Honest Kick-Start Guide (2020)

This is a complete guide to the HCG Diet in 2020.

If you’ve been wondering about the meaning of HCG and how to execute the HCG diet plan successfully, you are in the right hands.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know before starting this diet plan. You will also learn about some of the most famous people who follow the HCG diet.

Let’s dive straight into the article!

hcg diet drops

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hcg diet guide

Chapter 1

What Is The HCG Diet?

why hcg

Chapter 2

Why You May Choose The HCG Diet?

is it dangerous

Chapter 3

Is HCG Diet Dangerous?

myths and facts

Chapter 4

Myths And Facts About HCG Diet

is it effective

Chapter 5

Is HCG Effective For Weight Loss?

Hcg diet shopping list

Chapter 6

HCG Shopping List

working out

Chapter 7

Working Out On The HCG Diet

what do celebrities say about the HCG diet

Chapter 8

Celebrities Who Found Success With HCG

HCG diet recipes

Chapter 9

HCG Recipes

pregnancy during HCG

Chapter 10

HCG Diet During Pregnancy

summary & takeaways + FAQs

Chapter 11

Summmary & Takeaways + FAQs


What Is The HCG Diet?

Do I have to starve myself to the point where I won’t have any energy? Will the injection hurt?

You have many questions in your mind right now. Don’t worry! We are going to give you all the information you need in this Kick-Start Guide

Let’s start with explaining what exactly HCG is.

hcg diet guide

What is HCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), according to Wikipedia is a hormone produced by cells that are surrounding a growing embryo (syncytiotrophoblast initially), which eventually forms the placenta after implantation. 

The presence of hCG is additionally detected in some pregnancy tests (HCG pregnancy strip tests). Doctors sometimes suggest patients take hCG injections for treating hormone problems in men and fertility issues in women.

hcg diet injectionThe main goal of the HCG hormone is to tell your body to continue to produce progesterone (steroid sex hormone, which is produced after ovulation each month), which prevents menstruation from occurring. This defends your endometrial uterine lining and also your pregnancy.

Who has to take HCG and what are the causes?

First, both men and women can benefit from injecting themselves with HCG. 

There are a lot of women who have had healthy pregnancies and their babies were with low hCG levels. Most of the women don’t even bother about their HCG levels, meaning they don’t have a reason to check out if something’s wrong.

Yet, low hCG levels can be caused by 4 hidden problems:

  1. Miscarriage

Miscarriage is a spontaneous abort, which can happen during the first 3 months of the pregnancy. It can happen not only on purpose but also because of many medical reasons, which are not under anyone’s control.

Some of these reasons are:

  • Vagina bleeding

  • Abdominal cramping

  • Severe back pain

  1. Miscalculated gestational age

The gestational age of a child starts from the first day of the last menstruation of a woman. If you have irregular periods this can be easily miscalculated. 

However, with the following HCG tests or the use of ultrasound, you can correctly calculate your child’s gestational age.

  1. Blighted ovum

This condition occurs when an egg doesn’t evolve into a baby. The causes for this are poor-quality sperm or egg. This can lead to miscarriage, which most of the women experience only once in their lifetime.

  1. Ectopic pregnancy

The NHS claims that an ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.

Some of the symptoms of the ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Bleeding vagina

  • Low down Tummy pains

  • A missed period

How do I know I have a low HCG?

If your levels of hCG are high, a pregnancy test can determine it easily from your urine. However, if they are low, only a blood test can tell you precisely what your numbers look like.

Okay, but when and why is the HCG produced?

The HCG hormone is produced naturally in the first 4 weeks of the pregnancy. The HCG is also the substance that shows you are pregnant on the test.

What about men who take HCG?

Men can take HCG in order to fight hypogonadism (when the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone). With the help of HCG injections, men can increase their testosterone and sperm quality.

Testosterone deficiency can be a big problem if not taken seriously. It leads to:

  • Stress

  • Low libido

  • Fatigue

  • Mood changes

But what about the side effects?

These are some of the most common side effects that men can face if they supplement with HCG injections:

  • Gynecomastia (forming of male breasts)

  • Stomach pain

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

If you want to immediately learn whether the HCG is good for losing weight go to chapter 5.

Now, let’s see what the HCG diet means.

What Is The HCG Diet?​

The hCG diet first became popular in the 1950s. A British doctor named Albert Simeons (one of the main promoters of the diet) claims that taking hCG can help with weight loss by redistributing body fat from the thighs, stomach, and hips, and reduce overall hunger.

He had discovered, accidentally, that patients who were treated with hCG would lose their appetite and burn fat (changing their figure) whether or not they didn’t thin. It increased Simeon’s interest, and he began treating many obese patients with hCG. 

