A market for a HCG diet and recipe book?

A trawl on Amazon reveals that there are relatively few books on HCG, and even fewer HCG recipe books and those few have but a handful of reviews – which is a little surprising, given the media attention that this diet has attracted over the past few years.

Notable exceptions are:

Perhaps would-be HCG dieters are provided with more than enough information online, for free. Perhaps their HCG diet kit providers give them sufficient recipes. Or perhaps, having stuffed their freezers with the meagre score of Dr Simeons’* permitted foodstuffs, the mixing and matching of a handful of Phase 2 ingredients is such a simple task, that few people need assistance doing it. A far greater challenge is sourcing products which are sugar-, starch- and fat-free.

As such, I doubt I’d dip into my wallet to purchase any of the few books on offer, unless hugely discounted. For instance, Easy HCG Diet : Recipes & Diet Plan – Lose a pound a day Kindle Edition at £0.70 might be tempting – if I had or wanted a Kindle.

Of the free online recipe sites, a few deserve a special mention.

MyHCGRecipes.com provides a handy search box where you can search for your ingredient of choice. It then provides you with a raft of recipes which appear to adhere closely to Dr Simeons’ rules. Although, given the different writing and formatting styles of the listed recipes, I would guess that these recipes were submitted by users of the site, or perhaps pulled from other websites.

Coach Alisa offers a free PDF with a few dozen Phase 2-specific recipes, including sauces, while PharmacyEscrow provides Phase 3 recipes which sound scrumptious, except I wouldn’t “nuke” them in the microwave because it damages the molecular structure of food in the way that traditional cooking does not.

A rummage through HCG forums – many of which are attached to sites of HCG vendors – elicits thousands of recipes and is well worth taking an hour or so to do, if you’re about to embark on your first HCG programme.

Given the plethora of HCG websites offering free recipe information and advice, and that the diet only lasts for a maximum of 3 months these freebie recipes should be enough for anyone’s palate. So it’s hardly any wonder that there are few such books on the market, none of which are best-sellers.


* Dr A T W Simeons MD is the author of the original 1950s HCG diet manuscript, entitled Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity”



Dr Simeons’ 500-calorie HCG Diet Meal Plan, in a nutshell

It is imperative that the person who will be preparing the food for the dieter entirely understands the importance of strict adherence to the diet’s ingredients, as well as the consequences of cutting corners. Failure to do will have a deleterious effect on the success of the regimen.

Dr Simeons’ Diet sheet

No variations of the foodstuffs in the diet sheet are permitted, including fruit size.

Breakfast: Tea or coffee in any quantity without sugar. Only one tablespoonful of milk allowed in 24 hours. Saccharin or other sweeteners may be used.
Lunch: One of: 100 grams of veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking, and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. The chicken breast must be removed raw from the bird.

One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.

OPTIONAL: One breadstick (grissino) or one Melba toast.

An apple or an orange or a handful of strawberries or one-half grapefruit.

Dinner: The same four choices as lunch


Daily allowances

  • The juice of 1 lemon, maximum
  • Salt (unlimited if sufficient water imbibed), pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram, etc., for seasoning
  • Drinks: Only tea and coffee, in any quantity, plain or mineral water (preferably 2 litres, regardless of water retention issues)
  • Moderate exercise


Expressly forbidden

  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Dressing
  • Cosmetics, apart from lipstick, eyebrow pencil and face powder, unless permission is granted by practitioner. One tablespoon of coconut oil per day can be used instead of moisturiser, provided that no coconut or olive oil is eaten – either eat it or apply it to your skin.
  • Chewing gum, throat pastilles, vitamin pills, cough syrups, , amphetamines, etc. If in doubt, always consult practitioner

Full details and explanations can be found in Dr Simeon’s manuscript1, which the dieter would be advised to read, fully understand and adhere to rigidly, taking no shortcuts, making no substitutions or assumptions.



  • 500 per day, maximum, regardless of weigh, size, age, gender or any other factor.
  • Use only the leanest of meat, with no fat streaks within the flesh, so avoid low-quality meat.


Vegetarians and Hindus

  • Substitute meat with half a litre of skimmed milk per day or curds thereof. Expect only half the weight loss of omnivorous dieters.


