- many find it leads to more cravings while on the diet, and as you can imagine, it’s rather difficult to eat only one breadstick, especially since it feels mostly like air when you’re eating it.

It’s totally up to you whether you eat the grissini/melba or not- I just personally find the protocol to be much easier mentally and the weight loss better when I leave it out entirely.

Most people do eat the fruits on the protocol and do well. I have experimented with not eating the fruits and eating more vegetables instead and this has worked well for me.

Another experiment I have done that has not seemed to interfere with my actual fat loss on the protocol is to replace my fruits with 0% Fat Free Fage Greek Yogurt. Always check the sugar content if you decide to try a fat free greek yogurt, as typically these can be higher in sugars- the Fage brand though is fairly low in sugar.

The main thing to keep in mind on the diet is to avoid FATS while on the diet. No butter, no oil, etc. You don’t want to consume any fats. Outside of the hCG Diet, of course healthy fats are great and necessary, but while on this protocol, the hormone seems to make fat volatile in a way that not only can I not explain, I don’t think it’s actually full understood how it works- however, the results have been noted and that is that you can both lose fat and GAIN fat very easily and quickly while on the diet- consuming fat on the diet will lead to quick fat gain.

Starting the hCG Diet:

Before you start the 500 calorie VLCD (very low calorie day) portion of the diet, you need to 2 “loading” days. These 2 days you will actually be taking the hormone and eating a super high fat diet to purposefully get as much fat circulating into your body as possible- like way more fat than you would normally eat. You can see more about the loading phase for the hCG Diet here and an example of what I ate while loading for the protocol during Round 5 in the photo below- keep in mind the photo is showing what I ate in 2 days, not 1 day. You will likely gain weight during these 2 days and that is purposeful.

 

After loading on lots of fats and taking the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin for those two days, the hormone should be fully circulating in your system by this point, and as you start the 500 calorie portion of the diet (also called P2 or phase 2), you’re weight will start dropping very quickly.

 

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  • Sandrita

    Hi!

    I really like your posts, and that’s why I decide to start the HCG diet. But I have a doubt, I already bought the 28 days HCG kit from one of the website that you found and can be purchase in Florida. I got it already, but my question is…During the 2 “loading days” I should inject the HCG? I mean, Do I have to take the injections since the first day of the 2 “loading days” or on the third day that I will be starting with the VLCD????

    I will appreciate your response very much!

    Thank you!
    Sandrita

    • http://hcgchica.com/ HCGChica

      Yes during the loading days you inject the hCG. So you are right that your first VLCD day will technically be your 3rd injection. I hope that helps- good question!
      Rayzel

      • Sandrita

        Thank you so much HCG Chica!

  • Sandrita

    Another question, and sorry, I’m new to this…I should “skip” an injection every 7 days? I will start as soon as my period finish. I already bought the “28 days kit”.

    Thank you so much, Rayzel!

    • http://hcgchica.com/ HCGChica

      If you are doing a “long” round- approx. 6 weeks in length, the original protocol of Dr. Simeons did suggest that you skip an injection once a week- you can pick a day of your choice to skip. If you are doing a shorter round like with the 28 day kit, there’s no need to skip an injection, you can just take it daily the entire round. Hope that helps! :)

  • Julieta Twiss

    Hi, thank you for doing all this, posting your results and everything! I just order my 28 days kit, I have a question, after the 2 days of loading, for the rest 26 days I will only do 500 calories daily right? Thank you for your help

  • http://hcgchica.com/ Rayzel Lam

    Hi there- I’m so sorry I missed your message- I have an hCG dosing article actually here: http://hcgchica.com/hcg-dosage-how-should-feel-on-the-hcg-diet-when-you-are-on-the-right-dose/ That might help you decide what’s best for you.

  • http://hcgchica.com/ Rayzel Lam

    The average weightloss for women is usually .5/lb per day, and men closer to 1lb/day. But I don’t know how these averages might change from the 23 vs. 42ish day protocol- good question- overall I think most women lost .5-.75lbs per day. Hope that helps!

  • Franchesca Pacrem

    So Happy I found you HCGchica and your community of HCGers. I did my first round Jan 2014 for 41 days and went from 168lbs to 139lbs. Totally happy with the results with HCG and I’m even happier to have support when times gets tough.

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      So glad to hear your results @franchescapacrem:disqus that is fantastic!

  • Nicole

    I would like to try the diet but I am sort of a vegetarian . I only eat chicken if I absolutely have so I know I would get sick of that quick . Can I use Greek yogurt (Fage o ) fat fee cottage cheese and eggs as my protein for lunch and only do chicken at dinner ? Is tuna an option for protein as well ?

