HCG Diet Phases Overview for Users of HCG Diet Drops
The easiest way to introduce the HCG diet is by explaining the phases. Even though Dr. Simeons, creator of the original HCG diet and author of Pounds and Inches, didn't use phases to explain his protocol, many people have found it beneficial and easier to understand that way.
The HCG diet phases we tend to use these days come from Kevin Trudeau, who reintroduced the HCG diet and HCG diet drops to the world with his book The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About. Unfortunately, Trudeau also confused the issue by introducing an entire phase that wasn't in Dr. Simeons' original plan.
But for better or worse, we're stuck with Trudeau's framework. If you're interested in HCG diet drops, it pays to learn the terminology. Here's a brief overview of the HCG diet phases and how HCG diet drops fit into the plan.
HCG Phase 1
HCG Phase 1 is Trudeau's invention. It's a sort of cleansing phase where Trudeau tries to get you to buy a bunch of stuff from him. Because of this, it's both expensive and time consuming. Some people find that his suggestions can be helpful and speed weight loss; others don't. It's not part of the original HCG diet protocol, but you're welcome to buy Trudeau's book and give this phase a shot.
HCG Phase 2
HCG Phase 2 is where your weight loss takes place. It was originally designed to last either 26 or 43 days, but some newer types of HCG diet drops allow you to stretch it from 15 to 45 days.
This phase causes a lot of confusion because it really has three parts, but Trudeau lumped them all into one. Even Dr. Simeons found it a bit awkward to explain. It helps to divide this phase into its true parts:
- Loading Phase. The first three days of phase 2 are sometimes called the gorging or bingeing days because you "load" on high-fat foods to replenish your healthy reserve fat and make the first week easier. You start taking HCG diet drops on day one, and it lasts two days.
- Core Phase. This is the main part of phase 2, normally lasting 21 to 38 days. You continue taking HCG diet drops and eat a special 500-calorie diet (more on this in another article). The drops ensure that your weight loss comes from your abnormal fat deposits and helps you feel comfortable on the diet.
- Taper Phase. During the last three days of phase 2, you will continue the 500-calorie diet but stop taking HCG diet drops. This gives them a few days to work their way out of your system before you move on to the next phase.
HCG Phase 3
Many people call HCG Phase 3 the Stabilization Phase, because the purpose of these 21 days (3 weeks) is to stabilize your new weight. You stop taking HCG diet drops at this point, and you can now eat anything except starch and sugar.
HCG Phase 4
HCG Phase 4 is often called the Maintenance Phase. At this point your weight has stabilized, and you no longer have any dieting restrictions. You don't need HCG diet drops anymore, and ther are no dieting restrictions at all. You're just maintaining what you've already done. After at least 21 days (3 weeks) you can start another round of the HCG drops diet.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, you may need to go through the HCG diet's phases multiple times. Each time you do it is called a "round" or a "course." Some people use an interesting shorthand to explain where they are in the diet. Some examples:
- R1P2D3 = Round 1, Phase 2, Day 3 (the first day of the Core Phase above)
- R2P3D15 = Round 2, Phase 3, Day 12 (the fifteenth day of the Stabilization Phase)
Hopefully you now have a better grasp on the HCG diet phases and how HCG diet drops fit into the protocol. Next you might want to read about the three basic options and costs of the HCG diet.