The hCG Diet: Foods, Menus, FAQs, and Recipes

The hCG Diet Plan

Everything you need to know about The hCG Diet plan including foods to eat, menus, FAQs, shopping lists, and more.  

The hCG is a popular diet that can lead people to lose up to 2 pounds per day. The diet also claims that you will not feel hungry in the process. The FDA does has called this diet dangerous, a fraudulent diet, and even illegal. You can read further to learn more about this diet. However, it is advised that there are other diet plans that are approved for healthy weight loss and can help you with conceiving or keeping a healthy diet while expecting.

What is the hCG Diet Plan?

The hCG Diet Plan, is a combination of two things, along with taking an over the counter dose of hCG, you are also extremely restricting your calorie intake to about 500 calories per day. The claims are that by taking this hormone you will increase your metabolism, lose fat, all without being hungry. Reducing your calorie intake to just 500 calories a day, you can change your unhealthy eating habits.

If you are wondering what is hCG, hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a protein-based hormone that is elevated during the beginning stages of a pregnancy. During a healthy pregnancy, hCG can double every few days and it usually peaks at about ten weeks. After about ten weeks, the hormone will either hold steady or start to decline.

What is hCG used for?

The benefit scientists who support this diet would say that hCG helps your body use stored fat for fuel rather than relying on food sources. If for some reason, you can no longer eat because of things like morning sickness or develop vitamin or mineral deficiencies, your unborn baby will still get the nutrients needed and not starve.

Therefore, dieters can use HCG products to maximize fat burning and preserve muscle. When combined with a low-calorie diet, this hormone can help you lose weight. It not only resets your metabolism but also suppresses appetite and keeps your energy levels up. You’ll naturally eat less which leads you to reduce your daily calorie intake without even realizing it.

Both men and women have small amounts of hCG in their bodies at all times. If you are not pregnant and haven’t had a miscarriage or you are male, increased levels of hCG could be a symptom of cancer. The most commons cancers that raise hCG levels are testicular, ovarian, and placental.

You can purchase hCG at some stores or online. However, please note that most over the counter hCG pills or hCG pills sold online do not contain hCG and are considers more homeopathic. Real hCG is provided through a doctor and usually through a fertility clinic. The form is given to the patient in form of an injection. These injections cost between $200 to $800 per vial.

The Three Phases of the hCG Diet

The hCG Diet it’s self an extremely low calorie and low-fat diet which is broken into three phases.

  1. Loading Phase or First Phase: Began taking hCG hormone and for two days eat plenty of high calorie and foods high in fat.
  2. Weight Loss Phase or Second Phase: Continue taking hCG hormone and for three to six weeks only consume 500 calories per day. You can only eat two meals per day.
  3. Maintenance Phase or Third Phase: Once you have reached your goal weight, stop taking hCG, and avoid eating food with starch and foods with sugar for three weeks.

If you have not reached your goal weight within the tens weeks you might continue the diet or repeat the phases. Typically people with minimal weight loss usually stay on this diet for around three weeks.

Foods to Eat on the hCG Diet

The focus of this diet is keeping your calorie intake to around 500 calories per day. You also want to restrict yourself from eating foods that are high in starches and sugars.

Typically someone on this diet would eat two meals a day. Usually a meal at lunch and a meal at dinner. Each meal should consist of lean protein, vegetables, and fruit. Here are a few examples of foods you should eat.


  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Raw Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green Beans
  • Green peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Raw Kale
  • Red peppers
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchuni


  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries


  • Chicken
  • Crab
  • Extra-lean beef
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna (canned)
  • Whitefish
  • *You can replace one egg with one protein


  • Melba toast (which is a very thin crisp toast, you can purchase at most grocery stores)
  • Sugarless gum
  • Stevia
  • Mustards
  • Fresh spices such as ginger, garlic, parsley, and basil
  • Apple cider vinegar

Foods Not to Eat the hCG Diet

Here is the list of recommended foods not to eat on the hCG Diet Plan.

  • Foods high in sugars
  • Foods high in starches (for example potatoes, rice, pretzels, pasta, breads, etc.)
  • Butter
  • Oils
  • Nuts
  • Salmon

Download our free checklists with all the approved hCG Diet foods (and what you should avoid.)

What to Drink the hCG Diet

You are fairly limited on your drink options while on this diet, black coffee and tea are the go-to drinks. Here’s the list of what is approved and not approved on this diet.

