hCG Diet Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

In an attempt to answer as many of your questions as possible, we at NCMC assembled a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Although each of these questions has been asked in the past, many may apply to you. 
While the requirements of the hCG protocol are detailed and we occasionally receive new questions from our patients, we believe the majority of your questions will be answered below.  


Can I complete the hCG protocol if I am a vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, but vegans tend to loose less weight on the diet.

Can I complete the hCG protocol if I am lactose intolerant?

How much salt would you recommend using?
There is no restriction on the use of salt on the diet. On the other hand, an increase in salt can be one of the most common causes for inconsistencies in weight loss, due to water retention.

The diet states that tap water is not preferred. Why?
Tap water contains chlorine, which affects the thyroid.

Why do I “gorge” for the first 3 days of the protocol?
It takes 3 days for hCG to completely enter your system; gorging helps with hunger feelings while on the program, especially the first week.

What are the best foods on which to gorge?
High fat calorie foods such as full fat dairy products, nuts, oils, avocados, etc.

Are frozen veggies okay instead of fresh?
Fresh vegetables are preferred, but frozen vegetables will work.

May I eat pickles with any meal on the diet?
Cucumbers and vinegar are on the protocol so pickles are permitted. But due to the sodium content, pickles may want to be avoided.

Q: What can I eat while I’m completing the hCG protocol?
The complete diet is covered in the initial orientation. However, here is a basic overview:
• Drink two quarts of water each day.
Breakfast: herbal teas, black teas, or coffee.
Lunch/dinner: 500 calories of food each day from the following: 100 grams of beef, veal, chicken, white fish, lobster, or shrimp. One vegetable from the approved list with each meal (includes cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and others). One fruit from the approved list with each meal (includes apple, orange, strawberries, grapefruit).

Won’t I starve if I only consume 500 calories per day?
No.  hCG releases your fat reserves, your body begins to “consume” the fat, which acts as a source of energy in place of food. In essence, you burn about one pound of fat each day (one pound is 3,500 calories). Therefore, your total consumption each day will be about 4,000 calories – 500 from food and 3,500 from fat. That is why most patients do not experience extreme hunger while using hCG.


Will I lose exactly one pound every day while on the program?
No. Most patients on the 23-day program tend to lose between 15-25 pounds; however, the weight loss does not always happen evenly over 23-day period. Some patients may notice a “lull” or a span of a few days where little to no weight loss occurs. Some patients often notice quick weight loss after a “lull” period.

If I only want to lose 10-15 lbs. can I still complete the program?
Sure-I did! Great way to get rid of those love handles and show off those abs! If you only need to lose a small amount of weight, there aren’t as many “abnormal fat reserves” available and the hunger experienced at the end of the program may be more intense so you may need to quit early and move to the maintence phase as I did. 

Can I complete the protocol if I am nursing a baby?
No, when you are nursing you produce prolactin, which interferes with hCG.

Why do I skip a day in the week when I am completing the 40-day protocol?
A: This prevents your body from building immunity to hCG.

What makeup can I use during the protocol?
You can use makeup that does not include fats, oils, creams and ointments.

Can I use mineral oils?
Yes, you can use mineral oils externally as a moisturizer. However, because there is little nutritional value, do not use mineral oil to cook.

Can I use Carmex and Chap Stick?
Carmex is okay because it is a wax and it doesn’t penetrate the skin. Chap Stick is not okay, because it penetrates the skin.

What deodorant can I use?
You can use Crystal deodorant, which can be found at health food stores.

What lotion and makeup can I use?
Oil free lotions. See list at the bottom.

Are shampoos, conditioners, and styling products okay?
Yes, as long as they are rinsed out immediately.

After I complete the program, when is the latest I can have my post labs drawn?
One week after the last injection.

Can I color my hair while I’m completing the program?

Can I do an “apple day” once a week to lose more weight?

Will the lotions and diaper creams I put on my children have an effect on me, even if I wash my hands immediately after applying?
The lotions and creams can have a small effect. We recommend you wear gloves to prevent penetration of any lotions or creams.

Can I go tanning while I am on the program?
Yes, but do not use tanning lotion or oil.


Can I still complete the hCG protocol if I’ve had a hysterectomy?

How does a diabetic benefit from the program?
When a diabetic follows the protocol the hCG naturally stabilizes the blood sugar. We often see an overall drop in fasting blood sugar after completing the program.

Can I still take my medications while on hCG?
Yes, as long as the medications do not interfere with the endocrine system. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis during your physical.

