Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the HCG weight loss protocol! Have a question? Submit a comment below.
General questions about the HCG Diet:
Are HCG injections for weight loss safe?
Yes, in over 50 years of the diet’s availability and use, there have been no known safety issues with injecting this low amount of the HCG hormone.
How much weight can you lose?
On a 40 dose round, women will average a loss of .5 pounds per day, and men will average about a pound a day. You can lose up to 34 pounds in a 40 dose round, or up to 40 pounds if starting at over 100 pounds to lose. If you reach the limit before the 40 doses are complete, you either transition into your phase 3, or continue on at a higher calorie level in order to stop further losses.
How does HCG help you lose weight?
HCG releases your fat stores in a way that allows your body to burn them for fuel. This means while eating only 500 calories per day, you will not be hungry, as your body is being fed by its own stored fat.
Read more: How does the Hcg Diet work?
How long can you be on phase 2?
The longest round you can do is 40 dose days. With a weekly skip day (recommended to avoid immunity) and days skipped for your period or to test dose, this can added up to 46-48 days on the low calorie diet. The actual days is not relevant. The limit is on the number of dose days. At the 40 dose mark, you must transition off HCG and then wait the specified time before beginning another round.
Read more: How long should I do the Hcg Diet?
How much weight can you lose on an HCG round?
You can lose up to 34 pounds on a 40 dose round of HCG. If you have more than 100 pounds to lose, it is safe to lose up to 40 pounds. On a short round (23 dose days) it is common to lose 12-15 pounds. By doing a series of properly spaced rounds, most people can get to their goal weight within a year, often sooner.
Do I need to skip a day every week if I am doing a shorter round (23-30 dose days)?
No, you can go straight through without skipping if your round is 30 dose days or less.
Does HCG affect your menstrual cycle?
HCG can alter your normal flow and timing, even stopping it or causing spotting. The latter two are not common, but some kind of variation to your normal period progression is likely. Read the manuscript’s take on this here.
What are the side effects of taking HCG?
Some good side effects are: lack of hunger, feeling of well-being and energy, increased thyroid function, and daily weight loss! There are some unpleasant side effects which are not serious. They include poor sleep, constipation, lack of endurance and food aversion. Some experience headaches the first few days of the low calorie diet. You may experience disturbances to your cycle which can include timing and flow patterns. Some side effects like lower blood pressure and electrolyte imbalance which can cause dizziness or weakness are easily remedied by supplementing with mineral salt and/or low doses of magnesium and potassium. Taking enough magnesium will also address most constipation issues.
Read more: Hcg Diet and possible side effects
Can you work out on the HCG Diet?
It is recommended not to add any additional exercise during the low calorie phase of the HCG diet. You can continue any activities you are already used to doing, and should have enough energy for that. You may notice, however, that you do not have the endurance beyond that point.
How do I lose 20 pounds in a month?
For some, this is possible with a short round of HCG (23 dose days). Most people, however will lose from 12-15 pounds in a short round.
Is it possible to lose 20 pounds in 3 months?
Yes, and it is possible you could lose more in that time, as you would be able to do 2 rounds.
How does HCG help you lose weight?
HCG works on releasing your stored fat so that it can be used for fuel during the low calorie phase of the diet. Because your body is now set up to burn your fat stores, you will find you are not hungry even though eating only 500 calories per day. This combination of being hunger free and losing fat quickly is what makes the HCG diet both easy and motivating.
Read more: How Does Hcg Help You to Lose Weight?
Is HCG a ketosis diet?
HCG is not a ketosis diet and does not depend on your body being in ketosis to work. The two fruits allowed each day are usually enough to keep you out of ketosis. Some program variations do try to get you into ketosis, but this is not an aspect of the original protocol.
How long do you have to wait between rounds of HCG?
The minimum time between rounds on the HCG diet is 6 weeks between the first and second rounds. Each subsequent round requires a longer waiting time. For more information on these times and why they are important, please see this article: Why it is important to wait the specified time between rounds.
Is HCG good for weight loss?
In my opinion, yes, it is one of the best ways to achieve a sustainable weight loss, as the time spent on the protocol gives your body a chance to proceed with a lower set point on completion of the protocol.
What happens when you cheat on the HCG diet?
Cheating will slow, stop or reverse your weight loss process for a time. One day of cheating can set you back 4-5 losing days. Many people who cheat once, don’t do it again because they find it is not worth it. A good way to look at the HCG diet is to view it as a medical prescription. Follow the prescription and get the healing results. Play around with the prescription and there is no guarantee you will be successful.
Will HCG affect my blood test results?
Yes, HCG will affect blood test results, particular thyroid panels, if taken less than 6 weeks after you are off of the HCG.
What is an apple day on the hcg diet?
An apple day is a remedy to break through a plateau or stall that has lasted at least 4 days. Your food that day is limited to up to 6 apples and no liquids. This generally causes your body to release some water stores earlier than it would have without the apple day. The protocol says it is of psychological benefit only. You would lose that water weight eventually anyway. We do not recommend doing apple days, as it puts extra stress on your body and makes something hard to do, even harder for very little payback.
