During Phase 2 of the HCG diet you are going to have a far lower caloric intake than you're used to, and even though you will have all the energy you need with HCG you need you will need to take some steps to prepare for it. You will have gorged yourself for the first three days of Phase 2, so once you switch to the very low calorie diet (VLCD) the first few days will not be difficult at all. Once you get past day three it's possible that you may start feeling hunger pains occasionally.
Keep in mind that the HCG will help reduce your hunger substantially and is also burning your abnormal fat to give you all of the energy and calories you need. Most of the hunger is psychological as you might be craving some of the foods that you used to eat for a while, but there are many things you can do to reduce hunger pains and keep yourself satiated throughout the day.
Eat vegetables to stay full
Be sure to eat plenty of vegetables, and keep in mind that the vegetables will help you feel more full because of their high fiber content. You have several vegetables choices to pick from, but remember that you should never mix any vegetables in one sitting and eat at least one cup of vegetables per serving. Several of the allowed vegetables are very low in calories, and as a result you can eat more of them to help you feel full while staying below the 500 calorie limit.
Just remember that you want to eat different vegetables on different days, and you shouldn't eat so many vegetables that it cuts into the allotted calories that you need for your protein, bread and fruit serving. In the worst case scenario that you exceed 500 calories, you should only ever exceed it with vegetables. Don't break your calorie limit with junk foods or foods that will totally throw the diet off. In a moment of weakness it is far better to eat more vegetables and go a little over the 500 calorie limit rather than grabbing something to eat outside which can have major effects on the ability of the HCG hormone to burn abnormal fat.
Bring your lunch with you
A good idea to stave off cravings is to bring your lunch with you along with a large container of water, so that you can eat some or all of it as soon as you start feeling hungry. The water will keep you hydrated and reduce your cravings as well, and you should drink a large amount of it at every meal. You can snack on one of the melba toasts, bread sticks or fruits allowed on the diet, but remember that if you snack you have to sacrifice a serving from lunch or dinner.
When you have a lunch with you at all times, you will satisfy your craving for food with something allowable on the diet rather than purchasing something from a restaurant that will usually not be allowed by the HCG diet protocol and is likely to be unhealthy. A good strategy to stay full is to snack on one of the allowed servings of fruit or vegetables. The fruit or vegetable serving combined with plenty of water will give you the energy you need until your full lunch.
Space your meals out
You can also space your meals out; so instead of eating 2 meals per day you can eat 5 meals per day and space out the 500 calories into approximately 100 calorie meals. This will keep your blood sugar at a more constant level throughout the day, and it will help you transition throughout the first week of the VLCD. After the first week on the VLCD your body will adjust and the HCG will start to take its effect, reducing your appetite, but spacing your meals out will help you get to that point. Many people adjust well before the first seven days of the VLCD have been completed.
Use the shopping list
The shopping list that we provide you in our HCG Diet Guide has all the best food choices for the diet, and there are an infinite number of recipes that you can come up with based on that shopping list. Use the recommended seasonings to come up with unique recipe ideas or check out some of the recipes that we include in the HCG Diet Recipe Book that you also get with the program.
Grocery shop before the VLCD
For the first week of the VLCD you will need to adjust to not having the foods that you're used to, which again is mostly psychological. Grocery shopping when you're hungry can tempt you to purchase items that will cause you to deviate from the diet, so be sure to shop for the foods you will eat during the VLCD prior to actually starting it. That way you won't buy anything you don't need and by the time the next week rolls around you will have adjusted to the lower calorie level.
Don't cheat on the diet
You might be tempted to have a "cheat day" while on the diet like some other diets allow for, but the HCG diet really requires you to be focused throughout the entire 23 to 43 day VLCD period. You will get the absolute best results if you avoid cheating and just stick to the protocol throughout the entire time. Your cravings for the foods that you used to eat are mostly psychological, and the HCG diet helps to fix those cravings, but you will need to exercise a bit of willpower and avoid the temptation to break the diet for a day or even for a meal.
Drink plenty of coffee or tea
You might not be aware of this but the caffeine in coffee is actually an appetite suppressant and can help you stave off cravings for food and help you get from one meal to another. You can have as much black coffee (unsweetened and no creamer) as you want during the diet, as long as you don't drink it in excess or heavily rely on it, and coffee has other health benefits as well. Many teas also have the same effect such as green tea or black tea, so if you aren't a big coffee drinker just replace coffee with tea.
Come up with a routine
A key part of the diet is to come up with a routine that you can stick to, and you can spend some time during the first week of the diet coming up with that routine. For instance, in the morning you might start with one of your fruit servings and plenty of water at a particular time, say 7:00 A.M. At 1:00 P.M. you might have your lunch, but between your breakfast and lunch you can have one serving of vegetables to help with food cravings. Basically you should pick a routine that works for you based on your schedule, and having regular routine will help you get through the more challenging early parts of the diet.