HCG Diet: Dietary Supplement OptionsWhile the use of dietary supplements while on the HCG diet is not usually necessary, some supplementation can be good for your overall health, and some can even improve the effectiveness of the diet. This article will briefly describe some of the various dietary supplements suggested for each phase of the diet, and how each supplement can be beneficial during that phase.
The phases of the HCG diet are:
1. Preparatory / cleansing phase (optional) plus Loading/Gorging Phase
2. Strict 500-calorie diet phase
3. Stabilization phase
4. Maintenance phase
The goal of the preparatory phase is to clear the body of toxins present in modern, especially pre-packaged foods. One of the most important things to remember in this phase as well as all of the other phases is to make sure you drink enough water. Most of the supplements that are suggested for use during this phase are meant to help your body rid itself of toxins. Yerba-mate tea, apple cider vinegar, probiotics, coconut oil and digestive enzymes are common to use during this phase, as well as natural laxatives such as psyllium husk and senna.
During the loading / binging / gorging phase there is not usually any need to supplement the diet, as the goal of this phase is to consume as much food, particularly fatty food as possible. If you are used to taking multivitamin and/or other supplements, you should continue during this phase. Some dieters may experience constipation during this phase. If you do, it may be indicating a couple of problems. You might not be drinking enough water. Make sure that you are drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day during this phase. You also may have increased carbohydrate intake too much and are not consuming enough oil. You should diligently work to ensure that you include plenty of oils along with other fats into your diet during this phase.
During Phase 2 (the strict 500 calorie phase), a specific blend of the right vitamins is recommended. The stabilization phase can also benefit from certain supplements. However, during Phase 2 and Stabilization is also a time when supplements could potentially do the most harm to your weight loss. Dr. Simeons plan forbids the use of any medications or supplements that are not medically necessary. The only exceptions are laxatives to relieve constipation and aspirin to relieve headaches and other pain. Dr. Trudeau and many practitioners advocate the much greater use of supplements. If you do decide to take supplements, use high quality ones and avoid any with added oils, sugars, and starches.
If you experience weakness and fatigue during Phase 2, you may benefit from supplements to treat these issues. Certain minerals are very important in the production of energy, so supplementation of them can help. Magnesium and potassium are the two most important ones. These essential minerals assist the body with regulating the levels of hydration within the body, as well as helping to control muscle and nerve function. Both assist the body with nerve transmission especially as it relates to controlling muscular functions and avoiding malfunctions such as cramping and spasming. The human body uses potassium to build proteins, break down carbohydrates, control nerve electrical activity, and control the PH levels within the body.
Magnesium is used by the body to regulate glucose levels and is used in the production of energy. It is important in controlling nerve and muscle functions, as well as combining with calcium to build and maintain bones. Magnesium also help to ensure regular bowel movements.
Vitamin supplementation, especially of the B vitamins, can also help with energy during phase 2. These vitamins help in the formation of red blood cells. B vitamins, and B12 in particular, play key roles in the production of energy by controlling the cellular metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids.
Vitamin A supplementation during HCG diet would primarily be beneficial because of its anti-oxidative properties. It can also help to maintain the liver during this period while it has extra work to perform because of all of the extra toxins being freed up as fat within the body is being broken down.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. It is also important in preserving bodily resistance to infection and maintaining bone and connective tissue health.
Vitamin D is essential for proper function of nerve, muscle, and immune systems, as well as combining with calcium in strengthening and maintaining bones. While exposure to sunlight causes your body to produce vitamin D, the major dietary sources of vitamin D, egg yolks, fish, and liver, are all severely restricted or prohibited during HCG phase 2. You should definitely consider supplementing vitamin D especially if you do not get regular exposure to sunlight during phase 2.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant. Leafy greens are a good source of vitamin E, so make an effort to include lots of greens into your meals.
Vitamin K is important in controlling blood coagulation. Without proper coagulation, you can bleed out from minor cuts. Leafy greens are a good source of this vitamin, so just make sure you eat plenty of greens.
Overall, you might have sufficient vitamins and minerals, or you might not. Most deficiencies will not show up in just a 30-45 day time period, but the very low calorie diet with its very specific food restrictions warrant keeping watch. Some minerals and vitamins will be freed up from your fat cells as your body metabolizes the fat, so this will help to minimize the effect of such a restrictive diet.
The best (really, the ONLY) multivitamin designed specifically for VLCD's and Phase 2 of the HCG diet in particular is a product called Vita-X, sold by HealthyHCG. It contains higher amounts of potassium along with a balanced blend of other vitamins you need.
Be vigilant and keep alert for telltale signs of any deficiencies or excesses so that you can address them as rapidly as possible.