Cheating on the HCG diet isn't the end of the world, although it is clearly preferable that you avoid cheating if at all possible. If you do cheat, the most important thing is to correct the cheating and resume the regular food choices for the diet. Cheating on more than one meal will end up causing major problems with the HCG hormone's effects and ability to burn fat. So the most important thing is to stop cheating as soon as you catch it and don't let it spiral out of control.
Make a mental note of what caused you to cheat and try to make adjustments to avoid it for the duration of the diet. Remember that you are only on the VLCD for a maximum of 23 to 43 days, and once that period is over you can eat a lot of the foods you were eating before. You will also have to be patient on the diet while the HCG hormone changes your appetites. The longer you stick with the diet the more that your cravings for sugar and starch will decrease, and your cravings for healthy foods will increase.
Don't use an Apple Day or Steak Day to fix cheating
When you do cheat you should not use an Apple Day or Steak Day to fix the issue; instead stick to the protocol for the remainder of Phase 2. Apple Days or Steak Days are only used for plateaus. If you resume the VLCD after cheating and find that your weight loss plateaus, at that point you can try an Apple Day or Steak Day as recommended in the diet protocol. But, don't rely on those tools as a way to correct cheating because you may become dependent on them.
Drink plenty of water
Be sure to drink plenty of water which will help your body flush out any toxins or compounds from the food you ate. Try drinking unsweetened green tea as well which will help your body detox as well. Drink more water than you normally would; if you drink a half gallon per day try to drink closer to a gallon, and if you drink a gallon per day drink a fourth to a half gallon more than usual.
Eat more vegetable servings
Also eat more servings of vegetables (be sure not to mix them) as long as you stay under the 500 calorie limit. Vegetables have phytonutrients that can help negate some of the negative effects of the foods you ate. Use seasonings to add flavor to the vegetables and try new vegetables from the approved list that you may not have tried before to develop some go-to favorites which will help you avoid cheating in the future.
Exercise slightly more than usual
If you have been walking 20 minutes per day you can increase that to 40 minutes for two or three days to help offset the calorie gain from cheating. Just don't increase the exercise amount too much, and keep the intensity of the exercise light. Don't switch to moderate or heavy exercise or weight lifting even if you cheat, just add 15-30 minutes onto what you would normally do. Once a few days have passed you can resume the "regular" HCG diet exercise routine (light exercise of 20-30 minutes per day).
Check your weight gain and look for plateaus
After you've cheated you will usually gain some weight, and some of the weight may be water weight due to a higher sodium level in the unhealthy food that you ate. Be sure to track these weight changes, and your goal should be to get right back onto the protocol so that you get back to the weight you were previously at. Again, if you find that your weight loss stalls once you get back onto the VLCD you should try an Apple Day or Steak Day. The Apple or Steak Day can help your body get back to the normal fat burning metabolism mode that it should be under while on the HCG diet.
Tip to avoid cheating in the future - Don't make substitutions
Substitutions in many cases can be just as bad as cheating. The food choices for the HCG diet have been carefully selected based on clinical nutritional research, their ability to work with and not against the HCG hormone, and other medical considerations. If you choose other foods to substitute into the diet you run the risk of affecting the hormone's ability to work. Try to shop for a week's worth of food ahead of time so that you have the right foods available for every meal.
Another tip to avoid cheating - Don't fear cheating
The fear of cheating can often have the opposite effect and drive you to cheat on the diet. Don't fear cheating, instead focus on the positives of the diet and focus on making the proper choices when you go grocery shopping. Be ready for the fact that you will have urges to cheat on the diet, and remember your goal to lose weight whenever you feel the urge to eat something you're not supposed to. It's mentioned quite often, but drinking water is very helpful to reduce food cravings.
Don't panic if you cheat on the HCG diet
Cheating on the HCG diet is not the end of the world, as long as you get back on track you will still have great results. That is how powerful the HCG hormone is, and its ability to metabolism fat is amazing. Still, the HCG diet cannot work if you cheat multiple times no matter how powerful HCG is, and you'll absolutely have to follow the protocol to the best of your ability for as long as you can.
You can always try another round of the diet if you have trouble during your first Phase 2, but ideally you want to make Phase 2 as effective as possible. The only way to lose the maximum amount of weight during this phase is to never cheat, not even for one meal. If you do slip up, don't panic just get right back on track, correct the mistakes or circumstances that led to you cheating, and make sure that you always have the right foods for the diet available.