Fat Loss Biology

The HCG apple day is almost miraculous when it works the way it is supposed to. Here are the main pointers for when to use it, how to use it, and what to expect out of it, especially if you interrupt the protocol.

HCG Apple Day by Dr. Simeons

hcg-apple-dayDr. Simeons wrote the following in his 1954 book, Pounds and Inches:

The Plateau

The second type of interruption we call a “plateau.” A plateau lasts 4-6 days and frequently occurs during the second half of a full course, particularly in patients that have been doing well and whose overall average of nearly a pound per effective injection has been maintained. Those who are losing more than the average all have a plateau sooner or later. A plateau always corrects, itself, but many patients who have become accustomed to a regular daily loss get unnecessarily worried and begin to fret. No amount of explanation convinces them that a plateau does not mean that they are no longer responding normally to treatment.

In such cases we consider it permissible, for purely psychological reasons, to break up the plateau. This can be done in two ways. One is a so-called “apple day.” An apple day begins at lunch and continues until just before lunch of the following day. The patients are given six large apples and are told to eat one whenever they feel the desire though six apples is the maximum allowed. During an apple day no other food or liquids except plain water are allowed and of water they may only drink just enough to quench an uncomfortable thirst if eating an apple still leaves them thirsty. Most patients feel no need for water and are quite happy with their six apples. Needless to say, an apple day may never be given on the day on which there is no injection. The apple day produces a gratifying loss of weight on the following day, chiefly due to the elimination of water. This water is not regained when the patients resume their normal 500-Calorie diet at lunch, and on the following days they continue to lose weight satisfactorily.

The other way to break up a plateau is by giving a non-mercurial diuretic for one day. This is simpler for the patient but we prefer the apple day as we sometimes find that though the diuretic is very effective on the following day it may take two to three days before the normal daily reduction is resumed, throwing the patient into a new fit of despair. It is useless to give either an apple day or a diuretic unless the weight has been stationary for at least four days without any dietary error having been committed.

What This Means for You

The key thread that weaves between the lines is that the plateau that happens normally during the protocol is associated with fluid retention. That is why a diuretic works. An apple day has the effect of acting like a one-day diuretic, although the return to normal progress is immediate after an apple day and delayed 2-3 days after a diuretic drug day.

Gaming the Protocol

This is where I, and others I know, have done some experimentation to test the limits of the apple day. We found that, as expected, going off of the protocol for a day, or in my case even 3 days, stops progress and even leads to weight gain.

I’ll have to admit that I wanted to partake of the weekly tailgater … chips, dip, beer, etc. … at a recent football game, which turned to be my ‘experiment’. It was the third day in a row that I had interrupted my protocol (i.e., included a nice anniversary dinner one night and a holiday party the next night, just before the Sunday tailgater).

The result was that by Monday morning I had regained 4 pounds. I hadn’t been entirely foolish and loaded up on carbs and fats for three straight days. Just a lot of good food and beer (okay, and some wine). Great experiment so far!

The apple day brought on a fluid flush that woke me up 3 times in the night and kept me pretty close to the men’s room most of the next day. Weigh-in on Tuesday put me right back where I started before the 3-day personal Bacchanal. And my progress continued at one pound per day after the apple day.

Can You Do This?

My experiment showed what my body will do, and your body may be different. I already know that women typically do not lose as fast as men, so this gender pattern may also influence how well the apple day works when you interrupt the protocol. Other variables will undoubtedly have some influence. The only way to find out is to do your own experiment.

My advice, however, is to avoid any unnecessary interruptions if you can. That is always going to be the best strategy, although I know that gaming the protocol can work if need be.

Best of the HCG apple day to you,

Dr. D

68 Comments so far »

  1. by angela


    you said you loaded up on carbs and fats for 3 days. Was this after the tailgator weekend?

  2. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Angela: This included the tailgater weekend. And now I am back on track as before. Whew!

