Hello lovely hCGers. This interview is part of what is now a plethora of weight loss success stories with real everyday women (and men! There’s a few dude interviews in there) who have used either hCG injections or drops with the hCG diet protocol to lose between 20 and 150 lbs. You can see the current episodes available here.
JENNA’S BASIC STATS:
- 36 years old
- Current weight: 167 lbs
- Starting weight: 202 lbs
- Weight loss with hCG: 35 lbs
- Size change: Size 16 to Size 10
- Health condition: She had a necrotic stomach – so her stomach basically killed itself. They didn’t know why or how that happened. They removed her stomach so her esophagus is now connected to her intestines.
If anyone has questions or wants more info from me about the necrotic stomach or side effects (or anything!) you can reach me on my Instagram: @jennabh80– I check it daily – and my hCG IG account: @ChicagohCG
Show Note Links:
- Some stuff that Jenna uses on P2 – these are off-protocol foods that doesn’t cause her weight loss to stall:
- Nature Made Vitamelts – These are Vitamin B12 lozenges that you can take to see if it makes a difference to your energy before trying out the injections.
- Jenna used injections from USHCGSHOTS, one of Rayzel’s recommended hCG sources.
Jenna’s hCG Injection Weight Loss Story in Her Words:
I am 36 years old and 5’7″ tall.
I have a strange medical issue- my stomach unexpectedly died in 2012 so my esophagus is attached to my small intestine.
It makes eating difficult and as a result of this happening I gained a large amount of weight for an unknown reason. Even though I don’t have the capacity to binge and eat horribly on a regular basis I gained about 60 pounds within 7 months after this happened.
It has been a struggle ever since and NOTHING has worked other than this HCG diet! The diet even helped me eat foods I haven’t been able to eat in the past such as red meat and greens.
How much weight you’ve lost with hCG/starting weight/ending weight/ clothing size change. How many rounds did you do, how long was each round? stuff like that.
I lost 35 pounds on a 45 day round. This was the first round I have ever done.
My starting weight was 202 and my end weight was 167. I went from a size 16 pant to a size 10. I’m bottom heavy so you can notice it drastically in my top half!
How long have you currently been maintaining (or where are you currently at in your hCG journey)?
I’ve been maintaining for 31 days! I didn’t have any major gains during Phase 3.
Tell us how you came to be overweight and your struggles with that?
I became overweight after my stomach died and getting sick. The only thing I could eat without horrible pain was carbs (basically plain pasta). I was eating very little protein and I couldn’t eat leafy greens.
I have a weird side effect of what happened to me which is that I can never feel full. I literally can be eating and still feel hungry- it never goes away.
During the diet I had to tell myself that it wasn’t hunger that I feel so now I say I never get hungry (which basically means I just always feel the same… which is hunger but it’s mental). It’s all very strange!
What type of hCG did you use? If injections or prescription drops, what dose worked best for you?
I used USHCGSHOTS.com from your website in injection form.
Have you ever used b12 and/or lipo shots, and if so, do you feel it was worth it and why?
Yes I ordered the B12 Lipo shots for the second half of Phase 2.
I don’t think they really did much for me other than maybe break my stalls which happened a lot the second part of my long Phase 2. I take B12 injections weekly due to my medical issues for the past few years so it really just replaced them with the lipo part adding the aminos.
What would you say your experience was the first week on phase 2? Easy or hard? explain. Could also discuss how you loaded if you like. What parts of the protocol were easier for you and which parts were more challenging? How did you handle the challenging aspects?
The first week of Phase 2 was hard.
I had to realize how often I ate just because I could or because I was bored. I feel tired a lot and I would eat to refuel but it actually was working against me. All of this was realized during this first week!
I also noticed how much my body was changing just after a week! Weight was dropping but I know that was mostly water weight. I noticed less bloating, less fatigue, better skin, and I was sleeping better at night! This made it easy to stick with it but the hunger and not just eating to eat was the hard part.
I also missed pasta a lot! Since loading is hard for me with a lack of stomach I just ate really calorie rich items all day long in small quantities. I didn’t gain much loading (only 5 pounds) but I think that is because I couldn’t get a lot of quantity in.
I put a picture of myself at the moment as my screen saver on my phone so every time I went to go look at Facebook or text I would be reminded at how unhappy I currently am with my body and it would give me the extra push to stick with it.
I also watched almost every video of yours online so I felt like I really understood what my body was going through and what to expect. That helped a lot with just feeling informed!
What did you find yourself liking to eat during Phase 2/vlcd – how would you prepare your meals?
I can’t eat anything that goes near water so I was pretty restricted to chicken and beef. Because of this I did allow myself some of the vegetarian options and I did occasional low carb shakes and Morningstar Farms products.
- I LOVED the tomato basil burgers from Morningstar farms. I would make a salsa and eat it with the salsa. I ate this twice a week so it was always something I looked forward to.
- I made applesauce in the slow cooker which was delicious.
- I also made sure to buy very high quality steak. When I ate steak it was filet mignon and this helped TREMENDOUSLY because it was such quality meat. No cardboard steak!