How does hCG affect cholesterol levels?
We have seen cholesterol levels fluctuate while on the HCG program. For the majority of patients the cholesterol levels drop and improve.

Can I continue using my hormone medications?
All medications that interfere with the endocrine system should be avoided during the program. This can be discussed during your physical with Dr Paronish.

Will I be able to stop using my anti-diabetes medications after I complete the HCG protocol?
While discontinuance of diabetes medication is possible, it should not be expected as a result of the protocol. Often it depends on how long you’ve been diabetic, how many medications you are currently using, your fasting blood sugar levels, your blood sugar range, etc.

Will hCG help my high blood pressure?
Many patients have experienced a decrease in blood pressure. Some patients have been able to stop taking their medications, but this should not be done without medical advice.

Can I continue using my anti-depressant or anxiety medications?

Why does hCG interfere with Gout?
The HCG increases uric acid levels which may cause a severe attack.

If I don’t have a regular menstrual cycle will the hCG affect that?
Some patients have experienced changes in their menstrual cycle while on the hCG. These irregularities are resolved with the completion of the program.

Should I run and exercise while completing the protocol?
While we do not recommend strenuous exercise through out the course, we do highly recommend walking and other light exercise.

Why do I need to discontinue using thyroid while completing the hCG protocol?
The hypothalamus gland, affected by hCG, also controls the thyroid. Taking additional thyroid could cause hyperthyroidism.

Will I be hungry if I don’t take the injections while on my period?
This varies; some women report they are hungrier when on their menstrual cycle and not injecting, and many report that they are unaffected.

What should I do if I get constipated?
Drink a tea such as Laci Le Beau Dieter's Tea, ginger, or licorice tea and increase fluid intake.

What are the negative side effects of the hCG program?
Fortunately, very few negative side effects have been noticed or reported. The most frequent complaint we receive from patients is mild hunger.

Is cold medicine okay?
Yes, as long as it does not contain sugar.


During the HCG protocol, it is critical that you eliminate the intake of oils, which includes oils applied externally in the form of lotions, cleansers, and cosmetics. The following products are advertised as oil free:

PCA Skin
Most Products from PCA Skin are okay to use on the diet.

Moisture Surge Extra
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Face moisturizers
Available at the cosmetic counters at Macy’s, Nordstrom, other.

Aqua Fusion: Tinted and non-tinted moisturizer, with SPF and without.
Pure Focus: Toner, Cleanser, Scrub, Moisturizer, T-zone gel.
Absolue: Anti-aging, Wrinkle Defying Face Moisturizer. Pump only is oil free.
Renergie: Anti-aging, Wrinkle Defying Face Moisturizer. Pump only is oil free.
All available at the cosmetic counters at Macy’s, Nordstrom, other.

Pureness: Face Moisturizer.
Available at the cosmetic counter at Nordstrom.

Tient: Innocence and Pro Lumiere: base/foundation/compact
Purete: Line of facial cleansers and blemish control products
Available at the cosmetic counters at Nordstrom, Macy’s, other

Estee Lauder
Individualist: Double wear: Foundation (liquid and powder)
Available at the cosmetic counters at Nordstrom, etc.

Sodium PCA and Yerba Mate lotion
Both are face moisturizers, available at Nordstrom.

Eye Make-up remover, paste and gel

Oil-free Moisture, Face Lotion
Available at Rite Aid, Walgreens

Body Lotions
Body and Earth
Johnson’s Baby Lotion: Available at most drug and grocery stores.
Aloe Vera gel has been found by some to be a good moisturizer. Available at most drug stores.

There is no restriction on the use of lip products.
Tip: Some people put Carmex on their knuckles to relieve dry cracked skin.

Tip: Any shampoo and conditioner is okay if you rinse thoroughly after each use. Leave in conditioner is discouraged.

Natural crystal deodorant stick available at www.herbalremedies.com. Also available at many drug stores.

DISCLAIMER: The following products/ingredients should be used with caution: lanolin, glycerin, petrolatum, petroleum jelly, Carmex, mineral oil, beeswax. Many patients have used these products for the relief of symptoms of dry skin and chapped lips, without a negative effect on their weight loss. However, if you notice a slowing or drop off in your weight loss while using any of the above products, we recommend discontinuing use.

Northern Cambria Medical Center
hCG Weight Loss with Dr. William Paronish

Northern Cambria Medical Center
Dr. William Paronish
1106 Bigler Avenue
Northern Cambria, PA 15714

Phone: 814.948.5444
Fax:  814.420.8010