What is the Vegetarian HCG Diet?

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Vegetarians follow very rigid diets that revolve around the absence of meat. Most vegetarians get their proteins from other sources like brown rice, quinoa, cheese and legumes. Recently, the HCG diet has been modified to include a protocol that is vegetarian-friendly. Its effects are similar to those who follow the original HCG diet protocol, but the list of approved foods has been expanded to allow for vegetarian options. Vegetarians, by nature, have to be a bit more creative when it comes to what they eat, and the same goes for those who want to lose weight on the HCG diet.

First off, there are several new variations of the HCG hormone that will appeal to vegetarians. If HCG hormone injections aren’t your thing, then perhaps you’d like to try the homeopathic HCG diet drops instead. In some ways, these are more convenient than the traditional injections. They contain no hormones, and thus have a much longer shelf-life than their counterparts. Additionally, they don’t need to be refrigerated, so you can easily take them anywhere you want to go.

The list of approved foods for the HCG diet typically contains sources of protein such as beef, fish and poultry.  It’s best to follow the list strictly so as to avoid HCG diet dangers. There are, however, alternatives for those who choose not to eat meat. Skim milk, cottage cheese and yogurt are good options for getting some of the protein that meat would provide. It’s important to remember though, that starches are not allowed during the HCG diet. Therefore, while brown rice, quinoa and other grains may be good sources of protein, they too must be avoided due to their starch content. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, soy milk can be used to replace skim milk in your diet. Also, soy beans are a great source of protein and can be used to substitute the meat during a meal.

Egg whites are another excellent source of protein, and if you’re the type of vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs, then egg substitutes will suffice. There are several kinds of seafood available on the list of approved foods like shrimp and lobster, but once again, if you do not eat these foods either, then your best bet might be one of the soy-based proteins for your HCG diet meal plan.

If you want to find HCG diet recipes that work well for vegetarians, it might be a good idea to look up one of the several HCG diet books and see for yourself what you can and cannot do. Also, vegetarianism is not all that uncommon, and you can most likely find a lot of information from browsing HCG diet forums online. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, simply ask. The forums are full of people who are either currently on the diet or have completed it (often multiple times) and chances are someone there will know the answer.

The vegetarian version of the HCG diet might seem a little bit more restrictive than the original protocol is, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying it out for yourself. The HCG diet has a very short duration, 40 days maximum, and constricting your diet for a little more than a month shouldn’t be too hard. The results for vegetarians on the HCG diet are the same as those who eat meat, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go and experience the rapid weight loss for yourself.

 

 

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Tips for Phase 3 of the HCG Diet

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Phase 2 is often the most discussed portion of the HCG diet protocol. It isn’t all that surprising, as the 500 calorie a day limit that the HCG diet requires is quite controversial. It’s known as the weight loss phase because, during phase 2 is when the most dramatic shifts in weight are noticed. It’s not uncommon for people to lose a pound a day, or even more, during this period. Once it’s over, though, it is not yet time to breath a sigh of relief because the next, equally important part of the HCG diet is about to begin. That is phase 3, the stabilization phase.

The primary goal of the stabilization phase is to, if you haven’t guessed already, stabilize your body weight. Dieters will take their last recorded weight from the end of phase 2 and use that as a guide during phase 3. After the rapid weight loss experienced during phase 2, it is important to bring your body back to a state of homeostasis, that is, get it used to being lighter and associate this new weight with what it should be. After rapid weight loss, the body will often try to replace the fat, thinking it was starving, and it’s crucial to avoid this effect during this portion of the HCG diet.

Phase 3 lasts about 3 weeks, and during this time no more HCG injections, drops or pills are taken. Your daily caloric intake is also increased, and several of the restrictions of the previous phase are lifted. During the preceding weeks you ate a very healthy, albeit small, diet. In order to maintain your weight loss, it’s often a good idea to simply continue eating the way you were. Several small meals a day, consisting of mostly proteins and meats will give you all the nutrition your body needs without adding any unnecessary calories. The HCG diet calls for abstaining from starches during phase 3, and that should be pretty easy since you’ve already been doing it.

Weigh yourself every day, and make sure that your body weight does not fluctuate more than 2lbs above or below your last recorded weight during phase 2. Body weight does tend to fluctuate a little bit, due to your current level of hydration, what you’ve eaten, etc. so  if your scale shows a bit of this, don’t worry too much. That’s what the 2lb window is there for.

