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The MSN Healthcare Health Blog offers news and analysis on weight loss, fatigue, personal health, and health news. It includes contributions from Dr. Mark Neumann and others. Click now.


11 Best HCG Phase 2 Recipes | What is HCG Phase 2

Mark Neumann

Have you been struggling to lose weight with just diet and exercise alone? Trying to lose weight can be a frustrating battle of highs and lows, with some resorting to unhealthy and unsafe methods to shed some pounds. If this sounds familiar, the HCG diet may be the answer you’re looking for! 

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that is naturally produced in large quantities during pregnancy and can be used to treat infertility in both men and women. However, it was also discovered that small, regular doses of HCG can cause the body to release abnormal fat when used with a low-calorie diet.

What is HCG Phase 2?

In 1954, a British doctor named Albert Simeons found HCG to aid in weight loss when combining the use of hormone supplements with calorie restriction. Simeons created an HCG diet which consisted of two main components:

1.                   Eating very few calories (around 500) per day

2.                   HCG hormone injections 

Today you can buy HCG products in various forms, including injections, pellets, sprays, and oral drops. Fans of the HCG diet claim that it helps to boost your metabolism and allows you to lose large amounts of fat, without the hunger pains associated with other severe calorie restricted diets. 

The HCG diet is generally divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Loading

In the first phase, individuals start taking HCG and start eating a diet high in fat and high in calories for two days. This is when you get to eat as much as you can in order to prepare your body for the high metabolism that the HCG will stimulate. Usually done three days before starting HCG, this intake of food will help keep your body energized and nourished as it adjusts. 

Phase 2: Shedding

The shedding phase is when you start to see the number on the scale roll back. As you start taking the prescribed daily dose of HCG, your appetite will significantly reduce while your metabolism will ramp up. After having loaded up properly, you should not feel lethargic or hungry during the shedding phase. With less food coming in and a higher metabolism, your body will start to use stored fat deposits. During this phase, you may lose around one to two pounds per day. 

The HCG diet generally suggests that meals contain one portion of lean protein, a vegetable, a fruit, and a small bread stick. Avoid eating butter, sugar, and oils, and be sure to increase your water intake. Coffee and tea are also allowed (thankfully!). 

Phase 3: Maintenance

After completing the first two phases, you may feel that you still have more weight to shed. If this is the case, take a break for a few weeks, then repeat the loading and shedding phases. 

Once you have achieved your optimal weight, the maintenance phase ensures you remain here and don’t gain everything back. During this phase, you will not be taking the HCG. Instead, you’ll be eating well and exercising regularly.  

One significant benefit of the HCG is that it effectively “resets” your metabolism, making maintenance quite easy. This means that the maintenance phase doesn’t involve crazy fad diets or extreme exercise. In the final phase, individuals stop taking HCG and gradually start to increase their food intake. However, they wait three weeks before reintroducing starch and sugar to their diet.

RELATED ARTICLE: Benefits of HCG Injections for Men

11 Best HCG Phase 2 Recipes

We’ve compiled a list of the best HCG diet recipes. Each of these recipes are less than 500 calories! To get the exact nutritional information and to track your progress, try using the MyFitnessPal app.

1.      Basil Tomato Soup


·       2 cups chicken broth

·       2 tablespoons chopped onion

·       2 cloves garlic, minced

·       3 ounces tomato paste

·       2 cups diced tomatoes

·       6 leaves fresh basil, chopped

·       ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

·       1 teaspoon garlic powder

·       Pinch of marjoram

·       Pinch of Salt

·       Pinch of black pepper


In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Next, transfer mixture to a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Serve hot garnished with parsley or basil. 

2.      Roasted Beef & Apple Skewers


·       100 grams of lean beef, diced

·       ¼ onion petals

·       1 apple, diced

·       1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos

·       3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

·       ½ cup beef broth

·       Pinch of stevia


Marinate beef in vinegar, broth and spices. After marinating, arrange it on skewers with onion petals and apple. Barbecue until cooked through, basting frequently with the remaining marinade. Heat the remaining marinade until thick and use it as a dipping sauce.

3.      Fajitas


·       1-pound lean ground beef

·       1 ½ cups water

·       3 cups chopped tomatoes

·       ½ cup chopped red onion

·       4 cloves garlic, minced

·       1 teaspoon chili powder

·       ½ teaspoon oregano

·       Cayenne Pepper

·       Pinch of salt & pepper

·       Lettuce Leaves


In a saucepan, brown onions and beef; drain and rinse. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes; transfer the mixture to lettuce and roll to wrap. Variation: use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef. 

