The first phase of the HCG diet, also known as the loading or gorging phase, involves eating anything you want in any amount. It occurs over the first two days that you start taking the HCG injections. Most people focus their attention on the calorie restriction phases of the diet, but the loading phase is just as important for success. Before you start the HCG diet, you should understand why you need to complete the loading phase and how you can load properly.
Why Phase 1 Is Important
A loading phase at the beginning of a weight loss plan seems counterintuitive, but it’s actually necessary for the success of the HCG diet. Not all HCG protocols require this phase, but people who don’t load before restricting are more likely to struggle during the second phase or to give up without completing the plan. Reviews from attempted and successful HCG dieters show that loading up before the diet might be the key to seeing the plan through to the end.
The first phase of the diet lets you get all of your cravings out of your system before the restriction phase. The second phase of the HCG diet doesn’t allow sugar, oil, or high fat foods, which are the foods that most people crave. Consuming all that you want of your favorite foods before restricting will help sustain you and prevent uncontrollable cravings.
Loading up on calories also helps your body adjust to calorie restriction during the next phase of the HCG diet. It will be much easier for you to eat 500 calories per day after you’ve had plenty of food for two days. Some people worry about eating too much during the first phase of the diet because they don’t want to gain weight. However, weight loss is quick and drastic on the HCG diet, and any weight you gain while you load will come right off. The extra calories are insignificant compared to how much fat you’ll lose during the second part of the diet plan, but they will help you avoid being too hungry or having too many cravings.
Another important benefit of the loading phase of the HCG diet is the opportunity to learn how to check in with your body. This is a necessary skill for maintaining your new weight after the diet is over. During the first phase, you’ll be eating a wide variety of foods, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see how your body feels in response to those foods. Try to check in with yourself after you eat something sugary, fried, or salty.
Ask yourself if the foods you craved are as satisfying as you had anticipated or if you feel satisfied enough to put a sugary or fatty snack down after a few bites. Since you’re not restricting yourself enough to feel extremely hungry or deprived, you can learn how your body truly reacts to these types of foods.
How to Load Properly
You’ll start with the HCG injections during this phase. Most people take 125iu or 150iu of HCG, but you can adjust the amount you take based on how you feel throughout the process. Try to take the injections around the same time each day, so you can keep a consistent amount of HCG in your system at all times. Most people prefer taking the injections right after waking up because it’s easiest to remember when it’s part of the morning routine. The HCG injections need to be refrigerated for six hours or more before you take them.
Dr. Simeons’ original protocol for the first phase is not nearly as strict as for the other phases of the HCG diet. There are no restrictions on what or how much you should eat. The main rule is that you should eat as much as you want of whatever foods you want.
Your diet should include lots of healthy fats during this stage. Fatty foods are satiating, so they’ll keep you full as you transition to the calorie restriction stage. You should avoid refined sugar and processed carbohydrates as much as possible because they don’t give you much sustained energy. However, sugar and carbs are not off-limits during this stage.
Some of the best foods to eat during the HCG diet plan phase 1 include:
- Olive oil
- Fried food
Although the purpose of the first phase is to load up on high fat and protein foods, you shouldn’t eat until you feel stuffed or sick. Instead, just eat until you feel satisfied. It’s easy to go overboard during this phase because you know you’ll be restricting calories for several weeks, but overeating to an extreme will just make you feel uncomfortable.
You also should make sure to eat plenty of fiber during these two days. Fiber will help counteract the digestive problems that high fat and protein meals can cause. You can add side salads with peas, broccoli, or beans to your meals, or you can eat some whole grain bread or oatmeal.
You might not have any trouble coming up with meal ideas during the loading phase. If you love the foods that aren’t allowed during the restricting phase, you’re probably eager to eat them during these two days. You may feel overwhelmed with the possibilities, though. Here are some good meal ideas that have lots of protein and fat:
- Three egg omelet with cheese; donut with whipped cream
- Bagel with cream cheese; three or four sausage links
- Scrambled eggs with butter; whole grain toast with peanut butter; bacon
- Cheeseburger and French fries; salad with avocado and full-fat dressing
- Macaroni and cheese
- Cheese pizza; Caesar salad
- Large piece of salmon; baked potato with sour cream; steamed veggies with butter
- Fettuccine alfredo; chicken; garlic bread
- Steak; broccoli with cheese sauce
- Chips and guacamole
- Ice cream
- Nachos with cheese, sour cream, and black beans
The first phase of the HCG diet should be your opportunity to enjoy your favorite foods before you enter the more controlled stages of the plan. You shouldn’t eat yourself sick, but you should indulge in the foods that will help you feel physically and mentally satiated. If you properly complete the loading phase, you’ll set yourself up for success with the later stages of the HCG diet.