You should also consume plenty of fluids each day (a good rule of thumb is to take half of your body weight in lbs, and then drink that number of ounces of fluids each day; for example, a 180 lb man should consume 90 oz of fluid each day.)
Grains and Starches
The hCG protocol does not allow for any grains during the 500 calorie phase. Avoid all grains and starchy vegetables, including:
| Wheat|| Cereal|| Squash, pumpkin, etc.|| Quinoa|
| Rice|| Potatoes|| Sweet Potatoes|| Pastries|
The addition of 1 Grissini Breadstick or Melba Toast per day may be acceptable for some patients, and can be recommended by your healthcare professional
Sugar and Sweeteners
Complete avoidance of added sugars and artificial sweeteners is also essential for the success of the 500 calorie diet phase. Sugars to avoid include:
| Cane sugar||Evaporated cane juice ||Agave nectar |
| Honey||Corn Syrup ||Maple syrup |
It is important to note that artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), and saccharin, are not an acceptable alternative during this phase. When a dish or recipe calls for a sweetener, keep in mind that stevia and xylitol are the only acceptable options.
Eat two different servings of fruit each day. Examples of a "serving" of fruit include:
- A medium apple
- Half of a grapefruit
- Six large strawberries
Don't eat the same fruit twice in a single day. Be sparing with fruits that are moderately high in sugar, including:
- Tangerines & Oranges
- Kiwi fruit
|Some fruits have exceptionally high sugar content and should be avoided altogether|
| || |
- Any dried fruits (dehydration concentrates the sugars)
Eat two different servings of vegetables each day. A serving of vegetables is 1/2 to 1 cup raw. Vegetables may also be steamed or grilled--but not fried or sauteed! (You must avoid all fats during the VLCD phase).
Acceptable vegetables include:
- Greens (including spinach, cabbage, bok choy, chard)
- Broccoli or cauliflower
Tomatoes may be counted as either a fruit or vegetable. One-half cup fresh green or red salsa without sugar may also be counted as either a fruit or vegetable
Lettuce is mostly water and fiber and for the purposes of an hCG-based diet it is not considered food and can be consumed as desired.
Eat two different servings of protein each day. Meats may be eaten raw, steamed, or grilled. Avoid fatty meats, including salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, and pork. Beef should generally be avoided, though lean cuts (tenderloin, sirloin) may be eaten once a week.
A serving of meat is 3.5 oz raw or 3 oz cooked (meat loses weight when cooking as moisture evaporates).
Acceptable meats include:
- Any white fish (cod, flounder, halibut, tilapia, sea bass)
- Any shellfish (lobster, shrimp, crab, scallops)
- Lean cuts of beef (tenderloin, sirloin)
- Bison (an excellent low-fat alternative to beef)
Water (including bottled and mineral water) is the best thing you can drink to avoid dehydration and create a "full" sensation in your stomach (to reduce cravings). Insufficient water consumption is by far the most common cause of hunger and cravings on the 500 calorie diet.
Coffees and teas (black, green, yerba mate, jasmine, etc.) are acceptable, as are herbal teas--but avoid artificial sweeteners and creamers.
Many bottled zero-calorie beverages are acceptable, but check the label carefully to avoid artificial sweeteners (including aspartame, Splenda, etc.) Xylitol and stevia are acceptable.
Some find that cravings for carbohydrates can be significantly reduced with the addition of a single Melba toast or Grissini breadstick to each meal. Dr. Simeons promoted this addition to the diet. Our experience has shown that this works for some but not for everyone.
All oils and fats must be avoided, including butter, olive oil, canola oil, and oil-based salad dressing. You must also avoid oil-based lotions, creams and cosmetics.
The menu for a typical day might go as follows:
- Tea or coffee, 2 c (10 calories)
- 1 Tbsp low or non-fat milk (8 calories)
- Lots of water!
- 3.5 oz halibut, grilled (115 calories)
- 1 c asparagus spears, steamed (36 calories)
- 1 medium apple (80 calories)
- 1 Melba toast (20 calories)
- 3.5 oz veal, grilled (157 calories)
- 1.5 c spinach (14 calories)
- 4 large strawberries (40 calories)
- 1 Grissini breadstick (20 calories)
- Total caloric intake for the day: 500 calories
The 500-calorie diet should be continued for a minimum of 24 days and a maximum of 41 days. The hA2cg Evolution drops should be discontinued three days before the 500-calorie diet is completed (after 21 or 38 days of dieting). These three days will allow for continued fat release as the hCG is cleared from your system. Resuming normal levels of caloric intake before all traces of hCG have been cleared will result in dramatic weight gain.
Recipes that are suitable for the VLCD (500-calorie diet) phase of the hCG-based weight loss program can be found in hA2cg Success A Dieter's Guide
NEXT - Phase 3: Maintenance