Over the years, through trial and error, he came up with a diet protocol.

HCG products, which promise fast weight loss results are considered dangerous, according to the FDA. Manufacturers claim that the hCG diet promotes weight loss of up to a pound on a daily basis. 

However, there’s no scientific evidence to keep a copy of these claims. 

So, this diet plan consists of two main points: 

  1. Consuming no more than 500 calories on a daily basis

  2. Injecting yourself with the HCG hormone 

During the diet, 125 – 200 IU of hCG is injected daily (with the exception of menstruation). Until the third injection, the patient eats whatever they want. 

After the third injection, the five hundred calorie diet and some of the care product restrictions are applied and continued through 72 hours after the last injection. 

For the next three weeks, all foods are allowed except sugar and starch – this includes sweet fruits. 

After these three weeks, more starches are introduced into the diet but in very small quantities and weight is monitored to make sure weight maintenance. 

Despite the fact that 500 calories on a daily basis could be a hell for many people, the HCG diet promoters claim that you just will have a tough time eating these 500 calories. 

But how is that even possible you will ask? To give you an answer, let’s break down the diet. 

The HCG diet consists of three main phases. By nature, the HCG diet could be a very obese diet.

It is generally divided into phases just like the Atkins diet: 3 phases of the hcg diet

The 3 Phases of the HCG diet are: 

  1. Loading phase: During this phase, you start injecting yourself with HCG and eat lots of high-fat, high-calorie foods for 2 days.

  2. Weight loss phase: In phase 2 of the diet you continue taking HCG, however, you consume only 500 calories a day

  3. Maintenance phase: You have to stop taking HCG in the maintenance phase. Now, you can slowly increase calorie intake, yet you have to remove all sugars and starches for about 3 weeks.

People who seek minimal weight loss may spend three weeks within the middle phase, however, those seeking a significant drop in the scale could also be advised to stick to the diet for 6 weeks – and even repeat all phases of the cycle several times.

During the second phase, you’re only allowed to eat two meals per day – usually lunch and dinner.

HCG meal plans generally suggest that every one of your meals should contain one portion of lean protein, a vegetable, a piece of bread, and a fruit.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, there is no research that states the hCG hormone has any effects on weight loss. On top of that, it may be dangerous for a few people and in certain doses.

So why are people talking so much about the HCG diet? 

Perhaps, that’s because those who follow diets so low in calories are likely to lose weight, at least in the beginning. However, HCG might encourage the assembly of androgen cells, which could end up in the development of certain types of cancers.

So, The HCG diet limits calorie intake to around 500 calories per day for weeks at a time, making it an extreme and unnecessary weight loss protocol.

Any diet that’s this low in calories will make you lose weight.

Bottom line: The hCG diet combines the use of hormone supplements and severe calorie restriction to support weight loss. However, there is no research to support this diet is either safe or effective.

In chapter 3, we will examine whether the HCG diet is a dangerous one but before that let’s see why you may choose the HCG diet in the next chapter.


Why You May Choose The HCG Diet?

In this Chapter, we will break down all of the reasons why you should follow this diet.

HCG diet is one of the most controversial diets. The diet’s promoters claim that the weight loss from this diet is like no other.

Let’s find out if that’s true.

why hcg

Why You May Choose The HCG Diet?

The HCG diet is one of the most controversial diets out there for its dubious safety and legality. A number of problems, which we will discuss in the next chapter appear from eating so few calories per day.

On top of that, no HCG supplement may be legally sold in the United States for weight loss. Keep in mind that hCG hormones are approved by the FDA but only for fertility-related cures and pregnancy.

Before we delve deeper into the details of why you might decide to try the HCG diet, keep in mind that this particular diet is highly unsafe, unhealthy, and illegal. 

The purpose of this article is to inform you about everything that comes with the HCG diet, and we discourage you from trying it.

In general, consuming less than 1200 calories for weeks or even months brings nothing good. There are many dangerous effects of being on a low-calorie protocol.

The secret to losing weight is in balance. Remember that if you drop your weight slowly and progressively, you will feel much better and actually reach and hold your dream weight.

However, if you consume fewer and fewer calories, that doesn’t mean you will lose weight faster. Being on a 500 calorie protocol is severe and unnecessary for most people. 

Eating so few calories a day makes you crave for food even in your sleep. Other reasons why you may want to stay away from consuming so few calories are:

  • Low energy

  • Tiredness

  • No sex drive

  • Having trouble focusing on simple tasks

  • Low productivity

There are many other, much safer weight loss options to consider like our Mediterranean or low-carb diets for example.