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hi Nicole- you could try this, however, let me just lay out my concerns with changing the way the proteins are consumed on this diet- since the protein amount is very tiny, I am concerned that excessive muscle may be lost if the 2 meat proteins are not utilized fully on this protocol which is never a good thing. So that’s what I”d be worried about. If you do it, it will be an experiment and there is no guarantee how well you will be able to stabilize etc. That said, I can’t be sure of course, so it’s possible it would turn out fine. I hope that helps a little.

  • DeeDee

    I am a new hcg user I started 7/12/2014 so today is my second day on the vlcd it’s going good . I’m so glad to find your videos I watched them all and saw you shrinking. I am 194.2 to start today I am 192.2 that was nice to see. I hope to see more updates from you.

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Sorry I missed this Deedee! I hope you ended up having a good round. It is funny isn’t it to have a record of me getting smaller in all my old videos- I never knew how valuable those would be to me- I hope you took before pics too!

  • Brenda Rush

    I tried to put in your CI# but didnt work. I closed out browser several times and still didnt work. Now what? Brenda

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hey Brenda- hmm usually the reopening of the browser works fine- what browser are you in? You might try a different one entirely if the one you are using isn’t working- sometimes no matter what I do I can’t do certain things in firefox because it blocks certain things so I have to move to IE or Chrome. Not sure if that might be it.

      • Brenda Rush

        I do have google chrome..???

        • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

          I don’t know what else to suggest @brenda_rush:disqus sorry! Usually that’s the only problem and is solved by the reopening of the browser. Sorry!

          • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

            Did you ever get it worked out with the customer ID thing to work for you? @brenda_rush:disqus were you trying to do it from your desktop computer or from a tablet or smart phone by chance?

          • Brenda Rush

            Hello Chica… Yes I finally got through but since it was going to take so long to get them from India I choose USHCG got the injections in about 4 days. Havent started yet. Will keep you updated. Thanks for all your help!!

  • Taylor

    Hello HCGchica! Can I just let you know how much I adore you and this website? Haha. My order should be coming in today and lucky me I’m about to be done with my period!
    QUESTION: I play to do a ~41 day round. On my period, do I inject or not? Should I skip one day a week since I’m doing the longer round? Thank you!

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Thank you @disqus_1bDIUhhaKV:disqus! So glad you like my site so much. I like it too ;)- Most people do skip 1 day a week on the longer round, but to be honest I don’t know that I believe it’s truly necessary, however it doesn’t seem to hurt anything to do it anyway since we’re not totally sure. Re the period, I usually skipped 1-2 days max on my heaviest flow days and continued injecting aside from that- and please make sure to look up my hCG dosage article if you haven’t seen it already for when it comes to what dose of hCG you take – clinics dose everyone at the same level, but I have found dosage to be unique to the person. Take care.

      • Kimberly Oliver

        Dear Rayzel, I re-sent the invite to my before and after board on pinterest. ts covers several years so you might have to scroll down about 3 times. I do it for myself just to keep accountability. Here is the link http://www.pinterest.com/kimberlyfoliver/self-portrait/

      • Kimberly Oliver

        Dear Rayzel, as for the book, it is a collaboration with the famous author Joe Vitale, and published by Mitas Touch owner Robert Kiyosaki who are both famous authors in their own right. I feel joy knowing that my experiences and tips will help others to feel good about their body regardless of illness. After this weekend I will have a domain so that anyone can sign up to get the first chapter free.

  • Brenda Rush

    HELLO CHICA…CAN I TAKE MY VITAMINS WHILE ON THE DIET?

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Yes definitely – you just want to make sure by looking at the ingredient label that it doesn’t have strange additives or filler like maltodextrin, etc. @brenda_rush:disqus

  • Brenda Rush

    Chica…Have you ever heard of low-carb milk? I have been using it for a long time. The only place I have been able to get it is a Kroger supermarket. Where I shop. It only has 3 net carbs and no fat per 8 fluid oz. I’m wondering if it would be ok to use in my coffee in morning. Because the protecol says you can use 1 Tbl of regular milk in coffee in a 24 hr period…? And have you heard of Miracle noodles? I ordered some several days ago. They have no carb..fat..calories..ect…use as filler. They supposedly take on the flavor that you are cooking them with…chicken broth ect. The reviews were good on them.

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      I’m sorry for the delay @brenda_rush:disqus – if it were me, I’d probably feel comfortable using the low carb milk. Yes I used miracle noodles on 3 of my rounds daily and loved them! I feel they did not harm my personal results.

