What Kind of Snacks Can You Have on the HCG Diet?

Woman eating apple
Have up to two apples per day as snacks. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

When you’re taking the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, you have to severely restrict the calories in your diet. Five hundred calories is the most you can have in a day. Technically, you’re not allowed to have any snacks while you’re following the limited food selections of the hCG diet plan. You can save certain foods from your lunch or dinner meals and eat them later on, however.

Nibble on Crackers

The hCG diet plan allows you to have specific crackers twice a day, with lunch or dinner, or you can save them to enjoy later. You’re allowed to have one grissini breadstick twice a day. These crisps are long, thin crackers, shaped like small breadsticks. Or you can have one Melba toast -- a dry thin cracker -- two times daily.

Enjoy Fresh Fruit

You can have a small serving of fruit with lunch or dinner meals as well. These fruits can make a perfect midafternoon or late-night snack if you don’t want to eat them with your meals. Snack on a small apple or orange if you need something to eat on the go. You can also indulge in half a grapefruit or a handful of whole strawberries.

Fill Up on Drinks

If you’re tummy starts growling, before you reach for food, have something to drink. That rumbling feeling could just be a sign that you haven’t had enough fluids, not that you’re hungry. The hCG plan includes unlimited amounts of water and plain tea. If you need a little flavor, add in a squeeze of fresh lemon, although you’re only allowed to juice one lemon per day. You’re also allowed to drink as much black coffee as you wish, sweetened with saccharin or sucralose artificial sweeteners. You can add milk to tea or coffee as long as you limit yourself to just 1 tablespoon per day.

Diet Considerations

Advocates of the hCG diet claim that by taking the hormone, your body turns into a fat-burning machine. But the weight loss you may experience most likely stems from the major changes in your diet, not necessarily from the hormone. It generally takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound. So switching from 2,000 calories daily -- if this was your normal intake -- to just 500 calories means you’ll consume 10,500 calories less a week. That cut in calories alone could make you shed as much as 3 pounds. But you won’t be meeting your fiber, vitamin, mineral, protein, fat or carbohydrate needs on the hCG plan, which can lead to malnourishment. Before you start, check in with your health care provider as a precaution.

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