However, if you indeed decide to follow this plan, take a look into some of the benefits of sticking to the program.

8 benefits of the HCG diet:

  1. Look and Feel Great

You will see amazing results if you follow the HCG diet through to its end. You may find that you are losing weight faster than ever.

You will look great and feel great. When you are close to achieving health and wellness, you can continue with a healthier diet like the plant-based diet and a training program to maintain your weight loss.

  • If you are indeed a vegetarian or you just want to learn more about eating plant-based foods, check our ultimate guide.

  1. Balanced Weight Reduction

HCG burns body fat from all over your body. This means you will cut fat from your waist, arms, neck, butt, and thighs, which will lead to avoiding unbalanced weight reduction.

  1. Hormone Regulation

releasing hormones during hcg dietHCG balances your body’s hormones. It also releases sexual endocrines such as testosterone (remember hypogonadism?), which can improve libido for the stronger sex.

Furthermore, estrogen (the woman hormone) levels for women are more fully regulated through HCG injections, which advertises bodily homeostasis and a healthy weight loss.

  1. Energy Increase

Most people suffer from a lack of energy. Dieting can multiply the feelings of exhaustion, hunger, irritability, and general fatigue. 

When you inject yourself with hCG, your body releases adipose fat (adipose tissue), which immediately turns it into valuable energy. 

Some of the promoters of the HCG diet report a significant increase in energy levels in a couple of days.

  1. No Associated Hunger

Most diets that advise you to decrease calorie intake to an extremely low level will result in intense hunger. The HCG diet claims that eating 500 calories a day won’t make you hungry.

The reason for this is that the HCG injections cause your body to pull calories from stored fat, so you basically don’t get hungry sensations. 

On top of that, you can burn fat easily while only having to count an easy 500 calories a day. 

Promoters of the diet claim that this will create valuable healthy habits and you won’t be making poor food choices in the future.

  1. Lower Cholesterol

HCG, combined with a low-calorie intake, decreases blood cholesterol levels. In addition, maintaining these healthy eating habits once through the HCG diet will reduce your chances of getting heart-related diseases.

  • If you want to get more information about how to decrease and control your cholesterol levels, check our low-cholesterol diet.

  1. Improved Metabolic Function

training during hcg diet

Most of the diet plans out there promote that cutting back on calories will increase hunger.

Your body starves, which slows down metabolic functions with the unexpected consequence of saving, instead of burning these extra calories.

HCG promoters claim that the hCG injection achieves the opposite. It does it by instructing your body to use fat reserves as a supply of energy, which eventually speeds up your metabolism.

Bottom line: Although the HCG diet has many benefits, we suggest you not try it at all. Check out what the FDA says about it.

However, if you want to give it a chance because of the rapid weight loss, be sure to check the next chapter, where we will delve deeper into whether the diet is dangerous.


Is HCG Diet Dangerous?

Are there any side effects of injecting yourself with HCG? Can something go wrong? Why are the HCG products forbidden by the FDA?

Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions.

is it dangerous

Is HCG Diet Dangerous?

So, Why is the FDA disturbed about the use of homeopathic HCG drug products marketed for weight loss?

At the moment, there are no existing FDA-approved HCG drug products for weight loss. HCG injections also haven’t been shown to be an effective therapy in the treatment of obesity.  

There is no existing proof that HCG increases weight loss.

On top of that, the labeling for the “homeopathic” HCG products claims that every product should be taken altogether with a very low-calorie diet (VLCD).

Dieters on a VLCD like the HCG diet are at highly elevated risk for 3 side effects: 

  1. Gallstone Formation

gallstone formation in the hcg dietGallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid formed in your gallbladder. According to a 1993 study faster rates of weight loss, which is the case with the hCG diet, for longer periods of time are associated with increased risk. 

Your gallbladder is a little, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, under your liver. 

The gallbladder holds a digestive juice called bile that’s released into your gut.

Gallstones can differ in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a pool ball. Some people develop one and only gallstone, while others establish many gallstones at the same time.

There are many people with no clue about having gallstones. That’s because they don’t have any symptoms. The gallstone’s main symptom is pain in the upper abdominals.

On the other hand, men and women who experience symptoms from their gallstones usually have to put themselves on surgery, in order to remove gallstones.

Logically, if no symptoms occur, then treatment is unnecessary.

  1. Electrolyte Imbalance

Electrolytes are elements and compounds that exist naturally. Electrolytes control important physiologic functions in the human body.

Examples of different electrolytes are:

  • calcium

  • chloride

  • magnesium

  • phosphate

  • potassium

  • sodium

If you happen to have some of the symptoms above, keep in mind that you may have electrolyte imbalances.

