Many HCG dieters want to get the best results possible from the very low calorie diet (VLCD). Basically, by sticking to the protocol and not cheating even on one day, you'll see the fastest results possible and limit your chances of a plateau. But, that doesn't always go as planned and you might have some days where you make a few mistakes. If that happens be sure to get back on track quickly and you'll reduce the chance of a plateau. You might also inadvertently make a mistake if you haven't fully read up on the protocol, so get familiar with it and you'll reduce the chance of slipping up.
Read "Pounds and Inches" by Dr. A.T.W. Simmons to get familiar with the fundamental protocol recommendations as well as the HCG diet guide, and make sure that you have the foods you need for the VLCD prior to starting. You will also have to be focused and ready to commit to the requirements of the HCG diet. Remember that you are going to have the benefit of the HCG hormone which will provide you with all of the energy that you need, and will reduce your hunger levels, making it as easy as possible for you to complete the VLCD. More information on how to order the HCG diet guide and injections can be found here.
Stick to the protocol
The only way to ensure that you'll get great results on the VLCD is if you stick closely to the protocol and never exceed 500 calories of the recommended foods. You'll need to know the specific details of the foods allowed on the protocol, or you can print a list to keep with you. For instance there are only four fruits allowed in limited servings: strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, and apples. If you assume that you can eat other fruits you will be deviating from the protocol even if you stay under the 500 calorie limit, and your weight loss results might be affected.
The same goes for the vegetable and protein choices; you'll need to take the time to really learn the foods allowed on the diet to help avoid mistakes. You can shop for food for a week or so all at once with a list of HCG foods, and you should also take the time to carefully plan your meals out. It may seem time consuming but you won't need to do it forever, just 23 or 43 days, and once you get through the VLCD you'll be able to relax a little with your food choices.
Develop a routine
Try to have a routine in place for your meals. If you can schedule your meals at particular times and even cook or prepare them before your day starts you'll eliminate the chance that you'll have to pick something up outside for a meal. Also avoid eating three hours before you sleep, because you are using up a meal at bedtime that could be eaten earlier in the day to provide you with more energy. It would be better for you to eat a part of your allotted protein, fruit or vegetable servings prior to lunch instead of eating before your sleep.
With a regular meal routine in place you will have meal times planned out ahead of time and there won't be long delays between meals. Remember that you can split up the portions for your meals; for instance you can have one of your fruit servings in the morning for a small breakfast meal if you prefer to eat in the mornings, or you could have both your fruit and breadstick or Melba toast in the morning. No matter how you structure your routine, be sure to count the calories for each meal and double check that all of the ingredients match the foods or seasonings allowed in the protocol.
Don't over exercise
If you're one of the HCG dieters that has no problem sticking to the protocol, you might be tempted to push it as far as it can go and also exercise while dieting. This would be a mistake, as extra exercise outside of walking or light swimming 20 to 30 minutes per day can negatively affect your metabolism and cause it to slow down. You'll also more than likely start to feel more hunger pains as the diet is only designed to provide you with enough energy for your normal level of activity.
Definitely don't start a new exercise routine on the VLCD, and you'll need to scale down your exercise to a maximum of walking or light swimming 30 minutes per day even if you exercise regularly. You'll get the maximum level of fat loss when you limit your exercise, and you'll also protect your metabolism. The best thing you can do to burn as much fat as possible is never cheat on one meal, and following the protocol is really all that matters.
Keep a journal
Keep a journal of the times that you eat and what you eat, or if you plan your meals out ahead of time you'll just need to write them out and note the times that you ate. This is important to help you determine what foods might be contributing to a plateau if you experience one. You can always use a Steak Day or Apple Day to break a plateau, but you might also try altering some of your food choices as long as they are recommended in the diet.
You should also weigh yourself every morning and note your weight; this is very important to help you catch a plateau quickly. If you weigh yourself less often you run the risk of missing a plateau and not being able to address it in time to maximize your weight loss results. It is also nice to be able to see your daily weight loss, although you should keep in mind that irregular weight loss is common on the HCG diet for women due to differences in water retention between men and women. Keep the daily journal of your weight and look at your weight loss rate over a period of several days, and always be sure to weigh yourself right before the VLCD and right after it's been completed. For more information on how to start with the HCG diet, click here.