What is a HCG Diet?


HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin limits you to 500 calories a day for 8 weeks while taking HCG, either by getting a shot or by taking a “homeopathic” product, such as oral drops, pellets, or sprays, which you can buy at the store. None of this is approved by the FDA for weight loss. The shots themselves are legal, as long as a health care provider gives them to you. 

How its done 

Since HCG requires less calorie intake per day that means you should be eating less. You are allowed to eat two meals a day, mostly lunch and dinner. You can broil or grill veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab, or shrimp as long you don’t eat any visible fat. No salmon, eel, tuna, herring, or dried or pickled fish are allowed.Vegetable choices include spinach, chard, chicory, beet greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, and cabbage.Bread can be one breadstick. For fruit, you can choose an orange, an apple, a handful of strawberries, or half a grapefruit. The diet allows as much water, coffee, and tea as you want. You can also have up to 1 tablespoon of milk per day. You can use sugar substitutes but not sugar to sweeten drinks. Butter and oils aren't allowed.

Different phases of HCG Diet 

Some supplement-based diets claim to boost metabolism, but the HCG diet is based on the idea of altering the body’s hormones to turn fat into fuel. A typical HCG diet plan is divided into the following three phases:

  • Loading phase:

    The loading phase claims to prepare the body for the caloric restriction it will enter during the weight loss phase. During this brief two-day “primer,” people preparing to begin the HCG diet eat extremely high fat, high-calorie foods up to 250 grams of fat per day and are encouraged to eat as much fat and as many calories as possible. (For reference, this is 2,250 calories a day just from fat.) Daily HCG hormone supplements or injections also begin at this time. Theoretically, this phase “stocks” the normal fat cells you want to keep and prepares the body to burn “abnormal” fat.
  • Weight loss phase:

    Next, adherents continue their HCG supplements while consuming either 500 or 800 calories per day, spread over two meals. The weight loss phase may last from three to six weeks, depending on an individual's weight loss goals.
  • Maintenance phase:

    Once someone on this diet has shed their desired number of pounds, they gradually discontinue supplementation of the HCG hormone while slowly increasing calories. Though HCG diet resources do not specify the number of calories you’ll eventually reach to maintain weight loss, some state that 1,200 to 1,500 is an appropriate target.

Success rate on sticking with the diet

Based on those who have tried the diet this is one of the diet that is hard to stick with since you have to limit calorie intake to 500 per day. This is usually prescribed to obese patients or those with high cholesterol. It’s impossible to meet all your nutritional needs on so few calories. You may not get enough protein, either. If you're getting less than 1,200 calories a day, it's going to be challenging to get enough vitamins and minerals without supplements.

Two Types of HCG Diet

  • Taking 500-800 calories a day, limit two meals a day with unlimited intake of water, coffee and tea.
  • Injections of 125 international units of the HCG hormone.

Some would combine both types for a faster effect. 

Is HCG Diet Effective? 

The diet is a short-term eating plan intended to help people lose dramatic amounts of weight in three to six weeks. Many HCG proponents claim the diet can cause weight loss of up to two pounds per day.While you may shed pounds quickly on the HCG diet, it is not recognized as safe by health experts. According to the FDA, there is “no substantial evidence” that it’s even effective. Most experts agree that weight loss achieved on the HCG diet is due to extreme calorie restriction, not necessarily the HCG hormone itself.


HCG diet was initially intended during pregnancy. This has become a craze because of its drastic effect on weight. It limits calorie intake from 500 - 800 calories per day. Some experts claims that any calorie deficit would lead to weight loss. This diet goes through three phases to the maintenance phase. 


Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up