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The following information is for educational purposes only. Due to new FDA Compounding Guidelines and Telehealth Certifications,
Nu Image Medical no longer offers the HCG Weight Loss Program. GOOD NEWS! We have developed something better and easier: WAYT-less!

How the HCG Diet Plan Food List Works

How the HCG Diet Plan Food List Works

The HCG Diet Plan Food

The HCG diet plan food list has several food options available for phase 2 of the diet and phase 3, but the foods are limited to a specific list, and that list is particularly small for the very low calorie phase of the diet (phase 2). During Phase 2 of the diet you will mostly be eating fruits and vegetables with about 100 grams of protein twice per day, and the calories per day are limited to around 500kcal for most people in order to have the fastest amount of weight loss and for the hormone to be as effective as possible for fat metabolism. The HCG diet plan food list includes several choices even in Phase 2, and a brief overview of the allowed foods is below:

HCG diet food list fruits

There is a limited selection of fruits allowed on the HCG diet, and these fruits are all low glycemic index options that will not cause weight gain or interfere with the hormone. The fruits allowed on the HCG diet include green apples, grapefruit, oranges and strawberries. Strawberries are limited to a handful of about 7 of 8 or ¼ cup, oranges are limited to one per serving, ¼ of a grapefruit is allowed per serving, and 1 whole apple is allowed per serving. The fruit on the HCG diet can be prepared any number of ways as long as the preparation and ingredients does not break the diet protocol.

HCG diet food list vegetables

The largest variety of choices for the HCG diet comes from the vegetable list, and there are several choices available including asparagus, beet greens, celery, cabbage, cucumbers, swiss chard, chicory, fennel, lettuce, onion, radishes, spinach, and tomatoes. One cup of vegetables is allowed per meal, and it is recommended to measure a larger amount of vegetables that condense to close to 1 cup cooked. Vegetables make up the bulk of the allowed food during HCG diet phase 2, and they end up being an important source of nutrition and energy because they are low in calories and high in vitamins, fiber and minerals, so if any food intake is increased on the diet it should be in the form of vegetables.

HCG diet food list protein choices

There are several protein options available on the diet including lean beef, cube steak, sirloin tip, top round, very lean ground beef, veal, bison, chicken breast, white fish such as cod, flounder, haddock, lobster, halibut, crab, shrimp, red snapper, tilapia, and sole. All protein choices have to have their visible fat removed prior to preparing them, and 100 grams per meal should be weighed raw and not cooked. It is important to include a 100 gram serving of one of the above mentioned protein choices during each meal of the diet, and vegetables must get their required protein from other sources such as cottage cheese, natural whey protein or skim milk. Special dietary requirements can be addressed by the medical providers at Nu Image Medical for those who have them, and the diet can be customized as needed for vegetarians, vegans and others with unique food requirements.

Seasonings on the HCG diet

There are a limited number of seasonings allowed on the HCG diet protocol, and again the seasonings are carefully selected so that they do not cause any issues with the hormone or unnecessary calories and weight gain. Some of the approved seasonings include: stevia, garlic, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, marjoram and mustard. Other seasonings can sometimes be allowed on the diet with the approval of a medical provider, but any extra seasonings should be discussed with the nutritionist or medical provider prior to starting the diet. Adding in unapproved seasonings can certainly cause issues with weight loss on the diet, so caution should always be exercised.

Setting up meals on the HCG diet

Preparing your meals from the HCG diet food list is quite easy: you simply need to select one vegetable serving from the list that will end up being about 1 cup cooked, 1 fruit serving, 1 100 gram (raw) protein serving, and your choice of 1 Melba toast or grissini breadstick (two carbohydrate options that are optional). Vegetables cannot be mixed on the diet, meaning that you need to stick to one type of vegetable per meal, although you can include seasonings and approved fresh herbs as desired. Be sure to count the number of calories per meal so that you don't exceed the daily maximum of 500.

Food list for Phase 3 of the diet

The limited food list mentioned above is only for Phase 2 of the diet, once you complete this phase you are allowed a much larger selection of foods for the maintenance phase of the diet (Phase 3), but you must be careful to continue to avoid foods that will cause weight gain. During Phase 3 you can continue to eat all of the foods that were allowed during Phase 2 and you can start using healthy fat in your cooking such as olive oil and coconut oil. Most other foods are allowed on the diet with the exception of high glycemic index fruits and vegetables, starchy fruits and vegetables, grains, bad fats, and other starches. Dairy is also limited to low fat mozzarella, and most of your dairy choices will be limited to this or other low fat dairy options. Again it is important to address the food choices for Phase 3 with your medical provider prior to starting the diet.

Picking the right foods for Phase 3

Your choice of foods during Phase 3 is critical because it is this phase that can end up being the most dangerous for dieters in terms of unwanted weight gain. Although you have more freedom during the maintenance phase, you must be very selective in the foods that you allow back into your diet so that you don't gain weight unnecessarily, and you will have to monitor your weight every morning. If you have any doubt, stick to the foods that are allowed during Phase 2 and simply eat more of them so that you maintain your weight, and in most cases the maximum number of calories you eat during Phase 3 should be around 800 but you can discuss this with your medical provider.

Have your recipes ready for Phase 2

The three week Phase 2 of the diet can be somewhat challenging, but if you have your recipes prepared ahead of time it will be much easier. Once you get familiar with the food list you can start coming up with a favorite recipe list that you can try for your first round of the diet, and it is even recommended to try preparing some of the recipes before you even start the diet so that you know what you like and won't be tempted to cheat or eat at a restaurant during the important VLCD phase. For more information on the HCG diet food list, recipes, or how to start the diet, talk to a medical provider at Nu Image Medical today.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read