Faulty dieting

  • Any deviation from the diet under HCG, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, results in almost immediate, perceptible weight gain.


Vitamins and anaemia

  • Every pound of weigh lost comes directly from body fat, the burning of which actually augments any deficiencies found in the body, so improving health – not diminishing it.


Early treatment days – what to expect

  • 3rd HCG dose: disinclination to binge eat due to a “full” feeling
  • 4th HCG dose: several pounds’ weight loss; empty feeling but not hunger pangs; mild headache
  • 5th & 6th HCG dose:  minor complaints improve; weight loss doubles for those who binged during Phase 1 (preparatory phase);  lighter feeling, clearer-headed, more energy
  • 7th HCG dose: weight loss decreases to 1 lb per day, fluctuating according to the quantity of water imbibed and water-retention propensity; weight loss may plateau for 4-6 days which can be mitigated by “apple-a-day” mini programme (follow PDF link, at foot of page) or a “steak day” but which should necessitate a forensic hunt for errors on dieter’s part and complete self-honesty.


Unforeseen treatment interruption

  • Absolutely requires immediate 800-calorie per day increase (follow PDF link at foot of page)

Sundry manifestations and frequently asked questions

Myriad conditions can occur, each uniquely attributable to the particular dieter’s physiology, state of health, weight, psychological state, lifestyle and more besides for more information on which, Dr Simeons’ manuscript should be consulted.

It is important that the dieter resists the temptation to improvise, or make assumptions based on what he feels to be logical, because HCG alters the equation in ways which he probably has not or cannot envisage. Therefore it is vital that any doubts or questions are relayed faithfully and promptly to the practitioner, who is in a far better position to understand peculiarities from a holistic and technical standpoint.


  1. Pounds and Inches – A New Approach to Obesity, by ATW Simeons MD (PDF)


What to eat on preparatory HCG diet ‘load’ days

The rule of thumb for the preparatory HCG “load” days is eat as much of the fattiest of foods as you can, but try to stay clear of carbohydrates.

The idea behind the two-day “loading” is to:

  • Store as much nutrient-rich fat as you can in your fat cells
  • Reduce the likelihood of feeling hungry during the VLCD2 500-calorie-per-day period
  • To gain weight – which might seem counter-intuitive to veteran dieters

Veteran dieters or those whose general condition is below par should “load” up for a week before starting the HCG treatment because it is highly likely that their bodies lack essential nutrients which will be needed to sustain them during the VLCD period. A gain of 6 pounds after loading is neither unusual nor undesirable. It will come off later!

Which foods are best?

You’re looking for the most nutritious of fatty foods, so that when your VLCD phase starts, the calorie-lean diet will not prevent your body from obtaining all the nutrients it needs to keep your organs (including your skin) and brain in tip-top condition.

  • Fatty meats and meat fat.  Bacon fat, lard, salami,spare ribs, pork crackling, sausages, chicken wings, chicken skin, leg of lamb, crispy steak fat.
  • High fat cheeses. Caerphilly, cheddar, cheshire, cream cheese, derby, double gloucester, full fat soft cheese, gouda, gruyere, lancashire, leicester, lymeswold, mascapone, parmesan, Roquefort.
  • Coconuts. These have wonderful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties, as well as being rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are easily digested and can be added to almost any dish, be it sweet or savoury.
  • Cold-pressed (virgin) oils. Olive, coconut, avocado, sesame. Liberally lubricate all food with these. Each carry a 100-calorie price tag per tablespoon.
  • Fatty fruits. Avocados and olives. Olives stuffed with nuts, anchovies, pimentos, or garlic, are the ultimate oily, healthy, finger-food snack.
  • Flaky pastries.
  • Sauces and dressings. French dressing, mayonnaise, butter sauce.
  • Nuts and seeds: Peanut butter, pine nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds. Pine nuts are extremely rich but beware – they are very filling. Seeds provide all the nutrients needed for plants to begin life and so they are a veritable larder of minerals.
  • Dairy feast. Chocolate, ice cream, cream, custard, butter – no need to skimp! Now’s your chance to gobble that naughty brandy butter. Why not have a whole tub? You might never get another guilt-free chance to do so!

