How Long Should You Do the HCG Diet? 3 weeks vs. 6 weeks

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I had a hard time figuring out what to title this because the length of time to be on one round of the hCG diet can really be referred to in multiple ways- I tend to just say 3 weeks or 6 weeks.  We’ll get more into exact number of days etc. in another post.

Usually when people ask this I say from purely a weightloss standpoint, for women,

  • 10lbs or less to lose, do the 3 week protocol
  • More than 10lbs, do the 6 week protocol

But there’s actually a few different factors that might be useful to consider when it comes to this topic that might help you get the best results.

Reasons to Consider Extending the Torture the hCG Diet for 6 weeks

1.  If you have a good sized chunk to lose

2. It’s often more efficient.

If you consider the fact that you have to load (and purposefully gain weight) as well as take appropriate breaks from the diet, regardless of whether you do the diet for 3 or 6 weeks, you can see that getting the full 6 weeks can accomplish the most for your time and energy.  If you have 100lbs to lose and you are doing 3 week rounds, by the time you take all your breaks between each round, it may take a lot longer than necessary to get to your goal.

Additionally, since like I said you have to load and gain weight either way- sometimes people gain 6-8lbs while loading- if you do a 3 week round and lose say 15-20 lbs, you can see that loading weight is really cutting into your net loss which for all the mental gearing up and preparation you did to do this diet, might feel like not enough of a return on your “investment” – this is all a lot less of an issue when you do the diet for 6 weeks as you will likely have a nice chunk of NET weightloss by the end.

3.  Fat loss can take a few days to really get rolling.

The longer you are on the diet, the more FAT vs. other stuff like water you will be losing- my opinion anyway.

4.  Weightloss tends to slow down during the middle of a long round and then speed up during weeks 5 & 6.

Don’t ask me why, but I have seen it over and over in my own experience as well as others.  This can make hanging on for the last couple weeks really worth it.

5. You tend to get into a groove the longer you’re on the diet

Even though I’ve done 5 rounds of hCG, the first week of each round never felt less hard.  Usually by the time you are done loading you are just about dying to eat far less, but then by about 3pm on the first vlcd I find myself STARVING and wishing it was yesterday.  That does pass of course as your body adjusts to the vlcd and you have the hCG in full force in your system, but the point is,  there always seems to be an adjustment period.

For some it’s actually the 2nd week that they go through the adjustment period- the 1st week can often be a breeze because you just started it and it’s still “new”, losses are usually pretty great the first week, but then by the time the 2nd week rolls around, losses have slowed and the newness has worn off and you’re just irritated that you can’t have a full steak, potatoes and salad with real dressing for the next several weeks.

I have found though that as the days wear on, the diet becomes easier in general as I get into this kind of groove, I find out what P2 meals I like best, I find my little ways to stay busy and distracted and I’ve just- adjusted.  At that point- it can often be easier to continue the diet a couple more weeks while you’re at that comfort level with the diet and of course, experience that additional weightloss while it’s easier, in a sense, than that same weight having to come off later at the start of your next round when you’re still adjusting and having a hard time.

Reasons to Consider Cutting It to 3 weeks

1. You don’t have much weight to lose in the first place.

This is a given one I think- the vast majority that I’m in touch who are doing this diet have at least 20lbs to lose,

2. You’re feeling burned out- you’ve already done a couple rounds and doubt your ability to do the full 40 days.

Of course, this is the kind of thing you can play by ear.  I did something stupid my 2nd round.  I felt crappy the entire time, wasn’t sticking to the diet properly but kept attempting the next day and the next day and the next day, etc.  What I should have done was stop and if I could do it over, that’s what I’d do- I would have stopped and waited till a better time in my life and health to try again.

Because I pushed myself beyond what was healthy and good for me at that particular point in my life, I had a major rebound issue with overeating that took me quite some time to overcome, and I feel that if I had stopped the diet sooner, it wouldn’t have been such a problem for me.

I’m not saying that if you cheat one or two days that you should stop the diet early- I’m just saying if you can feel yourself falling into a pattern and you are really struggling on a consistent basis that is so extreme you feel like you’re losing yourself, think about what you are doing- if you spending the majority of the diet not doing it properly at all you need to stop and reassess- either get back on track or stop and try another time, and don’t feel bad or like a failure if stopping is indeed the best choice for you- it’s actually wise and commendable for you to take such a step- to be honest with yourself and in the long run, I think you will be more likely to achieve your goals if you do that.

3. You have a vacation or several parties coming up and you’re wondering how you’re going get through them on hCG (hint: don’t- stop early). 

This may not be a reason you’d normally think to make your round a short one, especially if you are new to the diet, but I strongly encourage you to think this one out a bit.  I talked about this in a bit more detail in the first in the series of articles on hCG Diet Prep.

I understand that people probably have their own opinions on this one that might differ from mine.  People have different styles.  I have come to find, for myself anyway, that trying to barrel through every difficult situation while being on this diet, just more often than not, leads to a lot of trouble.  You’re really going to be doing yourself a favor if you’re honest and reasonable about what you expect from yourself.

Honestly, it can be the difference between getting to and staying at a healthy weight, and being a vicious cycle of gaining and losing 20lbs and never really getting anywhere, all the meanwhile, your self-esteem is being hit really hard, because you are expecting too much out of yourself, and constantly failing.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  I would have failed too if I had kept attempting to do it that way.

