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Here we are on Reason #2 for Failure on the hCG Diet and Thus How to Succeed. If you didn’t already see the overview of all 6 Reasons for Failure, or the in-depth post on Reason#1- Not Realizing What the hCG Diet Really Involves, you can check those out.
- Expecting Too Much from the Diet and Getting Disappointed Too Easily.
Losing Sight of the Big Picture- Or Making Your Picture Too Small
It can often be easy for us to lose sight of the big picture. A few days of no weight loss can quickly feel like forever. If you are truly only on the diet for the numbers you see on the scale each day you are going to run into trouble- it’s important to have realistic expectations of what you can hopefully achieve through each round. Obviously you are on the diet to lose weight, but in order to get through this process you have to look at the big picture, not the number you see every single day.
When you research, there are so many wonderful claims made about it, which really, most of them are true, it really does work amazingly well- however, when you haven’t done the diet before, sometimes you’re not aware of how the weight loss happens, or you hear things like, “you’ll lose a pound a day.”
Then you experience something like 3 days of no weight loss (which is totally normal and happens ALL the time), and that can quickly feel like FOREVER. Here you are eating only 500 calories, and you didn’t lose anything for 3 days. It’s easy for that to get into your head and for you to start worrying what you’re doing wrong, feeling like the diet is not working for you. You might see someone else lose 3 lbs in one day and then you compare it to yourself and the fact that you lost nothing that day. It can be easy for things like this to throw you off when you have a certain expectation level for the diet.
I will say this much- I don’t think any of us can deny that the numbers we get on the scale are a large part of the reason that we’re on the diet because if we didn’t care about the pace of our weight loss, we’d just go to some other diet that wasn’t nearly as difficult. So I understand that’s part of it- how quickly we’re losing weight.
On the other hand, if that’s the sole deciding factor as to whether you stick to the diet or not, if you lose a certain amount of weight every day, and as soon as you see that weight loss not happening you’re going to quit, you’re going to run into trouble. Most people will NOT lose a consistent amount of weight every day on the protocol. I almost never see a woman lose 1lb a day continually on the diet- there have been a few, but they are very few and far between- the vast majority of women are going to have an average weightloss of .5-.75lb per day over the course of the 3 or 6 weeks on the diet.
Please please please do not see these few and compare yourself to them and get discouraged.
Don’t Get Cocky
Additionally, the way the weight comes off is not consistent. What I mean by that is, usually the first week to 10 days of the diet, you’ll often see some pretty big numbers on the scale. But those big numbers are not going to continue- that is one the rude awakenings that we can sometimes experience the first time.
This can often lead some to think that they can cheat on the diet. They’ll start the diet and lose 2-3 lbs the first day, then another 2 lbs the second day, and they might think, “wow this is awesome! I think I could get away with eating a few chips- I’m already losing 2lbs a day, what’s the big deal with losing just a little slower, like 1.5 lbs a day and eat a little more?”
What newbies don’t realized is that this pace of weight loss will not continue the entire round. The first week to 10 day, a person typically loses the largest chunk of weight, but the weight loss really slows down after that in general- this doesn’t mean you aren’t doing well on the diet- at the start of the protocol, my feeling is that there is a lot more water weight being lost which accounts for the huge numbers seen in just a few days (think about it- if you really lost, say 5lbs of fat in one day, your body would have had to burn over 17,000 calories in just that one day- not likely). So in reality, during the latter weeks of the protocol, I feel you are actually accomplishing just as much if not more because the majority of the weight coming off at that point should be fat.
My point here though is that cheating WILL catch up with you on the diet- the first portion of the diet can kind of trick you and make you think that cheating doesn’t really cause a problem, but in truth, it makes a huge difference in your overall losses. Weightloss can stall out for endless days when continually cheating in small ways.
Get Rid Of the Expectations
I have come to feel that in order to be happy during and after the diet with your results, it’s important to be realistic about what you’ll achieve on it. If you set your sights too high it’s going to be so easy to be dissapointed if you don’t reach that. If you set your expectations more realistically or even better, don’t set expectations, then you’re free to be pleased with whatever results you get.
In all actuality, you do not have much control over how your body lets go of the weight. We’ll talk about the different correction days that people do, but in actuality, often times those are not producing more fat loss for you. And that’s what this is really all about. It doesn’t matter if you lose some water weight, you will likely lose a small amount of muscle if you are very overweight, but what we are most concerned with is losing FAT.
