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Men, Should You Try the hCG Diet? The Truth Revealed

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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The hCG diet is wildly popular for men seeking weight loss, but the health risks might make you think twice.

Want to lose weight fast like a celebrity? The hCG diet used by the rich and famous could help you drop pounds quickly. The caveat is that this ultra-low calorie plan comes with big risks. 

Get detailed insights on each phase, meal plans, and whether hCG supplements really work or just starve you down. Separate fact from fiction before attempting this radical diet.

What Is the General Timeline for the hCG Diet From Start to Finish?

The hCG diet involves strategically transitioning through three different phases over a total period of 6-12 weeks. Each phase plays a specific role in promoting steady weight loss and developing sustainable healthy eating habits.

Loading Up in the Initial Phase

  • The first Loading Phase spans just 2 days at the very start of the diet.
  • During this kickstart period, the diet involves taking hCG supplementation.
  • At the same time, the diet surprisingly recommends indulging in high-calorie, high-fat foods.
  • Consuming fatty foods like cheese, butter, oil, and red meat in Phase 1 enables the hCG to fully identify existing fat stores that will later be tapped into for energy.

Alleged Weight Loss in the Middle Phase

  • The next 3-6 week period makes up the Weight Loss Phase, the most restrictive part of the diet.
  • The diet typically involves limiting calories to just 500-800 per day during this phase while continuing hCG supplementation.
  • Losing 0.5-3 pounds per day is common in this rapid weight loss stage. The duration can be customized based on the amount of weight loss desired.

Sustainable Habits in the Final Phase

  • The last phase is the 3-week Maintenance Phase, focused on stability.
  • HCG is stopped at this point, while calories are slowly increased back to normal levels.
  • Avoiding added sugars and starches helps continue losing weight steadily.
  • This phase is about cementing sustainable healthy eating habits that support weight management.

In total, most patients follow the complete hCG diet for 6-12 weeks to achieve their weight loss goals safely and effectively. The phased approach facilitates rapid progress while setting patients up for long-term success.

What Is Included in an hCG Diet Menu Plan for Men?

hcg diet for men

The hCG diet for men emphasizes lean proteins like chicken and fish, restricts fats and carbs, and limits fruit and dairy to quickly reduce calories while retaining muscle mass.

Emphasizing Lean Protein

  • Approximately 200g of protein is recommended daily, split into two meals containing up to 100g of protein each.
  • Primary protein sources should be chicken breast, white fish, shrimp, lobster, crab, and the leanest cuts of red meat. Visible fat should be minimal.
  • Tofu can also be included in moderation to add plant-based protein.

Limiting Vegetables

  • Non-starchy vegetables like asparagus, spinach, celery, and radishes are included.
  • Only 1 cup of these approved vegetables is permitted per meal, with a maximum of 2 cups daily.

Restricting Fruit

  • Fruit intake is limited mainly to apples, oranges, strawberries, and half a grapefruit per day.

Severely Capping Grains

  • Only 2 servings of grains or starchy carbohydrates are allowed daily.
  • This is typically in the form of 2 grissini breadsticks or 2 thin rice cakes.

Minimizing Dairy

  • Dairy is restricted to just 1 tablespoon of milk per day.

Permitted Beverages

  • Water, unsweetened tea, and coffee are primary beverages.
  • Diet sodas and sparkling water are also allowed.
  • Sweeteners must be stevia or saccharine instead of sugar.

What Does the hCG Diet Menu Plan Phase 1 Entail?

Phase 1 of the hCG diet is a 2-day period known as the “loading phase.” According to the guidelines, this phase involves:

  • Beginning supplementation with hCG, either through injections or oral drops.
  • Consuming high-calorie, high-fat foods to prepare the body for the next phase’s very low-calorie diet. Patients are advised to eat up to 250 grams of fat daily, equating to approximately 2,250 calories just from fat.
  • Loading up on foods like eggs, bacon, sausage, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, full-fat cheese, heavy cream, and other fat-rich options. Essentially, any high-fat foods are permitted.
  • Eating whatever is desired, including sweets and treats that might typically be craved or restricted. The main objective is fat loading rather than limitations.

