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What is the Technical Vegetable Rule on Phase 2 / the VLCD of hCG?
Dr. Simeons said do not mix vegetables while on Phase 2 of the hCG diet – that means if you’re having tomatoes with your lunch, you can’t have cucumbers too.
But is this how it HAS to be and there is absolutely no other way ever?
See the allowed hcg diet vegetables.
I personally feel that you can mix vegetables, just that if you do, you need to be very cognizant of the amounts of veggies you are actually eating and not eating so much that you are getting overly full. Be purposefully aware of how much you are eating and try to eat just what you need so you aren’t hungry.
My 3 questions to you are:
I know for me they are!
1. How much cucumber can you really eat in one sitting?
2. How much of a salad composed of cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and perhaps some roasted fennel or radish could you eat in one sitting?
3. Are these amounts different?
A Natural Control Method
When I was eating vegetables on the hCG diet, I can CLEARLY visualize more than once, attempting to eat a bowlful of chopped cucumber with some salt on it and a dash of vinegar. It was ok, but it was almost like I started getting this gag reflex thing going on after several bites.
I don’t know perhaps because it just didn’t taste that great. It was just….so much cucumber….in my mouth….with no other taste to go with it. But if I mixed up my own little salad concoction; a little of this, and a little of that; before you knew it my salad was HUGE and it also tasted pretty good too so I’d eat the whole thing.
My main point here is that sticking to one type of vegetable kind of creates a natural barrier to overeating on hCG, without having to think too much about it (ie weighing, calculating calories, etc.)
But is there a way around this, where you can both mix your vegetables for some more pleasing-to-your-tastebuds compilations as well as not eating too much? I think there is. Let me explain.
WHY Did Dr. S Tell Us No Mixing of Vegetables?
If he were alive, wouldn’t it be so fun to sit him down (perhaps on Dr. Oz – actually even more fun would be on my own little hCG Diet Interviews show hehe) and ask him all sorts of questions? Why this and why that?
So once again, I’m going to make a little thoughtful guess on why he said this. I could be utterly wrong, but this is my thinking.
Dr. Simeons wanted this protocol to be easy and straightforward. To accomplish this, it makes sense to eliminate as much weighing and calorie counting as possible. His book gave me the feeling he wanted his patients to not have to think too much about the actual diet. And to be honest, just THINKING about calorie counting gives me the heebie-jeebies. I know some of you are cool with it but it’s a major downer for my brain function. Anyways.
Imagine this diet the opposite way
Your lettuce must equal 60 calories worth. You must check online nutrition stats to figure out the caloric content of romaine lettuce vs. butterleaf lettuce so that you then do step 2, which is to measure out the accurate amount of lettuce on your scale, chopping one more leaf at a time to get the correct weight (because of course you don’t want to eat less than you’re allowed right?) Your apple must be 2.15 inches in circumference, no more, no less, and you are getting frustrated as you walk around the produce section at the grocery store with your measuring tape draping from your hand that you can’t the find the X variety of apple that is allowed on the diet (since some varieties have higher sugar contents than others).
Yeah……no. hCG is hard enough. That would be just plain wrong.
Sorry I just had to be a little silly there because it was fun.
A Simpler Way to Keep the Calories Naturally Under 500
So Dr. S seemed to want the diet to be as simple as possible, and to equal ABOUT 500 calories a day. This would make it much more do-able for most people, and he obviously found it unnecessary to regiment it more than he did. You can review the Dr. Simeons’ approved hCG vegetable list here.
Weigh the protein- this part is necessary because it’s a calorie dense food and a person could easily way over-eat on this without a definite amount that was to be used (I can eat a 16 oz. steak with abandon no problem). Also keep in mind here as well that the caloric content of the 100 grams of protein does actually vary because the amount of fat/calories in shrimp is totally different than chicken breast which is different from lean steak, but they are all measured out at 100 grams. Which is why the 500 calories amount is in my mind approximate.
You can simply go by general size. This was nice and simple. 1 orange. A handful of strawberries. Half a grapefruit. 1 apple. He even specified that the size of the apple didn’t matter (even though in reality, of course, a small apple would have fewer calories than a large apple).
His instructions are just specific enough to ensure that the calories of the fruit won’t be too high to fit into the diet properly while preventing excessive obsession over weighing and numbers.
The veggies are the lowest calorie by volume, as well as the lowest carb (outside of the meat of course), so this food group seems okay to have the most freedom, and it seems to me a natural mechanism to help a person naturally not eat too much of the veggies is by having them simply stick to one veggie.
