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​What Can I Eat During the VLCD Phase of the HCG Protocol?

Posted by HCG Diet Store on

Your success with the HCG Protocol depends on following the directions for the protocol to the letter. Deviating even in small ways can lead to slowed weight loss or even weight gain. Dr. Simeons developed the protocol after years of trial, error, and adjusting it continually until he found just the right formula. If you stay with the protocol as described, you'll most likely enjoy a high level of success.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

During the 500-calorie daily diet, your choices are pretty limited, but with a little creativity, you can mix it up a bit. It's important not to stray from the basic menu.

For breakfast, you're limited to tea or coffee, with no sugar added. If you like it sweet, add stevia or saccharin. Click here to see the flavors of stevia we carry. You can have one tablespoon of milk every 24 hours, and most people choose to put it in their coffee or tea. Many people worry that they'll be starving by noon if they don't eat breakfast, but remember, during Phase 2, your body is consuming up to 4,000 calories' worth of fat, so you probably won't be hungry for breakfast, anyway.

For lunch and dinner, you'll choose four items from several prescribed choices:

  1. 100 grams of veal, chicken breast, beef, white fish, shrimp, lobster, or crab. It's important to trim any fat and weigh your meat before you cook it. Suggestion: Use a George Foreman grill to cook so that you don't have to use any extra oil, which is NOT allowed, during the cooking process. Also not allowed are salmon, eel, herring, and any type of dried or pickled fish.
  2. One of the following allowed vegetables: spinach, chard, chicory, beet greens, tomatoes, green salad, fennel, celery, onion, red radish, cucumber, cabbage, and asparagus. If it's not on this list, it is not recommended and could decrease or stall your weight loss. It is important to choose just ONE vegetable for each meal. Mixing vegetables is not allowed. You may have an unlimited amount of the chosen vegetable, but you may want to limit tomato or onion choices to one as these have higher sugar/carbohydrate content and can slow the rate of weight loss.
  3. One grissini breadstick or one piece of melba toast.
  4. One apple, one handful of strawberries, an orange or a half of a grapefruit.

You'll get a better range of vitamins and nutrients and avoid boredom if you mix up your choices each day so that you're not eating the same thing twice during any one day.

Spice it Up

The 500-calorie diet can get a little bland since so much is restricted, but there are ways to spice it up a bit. You’ll want to check the ingredients list for anything — anything! — you add to your food, including spices and condiments, to make sure it contains no form of sugar, no oils, and no other “bad” ingredients like modified food starch.

You can freely use salt, pepper, garlic, mustard powder, and herbs like basil, parsley, marjoram, and thyme. Butter and oil are completely off-limits. Simple Girl seasonings were designed specifically for the HCG Diet to provide great taste and optimum weight loss results.

Dress it Up

Make sure you get some diet-safe Simple Girl dressings for your vegetables and Simple Girl sauces for your meat. They will add loads of flavor to your foods and keep you from cheating. They are also great to use during maintenance and for life.

Drinks You Can Have During the Diet Phase

You need to drink a lot of fluids every day. Two liters is the minimum amount you should be drinking, and three is even better. You can have unlimited plain tea, coffee, water, and mineral water. No soda is allowed — not even diet soda; nor are juices, fruit drinks, or other flavored beverages. Don't be worried about gaining water weight. Keep in mind that your body stores more fluids when it's dehydrated, so lots of water keeps everything moving along and flushing out.


There are no “free foods” on the HCG Protocol. If you need a snack, you can save your breadstick and/or your daily fruit allotment for snacking between meals, as long as you subtract if from one of your meals.

More Information

Need more information for the best weight loss success story ever? Try purchasing one or more of our diet books to get educated about the diet, easy worry-free diet recipes, or track your progress through Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the diet.

  • What to Eat During the VLCD Diet