Avoiding watch on calories, carbs or protein intake. The only macronutrient emphasized in Phase 1 is dietary fat.

What Foods Are Included in hCG Diet Menu Phase 2?

Phase 2 of the hCG diet involves restricting calories substantially, to around 500 per day. The permitted foods are:

  • Lean protein sources such as chicken, beef, shrimp, crab, lobster, veal, bison, and fresh white fish.
  • Non-starchy vegetables that are low in calories and carbohydrates, like tomatoes, cucumbers, leafy greens, celery, asparagus, etc.
  • Herbs and spices like parsley, basil, garlic, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, and mint to add flavor.

The diet recommends two small meals per day in Phase 2, each containing:

  • 3.5 ounces or about 100 grams of approved lean protein
  • Unlimited servings of permitted vegetables

Additionally, low-fat, low-sugar snacks emphasizing vegetables are allowed to support a caloric intake of 500 daily.

What Are the Meal Options for hCG Diet Menu Phase 3?

Phase 3 of the hCG diet aims to reintroduce greater food variety while maintaining weight loss. Breakfast options in this phase can include:

  • Frittatas made with eggs and non-starchy vegetables like asparagus
  • Poached eggs accompanied by coffee and a small amount of low-fat milk

Lunch and dinner options emphasize lean proteins like salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, beef, and bison. 

Non-starchy vegetables with a glycemic index under 30 are encouraged, including options like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, tomatoes, and zucchini. Limited fresh fruits such as apples and berries are also permitted.

In addition to proteins and non-starchy vegetables, Phase 3 allows the incorporation of small servings of:

  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats
  • Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams
  • Legumes including lentils, beans, and peas

Snacks can include fruits such as apple slices or a small amount of fresh coconut. The wider variety of nutrient-dense foods in Phase 3 supports the stabilization of weight loss while expanding meal options.

What Are Some Typical hCG Diet Meals for a Beginner?

The hCG diet involves strict food limitations, so meal planning as a beginner should focus on simple preparations using approved ingredients. Some sample daily meals could include:

  • Breakfast of 1/2 grapefruit along with 1-2 eggs cooked plain or made into an omelet with allowed vegetables. This provides protein and fruit.
  • Lunch of a garden salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a dressing of oil and vinegar. This fills up on non-starchy vegetables.
  • Dinner of broiled white fish like tilapia or cod, or a chicken breast, accompanied by steamed vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or spinach. This lean protein and vegetable combination is a staple hCG dinner.
  • Snacks of sugar-free jelly or a small portion of olives. These low-calorie options curb hunger between meals.

How Effective Is hCG Men Weight Loss Compared to Traditional Diets?

hcg diet for men

According to research, the hCG diet protocol does not appear to be more effective for weight loss in men compared to conventional calorie-restricted diets.

Studies have demonstrated that very low-calorie diets of 500 calories per day paired with hCG shots or supplements do not result in more weight loss than standard low-fat or balanced deficit diets. The severely restricted calories are likely responsible for the majority of weight loss observed, rather than any direct effects from hCG.

It’s important to note that the FDA, Mayo Clinic, and other major health organizations also state there is no evidence that hCG helps with weight loss or fat redistribution.


How quickly does hCG work in males for weight loss purposes?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) has not been proven effective or safe for weight loss in men; it should be avoided.

Why might the hCG diet not be working for me?

The hCG diet is unsafe and ineffective for weight loss; any weight loss is due to the very low-calorie intake, not hCG.

Can you drink alcohol on the hCG diet safely?

No, alcohol is high in calories and can stimulate appetite, making the very low-calorie hCG diet even more difficult and potentially dangerous.

Is turkey allowed on the hCG diet?

No, turkey is not part of the original hCG diet protocol. It contains L-tryptophan which may cause lethargy and slow metabolism.

Are there any tricks to enhance the efficacy of the hCG diet?

There are no safe or effective tricks to enhance the hCG diet as hCG does not cause weight loss; extreme calorie restriction causes concerns.

What are the average weight loss results for men using hCG?

There are no reliable weight loss results attributable to hCG in men as it has not been proven effective or safe for weight loss.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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