  • Black coffee (you can add Stevia)
  • Herbal Tea
  • Mineral water
  • Water (lots of water per day)

What Not to Drink the hCG Diet

  • Juices
  • Flavored drinks and water
  • Any sugary drinks
  • Any kind of soda
  • Alcohol

FAQs Section

Is HCG safe for weight loss?

The FDA has approved hCG as a prescription drug only for the treatment of female infertility and for other medical conditions. hCG is not approved for use without a prescription for any purpose, meaning it is not approved for weight loss and is deemed illegal for the treatment of weight loss. Over the counter, hCG drops are also homeopathic drugs and do not have the same amount or even any hCG in them.

What does a 250 calorie meal include on the hCG diet?

A 250 calorie meal on the hCG diet would simply be some lean meat, chicken breast, or a piece of white fish. With your protein, you would want to include a green vegetable such as broccoli, green beans, or cauliflower. Your preferred beverage should be water or black coffee. For a snack, you can eat an apple, a handful of berries, a breadstick, or a piece of Melba toast.

Does hCG cause hair loss?

According to reports, because this is a hormone medication, one of the side effects of taking hCG can cause hair loss or alopecia in some women.

hCG Diet: Pros and Cons

The pros of the hCG diet include the following;

  • Will more than likely cause rapid weight loss
  • Each phase to follow to laid out efficiently with a clear and easy plan
  • Helps reduce your sugar, dairy, and unhealthy fat intake, which could be problematic for some people

Cons of this diet include;

  • hCG injections should only be provided by a doctor for fertility treatments, not taken because of diet
  • This diet causes you to not only essentially starve yourself but can also lead to some side effects, including, headaches, brain fog, fatigue, and dizziness
  • Can cause you to start some unhealthy eating habits like food binging
  • This diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies
  • Can be damaging to the heart long-term

hCG Diet Menu (One Week)

The best place to look for menu and meal options is Pinterest. You would want to look for meals that include lean protein and vegetables and are around 250 calories per meal. Since you are limited to 500 calories per day. Here’s an example of some simple menu options for the first week


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and an apple
  • Lunch: Chicken breast and a vegetable (broccoli)
  • Dinner: Lean burger and a vegetable (asparagus)


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and grapefruit
  • Lunch: Chicken breast and a vegetable (raw cauliflower)
  • Dinner: Whitefish and a vegetable (broccoli)


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and a handful of berries
  • Lunch: Chicken breast and a vegetable (green beans)
  • Dinner: Stir-fry, your choice of lean meat, with green vegetables 


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and grapefruit
  • Lunch: Chicken breast (chop) on a bed of lettuce with onions and peppers
  • Dinner: Lean burger and a vegetable (Brussel sprouts)


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and an apple
  • Lunch: Chicken breast and a vegetable (raw cauliflower)
  • Dinner: Lean meat and a vegetable (peppers and onions) 


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and grapefruit
  • Lunch: Chicken breast (chop) on a bed of lettuce with onions and peppers
  • Dinner: Lean steak with a side salad 


  • Breakfast: Black coffee and a handful of strawberries
  • Lunch: Chicken breast and a vegetable (broccoli)
  • Dinner: Lean burger and a vegetable (Brussel sprouts)

hCG Diet Shopping List (One Week)

Meats and Seafood for the week:

  • Lean Steak
  • Chicken breast
  • Lean Beef for burger patties

Vegetables for the Week (Select a variety to have with your meals)

  • Think “green” veggies
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Green pepper
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus 
  • Broccoli 
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Lettuce


  • Strawberries
  • Apples 
  • Lemons (for water)
  • Blueberries


  • Coffee
  • Tea (some teas)

History of the hCG Diet

Dr. ATW Simeons is a British scientist who in the 1950’s starting doing clinical trials using hCG and found that while taking hCG people would lose weight and abnormal belly fat. He had his most success while treating adolescent males. The news of his finding soon spread across Europe and he decided to publish “Pounds and Inches, a New Approach to Obesity”, in 1967.

In 2007, Kevin Trudeau published a book called The Weight Loss Cure, What THEY Don’t Want You To Know”, which again discussed and included information about the hCG and Simeon’s findings. This book created a buzz in the U.S. and soon weight loss clinics across America starting using this diet with their patients.


Thank you for reading our guide on the hCG Diet. Please feel free to download and use our free embedded checklists. This will be helpful when creating your menus and making your grocery shopping list. 

If you are serious about losing weight quickly and strictly limited your calorie intake to 500 calories per day, then the hCG diet might work for you. Please consult a doctor before starting this diet and starting hCG hormone shots. These are not recommended for everyday use and can be an illegal practice.