HCG Diet Plan – Get To Know About The Most Controversial Diet Plan
What is the HCG diet plan? Should you really follow it? Here is everything you need to know about the most popular diet plan that has been called dangerous and misleading by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But, why is the HCG weight loss diet still trending then? Is the diet plan really dangerous? Well, if you are fond of learning something, forming opinions and coming to conclusions you will have a perfect answer with you as soon as you finish reading the article.
What Is HCG Diet?
The HCG diet revolves around two main aspects. A strict low-calorie diet (500 calories) and injection or intake of HCG supplements.
HCG, which is an abbreviation for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a hormone that shows up during the early stages of pregnancy. In fact, all the pregnancy tests are confirmed as positive only because the placental cells produce this hormone during pregnancy.
An ideal HCG diet has been divided into 3 phases which may last for 9 months.
Why Inject HCG?
The supporters of HCG diet claim that when you go on a very low-calorie diet as suggested by the HCG diet plan, your metabolism can decrease drastically, causing weakness and fatigue.
Intake of HCG supplements or injection of the HCG hormone can stabilize your metabolism and thus keep you away from the weakness and make your weight loss regime successful.
Some sources also say that HCG helps in increasing metabolism, thereby helping in weight loss.
However, there is no strong evidence to prove that an intake of HCG would affect your metabolism. In fact, there are various controversial views related to HCG which I have mentioned later in the article.
An escalated level of HCG in body can be an indication of various types of cancers related to ovaries, placenta, or Testis.
The Structure Of The HCG Diet Plan
Here is a detailed description of HCG diet – weight loss food list and schedule of the diet plan of how you should follow it.
The three phases of the HCG weight loss diet(1) are loading phase, weight loss phase, and maintenance phase.
|Phase||Foods to eat||Duration|
|Loading phase||High fat and high-calorie foods and take HCG.||2 days|
|Weight loss phase||Take HCG and eat foods that are only 500 calories||3-6 weeks|
|Maintenance phase||Do not take HCG, increase the food intake but stay away from sugary and starchy foods.||3 weeks|
The HCG meal plan suggests you to rely only on two meals per day (Lunch and dinner). You do not get to choose from a large variety because the options are limited. You can refer the below-mentioned HCG weight loss foods.
Make sure that you decide on whether to follow the diet plan only after you have understood the pros and cons and have consulted your doctor to decide whether the diet plan is safe to follow.
HCG diet plan phase 1 (Loading phase) – Why does it sound interesting?
The diet plan lasts only for the first two days and the phase is known as the loading phase. One interesting fact about HCG diet plan phase 1 is that you are allowed to eat whatever you feel like eating!
But there is a reason behind why you are allowed to binge eat. Since you are opting for the intake of HCG, the hormone takes time to get properly circulated throughout your body.
In order to prevent fatigue or weakness, you are allowed to choose high calorie and high-fat food for the first two days so that you combat the symptoms.
HCG Diet Plan Food List Phase 1
Remember that you want to keep up your energy levels for which you should not set any limitations. Make sure that you include as many foods as you can in the HCG diet menu phase 1 (only until your digesting capacity) which may otherwise lead to indigestion.
You can include
- Whole milk
- Ice creams
- Bread topped with creams and cheese
- Fruit smoothies
- Nuts and seeds
- Thick milkshakes
HCG Diet Plan Phase 2 (Weight Loss Phase) – What Is The Next Step?
Phase 2 of the diet plan requires you to strictly rely on those foods that do not contain more than 500 calories.
You can still continue the intake of HCG either through pallets or through injections but you must stay away from HCG during menstruation.
The dosage of the HCG has been mentioned later in the article.
The diet plan usually lasts 3-6 weeks but if you feel that you haven’t successfully got down to the number that you set as a goal weight within 3-6 weeks, don’t worry, there’s another plan!
You can take a break for a few weeks, eat your normal foods and then continue to start the HCG diet plan phase 2 all over again!
The purpose is to recharge yourself since you are going on a very low-calorie diet.
HCG Diet Plan Food List Phase 2
The diet is also known as VLCD (Very Low-Calorie Diet) since it restricts you on the consumption of not more than 500 calories.
Here is what to include in the diet
Breakfast – Do not eat anything. You are only allowed to choose from coffee and tea.
- One protein source (not more than 100 grams).
- One vegetable (only one)
- One fruit (only one)
- Choose from one Grissini and one Melba toast. (You can also top your foods from HCG diet menu with any one of these if you desire a rich and tasty flavor.
- One protein source (not more than 100 grams).
