What’s a bit different about the original hCG Diet protocol is that while Dr. Simeons gave us an exact amount of meat to eat – 100g, twice a day, and a fairly specific fruit amount (1 apple, 1 orange, handful of strawberries, etc), there was no such exact amount set for the P2 veggies. Which has left some of us wondering just how much of those vegetables we should eat.
Why You Don’t Really Need to Track Amounts
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think it’s necessary to set an exact amount for yourself. The vegetables are all pretty low in calories. If you were tracking the amount would depend on which calorie protocol you were on – 500 calories, 700 calories, or 800 calories are common hCG programs ladies follow.
If you want a good rule of thumb to go on for the 500 calorie protocol, just to give you SOME idea of how much you might be going for if you are eyeballing it, you might think of it like this:
- 1-1.5 cups of denser veggies (ie tomatoes, onion, etc)
- 4 cups lightweight veggies (lettuce)
as a general “number”. But this is not at all a strict rule because the number of calories per cup of the all the vegetables really differs- I’ll give you some examples below. Like tomatoes and cucumbers are quite different.
For the 700-800 calorie protocols, we’d probably look at it more like this:
- 1.5-2 cups denser veggies
- 6 cups lightweight veggies (lettuce)
The only time I think it might be good to track your calories with vegetables is if you are mixing your vegetables on P2, and if you are eating rather sizeable portions of that. But unless you are eating like 4 pints of tomatoes a day or something, I don’t think you need to worry.
An Accurate Way to Track Calories and Amounts
If you really want to track and you get a free myfitnesspal account or app, you can search for P2 foods on there using “Rayzel _____ (insert P2 food ingredient) as your search term like this:
- Rayzel lettuce
- Rayzel cherry tomatoes
- Rayzel onion diced
and it will bring up our list of P2 ingredients that we carefully weighed and measured and then created the nutrition info for using the USDA Database, so these numbers are very accurate.
Here’s a couple examples:
First up is lettuce- you can see that for 4 cups of lettuce total, it’s 50 calories.
Next up is onion – here you can see that 1 cup of diced onion is 54 calories.
Here’s whole cherry tomatoes- 1.5 cups is 57 calories.
Last example is diced peeled cucumber- here you can have 2.5 cups for the same 50 calories, since cucumbers have a lot of water in them.
For the hCGChica recipes site with the P2 recipes we did carefully weigh and measure everything for the creation of the recipes so that our calories and macros we listed would be very accurate just to make things easier and more reliable for you- I think this is a good idea so that if you eat a P2 recipe, you do know what the total calories are.
Some of the veggies do have more calories for the volume (like onions or tomatoes) and it’s a good idea to just keep things in check by having a basic idea of how many veggies in a recipe adds up to what. But it’s certainly not required.
I hope this helps!