Common symptoms of electrolyte imbalances are:

call your doctor if you have this symptoms

  • irregular heartbeat

  • fast heart rate

  • fatigue

  • lethargy

  • convulsions or seizures

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea or constipation

  • abdominal cramping

  • muscle cramping

  • muscle weakness

  • irritability

  • confusion

  • headaches

  • Numbness and tingling

Check with your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or think you could be having an electrolyte disorder. Electrolyte imbalances can become life-threatening if not treated on time.

  1. Heart Arrhythmias 

hearthHeart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) appear when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don’t work properly. This causes your heart to beat either too fast or too slow. It can also beat irregularly.

Heart arrhythmias could feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may not be dangerous. Yet, keep in mind that some heart arrhythmias could cause disturbing signs and symptoms.

Heart arrhythmia treatment can often control or eliminate fast, slow or irregular heartbeats. 

Furthermore, sticking to a heart-healthy lifestyle can be beneficial for your overall health because heart arrhythmias are often made worse – or are even caused – by a weak or damaged heart.

A VLCD should only be used under proper medical supervision!

That’s not a surprise but hCG users may feel some of the symptoms of pregnancy during treatment like water retention, swelling, and sensitive breasts. 

In the rarest scenarios, hCG can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which may lead to death.

There is not a single proof that taking hCG makes you lose weight. On top of that, using the hormone may cause many side effects.

According to this research, scientists have conducted that the side effects of hCG are:

  • depression

  • Edema, which is the buildup of fluid in body tissues

  • Tiredness and lack of energy

  • Irritability

  • Restlessness

  • Thromboembolism (blood clots)

Injecting yourself with hCG can also affect the result of pregnancy tests, which work by detecting hCG in a person’s urine.

There is also a potential risk that can occur during a medical emergency if doctors are left in the dark of the person’s hCG diet.

If a doctor makes a pregnancy test, the hCG in the female’s blood could give a positive test result, but an ultrasound will show there’s no fetus. In this case, doctors might consider this an ectopic pregnancy, which should be treated surgically.

In 1977, a study in the Western Journal of Medicine conducted that people who were injecting themselves with hCG didn’t lose any more weight than those taking a placebo and that any drop in the scale was due to the restrictive nature of the diet.

In addition, researchers hit the top when they accused promoters of the diet of lying about the benefits of the HCG plan because they were “financially motivated”

A meta-review in a 1995 British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology supported those findings when it concluded that there was “no scientific evidence that hCG causes weight loss

Bottom line: While people following the hCG diet may lose weight in the beginning, this appears to be entirely due to the severe calorie deficit, instead of the effects of the hormone. 


Eating just 500 calories a day is neither healthy nor sustainable, and it can cause serious side effects.


Myths And Facts About HCG Diet

Like every controversial diet out there, the HCG diet is not an exception when it comes down to myths and facts. In this chapter, we are covering many of them.

Keep in mind that we want to make things crystal clear for you, so you won’t be having troubles making the choice.

Grab an apple and keep reading!

myths and facts

Myths And Facts About HCG Diet

Like every controversial diet out there, the HCG diet is not an exception when it comes down to myths and facts. In this chapter, we are covering many of them.

We will start with some widely known myths.

5 Myths about the HCG Diet:myths about the hcg diet

  1. “The HCG diet is neither natural nor healthy.”

The HCG diet resides on a natural hormone that the human body synthesizes.

The HCG hormone is made by the body to nourish and protect the fetus by taking stored fat reserves and converting them into nutrition for the placenta. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t overdose with HCG. Despite the fact, overdosing with hCG is not life-threatening, always call your doctor if you think you have indeed overdosed.

Some of the symptoms of taking too much HCG may be:

  • Itchy skin

  • Bloating

  • Severe stomach pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Rapid weight gain

  • Acne (more common in boys)

  • Enlargement of penis and testicles (in boys)

The HCG diet assembles your fat cells and transforms them into natural energy.

  1. “HCG hormone injections are too dangerous.”

Although anything injected into your body can be unsafe, HCG injections are done with minimal risk involved. 

The HCG injections combined with a low-calorie diet reset your metabolism, helping you lose around a pound a day without feeling hungry or weak.

However, keep in mind, that everything that comes too quickly, also disappears in a blink of an eye.

  1. “HCG diet doesn’t bring lasting results.”

Another common misconception about the hCG program is that its effects are only short-term. Some even insist that losing weight can never happen again without the help of HCG injections.

However, myths aren’t facts. The third phase of the hCG diet’s goal is to help the body accustom itself to sustaining weight loss even after the HCG injections are over. 

