Here are some HCG diet questions regarding acceptable and approved foods you can eat during the diet. Remember, you can always email us your questions (, ask them on Facebook or give us a call on 1-888-689-3777.


Can I take Fiber one tab for weight management? I believe it has chrominum and green tea extract.
Yes, fiber pills are just fine.

Can I drink Aloe water?
As far as the aloe water is concerned, some people believe that it helps boost the metabolic functions in the liver while others believe that it helps with protein absorption. We do not have any reliable information with regard to the results for drinking aloe water for weight loss. The only thing we can say is that it is not one of the approved foods from Dr Simeons. We recommend using your best judgment in determining if you continue its use.

Can I use beef bouillon for seasoning - there are no carbs, no sugars, but the sodium can be high. It helps with keeping your meat moist when cooking without oil, or will it interfere?
The sodium is the biggest factor because of how it causes water retention. If you do chose to use some, please do it sparingly.

I am a very picky eater as the vegetable list only has two things I like, and I can’t imagine eating just those veggies for weeks. Are there any other veggies that are allowed?
The list provided is the original one approved by Dr Simeons. Many people have been successful using broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts. Our best advice is to look closely at the veggies that you like, calculate the calories per ounce and try them out. Make sure that with each serving you are careful about the serving size so that you do not go over the 500 calories. If you find that you are not losing the weight, then we can look at making adjustments. Be sure to stay away from starchy foods like corn, peas, potatoes, etc.

I read somewhere that coffee is not allowed because it is an essential oil, but you have it as an approved food. Can I drink Coffee?
Yes. We do not agree with what you have read. Dr Simeons has long approved the use of coffee.

Is aspartame ok on phase 2?

Stevia is the only approved sweetener. The others interfere with the brains signal to the liver to burn ketones.

Is Stevia approved?

Stevia has a long history of use in many countries. It has been approved for years in the US as a sweetener. The European Union is expected to have it approved by November of this year. Is has widely been used through Latin America as well as Asia where in Japan is accounts for over 40% of sweetener market. Even sodas are sweetened with Stevia in Japan. It has a very low Glycemic Reaction in the body. There are several reports and studies that have been done. As far the HCG Diet is concerned, it has yielded the best results as well. If you are concerned about using Stevia, you do not have to use any sweetener at all to find great success with HCG.

I couldn't find diced tomatoes without sugar is it ok to use fresh tomatoes?

Fresh Tomatoes are great!

Can you have rice vinegar while on the diet? Yes. Can I add green chilies to things?
Although chilies are not one of Dr Simeons original approved foods, there are many people who have successfully incorporated chilies into their diet due to availability of certain foods for their region. Chilies have a lower calories count, but please use them sparingly if possible.

Can I take Metamucil pill form? Yes. Can I have fat free salad dressing?
Please read the labels. Many fat free dressings have fillers in them that interfere with the diet. Look for hidden starches and sugars.

Can I eat veggie or soy burgers being that I am a vegetarian?
Yes you can, but please read the labels to verify that it is not full of starch or have hidden sugars.

What kind of milk can I use in the morning, can it be soy?
Dr Simeons only allows a tablespoon of milk in your coffee. We are instructed to avoid milk while on the diet.

When doing a steak day can it be seasoned?
Yes, it can be seasoned. Be sure to read the seasoning labels for hidden sugars. Ms Dash is a great all-purpose seasoning. They have several flavors that work great with any protein.

I hear that I can use taco bell hot sauce, is that right?
Most hot sauces have sugar in them. Please read the labels to make sure that there no sugars or starches in them.

Is a serving of miracle noodles with each meal okay?
Yes, but do not over do the zero calorie foods. Your stomach is shrinking and if it is continually stretched, you will not feel as satisfied over time, especially when you go onto maintenance.

Can I have Italian salad spritz and as much lettuce as I want?
Try not to overdue size of the portion. Although the biggest part keeping within the 500 calories, over sizing your portion of lettuce (even though it has very little caloric value) can stretch your stomach and you do not want to have hunger pains shortly after eating.

Is it okay to take unrefined extra virgin coconut oil while on the HCG diet?
There are some people who have modified Dr Simeons' original protocol to incorporate coconut oil, but it is still a fat and it can impede your bodies processing of your abnormal stored fats. We recommend not using it.

Can I have a fruit smoothie during phase 2?
The Diet Manual has a wonderful strawberry smoothie that is HCG compliant. You can also find it under the recipes section of our website.

