What Is Cycling on the HCG Diet?

You may have heard some dieters try cycling on the HCG diet. So what is cycling? Cycling is alternating Phase 2 and Phase 3 without doing Phase 4. Dieters do have to complete P3 and move onto P4 when they finish cycling.

According to the original HCG diet protocol written by Dr. Simeons, dieters are required to take daily HCG with the VLCD (very low calorie diet) in P2. After 23 or 40 days (including two loading days), dieters stop taking HCG, but continue with the VLCD for another 3 days, before they move on to the Phase 3. The length of P3 is 3 weeks. During this time, dieters may eat any amount of food as long as it doesn’t contain sugar or starch.

How long should you stay on P2 and P3 when cycling? Generally, dieters do a certain amount of days and then take equal amounts of time off. For instance, some dieters do 3 weeks of P2 and 3 weeks of P3 with great success. However, there are no hard and fast rules. Some dieters choose to do 2 weeks of P2, 1 week of P3 and cycle back to P2. It is important for dieters to ensure they take enough time to stabilize in P3 before cycling back to P2.

Cycling allows the dieter to refrain from getting overwhelmed or bored with the VLCD and to enjoy more food selections they desire for a short period. Some like shorter cycles because they have a difficult time staying on the protocol for 23 or 40 days. The idea is that cycling helps to lessen cravings, and it allows the dieter to feel as if they are not being punished by a very rigid diet plan.  Cravings are diminished and the periods between the VLCD stage and the periods of free eating allow the dieter to establish goal markers; he or she can remain committed to the HCG diet longer.

Additionally, some dieters don’t want to go to Phase 4 when their goal weight hasn’t been achieved.  Consistent weight loss is achieved via cycling and dieters feel better about getting closer to their goal weight.  Feeling good about weight loss success intensifies the dieter’s willpower to continue.  Cycling maximizes the “feel good” effect and helps the dieter stay on course.

Bear in mind that cycling is by no means an easier way to lose more weight in a shorter period of time. Many dieters think if they go right back to P2, they will start losing more weight faster, which is not true. If a dieter hasn’t done a complete round (with Phase 2, 3 and 4) yet, he or she shouldn’t attempt cycling. Only those who have successfully completed one full round of HCG diet could try cycling. When cycling, dieters should stick to the food items approved by the protocol. Cheat is not allowed during cycling.


  1. GUEST says


  2. Jenny says

    I am on Day 4 of P2 and I am planning on going up to 23 days in P2, then doing the 48 without the drops but still VLCD ( Im on drops). My question is I have my bachelorette party 3 days after my last 48 hours that I plan on obviously drinking and cheating a bit for 2 days. When I come back I have 2 weeks until my wedding. Can I go right back into P2 for 2 weeks prior to wedding to lose any extra weight put on?? Thanks so much!

  3. Don says

    Have learned from experience that although the program is 500 Calories, (and there is so much focus on calories) it really is about body chemistry with the 500 Calories. Not just any set of calories work– For my part, I've sucessfully lost 85 pounds with HCG.
    This is a miracle for me. I am healthier than I think I've ever been.
    I have come to understand though, that as this is a hormonal reaction– if I try to "cycle" without appropriate recovery time, my body became resistant to HCG.
    Everyone is different, but my best results came from simply following the plan. Not only was I able to lose, but able to keep it off. Not so for me with cycling.

  4. Guest says

    How long does an unopened bottle last? If it has been stored in a cabinet? I bought 4 bottle pack Feb 2011, and I have one bottle left that I want to use but need to know if it is still active?

  5. Missy says

    I am in R1P2day42. No injection today. I am interested in cycling because I stalled two and a half weeks into P2. It just happened to coincide with my TOM. The day my boobs began to get sore is the day I stalled; lasted for about two weeks. Actually I kept loosing the same 2.0 lbs over and over again. Very small cheats- I think maybe mostly due to chocloate delight and using a little too much creamer for my coffee. Needless to say I stuck to between 500 calories and 600 calories every day. I started at 216, now down to 202 lbs. Wish loss could have been more. Do you think cycling could help me? I set my goal at 185 lbs (trying o be realistic). Five days before the end of phase 2 I started loosing again. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Heather says

      I am proud of you for trying this diet. The thing that stalled you out was chocolate with sugar. The hcg diet is to stay away from sugar and fat. I know it is hard as a woman to stay off the cocoa. Try again and stick closely to the original protocal, it will be worth.

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