Q) What if I'm a vegetarian or vegan? Can I still participate in the hCG diet protocol?

A) Yes. Although it is not ideal, you can substitute fat free cottage cheese or eggwhites (4 eggwhites to one yolk) for lean meat. Due to the sugar content in dairy products your weight loss will probably be less than it would if you were eating meat. If you are a vegan there is a vegan pea protein powder available.

Q) Can I complete the hCG program if I'm lactose intollerant?

A) Yes. Chicken breast, very lean beef, are preferable to dairy products, and eggs (as above) can be used as well.

Q) The diet protocol does not recommend tap water, why is this?

A) Tap water often contains chlorine, which can affect the thyroid.

Q) Is salt permitted on the diet, and in what quantity?

A) There is no limitation or restriction on salt intake. However, increased consumption of salt is one of the biggest causes of weight fluctuation and inconsistancy due to water retention.

Q) Is it really necessary to gorge for the first three days and why?

A) Because it takes three days for the hCG to fully enter your system and begin circulating your abnormal fat stores, filling your fat reserves by 'gorging' helps to prevent hunger during the first three days of the protocol.

Q) What foods are recommended during the three days of 'gorging'?

A) Whole milk dairy products, pastries, nuts, oils, avocados and other high fat foods.

Q) Pickles are nearly calorie free, are they permitted on the diet?

A) Cucumbers are allowed on the diet so pickles are permitted as well. However, pickles contain large amounts of sodium which can increase water retention and body weight so they are not really recommended.

Q) What foods are permitted on the hCG diet program?

A) You should drink at least 2 quarts of water each day. Unlimited tea, and black coffee are also permitted. According to Dr. Simeons, only Stevia or saccarin should be used for sweeteners.

In addition to that, 500 calories each day made up of the following:

Breakfast: 1 grisini or fat free melba toast and choice of 1 fruit (such as apple, orange, 1/2 grapefruit, or a few strawberries)

Lunch and Dinner: 100 grams of very low fat beef, veal, chicken, white fish, lobster, or shrimp, and one of the following vegetables - onion, tomato, celery, cucumber, spinach, or green lettuce

Snack: 1 grisini or fat free melba toast and choice of 1 fruit as above

It's ideal to vary your fruit, vegetable and protein sources daily, rather than eat the same foods each meal or each day.

Q) How will I know for sure that I'm burning fat and not just losing muscle?

A) With the hCG protocol you will notice your body being reshaped and the flabby areas disappearing quickly. However, you can test your urine with KETOSTIX and ALBUSTIX to prove to yourself that it's fat that's being lost and not muscle. This is also a good way to confirm the potency of your hCG.

Q) Won't I STARVE on only 500 calories a day?

A) Regardless of your size or weight, 500 calories from food is sufficient because you will be utilizing stored fat for energy. Most individuals on this diet will lose about 1 pound of fat per day. A pound of fat = 3500 calories, so that in addition to the 500 calories of food you consume = 4000 calories. That's why most people on this diet do not experience hunger and some even have trouble eating the 500 calories each day.

Q) What cosmetics or moisturizers are pernitted during the hCG treatment?

A) Generally, eye pencils and lipsticks are the only cosmetics recommended. Mineral oil may be used as a moisturizer (but should not be used for cooking). Any other creams, lotions or cosmetics containing fat, especially animal or food derived fats, should be strictly avoided on this diet.

Q) Can I use shampoos and conditioners?

A) Yes, provided you rinse them out and do not rub them into the scalp

Q) Can I apply baby lotion to my children and wash it off or will this affect my results?

A) Even this can have a small effect, so it is recommended that you wear gloves if this is necessary.

Q) Can I use Crest White Strips to whiten my teeth on the program?

A) Yes

Q) What deodorant is permitted?

A) Crystal deodorant is recommended. You should be able to find it in a health food store if it is not available in your local grocery store.

Q) Can I color my hair on the hCG program?

A) No