The hCG diet protocol is really very simple. It requires a hormone, hCG, and a very low calorie diet of specific foods. Here it is in a nutshell, both for beginners and for veterans of the protocol.
Questions and complications can arise about the hCG diet protocol. Websites, forums, clinics, and too many books to count offer an amazing amount of information on a protocol that is so simple.
HCG Diet Protocol – Core Requirements
In keeping with the philosophy of K.I.S.S. (‘Keep It Simple, Silly!), here is all you really need to know about how to use this protocol successfully.
The entire hCG protocol began with the following steps as outlined by Dr. Simeons in his 1954 book, “Pound and Inches.” This is the foundation for the protocol as it is used today. This is how the protocol looked back then, although modifications of it over the past half-century make it easier to follow now.
- Inject 125 I.U. (International Units) of hCG daily, except during menstruation. Alternatively, take hCG in other forms (e.g., sublingual) that match the injectable dosage internally (usually 400-500 I.U.).
- On the first two days of injections, eat to capacity (i.e., as much as you want) the most fattening foods that you can eat.
- Starting on the third day of injections, eat a specific diet of no more than 500 calories per day.
- On the final 3 days of the protocol, discontinue the injections and continue on the same 500-calorie per day diet.
- For the following 3 weeks, consume all foods in any amount you wish except those containing starch or sugar.
- At the end of this 3-week period, gradually add in small quantities of starch, as dictated by morning weighings.
The Very Low Calorie Diet
The VLCD as outlined by Dr. Simeons is very, very specific. Here it is in brief form.
Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Dr. Simeons allowed saccharin or other sweeteners, although almost all of these have drawbacks. The best non-sugar sweetener is liquid Stevia. Or, if in powder form, Stevia products that have little or no carbohydrate filler are also acceptable. Read labels carefully!
MEAT: 100 grams (3.2 ounces), raw weight, of veal, lean beef (in the U.S., this invariably means 93% lean ground beef, not whole cuts), chicken breast, white fish of any kind (e.g., cod), or shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp). All visible fat must be removed before cooking. Chicken breast must be removed from the bone.
Not Allowed: Salmon, eel, tuna, catfish, herring, dried or pickled fish, or any other oily fish.
VEGETABLE: One type of vegetable at a time to be chosen from the following:
Spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage. The amount of each is almost irrelevant as long as you are sensible. Be careful with tomatoes, since they contain sugar – 1 tomato is best, so you can make it a large one.
CARBOHYDRATE: 1 breadstick that Dr. Simeons referred as ‘grissino’. This is equivalent to 1 slice of Melba toast, which is really a rectangular cracker (and found in the crackers section of the grocery store). It is also equivalent be 2 Melba snacks, which are the round Melba crackers that are available in different flavors.
FRUIT: Any one of the following: 1 apple, 1 orange, a handful of strawberries, or ½ grapefruit. There is no restriction on the size of the apple, orange, or grapefruit, just the number of each.
The same four choices as lunch. That’s it. The above meal plan amounts to about 500 calories per day.
Judging by my observation that questions about the hCG diet still arise every day, people still want to know more details. Unfortunately, demand for information has spawned a huge industry in misinformation, and even plenty of bogus products.
One post couldn’t address all of these, or all of the concerns that folks might have about ‘what happens if…’ scenarios that are too many to count. Mostly they revolve around weight loss plateaus and worries about taking a hormone and what it does for or against human health.
I explain what hCG really is, where it comes from, and how we think it works, along with answers to the most common questions and concerns about the protocol, in a book, HCG DIET – THE NEW DEFINITIVE GUIDE, which you can read more about at that link. In fact, you can see exactly what it covers because I provide the entire table of contents for you.
Go ahead and take a look at it when you get the chance.
Simplifying the hCG diet,