The HCG Diet combines a very low calorie count diet (VLCD) with a daily intake of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), either orally or via injection. This diet, researched and implemented by British physician A.T.W. Simeons, requires that followers consume a 500-calorie-per-day diet. Taking the hormone, followers of the diet can lose up to one to three pounds daily. With such a restrictive calorie consumption, though, finding diet-appropriate foods can be a challenge.
Following is a compilation of the foods that are permissible for this diet. There are no deviations in quantity of the food, though the items can be switched around throughout the day. For instance, if you want an apple for breakfast instead of with lunch, that is fine, but you may not then eat another apple with lunch.
Acceptable drinks include tea, coffee, plain or mineral water and the juice of one lemon daily. Drinks must be free of sugar but sugar substitutes such as saccharin or stevia are allowable. You may consume the desired amount of these drinks and are encouraged to have at least two liters of water daily.
Meats and proteins of the diet include veal, beef, chicken breast, crab, lobster, fresh white fish, and shrimp. Cut off any fat on the meat, and chicken breast should be taken off the bone. No salmon, eel, tuna, herring, or dried/pickled fish is allowed.
Vegetables that may be consumed are spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus and cabbage.
For fruit, try apples, strawberries, oranges, or half of a grapefruit.
Melba toast or grissino breadsticks may be eaten for starches.
Breakfast: tea or coffee - with no sugar or sugar substitute - and one tablespoon of milk (in 24 hours); water.
Lunch: 100 grams of any meat or protein listed above. Food must be weighed raw by a letter-scale and not by a kitchen scale or butcher; one vegetable serving from list above; one breadstick or melba toast, and one serving of fruit.
Dinner: the same choices and quantities as lunch.
Certain spices such as salt, pepper, vinegar and parsley are allowed to help flavor the food.