    All the best,

  3. by angela


    did you continue the injections during the tailgator weekend?

  4. by erika


    Hello Dr D, the apple protocol is only allowed on p2 correct? I liked your experiemt. Have you considered doing something similar in p3 (no starch no sugar). I am currious to know what happens if someone decided not to do the steak day and resumes normal eating. Normal eatin g would be heathy such as 1800 cal a day. will they still regain everthing they lose? Also thank you very much for producing the frequently asked questions.

  5. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Erica: Yes, the apple day is just for P2. I am now experimenting with P3 as you suggest. The key so far seems to be the fasting for about 24 hours before the steak and apple. Of course, no starch-no sugar is still required. The number of calories is not so important when you have the right foods. This goes for post-P3, too, for that matter. Thanks for your kind words! …Dr. D

  6. by Patty G.


    Can you go ahead and start the apple day on the same day that you had three potatoe chips before lunch? I wasn’t going to do the “day” until tomorrow but I don’t want to keep eating junk today!

  7. by Teresa


    There are so many HCG products out there, can you tell me which ones are the best besides the HCG shots. They even have HCG pellets.

  8. by Angela


    Do you continue the injections if you plan to go off for a day ?

  9. by Connie


    Good morning all. I finally hit my plateau status on Sunday (05/15/11) and noticed that my weight was staying in one place. I started the apple day diet on today (05/17/11). Because I’m not a big apple fan, I had to figure out how could I get through this entire day by just eating apples. So I came up with squeezing fresh lemon juice from the actual lemon to help with the taste. I started my apple day around 3a.m., so far I’ve taken in about 3 1/2 apples and I’ve already started the emilination process. I didn’t step on the scale yet to see the difference in my weight, but I am curious. I’ll check on tomorrow to see what the scale says.

  10. by Connie


    I just noticed my typo, I mean’t “elimination” not “emilination”.

  11. by Tina


    I’m on day 11 of the HCG ultra drops. I had lost 10 1/2 lbs by day 9. Day 10 and 11 nothing. I have been sticking to the suggested diet. Can I be at a plateau already? I thought I may be and I did the apple day today. Not sure if I should have now since you mention the apple day is for P2. I guess I’ll see tomorrow when I step on the scale. Any suggestions?????

  12. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Tina: What are the “HCG ultra drops?”

  13. by helan


    I did the apple day yesterday, correctly, but did not lose. Why is that. I also did not notice any increase in fluid elimination. I ate 6 apples with cinnamon sprinkled on them. I did drink about 1.5 litres of plain water. Very disappointing. Now I have a headache!

  14. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Helan: I don’t have enough information. You would benefit from a diagnosis by someone who is familiar with all aspects of your diet. One thing that I can say, though, is that the apple day directions specifically say to keep from drinking water as much as possible.

    All the best,

  15. by V Allan


    Hello Dr.
    I Have had GREAT success on this diet, been able to maintain and even lose a few more pounds since doing one round of 30 days. I had read somewhere about doing the apple day with a steak at the end of the day… I did this during the P2 and P3 and had great success each time. I did not realize that the apple acts as a diuretic.. fascinating! Is this the ONLY reason that this works? Is there other scientific reasoning that this works so well? Why wouldn’t we do apple days regularly? Other than the obvious lack of the nutrition needs, would this hurt?
    Thank you!

  16. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Ah, the miracle of apples. We really don’t know a lot about why this fruit does all that. Some folks do apple days more often than others because of frequent weight loss plateaus. I doubt if frequent apple days would speed up weight loss on the protocol, although I don’t know of anyone who as done the experiment.

  17. by Chelsea H.


    Hi Doctor,
    I’m unsure of how to do an apple day. I know I have six large apple from lunch to lunch, and try not to drink too much water. But will I still take the hcg drops? And, say from lunch of the first day to night, I eat 3 apples and save three for the second day before lunch. Should I continue eat lunch and dinner on half of second day (5oo calories diet), or should I just take the drops and fast until weight-in on the morning third day? Please help.
    Thank you!

