What is the Hcg Diet Plan? (& how to do it right)
The Hcg Diet Plan is a doctor-supervised, medical weight loss program that combines hormone therapy with whole food eating. Menu options are heavy in vegetables and lean proteins, as well as fruit options and limited grains. Allowed calories on the protocol, range from 500 to 1800 calories, depending on the protocol followed.
The original protocol follows a very specific food list that results in weight loss, but can teach healthy eating, portion control and establish healthy relationships with food. While the protocol was initially outlined by Dr. Simeons, modern day variations have become increasingly popular. This guide, focuses on the original protocol, with modern adaptations noted by the editor.
How the diet started… Dr. Simeons, MD.
Dr. Albert Simeons was a world-renowned endocrinologist recognized for his pioneering work in tropical diseases. He was awarded the Red Cross Order of Merit for his advancement in the research and treatment of Malaria and honored for a number of research-breakthroughs. While working with severely malnourished women in India, Dr. Simeons discovered a link between the Hcg hormone, and its ability to utilize stored fat to nourish and deliver healthy children. After years of research, he was able to develop a protocol that utilized this effect of Hcg, to treat obesity, and published the groundbreaking manuscript, “Pounds and Inches.”
Guide to the Hcg Weight Loss Plan: Hcg Diet Quick-Start
Here are a few basics for those who are ready to jump right in and start with the plan immediately. With these simple articles, you can easily get started today. Take note however, that anyone new to the plan, should read through this guide thoroughly, and NEVER proceed with the protocol without consulting a physician (FDA approved telemedicine Hcg programs are listed below.)
- The Original Hcg Diet Protocol – Concise summary of the original protocol with tips and guidelines.
- Original Hcg Diet Manuscript: Pounds and Inches – The original manuscript by Dr. Simeons.
- The Hcg Diet Food List – What you can eat on the Hcg Diet (Phase 2 and Phase 3)
- The 4 Hcg Diet Phases
- Hcg Diet Results with Pictures
- Success Stories with Before and After Pictures
Buying Hcg Kits and Doctor-supervised Hcg Weight Loss Programs Online
The Hcg Diet is a medical weight loss plan, and should ONLY be prescribed and overseen by a licensed medical doctor. While it can be challenging to find a local physician that specializes in Hcg hormone therapy, there are a few options available online, through FDA-approved telemedicine companies in the USA. These sources provide complete prescription Hcg kits for injections, drops and tablets/pills/pellets, and provide expert guidance throughout the duration of treatment.
- Buy quality prescription Hcg injections online: (Made in the USA by FDA-registered pharmacies)
- Hcg diet drops – Buying REAL Hcg drops vs. fake drops
The HCG Diet Plan, Step by Step
Preparing for the plan, is absolutely essential and should not be skipped. Much like building a house, you want a solid foundation and to be prepared for the steps and challenges that come along with the protocol. In fact, most challenges can be avoided completely by reading the following articles before getting started.
- How does the Hcg diet work? A thorough explanation of the Hcg Diet and how it works for weight loss.
- Hcg Diet and Mindset
- Hcg Diet Weight Loss Averages (Progress Averages)
- Hcg Diet Stalls and Plateaus: Causes and Solutions
- When to Stop the Hcg Diet Early and Regroup
- Setting New Hcg Diet Goals
- Hcg Diet Timeline and Calendar
- Hcg Diet Journal and Tracker Spreadsheets
These tools can be beneficial for those starting out on the plan for the first time. They are all free to download. We will be adding more here, so please check back often.
- Hcg Diet Resources (free downloads: track-sheet, manuscript PDF and Audiobook Mp3)
- Help and Support: 3 Reliable Options
Hcg Diet Protocol
The Hcg protocol consists of 3 phases, with a newer 4th phase that has been added to the original protocol, being coined as P4, “longterm maintenance.” Each phase is extremely important and should not be skipped. The Loading Phase (P1) is 2 (in some cases, 3 days,) while Phase 2, the weight loss phase, can vary in length depending on your protocol’s specifics. For example, one Hcg source’s protocol can differ from another such as 26 days or 29 days. Phase 3, the Transition Phase, lasts 3 weeks and is an expansion of increased calories and foods that do not include any sugars or starches. The 4th phase refers to life after the diet’s first 3 phases and includes a lifestyle of healthy choices learned while on the protocol. This includes exercise, portion control, clean eating and healthy living in general.