4.      Mexican Omelette Bake


·       2 Eggs

·       6 Egg Whites

·       3 tbsp vegetable broth

·       2 cups diced leeks

·       3 stalks chopped green onions

·       2 tbsp canned diced tomatoes

·       1 tsp smoked paprika

·       1/2 tsp garlic powder

·       1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

·       1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

·       1/4 tsp dried oregano

·       3/4 tsp salt

·       2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

·       1/2 cup button mushrooms cleaned, stemmed and chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Add vegetable broth to an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat.

Add leeks and green onion (add mushrooms for AP now), cooking until softened, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, salt and fresh parsley. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites together. Pour eggs over onion and leek mixture. Cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Gently stir. Cook for another minute without stirring. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until firm or set throughout. Cool for 5 minutes in pan. Cut into 6 wedges. Serve warm.

5.      Baked Fish and Asparagus


·       100 grams white fish

·       ½ red onion, minced

·       1 clove garlic, minced

·       3 stalks asparagus

·       4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·       2 tablespoons caper juice

·       ½ cup vegetable broth

·       Breadcrumbs

·       Parsley

·       ¼ teaspoon dried dill

·       Pinch of tarragon

·       Pinch of salt & pepper


Layer asparagus and fish in a baking dish; mix spices and broth and add to the baking dish. Sprinkle with crumbs and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Serve topped with cooking sauce, parsley and garnished with lemon wedges. 

6.      Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad



·       1 tbsp cilantro

·       ¼ cup fresh lime juice

·       1 tbsp white vinegar

·       ¼ tsp cumin

·       ¼ tsp salt

·       ⅛ tsp pepper

·       1 tsp Dijon mustard


·       7 ounces shrimp

·       ½ tsp lime zest

·       ¼ tsp cumin

·       ½ tsp oregano

·       ¼ tsp salt

·       4 tbsp fresh lime juice

·       ¼ tsp minced garlic

·       2 cups riced cauliflower

·       ½ cup minced onion

·       ½ cup red bell pepper chopped

·       ½ cup orange bell pepper chopped


In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing then set aside. Next, make shrimp marinade by mixing lime zest, oregano, cumin,garlic, salt and lime juice in a small bowl. Add shrimp, toss and let sit for 5 minutes. Place shrimp on skewers and grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Combine riced cauliflower, onion and peppers. Toss with dressing.Divide cauliflower mix between two bowls and top each with hot grilled shrimp. 


Adding about 1 Tbsp of coconut oil to the dressing will give it a creamier texture and flavor. Be sure to weigh your shrimp- shrimp come in a huge variety of sizes which will impact how you many you eat. 

7.      Apple & Asparagus Salad


·       1 apple, diced

·       8 stalks asparagus, chopped

·       1 red onion, minced

·       4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·       ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or garam masala

·       Stevia

·       Water

·       Pinch of salt & pepper


Allow asparagus to marinate in vinaigrette for about 10 minutes. In lemon juice, sauté asparagus until cooked lightly. Mix with spices, onion and apple. Add stevia, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Serve hot as a side dish or as a salad. 

8.      Chocolate Strawberry Pudding


·       3 cups riced cauliflower raw

·       1 tsp glucomannan powder

·       3 tbsp cocoa powder

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

·       6-7 scoops powdered stevia

·       2 cups diced strawberries

·       ½ tsp cinnamon


Steam cauliflower florets to cook and then allow to cool. Once cooled, puree the cauliflower in food processor until smooth. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, stevia, glucomannan powder and cinnamon to food processor and blend until smooth again. Add half of the strawberries and blend to smooth. Pour mixture into bowl and fold in remaining strawberry pieces. Divide into two smaller bowls and chill for three hours or longer. Serve cold. 

9.      Basil Spiked Crispy Green Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes


·       2 cups green beans shaved

·       1 tbsp nutritional yeast

·       2 tbsp red wine vinegar (+2 tsp)

·       1/4 cup basil fresh

·       2 tsp garlic minced

·       1/4 cup red onion diced

·       1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half

·       1 tsp salt

·       1/4 tsp pepper


Cut green beans at a steep angle in ¼” widths. Bring a pot of about 2 quarts of water with 2 tsp salt to boil. Cooking water should taste very salty like the sea. Once water is boiling, submerge green beans inside a colander or sieve into water for 1-2 minutes, until bright green OR steam green beans for 1-2 minutes or until bright green. Strain and set aside to cool. 

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, basil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add green beans and tomatoes to a large bowl and toss together with dressing. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and serve chilled.


