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.
Show Note Links:
- P3toLife – the Phase 3 hCG Diet Maintenance Program – a fully structured program for eating in P3 and beyond.
- Andrea used these 2 workouts together. Fitness Blender’s have a bunch of youtube fitness videos and offer them at different levels
- T-Tapp website is for someone like Andrea who is not very hand eye coordinated. According to her these slow precise movements were so much easier to learn and do.
- Couch to 5K – She used this three times to work up to a 5K
- Instant Pot
- Smart Stick Immersion Blender
Andrea’s Experience with:
the P3toLife Program During Phase 3 of the hCG Diet Protocol
This is not your first rodeo with hCG and since you have done it before. Do you want to give us maybe just a little background on that in the synopsis?
This is probably around number five or six. I started about 2009 where I did three rounds really well. I lost 100 lbs. – from 240 lbs. to 140 lbs. Slowly, over the years, you slip habits and go back. So, I decided to do another set of rounds this year to try and get back to where I want to be. Because I didn’t add exercise like I should have before. So, that’s my goal this time.
What were your biggest concerns when you contemplated going into P3? What was the thing you were always most concerned about?
Well, it was what to add and when to add it – because the guidelines are, “Eat whatever you want. Just don’t eat sugar and not much fat.” Which, you know. Wow, that’s really open-ended. And I get stuck in the “Okay, I’m realizing I’m eating grilled chicken and a salad, and grilled fish and cabbage again. Just because I know that’s safe.” And you know, you can’t do that.
Well, if you were to explain to another hCGer, just kind of in a few sentences, what the P3 program and why it is invaluable to you. What would you tell them?
The P3tolife program takes the guess work out of it. It puts down what you can eat, when you can eat. After coming off of hCG, like I said, grilled chicken and grilled fish and cabbage and spinach and salad,
it just opens up a wide variety of food.
And slowly let you add them, add more calories. That’s just all the guess work.
How did you end up following the “P3 to Life” program yourself? Because there’s the Original plan, there’s the Simplified plan, and there’s kind of like the Build-your-Own kit. Did you follow anyone exactly? Did you make tweaks? Like, how did you use it for your life and family?
I pretty much followed the Simplified Plan. But I tweaked it to the end because I realized I ended up repeating some of the steps, few ones and never really actually did the all the three ones – recipe-wise anyways. But I pretty much did just the Simplified. Because that worked well doing it in small batches, having several things ready to choose from each day.
Rayzel’s note: the Simplified plan uses less recipes in a week, cooked in larger batches for less cooking and you eat more of the same meals to keep things…simple! The original plans has more recipes and more variety in the meals each week. You get both plans when you enroll in the P3tolife program.
When you were doing your cooking, was it for you or for family members as well?
I did it both ways. During the week since I work full-time, I did it mostly batches for myself. But on the weekends, actually last weekend, I did chicken curry in the InstantPot for the whole family. Because every time I would cook it, they’re like, “That smells so good.” They’re deprived because they’re eating pizza and I could eat that.
Tell us about your personal life, what responsibilities you have, and maybe more detail on how you make it work.
I work full-time for a college as a financial administrator. So, we were right at the end of spring semester, beginning of summer semester, so it was a really busy time for me. And I have two daughters. Both were graduating from high school last week. And my husband lives with us as well. As well as my mom so we’re five. So, we’re pretty busy. But I would just like, when I come in at night time, I cook. I have some Simplified plans, like you cook this day for these three days, and you cook this day – and I just set it up to do that. My girls are old enough to help cook and do some prep work as well as my husband. It worked well.
How did you feel about the portion sizes & taste of the P3 meals? Did the portions and taste of the food make any difference in how you felt about eating/relationship with food while on p3?
Some of the food was like a mountain of food.
I was like, “Oh my gosh. I can eat all of this?” and then be like, “I am so stuffed.” And then, the next morning when the scales don’t change, you’re like, “Oh, I can actually eat proper amounts of food and still maintain my weight.” So, that was an awesome aspect of it.
Never felt so stuffed several times. Like the spaghetti squash – I can remember eating that. I’m like thinking, “Oh my gosh, I don’t think I can eat all of this. This is just so much food.” IT WAS AWESOME!
Taste was one thing. I think I sent emails to you saying that the recipes are just awesome. There’s so many textures and tastes. You know, I felt like I was eating real food again which I haven’t dared to do for such a long time. Because you got to do diet forever and ever and ever just to maintain what you feel like. But this was not like dieting or anything. This was like living a full life with wonderful food. And I plan on keeping some of the recipes and doing them. Because some of them have the maintenance addition that you can add avocado – and I plan on using those. Because that’s the kind of stuff that we love to eat at our house.
Did you have any correction days during Phase 3 with the program?
My Phase 3 actually got off to a really rocky start. Because we had a couple of crises and we had to run out of town and I had just started P3. So, I totally slipped off the wagon and couldn’t do P3tolife at the beginning. I had like two or three “wow” meals. And I went up. I gained like 6 pounds. Once we were able to come back into town, the stress was gone, I got right back on the wagon. I actually went and dropped nine pounds following P3tolife.
So, I did do a correction day when we came back from that trip and I knew I was up six pounds. I did one correction day and went down like two and a half pounds. But then, I immediately started back on the “week 1” meals of the P3 program. And I actually went down less light than I had ended. So, it worked out well for me.
So even though you have the correction day from – because you had to go out of town and you just ate off protocol stuff. But then, when you came back, it sounds kind of like you started P3 over in a way. And then, from that point on, did you have any steak days?