You might gain an alarming amount of weight during these days of guilt-free binge, but you’ll lose it all over the following weeks, if you follow Dr Simeons’1 diet faithfully.

Put it all on record – take plenty of photos, measure your big bits and keep doing so throughout the diet, including the “load” days. Not only does it help you track your progress, but the sense of achievement you gain when there are noticeable reductions helps to motivate you to continue with the programme.


  1. Dr A T W Simeons MD is the author of the original 1950s HCG diet manuscript, entitled Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity”
  2. VLCD  stands for Very Low Calorie Diet


What to eat in the HCG diet 3-week, no sugar no starch phase

Once the HCG has “kicked in”, on day 3 of the diet plan, the dieter begins his Phase 2, 500-calorie-per-day fast, consuming foods which contain as little fat as possible, and nothing that contains simple carbohydrates (e.g., sugar) or starch.

Dr Simeons’* manuscript provides a handy menu of permitted foodstuffs which should be strictly adhered to, to ensure success. No shortcuts, no food substitutions, no compromises.

Under no circumstances should starch or sugar be ingested – not even in the minutest of quantities, such as those that might be found in packaged spices.  So the dieter should scrutinise the ingredients of any product and satisfy himself that they are sugar-, starch- and fat-free. If in any doubt, don’t buy the product.

The Diet

For breakfast, Dr Simeons permits any of plain or mineral water, tea or coffee, optionally supplemented with a maximum of one tablespoon of milk in any 24-hour period. Artificial sweeteners or Stevia can be added.

For lunch, the dieter may consume only one foodstuff of each of the following four categories:

  • A single meat:  100 grams of lean meat or seafood – weighed in its raw state, with any hint of visible fat removed. These include veal, beef, chicken breast, fresh white fish, lobster, crab or shrimp.

This must be boiled or grilled. Oily fish, such as eel, tuna and herring are explicitly disallowed, as are dried and pickled fish.

Low quality meats should be avoided, as they tend to contain streaks of fat.

  • A single vegetable:  spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus or cabbage.
  • A single dried bread: breadstick or Melba toast.
  • A single fruit: apple, orange, a handful of strawberries or half a grapefruit.

Dinner options are identical to those of lunch.

Approximately 2 litres of liquids should be imbibed every day.

This diet has been carefully crafted over many years of experimentation, for optimal results. Therefore, the dieter must not be tempted to improvise by eating two meats, at 50 grams apiece,  or small portions of two of the vegetables listed, or to eat foodstuffs not listed – even if they have lower calories – because some interfere with the chemistry of the diet. He must also resist substituting, for example two small apples for one large apple, even if even if their weights are equivalent, because two small apples have more calories than one large apple.

The meals can be taken in any order, or mixed, or be split into four or five meals per day, so long as the quantities of each remain the same. For example, breakfast might comprise cups of tea, an orange and a Melba toast and lunch, a meat and a vegetable.

For seasoning, the juice of just one lemon is allowed, in any 24-hour period. Salt and pepper and permitted herbs and spices may be used, but oil, butter or any salad dressing may not.

Dieters should also be aware that no cosmetics should be used, apart from lipstick, eyebrow pencil and face powder, as they contain oils/fats which are absorbed by the skin.


*  Dr A T W Simeons MD is the author of the original 1950s HCG diet manuscript, entitled “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity”


Veggies allowed on HCG diet but can vegetarians thrive on it?

The number of vegetables permitted in the strict HCG diet is relatively small, mainly because many vegetables contain fats and starches, which must be virtually banished from a 500-calorie-per-day diet.

For instance, olives. Hence, one tablespoon of olive oil, a summer salad staple, contains a whopping 117 calories – one fifth the entire day’s permitted allowance.

That startling fact, might put off a great many potential HCG dieters, fearing that hunger cravings will defeat them even before they get to work in the mornings! A lifetime’s habit of devouring refined, starchy foods might well have led them to believe that hunger can only be satisfied by a certain quantity of food.

The truth is that the foods we eat today are intrinsically unhealthy, starving us of the nutrients we need and worse, leaching from us the nutrients which we already house.

The result is that our bodies are somewhat malnourished and transfused with toxins, which triggers food cravings. But we often mistake those cravings as a ‘need’ for more food, whereas they really indicate a need for more nutrients. Big difference.  When we provide our bodies with more nutrient-deficient food, our cravings remain, only we become less healthy as our weight increases disproportionately, relative to our life-sustaining nutrient store.