- Hcg Diet Protocol Basics
- All Hcg Plans and Protocols (The original protocol vs. alternative and modern protocols.)
- All About Hcg Diet Foods and Eating
- Hcg Diet and Exercise
The 4 Phases
The HCG Diet Protocol consists of separate phases. Together, they are referred to as a “round.” Dieter’s typically lose 18 to 25 lbs per round (approximately 1 month.) If more weight is needed to be lost, there is a 3 week break after the final phase, and then another round is started. Rinse and repeat until goal weight is reached.
HCG Diet protocols include the following 4 phases. Note on protocol variations: Some protocols actually include 3 and 4 as the same “Maintenance phase” and have only 3 phases total. Other protocols, including Dr. Simeons Original protocol, do not include phase 1, loading phase. This can be a personal preference, however we will say that the following phase example, has shown great results from our readers, and has certainly appeared to be the most successful.
1. Hcg Diet Phase 1 – Loading
Phase 1 is the loading phase. Also known as the preparation phase. This phase is not on all HCG Diet protocols but it is on most and is very popular. During this two day phase, the dieter eats as much healthy fats as possible in preparation for starting the next phase. They are also welcome to eat as many “cheat” foods as they would like, with the intention of satisfying cravings prior to beginning the next phase where these foods will not be allowed. Read more
2. Hcg Diet Phase 2 – Weight Loss
Phase 2 of the HCG Diet is the weight loss phase. This begins on day 3 of taking HCG where the dieter adheres to a specified calorie intake and carefully selected food list. For most dieters, this is the most challenging phase of the plan because there is very little room for error. Read more:
- Phase 2 – The Weight Loss Phase
- Official List of Hcg Diet Foods (Yum!)
- Hcg Diet Protocol Overview (bookmark for quick-reference to P2 rules, 500 calorie food list, etc)
- Modifying Phase 2
- How to Fix an Hcg Diet Cheat (& not give up!)
- Transitioning Off of Hcg*
3. Hcg Diet Phase 3 – Transition
Phase 3 of the HCG Diet is at the end of HCG is discontinued and the same foods from phase 2 are still eaten, but increased slowly. In this stage, this is a reintroduction period where calories and foods are slowly adjusted to maintain weight loss. Read more:
4. Hcg Diet Phase 4 – Maintenance
Phase 4 of the HCG Diet is the phase of continuing weight maintenance for life-long health and fitness. This is an essential part of the HCG diet and it actually begins during Phase 2. This is where you will begin to build the skills necessary for lifetime weight maintenance and healthy living. For example; reading labels as a habit (this will become 2nd nature and shouldn’t stop once you reach your weight loss goals. Also, portion control and learning to listen to your body. Read more about these skills and implement them starting NOW:
- HCG Diet Maintenance Plan (You did it- Now keep it off!)
- Maintenance Skills You Can Learn in Phase 2
- Choosing “Skinny Living” (ie. healthy eating) after Hcg Dieting
- Post-Hcg Diet: Maintenance Programs
Hcg Diet Foods and Eating
Hcg weight loss foods and recipes are the backbone of the Hcg weight loss program. Not only do the allowed foods help you to lose weight, but they also help get our body into a healthy state.
It is important to understand that while the Hcg hormone does NOT make you lose weight, it does change how your body loses weight, and creates a reaction in your body that allows for the rapid weight loss. It is the carefully selected Hcg Diet foods (see official list here (& don’t forget to bookmark!) that is responsible for your weight loss; the Hcg just allows your body to continue to burn fat when it would normally go into starvation mode under the calorie restricted diet.
This is good news! This means the Hcg weight loss plan can be surprisingly versatile with the right recipes, and can work with any number of menus, foods sensitivities. The allowed foods are clear of processed and prepared foods and carefully measured for portion control. Instead of processed foods, the food list focuses on clean eating, and consists mostly of vegetables and healthy portions of lean protein, along with some, but limited, carbohydrates. To be clear, this is NOT a ketosis diet when done correctly, and in fact the amount of vegetables and fruit permitted, do not allow the body to go into ketosis. Compared to ketosis diets, this particular approach has been shown to average much higher weight loss rates that range from .5 to 1.5 pounds per day.
In a nutshell: The Hcg Diet’s strict eating guidelines focus on portion control, increased vegetables and proteins, and a food list that is comprised of clean, unprocessed foods.
