Before beginning the 500 calories a day diet, also know as the VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet), it is important to load up on fats for the first two days of hCG injections or drops. A dieter cannot comfortably maintain a 500 Calories a day diet unless his or her normal fat reserves are reasonably well stocked. It seems to take about three injections before abnormally deposited fat begins to circulate and thus become available. It is for this reason that the hCG protocol recommends eating to capacity of very fattening foods until the morning of the third injection.
If you’ve completed your two load days and have restored your body’s fat reserves then you’re ready to get started on the 500 calories a day diet. In Dr. Simeons Pounds & Inches he provides specific guidelines for the 500 calorie diet.
1. 100 grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. Note: The chicken breast must be removed from the bird. It is also important to note that only the breast of the chicken is allowed not the thigh or wing.
2. One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage. Note: It is important to limit the vegetables to one type of vegetable per meal as food combining can limit your success on the diet.
3. One breadstick (grissino) or one Melba toast.
4. An apple or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit or an orange.
Dinner: The same four choices as lunch are available for dinner. It is best to vary your choice of protein and vegetable from lunch to dinner. This variety will help your body to obtain different micro-nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
Seasonings: The juice of one lemon daily is allowed for all purposes. The lemon juice could be used to season fish or salad. Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram, etc., may also be used for seasoning. However, oil, butter and all types of dressing must be strictly avoided. If you’re shopping for a season mix be sure to check the ingredients for sugar, fat and MSG as these ingredients should not be eaten during the VLCD (Very Low Calorie) phase of the diet.
Beverages: Tea, coffee, plain water, or mineral water are the only drinks allowed, but they may be taken in unlimited quantity. A small amount of milk can be added to your morning coffee. However, only one tablespoonful of milk is allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or Stevia may be used to sweeten coffee or tea. Fresh lemon juice in hot water can be used as a beverage. In fact, hot lemon water is very detoxifying and is a great option to drink first thing in the morning to help cleanse your body which has been detoxing throughout the night.
Snacks or Breakfast: It is important to note that during Phase 2 (VLCD) of the hCG diet only 1 serving of bread (1 Grissini Bread stick or 1 Melba Toast) is allowed per meal. It is possible to have your serving of bread outside of a meal, as a snack or for breakfast. However, 2 servings of bread should never be eaten at the same time (during a single snack or meal). It is important to spread the 2 servings out over the course of the day. The same rule applies for fruits. Limit your fruits to 1 serving per meal or snack. It is acceptable to eat the fruit outside of a meal (as a snack or breakfast). However, you should never double up and have 2 servings of fruit at once. This overindulgence of carbs or sugar could lead to stalls or gains.
Alternate Foods (Going Off Protocol): During your research of the hCG diet you may read about several recommendations for foods that are not listed in the original protocol provided by Dr. Simeons. Be forewarned that these off-protocol recommendations are made by dieters that have gone a bit rogue. Many people who have done multiple rounds of hCG get a little creative in their later rounds. Some have had success going off protocol while others have experienced gains. If this is your first round it is best to follow the protocol explicitly. If you want to experience the 1-2 lb per day loss then limit yourself to the foods on the list. If the food is not on the list, don’t eat it. For example, the use of Bragg Liquid Aminos, a common health food alternative to soy sauce, is often used as seasoning for meats, salads and soups. However, it is derived from soy which is not on the approved list of foods. Even a tablespoon of Bragg Liquid Aminos on your meat or vegetables could lead to stalls or even gains. When in doubt, simply refer back to the original protocol in Dr Simeon’s Pounds & Inches.