Can You Have Green Beans and Peas on the HCG Diet?

Dr. A.T.W 1. Simeons' hCG diet requires dieters to follow a very strict 500 calorie per day diet while receiving daily injections of human chorionic gonadotropin. The theory is that the hCG works with your hypothalamus to change the way your body handles food, but the action can be interrupted if the dieter deviates from the plan. The plan is so fully laid out that you may only eat foods from the approved list for the six weeks of the low-calorie diet. Unfortunately, peas and green beans are not included.

Permitted Vegetables

Dr. Simeons' original protocol allows two cups of any of the following vegetables at each meal: asparagus, beet greens, cabbage, celery, chard, chicory, cucumbers, fennel, green salad, onion, radishes, spinach or tomatoes. No deviation from the list is permitted. Some followers believe that even mixing vegetables can hinder weight loss, although the results vary from person to person. To paraphrase Dr. Simeon, even if you continue to lose weight while deviating from the protocol, you don't know how much more weight you would have lost had you adhered to the plan.

Green Beans and Peas

You'll notice that green beans and peas are not on the list of approved vegetables, which means they are prohibited. During the 40 years Dr. Simeons spent developing the optimum menu for the hCG diet, he tried various foods and accepted or declined them based on how they affected weight loss. In his manuscript, he tells the reader that no permitted foods were "forgotten" or "left out." You'll notice that the allowed vegetables all have a high water content, and most are very high in fiber -- although the doctor left no explanation about why certain foods were prohibited, it's fair to assume that peas were excluded because of the high starch content, and green beans were excluded because of the relatively low water content. Of course, Dr. Simeons may have had other reasons, but that portion of his research has not been made available to the public.

Alternative Protocols

Many alternative hCG diet protocols have arisen since Dr. Simeons' work became publicly known, including plans by Kevin Trudeau and Dr. Daniel Belluscio. While many people have had success with these plans, Dr. Simeons' position is that they'll never know how much weight they could have lost had they followed the original protocol. Alternative plans are being created all the time to make the diet more comfortable for the dieters, and many include additional calories and a less-restricted menu. Many of these plans may allow green beans, but it is doubtful that any would allow peas because starch restriction is a central tenet of the hCG diet.

For Best Results

The best idea is to stick to Dr. Simeons' original protocol if you are serious about losing weight -- this means no green beans or peas. If you are going to live on 500 calories per day for six weeks, you may as well reap the biggest benefit you can, so cheating should be out of the question. Peas are a definite no-no, but if you must have green beans, wait until your rate of weight loss has stabilized -- usually around week three. Eat the 2 cups of green beans and check the results at your next morning's weigh-in. If your weight loss has slowed or stalled, discontinue the green beans. If in doubt, ask your doctor -- chances are other patients have reported deviations, and he may have information regarding your favorite vegetables' effect on the hCG diet.