Cheating on the HCG Diet

At some point, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may make a mistake, slip up and binge. Most likely, you will do it more than once. There is a good chance that if you’re following a calorie restricted diet, there will be days when you feel as though you can’t help but cheat. Willpower is crucial on these kinds of nutritional programmes, and willpower is a finite resource; when it runs out, you may find yourself eating more than you should.

On a severe caloric restriction like that’s recommended by the HCG diet, the chances of this happening are very real, and the consequences in terms of the suggested protocol can be quite drastic.

It may be tempting to panic when you cheat, but try not to. Instead, read on: I’ve got some great tips on how to manage cheating on the HCG diet, and what you should do if ever you slip up. Rather than view cheating or slipping up as too negative a prospect, let’s take a look at what you can do on those days when it happens.

What May Happen When You Cheat

Fingers crossed, not much will happen if you slip up and cheat. If you binge on an extra sandwich, are tempted by a slice of cake or knock back a glass of wine, here’s hoping it doesn’t show up. You may not lose the weight you wanted in this particular period, but there’s a good chance you won’t see any weight gains. If this applies to you, chalk it up to experience and get back on the wagon. Weight loss should continue.

Similarly, you may see a small spike in weight immediately following the cheat. Or you may lose the day after you’ve cheated, but it catches up with you and you find you’ve put a little weight on a few days later. It should even out within a few days and your weight loss trajectory should continue. This is fine. In fact, it’s one of the reasons that I advocate only weighing yourself once or twice per week at regular times: this allows for mini fluctuations to occur without stressing you out, whilst keeping tabs on your overall weight loss.

You may or may not find that you change weight; either way, you might unable to lose weight for a few days. This will set you back a little way, especially when you’re on a short-term plan like the HCG diet (typically lasting 4-6 weeks.)

However, if you manage to stay clean for the vast majority of the meals you eat and the days you spend on your restricted calorie plan (I’m talking about 90:10 clean to cheat ratio, at the very least) then it will all likely come out in the wash. Try not to cheat more than a couple of times in your 6-week diet plan, but also try not to worry about it too much when you do.

(Once you’ve eaten it, unfortunately it will stay eaten, so there’s no point in tying yourself up in knots over it.)

Should You Quit the Diet if You Have Cheated?

Absolutely not!

If you suffer a bout of low willpower and cheat on any diet, you shouldn’t despair. Of course, you may want to make a clean break of it, stop the diet and commit to it again in the future, starting afresh. Wanting to make a good job of it is laudable, but making an OK job of it is fine. A slip up or two won’t make the whole business null or void.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and get back on it. You don’t need to make a single mistake pave the way for future failure. You will still have a great deal of fat burning potential within you; you will still be able to make your goals in the long term. It may take a little patience and frustration, but so do most things that are truly worth working towards.

This being said, there are some proactive measures you should be aware of if you tend to cheat on these kinds of plan. If you want to avoid cheating again, or if you want to make sure a slip up or two don’t mess with your goals, the following advice will be incredibly helpful for you.

How to Recover from Your Cheat

My top things to do immediately after you’ve cheated on a restricted calorie diet like the HCG plan are as follows:

Eat Super Clean for the Following Few Days

If you crumble and eat something that doesn’t fit your diet, you can make up for it by going 100% in the following days. For the three days after you cheat, make sure to follow the plan TO THE LETTER, keeping within your goal caloric intake and taking those calories exclusively from a list of recommended foods.

Stick to your lean foods and avoid carbs, especially simple ones like sugar. Fish and salad will be your friend after a cheat, far more so than bread portions.

Avoid Future Mistakes

Once you’ve popped, you can’t stop, right? Wrong. It may be tempting to throw the towel in if you’ve slipped up. This should not happen. Don’t repeat cheat because you’re disheartened or tempted: stay strong and get back on-plan. You’ve still got a long way to go, which means you still have a lot of progress to enjoy. Make the most of it.


You should always be drinking plenty, especially if you’re on a super low-calorie plan like the HCG diet. Especially if you’ve just cheated! Drinking water helps to boost your basal metabolic rate (BMR). It also suppresses your appetite naturally and works as a cleanser for waste.

It will also stop your body from retaining water weight, which it will be very likely to do in the wake of a cheat meal. You’ll always find it easier to get back on track if you keep properly hydrated.

Don’t Try to Work It Off

It might sound intuitive to burn off those excess calories on the treadmill. Don’t.

One of the main reasons the HCG diet draws such scepticism from the health and fitness community is its adherence to a low-exercise form of weight loss. Exercise will be hard on such limited calories as an HCG plan provides and will ultimately hinder your progress. Your body simply can’t cope with it when it’s so restricted.

Make room for those extra calories by following my advice above- don’t try to negate them through increased output.

Work Hard on Staying Focussed

You’ve cheated, and that sucks, but you should get over it as fast as possible. We all make mistakes, we all stumble before reaching the finishing line. As I said above, chalk it up to experience and move on: tomorrow is a new day, and you can make up for it. It may take a little while to get back on track, but if you follow my advice then you should be able to manage it easily enough.

Don’t give up just because you made a mistake. Keep your goals in mind and chase after them.

Why You Should Avoid Repeat Offending

As I went through above, cheating on the HCG diet can do little to limit your success. On the other hand, it has the potential to be disastrous. The latter scenario shouldn’t be downplayed.

When you’re on a daily diet of 500 calories, swearing off carbs and sugars, and taking HCG hormone supplements, you will be in a state of ketosis. The hunger control and caloric depletion will maintain this and weight loss will be maintained by it in a really quite fragile relationship.

Cheating breaks ketosis. Your body will happily burn off the extra calories you just swamped it with before turning to fat stores as a source of energy. It won’t burn fat. In fact, it may create more fat. This is the basic principle of weight loss: the HCG diet is an extreme version of this.

Your hunger levels will also likely rise and cravings will probably intensify following a cheat.

The real kicker is with the HCG hormone itself. Fat gains can actually happen faster when you’re on it, if you don’t appropriately maintain a relevant dietary intake. Those cheat calories take on a much greater significance when seen through this light: each calorie taken in will be loaded with a great deal more fat creating potential.

If you have cheated on the HCG diet, don’t fret. Unfortunately, you can’t reverse what has been done, but you can stop any more damage from being happening.

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James Dixon

James Dixon is a fully qualified personal trainer and award winning writer, with a decade’s worth of experience under his belt. Throughout his career, he has helped hundreds of people to meet their dietary and fitness goals, writing exercise and nutrition plans to suit any and every requirement.

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