Those who started the controversial meal plan must remain on a low-calorie intake and maintain a healthy, balanced diet at the same time.

  1. “HCG doesn’t do anything. It’s the low-calorie intake that makes you lose weight.”

The HCG hormone does many things for the body. HCG stimulates the follicles of muscle cells and boosts your body’s natural hormone cycle. 

Although it’s true that the diet is what makes you lose weight, the HCG hormone modifies the way your body loses pounds and keeps your body from going into “starvation mode.” 

The HCG hormone stimulates your body’s natural metabolic cycle to run without stopping and maintaining muscle mass. On the other hand, other diets trigger your body to use your muscle mass as fuel.

  1. “There are so many side effects of taking hCG.”

Every diet has some risk of side effects. Promoters of the hCG diet claim that if the diet is performed correctly, there aren’t any adverse side effects from using HCG for weight loss. 

During the years people have reported reactions like light-headedness, mild headaches, irritability, constipation, and hair loss (there is also a hair-loss when you are pregnant).

As you can see, there is a lot of controversies when proponents of the diets step up. Now, let’s see what science says about the HCG diet.

5 Facts about the HCG Diet:facts about the hcg diet

  1. There are no existing trials or promising studies that support the hCG diet plan.

There isn’t any science-backed proof, which guarantees the hCG diet plan works, nor that hCG could be used for losing weight. On top of that, the hCG hormone is more often safely used for curing fertility issues, as the hormone is produced by the woman’s placenta. 

“In the case of the homeopathic hCG remedies, people think that if they’re losing weight, hCG must be working,” claims Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA’s division of non-prescription drugs and health fraud, in an announcement.

“But the data simply does not support this-any weight loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the hCG.”

  1. The hCG diet plan will probably help you lose weight, but there’s a trap.

It turns out that you can’t eat much on the HCG diet.

Nicknamed the hCG 500-calorie diet for a reason, following the fundamentals in Pounds and Inches: A brand New Approach to Obesity, the widely-knows protocol for the diet, means you only eat 500 calories on a daily basis and nothing more.

To put that in context, the average active American woman has to consume around 2,200 to 2,400 calories every day, in order to maintain her weight, according to the National Institutes of Health.

And those 500 calories are limited to specific varieties of animal protein (chicken breast, beef, veal, fresh white fish, crab, lobster, or shrimp), and certain vegetables, fruits, and grains. 

One thing for sure that you just can’t consume on the hCG diet plan – oils. Even if they’re healthy cooking oils like avocado and EVOO. 

With all that restrictive dieting and energy intake, it is a simple task to determine how hCG diet results include weight loss. But, FYI, cutting calories to get thinner will backfire soon.

  1. The hCG diet side effects are dangerous.

Besides being cranky and hungry, taking illegal hCG shots and pills (yikes) may contribute to different symptoms like:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • irritability. 

  1. The hCG diet injections, supplements, pills, and drops aren’t actually “homeopathic.”

To be considered a homeopathic treatment by the FDA, it must appear within the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS), which is basically the only one official list of active ingredients that can be used to make homeopathic drugs. 

To be included, a product needs to meet very specific and thorough criteria, which these hCG supplements don’t. “HCG isn’t on this list and can’t be sold as a homeopathic medication for any purpose,” claims Elisabeth Walther, a pharmacist at the FDA.

  1. Almost none of the hCG supplements have the hCG hormone.

Let’s imagine that the hCG hormone or the hCG diet plan did work to suppress appetite. To begin injecting yourself with hCG you have to see a doctor and he must prescribe you the injections. 

In fact, the FDA clearly states that “hCG isn’t approved for over-the-counter sale for any purpose” and hCG products are illegal

Most of the supplements sold over the counter to the average people are labeled and sold as “homeopathic,” which suggests they have leniency regarding what’s actually in these products because supplements aren’t regulated and controlled by the FDA.

Bottom line: The hCG diet plan only adds to the weight-loss confusion out there. Quick fixes are attractive for anyone trying to drop a couple of pounds, however, you must definitely skip this extreme diet and go for good nutrition and regular exercise instead.


Keep on reading because in the next chapter we will examine in detail whether the hcg diet is indeed so effective for weight loss.


Is HCG Effective For Weight Loss?

Is the HCG diet a safe, healthy, and effective way to drop pounds? Or is it a gimmicky, unhealthy, and even unsafe regimen that doesn’t help its followers achieve long-term weight loss?

Consistency is key when it comes down to losing weight. So, everything that comes fast also disappears quickly.

is it effective

So, is the HCG diet effective for Weight Loss or is it a dangerous Fad Diet?

