An HCG diet is a low calorie regimen combined with hormone injections. A.T.W. Simeons, the British doctor who developed the HCG diet in the 1950s, notes that human gonadotropin is a pregnancy hormone that can redistribute fat and suppress hunger. The plan allows dieters to consume 500 calories a day, about half of which is an animal protein. To accommodate a vegetarian diet, Simeons proposes higher dairy intake and curds. Before starting an HCG protocol, it’s important to consult a physician or dietician and specifically talk about your nutritional needs.
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There are three types of vegetarian diets, according to the National Institutes of Health. All of them exclude meat products, such as chicken, steak and veal. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including dairy, eggs and cheese. A lacto vegetarian will consume dairy products like milk and cottage cheese. A lacto-ovo vegetarian will eat dairy products and eggs. To supply vegetarians with a sufficient amount of protein on an HCG diet, they’re required to drink just over a pint of non-fat milk each day.
Vegetarian HCG Diet
Much of an HCG diet consists of protein in the form of animal products. Other types of proteins, including legumes and nuts, are too high in calories and fat and are not permitted. This can be problematic, since most of the vegetarian’s fats and proteins come from these sources. According to “Pounds and Inches,” Simeons book about the HCG diet, non-meat eaters must drink milk as a protein substitute. The remainder of the diet is the same as non-vegetarians: two servings of fruit, two of vegetables, two slices of toast or bread sticks and a cup of coffee or tea per day.
After the Diet
Phase two consists of 26 days of eating 500 calories and 23 days of hormone injections. To prevent a protein deficiency, upon completion dieters are required to consume two eggs for breakfast, a huge steak for lunch and dinner and a large helping of cheese. While Simeons offers no alternatives for vegetarians, more modern HCG diets do have suggestions for non-meat eaters. GreenHCG recommends consuming pea protein burgers with tofu sour cream and quinoa cooked in olive or coconut oil.
Anyone other than a vegetarian who is willing to consume dairy can participate in an HCG diet. Vegans could never get the nourishment necessary for normal functioning since rice, beans, nuts and seeds are forbidden. Even with these harsher restrictions, vegetarians can expect to lose half of what non-vegetarians lose due to the sugar content in milk, according to Simeons.