Why are the foods we eat intrinsically unhealthy?

We consume, often unwittingly:

  • Over-processed foods that have had the vitamins cooked out of them
  • genetically modified foods, rife in the modern world
  • pesticides
  • growth hormones in meat and dairy products
  • antibiotics (fed to sick animals, or to lactating cows with mammary infections)
  • hydrogenated oils
  • vegetables grown in nutrient-depleted soil
  • vegetables, sold as “fresh”, having been cold-stored for weeks or months – thereby losing much of their nutritional value, such as vitamin C content.

Therefore, while many of our foodstuffs are nutrient-depleted, many more still are toxic to the point where our bodies require even more nutrients in order to process or eliminate those toxins.

Most of the vegetables permitted in Phase 2 of Kevin Trudeau’s book1, (below) are highly nutritive – more particularly when they are organically grown – but very low in fat:

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Mustard greens
  • Artichoke
  • Mushrooms (Brown, Cremini, Italian, Enoki, Morel, Porcini, Portobello)
  • Asparagus **
  • Onions **
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Snow peas
  • Beet greens
  • Peppers (Bell, Banana, Hot green and red)
  • Broccoli **
  • Radish **
  • Brussel sprouts **
  • Seaweed (kelp)
  • Cabbage (red or white) **
  • Snap beans (green and yellow)
  • Carrots
  • Spinach **
  • Cauliflower **
  • Squash ** (Zucchini, Scallop, Summer, Straight Neck, Spaghetti squash)
  • Celery **
  • Swiss Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Tomato ** (red, green, orange)
  • Cucumber
  • Turnip
  • Eggplant
  • Coconut (dried, unsweetened)
  • Endive **
  • Coconut milk, canned (no added gums or sugars)
  • Fennel
  • Flax seeds
  • Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Lettuce ** (Bibb, Boston, Butter, Iceberg, Romaine)
  • Coconut oil
  • Mung bean sprouts

** Protein-rich

Thus, we can derive sufficient nutrients if we choose our foods wisely and partake of each and every one of the permitted vegetables and follow The HCG Diet for Vegans and Vegetarians.

Notice, however, the absence of pulses (the most nutrient-rich vegetables), upon which vegetarians rely for their proteins. This shouldn’t be a problem if they load up on fats and protein-rich nuts in the preparatory phase of the diet, as these fats will be stored in the “fat cells”, or adipose tissue. The adipose tissue will become the body’s nutrient, protein and fat larder in Phase 2 of the diet.

Vegetarians can opt to eat more of the protein-rich vegetables from the list above, so there’s no reason why vegetarians can’t benefit from the HCG diet.


* The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About, by Kevin Trudeau

The HCG diet for a healthy metabolism

Dr Simeons1, originator of the HCG diet, over the course of his studies, became increasingly sure “that the tendency to accumulate abnormal fat is a very definite metabolic disorder, much as is, for instance, diabetes” and that “overeating is the result of the disorder, not its cause”.

He describes the basal metabolism as being “The body’s chemical turnover at complete rest and when fasting. The basal metabolic rate is expressed as the amount of oxygen used up in a given time. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is controlled by the thyroid gland.” (My emphasis).

The three most common goals of people who embark on the HCG diet regime are:

  1. Losing weight
  2. Resetting or fixing the basal metabolic weight – by increasing it
  3. Maintaining weight loss after the regime is complete

The second goal is achieved by faithfully adhering to the regimen’s 500-calorie diet for at least 20 days – not deviating from it by substituting foodstuffs, which are not explicitly listed, with other seemingly ‘similar’ foods. This goal is vitally important because it assists in the achievement of the first goal and is fundamental to achieving the third. By cheating while on the diet, partakers are robbing themselves of the opportunity to normalise their metabolisms and permanently improving their lives.

As Dr Simeon says:

“We never give a treatment lasting less than 26 days, even in patients needing to lose only 5 pounds. It seems that even in the mildest cases of obesity the diencephalon2 requires about three weeks rest from the maximal exertion to which it has been previously subjected in order to regain fully its normal fat-banking capacity. Clinically this expresses itself, in the fact that, when in these mild cases, treatment is stopped as soon as the weight is normal, which may be achieved in a week, it is much more easily regained than after a full course of 23 injections.”