  18. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Definitely continue on the drops during an apple day. Do not fast while on HCG. An apple day is only apples and only on that day. Do not save them up for the next day.

  19. by hattaz


    I am a bit worry as the weight still increase just after the Apple day?
    What should i do?
    another apple day for me?
    Thanks and awaiting your response.

  20. by hattaz


    Hi Dr,
    After my Apple day. My weight still increase.
    Should i go another apple day?
    Thank you and awaiting your advice.

  21. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    It sounds as something is undermining your progress. You shouldn’t have to do so many apples days. Just one apple day is supposed to get you off of a plateau and set you back on track.

  22. by Josephine


    Hi Dr. I’m on Day 29 and lost 20.5. I was doing so well losing 1.2 most days. Went through 2 other 3 day stalls. And now in a stall for 4 days. I’m starting my apple day now. How many ounces is cosidered a LARGE apple?

  23. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    That is a good question. I always selected the biggest apples that I could find. The apple day worked no matter the size of the apples.

  24. by Joy


    I did an apple day yesterday. This morning I am down only .1 of a pound. I was expecting more – to say the least. Is it okay to drink water today before lunch? This noon-to-noon thing is confusing. I understand it to be that we eat the apples only on the “apple day” starting at noon. Then the next day we eat nothing in the morning, but resume the 500 calories at lunch. Is that when I resume drinking water or can I do it first thing that morning?

  25. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Sounds as though you have the protocol down. Just stick with it, even doing apple days every other day if necessary.

  26. by Stacey


    does it matter if the apples are green or red? Thank you.

  27. by Dr. Dennis Clark



  28. by Nik


    Can you start in the AM? Or does it HAVE to be at lunch?

  29. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    If you mean eating, you can eat some of your lunch meal earlier in the day, yes.

  30. by Jordan


    I’m on my 3rd apple day…not fun, not fun. Makes me want to give up, but at the same time…I just want to stick with it! 🙁

  31. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Way to stick with it! You will be glad you did.

  32. by Tamoka


    Hi Dr. Clark,

    Can you start your apple day in the morning instead of noon? I started this morning because I wasn’t feeling well at all, I kind of interrupted the protocol on yesterday when I had dinner, I had broccoli and shrimp from a Chinese restaurant, and it didn’t agree with me at all. So I really don’t have an appetite for normal food today, and my weight was the same as it was on yesterday morning, adding .2lbs. I’m going to experiment with doing it this way since I’ve already started. I had been releasing about 2lbs everyday since Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

  33. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Tamoka…Yes, you can certainly start in the morning. Broccoli and shrimp at a Chinese restaurant make a great dish…one of my favorites. However, you can expect it to be covered in sauce loaded with starch and probably some MSG. That can stop your progress and ruin your digestion, so an apple day is a good idea. Good luck!

    All the best,

  34. by Tamoka


    Yea, I think that’s where the problem lies in the sauce, because I asked for no oil, and there wasn’t any for the most part. I had ordered this same dish before from the same restaurant and it made me sick then, and it was loaded with oil, and I figured that the oil was probably the culprit, but I see that it was probably a combo of the sauce and the oil. Thank you for responding so quickly, I actually feel better now and I’m enjoying my apple day so far.

  35. by mandy


    I am on day 14 and have hit a plateau for 3 days now. I am at 10 lbs loss. I am going to try the apple day tomorrow. Just want to get this straight so i do it properly. In the a.m. i eat nothing but still take drops?? Then at lunch i begin eating my apples but limiting water to just quenching thirst? Do I eat all 6 before bed or finish eating the next a.m.?

