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When you are struggling to lose weight and keep it off, it can be tempting to follow a fad diet that promises extraordinary weight loss in a short period of time. The HCG diet and HCG diet recipes are a recent diet craze based off of the premise that Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), when isolated, has massive fat-burning effects in the body.

The hormone HCG is actually produced naturally in the body by pregnant women because it aids in embryo development, particularly in the first trimester. What does this have to do with weight loss? A lot, apparently. The diet’s supporters claim that HCG boosts metabolism, suppresses appetite and burns fat more efficiently.

Taking HCG supplements by themselves may not likely produce weight loss on its own, but following the HCG diet protocol will. It is important to know what
foods to avoid and what HCG diet recipes to load up on for maximum results. Keep reading for our complete guide to the HCG diet protocol.

What Is the HCG Diet?

The HCG diet can be helpful for people looking to shed some serious pounds at lightening speeds. Because of the intense caloric restriction, it is advised that you check with your doctor before beginning the program to make sure that you will not develop any serious side effects.

HCG supplements are available for purchase in the form of droplets, sprays and pellets at many drug stores and on Amazon. Although injections are the most popular and effective way to efficiently raise the HCG levels in your blood, they are only available with a doctor’s prescription. For this reason, many people opt for the more convenient alternative and simply purchase the droplets, sprays or pellets online or at their local drug store.

The HCG diet works by severely restricting caloric intake for about 3-5 weeks while avoiding foods that are high in fat, sugar and/or starchy carbohydrates. Certain HCG recipes produce better results, especially those which are low in processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. In addition to a calorie-restricted diet, you will be taking HCG supplements in progressively higher doses until you reach your goal weight. The diet is broken down into 4 different phases which vary in duration that are designed to help you lose weight easily and effectively.

Depending on your weight loss goals, you may decide to complete either a 20 or 40 day program. However long you choose to stay on the program, the phases will remain the same.

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Pre-Diet Cleanse

It is recommended to cleanse and detox your body for best results before you begin the HCG diet. This phase will normally last for about a week and detoxing your body at this time can help you lose weight more efficiently.

During this time, it is advised that you start prepping your body for weight loss by doing the following things:

  • Take colon cleansing herbs, teas and supplements
  • Take daily Epsom salt baths
  • Visit a sauna a couple days a week to sweat out toxins, if accessible
  • Drink plenty of water with lemon

Loading Phase

Now that you have detoxed your system and prepared it for your HCG diet protocol, it is time to begin the diet. This phase lasts for 2 days, which makes it the shortest of all the phases. At this time, you introduce your body to HCG supplements and consume high-fat, high-calorie foods. Don’t get too excited though, you still have to follow the recommended HCG diet recipes and food ingredients for best results.

The purpose of this phase is to help your body store energy to propel you throughout the rest of the program without feeling deprived.

Weight Loss Phase

As the name suggests, this program will help you lose a maximum amount of weight and is by far the most critical of the phases. During this phase, you will be consuming 500 calories per day split up into 3 different meals. Most of your calories will come from lean protein and vegetables, with minimal fats. This phases lasts about 3-5 weeks depending on your weight loss goals. You will also be taking higher HCG doses at this stage to maximize fat burning and weight loss.

Maintenance Phase

During this phase, you will slowly incorporate high-fat foods back into your diet. For 3 weeks, you will avoid sugar and starch and slowly stop taking HCG supplements. The most important thing you can do during this stage is to focus on eating clean, nutritious fruits, vegetables and lean meats. You aren’t counting your calories as strictly as you had in the previous phase, but it is still advised that you stay within the caloric limits needed to maintain your current weight.

You may be tempted to have a cheat meal, but remember that could have the potential to derail your whole progress! During this stage, make smart food choices to avoid gaining any weight back.

strawberries and measuring tape

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What Are the Best Foods to Consume for the HCG Diet?