Professionals claim that the hCG diet is neither safe nor effective. The FDA instructs people to avoid any over-the-counter (OTC) products that say they contain hCG.

Despite the fact that the FDA has approved hCG as a prescription medicine for treating fertility issues, they haven’t approved it as an aid for weight loss. hcg diet expert

On top of that, the FDA hasn’t approved hCG in any form for OTC sale as you already know.

The use of hCG can cause a large number of side effects, which we’ve discussed in chapter 3. (page jump in wp)

“The hCG diet is almost the quintessential fad diet,” states Mike Israetel, chief sports scientist for Renaissance Periodization, which offers online dieting and training templates and coaching. 

There are no clinical studies recommending that hCG helps with weight loss.

Although the FDA advertises such products aren’t necessarily bad for your health, their sale is unreliable, since there’s no good proof they are effective for weight loss. 

Furthermore, all hCG products, including injections prescribed by a doctor, must carry a warning stating there’s no evidence they stimulate weight loss, redistribute fat, or remove hunger and discomfort typical of a low-calorie diet.

Keep in mind that eating such a small amount of calories will likely cause weight loss. Many professionals consider the hCG diet unhealthy, unsustainable in the long run, and unproven.

“Two thumbs down,” states Lise Gloede, a registered dietitian

“The hCG diet is considered very low calorie, and while you will likely lose weight, it will likely lower your metabolism and throw off the needed skill of listening to your hunger/satiety cues, which are very helpful in long-term weight management.”

Yet, there’s no science-based proof that injections, oral drops, tablets or sprays of hCG may promote weight loss, conducts Michael J. Ormsbee, associate professor in the department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

“This diet has been studied, and there’s really no data to uphold any benefit of hCG,” he adds. 

Ormsbee says that in 2013, the FTC sued an Arizona man because he was marketing hCG diet products. The FTC alleged Kevin Wright and his companies falsely promoted the products led to consumers losing substantial amounts of weight. 

In late December 2014, the FTC declared the case ended with an agreement in which the defendants agreed to pay $1 million to the FTC to settle the case. 

Without admitting to the provocations, Wright stopped selling hCG products and he and his companies were permanently banned from making any weight loss claims in the future. 

Wright was one of the seven people the FDA sent warning letters to in 2011.

In 2017, Lori Hill, 40, of Salt Lake City, Utah, began a 28-day hCG diet program. She claims she lost about 26 pounds, including thigh fat, without starving. 

What’s the catch? She felt ill immediately after starting the diet, and by the last week, Hill – a fit and active soccer referee – couldn’t climb a couple of stairs without stopping to breathe.

This “extreme” exercise made her muscles burn and shake, too. After completing the cycle, Hill gained all the weight she had lost. She has also gained a bonus of 15 pounds.

“I starved myself and threw all my nutrients out of whack,” she says. “You’re tricking your body into letting you starve, without feeling any major hunger. What you’re doing to your body just isn’t worth it.”

There’s no question that 500 calories a day are something unnecessary – dieters should never dip below 1,200, suggest many professionals – and FDA recommend more than three times the amount of calories the diet establishes for women ages 19 to 30.

In addition, severe low-calorie diets can cause massive bone and muscle loss, electrolyte imbalances, gallstones, and even death.

Bottom line: You can lose many pounds incredibly fast on the HCG diet but remember that this hides many risks for your overall health.


If you are indeed ready to take these risks, in the next chapter, we will show you what foods to eat and avoid, and give you a fundamental shopping list for your needs.


What Foods To Eat/Avoid & Shopping List

The next time you go to the grocery store you will be more ready than ever with this detailed list of foods for your needs.

Leaving your old habits behind is part of the change.

With this essential shopping list buying only the necessary products will be an easy task for you.

Grab a cup of tea and dive in! 

Hcg diet shopping list

What Foods To Eat/Avoid & Shopping List

You have guessed it right that in only 500 calories, you’ll have to stick to a few foods. Let’s see what they are. These foods are recommended to eat when you want to get the optimum amount of nutrients out of the 500 calories.