“Interruptions occurring before 20 effective injections have been given are most undesirable, because with less than that number of injections some weight is liable to be regained. After the 20th injection an unavoidable interruption is merely a loss of time.”

So to establish or re-establish a healthy metabolism, it is necessary to rest your hypothalamus by breaking from the physically taxing business of overeating. Once done, the gland can function normally and metabolise fat – providing the body with energy, rather than storing it, which depresses energy levels.


  • Add different-flavoured teas to your diet. Many of these contain anti-oxidants, increase the body’s metabolic rate and provide the opportunity to imbibe more liquid. Quite often, people reach for food, misreading their bodies’ actual craving, which is for more liquid and electrolytes.
  • Take frequent walks. A brisk walk increases the heart rate and therefore, improves circulation and raises the body’s metabolic rate. The oxygen in fresh air is a detoxifier, helping to hoover up free radicals that stymie the smooth working of the body.
  • Get enough sleep. The endocrine system needs a rest so that it can work optimally when you need you need it to.


  1. Dr A T W Simeons MD is the author of the original 1950s HCG diet manuscript, entitled “Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity”
  2. The diencephalon is the hypothalamus gland – a primitive part of the brain which regulates the base bodily functions, such as breathing, breathing, heart rhythm, digestion, sleep, sex drive, urinary function, the autonomous or vegetative nervous system and via the pituitary, the whole interplay of the endocrine glands. It is also thought to control blood sugar levels.


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Pre-packaged HCG diet meals – complete diet in a box

The HCG diet is both fairly straightforward and fairly complex. Its basic concept is quite straightforward and its convolutions of overlapping stages, each with multiple conditions, sub-conditions and interdependencies, can seem quite daunting.

To complicate matters further, each person’s health and life-style brings to the mix its own set of variables, each replete with its own, unique set of exceptions.

Decisions must then be made on the type of HCG to use, where to find the most reliable source(s) and practitioner and which of these represents the best value for money.

Once these issues have been mentally labelled, pigeon-holed and cross-referenced, day one of the diet begins, bringing with it myriad charts and journals, body scales, food scales, food and calorie lists, progress forms, daily shopping lists, dos and don’ts – all accompanied by a host of doubts the dieter thought he’d already put to bed, as new, unexpected discoveries emerge about himself, his health and his prognosis.


With questions bubbling up in his mind at an ever-increasing rate, the dieter could be forgiven for wondering how long it might take to drive his practitioner quite mad with his never-ending stream of questions!

Fortunately, America has begun to wake up to the potential for making money out of the spin-off industry of HCG diet ready-meals – where foodstuffs are pre-selected, pre-weighed, pre-packaged, labelled and frozen and finally, delivered to the dieter’s doorstep. All he needs to worry about is ordering his supply, taking delivery, and freezing the meals. No more measuring, weighing, cutting or cooking is required.

While ready-meals might cost slightly more than the groceries the dieter would have bought, he’ll be eating less than he did before embarking on the diet. So if there’s a cost-differential between the ready-meals and the cost of his meals before he commenced his HCG diet regime, it’s quite likely that he’ll save money, over all.

Still, unless the meals are appropriately labelled, the dieter cannot be certain:

  • that they have been prepared to the strict specifications of the HCG diet
  • of the source of the produce
  • whether the produce is organic
  • whether it has been contaminated with starches and fats from other foods that the catering company prepares on its premises.

On balance, it would appear that ready meals will be welcomed by dieters and practitioners alike, removing much doubt, uncertainty and worry from the process.

Where to find ready meals?

Some are pretty pricey, particularly if pre-cooked, such as those of HCG Meals To Go, although they might be ideal for the single, the idle, the busy and those who dislike cooking.

HTEcommerce’s video gives you an idea as to what to expect from HCG pre-packaged foods, and his MealBalance site offers compete meal plans for $199 (excluding delivery) for a fortnight’s worth of food, which works out to $15 per day, or $5 per meal assuming 3 meals per day.

It’s a pity he doesn’t offer a trial pack comprising one day’s worth of meals.