Q: 500 calories a day is very low, won't I be hungry?
A: If you did the loading phase correctly, are taking the drops as directed and are following the program you should not be hungry. Occasionally, if you did not "gorge" in the first 3 days you will be hungry in the first week but this will pass. It can be hard to break lifetime patterns and occasionally people on the program can’t get their head around it. Keep in mind the goal posts are never far away!
Q: With so few calories, won't my energy hit rock bottom?
A: If you follow the program precisely you will have sufficient energy. In fact many people feel more energized, especially in the 2nd and 3rd week of the program.
Q: Why do I have to 'gorge' for the first 2 days of the hCG diet?
A: It takes 2 days for the hormone free drops to be fully effective. Eating liberally in the first 3 days significantly decreases hunger while on the diet.
Q: What are the best foods to eat in Phase 1, the Load Phase?
A: High fat calorie foods such as cream cakes, creamy pasta and fried foods however the fats in dairy products, nuts, oils, avocados and deep sea fish are a healthier option. Whatever you choose you should be uncomfortably full.
Q: Can I do the hCG diet if I am vegetarian?
A: Yes, however it is easier if you eat some form of animal protein.
Q: Can I do the diet if I am lactose or gluten intolerant?
Q: Can I use salt?
A: Yes. however a sudden increase in salt can cause water retention. Excessive use of salt is a common cause of inconsistencies in weight loss.
Q: How do I know how much of everything I can eat?
A: A set of kitchen scales is handy to measure your protein serving but if you don't a 100g can of tuna is a good indicator of meat size per meal. Vegies are the best food to fill up on as they are lower in calories and full of water and fibre. Basically, your protein component is 100g = 100 calories, fruit 1 serve = 55-110 calories, grissini cruskit or melba toast 1 serve = 20 calories plus enough veg to feel comfortably full.
Q: Are frozen veggies okay instead of fresh?
A: Fresh vegetables are best but frozen can be used if you need to.
Q: Can I still have coffee?
A: Yes, but it is dehydrating so drink plenty of other non caffeinated fluids. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily plus coffee, tea, herbal tea. Green tea is particularly good. Keep in mind you are only allowed 1 tablespoon of milk in a 24 hour period so a cappuccino or latte is out of the question.
Q: What do I do if I am still hungry?
A: Listen to your body, people eat for many reasons, if you eat when you are stressed, aim to find the trigger and try to find an alternative activity to food. Also, ensure you are drinking enough water. A fibre supplement may be taken to increase the feeling of satiety. If you continue to feel hungry get in touch with your support person, sooner rather than later.
Q: I am craving sugary foods.
A: Occasionally, if you previously ate a lot of sugar, carbohydrate or even alcohol you may have cravings in the first week. These will pass and when the program ends should not reappear.
Q: How much weight will I lose?
A: Most people who do the program exactly as instructed lose 7-10kg in shifting phase of the hCG diet, that is 21 days, some more and some less. It is valuable to take measurements as your shape will change no matter what the scales say. Often people lose 3-4kg in the first week and the remainder over 2 weeks.
Q: I'm trying to conceive, can I do the 500 cal diet.
A: Yes, losing the extra weight and creating a healthy body can only help your fertility. If, however you become pregnant during the program you should stop. Keep in mind once you are pregnant it is a great opportunity to look after yourself, not to pig out for 9 months.
Q: Can I do the diet while breast feeding?
A: No, it is never recommended that you start a weight reduction program while breast feeding.
Q: What beauty products can I use while on the diet?
A: You can use anything that does not include fats and oils. Shampoo and conditioner are acceptable as long as you wash them out immediately, leave in conditioner is not recommended. Lipstick is also allowed. Do not use foundation. Oils are absorbed through the skin so even though you are not putting any fat in your mouth these products will slow down your weight loss.
Q: What deodorant can I use?
A: You can use Crystal deodorant, which can be found at health food stores.
Q: Can I colour my hair while I’m completing the hCG diet?
A: Hair colouring is not encouraged, a small amount of the chemicals and / or oils contained in the colouring or conditioners can be absorbed through the skin and may negatively affect weight loss. I have to confess I coloured my hair (using foils which don't touch the scalp) during my first 3 week program and it made no difference to weight loss. It is discouraged simply to eliminate all variables
Q: I cheated and have stopped losing weight?
A: It may take up to 3 days before you start losing weight again. Resume 500 calorie diet and continue to use drops, you will start losing again.
Q: I want to get started with the diet but have a couple events coming up, what do I do?
A: It is always better to undertake this program when there are no social events. Having said this it is not impossible, you will need to take your meal with you or ask for a meal to be made specially. Be quite specific with your instructions to the kitchen.
Q: Is it okay to exercise during the hCG diet?
A: High intensity aerobic exercise is discouraged on the program. It won’t speed up the process and may in fact stall it. Mild exercise such as walking and swimming is acceptable and most individuals benefit from 1 resistance training session a week, including core training. If you are training get in touch with your support person to find out what you need to do.
Q: What happens if I get my period?
A: Stop using the drops but continue with the 500 calorie diet until your period finishes. Resume taking hormone free drops when period finishes. Count the days of your period and add these to the end of the program. For this reason it is best for women to start the program the day their period ends.
Q: Is alcohol allowed on the hCG diet ?
A: No, alcohol is a carbohydrate and will affect weight loss.
Q: Is it ok to upgrade from the 23 day program to the 40 day program?
A: Yes, this happens all the time. The diet is so easy and results are so spectacular that people want to keep going. Keep taking the hormone free drops and continue with the 500 calorie diet.
Note. A 500 calorie diet is not recommended without the use of the drops.
Q: Can I do more than 40 days?
A: After 40 days it is best to give your body and mind a break from the regimented shifting phase. Dr Simeons diet is a very low calorie diet (VLCD) and as such is not recommended for anyone over long periods of time. Note: Many people continue to lose weight during the maintenance phase and after a break you can come back and do it all again.
Q: If I reach my weight loss goal before the end of the program can I discontinue the diet?
A: For best results and lasting results you should complete the initial 21 days. After day 21 you can stop at any time. Note: You must do the equivalent time in the maintenance phase as you did in the weight loss phase.
Q: Can I lose too much weight?
A: No, you will only lose the stored abnormal fat. Your structural fat will remain so you will never look gaunt or underweight.
Q: Who can do the diet?
A: The diet is safe for adult males and females. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions please check with your Doctor prior to commencing.
Q: I am diabetic, can I do the program?
A: Yes, often diabetics have a lower fasting blood sugar after the program. Do not stop taking medications and please check with your Doctor prior to commencing.
Q: Can I still take my medications while on program?
A: Yes, Do not stop using your medication without consulting your Doctor. Medications that will slow the rate of weight loss are any that affect your hormones so you must check with your Doctor prior to commencing the program. We are happy to provide your Doctor with information regarding the program.
Q: Can I keep taking my vitamins?
A: Dr Simeons protocol recommends not taking supplements, however, if your multi vitamin is oil / fat free, this will support your body during the process. Probiotics and digestive enzymes are ok as they help digestion.
Q: What should I do if I get constipated?
A: Increase your water intake, a fibre supplement may be used.