Can I use coconut milk in my smoothies?
Coconut is not approved.

Is brown rice ok even though it’s a starch?

No. Brown rice is not approved.

Can I take Grapefruit pills with apple cider vinegar during the diet?
Yes you can take grapefruit pills during the diet. It is a great way to increase your fiber intake. Apple cider vinegar is great also.

Can I use salad spritzers on vegetables?
Yes, but be careful of the sweetener in the spritzer. Some also contain oil in them. Read the labels to check the ingredients.

Can I take a Fiber One tablet for weight management. I believe it has chromium and green tea extract?
Yes, fiber pills are just fine.

Can I drink protein shakes if they use stevia to sweeten?
In looking at protein shakes, the type of sweetener is very important, but it is not the only thing. You need to look at the total protein, the protein source, the carbs as well as the sodium and the fats. So, the answer is yes, but also be aware that you should look for a high quality, high protein, low sodium and fat protein shake while on the diet.

I am a vegetarian in Phase 2, what can I eat to substitute for the meat that is listed for lunch and dinner?
Tofu, Seitan and cottage cheese are great alternatives. With the tofu or Seitan, be sure to use citrus marinade or give it time to absorb the flavors of the foods that you are paring it with.

Some days I would love a cup of black green tea in the afternoon, is that okay?
Drinking tea (black, green or herbal) is just fine. If you need a sweetener, use stevia, and nothing else.

Designer Whey Protein can we use it a meat substitute?
Yes, it can so long as you read the label and confirm that the ingredients comply with the diet protocol. The biggest concern is hidden sugars and sodium.

Is iced tea ok to drink?

Can I eat broccoli and cauliflower on phase 2? I know is not on the food list, but my friend is doing the HCG diet and she said that broccoli and cauliflower are highly recommended and also the cherries!
None of those foods were part of Dr Simeons original protocol. There are many people who have eaten those foods and have done very well. However, we do recommend staying as true as possible to Dr Simeons original protocol.

Is it okay to have the Ryvita Rye & Oat Bran Crisp bread instead of the Wasa bread/melba toast or breadstick?
We try to stay a close to Dr Simeons original protocol as possible. There are some people who have made some adjustments to some of the of the foods and have been successful, while others did not lose the weight. We have not had experience with these particular products. I would encourage you to read the labels, look for starches and sugars and sodium levels. If they seem fine, go ahead and try them, but do it cautiously and in moderation, tracking your weight loss very closely. Make an adjustment if needed. We would love to hear back on your success failure so that we can note it for future use with others.

Can you have unsweetened Kool-Aid with stevia?
There is basically no nutritional value in Kool-Aid packets, other than some sodium. It would be fine to try it and see what you think. We would recommend using it sparingly (but for some it would be nice to have something different than water and tea). We have many people that tell us how much they love the flavored stevia drops in water. If the Kool-Aid does not taste good, try some of the flavored stevia drops.

Can I drink tea from Teavana & use their German Rock sugar?
Their tea is fine, but using sugar or honey (even German Rock Sugar) will interfere with you weight loss. We do not recommend using the German Rock Sugar.

Can you drink v8 as your severing of vegetables?
Yes you can, however, be careful of the sodium content. V8 makes a low sodium version in both regular and spicy.

Is Worcestershire sauce ok to use?
Worcestershire sauce is made with high fructose corn syrup and molasses. It would not be a good idea to use it. We love Braggs Liquid Amino. This is a great replacement sauce for both Worcestershire and soy sauce.

Are there any meal bars or slim fast options available while on HCG for people on the go?
There are not any meal bars that are HCG friendly. Most have sugar and other ingredients that interfere with the protocol.

Is there a limit to the amount of stevia that can be used on the diet in one day?
There is no limit to the amount. We would simply say to use it in moderation.

Can you take sparkling water on HCG?
Yes, you can. Be sure to read the label to make sure that you are not getting to much sodium though. Most Sparkling Water does not have it, but some brands do.

Is there a salad dressing that we are allowed to have and has good flavor? I am a big ranch fan but haven’t found any dressing that is good.
We have a delicious recipe for a strawberry vinaigrette in the Weight Loss Manual. We hear so many wonder remarks about it. Our personal favorite is fresh salsa with a small scoop of cottage cheese (for protein) and mix that before topping your salad.

