The HCG diet emerged in in the 1960s, introduced by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons as a natural solution to obesity. HCG is a hormone produced by pregnant women that supposedly has the ability to control metabolism. The HCG diet features injections of the HCG hormone coupled with a very low caloric intake, from just 500 to 800 calories per day. The restrictions involved in the HCG diet involve following a very specific list of food items for consumption, mostly consisting of protein sources, vegetables and fruits. There is no evidence that the Hcg diet is safe; as with any diet, always consult your doctor before beginning.
Phase 2 Vegetable Choices
The second phase of the HCG diet is the phase during which the most weight loss is promised to occur. This phase involves daily injections of HCG hormone and has very specific daily instructions for intake, behavior and exercise. According to HCG Weight Loss, only certain vegetables can be consumed on Phase 2 of the HCG diet, namely spinach, chard, beet greens, any kind of lettuce, tomatoes, celery, fennel, white onions, yellow onions, red onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus or cabbage.
According to HCG Weight Loss, the methods to prepare the vegetables included in Phase 2 are very important. Preparation methods may only include steaming, grilling or gently boiling. Vegetables can also be eaten raw. The serving size of the vegetables should be one large handful and dieters are cautioned not to mix veggies at the same meal.
Seasoning of Vegetables
Since additives to the vegetables can add unwanted calories and fat, HCG Weight Loss recommends specific ways to season vegetables during Phase 2. Oils, butter, salad dressing or any other sauce should not be used. Recommended herbs and spices are white or black pepper; organic lemon, raw apple cider vinegar, garlic, basil, parsley, thyme or marjoram; or sea salt. Other herbs may be used, provided they are organic.
The HCG diet a very low calorie diet. The severe calorie reduction, rather than the HCG injections, are most likely what causes diet followers to lose weight. Of concern is the safety of the HCG Diet. HCG is not approved as safe for weight loss by the Food and Drug Administration. Side effects of the HCG hormone can include fatigue, irritability and headache.