HCG diet plan has gained overwhelming popularity in the recent years, with a large number of people reporting phenomenal weight loss with the program. Of course, a loss of 1-2 pounds a day can be a wonderful thing for weight watchers, but this will happen only of you do it right. Here, it becomes important to understand what the HCG diet plan is all about. The protocol comprises two key elements- a super-low calorie diet (500 calories a day during the core phase and 800-1000 calories a day in the maintenance phase) along with daily intake of HCG hormone in the form of drops or injections. Considering the first element of the protocol, we will talk about the foods that you should take to ensure that you stick to the daily calorie intake mark. At the same time, these foods should give you enough nutrition and energy to survive the rigors of the diet.
HCG Diet: Basic list of foods that are allowed
Let’s start with the basic list of foods that you will be allowed to eat during the diet. First of all, you will need to understand all the three phases of the protocol and start planning your diet accordingly.
Phase 1 or the loading phase is the initial phase of the diet when you are permitted to consume high-calorie and high-fat foods so that your body is aligned to go ahead with the diet plan. This is the time when you are actually encouraged to eat rich foods which rather accumulate on fat reserves that will later be burned up as you go full swing.
Phase 2 or the core phase is the most critical phase during which maximum weight loss occurs. This is the 26-46 day period during which you are allowed only 500 calories as the daily intake. The low calorie diet is accompanied with the intake of the diet hormone. Now, here you have to choose HCG drops or injections depending on your preference and comfort level.
Phase 3 or the maintenance phase is the phase during which the body is adjusted for continuing weight loss even after the intake of the hormone is stopped. During this period of closing 3 weeks, you will be permitted to increase your daily calorie intake to 800-1000 calories a day so that you can sustain the weight loss and yet come back to normal gradually.
Now that all the three phases of the HCG diet plan have been explained, it is time to go through the list of the right foods. A normal day’s menu during the protocol includes two meals, the lunch and the dinner. Both the meals comprise a serving each of 100 g of protein, one vegetable, one fruit and one starch (in the form of bread). You can have water, tea or coffee as beverages. You are allowed to have unsweetened tea or coffee, or use saccharin or stevia as sweeteners. Here are the foods that you are allowed to eat while following the diet plan.
Proteins: Beef, veal, chicken breast, fresh white fish, crab, lobster and shrimp
Vegetables: Spinach, chicory, chard, tomatoes, onions, celery, fennel, beet-greens, chard, cucumbers, red radishes, asparagus, cabbage and green salad (mixed)
Fruits: Apple, orange, grapefruit, strawberries
Breads/Grains: Melba toast, Grissini breadstick
Now that you know all about that foods that you are allowed to eat while following the HCG diet plan, you need to adjust the intake according to the phase you are in. Also, you can mix and match these foods to try out some interesting recipes while following the protocol. While going original with your diet recipes is one great idea, you can also try some online diet recipes that are available on the internet. Besides this, there are some original food and drink guidelines that you should stick to for getting the best results with HCG diet plan.
Beverages: You can have an unlimited amount of water, coffee and tea while following the diet, but only a tablespoon of milk is allowed in a day. The best form of milk is organic skim milk, though you can also have unsweetened almond milk. However, it is not advisable to have coconut milk as it is high in sugar content.
Sweeteners: The best thing to do while following HCG diet is to steer clear of sweeteners. Aspartame is not allowed while you can use limited amounts of saccharin or stevia if absolutely needed.
Proteins: A 100 g of healthy protein options as listed above are allowed in lunch and dinner. Fish is the most preferable form of protein because of its low calorie count and additional heath benefits. Meats, on the other hand, should be trimmed to remove all the visible fats. It is to be noted that you should weigh them for the sake of accuracy.
Vegetables: One type of vegetables listed above can be taken for lunch and dinner. The original HCG diet protocol does not recommend combining vegetables. Some dieters have, however, tried a mix of vegetables during the second phase of the diet and have done well enough. All you need to make sure is to keep the calorie count in check if you do so. The recommended serving size is 1 cup and you should stick to that, whether you are having a single vegetable or a mix of them.
Fruits: Fruits can vary in calorie count and must be taken only in permissible limits. For instance, the diet protocol allows only 1 apple, 1 orange, a handful of strawberries and half a grapefruit, either of which can be taken during each meal. High-sugar and high-calorie fruits are to be completely avoided.
Breads/Grains: Stick to only the kinds of breads and grains that are allowed according to the original protocol. You should take only a single serving at one meal.
Food is a critical element of HCG diet plan and you should eat only the right ones that are recommended. At the same time, you should take the HCG drops and injections in the right dosage so that you get the best results with the diet plan.