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Most HCG Diet plans follow the general guidelines first developed by Dr. A.T. W. Simeons, a British doctor who summarized the diet in his manuscript, "Pounds and Inches," which calls for supplements of the hormone HCG in combination with a very low calorie diet that restricts carbohydrates, including breads. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin; is associated with pregnancy and according to proponents of HCG weight loss plans claim that it can boost metabolism and reduce hunger. Patients should not do this diet without medical supervision and should consult their personal doctor prior to starting the plan.
HCG Diet Guidelines
An HCG weight loss plan combines supplements of HCG administered as injections, liquid drops, or transdermal creams with a strict diet plan. Daily calorie intake is limited to between 500 and 800 calories and food options are limited to mainly protein, fruits and vegetables. The diet plan encourages lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish with sides of leafy green vegetables and fruits such as citrus, apples, or pears.
Melba Toast on the HCG Diet
Dr. Simeon's original menu plan for the HCG diet did not allow breads, pastas or cereals due to their starch and carbohydrate content. The protocol does, however, allow for a serving of Melba toast with lunch or dinner or as a snack between meals. According to Old London Foods, the makers of Melba toast, one serving contains three pieces of toast for a total of 60 calories and only 13 grams of carbohydrates, making it a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to bread.
Alternative Bread Options
Certain HCG weight loss programs such as HCGGreen offer dieters the option of eating sprouted wheat breads. The difficulty, however, is that these breads may contain more calories than the traditional Melba toast. Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, for example, has a serving size of one slice and contains 80 calories per serving 4. It may be difficult for individuals who are keeping calorie limits of 500 or 600 calories per day to fit a piece of bread into a meal plan and stay within their calorie limits. Many dieters may find that taking two servings of Melba toast per day is the best way to satisfy a hunger for bread.
The Mayo Clinic notes that much of the weight loss achieved on an HCG diet program is likely due to the low calorie diet rather than the HCG supplements. Diet and weight loss programs that encourage exercise, balanced meals and healthy calorie intake are more likely to lead to lasting weight loss and effective weight management. A diet plan like the HCG plan that cuts out carbohydrates, including breads, is not designed for long-term use and can place dieters at risk for "yo-yo" dieting habits.
- GreenHCG; Dr.Simeons’ HCG Diet Food Choices; Green HCG; 2010
- GreenHCG; How to Plan Your Very Low Calorie Diet Menu; GreenHCG; 2010
- Mayo Clinic: HCG Diet: Is IT Safe and Effective?; Jennifer K. Nelson; June 26, 2010
- Answer Fitness; Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread: Healthy Food of The Day; October 31, 2008
- Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images