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hCG Diet

A controversial diet that calls for hormone injections.

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Established: 1950s
  • Founder: Dr. A.T.W. Simeons
  • Accessibility: Injections and drops
  • Diet Type: Extremely low calorie along with hCG drops or injections
  • Gender: Male and female
  • Celebrity Endorsements: Snookie (Jersey Shore), Jenni Farley, Britney Spears

See our interview: hCG Diet Reviewed by FullBar's Dr. Michael Snyder

A potential diet supplement administered through injections or oral drops, the hCG Diet is a very controversial weight loss method. HCG stands for the hormone Human Choriogonadotropin, which is the same hormone that is produced by women in their early stages of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the surge of this hormone signals the hypothalamus in the brain to start moving nutrients and fat into the placenta. When used as part of a weight loss program, it is the fat-mobilization aspects of the hormone that has garnered attention for its seeming ability to help facilitate weight loss.

Even though the FDA has approved hCG shots for fertility reasons, there is no scientific evidence that shows the hCG Diet can significantly promote weight loss. Although it is used in conjunction with a very low calorie diet, any weight loss that occurs is likely to be due to the reduced caloric intake rather than the hCG shots or drops themselves.

Many side effects have been shown in those who take hCG shots for weight loss. Blood clots, depression, headaches and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in women have all been cited as common, and even deadly, side effects associated with hCG use. HCG drops avoid the inconveniences of a daily injection, but no clinical studies have been conducted to determine if hCG drops have any change in side effects.

Typically, the hCG Diet lasts for three weeks and is monitored by a health professional.

  • May promote weight loss when used in combination with a reduced calorie diet

  • Not considered safe
  • Weight loss is more likely to due to extremely restricted caloric intake rather than injections or drops
  • Weight loss is temporary
  • Side effects can be very serious. According to the Mayo Clinic, side affects associated with hCG include fatigue, irritability, headache and male breast enlargement.

hCG injections and drops contain the hormone Human Choriogonadotropin.


An injection of 125 iu of hCG is administered daily or a daily dose of oral drops.


Those who use hCG injections to lose weight must also follow a very strict diet that amounts to no more than 500 calories a day.

For the first two days of the injection you are allowed to eat excessively. Following the third injection, you must adhere to the 500-calorie diet until 72 hours following the last injection given. Sugars, very sweet fruits, processed foods and heavy starches are not allowed.

An hCG Diet protocol outlined by advocate Dr. A.T.W. Simeons looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Coffee or tea with artificial sweetener and one tablespoon of milk. Lunch is 100 grams of lean meat, poultry or fish in addition to one low-glycemic vegetable like spinach, celery, cucumbers or cabbage. One Melba toast and one fruit like half of a grapefruit or an apple is also allowed.
  • Dinner is the same as lunch.

In addition, shots of apple cider vinegar can be taken as a daily supplement. Products and make-up that contain any fatty substances like mineral oil or almond oil cannot be used.

Websites dedicated to promoting the hCG Diet contain recipes and additional protocol information and tips.


The hCG Diet is highly regimented and a very controversial weight loss program that involves the administration of either hormone injections or oral drops coupled with a very low-calorie diet. Popular amongst steroid users and those daring and desperate to lose weight quickly, the hCG Diet is not a weight loss program that is readily endorsed by health and medical professionals for its obvious flaws and real risks for dangerous side effects.

Common Misspellings

HCG, hgc diet, hormone diet, pregnancy hormone diet, hcg injection diet, Human Choriogonadotropin diet

Related Diets: Calorie Restriction Diet , The Pregnancy Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, hCG Ultra Diet Drops, Your HCG, HCG Diet Made Simple, HCG Easy Gourmet Diet Cookbook, HCG Guide, HCG Safe Start Method

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(Page 12 of 25, 481 total comments)


Oh, poor Betty, headaches are such a drag. Don't be walking around in pain, though, take a couple of aspirin. I agree with the post below that your headaches are the result of detoxing and should go away. Trudeau has a "detox and cleanse" phase in his version of the hgc diet (which I think he just flat out pilfered from Simeons P & I Protocol) but the truth is that P2 will detox you all by itself. The approved food list makes for very "clean eating."

I thought I'd rather not have coffee if I couldn't have coffee with that half cup of cream I always dumped in, but I only thought that for one day. Turns out black coffee is WAY better than no coffee at all. It's Day 29 for me now, I've lost 27 pounds and I happily start the day off with several cups of hot black coffee.
If you're not a coffee drinker, find something warm that you like to drink--green tea, homemade chicken broth, even warm water with a squirt of lemon. It's comforting to sip something warm.