  • Kimberly Oliver

    Hello HCGChica, This is Kimberly Oliver, as a native Texan I find your virtual world nick name super cute. I also tweeted you today Oct 13, 2014 regarding traveling food for P2. Short Bio. I am a nurse and soon to have a published book release by this time next year regarding the emotional pain associated with illness. I do use HCG about once a year to do a body tune-up. With my book career I am traveling often and I find it difficult to find quality travel foods that are NON- dairy, soy, sugar, night shade plants (pepper & tomato), grain, and bean (peanut). With the exception of sugar, the others all give me and my husband leaky gut, which can damage the vascular system. Also, I would like to reciprocate by doing an interview with you, I have taken HCG for over 6 years and have lost over 100lbs which as a career nurse is just embarrassing to say because nurses are the worse at getting over weight. I emailed you my pinterest board with before and after photo. called selfie. Thanks again. K. Oliver

  • Karen AndBrian Hansz

    Hello from Alaska!!! Hey I LOVE your website and after going up and down a few times (down on HCG and up inbetween) I was really needing to start rounding down again and releasing the weight and stress and your wonderful website and fun self really motivated me to get off the wall and dive in again. I am just on day two of VLCD with drops and wondered about the miracle noodles… Did you do them on your vlcd rounds? or after… and what did you substitute them for… Also excited about trying the fage 0% yogurt, but did you use it as a sauce for your food or just like yogurt (did you sweeten with stevia and lemon juice or strawberries or something???) I bet you have a page about all of that but I haven’t found it yet! I am interested in learning more about the shorter and longer diet times.. I had just done HCG on my own by the book and thought that 30 days was the norm… And as such have always done 30 day rounds with drops. I am pretty interested in getting the tiny pellets (forget what they are called) to try to, as it I sometimes lose focus and forget to keep the drops in and swallow them too soon. Thank you for all of your fun and perky and happy perspective on doing HCG… I was so motivated when I did it the first time and really did great, 30 lbs in 30 days, then I had a couple of less successful rounds and got disappointed and tried some homeopathic drops that really didn’t work at all (I am 52 and post menopause) so reading your blog and watching your videos has really been motivational :) One more question: is there another way to listen to your podcasts other than itunes? i switched from iphone to samsung and I don’t know if you can use itunes on my samsung galaxy… THANKS!!!
    Karen in Kodiak

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hi @karenandbrianhansz:disqus I’m sorry for the long delay! So glad you find my blog useful to you. What I always love to hear. Yes I ate miracle noodles on almost all my rounds, daily. I am personally completely comfortable with with their use on hCG – to me it seems about like eating cardboard as far as how our bodies digest it, no calories, and I found it made the diet much easier, and now that I’ve been maintaining my weight loss for more than 2 years, I feel it’s safe to say that the miracle noodles had no long term bad effects in that department. I hope that helps! Whether it lowers your average weight loss, I can’t say for sure because I can’t really repeat any rounds in the exact same circumstances at the same exact weight to compare, however, like I said, I feel comfortable and satisfied with the results I got and how the diet felt using them- it made it more doable for me- especially in fall/winter I had them a lot in soups- delish! Oh re the podcast thing- I should look into this- I know from my actual webpage I have a podcast player right on each blogpost you can listen to from there- but as far as in another app, I’ll try to look into that okay? I’m still learning the inns and outs of these various platforms myself so I’ll try to figure that out- but for now, see if you can try listenign from the podcast player right on the blogpost for that particular podcast- at the top usually below the video- unless it doesn’t show on the phone, but I think it should..

  • JBEKeysplayer

    Hey there HCGchica, thanks for all you do. This is my first time trying HCG and you have been an extreme amount of help! I’m a 230 pound male, lost 13 pounds in 14 days. But have plateaued the last few days. Question… I’m eating the same meal for lunch and dinner, staying within the 500 calorie limit, but just cooking once then essentially eating the left overs for dinner. Do you think this is a bad thing?
    Since i’ve plateaued I’ve noticed my hunger level has gone up pretty considerably, I dont have the early on HCG high. Thoughts? Thanks again for all you do.

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hi @jbekeysplayer:disqus well thanks for the thanks. :) So glad I’ve been helpful to you. And glad to see more males doing this protocol! Re the same foods- you know- it seems to vary- it’s so hard to know what effects what sometimes- plenty of people I’ve spoken with and me have tended to eat the same things without issue, but then there were times that I changed things up when things got slow and it did seem to help- whether it was coincidence or not is so hard to say. But one things is for sure, if things are a bit slow, it probably won’t hurt at all to TRY changing things up, so you might as well. Actually- now that you mention plateau and hunger going up, that makes me think the problem may be that you need a dosage change- have you checked into that yet? I have a fairly lengthy detailed post on that here to help you with that: http://hcgchica.com/hcg-dosage-how-should-feel-on-the-hcg-diet-when-you-are-on-the-right-dose/ I’d love to hear back from you about that if the dose ends up being part of the issue for you- what are you taking right now?

