6 Simple Tips for Success During the 500-Calorie Diet Phase
To get the best possible results, the HCG Protocol needs to be followed exactly, which can seem a little daunting the first time you do it. Make sure you know what to expect ahead of time by reading and understanding Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity. It will help ensure there are no surprises and having everything you need on hand before the diet phase begins will save you from "making do" by eating things that aren't included or that are not allowed during this phase. Here are some tips to make the diet phase of the protocol easier.
Collect recipes ahead of time.
A Google search will lead you to a large number of websites and blogs dedicated to the low-calorie diet phase of the HCG Protocol. DIYHCG.com is a great place to start for both the low-calorie phase and the maintenance phase of the HCG Diet. Here you will find scores of delicious recipes and cooking tips to make things more convenient, easier, and tastier. Although you probably won't feel a great deal of hunger during the HCG Protocol, there's an emotional aspect to eating that promotes an overall sense of well-being. Mixing up the foods you eat is important for several reasons: continuing to enjoy the food you eat, feeling satiated—both physically and emotionally, and providing your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Look for convenience items.
Take a look at DIYDietStore.com for a wealth of HCG Diet-friendly products, from Sweetleaf’s peppermint flavored stevia (and many other flavors) and Simple Girl sauces, salad dressings and seasonings to Tiffalina’s HCG Diet-approved face cream and lotion. Single serving packets and some pre-cooked foods are also available to reduce waste and to allow you to avoid measuring or over-eating.
Plan your menu ahead of time.
Nothing is worse than trying to decide what to have for dinner right around the time you should be eating. This is a common situation in which people on the HCG Diet end up straying from the path, resulting in slowed or stalled weight loss. To avoid this problem, sit down with a pen and paper before you begin the HCG Diet and plan your daily lunch and dinner menus for the next week or for a couple weeks at a time. Then you'll never have to wander through the grocery store at a loss for ideas and risk making a mistake that knocks you out of your groove.
Weigh out portions ahead of time.
Instead of purchasing a few days' worth of meat at a time, use your pre-planned menu to stock up on everything you'll need for the duration of the protocol. If you can coincide this purchase with a meat sale at your supermarket, all the better! Then, instead of freezing the meat in the package it came in, portion it out using your scale, and wrap it for the freezer.
Invest in a George Foreman Grill.
Not only does this wonderful device save you cooking time, it also cooks your protein leaner. The George Foreman grill will cook most types and cuts of meat in about three minutes.
Make some chicken broth ahead of time.
Before you start the low-calorie diet phase of the HCG Protocol, use the recipe in the 101 Worry-Free HCG Recipes cookbook to make a batch of chicken broth as a base for soup or to cook your vegetables. You can even double the batch and freeze part of it for later. Some people freeze it in an ice cube tray so it is easy to just get a couple of cubes out to use for sautéing a single serving of veggies.