I will soon have 2 additional topics discussing:

  • whether or not it’s okay to extend the hCG Diet past 6 weeks, and
  • if there is a “proper” length of time you have to do human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in order to do it “right” and maintain the losses from it.

How about you guys?  For any of you who have done a round or two already, what did you discover works best for you?  Or what didn’t work well and why?  Share below!

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  • Debbie Pederson-Nuñez

    Hi there. I have been on your site so much since last April…watching your videos and reading your articles. I have to tell you…I just LOVE your personaltity and how you so realistically deliver the information. I appreciate also that you really stick close to the original protocol set forth by Dr. Simeons…I see so much deviation. I have to say that I find myself chuckling every time you do your bloopers at the end of the video…this one in particular was so cute that it prompted this comment! The faces you make are so adorable! It’s funny because your material is so serious and important, but then you show the candid bloopers. Funny!

    Keep up the great work! I refer your site to anyone contemplating the HCG protocol!

    • http://hcgchica.com/ HCGChica

      Hey Debbie- wow I’m so sorry to just be replying- somehow I only just saw this comment now! :( I’m so glad you enjoy the bloopers! I really like people to know I’m just a regular person and don’t take myself too seriously, so I hope the blooper portray that! Thanks so much for referring people to me too! It helps google to know that my site should counted the honor worthy of being found by people on their grandiose search engine. :)- – Rayzel

    • http://hcgchica.com/hcg-injections-hcg-drops/ HCGChica

      hi Debbie- oh my! So sorry your comment seems to have slipped through the cracks! I try so hard to keep up with everyone’s emails and comments but sometimes I miss a few. THANK YOU so much for your very kind words! That makes me feel so good- I’m so pleased that I am able to present the information in a way that you like it and enjoy it. And yes bloopers! I want people to know I’m a real person who doesn’t take herself too seriously- bloopers are helpful for that! Thanks for commenting.

  • Julie Beal

    Thank you for creating all of these amazing tools for us to use during our journey. They are incredibly helpful. Quick question, what if I reach my goal weight in less than 3 weeks. Is it ok to then discontinue the hCG injections and proceed with the VLCD for 3 days, and then onto the following phase. I am just wondering why 3 weeks?

    • http://hcgchica.com/hcg-injections-hcg-drops/ HCGChica

      You’re so welcome Julie. Hey Julie- yes typically if you reach your goal weight before the end of the three weeks, Dr. Simeons instructed to carry on vlcd except to raise the calories to more like 800-1000 so that you are no longer losing weight. He seemed to feel the 3 weeks was necessary in order to truly reset the metabolism. I haven’t seen anyone really experiment purposefully with doing less than this to be able to test the theory out. I hope that helps!

      • Julie Beal

        Yes, I appreciate the “why” behind your answer! To clarify, this is my 3rd round on hCG, not my very 1st! I guess we’ll wait and see if I ACTUALLY achieve this next goal in a shorter amount of time, and then I’ll make a decision. As an aside, I LOVE this program. I lost 40 pounds since the summer and it was transformative. I also had blood tests taken before I started (for prescription reasons every 6 mo.) and then afterwards and my doctor was floored. No, I didn’t “own” how I did it b/c I didn’t want to risk backlash, but my blood work came back great! Thanks again!

        • http://hcgchica.com/hcg-injections-hcg-drops/ HCGChica

          This is simply wonderful to hear- we all need to hear more information like this where people have improved lab test results after hCG- I am wondering- what would you think about letting me share some of your blood test results anonymously on the blog? Either way I’m really glad to hear it! 40lbs off now is fantastic!

          • Julie Beal

            I’d like to continue this conversation in private, so just e-mail me. But I will be away today so I will respond in a day or so. Thank you!

  • Shamblee Cathey

    Razel is right! We all operate using different styles. You must be honest with yourself about doing a shorter round verses longer round. If you have many parties, events, etc. and feel you may cheat, then you may be better off waiting until you can mentally face the challenges of this protocol. It is NOT easy and is very challenging mentally. I did one round back in Sept. of 2013, lost 16 lbs and have maintained that weight within two lbs. But I also had more than 20 lbs to loose. I just know myself that i wouldn’t be able to do the protocol more than 26-27 days at a time. I will start my second round next week. The greatest benefit is not the lbs you will lose, but the fat you loose in inches! But you must be smart about when to start the protocol and how long you choose to do it. Plan it out and make it count! :)

    • http://hcgchica.com/hcg-injections-hcg-drops/ HCGChica

      GREAT input Cathy- thanks adding to the info- so great to hear you’ve maintained your weight loss from your first round of hCG so well! And glad you agree it’s challenging! This is the number one reason I think people fail is not realizing how hard it really is and then making plans accordingly. And so right about inches! It’s definitely size not weight that truly matters in the end. Thanks again for contributing!

  • Shamblee Cathey

    I must say a huge THANK YOU to Razel, hcgchica, for all of the support you give us and you are SO helpful. There were times on my first round when I felt so alone and nervous about things and you were always on here to help out. I did the round on my own with you here to support me when I needed! Thank you Razel!

    • http://hcgchica.com/hcg-injections-hcg-drops/ HCGChica

      You’re welcome Cathy! It has been such a crazy ride- thinking back to when I first started making vlogs on youtube just so I could keep myself accountable on the diet, and what I have ended up doing now with it now that I’m done- I’ve quite enjoyed it and so glad it’s helped people like you!