Due to the slightly restrictive nature of the HCG diet, it is important to know which foods and HCG recipes are most effective for your long-term goals. It can be difficult to come up with a diet plan on your own if you are a beginner to weight loss, so we have given you some HCG diet recipes and guidelines to follow while on the program.

Foods To Eat

The following foods can be consumed freely while on the HCG diet as long as you stay within your daily calorie limits. Feel free to get creative with the recipes you come up with, as long as the ingredients you use are from the list below.

  • All greens, such as spinach, kale and lettuce
  • All whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa
  • Milk
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Eggs
  • Fish, such as salmon or tuna
  • Turkey
  • Tofu
  • Beans and legumes
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Pineapple
  • Lemon and lime
  • Watermelon
  • Spices and herbs that have no sugar and low sodium

HCG Diet Recipes and Meal Plan

It can be overwhelming to know what to eat and when to eat it, so we have provided a sample meal plan for you to follow while on the HCG diet. The following HCG diet recipes will help you lose the maximum amount of weight while on the program. Because each phase requires you to eat a different amount of calories and focuses on different foods, we have created a menu with HCG diet recipes to follow at every stage of the diet.

Loading Phase Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, 1/2 avocado, 4-5 almonds
Lunch: 1 cup of protein of choice and 1 cup of grilled vegetables
Snack: 10 pistachios and 1 cup of green tea
Dinner: 1 cup of lentil soup and 1 cup of grilled vegetables

Weight Loss Phase Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast: 1 boiled egg OR 1 banana with a cup of tea or coffee
Lunch: 1 cup lentil soup OR 2 oz. grilled fish with 1/2 cup blanched broccoli, carrot, and French beans
Dinner: 1/2 cup grilled protein of choice and 1 cup of mixed greens

Maintenance Phase Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast: Banana oatmeal with one cup of coffee or tea
Lunch: 1 bowl of salad or soup with 1/4 avocado
Snack: 1 cup of green tea with 1 digestive biscuit
Dinner: 1 cup grilled chicken with 1 cup grilled vegetables and 1 cup of milk before bed

slices of fruits in tray

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Is There a Need to Avoid Certain Food Ingredients?

The HCG diet works by limiting or altogether avoiding certain foods. Most fats and starchy carbohydrates are going tobe prohibited on the diet due to their potential to derail your progress.
For best results, follow the HCG diet recipes we provided and avoid these food ingredients.

  • White potato
  • White bread
  • Mayo
  • Ketchup
  • High sugar fruits, such as mangoes
  • Red meat
  • White rice
  • Vegetable and canola oil
  • Junk foods, such as french fries
  • Processed snack foods and crackers
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Pastries and cakes
  • Energy drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Alcohol

Do’s and Don’ts of the HCG Diet

Like any diet program, there are rules that you have to follow in order to get the best results. The HCG diet program is no different and in order to lose the maximum amount of weight possible, check out our list of do’s and don’t’s for you to follow while on the program.


  • Check all ingredients of pre-packaged foods to make sure they are HCG diet friendly
  • Stay busy with fun, active hobbies and activities
  • Stay motivated by rewarding yourself when you reach a goal with non-food items
  • Track your progress weekly
  • Spice up your foods with HCG diet-friendly spices to avoid boredom
  • Experiment with new HCG diet recipes to keep you engaged and motivated
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins

Do not:

  • Use any sweeteners that are not HCG diet approved
  • Forget to exercise and stay active
  • Sneak a cheat meal while on the program
  • Forget to track calories
  • Eat any prohibited foods while on the diet
  • Most importantly, do not give up on your goals


The HCG diet has the potential to help you lose weight quickly and efficiently. HCG diet supplements work best when you combine them with the HCG diet program. You can either follow our sample meal plan filled with easy and effective HCG diet recipes, or make your own recipes with our list of HCG diet approved foods. Either way, be sure to follow our guide to make the most of your time on the HCG diet program.

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