The Original HCG Diet is known for its restrictive and unforgiving 500 calorie VLCD (very low calorie diet.) Some versions of the diet have evolved to allow for an HCG Diet expanded food list.
Learn what to eat on the HCG Diet and how to eat: Portion sizes, HCG Diet-friendly recipes for all phases, foods lists, plus HCG Diet cooking and shopping tips.
- The Official Food List
- Original 500 calorie Hcg Diet Menu
- What to Eat on the HCG Diet?
- Cooking Tips
- Where to Shop for HCG Diet Foods
- HCG Diet Supplements
- Learning to Eat Healthy through the Hcg Diet
- Foods and Eating over Holidays and Special Occasions
- How to Dine Out on the HCG Diet
Hcg Diet Recipes
Learning to cook on the diet, can be a struggle for some patients, however, it is also an excellent opportunity to learn how to cook new foods that are clean, nutritious and healthy. Since the protocol does not allow foods that are processed or prepared (bye bye alcohol, fast food and frozen dinners) this can be an excellent path to learning how to prepare meals that will nourish your body, and make long term weight maintenance easy.
Take a look at our recipe section, and discover amazing Hcg Diet recipes for all meals that include Southwestern chicken, strawberry cupcakes, garlic baked shrimp, mouth-watering grilled asparagus, and chai beverages. While it may be intimidating to look at the allowed foods list and feel limited, it won’t take long before you realize just how versatile and delicious it can be.
We have also included a list of our best recipe and cooking articles that cover everything from how to cook on the protocol, spices to use to increase your metabolism, tips for dining out and tips for eating during special occasions.
- List of Our Favorite Hcg Diet Recipes
- Hcg Diet Info Recipes Website (We have a new recipe site for Hcg Dieters!)
Hcg Diet Sample Menus
Sample menus and menu tips for the HCG Diet.
- Original 500 Calorie VLCD Food Menu (Dr. Simeons original 500 calorie menu)
How to Buy Hcg Injections, Kits, Drops and Pellets
Hcg Diet Info allows your to buy your Hcg Kits and Programs online: Buy Hcg injections online here.
In the last few years, the FDA-approved telemedicine industry has grown and allowed doctors to prescribe and care for individuals wanting to follow the protocol. You can now safely buy Hcg kits online, that come with a complete program overseen by a medical doctor and Hcg weight loss experts and nutritionists. This has grown to be one of the most beneficial medical weight loss programs in the world now.
Tips for buying Hcg and Hcg weight loss programs: One of the first things to take into consideration when buying Hcg, is which form of Hcg you feel comfortable with, how soon you would like to start your diet, and the level of support you will need. The latter tends to be the biggest difference between various Hcg sources with some companies offering minimal support (better for veterans and pros that want to buy a bare bones Hcg kit to save money) and other companies offering extensive diet support, while yet another offering custom dosage and protocol support, and complete medical doctor hand-holding, along with a year of nutritionist services (even after the diet is completed.) These may seem like small differences but they can add up to be an extreme value for your money, as well as offer peace of mind.
The sources recommended in Hcg Diet Info offer each of the acceptable choices that can be used with the original Hcg weight loss protocol: Hcg injections, Hcg Diet Drops (Prescription or Homeopathic), and Prescription Hcg Pellets. The Hcg Buy Guide also offers answers to dozens of frequently asked questions about buying Hcg Kits and Hcg weight loss programs online. Please note: Over the counter hormone free diet drops should NOT be used with the original protocol and can be dangerous if combined with the VLCD (very low calorie menu.) These over the counter drops have been addressed and dismissed largely by the FDA for good reason- they are NOT safe with the original protocol. Read about real vs fake Hcg Drops here, for more information.
Hcg Weight Loss Plan Tips and Hacks
The absolute best (& Free!) HCG Diet tips for reaching your weight loss goals safe and fast!
- Feeling Hunger on the HCG Diet
- How to Inject HCG for the HCG Diet
- How to Switch from Homeopathic HCG to Prescription HCG
Exercise and Working Out
Exercise is an important part of healthy living, even without wanting to lose weight. While the original protocol insisted exercise was not necessary, most of the evolved protocols include and encourage a consistent exercise routine simply because it is a healthy lifestyle option and the benefits are many.
