Overview of the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Diet

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone made by the body during early pregnancy, and this diet is named after it. Proponents of this diet claim that if you follow a very low calorie diet, your metabolism will be reset by hCG to help you lose 1 lb. or more a day without being weak or hungry. Science agrees that eating a very low calorie diet will help you lose weight. However, research has shown no connection between weight loss and hCG.


So, what food is allowed on this diet? You can have 2 meals per day – lunch and dinner. The meals can include 1 fruit, 1 bread, 1 veggie, and 1 protein source. You are allowed to eat broiled/grilled beef, chicken breast, veal, lobster, fresh white fish, shrimp, or crab. Unfortunately, salmon, tuna, herring, eel, and pickled/dried fish are prohibited on this diet. The vegetables can include beet greens, chard, spinach, chicory, tomatoes, green salad, celery, onions, fennel, cucumbers, red radishes, cabbage, and asparagus. The bread can include 1 slice of melba toast or 1 breadstick.