Most people just don’t binge on lettuce. It just doesn’t happen. So that’s my guess – we naturally won’t eat that much of just one veggie, so it’s a nice kind of automatic built-in blockade to eating too many calories on the protocol.
So in a nutshell
When you mix veggies in a salad or soup or saute etc. it quickly becomes quite tasty and a little of each one can add up to a large amount – this can end up making the total calorie intake too much more easily I think- that’s just my guess- Dr. S’s way of portion control in a way that didn’t require weighing every little piece of lettuce.
I actually DID weigh my veggies out to a certain calorie amount my first round and it was a lot of extra work.
How I Mixed My Vegetables on hCG P2
I did mix my vegetables quite frequently in Phase 2, but when I did I just made sure to use small amounts of each one, and not eat so much that I felt too full.
I feel that this worked fine, but since I can’t compare my results of a particular round with an identically replicated round without mixing veggies, I, of course, can’t be positive that I wouldn’t have lost more weight doing it differently.
When To Stick with One Veggie or Calculating of Calories on hCG
If you are having trouble listen to your hunger cues and find yourself getting overly full because it’s hard to stop eating, it might be best for the time being to either stick with the one veggie per meal, OR do that whole calorie-counting thing for the veggies as well.
I think if the latter is avoidable, it’s good, but if you do need to, usually the vegetable portion ends up equating to about 50-70 calories worth per meal. The reason I’m putting a variation here is that the calorie content of the 100 grams of protein actually varies depending on if it’s beef, chicken, or fish. If you are eating beef, that has the highest calorie content for the 100 grams, which means your veggie calorie intake would be on the lower end then, and with shrimp and white, this is some of the lowest calorie per 100 gram portion, so you could go on the higher end for your veggies.
Watch Heather’s Full Interview here
Really though I’m not going to give more details about this in this article because I really think the idea is to let go a little and not be THAT detailed about this process – my concern is it will lead to a bit of obsessiveness that could be unhealthy.
Click here for more P2 Veggie Recipes
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I’m probably a little more obsessive with the calorie counting and measuring because I like to mix my veggies. It’s still approximate but watched. Especially with leaf veggies I do measure cup wise but again it’s pretty approximate. I’m currently in week four of a 2 vile longer phase two. I lost the “easy” first 10+lbs before beginning with hcg. (That took almost three months) With hcg I have lost 19 lbs in 22 days so I’m not at all dissapointed with my progress. Even with carefully mixing my veggies.
Linda Whitman says
I am going on vacation for 7 days and will have been on hcg 3 weeks. Do not want to travel on airlines with vial, etc so is taking break okay? When can I restart hcg? I will eat low carb and mostly seafood during that week.
You can do an interruption, it is discussed here: http://hcgchica.com/interruptions-on-the-hcg-diet-how-to-take-a-short-break-during-an-hcg-round/
Hope that helps!
Li-an, Rayzel’s assistant
Mary Riedinger says
I did this diet once before about 7 years ago. I lost 45lbs.
I ate one spelled cucumber for lunch & one for dinner.
Then I altered the next day with a whole tomato.
Worked for me.
Now, I will be doing another round of the diet.
I am in menopause & have gained a lot of weight. I cannot get it off.
So, here I am doing the HCG diet again.
Hopefully, this will be my last.
Thank you so much for sharing with us your experience. Many women on menopause actually got great results with the hCG diet! Hope you’ll have a blissful hCG round this time. Good luck! 🙂
Li-an, Rayzel’s assistant
SO HELPFUL! So glad I found this video. Thanks for doing all the work you do to help us “out here”!
Hi I’m currently on day 6 of p2 of the HCG injections. So far so good and down 9 llbs. Im in s bit of a dilemma as I observe the holy month of Ramadan. Which means I fast from all liquids and food from sunrise til sunset. How can I incorporate my HCG diet. And when should I take my injection of I can’t have my first meal of the day til sunset
hcgchica's helper says
You will still take your injections the start of your day to help curb your hunger for the most time you are awake and then eat your meals at sunset.
Hope that helps!
I know spices are talked about, but how about vegetable powders, specifically Onion powder and Garlic powder? Those make everything delicious for many of us, but I’m not sure if their concentration is okay? For example if I were to sprinkle it on broth.
Brenda Cox says
Isnt it ironic that most of the “vegetables” allowed are technically fruit.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers. Of course they are my favorite vegetables.