Can I eat Frank’s Original Hot Sauce? I have the original and all it has is Red Pepper, distilled vinegar, water salt and garlic powder?
Yes, Frank’s Hot Sauce is great.

Can I eat pickles or olives on my salad?
No. Olives are full of oils and sodium and pickles are full of sodium and in most instances sugar as well.

In research I have done with HCG it says that aspartame should not be consumed, is that just because it is unhealthy chemical or will it slow down the weight loss?
Yes. Your body has a hard time trying to process it. Some researchers have said that due to the high sweetness that it has (higher than sugar), they believe that it also creates increased cravings for carbohydrates.

Is there a certain type of fiber recommended?
The best fibers are Psyllium Husk or Benefiber.

Is Aloe water ok to drink still?
As far as the aloe water is concerned, some people believe that it helps boost the metabolic functions in the liver while others believe that it helps with protein absorption. We do not have any reliable information with regard to the results for drinking aloe water for weight loss. The only thing we can say is that it is not one of the approved foods from Dr. Simeons. We tell you to use your best judgment in determining if you continue its use.

Is there anyway fresh green beans, corn on the cob, hominy, or peas may be substituted for a vegetable and what about a fresh pear or peach?
Based upon Dr. Simeons original diet protocol, none of those veggies or fruits are approved. All of the veggies that you listed have starch in them. Those fruits can be eaten in phase 3 of the diet.

If I go out and have a drink with friends, what is the best drink?
While on the HCG Diet, drinking alcohol is discouraged because the majority of beverages are loaded with or are converted to sugars in your system and interrupt the signal from your brain to you liver to burn Ketones. Having said that, some people still go and have a drink. They usually experience a few days of a stall and then begin losing again. Please use caution if you are drinking. It will not take as much alcohol as normal to get intoxicated. And don’t drink and drive!

Is sugarless chewing gum allowed?
Sugarless gum is something that is discouraged. The artificial sweeteners interrupt the signal from your brain to your liver to burn ketones. That being said, some people have still chewed the gum and have still lost weight. We feel that to maximize the weight loss, it is better not to chew the gum.

Is it ok to use Crystal Light flavors for the water or does it have to be pure water?
Crystal Light and other artificially sweetened drinks interfere with the signal that is sent from your brain to your liver. Stevia is the only sweetener approved for use with the diet. That being said there are people who have used it and have still had great results. We however discourage people from consuming it while in phase 2 of the diet.

With Wasa bread and Melba toast, do I always eat one piece or one serving?
One serving is fine.

Can I have sugar free Jello on this diet?
Sugar Free Jello is not one of Dr Simeons’ approved foods, however, it did not exist back then either. There are many people who have successfully used sugar free Jello as a treat to help them stay on the diet. If you do chose to eat it, I would encourage you to use it sparingly because of the artificial sweeteners that are used in it.

I was looking over the recipes, are these all for phase 1 like the eggs and Asparagus? Is that ok to have on the 500 calories a day plan?
That recipe can be used during phase 2 and phase 3. Most of the recipes are fine for all phases. There are a few that are best used only in P3.

Can I have like a poached egg for breakfast, then still protein at lunch and dinner?
Dr Simeons recommended mixing 3 egg whites with 1 whole egg as a complete replacement for one of your two daily proteins.

Is the sweetener Truvia, the same as the Stevia and can I have it?
It is different but Truvia is just fine.

I looked at the label of the protein powder and the last ingredient in it is sucralose. I know it’s different than Stevia, but is it okay to have?
Sucralose (Splenda) interrupts the signal from the brain to the liver to burn ketones (fat). If you can avoid it, you will be better off.

Can I eat green seedless grapes and strawberries as a snack?
Strawberries are one of the approved foods, but grapes are not. The serving size is 6 to 9 strawberries depending on their size.

Can I still smoke cigarettes while I am on the drops?
All of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke interfere with weight loss. You would be much better served by not smoking while on the diet. Many of the chemicals found in smoke are classified as obesi-gens and cause your body to retain fat.

I wish Tuna was allowed on the diet. Is it not allowed because of the sodium? If it is canned in water and drained off would it be okay?
Back when Dr Simeons developed this protocol, tuna was only available in oil. There are several people who have purchased and used the tuna in a pouch or tuna canned in water. This is something that we would recommend that you use sparingly, but you would be fine to use it. We do try and stay as true as possible to Dr Simeons’ original protocol, but availability of some foods and different work environments make it necessary to adjust on occasion.