- I also did “taco’s” a lot with iceberg lettuce and then meat mixed with Valentina hot sauce!
- Tastefully Simple is an online company that makes great seasonings so I bought those and put their Onion Onion seasoning on my chicken all the time and their Simply Salsa mixed with the tomatoes. I actually found a lot that I liked for what I was working with!
- Also Stevia packets saved my life! I would get the green tea from Starbucks almost once a day and add Stevia. You just have to make sure to get it unsweetened!
- Also, I prepared all of the meat fresh when i wanted to eat it. This made a big difference to me. Eating day old cooked chicken or steak just isn’t as good as from the oven. And I broiled all my meat with just salt, pepper, and seasoning so it only took about 6 minutes to make. I pre made the salsa so it lasted for a few days and always had cucumbers and ice burg lettuce on hand.
What tricks do you have up your sleeve to stay sane while on Phase 2?
Stay busy! I’m a stay at home mom which some people always talk about not having time to eat but I never had that problem! I just made sure to make food for them… and make mine separate.
Also I think having those couple items you really enjoy eating but not eating them every day. Make it something you look forward to. I would be like… meh chicken tonight… but steak cups tomorrow!!! I basically ate the same 6 meals over and over but I enjoyed them so I didn’t mind.
What Lessons have you learned during Phase 3 – give us the good and the bad! What types of things did you discover when it came to maintenance that did and didn’t work?
Phase 3 is tricky because all of a sudden you have to make all these good choices and stay on protocol. I found not allowing myself to even taste anything off protocol worked for me because one taste and I would want more.
When you introduce carbs do it very slowly and for breakfast or lunch. I have been using the app MACROS and it is awesome! It is basically like weight watchers so it tracks your food and points. I like it because you can input how many carbs, calories, protein, etc a day you want to really make it specified to you.
I put in 50 carbs a day as my max and I just made sure to follow that!
In Phase 4: Can you tell us what types of foods you eat now in every day life? And how is this different from what you used to eat on a normal basis?
I think the biggest change is drinking which I’m able to do now. I’ve had beer here and there and I haven’t had an issue with it.
I don’t eat pasta or bread unless it is a very special occasion (which I haven’t had yet!). I have stuck to carbs more in the form of crackers or chips.
I found an awesome Cauliflower Pizza Crust which allows me to eat pizza. I basically tell myself that I’m not technically “craving” something just because I see it.
I haven’t gained any weight at all P3 or P4 so far other than maybe one or two pounds at a time which is corrected by eating steak and my tomato salsa the next day. I found that gains are basically coming from eating sugar so I have just been trying not to eat any and sticking with the Stevia!
What have been your tools for maintaining your weight loss?
- MACROS is amazing.
- HCGChica website and Instagram is awesome- it makes me feel like I’m not alone and I love imagining all the people just getting started and how happy they will be once the weight starts to come off.
- Long trips to the grocery store looking at labels and checking ingredients for items JUST FOR ME is great too. When you are shopping for the whole family you are distracted so I like to go browse grocery stores with me in mind!
- Also weighing yourself every day is key.
Do you have any memories of your life/body pre hCG that are totally different for you now?
I was so so unhappy with how I looked- for the past 5 years. I had 2 kids in that time frame but I never was able to get under my pre-baby weight so I can’t really blame the pregnancies. I perfected hiding my body with dark clothing and good camera angles. Now I just am so impressed with how I look after a short period of time that it is the motivation I need to stick with it and not let myself slip again.
When you want a treat now, give us a couple examples of what you might eat? Also, are you ever able to indulge in a regular treat, like cake at a party, and still maintain?
I haven’t totally indulged yet other than beer. I think I had 3 one night and didn’t gain so that was success!!! I have tried tastes of things such as my daughter’s birthday cake and a spoonful of ice cream but it just isn’t what I remember.
I allow myself the tastes but I don’t want to get in the habit of ordering my own quite yet. I found that the cocoa covered almonds from Trader Joe’s really help my sweet tooth when I have it. You just have to make sure to follow the serving size!
What factors have you noticed to play a role in people NOT succeeding on hCG?
I think cheating during P2 is huge. I didn’t cheat- not once!!!
My friend did it with me and she cheated often. She still lost weight but not as much and she is still in diet mode on Phase 3. I didn’t feel like I was still dieting on Phase 3 at all because I could eat so many new things.
Also, I think you really have to just kick yourself in the butt and say it’s only 23 days. ANYONE can go 23 days without cheating on a diet… if you cheat it’s because you allow yourself to so just don’t do it! (I know easier said than done).
What do you feel are the most important keys to success on the hcg protocol? If someone said they want to have the same results you have, what would you tell them?
I would tell them not to cheat on P2. Listen to your body – I couldn’t eat a lot of things others could on the modified P2 diet such as cauliflower and broccoli. It would make me stall so pretty soon I just stopped trying things off of protocol and stuck with the basics.
I think really trying recipes until you find stuff you actually like is key too. You can’t just make food to eat it you really need to find ways to make it so that you actually like what you are eating.
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