Foods To Eat

  1. Fish and Seafood:

  • Medium Lobster – around 98 calories (grilled)

  • Cod – 83 calories (grilled with a minimum amount of fat)

  • Shrimps – 110 calories (grilled)

  1. Meat:

  • Veal (grilled – 120 calories)

  • Ground Beef (150 calories)

  1. Vegetables:

  • Asparagus – 20 calories

  • Broccoli – 34 calories

  • Celery – 15 calories

  1. Fruits

  • Small Apple – 55 calories

  • Navel orange – 69 calories

  1. Bread

  • Grissini Breadstick – around 12 calories

  • Melba Toast – again around 12 calories

Foods To Avoid

  • Fatty Foods – you can consider anything made of oil bad

  • Starchy Vegetables – Potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, pumpkin

  • Added Sugar – Not recommended in any form

  • Avoid any oils, butter, or dressings (you can use lemon, instead)

  • Seasoning mixes (they are usually made with a great amount of sodium)

Pro Tip: The average American takes in about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day – and that’s not counting the salt you might shake onto your food before you eat it. 

The 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend people limit the salt in their diet to 2,300 milligrams per day, which is 1 tsp (2.3 grams) per day.

Now, you will take a look at our crucial shopping list for your needs.

4 Food Types To Fill Your Cart With

  1. Meat & Seafood + Eggs

  • White Fish

  • Lobster

  • Crab

  • Shrimp

  • Extra Lean Beef

  • Buffalo

  • Egg Whites

  • Scallops

  • Chicken

Pro Tip: Trim all the fat, and don’t cook anything on the bone.

  1. Vegetables

  • Celery

  • Spinach

  • Fennel

  • Cauliflower

  • Chard

  • Onions

  • Beet Greens

  • Cucumbers

  • Green Salad

  • Cabbage

  • Mixed Greens

  • Red Radishes

  • Shallots

  • Asparagus

  • Tomatoes

  • Broccoli

Pro Tip: Vegetables should always have a place in your plate nevertheless if you are following phase 2 recipes (page jump in wp) or not, but you have more options when it comes to these. 

As a general rule, you should consume around two cups of veggies per day. Divide the cups into 2 or 3 meals and you should be good.


  1. Fruits 

  • Grapefruit

  • Oranges

  • Apples

  • Lemons

  • Blueberries

  • Raspberries

  • Strawberries

Pro Tip: Many of the fruits we enjoy can contain high amounts of sugar. All fruits are a part of a healthy daily diet. 


However, there is not a big variety of fruits you can safely eat, while following the HCG phase 2. On top of that, you can only eat two servings a day.


  1. Other Approved Items

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Stevia (100% approved on phase 2 of the HCG diet)

  • Mustard powder

  • Salt, pepper, or any other natural spices

  • Braggs Amino Acids

  • Herbal Tea

  • Coffee

Pro Tip: These different items can be added to your HCG meal plan throughout the diet.

Keep in mind that meal planning really helps. When you have a plan for your eating, you don’t have to worry about what to put in your mouth during lunch break.

Most HCG dieters find it best to eat two small meals a day at lunch and dinner, and only drinking coffee or tea at breakfast.

Take a glance at this daily menu example for phase 2.

  • Breakfast: Coffee, and 1 piece of bread

  • Lunch: 3 oz of grilled chicken breast, 3.5 oz of Broccoli, 1 melba toast and a medium apple

  • Dinner: 3 oz of baked halibut, 3.5 oz asparagus, 1 breadstick and a handful of strawberries

  • Nutrition Facts: 494 calories, 10.6g fiber, 31 carbs, 51g protein, 17 fats 229mg sodium

It is not uncommon, while being on the hCG diet, to find that you simply don’t feel any hunger, and you shouldn’t feel alarmed. The only thing to remember about the protocol is that you must never exceed 500 calories.


However, keep in mind that this IS NOT the recommended amount by the FDA. In fact, 500 calories are 4 times less than the recommended amount of calories you need.

Pro Tip: According to the FDA, the average moderate person needs to consume from 2000 to 2400 calories a day, in order to function well.

So, if you find you’re not as hungry one day, then it’s okay to skip a meal. 

Yet, do not neglect your protein, because your body needs it in order to function properly. If you find yourself tired or feeling hungry, then do not spare in any way.

Bottom line: When you start following the HCG diet and planning out meals, the promoters of the protocol suggest novices to start writing in their journal, because measuring caloric intake and food consumption is important.

Pro Tip: You can also try the app “MyFitnessPal” where you can track everything you need on your phone.


Only relying on your memory skills might be tough, so preparation will always serve to keep people organized and on-track with their diet needs.


See you in the next chapter where you will learn whether it’s possible to combine the HCG diet with working out.


Working Out On The HCG Diet

It’s a fact that we burn more calories when we exercise and we lose weight by taking in fewer calories. 

But is it actually a good idea to combine the HCG Diet and exercise?

Let’s find out.

working out

What To Expect When Working Out On The HCG Diet?

There is one major risk with HCG diet and exercise. It is that while you are being on a severe calorie deficit, the additional calories you burn when you exercise could not be fat but muscle. 