Question is it ok to eat Special K cereal with no milk?
Unfortunately, no.

I understand that mints are not allowed on the diet, but does that include toothpaste?
Toothpaste with a mint flavor will not have any impact on your weight loss.

Can I use Pam for non stick?
Pam will impede your weight loss. Make sure that you have a good non-stick pan that you heat up very hot before cooking anything in it. Before you drop in your protein or veggies, drops 1-2 tablespoons of water into the pan right before you add the food. The water will boil and steam and create a thin layer that helps to keep your food from sticking.

Can I substitute diet coke for coffee?
Diet Coke (and other diet soft drinks) is discouraged because of the artificial sweeteners that interrupt the signals from your brain. It tricks your system and confuses your body preventing you from losing as much weight as you could otherwise. We would encourage you to perhaps look at a an nice herbal tea instead of coffee.

Can I eat Jalapenos during phase 2 of the diet?
Jalapenos were not one of Dr Simeons’ approved foods, however, so long as they are not the pickled jalapenos (meaning you are eating fresh jalapenos) you would be just fine. You do not want the sodium that the pickled jalapenos have in them.

Can I eat pinto beans, navy beans or peanut butter?
Be sure to stay away from starchy foods like potatoes, rice, beans, corn, peas, peanut butter, squash, etc. You can eat complex carbs like whole grains and towards the end of the 3 weeks you can begin to integrate some starchy foods slowly. You can eat any protein (except for beans) and most veggies. You can eat whole grain breads as well. Stay away from sugary foods until the end of the 3 weeks.

When can I eat Miracle Noodles?
You can eat Miracle Noodles at any time during the diet. They are a great product.

Is there any way I can drink hot chocolate, maybe a fat free mix?
No. Chocolate and hot chocolate are not approved. The sugar content as well as the fat content will interfere with the diet.

With Stevia, are the drops or the powder better?
Either drops or powder are fine. Most people prefer the powder because of the texture.

Can I eat broccoli and cauliflower?
Boccoli and cauliflower are not approved foods with Dr Simeons, however many people have used them with great results. We have no problem with people eating these vegetables.

I thought white fish was not allowed on the original HCG Diet, has the protocol changed?
Here is an except right from Dr. Simeons' Pounds & Inches: “While this diet works satisfactorily in Italy, certain modifications have to be made in other countries. For instance, American beef has almost double the caloric value of South Italian beef, which is not marbled with fat. This marbling is impossible to remove. In America, therefore, low-grade veal should be used for one meal and fish (excluding all those species such as herring, mackerel, tuna, salmon, eel, etc., which have a high fat content, and all dried, smoked or pickled fish), chicken breast, lobster, crawfish, prawns or shrimp, crabmeat or kidneys for the other meal. Where the Italian breadsticks, the so-called grissini, are not available, one Melba toast may be used instead, though they are psychologically less satisfying. A Melba toast has about the same weight as the very porous grissini which is much more to look at and to chew.”

Can we eat canned tuna packed in water?
It is not one of Dr Simeons approved foods, however many people have used it and have done very well.

I am just starting phase 2 and must travel with my job for several days. Can the no oil added canned chicken be used for 4 oz of lunch portion and do you have any suggestions?
Yes it can, but we would not recommend doing it too often simply because of the excessive sodium that the canned chicken has. Precooked chicken strips and cut up veggies work great while you are on the go. Planning ahead is critical. You can also get a Subway Salad and use lemon juice and pepper to season. It is fresh and you can choose the veggies that you put on it. This is a great option for those people at work or on the road.

Can I eat sugar free applesauce?
If it is all natural that is fine, if it has any corn syrup or other sweetener in it, please avoid it.

Why are fruits allowed if sugar is not allowed? I may be missing something but it seems a little contradictory. Can you clarify for me?
Great questions. When Dr Simeons developed the protocol, he knew that we still needed a certain amount of glucose everyday to function properly. Natural glucose from fruits is very easily assimilated into our system without a large glycemic reaction.

Will skoopz work?
That is a great question. We have never heard of Skoopz and have not had any experience with it. If you would like to try it and see how it affects your diet, you can. If it halts or interrupts your weight loss, go back off of it and it could take up to 3 days to begin weight loss again. Listen to your body. I would probably encourage that if you do us it, to do so sparingly.

