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What Is the HCG Diet & How This Diet Can Allow You to Live a Stress Free, Healthy Life

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone produced naturally during pregnancy. The HCG diet is to drastically cut calories. You can get shots or take HCG supplements, according to the Mayo Clinic. Proponents of this diet claim that it can help you lose unwanted lbs and burn fat. Critics say most people are likely to gain the weight again as soon as they finish as diet.


People under this diet are allowed two meals per day with a total of 500 calories. If you are on a very low calorie diet you will probably lose weight, regardless of if you take HCG or not, says the Mayo Clinic. There is no physical evidence that the HCG injections or supplements reduce your appetite. It may be difficult to meet your nutritional needs in diets that require severe restriction of calories, as it is required with the HCG diet.

Breakfast and the HCG Diet: Breakfasts on the HCG diet are generally not allowed. You are allowed to have a cup of tea or coffee as long as you do not add sugar (but the sugar substitute Stevia is allowed). You are also allowed a splash of milk but keep in mind that you are limited to 1 tablespoon over a period of 24 hours.

Lunch Ideas For Those On an HCG Diet: Lunch ideas include low-fat cottage cheese, grilled chicken breast, and a handful of strawberries with 2 pieces of melba toast. There are many different things that you can have when you are on the HCG diet. Here are some recommendations for HCG diet dinners:

  • You can include grilled fish, asparagus and apple with 2 pieces of melba toast.
  • Veal, lobster, shrimp, crab and even meat are allowed but all fats should be cut before cooking.
  • Additional options include vegetable celery, spinach, beet greens, green salad, tomatoes, red radishes, cabbage, chard and cucumbers.

What Foods to Avoid: Cookies, candy, cake, donuts, pudding, cakes, ice cream, maple syrup, breakfast cereals and other sugary snacks are not allowed on the HCG diet. Starchy foods such as pasta, bread, bagels, cookies, muffins, pretzels, potatoes and pancakes are also outside the limit of those under this diet.

Things to Keep In Mind: HCG causes fluctuations in the levels of estrogen and progesterone which can potentially lead to ovarian cysts. Other possible side effects of HCG supplements include fatigue, irritability, headaches and breast enlargement in men. Losing weight very quickly can increase your risk of kidney stones, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Restriction of Calories: The HCG diet requires you you obtain the HCG hormone in your system by injections, liquid drops or by other means. In addition, this type of diet requires you to restrict calories to a minimum of 500 for the whole day.

Vegetables You Can Eat: Plants accepted in particular with the HCG diet plan may vary slightly, but most non-starchy vegetables are included. The HCG Diet, only allows you to consume certain non-starchy vegetables like spinach, chard, collards, beet greens, greens and fennel leaves. In addition you can include onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, celery and tomatoes. In some cases, you can afford to enjoy other non-starchy vegetables such as peppers, eggplant, broccoli, green beans or turnips.

Calories In Non-Starchy Vegetables: A serving of non-starchy vegetables equals 1 cup of raw vegetables or 1 cup of cooked vegetables, according to the American Dietetic Association. However, a portion contains about 25 calories. You can add any kind of seasoning to the vegetables, even if it contains sugar, as long as you follow the HCG diet. Garlic powder, hot pepper sauce, Italian seasoning and black pepper add more flavor to your dish, without changing the calorie content.