What is a steak day on the HCG diet?
There is no steak day on the HCG low-calorie phase (2). However, a steak day can be used in the stabilization phase (Phase 3) in order to counter a 2+ pound gain over your ending weight. A steak day consists of nothing but liquid until the evening, then a large steak plus an apple or a tomato. This will generally bring the weight down to within the 2 pound window allowed in the stabilization phase.
Can I keep using my regular cosmetics and hair products?
Cosmetics are believed to impede your weight loss progress if they are the type you leave on and contain oils. So moisturizers, foundations and such should be oil-free, but you can use your regular hair care products since you rinse them out right away. Mineral oil, glycerine based products are fine to use. Even pure essential oils are safe, since they are not really oils.
Questions about food on the HCG diet:
Can I do the HCG diet if I am a vegetarian?
Yes, although you may experience slower losses than those that use animal proteins. The protocol refers to a religious sect that only uses milk curds for protein and mentions that they will experience only about half the losses of those doing the original protocol. However, over time we have found that some vegetarian options can be used successfully, such as certain protein shakes. For a full list of possible vegetarian and vegan options you can use, please see this article: Vegetarian HCG Diet Plan Alternative Protein Sources
Can you chew gum?
Yes, if it is stevia sweetened. Sugar alcohols have been shown to inhibit the action of HCG so xylitol or erythritol sweetened gums are not recommended.
Can you drink alcohol?
No. Alcohol is not compatible with the HCG diet.
Can you drink sparkling water?
You can drink unsweetened or stevia sweetened sparkling water.
Can you drink tea?
Yes, any kind of tea is fine to drink, even caffeinated.
What can you drink?
You may have unlimited amounts of coffee, tea and water. It is wise to avoid carbonated beverages, even if they have zero calories because of the chemicals added. One of the major benefits of Phase 2 is that it is a detox and elimination diet. This makes it easier after the diet to determine which foods may be your problem foods that cause inflammation and keep you overweight.
Can you eat cheese?
Occasionally, you can replace your protein with 100 grams non-fat cottage cheese. No other cheese is allowed.
Can you eat watermelon?
Only four fruits are compatible with the HCG diet: apple, orange, grapefruit or strawberry. Additionally, you can have the juice of one lemon per day.
Can you have eggs?
Occasionally, you can replace your protein with one whole egg plus 3 eggwhites.
Can you use balsamic vinegar?
The protocol says you can have vinegar. It does not specify any particular kind. It is likely that when the diet was developed in Italy in the 1950s that balsamic or wine vinegar was commonly used. If you wish to be overly cautious, you can limit vinegar to apple cider vinegar, since apples are already allowed on the plan.
Can coconut oil or MCT oil be used?
No oils can be added to the protocol menus, and this includes coconut oil. There are tiny amounts of fat already in the diet in the lean protein choices, so if you have a tiny supplement oil capsule (such as a vitaminD oil cap), that amount will not derail you. However, cooking in coconut oil, eating coconut oil candies or using MCT oil is not recommended.
How important is the melba toast?
Dr. Simeons original protocol says that a bit of starch is needed in the daily menu. The melba (or grissini) fills this requirement. The protocol also says that you don’t have to eat everything in the two meals every day if you are satisfied without them. So those with gluten problems, or who have other reasons for avoiding the melba (such as feeling it triggers cravings for them) can eliminate it safely. If gluten is the issue, you can substitute any gluten free cracker that fits the macros of the melba ( 20 calories and zero fat per serving) for the melba toast. A half a wasa cracker is also an acceptable melba substitute.
Can I continue taking my meds and supplements?
Yes, most supplements are fine to take. This little bit of rice starch or other fillers are not a large enough quantity to affect the diet. Even small oil-based capsules are safe to continue, like the tiny vitamin Ds. What you should avoid, however, are multiple large oil capsules like fish oil. Although Dr. Simeons took people off all medications during the diet, you can continue medications that you know are helpful to you. Hormone based medications may affect the progress of the diet, but if your quality of life suffers from omitting them, then it is better to continue taking them during the low calorie phase of the diet. Above all: Please consult a doctor for your specific needs, before beginning the diet.
What do I do if I have cravings on the HCG diet?
Cravings experienced during the low-calorie phase of the diet can happen. They can be temporary as your body continues the detox after the 2 load days. Cravings that continue after that can be a signal that your dose needs adjusted. Please ask in the forums for help with that if this is a continuing issue for you. You don’t want to ignore hunger or strong cravings during the diet because you need to be on the correct dose for you in order for the fat-burning action of the HCG to proceed efficiently. Hunger or cravings can mean you are losing the wrong kind of fat, or even losing muscle. It is important to address that immediately so you can continue on the correct dose. While you are working on that, you can sometimes abate the cravings somewhat with hot drinks or a bit of glutamine powder held under the tongue when the cravings hit.
Continue: Hcg Diet FAQ 2
Read more: Feeling Hungry on the Hcg Diet?