If you find that you’re gaining weight during phase 3, first take a look at what, and how much, you’re eating. If it’s too calorie heavy, work with smaller portions of the denser foods like meats and beans and increase your consumption of vegetables. Eating more vegetables will help keep you full and not feeling deprived, and most contain so few calories per serving that it’s very difficult to gain weight simply by eating them. Should your weight continue to drop, though, you should do the opposite. Eat more dense foods, and fiber. Also, look at how much you’re exercising. If you jump into a vigorous exercise program immediately after ending phase 2, you could be doing more harm than good. Start slow with 15-30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise a day, incorporating resistance training a couple times a week at most. Once your 3 week period is over, and you’ve successfully managed your weight, you can begin exercising more intensely as well as adding starches to your diet.

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The Original HCG Diet Information

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The original HCG diet was first brought to the public’s attention by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons. While doing research on the effects of HCG in increasing fertility in women, he noticed that several of his subjects reported rapid weight loss while taking HCG injections. Dr. Simeons also did research on Froelich’s Syndrome in adolescent boys. This disease slows the sexual development of teenage boys and causes large amounts of weight-gain. When supplementing HCG to the boys afflicted with Froelich’s, Dr. Simeons noticed that they, too, reported rapid amounts of weight loss.

After putting two and two together, Dr. Simeons’ research began to go down another road. That road was the effect of HCG injections if used for weight loss. The research yielded positive results and culminated with the publishing of the book: Pounds and Inches. For years, Dr. Simeons’ book has been the go-to source for HCG diet information. It summarizes the details of his research, and lays out a very specific diet that, if followed, will result in rapid weight loss from typically difficult to target portions of the body.

HCG is naturally produced in pregnant women. It stimulates the hypothalamus to release stores of fat into the bloodstream to ensure that the mother and developing fetus have the calories and nutrients needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy. The key here is that even if a woman is not pregnant (or is, in fact, not a woman at all) supplements HCG injections, the same effect occurs and rapid weight loss ensues.

Dr. Simeons’ HCG diet protocol calls for daily injections of the HCG hormone along with a very low calorie diet. The diet consists of 500 calories a day selected from a very specific list of approved foods. The list is not very long, but it is important that people who begin the HCG diet stick to it religiously. Certain foods will interfere with the efficacy of the HCG injections and reduce the potential weight loss effects. The HCG diet meal plan contains lean proteins, vegetables and some fruit along with tea, coffee or water to drink. No sugar or starches are to be had while following the HCG diet.While the meal plan is pretty restrictive, you can drink as much of the liquids as you want.

Dr. Simeons’ research began in the 1950s, and since then people have lost staggering amounts of weight very quickly while following his diet. You can typically expect to lose anywhere from .5lbs to 2lbs a day, depending on how much fat you have at the beginning of the diet. HCG diet injections are often accompanied by vitamin B injections and/or other vitamin and mineral supplements to help negate the nutritional effect of the reduced calorie diet.

Pounds & Inches was the first HCG diet book written, but it is nowhere near the last. If you’d like more  diet information, there are several HCG diet books out there that can help you. Aside from the books, there are HCG diet forums and HCG diet blogs all over the internet. Being able to see other people’s results and learn from their experience can go a long way to helping you successfully complete the HCG diet protocol on your own. There are also HCG diet reviews available online that can give you tips and pointers as to where to go for the best HCG diet information.

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HCG Diet Phase 2 Tips

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So, for the past two wonderful days, you’ve gorged yourself on as many fatty foods as possible. Pizza for dinner, fried fish for lunch, french fries and rich desserts by the plenty. Now it’s time to enter phase 2 of the HCG diet, the weight loss phase. Over the next few weeks, you will be limited to 500 calories a day, and the pounds will seemingly melt off your body. The first few days oh phase 2 might be pretty easy after a two-day binge, but consistency is what counts. If you want to reap the weight loss benefits that the HCG diet provides, you have to stick to the protocol faithfully.

Being able to stick to your diet during phase 2 can seem daunting from the outside, but once you get going it should be much easier than it seems. Everything is laid out for you in Dr. Simeons’ book Pounds & Inches or whatever other HCG diet book you may have, and as long as you do what the good doctor says, you’ll begin to lose weight immediately.

