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Can You Eat Regular Cottage Cheese on the HCG Diet?

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.
Can You Eat Regular Cottage Cheese on the HCG Diet?
A bowl of cottage cheese. Photo Credit: -slav-/iStock/Getty Images

An HCG diet consists of several different phases, ranging from calorie loading to calorie restriction and maintenance, along with 23 days of receiving human chorionic gonadotropin injections, or HCG. According to A.T.W. Simeons, the endocrinologist who developed the HCG diet in the 1950s, by following the dietary recommendations described in, “Pounds and Inches,” a book about the protocol, you can lose a significant amount of weight quickly. Although weight loss is not an FDA-approved use of HCG and the medical community has widely dismissed Simeons' claims of the hormone's effectiveness as a weight loss aid, some people still are drawn to the diet. While on the HCG diet, unless you have an aversion to meat, you cannot consume cottage cheese.

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About the Diet

An HCG diet is a restrictive dietary protocol. The first phase, calorie loading, permits dieters to consume as much food as they want, including cottage cheese. The purpose is to store fat from which you will draw during the calorie-restriction phase. During the second phase, a very low-calorie diet, you can consume only 500 calories a day. Simeons outlines exactly which foods are permitted and in what amounts. Per day, you can have 200 grams of fresh meat or fish, two vegetables, two types of fruit, two slices of toast or bread sticks and all the water and sugar-free coffee and tea you want.


You can consume cottage cheese while on the HCG diet under two circumstances. People who develop an aversion to meat can have fat-free cottage cheese. So instead of eating 100 grams of veal, beef, chicken or shrimp, white fish, lobster or crab for lunch and dinner, you can have 100 grams of non-fat cottage cheese for both meals. The other exception is for vegetarians. Since milk and curds are the only HCG-diet-approved proteins that dairy-consuming vegetarians will consume, non-fat cottage cheese is permitted for this population as well.

About Cottage Cheese

The reason eating cottage cheese on an HCG diet is discouraged is due to fat content. An HCG diet is a low-calorie, low-fat plan. The approved foods, primarily meat, vegetables, bread and fruit, are just above the verge of protein deficiency. At the time the diet was designed, cottage cheese was not available in low-fat and non-fat varieties. Consuming 1 percent milk-fat cottage cheese or substituting a different cheese altogether, is considered cheating. Simeons writes in “Pounds and Inches,” the slightest dietary deviation could have disastrous results for your weight loss.


Before going on an HCG diet, you should consult with your doctor. HCG is a pregnancy hormone produced in the placenta and excreted through the urine. U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokesperson, Shelly Burgess, says possible side effects include breast tenderness or enlargement for men and women, headaches, irritability, fatigue and blood clots. The FDA also questions the validity of the diet itself. According to Burgess, “ HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy for the treatment of obesity. “ She goes on to say that no substantial evidence supports HCG as an successful weight reduction protocol beyond that resulting from calorie restriction.

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