Many of our customers ask us about the use of meal replacement shakes, as part of the HCG diet. It’s a popular area of interest with this protocol, since so many people want more variety in their diet than is typically offered from the fish/chicken or lean beef requirements in phase two. The simple answer to this question is, yes, these are permitted in phase two. However, selecting the right meal replacement and choosing one that will work best for the diet protocol is not always as straightforward as it would seem at first glance. Most of the protein shakes out there being sold should not be used as part of the protocol.
Protein shakes are typically sold as “carb/protein” loading for people that are exercising. They’re often loaded with fat and carbohydrates (which just turn into fat in our bodies), and as such, are not part of the HCG diet protocol. There are choices out there that do work, however. Protein shakes for the diet need to be low in fat and low in carbs. Typically a serving should provide no more than 10 grams of carbohydrates in order to be permitted in Phase 2. You will also want to augment your shake with the typical vegetable servings recommended for lunch and dinner. Taking one meal replacement shake is not a substitute for the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables, they still need to be consumed as part of the diet.
How to Use Protein Shakes for Phase Two
People will need at least 20 grams of protein to be supplied by these shakes in order to substitute the lean protein required for the diet. You will need to take in plenty of protein from other sources in order to successfully manage this diet protocol as well, this is not something you can do for both meals all the time. Your body does need natural protein in order to operate, due to the ligands and digestion requirements for meat. For those that are vegetarians or vegans, soy products are permitted in phase two, but should be switched from just taking meal replacements for every meal.
We at HCG Plus have no strict recommendations on what kind of meal replacements our customers should use, however, any that are low fat and low carbs work with lunch or dinner meal replacement. We do not provide these products ourselves due to inventory problems with keeping them stocked for our customers, however, any cheap source from Amazon or elsewhere will provide the necessary requirements for the diet. You still want to keep the fruits and vegetable servings normal (4 per day on the modern approach or 2 on the original protocol).
Other people have asked if they can use protein shakes between meals as a substitute for fruits as snacks. This is not recommended for several reasons, but primarily due to the protein in these products. Protein outside of the lunch/dinner servings can severely hamper your weight loss due to the biological impact it can have. Fruit, on the other hand, actually boosts your metabolism due to the more complex fiber and vitamins found in these foods. Protein does the opposite. It’s simple to digest and therefore this can impact your metabolism. If you do protein replacements for meals, we recommend no more than one per day, and only for lunch or dinner, not between these major meals.