For those currently active, in most cases, it is ok to continue as usual, although some may find it useful to lighten their workout for the first week of being on the protocol. For those who are new to working out, a low impact daily workout of at least 20 minutes a day is recommended to start. Recommended activities include: walking (brisk), swimming, yoga (no hot yoga practices yet), and pilates. Level of activity is extremely light the first week of phase 2 on the HCG Diet and increases as the individual feels ready. It is highly advised that the chosen workouts are something enjoyable, and not something you dread doing every day.
- All About Exercising on the HCG Diet
- Our Best Hcg Diet Exercise and Workout Options
- Tips for Staying Active on the HCG Diet: Easy Exercise
HCG Diet Plan Help, Support and Resources
The HCG Diet can be complicated and so specific, you are almost certain to experience challenges along the way. While it might not seem welcome, It is a large part of the learning process for long term management success. There will be temptation to stray from your planned diet, and there may even be times when you stray by accident. Yes, it can happen: Aunt Sally forgot to tell you she adds sugar to her famous holiday vinaigrette dressing, or the restaurant neglected to tell you there’s bread crumb mixed right into the hamburger patty which you so carefully ordered without a bun. Of course there’s the good old… “oops, I assumed that hot sauce was just hot sauce and didn’t realize it had 9 grams of sugar.” There’s your first lesson; always double-check ingredients…and don’t eat it unless you’re sure. A better lesson… if you can’t see all ingredients, don’t eat it! The less processed foods you eat, the better. See, it’s all part of the big picture and building the skills to be fit and thin for life.
- How to Fix an Hcg Diet Cheat
- HCG Diet Plan and Hunger
- Hcg Diet Stalls and Plateaus
- Hcg Diet Stall-Breakers
- HCG Diet Breaks and Planned Interruptions
- HCG Diet Info Forums – Free expert coaching and support. The largest HCG Diet community on the web!
- Jen’s Blog: Hcg Diet Blog & Healthy Living
Hcg Diet Planning: Lists, Tools and Free Downloads
- Original Hcg Diet Manuscript (available to download PDF and Audiobook)
- Hcg Diet Coaching (FREE)
- HCG Diet Myths & Misunderstandings
- HCG Diet Tracker Spreadsheet
- HCG Diet Acronyms and Abbreviations
THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT BY DR. SIMEONS, POUNDS AND INCHES
Dr. Simeons manuscript, “Pounds and Inches” is the original book that outlines every detail of the Hcg weight loss protocol. Dr. Simeons has been very specific in his words, outlining all aspects of the diet. This includes the original 500 calorie menu, the effects of hCG on the body, hCG dosage, how to inject hCG, how to handle stalls and plateaus, and a solid overview transitioning from phase 2 to phase 3, which many dieters can find challenging.
Regardless of which version of the protocol the patient is following, it can still be helpful to read the manuscript. Not only does this allow the Hcg dieter to understand the intention of the diet, but it can also help establish a solid foundation of preparation, and help avoid challenges by answering many of the most frequently asked questions.
Our editor has taken the time to separate the original manuscript by chapter, making it easy to navigate and locate individual topics. We also offer an MP3 audio version (audiobook) of the Pounds and Inches manuscript, as well as a PDF version. These will be automatically sent to those who sign up for our newsletter but they can also be found here:
Questions and Answers
We realize this diet can bring a lot of questions, so please feel free to visit our two pages that cover the most frequently asked questions about the diet in general, and the more specific protocol-based questions. Questions and answers include topics on dosage amounts, weight loss averages, how to inject hCG, the differences between Hcg injections, drops and pellets, and so much more. After reading these pages, feel free to take your questions to the forums, where our expert moderators and coaches, as well as the countless veterans, will be more than happy to offer their support.
Most frequently asked questions:
HCG DIET FORUMS – FREE – Q&A, COACHING, SUPPORT GROUPS
Have questions about the plan and protocol? Need a little support, or just want to find a friendly face to share the experience? Join our HCG Diet Forums, the largest HCG community on the web with over 100 thousand inspired members and growing. Join our monthly coaching and support groups, get answers to all your questions from expert coaches, or find a buddy to share your Hcg weight loss journey! The HDI forums are the best place to mingle with your fellow HCG Dieters and get answers in one place. There are also over 2 million pages of priceless information and resources in these forums, easily searchable and readily at your fingertips.
Author Info: Dr. Jen Larson, BSN, N.D. has a background in nursing and now a doctorate in natural medicine with a focus in holistic sports medicine and nutrition. She is considered to be an expert on medical weight loss.