Thank you for your easy fun writing.
The Lettuce Snob says
Anybody have experience with fresh herbs and parsley/cilantro etc?
I’m just starting and my understanding is that fresh herbs are fine! 1/4 cup of cliantro has 1 calorie.
Melanie Comerio says
This was really well written and brought up some really great points, thank you! Now I’m going to stop feeling guilty about adding a tad of diced onion to my salad, that I too wouldn’t be able to stomach without it. Especially since mixing vegetables hasn’t affected how much weight I lost at all.
Can you eat leeks in Phase 2 as they are in the onion family? She asks, hopefully…
Hi @Hilrat – good question! You know, I’ve never tried it but it seems possible it may be fine- it’s one of those things you’d have to decide if you felt like experimenting or not.
Can you have leeks as they are part of the onion family?
Kelly DeRoma says
My question is….. If I had chicken with tomatos and a very small amount of onion for lunch, can I have onion on my burger with a lil homemade salsa for dinner?
Hey @Kelly DeRoma – if it were me, I’d feel comfortable doing that. For me its more about eating the amounts of vegetables in moderation and not getting all stuffed off them. Your suggestion sounds perfectly reasonable. Hope that helps!- Rayzel
Tracey Bower Dare says
What is your salsa recipe?
Laurissa Lynn Lewis says
I do have one more question, what scale do you suggest for measuring your food? Or what brand do you you use
Hey again @laurissalynnlewis:disqus any old brand from your local kmart/target/walmart will do. The one I purchased was about $15 I believe. Or amazon – I think one similar to what i have is this one: http://www.amazon.com/Ozeri-Digital-Multifunction-Kitchen-Elegant/dp/B004164SRA/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1420561805&sr=1-1&keywords=food+scale I hope that helps! – Rayzel
Laurissa Lynn Lewis says
This was very helpful, thank you i start hcg next month i started my grocery list and i was looking at the recipes and i was totally lost on veggie mixing
You’re welcome @laurissalynnlewis:disqus I’m glad it was helpful! So glad to hear that you are planning well in advance- that is one of the main keys to having a successful round I believe.
can you have the walden farms sugar fat free dressings on phase 2?
Hi @disqus_FGieulztBu:disqus it seems that many do on P2 without issue- I never got a chance to try them myself.
Mary Riedinger CEO says
The ranch has sugar in it. The last ingredient is sarolose. I think I spelled that correctly.
Barbara Yaffee says
Thanks HCG Chica! I have the same sense, that it is just simpler to eat one vegie per meal and not have to worry about calories. But if you can easily eat a small amount, then mixing here and seems to be fine. I had no problem mixing vegies and my weight loss, especially things like onions and celery or spinach and lettuce, as long as i didn’t go hog wild. I do find that it is important to be more careful with tomatoes though because they are sweeter and more dense. I do love how simple the HCG protocol is, I don’t count calories in P2, i just eat exactly to the protocol (mixing vegies carefully as you suggest). it is simple, if not necessarily easy! 🙂
~barbara aka inspired girl
I have a burning question…..if I get home from work at 11 pm ( wasn’t planned) do I go ahead and eat my dinner, even though it is so late, or do I skip it because it so late at night?
Melanie Comerio says
I’ve caught myself in similar situations and I chose to eat. Your body still needs the nutrients even though it’s late. It’s not like you’re eating MORE calories, just at a funky time. Plus I sleep better, and I wake up with more energy when I do that.
That’s happened to me a few times. Not quite as late, but like 9:30 or 10pm. I still eat but on those nights because I think we still need the calories. But i eat egg whites and raw celery sticks or something along those lines. I eat something light since I’ll pretty much be going right to bed. And when I do that I usually still have a loss the next morning. Good luck!
Anita Alice Chambers says
I just weigh the raw veggies 1,2,4 matters not as long as total weight is 4 oz. & they are from the allowed list. Works like a charm! It is quick & easy. I don’t worry about calories – just the total weight. 50 lbs down & starting round 3!
Robin Phipps Woodall’s protocol recommendations allow for mixing of veggies, but no more than 2 cups raw veggies per meal. This allows the freedom to mix, but it discourages the compulsion to eat in limitless volume.
Adrienne Villegas-Kenyon says
A HUGE thank you to you Rayzel! I am so thankful for all of the wise and detailed information you have given to us all. I would be totally lost on this diet without you. You actually make this diet not only bearable but dare I say even fun as well!