The HCG diet is already quite restrictive. But it's even more limiting if you're a vegetarian.
However, it's not impossible. There are generally accepted vegan and vegetarian substitutions within the HCG diet.
In this article, we'll inform you how you can adhere to a vegetarian HCG diet. We'll cover the most widely accepted vegetarian HCG substitutes and give you some recipes to put these ingredients to good use.
Adapting HCG to the vegetarian dietisn't always an easy task. The basic idea is substituting common HCG-allowed ingredients with vegetarian options.
Being a vegetarian on the HCG diet is mostly about knowingwhich ingredients you can substitute to meet your proteinrequirements and which are still in-line with the rules of the diet.
But before you can understand how to make these substitutions, you have to develop an understanding of how the HCG diet is structured, and how each day's meals and servings are allocated.
Food List and Meal Plan
Your food list guides most of your dietary decisions through the HCG diet. It outlines what's acceptable to eat during Phase 2 of the diet, as well asthe acceptable portions of each food.
The food list is divided into five sections. For a more comprehensive outline, check out our guide to a complete HCG food list (LINK to food list article I wrote):
Important Note On Substitutions
It's important to keep in mind that the HCG diet was originally created in the 1950s. As such, the original manuscript is restrictive and doesn't account for vegetarian substitutions.
However, the alternatives we'll outline are meant to adhere to the basic principles - low-fat, low-sugar, low-starch, no butters or oils - of the HCG diet. Although these substitutions aren't in accordance with the originalHCG diet, they're still in-line with the overall nutritional principles.
For a full outline of the non-vegetarian HCG diet, click here.
Proteins - The Tricky Part
Phase 2 of the HCG diet - the ultra-low-calorie phase - allows for 200g of protein per day. The protein is meant to be eaten in two 100g servings, and usually involves low-fat, lean options such as chicken, buffalo, extra-lean beef, and whitefish.
For those who want to conform to a vegetarian lifestyle here are some of the more popular HCG vegetarianprotein options for lunch or dinner:
- 100% natural whey protein powder
- Raw vegan plant-based protein powders (aim for 100% natural plant-based proteins)
- Cottage cheese
- Tofu (aim for unflavored tofuthat's between 75-140 calories and 15-20g of protein per serving)
- One whole egg and three whites
You'll have no problems here. The HCG diet recommends two cups of vegetables per day (one during both lunch and dinner). There's a list of approved vegetables for the HCG diet. It's also important to note that many variations of the HCG diet don't allow you to mix different vegetables in one serving.
You're allowed two servings of fruit per day, eaten at separate meals. Check out the list of approved fruits for HCG Phase 2.
Carbs and starches are severely restricted on the HCG diet. According to the original manuscript, you're only allowed one piece of melba toast, or one grissini breadstick, per day.
Some ingredients - such as apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs - don't fit neatly into any category. They're primarily used for flavoring foods, but also include items such as coffee and herbal tea. Check out the full list here.
Vegan vs. Vegetarian
It's important to make one distinction - that of vegetarian versus vegan diets. It goes without saying that a veganHCG diet is even morerestrictive. It's possible to maintain your vegan lifestyle while achieving weight loss on the HCG diet, but it willbe harder.
Some of our listed options are vegan. And you can always use different flavorings and spices to add a fresh take to your vegan recipes.
Additionally, if you think another protein option adheres to both your vegan lifestyle and the HCG diet, make sure to clarify with a quick Google search.
Vegetarian HCG Diet Recipes
Recipes are a great way to add some variety and excitement to this very strict regime. They allow you to keep things fresh and break up the monotony that's traditionally associated with this lifestyle. These recipes are vegetarian friendly and taste great.
HCG Tofu Wrap
Tofu is one of the most versatile ingredients in the HCG diet.
However, most recipes involving tofu use oil, which isn't HCG-friendly. Fortunately, this tofurecipe is both oilless and great for lunch or dinner.
Step 1 - Make the OillessTofu
What You Need:
How to Make:
Step 2 - Make the Wrap
Now that you have your delicious vegetarian, HCG-friendly tofu, this next step is optional. There are so many things you can do with this versatile recipe, but one of our favorites is a simple wrap.
Simply take two big leaves of romaine lettuce and wrap up the tofu. Season with some HCG-friendly ingredients such as salt, pepper, or sugar-free barbecue sauce.
If your HCG diet allows you to mix vegetables, try topping the wrap with some other veggies. Otherwise, load up on lettuce so you can get your full serving of greens.
HCG Salad Dressing
Next, let's move on to a classic vegetarian recipe. Both the vegetarian and HCG diets are nothing without a good salad dressing.
We'll first make the dressing for this vegetarian HCG recipe, and then the salad. You can mix up the vegetables to your preference, depending on how strict you are about combining vegetables.
Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe
Combine the following items in a bowl and mix vigorously:
And there you have it! It's so easy to make. Then, you can take any of your HCG vegetable servings, chop them up, and add some dressing. You'll have your salad that's both HCG- and vegan-friendly in minutes.
Tofu HCG Stir Fry with Veggies
Next up, we have another tasty tofurecipe. This one shows the true versatility of HCG recipes if you're really creative. While it's a little difficult to cook a stir fry without oil, you can still whip up a pretty tasty dish.
This tasty tofu stir fry will count as one protein serving and one vegetable serving.
Here’s what you need:
How to Prepare:
Tips for Sticking With It
Thanks for checking out our vegetarian HCG recipes. Our goal was to provide you not only with some tasty recipes, but also with an understanding of how to tailor the HCG diet to your vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Recipes are an awesome way to add some variety and excitement to this difficult diet. Because when it comes to the HCG diet, sticking to it becomes one of the most difficult challenges.
Here are some of our top tips for sticking it through and seeing the results you deserve:
Use the above recipes to help plan your diet for weeks at a time. This helps to streamline the whole process, it saves you time organizing your meals, and it allows you to buyall the ingredients at once. You want to make it as easy for yourself as possible while on this strict diet, and effective planning is one of the best methods of doing so.
With the HCG diet plan, it's advised to prepare large amounts at once. Set a day and time that's best to prepare and stick to it. You can choose to make large dishes or pack your meals into containers and freeze them.
Prepping can save you a whole lot of time while still ensuring adequate variety in your meals.
One Day at a Time
Remember, it's going to be a long, difficult process. Don't get intimidated. Take it one day at a time. Just get through the day and move on to the next one. Don't bite off more than you can chew (pun intended)!
Thanks for reading through our guide to vegetarian HCG dieting. As you can see, it's not always easy to find HCG diet vegetarian recipes. Luckily, you do have options. But it takes commitment, planning, and dedication. Push through it, and you'll be so glad you did.