So, certain types of correction days might help you lose excess water, but that’s not fat. It’s not that I’m opposed to correction days, but sometimes people do them at the wrong times hoping to speed up their weightloss, and then it doesn’t work, or it works one day, but then it comes right back on the scale the next day- I feel that’s because it’s not really helping you lose more actual fat.
Work with your body by letting go a little bit and realize that you only have a certain amount of control in this situation.
The Factors You CAN Control
1. Your dose of hCG.
You shouldn’t be really hungry on the diet outside of meal times- you can spread your food throughout the day, but you should be able to eat your 500-700 calories without being hungry, and if you are hungry, definitely adjust your dose- that’s going to contribute to better weightloss and fat loss in my opinion, as well as making the diet much easier to stick to because you don’t feel starving. I do feel that if you are on the wrong dose of hCG too long and continue to feel extremely hungry that weightloss will be affected because to me that means the hCG is not doing what it’s supposed to in your body- releasing fat. Please don’t take this as medical fact, this is just my opinion on the matter. To address this issue, see my in-depth article and video on hCG Dosage.
2. Whether you exercise on the diet or not.
Contrary to what you might naturally think, a lot of people find they do better on the diet if they don’t exercise too much, whether your fit or not fit already. I know this is surprising because the vast majority of any lose weight/get in shape programs include exercise as a strong part of it, and rightly so. I have a whole series discussing HCG and Exercise.
I get a lot of people asking me questions like, can they continue Crossfit while doing the diet? Any type of diet like this is going to be a bit of a strain on the body, on the adrenals- you’re losing so much fat so quickly- it’s hard work for the body, and sometimes adding exercise can be like asking too much of your body, and your body can rebel by holding onto weight and not letting go of it. This isn’t true always, certainly there have been many people who have done well incorporating exercise with hCG, but in my interaction with hCGers who have emailed me, I can say there are a number of people thinking that they should keep exercising when they really need to take a break. For me personally, I find I can’t exercise on the diet- it makes me feel extremely exhausted and horrible and my weightloss and inch loss just seems to come to a grinding halt. I can tell my body is just saying, “No! You’re asking too much of me!”
3. How Much Sleep You Get
I think getting a full night of sleep really is important during this process- I think it’s when your body is actually doing a lot of the work involved with the weight loss. Sometimes people have trouble sleeping – there are 2 things that you might try if this happens to you- Melatonin, and Phosphatydlserine- they each treat different issues. I will delve more into what each one of these does in a separate post in the future- for now you will have to google your little fingers away.
4. Vary the Foods You Eat
Sometimes we can get in the habit of eating the same exact foods every single day. I haven’t always found this to be a problem, but for some reason, switching things up with what we’re eating (still from the basic outline of the protocol of course) seems to occasionally be beneficial while trying to lose as much as you can.
Beyond This, Realize Your Body Is In Control, Not Your Desires
I hope you’ll keep this in mind, that while you have control over these few things that can affect the rate at which you lose weight, beyond that there isn’t much else you can do and focusing on x amount of weight in x amount of days will just make you upset and frustrated.
I’ve related this example before but I’m going to mention it again because it’s very appropriate. If you’ve ever seen the Biggest Loser show, the contestants do a certain amount of working out and most likely eat a certain amount of calories, and some week they experience HUGE weight loss- maybe ten or fifteen pounds in just one week. Then other weeks, they might lose only two or three pounds, despite the fact that they’ve done the exact same amount of working out and calorie intake as prior weeks with much larger losses. You can see them on the show themselves being at a loss for an explanation for it. It just goes to show that our bodies are not consistent, and I don’t know exactly why the process happens this way, but the fact is, that IS how it is.
This being the case, if you let those types of things discourage you and give up, what have you accomplished? It’s easier to be content with those fluctuations that you ARE GOING to experience, if you accept that they’re going to happen. Some are expecting to lose a certain amount- for instance I have had emails of people saying “I need to lose 35 lbs in 40 days- how can I make sure I can do that on my round of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)?” Perhaps you are one of those who emailed me asking something similar. I don’t know the answer to that question. And you won’t know either- you don’t have control over making that happen in that designated time. You just can’t force your body to let go of fat before it’s ready to.
I think it’s very fascinating actually the whole mechanism behind how that all works in the body- I don’t know that anyone fully understands the whole process- we have all learned it’s definitely not calories in calories out. The inconsistency in weight loss happens on all weight loss programs, and the same thing happens during the protocol. Some weeks you’ll lose great, other weeks you’ll hardly lose anything.