Gatorade Girl: wow, you risked a cheat and it was that stuff? LOL. As you probably discovered, the trade off for the rapid weight loss is that there's absolutely no wiggle room at all. (Gatorade has a ton of sugar, btw.) You really have to get your head ready and be mentally committed to following the rules to the letter. For 23 days, you can do that!


posted Mar 1st, 2011 11:36 am

Kim Wookey

Started at 210. Taking real rx grade HCG I lost 44.5 lbs in 2 short rounds. I am now 20.5 away from my goal of 140! I plan on doing round 3 in May.

posted Feb 28th, 2011 5:17 pm


Tomorrow will be 2 weeks that I have been on the hCG diet and I have lost 16 pounds! I look great and feel great. Someone asked a question about the headaches... for the first week the headaches really bothered me but now I have no headaches at all. I believe that my headaches were d/t caffeine and sugar withdrawl.

It sounds like some people on here could definitely benefit from reading the book "Pounds and Inches" by Dr. Simeons. Go to for a link to the book. You should NOT begin this diet until completely reading the book. It's a short, quick read and very informative.

Someone also asked about what if you have a "little drink of Gatorade". This diet must be followed TO THE LETTER. Any deviation from the diet will either result in no loss for that day or possibly a gain, depending on how bad you cheat. Remember, when you cheat, you're only cheating yourself and setting yourself up for failure.

I tried this diet as a fluke and bought the drops on ebay. I was skeptical until I saw the scale dropping and dropping which was my motivation to keep going. Now I only have a little over a week to go on P2 and I am thrilled with my results.

Good Luck!!

posted Feb 28th, 2011 2:36 pm


I have been on the HCG drops since January 23rd and have lost 20 pounds. I am ecstatic because I have been on countless diets before with very little results. This has worked for me. I feel I can maintain a consistent weight since I eat healthy already and will watch the scales every day.

posted Feb 27th, 2011 7:09 pm


I just started the diet 3 days ago but my main concern is these terrible headaches, the drops do curb my appetite and everything its just these ugly headaches that discourage me so much, i just hate to be like this for a whole month. Any suggestions!!!

posted Feb 27th, 2011 1:18 am


What happens if you consume a little gatorade by accident or snything that's not on the HCG diet, do you have to wait 3 weeks or start over from the beginning or can you continue have and have about the same results? Please answer.

posted Feb 26th, 2011 8:07 am


For cravings, do something interesting with Sweetleaf Flavored Stevia drops. (Whole Foods, iHerb, Amazon.) They come in all kinds of flavors and they're so versatile. You can combine the rootbeer and vanilla creme with carbonated water to make a passable "rootbeer float." Or use your fruit plus the orange and vanilla to make a dreamcicle. And there's a chocolate flavor! The plain drops, combined with some Bragg's Amino Acids (tastes like soy sauce) make the basis for a good salad dressing or some sweet-sour sauce for shrimp, etc.

The party line that I've heard from others is that small cheats during P2 might not affect your weight loss, but will create problems later on when you're trying to stabilize in P3. I don't know for sure--just passing that along.

If you're hungry, try adjusting your dosage--usually you need less, not more. You really shouldn't feel hungry at all.


posted Feb 22nd, 2011 1:45 pm


I've been on P3 for a little over a week now and have maintained my ending weight! Whoo! I haven't done as well, eating-wise, as I should. But I'm still maintaining. I'm such a believer in this diet even though I'm constantly hearing from my friends/coworkers how it's stupid diet. After the first week I was NEVER hungry, I lost almost 20 lbs, and so far, it hasn't come back. It really is a miracle diet.
MONIE - As far as cravings go, there is a wonderful cookbook designed for phase 2. It's called 'The HCG Diet Gourmet Cookbook' It really is great. It makes you feel like you can eat normal food and it teaches you cooking habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. If you're having chocolate cravings like myself, I found Russell Stover's Sugarfree chocolate didn't affect my weight gain/loss as long as I didn't eat too much. 1 or 2 squares.

Good Luck!

posted Feb 21st, 2011 9:32 am


I have been on the hcg plan for 7 days now and have lost 6 pounds. I found a lovely clinic in my area that actually has the pill in lieu of the shot. I can honestly say I am not hungry although I still have terrible cravings! I have gotten to the point where I actually dream of Krispy Kreme donuts at night!!! I tried phentermine a few years ago and had great results with no cravings and no hunger but gained double after program completion due to lack of will power and being lazy (no regular exercise). Additionally, my sister, who started thehcg program before me, has lost approximately a pound per day as well (shes down 20lbs). No side effects so far. PS... if anyone has ANY advice to help with my cravings, please let me know!

posted Feb 18th, 2011 9:30 pm


The best place I've found for questions is the hcgnewbie group on Yahoo--un/reliable places to buy, approved foods, transistioning to P3, etc. Lots of information, encouragement and support there, although the policy is strict adherence to the original Simeons protocol, so look elsewhere if you want to experiment with the steps or the food. Christian Walker has a very good site for people who sort of want to follow the protocol, but are interested in seeing whether this or that affects their results.