No. None after that. I didn’t have to have any steak days and everything just stabilized right out.
What were your actual tangible results from following the program overall? What were your results from the program?
Actually, once I got strictly on the protocol after some stressful time at the beginning, I stabilized 2 pounds less than my last VLCD. So basically, I lost 2 pounds and I’m still right at that – I was up a little bit this morning because we celebrated graduation last night with two Japanese takeout but I’m still within my two pounds.
In the program there are these Phase 3 dessert smoothies. Tell me what you think of those?
Those are awesome. I actually took my Smart Stick – an immersion blender– to work. Our air conditioning was out one day last week. I took my Smart Stick to work. And with all my different flavors I was like, “Okay, guys, I can make Triple Chocolate, I can make Peppermint Patty, I can make Snicker Doodle.” So I made them for some of my co-workers. And they’re like, “There’s really only 60 calories in this? There’s only 70 calories in this?”. They were just amazed.
I was using the Swerve powder (a brand of erythritol, a sugar free sweetener- we utilize this in small quantities in the P3toLife program as a sweetener for P3 dessert smoothies as well as a few of the breakfast muffins). And then, I have the pure stevia drops in there. And I told them, I said, “These are not sweet…” – well and most of them are trying to lose weight. So, they’ve been out on all the sweet stuff too. So it wasn’t like it was not sweet to them. I like mine not so sweet. I like dark chocolate without all the sweetener anyways so we would just adjust it to them.
Have you struggled on past P3s before when you were just doing things on your own? What were the struggles and how was it? Well, we’ve kind of talked about how things are different this time with the program. But how has it been in the past?
In the past, I used to use a calorie counter. So, I was really trying to keep it in the right. You know, just add a little bit of calories at a time and add stuff. So, I would get so frustrated. I’d be in two weeks and I’m still only eating 900 calories and I know that if you just keep it down you’re just slowing your metabolism down.
So, usually, what would happen is I would just go back into safe zone. Grilled chicken salad, grilled fish, cabbage, and apple. And then, I’m like, “I’m only like 600 calories today.” So at night I can have a spoonful of peanut butter or two or three. Yeah, so, you would try and then you’d get frustrated. And usually what would happen is I would stay really low calorie and then something will happen and I’m just like, “I’m hungry and I’m frustrated” and I would just eat something or maybe do several days of eating.
I know there were some of my rounds of P3, I stayed really, really, low calorie. And then the next round of hCG, I didn’t do very well. Because I’d slow my metabolism down or my body adjusted to really low calories already. Or if I didn’t do, you know, if I went on to maintenance phase, I just started gaining back really quick because I just got frustrated and then just like started eating.
So, I think that this P3 maintenance program is put in a much “Eat Better” setup for much better success. I’ve stabilized really quickly (Rayzel’s note: this is considering that the P3toLife plan takes you gradually from 950 calories all the way up to close to 1500 calories by the end) and I didn’t stabilize really quickly in the past even though I was only eating like 900-1200 calories. I still go up and I can’t eat that – try this – sort of thing. So, this has helped a lot to tell you what you can eat. And now, you have some of the recipes, fortunately. You can maintain by adding in avocado, mayonnaise, or something to it. And that’s going to be very helpful.
Were there any positive results from following the “P3 to Life” program that kind of surprised you? That like, as you were going through it, you thought it would be different and then the results were different than what you would’ve thought?
I was really surprised at the variety of stuff that you could put into a recipe and keep it within the protocol. Like coconut cream – I mean, oh my stars! That’s like the most wonderful ingredient ever. You can eat it on P3 and still not gain weight, stabilize, and just being able to have that so much variety I think was really surprising.
I wasn’t expecting it to be so much variety – we’ve got Chinese, we’ve got Buffalo chicken, we’ve got spicy Philly – all these different things. The results were wonderful. I was expecting the plan to be the kind of the same bland P2 stuff just a little elaborated – not this wonderful variety.
Did you have one or two favorite recipes? I know you said you liked a lot of them, but was there a couple of favorites?
- The Indian Curry was probably one of my top favorites. I made it for myself, I made it for my family. And I share it with my boss at work – because she introduced me to Indian food a couple of years ago. She thought it was awesome. That is probably my top favorite.
- I like the deconstructed pork egg roll and the pork with butternut squash sauce and the zucchini noodles.
- Peppermint patty dessert smoothie is my all-time favorite because I love your peppermint patties.
- What really surprised me is the Snickerdoodle, and I’m a chocolate fanatic. And a lot of the time I choose Snickerdoodle over one of the chocolate ones because it’s something about the Snickerdoodle that I really, really like. I did the batch toppings. I still have mine in my own container, so I got it ready to go any time I want it.
Was there any other closing thoughts for anyone else who is considering whether or not it’s worth their time and money to do the program?
I would tell them, the Phase 3 to Life program is definitely worth the time and the money to spend on it, because having had past P3s that did not go well, and I think it actually set me up for failure and maintenance as well as failure and another hCG round. I think that it is just really incredible to get that experience. Like you said, it’s a kind of like a training ground for all these different recipes.
In American culture, we place some spice, some flavor with fat and this gives you a chance to experiment with all these different flavors and spices that you can add virtually no calories but lots and lots of taste. I would definitely not skip. But IF I had to pay for it to do it on every P3 round, I would pay for it for every P3 round.
Rayzel’s note: But you don’t! It’s a one time enrollment fee for the program to keep it for life. 🙂
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