My 4th round of protocol I only lost 7 lbs in 3 weeks. I was only eating the 500 calories every day, I wasn’t hungry at all, I had no problem stabilizing and maintaining the 7lb weightloss after the round was over. I was in a quandry about the small amount of weight loss considering it all. If I had let that get to me so bad though that I gave up, where I would I be today? Not here that’s for sure!
So realize and expect that you’re going to have ups and downs on the protocol that are beyond your control. The main thing that you want to know is that you are doing what you can- get your dose right and follow the protocol. I have made different little variations to the diet itself- I’m not saying that you can never make adjustments to the dietary rules on the diet because I have done it and it turned out well, but just do it strategically. You don’t want to be like obviously going off protocol eating a bunch of fat, sugars, and things like that. If you’re doing that you already know why the diet “isn’t working.”
Barring all of that try to just go with the flow and expect that there is going to be slow times. I recognize it’s not easy- it wasn’t easy for me during my 4th round losing so little, getting up day after day, seeing that the scale had not really changed for 9 or 10 days. You’ll hear a lot of people talk about the fact that their weight kind of did fluctuate a little up a little, then back down, then back up, then down, and they’ll say “basically I’ve gained and lost a pound and a half for the last 10 days”. So, basically haven’t really moved anywhere. And that’s happened to me in more than one occasion. That’s just how it is folks.
Overall, if you look at your results as a whole, you’re going to have good results. The fat loss that’s experienced is amazing. I realize that not a lot of you guys have access to hydrostatic body fat testing and stuff like that, but that’s the true way to find out what the weight lost is actually composed of. Thankfully I’ve been able to do quite a number of these tests, and the percentage of fat loss is fantastic- for me it’s been as high as 88% and a past interview I conducted the woman had 93% of her weight loss come off as fat.
The .2’s Add Up Folks! They Really do!
I don’t know about you, but when I used to run on the treadmill or bike at the gym, I had to cover the display with a towel- if I didn’t, I could see the seconds passing and it seemed like 30 seconds took forever to pass and that the calories being burned was barely anything- but if I covered it with a towel and listened to music, before I knew it, I had jogged or biked for 20-30 minutes and had racked up a calorie burn to be proud of.
You’re going to see a lot of .2’s and .4’s on the scale. It can seem like it’s hardly anything, to go for instance from 170.6 to 170.4 the next day. It can feel like you’re not getting far. But those really add up, and by the end of the 6 weeks or the 3 weeks, whichever protocol you’re doing, you’d be surprised to how much you lost.
And….Further Harping On this Subject of Expectations
Try not to have that too high expectation, because you’re just going to set yourself up for frustration. I’ve received so many e-mails in regards to this. Things like, “you know, I’ve only lost this much and I’m getting so frustrated, I’m getting ready to give up.”
I understand the feeling, I do. But it’s not going to get you anywhere to feel that way, and you don’t have control over the situation. So, it’s better to just work with how the protocol works and accept whatever it gives you. And at the end, if you do that, for the vast majority of us, we’re going to get really good results from it.
Are Stall Breakers A Good Idea?
The last thing I want to talk about is this: I often get e-mails from people saying “I want to speed up my weight loss, I feel like I’m losing kind of slow, what can I do to speed it up?” And they may ask about the different stall breakers that you might have heard of out there.
To be honest, I’m not really a fan of the stall breakers myself, because like I said, I don’t think that they’re actually causing more fat loss per say. Others of you may disagree, and I totally respect whatever you choose to do.
I’m not saying that doing something different on the diet isn’t good. I do think that changing things up, changing the foods you eat, maybe you’re leaving your fruits out for a day or two, or just making slight variations to what you’re eating. I do think that can be helpful. However, when it comes to doing apple days when you don’t really need to, or trying to do a steak day, when you don’t eat anything all day but a small piece of steak (I’m not talking about the appropriate Steak days on Phase 3- these can be quite useful), or egg days, mac nut days, etc. Just personally for myself, I’ve done a lot of those and I’ve just come to the conclusion they aren’t the best thing to do, I feel they can actually lead to additional muscle loss.
I don’t have a ton of proof of that yet- muscle loss and stall breaker days- I just kind of have my own experience with it to go off of, but I haven’t really seen it leads to more fat loss yet, and they were definitely not a part of Dr. Simeon’s original protocol (which you can download here free btw). If I ever get proof that it really does cause more fat loss I’ll be all over it, and I’ll be on here telling you guys about it, and I’ll be telling you to do it. But I haven’t seen that as yet and what’s most important to me is that you guys be able to keep the weight off in the long run.