- One vegetable (only one)
- One fruit (only one)
So, your lunch and dinner basically follow the same protocol. But you can choose to change the sources as per the sources list that I have mentioned below.
A. Protein sources to choose from (Remember, not to choose more than 100 grams)
- Lean beef
- Chicken breast
Read More: Best Protein Sources To Include In Your Diet
B.Vegetable sources to choose from (Remember, not to choose more than one vegetable)
- Green lettuce
C. Fruit sources to choose from (Remember, not to choose more than one fruit)
HCG Diet Plan Phase 3 (Maintenance phase)
Phase 3 of the HCG diet plan lasts for 3 weeks during which you must start increasing your food intake gradually but should completely stay away from sugary and starchy foods.
You are required to keep a regular check on your weight and ensure that you do not gain any weight. If you have observed an increase in the weight, you must go for a steak day.
On a steak day, you are not allowed to consume anything throughout the day expect coffee, tea and water. At the end of the day, you can consume a large steak after which you are allowed to munch on a raw tomato or an apple.
The steak can weigh up to 15 oz. One oz. is approximately equal to 28 grams.
How Should you Follow Phase 3?
Remember that in phase 3, there should be a gradual increase in the intake of calories. The first week of phase 3 goes like this.
First two days – Your calorie intake should not be more than 700-900 calories.
3rd and 4th days – Increase the calorie intake such that it is between 900-1100 calories.
5th and 6th days – The calorie intake should be somewhere between 1200-1400 calories.
Last days of the week (7th and 10th day) – Boost the number of calories such that they are between 1400-1800.
In the second week of the diet plan, you would have gained a clear understanding and control of what to eat and what not! It is best to continue the calorie intake of 1400-1800.
By the last week of the diet plan, you need to gain a perfect balance of what and what not to include in the HCG weight loss diet plan. You can add 1 or 2 servings additional to what you have been following if you feel that this wouldn’t affect your weight gain in any way.
HCG Diet Plan Food List Phase 3
A. Protein Sources That You Can Include
- Any kind of white fish
# Avoid consuming processed protein sources
B. Vegetable Sources To Be Included
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
# Stay away from potatoes, yams, carrots, beetroots, parsnips, winter squash and corns.
C. Fruit Sources To Be Included
- All kinds of berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries.
#Stay away from watermelons, bananas and mangoes
D. Dairy That Can Be Included
- Greek yoghurt
Try to avoid sugar, honey, cookies, candies, ketchup as much as possible.
How Much HCG Dosage Is Recommended?
An HCG injection or oral intake cannot be followed without consulting a doctor and an approved prescription.
- An ideal dosage of HCG anyone would opt for is somewhere in between 125iu to 175iu.
- If a woman in her menopause stage would require a dosage of 75iu. In some exceptional cases, some women may require a dosage of 200iu.
- Men usually require 200iu to regulate their metabolism.
HCG Diet Side Effects And Controversies Surrounding It
Although the diet plan gives a detailed description of categorization of the diet plan into three phases and what to eat in each phase, there are several controversies surrounding the diet plan and certain side effects of the HCG diet plan which makes it sceptical.
1. Placebo Effect
Most of the sources claim that the intake of HCG orally may not actually regulate the metabolism. They claim, the result is just because of the placebo effect.
A placebo effect is something which explains that a successful outcome is just because of the psychological influence that a medicine is going to successfully work whereas the medicine may not have any real working value to bring the result.
2. No Increase Through Pills
There have been negative claims which voiced that the increase of HCG hormone is not practically possible and that it is just to make the pills get sold in the market to make customers believe that they aid in weight loss.
This again supports the placebo effect.
3. Chaos Caused Due To Low-Calorie Diet
Going on a low-calorie diet can distort your internal metabolism altogether. Getting on to a low-calorie diet can make you starve extremely.
This not only disturbs your physical health but it can also cause frustration and irritability ultimately disturbing your mental peace.
4. Muscle Loss
This can be a major drawback to men as it makes them look much lean and slender once they lose all the healthy muscular mass from their body which is one of the prominent HCG diet side effects.
Sai Sudha is a certified health blogger, who has an experience of above 2 years with an authorized certificate in the area of Introduction to food and health from Stanford University.
She has a special interest in life sciences, human psychology and fitness which drove her to make blogging turn passion to profession. Being an introvert, writer, empath and a nature lover, she loves Yoga and believes it to be one of the best pathways to self discovery! She loves travelling, exploring new places and wants to spread help through words. She finds happiness in little things which makes her live life to the fullest.