A well thought out HCG diet plan is going to be your ally for the next few weeks. You will want to make sure you put as much variation in your diet as possible, in order to keep things fresh and interesting. If you want to add the most variety to your meals, it might be a good idea to get yourself an HCG diet recipe book. 101 Worry-Free HCG Diet Recipes is an excellent resource for anyone looking to increase their meal options. The great thing about HCG diet recipe books is that they’re comprised of recipes that all fall within your list of approved foods. You don’t have to spend hours online searching through countless recipes, hoping to find some that just so happen to work for you.

Once you have your meal plan ready, it might be a good idea to do your grocery shopping ahead of time, for the first week or two, at least. When you make a rapid transition from a high calorie diet to a low calorie one, there’s bound to be some excess hunger. It’s never a good idea to shop when you’re hungry because you end up buying “things you don’t need.” When you’re following the HCG diet, your list of approved foods is so narrow that about 99% of the items in that store are “things you don’t need.”

Not only that, but the sights and smells can easily tempt you away from your diet, and that’s not going to be conducive to weight loss. Now, it’s not really plausible to go grocery shopping for the next several weeks at one time, but once your body has adjusted to your new diet it will be a lot easier to go to the grocery store. Plus, as the first week or so goes by and you find yourself 5lbs (or more) thinner, it will be far easier to resist any temptations that might hinder the HCG from doing its work.

Phase 2  lasts anywhere from 30-40 days, depending on the HCG diet protocol you choose. It really isn’t that long of a time, especially when you compare it to other diets on the market. Not only is it shorter in duration, but you’ll lose just as much, if not more weight than those who follow other leading diet programs.

 

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How to Deal with Potential HCG Diet Side Effects

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You’ve probably seen the television ads for all the various new medications being put on the market. Each ad is pretty much the same, and at the end of the commercial there is always a laundry list of potential side-effects associated with them. As such, a lot of people are more aware nowadays of potential side-effects of anything they put in their system. The HCG diet, while proven to help people with weight loss is not without it’s own list of potential side-effects. However, this list is far, far shorter than those associated with prescription medications and nowhere near as complicated.

The three most common potential HCG diet side-effects are mild headaches, feelings of being light-headed and fatigue. Most people don’t experience any adverse side-effects at all, but those that do usually report that they dissipate after the first week on the diet. It’s important to note that all three potential side-effects stem from an abrupt reduction in calorie intake, not from the HCG hormone supplements.

If mild headaches occur, the best way to combat them is to simply take an over the counter pain medication. Be sure to check your information on the HCG diet to avoid taking any medications that may inadvertently interfere with the effects of the HCG hormone in your body. If you’re not sure which to take, jump over to the HCG diet forums and ask there. The forums are full of people who are either going through the diet themselves or have already completed it and they’re usually more than willing to help others. Headaches can also be the result of dehydration. The HCG diet protocol calls for large amounts of water to be drunk while participating in it, and not getting enough could be the reason for your headaches. A good rule of thumb is to drink a little bit of water (8oz or so) once every hour to be sure you’re getting enough.

Fatigue and feelings of light-headedness usually come from the rapid drop in calories. When you take HCG hormone injections, doctors will often prescribe vitamin B injections to go along with it to help keep up your energy. Daily supplements are advisable as well since eating less food leads to getting less vitamins and minerals. Be careful how many supplements you take, though, because overdosing on certain vitamins and minerals can lead to their own negative side-effects.

Research has shown that HCG has a rather positive side-effect that should be noted. Those who have taken the HCG supplement benefit from a reduced risk of breast-cancer, and hat’s nothing to shake a stick at. HCG is a natural hormone present in the human body, and when on the diet it’s taken in far smaller amounts than one would normally experience (roughly 125 IU’s), so if you’re worried about throwing off your hormonal balance -don’t be!

The HCG diet really doesn’t take very long to complete, it only lasts about 30-40 days and if you take care you’ll come through at the end just fine. The discomfort of any potential side-effects related to your diet far outweighs those that obesity brings with it. Heart-disease, increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease are just some of the nasty side-effects of being overweight. The feelings of confidence and overall well-being that weight loss can bring you can help raise your spirits, and when your mind feels good, the body follows suit.

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