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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!

Tips and Tricks for a Successful VLCD

Tips and Tricks for a Successful VLCD

Tips and Tricks for Success

The VLCD phase of the HCG diet is designed to be as easy as possible, and if there are any difficulties during this phase they will be resolved within the first ten days of the diet. Mild cravings for food will come and go during the first ten days, and they will start to lessen around the 7th or 8th day of the VLCD. Be sure to continually drink the minimum half gallon of water which will substantially reduce your appetite and reduce water retention, and you should drink closer to one gallon each day if possible. Here are some more tips for a successful VLCD:

Be strict with the protocol

You will need to be strict with the HCG diet protocol to get the best results possible and even small changes to diet can cause plateaus during the VLCD. There are a lot of ways to manage plateaus but first and foremost you should follow the protocol to the best of your ability, and you are guaranteed to lose weight. That includes all of the lifestyle recommendations such as avoiding cosmetics that are fat based, avoiding strenuous exercise, adding salt to the diet, avoiding carbonated beverages, and the other requirements.

Speak to a medical professional before starting the diet

The HCG diet is not meant to be performed by a person without the advice of a medical professional. There are some people that the HCG diet is not suitable for, but there are still other options available. Only a physician or other medical professional will be able to advise someone on whether or not they should start the HCG diet and how they should approach their diet as well based on their current health status.

Plan your weekly meals out

It helps to plan your meals out weekly so that you don't have to slip up by eating out, and many HCG dieters purchase their groceries for the week all at once. Planning each meal can take some time, and it's helpful to use a calorie counter app to add up the calories, but do your meal planning all at once so that you don't have to spend time each day planning out meals. It will also reduce the chance of a slip up, as you don't want to make a last minute meal plan during the week and not be able to count the calories or make the careful food selections required as a part of the VLCD phase. Also if you have a particular store in your area that sells organic foods you should do all of your shopping there for the VLCD phase or as much of it as possible.

Read the HCG diet guide several times

Be sure that you read the HCG diet guide several times over before you start the diet and that you ask a medical professional any questions that you have before starting the diet. It's always best to take an educated approach to this diet with all of its specific requirements, and by taking the time to read the diet guide several times you won't have to constantly refer to it throughout the VLCD phase. You should be familiar with the protocol and diet by the time that you start the VLCD, and it only takes a day or so of reading. It will also reduce the chance of making mistakes on the diet.

Eat 3 to 5 times per day if you experience hunger

If you are eating the recommended 500 calories and you are still experiencing hunger you should space out your food choices to 4-5 times per day. This will keep your blood sugar at a more consistent level throughout the day and reduce appetite. And be very certain that you are not eating fewer than 500 calories per day otherwise that will certainly cause hunger, so use a calorie counter app, or plan your meals out completely so you know exactly how many calories are in each meal.

Don't replace bread for fruit or make any other replacements on the diet as well in order to satisfy hunger cravings, you should eat the exact same foods as you would during lunch or dinner, but at an earlier time. For instance, in the morning you can have your fruit serving that you would normally eat at lunch, along with a few glasses of water and coffee, but you can't have that serving again later on at lunch. In between breakfast and lunch you could have a Melba toast with a black coffee and water, but once you eat lunch you would only eat 3.5 ounces of lean protein and 3.5 ounces of vegetables.

Use seasonings to help you with food cravings

Seasonings are an effective way to reduce food cravings and can help you feel more satisfied with a meal but there are strict requirements to seasonings as well and you should avoid any premade seasonings that have ingredients you aren't sure about. The HCG diet VLCD phase still allows for many seasonings that can make food much more satisfying such as raw organic apple cider vinegar, stevia, ground pepper, fresh garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, lemon juice, mustard and others. These seasonings can be used in many recipes and combinations to marinate lean meats, season vegetables,   and for delicious HCG recipes. Again, be careful to avoid using cooking oils and any other type of fat when cooking, and follow an HCG recipe book if you aren't sure what to cook.

Deal with plateaus right away

Weight loss plateaus can happen during the VLCD phase in spite of your best efforts and plateaus will stop normally after 4-6 days. You may lose a large amount of weight (up to a pound per day) followed by a drop off, and if this happens you should try a green apple day which involves eating nothing more than six green apples and water during the day, or a steak day where you eat one green apple, a large steak for dinner, and drink a large amount of water throughout the day. Apple and steak days are an effective way to break a plateau but they should not be used to correct HCG diet mistakes, mistakes should simply be avoided by following the diet   closely.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read