You don’t want to chase down 4, or 5, 6 extra pounds that isn’t really fat loss, only to just gain it right back anyway in phase 3 or 4, because it wasn’t fat. You’re going to be messing up your body more if you do that. It would be better to lose a less weight, but have it be almost all fat, you know, then to lose more, but have it be stuff that your body is going to want to get back.
What Are Apple Days Really For?
I hope that make sense. Again, I respect that sometimes you just mentally feel the need to do something different. I get that and I think Dr. Simeon’s obviously did too, because that’s actually why he had the apple day in his protocol. He specifically stated in there that the apple day really wasn’t about breaking a stall or causing more fat loss. He said the apple day was for patients who had not lost weight for several days and who were mentally feeling so frustrated by it that they needed to feel like they were doing something about it to help. So, the apple day was basically designed to help lose excess water weight. That’s why you may have noticed that if you’ve do an apple day at an inappropriate time, like when you only didn’t lose weight for one day, or gain or whatever, you often will not lose any weight from apple day. I actually did that once, I think it was my first round. I just decided, oh I want to try do the apple day, and I didn’t lose anything after it, because I wasn’t actually retaining any water, which is what is designed for, to help you to get rid of excess water.
So just keep some of this stuff in mind. What I’m really trying to do with these videos and articles is I’m trying to help make this process more seamless for you guys. I do my own research too when I do these articles, I definitely don’t just know everything in my head. Between the research, my own experience, what I observe in other people, I bring it all together to form what I think could help a person get the best out of this.
I’m trying to dispel a lot of the myths that we hear about that can make us think that we’re failing, when we’re actually succeeding. That’s actually the biggest thing that can cause us to fail, is by thinking that we’re failing. We can be doing great, but we just don’t think we’re doing great. So, then we actually do cause ourselves to fail, because we’re so discouraged. Hopefully this will help you guys just let your body do its thing on the diet- you’re going to get a good results.
Scenarios with hCG Weight loss You May Run Into
Let’s talk about a few things that might occur, regarding weight loss when you’re on the protocol and I can tell you if it’s normal or not and you can know what to expect.
- You might not lose weight for several days in a row, even whole week sometimes.
That happens, it does, it’s normal. If you know you’re sticking to protocol you’re doing all the right things, then this is just what’s happening and it’s normal. There are definitely times where many of us have experienced several days of not losing weight and kind of being stuck
- Your weight fluctuates up and down for 10 days.
You may have your weight kind of fluctuate up and down, just one or 2 pounds for like 10 days. Ie. 170 pounds, then 170.6, then 170, then 170.8, then 170, then 169.8 and you’re just basically going up and down 2 pounds worth for 10 days, so by the end of the 10th day you’re basically no farther than where you were 10 days ago. That happens quite frequently and again, if you’re sticking to protocol, yes it’s normal. It sucks, it really does, I hear ya, but that’s just sometimes what happens on the protocol.
- Having a Gain on VLCD
When you have gain on HCG, is that normal? What can be contributing to it? Gains can be normal but sometimes there could be a factor that’s not a good thing. Normal gains: often woman do have some type of a gain right around their period, and also when they’re ovulating- it seems our bodies retain some water around this time- you guys are probably already familiar with this in regular life, and hCG isn’t any exception. Your body is still doing what is supposed to do on hCG, but sometimes you will have the scale go up because of this and it might even stay that way for a day or two. That is definitely common. The other reason that you might see a gain, is just for having more salt than usual. This isn’t necessarily bad thing, because the weight that you gain from consuming more salt is just water, your body is just holding on to more water, because you had more sodium. So, you’re not losing less fat, you had a gain because your body is retaining more water.
As an example, I like to have soup on phase 2. I like things salty so I add a good about of salt my soup to have a flavor that I want. I’ve had a 1 to 2 pound gain the following morning from this. It’s totally normal, and again it’s just water, if you take that back out it will go back down. I don’t worry about taking out salt. You might initially gain 1 or 2 pounds when you introduced something saltier than usual (usually this is just with soups- since you are consuming more liquid than usual in a soup to be good you usually add a certain amount of salt), but if you are going to keep having soup every night, which I did my 5th round, I didn’t continue to gain, it just kind of stayed at a certain level, because I was consuming a certain amount of salt on a daily basis. But any time I would take the soup out, I would have a larger drop than normal, because of losing that water weight. But then as soon as I had soup the following day it would go up a little bit.
I hope that helps put things in perspective a little bit- same thing with pickles. If you have pickles, pickles are salt so you might see a gain, but that’s not fat, you’re not hampering your weight loss journey just by having some salt on the protocol.