  36. by Jehanne


    Hi Doc, today is day 12 of the diet for me and I’ve lost 10lbs with up to three lbs a day. However since Saturday I’ve hit a plateau. I have not been having normal bowel movement and I’ve interrupted the plan once. I did an apple day and I’ve not seen any changes. I also interrupted tonight tonight so I’ll be doing an apple day tomorrow. Any suggestions? Help!!!

  37. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Ah, that is the spirit. Way to stick with it, Tamoka!

  38. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Mandy…A plateau can last for several days, so when you realize it is happening an apple day can get you back on track. Yes, eat all of your apples on one day. And you are right about limiting fluid intake. Oh, and keep taking your drops. Good luck!

    All the best,

  39. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Yes, Jehanne…your progress can stop completely if you are not having normal bowel movements every day, preferably more than once per day. Get things moving (psyllium is great), do an apple day, and you will get right back on track in a hurry. Good luck!

    All the best,

  40. by Elizabeth


    I have been on the diet for about 4 weeks and I have only lost 11 pounds, I have eaten chicken and a carrot for each meal the entire time but I have been at 11pound for about 2 1/2 weeks. Yesterday I thought I should just quit so I didn’t take and drops and I ate whatever I wanted. This morning I realized that was stupid and wanted to try again. How should I approach this and do you have any tips for my problem?

  41. by Elizabeth


    Dear Dr. Dennis,

    I have been on the diet for about 4 weeks and I have only lost eleven pounds. I have eaten a piece of boneless skinless chicken breast and one vegetable every meal the entire time, but I have been at 11 pounds for about 2 and a half weeks. After getting very frustrated yesterday, I decided to quit taking the drops and ate as I normally would off the drops. This morning I decided that I would start over. How should I approach this and do you have any tips for my problem? Thank you for your time.

  42. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Elizabeth:

    Finish out your protocol and stick to the P3 recommendations as closely as you can. No sense in beating yourself up on it. Oh, and skip the carrots. They are laden with sugar! Although 11 pounds may seem a little slow, the typical loss for women is 15 pounds in 30 days. So you are not far off the mark. Just stick with it. You are making good progress.

    All the best,

  43. by Alison


    Hello. I am on day 24 of the HCH P2. Yesterday was a big cheat day for me. I am a late riser and a late eater. I want to do the apple day today. I woke up at 11am, ran errands, had my first apple at 4pm, had my second at 8:30pm, and will have my third as I stay up to study for exams. My question is, at what time do I start eating back on the P2 schedule? Do I eat the apples until 4 and then have lunch? or keep doing the apples through lunch and eat dinner?

    Thank you!

  44. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Alison:

    If I understand your question correctly, the answer is that you have nothing except apples for a whole day of eating, whenever that is for you. Then the very next day you get back on the regular hCG meals.

    All the best,

  45. by Phonehawk



    I am on P3 of my second time on HCG. I lost an additional 10 lbs. But this time on my first day of eating normal (carb free) I gained 5 lbs. I only had a cobb salad and a crab cake.. and I didn’t do the steak right away. This is my second day of “eating normal” (carb free)Can I do the steak day today? Last time I went off of diet I didn’t gain any weight back.(even with drinking wine)..Please help because I am scared to keep this 5 lbs on…I worked to hard to get it off the second time!!

  46. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Phonehawk…

    Yes, do the steak day ASAP. Such quick gain is fluid, and a steak day will help you release it.

    All the best,

  47. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Phonehawk…do the steak day as soon and as often as needed. You are shorting yourself on protein.

  48. by Zaenab


    Hi, I want to start d hcg diet with the hcg ultra diet drops ASAP..would please like to find out if I can take the drops within 3hrs intervals as the Islamic month of Ramadan is starting on the 20th of July.. I can take the drops and eat after sunset,at night and at dawn.can manage 3hrs intervals.please kindly let me know soonest..thanks

  49. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Zaenab:

    I don’t have any experience with ‘ultra diet drops’ so I couldn’t really say. Regarding your eating pattern, having a meal after sunset then another at night or at dawn should work just fine.

