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Will Oranges & Grapefruits Stall Your HCG Weight Loss?

author image Shannon Marks
Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.
Will Oranges & Grapefruits Stall Your HCG Weight Loss?
Sliced oranges and grapefruits. Photo Credit poplasen/iStock/Getty Images

The HCG diet was developed in the 1950s by British endocrinologist A.T.W. Simeons to produce significant weight loss in a short amount of time. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that is used to mobilize fat and suppress your appetite while on a 500-calorie-per-day diet. As part of the diet protocol you can eat grapefruit. Oranges, however, are not on the menu of approved foods.

About HCG Diet

An HCG diet is a very-low-calorie regimen. Participants are permitted to consume only 500 calories a day during phase three, the most restrictive period, consisting of 200 g of lean meat or fish, two servings of vegetables, two bread sticks or slices of toast and two servings of fruit. The only fruit permitted on the diet is an apple, a handful of strawberries and half a grapefruit. According to Simeons, the foods on the approved HCG diet menu are carefully selected for their sugar, fat and starch content. Cheating on the diet, which entails consuming any food not preapproved – including oranges – could have a “disastrous” impact on your ability to lose a significant amount of weight, says Simeons in his book “Pounds and Inches.”

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Grapefruit Information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database indicates that half of a white California grapefruit, at 118 g, contains 44 calories and 0 g of fat. In a 100 g serving of grapefruit, there’s just 6 g of sugar. A half of a pink or red Florida grapefruit is even lower in calories and may be more filling because it contains 37 calories and 0 g of fat per 123 g serving. Grapefruit is a perfect fit for an HCG diet – a sugar-free, low-calorie, low-fat protocol.


A generic, large orange has 86 calories and 0 g of fat but contains 17 g of sugar, according to the USDA database. A Florida orange is slightly lower in calories and sugars, containing 65 calories per fruit with 13 g of sugar. It’s the high sugar content of oranges that disqualifies the fruit from an HCG diet menu. According to Simeons, sugar is not permitted during the calorie-restriction and calorie-maintenance phases of an HCG diet.


There are several variations of the HCG diet, but typically three phases are present in modern HCG regimens: calorie-loading, calorie-restriction and maintenance. During the calorie-loading phase, participants are encouraged to eat in excess and consume anything they want, including oranges. This phase is designed to develop fat stores from which your body will draw during the low-calorie, fat-burning stage. Phase two, calorie-restriction, is a 500-calorie-per-day regimen. The limited menu includes grapefruit but excludes oranges. Phase three, the maintenance stage, is an 800-to-1,000-calorie-per-day protocol. Because sugars are still forbidden during this phase, you cannot eat oranges but you can consume grapefruit.

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