  • Marsha Gates

    Hello HCG Chica my question to you can you work out while doing the HCG injections? I really want to do this because I have tried literally everything and I really want to lose weight for health reasons. So I want to know if you can workout while doing this program since it is such low calorie I would think it would be an issue energy wise.

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hi @marshagates:disqus nice to meet you. :) Re the exercise question, the answer is it depends- I have actually a 4 part series on the answer to this to help you decide how to gauge whether it’s a good choice for you starting here: http://hcgchica.com/exercise-hcg-diet-part-1/ I hope that will help you! And yes, for quite a few, it’s an issue energy wise. If you do it, most need to add additional calories/protein for a pre and or post workout meal- protein shake, extra meat serving, etc. I hope that helps!

  • Bridget

    Hi there Chica, so today was my second loading day, and boy was it tough. I had zero appetite and the thought of binging really scares me. The Dr. started me on 250iu. I’m reading how that is a lot. Do you suggest i lower it right away, or wait. Thanks for a great site!

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hey @disqus_X5XAyRdz8L:disqus I know it’s weird isn’t it how suddenly your appetite changes once you start hCG? Then all of a sudden loading doesn’t seem so fun anymore. And remember you don’t need to binge- just focus on eating high fat foods, you will get fairly full quickly, but I don’t think it’s a good mental path to go down for most of us to just out and out binge on stuff. I had a bad experience when I did that! 250 iu is quite high, but there are some people who feel good on that dose- it’s just that so far in my observation it’s the minority not the majority that’s all. I don’t want to get in the middle of you and doc since I’m just a plain old regular mommy gal, so you must decide my friend! – Rayzel

      • Bridget

        Thank you so much! Your site is such a great help and you are an inspiration! Your videos make me feel like you are right there with me during this journey! Keep up the good work!
        Bridget

  • https://sites.google.com/a/artwyrksbichonshavanese.com/main/ Vicki Brunn

    Wow, so I purchased my hcg from advanced hcg…. They recommend an 800 calorie a day diet and allow for 1 protein and optional veggies for breakfast. Their list of acceptable foods are also expanded. They do not recommend any breads even a breadstick or melba… I followed it for six weeks and went from 174 down to 158. Then went on their phase 3 which included one starch serving… medium potato or 1 cup rice, quinoa, or 2 slices whole wheat bread at dinner. Well I gradually lost control during p3 and am now up to 166.5. I’ve started p2 again loading 2 days and now I’m on day three of injections. My last p2 ended Dec 1. I read where Dr. Simeon says you need to wait longer before doing another round of p2 but advanced hcg says three to four weeks at p3 are fine and then you can do another p2 round. I’m so confused. Help!!

  • Julie

    WHere is the Part 1 part that tells me how to make chicken broth.

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hi @disqus_0TgQnEXSST:disqus – hmmm I’m not sure what you mean? I don’t currently have a chicken broth recipe I’m sorry! I tend to just simmer some chicken or bones or both in water for a bit, then you’d want to let it get competely cold in the fridge so that you could easily remove the layer of fat at the top so that you have fat free chicken broth- then you can freeze some for later use! Hope that helps.

      • Julie

        This hcg recipe for Ph 2 said go to Part 1 and look how to make legal chicken broth to use in the chicken soup.  I have made broth before with a full chicken……..IM a rancher. lol and im  70//////// I have done this diet several times. I use the drops……only I am allergic to citrus, so  now I have to only eat the st berrys and apples.    no fun. I d o NOT eat fish……so there again im stuck on ch and BEEF its whats for dinner……..says the Kansas Livestock assoc. BEEF ITS WHATS FOR DINNER>….. smile. Ok I gues  you have not seen the soup then.         alright. thanks…….any comments on the citrus or other fuits

  • Julie

    I guess you just booted me off for no reason

    • http://hcgchica.com/buy-hcg-injections-worldwide/ HCGChica

      Hi again @disqus_0TgQnEXSST:disqus – nope, not booted off- I have comments set to be approved first by me, so that is why you did not see your comment appear immediately. Glad I could clarify that! :)

  • Ruthie

    what are your thoughts on protein bars…Quest bars ok? also the meal replacement shakes from nu image medical…are they ok? are they gluten free?

    Ruthie

  • Katherine Hebert Komarek

    I’m getting ready to start my 1st round as soon as my HCG arrives. Are we supposed to do an injection every day for 3 or 6 weeks or 6 days only?

  • stephanie

    Do you weight protein cooked or uncooked.