    All the best,

  50. by anna


    Dr Dennis,how long the ketosis normally last while the HCG diet?

  51. by jacqueline goodall


    Dear Dr. Clark:
    I have been study this diet for 6mons,and i still need help i would like to get injections, I’ve heard a lot of people lost a lot of weight on inj. can you please me this diet. thank you

  52. by Karina


    Hi dr Clark,
    I started phase 3 today. If I wasn’t going back home to visit parents today I would have done phase 2 for another week. I am at a bottom weight, so right now it is hard to take off the pounds. The last week on the diet I only lost 1.5 pounds. I really wanted to loose 5 more pounds!! My question to you is this. Today is wed. October 31st. Would it be ok if I start with maintenance, do maintenance at my parents, continue with maintenance through next week, and then next Friday, which would be the Nov 9th (only being on maintenance for 9 days), do a two day binge and start the diet again? And if so I would only do the diet for a week or until my drops ran out, which I have about a weeks worth left.


  53. by Karina


    Oh I forgot to also ask this.
    I did an apple day on Monday. I know u are only suppose to drink water and limited at that, but I was feeling run down and like I was getting sick that day, so I had a couple of cups of tea. Is that wrong to do ?


  54. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Karina:

    You would most likely fail to drop any more weight with your plan. Once you start Phase 3, your best chance for success is to start your next round of the hCG protocol at least 6 weeks later.

    All the best,

  55. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Karina:

    Yes, not advised. Not crucial, though, especially if you got the results that you wanted with the apple day.

    All the best,

  56. by Rhonda


    Hi Dr. I woke up today as day 4 on a plateau & have been doing an apple day. Is it ok to put cinnamon on them? I haven’t had much elimination of water or bowel movement. Is this normal?
    Thank you so much!

  57. by Kmac


    Hi Dr. Clark,

    I had great success with the HCG diet! I’m doing it again to lose pounds I gained from moving. Constipation and bloating was a ‘big’ problem the last time I did it. What can I do this time to prevent it?



  58. by Kmac


    Also, forgot to ask. Hunger was another challenge during phase 2 of the diet which I followed strictly as outlined in the book. I took multi (raw food) vitamins which helps a lot but I’m still very hungry. What can I do help this?

    Thanks again,


  59. by Mrs.B


    I did a Apple Day twice in my first Round… I lost 2.4 lbs and average 2 lbs. Daily

  60. by Mrs.B



  61. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Yes, definitely use cinnamon, Rhonda. This herb is a great flavoring AND it helps regulate blood sugar levels.

    All the best,

  62. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Great question, Kmac, and a very important one for many people. Your success depends on daily bowel movements. The easiest, drug-free, strategy that I have found is simply taking psyllium fiber (not Metamucil) before each meal. Amazing stuff.

    All the best,

  63. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Some folks find help with upping their B-12 intake (5000 mcg per day) and also taking 1000 mcg of chromium picolinate before each meal.

    All the best,

  64. by Kellen


    Do I eat my normal breakfast in the morning on the day I start my Apple day? Or is it that you fast that morning, eat only apples for 24 hrs with little water, then resume my diet with a snack and dinner the next day?

  65. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Kellen…an apple day is nothing but apples all day long.

    All the best,

  66. by shivonne


    Hi There,

    I am doing apple day today and I just realised that I am not allowed other liquids? I have had a quarter cup of tea? will this jeopardize everything now? or should I still continue with apple day today? from midday to next day – midday.

    I have 6 apples and I will just only drink water.

    Can you advise me asap please.

  67. by Raquel


    Hi, when you say that the “apple day” starts at lunch, you mean after lunch or instead of lunch? And ends with lunch on the following day, correct?

  68. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Raquel:

    Actually, you can start in late morning if you wish. Timing is not really stringent on an apple day.

    All the best,

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