This may not sound like something bad but keep in mind that muscles usually burn more calories. In fact, losing muscle mass can lead to your metabolism slowing down.

Pro Tip: A pound of muscle burns around 6 calories per day. On the other hand, a pound of fat burns only 2 calories, which is 3 times less than the calories burned from muscles.

So, if you choose to train, especially more intense, then you should adjust your calorie intake. However, this might lead to slower weight loss.

Another problem that you may face when you exercise on the HCG diet is that you will be less energetic than usual during your workout routine. 

less energy during the hcg dietFor this reason on the HCG diet, you will eat not enough proteins and few carbohydrates. This will lead to your body entering a specific metabolic state, which is called ketosis

Ketosis occurs when you eat 20-50 grams of carbs per day from 2-4 days. On a 500 calorie protocol, you will probably eat less than 50g carbs per day.

Ketosis is the process that starts if your body doesn’t have enough carbs. By definition, ketosis is the process that will allow you to get energy from fat instead of carbohydrates.

This process can have a couple of side-effects like tiredness and headaches

  • If you want to learn more about ketosis and how your body reacts to this state in detail, check our Keto guide.

Walking or cycling around the neighborhood are two activities you want to do during this time. Also, you could do many yoga exercises that end with a long stay in the pose often referred to as ‘dead man’s pose’ – savasana.

This will help you calm and relax your mind. As you are eating a very low-calorie diet and your body is going through big changes, it’s crucial to integrate activities that allow your body and mind to feel relaxed and refreshed.

But what about strength training?

Well, if your goal is to lose weight, it can work. However, forget about heavy weightlifting. When you consume so few calories a day, your body doesn’t have enough fuel to complete and recover from high-intensity workouts.


If you are like me and love to do heavy basic compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and OHP presses, then on a 500 or even 1000 calorie protocol, things won’t work out so well.


If you want to build muscles you have to be in a calorie surplus, meaning eating more than you consume. 


There’s also a thing called RMR. That’s basically your resting energy expenditure (REE) — is the number of calories that your body burns while it’s at rest.


According to your weight and sex, you will burn more or fewer calories, while you do nothing.


For example, if you are a normal dude and you weigh 80 kilograms on 180 cm, then your BMR or RMR will be around 1830 calories. This means that if you lay all day on your couch (we do not recommend you do that), you will still burn 1800 calories a day.


And if you eat 500 calories a day, you create a deficit from 1300 calories, which multiplied by 7 is 9100 calories per week. This is around 3 lost pounds. (one pound is believed to be around 3500 calories)


Hope that was clear to you. If you want to check what your BMR (RMR) is, check our calculator.


What to do when it comes down to hCG and Exercising?


It all comes down to this:

  1. You have to ask yourself a couple of questions. When you do train on the HCG diet, how do you feel? Do you feel good? If so, then this is a pretty good indicator that adding exercise to your diet is beneficial.

  2. Do you feel bad after exercising? Do you have many food cravings, feel extremely tired or depressed?  This is a signal that exercising while on the protocol is not in your best interests.

Bottom line: You can exercise while on the HCG diet but it’s not a must and should be done with caution. 

Exercising on this few calories may be counterproductive for you. As you already know when eating so few calories a day it may be impossible to build new muscle tissues.

In fact, you will hope to lose as less muscle as possible. Heavy compound liftings and hitting PRs will be a miracle if you eat 500 calories a day.

At the beginning of the HCG diet, you are eating very few calories per day, so the best advice we can give you is to listen to your body closely and be very careful with the additional stress the workouts can put on it.

Give your body the necessary time to adjust to the new diet before beginning any new training program.

If you are already a workout junkie then decrease the intensity or shorten your workouts, especially in Phase 2, to be sure that your body has the time it needs to recover. 

See you in the next chapter, where you will learn what celebrities say about the HCG diet.


Celebrities Who Tried The HCG Diet

What do celebrities say about the HCG Diet? What method they stick to and how they managed to control hunger?

We will cover some of the most famous people that have been on the HCG diet and share their experience with you.

Keep reading to find out more!

what do celebrities say about the HCG diet

Celebrities Who Tried The HCG Diet

  1. Britney Spears



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Today I choose happiness 🌸🌸😉☀️🌸 !!!!

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It is rumored that after having her twins, Britney used the HCG diet to lose some fat and fasten the process of getting back into shape. 


She claimed that she ate 500 calories a day, which were derived from a healthy diet plan, and injected herself with a daily shot of HCG. The results were obvious.


If you desire to drop some extra pounds, then the HCG diet may be the answer that you’re looking for.


  1. Laura Prepon


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