Understanding the phases of the HCG diet meal plan and preparing meals that fit into the high protein diet.
The HCG diet involves caloric restrictions and regular injections of the HCG hormone. According to proponents of the diet, the HCG hormone, which occurs naturally in pregnant women, helps the body lose weight quickly and efficiently. When the hormone enters your body, it can suppress hunger, reduce muscle loss, and fix other hormone imbalances. A number of different HCG diet protocols exist, but most follow the same basic diet plan and phases.
HCG Meal Plan
During the main phase of the diet, you will follow the HCG 500 calorie diet meal plan. The dramatic drop in calories ensures that you lose weight quickly. The HCG diet meal plan, which was outlined in the book Pounds & Inches by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, includes just two meals per day. You will start the day with coffee or tea in unlimited quantities for breakfast. In your beverage, you can use saccharin or stevia sweeteners and a single tablespoon of milk. Then, you will eat lunch and dinner at normal times. Both meals may be chosen from a list of specific foods that does not vary throughout the duration of the diet.
Lunch and Dinner on the HCG Diet
While you are following the 500 calorie HCG plan, your meal choices are limited. For lunch and dinner, you can choose one 100-gram serving of chicken breast, lobster, veal, shrimp, beef, crab, or fresh white fish. Before you cook the meat, you must remove all of the visible fat. The 100 grams refers to the raw weight of the meat. You can also choose one vegetable from the following list: asparagus, celery, green salad, spinach, cabbage, chard, red radishes, chicory, beet-greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, fennel, and onions. In addition, you can have one Melba toast or a single breadstick. To close out the meal, you can choose from an apple, a half of a grapefruit, a handful of strawberries, or an orange. If you like, you can eat the breadstick or the fruit as a snack between meals. The meal options stay the same until you are finished with the main phase of the diet.
Additional Permitted HCG Diet Foods
In addition to the regular lunch and dinner foods, the HCG meal plan allows you to use the juice of a single lemon each day. While you are cooking, you can use almost any type of spice, garlic, and vinegar, but you may not use butter, oil, or any type of dressing. The diet permits you to drink water, coffee, and tea in any quantity throughout the day. As a guide, you should aim for approximately two liters of fluid each day.
HCG Meal Plan Examples
Given the limited number of allotted calories on the HCG diet meal plan, excellent recipes are crucial to success. For lunch, you might make an apple chicken salad with cooked chicken, a diced apple, and diced celery, mixed with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, salt, and stevia to taste. At dinner, you could have roasted white fish paired with pickles made from a cucumber, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. If you are struggling to find recipes that add flavor to your meat and vegetables, try making HCG-friendly sauces and marinades. For a sauce that makes a dressing or a marinade, mix fresh dill, lemon juice, vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, and salt. Or, make your own mustard using mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, vinegar, water, lemon juice, and stevia.
HCG Meal Plan Overview
Phase Zero: Pre-diet Cleanse
Some variations of the HCG diet preface the four phases of the HCG diet with a cleanse or detox. Although it is not necessary or required, a cleanse diet can help prepare your body and mind for the HCG diet phases. Any type of cleanse will work. If you want an extreme detoxification, you can choose a candida cleanse or a colon cleanse. For a less extreme option, you can spend a week eliminating all processed foods from your diet.
During the first phase of the HCG diet, you increase your caloric and fat intakes for two days, focusing on high-fat foods. At the same time, you will take HCG injections. The goal of the first phase is to interfere with the way the body stores fat. The HCG will prevent the fat from accumulating in your body, which begins the process of lipid mobilization.
On the third day of the HCG diet, you’ll begin the second phase. At this point, you will drop your diet down to the 500-calorie regimen, eating only the foods outlined in the Simeons protocol. You will also continue with the HCG injection. The second phase can be difficult, particularly at the beginning. The length of this phase depends on how much weight you have to lose. At a minimum, you should stick with the plan through twenty-three doses of HCG; this lower limit is for people who want to lose fifteen or fewer pounds. At a maximum, you can stay in the second phase until you’ve reached forty doses of HCG. You should plan the specific dosage with your doctor. After you’re finished with the HCG, you must remain on the 500-calorie diet for three days.
During the third phase of the HCG diet, which lasts three to four weeks, you will maintain your new weight. Some variations of the HCG diet advise you to avoid starches and sugars during the third phase; others require that you avoid milk and excessive fat. After a minimum of twenty-three days, you can begin a new round of HCG. Otherwise, you will move on to the last phase.
The final phase of the HCG diet involves maintaining your weight. Depending on your size and physiology, you will need to eat enough calories to prevent further weight loss or gain. Your caloric intake will usually fall somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 calories per day; your doctor can help you determine the ideal intake level. Although you will not need to follow the HCG diet meal plan, it is safest to eat clean, unprocessed foods while you maintain your weight.