- Weightloss Dropping off Dramatically After 7-10 Days
Many have experience a pretty large amount of weight loss the first 7 to 10 days of the diet, and then to have it kind of drop off drastically. This is what almost always happens. And in fact, sometimes what you’ll see if you do the full 6 week round is: quite a bit a weight loss towards the beginning, followed by a slow down for a couple of weeks, and then towards the end, like week 5 and 6, it actually speeds up again. This is why I do encourage the 6 week rounds if you can handle it mentally if you have a lot of weight to lose, because your body can actually accomplish quite a bit those last couple of weeks of the round.
- Losing Weight At Varying Rates
I have found that people are going to lose at varying rate. What I mean is, while I’m telling you a large percentage of people seem to lose a lot the first week on a diet, but that’s actually not the case for everyone. I have actually had a round where I didn’t lose as much the first week, but I consistently lost kind of a certain amount of weight each week.
So, even for the same person doing multiple rounds you might actually notice the way your weight comes off to be change on different rounds. Like I said, one round I only lost 7 pounds, the round after that I lost quite a bit of weight. The other thing that is normal, you know everyone’s body is unique, and so the way weight comes off is going to be different. There are a lot of people who do see a very drastic amount of weight loss at the beginning of the diet, and then kind of have a taper off, but then there is actually others who don’t lose as much the first 10 days, it might be less than other people that they see, but they continue to lose more consistently.
So, again, if you’re one of those people that are like oh, I didn’t lose as much as everyone else the first week of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), don’t feel too bad, because you may continue to lose at that more consistent rate the rest of the protocol. But remember don’t expect this! You just might lose less than the average person overall too- remember if there’s nothing you can really do about it, why get all frustrated? You will still get to your goal, it will just take a little longer.
When You Really ARE Causing Yourself Trouble
If you’re having a gain and it’s not related to what we discussed above, you might want to start sleuthing further.
The original protocol stated to avoid all fat and oils on the diet and I’m a hardcore traditionalist when it comes to this.
If you’re cooking with a bunch of things with butter and olive oil, and it’s absorbing into your skin, who knows, that could affect you. Our skin IS the biggest organ in our body and and definitely absorbs things, and does indeed change something in our bodies while we’re on it making our bodies more sensitive to things containing fat.
I don’t know a lot about it, but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I actually do use gloves when I’m handling a lot of oily stuff like that.
Maybe in the end it’s not true, but I don’t know that, and like I said, easier to be safe than sorry, right?
Many Factors Affect Your Weightloss on hCG
In the end there is really no point in comparing yourself to other people.
How much weight you lose depends on many factors- the name just a few:
- how overweight you are to begin with
- the state of your hormones,
- if you have any type of thyroid or adrenal problems that haven’t been discovered or addressed
- if your female hormones are not balanced- estrogen, progesterone, etc.
But even if you’re not the perfect picture of health which most of us are not- I definitely am not- many of us have managed to do very well with the protocol. We might not lose it as fast as other people sometimes- I certainly have seen women who lost 35 pounds in 40 days but I was never one of those people.
To conclude this, just be happy with the results that you get and accept that all you have to work with is your own unique body. You can’t force it to work the way someone else’s body does.
You WILL Have Good Results
You can get good results- just be patient, it might take just a little bit longer for you than for someone else. Regardless of how it transpires, overall I really see that the results produced are just far better than any other diet. It’s not only the weight loss itself, it’s where the weight comes off. The fact that so much of it is fat, and the fat that people lose from trouble areas. I heard about this before I did the diet, and it’s really true in my observation. I have never really lost a lot of weight in my legs, like my thighs, even when I was really thin in my late teens I still had fairly large legs. They’re still muscular, you know, I just have bigger legs, that’s just my body type. But I would have fat there that just wouldn’t go away, no matter how tiny I got, and on my 4th round of the protocol even though I only lost 7 pounds my legs, the shape of my legs changed dramatically. Enough so that when I looked at them I thought that I was looking at different legs. I really did. I even vlogged about it I was so excited. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t believe, I actually like my own legs now.’ And that was the round when I didn’t lose a lot of weight. So, try to look it at whole picture, and you will see that there is other things to look at, your inch loss, where you’re losing the fat, overall when I look at the after photos of people who have done the protocol like on YouTube and images on google, they are by far the most pleasant looking shapes that I’ve seen of people who have lost weight.
In the near future I’ll put up a video talking about third reason for sometimes failing on hCG which is that your reasons of losing weight are not deep enough to carry you through the whole process. So stay tuned for that!
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