Short answers to the questions posted below:

All Day Chemists is one of the best places to purchase RxHCG. Good customer support, excellent prices.

In P3, you need to spend three weeks maintaining the weight at which you ended P2. This is the time for stabilization and resetting your metabolism. The P2 rapid weight loss is dazzling, but P3 is actually the most important for the long term goal of changing how your body deals with food.

No worries about developing secondary opposite sex characteristcs for either gender--specifically addressed in Simeons P&I.

To the people who tried it and felt hungry all the time, you almost certainly got fake homeopathic hcg. The scammers out there are multiplying like rabbits and there's not anything much easier to fake than homeopathic drops. With genuine hcg, a very small percentage of people experience some hunger for the first couple of days, which can usually be traced back to not eating enough during the "loading" days. Most people never feel hungry, have tons of energy and feel great.

Finally, the feedback site at the bottom of a column denying the effectiveness of the whole protocol probably isn't the best place to find answers and support. There are some really good online groups out there and it helps a lot to go through this with others who are just as committed as you are.

Good luck everybody,

posted Feb 17th, 2011 12:42 pm


I used the HCG Platinum and lost weight. Now I went to buy it again and they are selling a new HCG platinum X-30, this is without hormone (no HCG) I am not getting it. When I asked the person in the store told me the product has a recall but she couldn't explained too much about it. Can anybody help me out? Had anyone try this new product already? thanks

posted Feb 17th, 2011 9:13 am


Any guys taking this experiencing this?My concerns for this diet don't only start with the 500 calories but the fact that a side effect for men is male breast enlargement. Any guys taking this experiencing this? It seems as this IS a female hormone and it could make some sense.

posted Feb 16th, 2011 7:47 pm


Great comments! where can i go to find the good quality HCG?

posted Feb 16th, 2011 4:48 pm


Hello everyone, I was doing the shots for about 6 mons or so and lost alot of weight. ( Total of about 68 pounds) I felt good about myself and everyone noticed my weight loss... For the first time in my life i was happy with myself. Anyway It got to expensive to keep up and it got harder and harder to do the injections. I just wondered if anyone could give me a few pointers on the drops, are they the same as the shots?

posted Feb 16th, 2011 1:51 am


Can anybody recommend a good oral product?Hi, I am interested in doing the sublingual drops and I was wondering if anybody could recommend a place to purchase an RX strength product that they have had success with? Thanks to all!

posted Feb 15th, 2011 10:28 am

Christiana Gems

I love the diet. My doctor did it himself. I like the FACT it is geared to maintain muscle mass and targets fat for weight loss. There are no special meals to you eat REAL food and you are aware of calories you consume. THUS the transition to non-dieting should be easier. YOU can go higher than 500 calories a day if you add some mild exercise. If you do not plan on following the specific allowed foods do not bother with the diet. You can add some "adipex" as needed for hunger. I never need more than 1/4 of a 37.5 mg tablet a day for that. Ignore the naysayers. Great diet to target excess belly fat. But always go with your M.D.

posted Feb 13th, 2011 8:16 pm


Carl - Where did you buy your drops from? If they won't honor their money back guarantee, we all need to know about that site. It sounds like it's not the real thing, or maybe they were old/expired. I purchased drops online about a year ago and was also starving the 1st week. I think those were not true hcg drops. I just started with a local dr. using injections, and have not been starving like before. I'm also watching my body fat percentage on my scales to make sure I'm actually losing fat (body fat percentage decreasing) instead of losing just water and lean muscle mass.

posted Feb 13th, 2011 2:34 am


I'm about to enter Phase 3 and I was really excited about being able to finally excercise and lose a little more weight. But after doing some reading, I see that you're not supposed to lose any weight during phase 3 because it could interfere with the re-setting of your hypothalamus. Is anyone on phase 3 and could give me some insight?

posted Feb 8th, 2011 2:46 pm


Carl - You probably bought from a fake. If you're ever willing to try again, just check out the company first. Buy from a company a friend has bought from. Don't go just by the reviews on the website. I have lost almost 20lbs in 6 weeks. I guess the diet may work for some, not for others but I know 6 people other than myself on it and we have all had great results.

posted Feb 8th, 2011 2:16 pm


This product did not work at all. I did everything the way you were supposed to and I did not lose any weight. I still felt hungry and it was supposed to surpress my hunger. Also, the website says that if the product does not work you can get your money back. WELL THAT IS A LIE! THIS COMPANY IS NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK SO DO NOT TRUST THEM!!!!!

posted Feb 8th, 2011 3:05 am


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