Can you give me some suggestions on how to eat out while staying HCG safe? I'm traveling with the entire family and I don't want to lose all the progress that I've already made!
When you go to the restaurants, remember that YOU are the customer. They want to please you and make sure that you happy with your meal. Simple ask them to cook or grill the food, keep off any salad dressing and have them bring you a lemon or orange to squeeze on to it. Have them grill or sauté the veggies without any oil or butter. You can do it, just make sure that they know what you want.

Can we use the true lemon powder? It has dextrose in it and no artificial sweeteners.
You should be fine. We would recommend using it sparingly though.

Does the fluid have to be water or can it be iced tea? I probably drink way more tea than half my body weight a day but don't get there with water. Is it just fluids that are allowed or specifically water?
Tea is fine, just use Stevia to sweeten it if you need a sweetener.

I’m concerned that 500 calories is not sufficient and so I have increased my calories to 600-900 and increased my protein to include it with each meal, eating two main meals and two snack like meals each day. I find that I love any shake with fat free cottage cheese, including a coffee shake, peach, strawberry, etc. Is that okay? Do you have a prescribed diet?
All of the hcg diet are based on Dr Simeons original protocol found in his manuscript 'Pounds & Inches'. Since that time, many people have put their own adjustments to the diet. Our is also based on his protocol, however, we do recommend that people make adjustments, like what you have done, based on their health, lifestyle, level of activity as well as their doctors recommendations. For some, the 500 calories diet works well. For others who's work is very physical or their body is more fragile, then they must make those adjustments. We even have body builders on our hcg and they consume 3000 calories a day. The biggest difference in our product, that you will not find anywhere else, it the custom blend of amino acids. All products based in hcg will help people to lose weight. However, losing weight this quickly and on low calorie diets, can place a significant amount of stress on your heart, liver, kidneys and system. All of the amino acids that we have blended were chosen for specific health benefits. They help boost your metabolism to burn more fat, support your liver, heart and kidneys and help expel the excess ammonia and other harmful substances from your body. Without this support, people have a harder time stabilizing their metabolisms after the diet and some gain it back. Having proper support for these amino acids, you are more successful not in just losing the weight, but in keeping if off long term. It is much easier to do when your body has not been stressed out from lack of proper nutrition. We hope that this help. That is how we can offer our guarantee.

Would fresh beets and carrots from the garden be ok?
Neither of those veggies are on Dr Simeons’ approved list. We would discourage you from eating those for the simple fact that they convert over to sugar very quickly in your system. If you are determined to eat them, you will need to substitute them for your fruits that day.

Can I eat white albacore tuna out of a fresh pack? No oil or water added.
It is not one of the approved foods from Dr Simeons, however, many people have used tuna packed in water or fresh pouches and been very successful.

Can I use balsamic vinegar as a dressing in my salad? There is sugar in it.
We discourage the use of balsamic vinegar because of the sugar content. Try using the juice from an orange and mixing it with a little white vinegar.

Is aspartame or guava okay for a sweetener? Stevia is the only approved sweetener. The others interfere with the brains signal to the liver to burn ketones.

Where can I find an exact list of foods to eat on each phase? I have been finding conflicting info on various HCG sites for what we can eat.
Our diet manual and Dr Simeons' Pounds & Inches" are the two best resources. All of the websites and diets are based on Dr. Simeons' original protocol, but several people have deviated from there.

Are baked potatoes ok?
No potatoes are allowed on the diet. Other veggies that are full of starch, like corn or beans, are also not approved.

I am curious why the veggie list is so strict. I love Zucchini and it is not on the approved list, why is this?
The veggie list is the original list that Dr Simeons created back in the 1950's. He continued to use this list for several decades. We have based our protocol on his original studies and program. That having been said, there are many people who have incorporated other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and other veggies and they have had great success.

Where can I find Grissini Bread? I do not like the Melba Toast and read on one shopping list that we could eat Triscuits, but another shopping list did not include it. Are Triscuits allowed and what do you suggest?
Old London is the brand that has the best variety of flavors for Melba Toast. Triscuits have a higher amount of oils used in their productions. We don't neccessarily endorse them, but many people have eaten them and still lost weight. We would probably encourage you to eat a saltine cracker before Triscuits. As far as grissini bread, most specialty stores have bread sticks and there some recipes on line that you can make them yourself.

I know about Stevia, but is Splenda approved? It is even approved by the American diabetic association.
Splenda is not approved because it sends a false signal to the brain and liver and interferes with the metabolism.