Pairs great with grilled chicken chunks. You can add chopped apple for a fruit option.

10.  Blended Cozy Mushroom Soup


·       4 cups white button mushrooms sliced

·       2 tsp garlic minced

·       ¼ cup white onion minced

·       1 tsp salt

·       ½ tsp pepper

·       ¼ tsp dried thyme

·       3 cups beef broth fat free

·       2 tbsp half and half fat free

·       Coconut Oil Spray

·       parsley Finely chopped for garnish


Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and spray with coconut oil spray. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the minced garlic and onion to the pot and continue sautéing for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir in the beef broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Remove from heat, stir in the half and half and blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth.) Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve. 

11.  Garlic Basil Shrimp Zucchini Boats


·       7 oz shrimp (100g per 3.5 oz) peeled and deveined

·       2 zucchinis medium sized

·       2 tsp minced garlic cloves

·       ½ tsp salt

·       1 tbsp fresh basil chopped

·       1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

·       2 tbsp white onion diced

·       2 tbsp canned diced tomatoes

·       1/2 tsp lemon zest freshly grated

·       2 tsp jalapeño minced


In a large bowl filled with cold water, soak zucchini for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add zucchini to boiling water and once the water begins to boil again, set aside to cool. Trim off the ends of the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides without cutting the skin, leaving a ¼-inch thick wall on all sides. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Chop shrimp into pea-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl with garlic, basil, salt, 1/2 tsp coconut oil, white onion, diced tomatoes, lemon zest, and jalapeno. Grease a shallow baking pan with 1/4 tsp coconut oil. Add the zucchini boats to the pan and brush them with the remaining 1/4 tsp coconut oil. Stuff zucchini with shrimp mixture until heaping. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and rest 5 minutes before serving. 


Coconut oil is optional. If keeping calories low, you can leave this out. 

BONUS: 3 HCG Phase 2 Chicken Recipes 

1.      Braised Chicken in Sauerkraut


·       7 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

·       ½ tsp pepper

·       ½ tsp paprika

·       ¼ tsp salt

·       ¼ tsp garlic powder

·       2 cups Sauerkraut

·       1 cup chicken broth

·       2 tbsp dijon mustard

·       2 tbsp chopped parsley


Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix well. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the spice mixture and sear for 1-2 minutes per side in a large skillet. Add the sauerkraut, chicken broth, and dijon mustard to the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley. 

2.      Buffalo Chicken Soup


·       2 tbsp chopped onion

·       3 cups chopped celery

·       1 tbsp garlic

·       7 oz chicken

·       2 cups fat free beef broth

·       2 cups water

·       2 tbsp hot sauce

·       1 tsp white vinegar

·       ⅛ tsp cayenne

·       ⅛ tsp paprika

·       ¼ tsp salt

·       ⅛ tsp pepper


Sauté chopped onions and celery with a splash (about ¼ cup) beef broth. Cook until onions are translucent, and celery is soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook another minute.Place chicken, broth, cooked onions and celery in a slow cooker. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together hot sauce, white vinegar, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour mix into slow cooker as well. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. 

Shred chicken using a fork. Remove about 1 ½ cups of soup into a blender, including some chicken. Puree until smooth and add back into soup. Serve hot. 


This is a great Instant Pot recipe! Sauté onions, garlic and celery in pot. Add remaining ingredients and use Instant pot soup button to cook for 10 minutes. 

3.      Root beer BBQ Chicken with Garlic Steamed Brussels Sprouts


·       7 oz chicken breast

·       ¼ tsp garlic powder

·       ¼ tsp onion powder

·       ¼ tsp salt

·       ½ cup Simple Girl BBQ Sauce

·       2 tbsp white vinegar

·       2 tsp Bakto Root Beer Extract

·       1 cups Brussels sprouts sliced in half

·       4 tbsp vegetable broth

·       1 tsp garlic chopped

·       ¼ tsp salt

·       1 tbsp lemon juice


In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine garlic powder, onion powder, salt, BBQ sauce, white vinegar and root beer extract. Add chicken breast to slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, flipping the chicken halfway through if possible. Shred cooked chicken using a fork. Mix together with sauce. 

Heat vegetable broth in a large sauté pan and add Brussel sprouts & garlic. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove lid from pan and let liquid cook off to brown Brussels sprouts. Add salt and lemon juice and serve alongside the BBQ chicken. 


This recipe is just as delicious without the root beer extract but will have a milder taste. 

Do you have a favorite Phase 2 recipe? Let us know in the comments below! 

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