Cheating on the hCG Diet: What To Do When You’ve Screwed Up
I’m writing because it’s GOING to happen. Maybe not this round. Oh let’s hope not this round. But at some point or another, if you have a bunch of weight you’re trying to lose, you will make a mistake. And since you will likely feel like cheating again in the future at some point, I have some great tips for “cheating” smart on the hCG Diet that you can check out.
As someone who came across this post through this particular google search said it, “I ate 2 peanut butter sandwiches while on my 5th day of hCG.” If that’s something like what you did, you’re here to find out what will happen, and how to fix it right??
Rather than dwell on the bummer-ness of it all, let’s focus on what you can do, now, now that it’s “too late” to un-eat whatever you ate.
And lastly before we get started, one important thing:
If you are not using real hCG and are really struggling to not cheat due to feeling hungry, the non-real hCG is most likely a big part of the problem. hCG is a real hormone, not a placebo – you need to use the real thing to get the real effect of it. So if you bought your hCG from a local store like walgreens or walmart or GNC, or you purchased drops online that were already mixed, this is not real hCG, and this is definitely going to make you struggle. Please see my resources for authentic prescription grade hCG online. I know it’s both popular to think all hCG is the same and tempting to buy something for 30 bucks off the shelf, but I promise, now is not the time to screw with your metabolism. As someone who has been maintaining my own hCG weight loss from the real hCG injections for 4 years, and seen many others not maintain, using the real hormone is one vital key for most!
The Aftermath: What Might Happen After Your Cheat
To be honest, there’s no way to be completely sure. It depends partially on your unique body’s response, but also depends on the type of cheat. Let’s NOT dwell on this too long, but just at least to prepare you for the basic things that usually happen – we’ll talk about it, we’ll be done with it, and we’ll move on to what you can DO about fixing your cheat.
- Best case scenario: nothing really happens. You don’t gain. You might not lose for a day but then weight loss continues as normal.
- More likely scenario: a small something happens. You have a gain- say 1.2 lbs. But then weight loss gets back to normal in the days after this
- The I-almost-thought-it-was-a-good-thing-scenario: You initially still have a loss the following day- perhaps even a bigger than normal one! But then in the ensuing days after that, you experience a stall in your weight loss.
- On rare occasions scenario: a bigger something happens. You may or may not have a gain, but your weight loss stalls for several days following the cheat, despite the fact that you are still eating 500 calories each day. This pretty much really sucks. I’ve had it happen.
Let’s FIX This Thing!
Some have the first thought to do an apple day- here is why I don’t feel this may be the best approach to fix a cheat.
Why An Apple Day After a Cheat May Not Be the Best Choice
Here’s the thing- apples, especially 4-6 apples have a lot of 2 things- carbs and sugar. So here’s what I’m thinking- most likely when you cheated you ate……something(s) with carbs and sugar and fat right? As much as you’d like to be able to say you just couldn’t help yourself you had to eat ten pounds of tomato salad, we all know that’s not what happened. :)-
Just to give you a comparison, if you eat six medium sized apples in one day on this protocol, you will be consuming approximately 114 grams sugar and 123.6 grams of net carbs. On a regular vlcd day you might consume only 32 grams sugar and 38 grams of net carbs. So 3-4 times as much carbs and sugar as a regular vlcd day.
I have a very detailed post on whether or not Apple Days are a good idea for cheats and stalls here.
How I Fix A Cheat on the hCG Diet
It took me awhile to figure this out, but I came to the conclusion that eating clean for a few days after a cheat, where I ate only the protein and vegetables and ditched the melba and fruit entirely was a good way to go- basically once again, helping your body clear those carbs out of our system by not eating yet more.
You can replace the calories you would have had from your fruits either with more P2 veggies, or if you want to do something “rogue” (off protocol) you can replace it with 0% FAGE greek yogurt (or some other fat free yogurt that is very low in carbs- double check labels as many fat free yogurts are not). I have done both and I feel they work well.
Water water water…still don’t over do it though!
Yes drink lots of water- water is always good. But even that you can drink too much of. What actually constitutes “lots” of water? I actually have an article on drinking water/liquids in a balanced way.
Why It’s Good to Avoid Future Cheating
You know that I feel a very important part of success is not beating yourself up over mistakes but rather making a plan, and moving on. For anyone who has done 2-3 rounds of this weight loss journey, I would venture to say 99.9% of them made at least 1 slip-up and cheated with at least one meal during the course of the 3-6 weeks. I probably had about 5-6 total cheat days between my 5 rounds of this protocol. Did not ruin my long term success- just took me a bit longer is all.
It is still good though to discuss why cheating on the this diet is something to avoid when at all possible- in case this helps you the next time major temptation arises. Certainly, if we can’t learn from our mistakes and the cheating becomes chronic or perpetual, you could really harm your body and you will not get where you want to go.
And I have some great tips to keep in your back pocket for cheating smarter on hCG when you DO find yourself in challenging situations.
1. Gaining Fat Happens Faster on hCG
hCG is not like other diets in more ways than one. You can achieve fast results, and you can lose results fast as well.
That crazy thing that no one can still logically explain where the body releases a lot of fat while on this diet? Well, it goes both ways- fat seems to become very volatile in our bodies while on this protocol- whether it’s going out or coming in.
Cheating on other diets isn’t as big a deal because the consequences are not as high- you body will not gain more fat than it normally would when you weren’t on other diets. So you can technically just take a day off if you want then go back to it.
With the hormone in your system, it appears to me that your body can actually gain fat stores much more quickly- like somehow the calories you eat are stored more efficiently as fat than in regular life. I can’t tell you how much or why but we have all seen it enough now to know, something strange goes on when you take in calories beyond 500-800 and consume fat. Why else would you GAIN weight on hCG eating 1,000 calories a day? I would NEVER gain weight in regular life eating 1,000 calories a day- in fact, I’d definitely be losing weight. But on hCG, most people would gain fat.
Because of this, when you cheat on this diet, it seems like you can mess up your fat to muscle weight loss ratio. Even though muscle loss in general is pretty low, there is still some- when you are losing weight, you are losing a small amount of muscle- then when you cheat it seems like you’re gaining all fat, then when you re-lose that weight on the scale, you are losing once again a small amount of muscle- so what I’m saying it the 156 lbs you were the day before cheating? And now it took you 2 days to get back to 156lbs? I feel that a slightly larger amount of the 156lbs that is you after cheating is fat than before you cheated. I don’t know if that makes sense.
2. Wasting Time/Getting Nowhere For a LOT of Effort and Self Control
A 2nd reason it’s wise to avoid cheating on this journey if you can is that you are wasting time in the middle of doing something very difficult. It’s kind of like trying to eat a fancy $50 catered lunch while running 10mph on a treadmill. Any takers so I can shoot a quick video so we can all get a visual? Essentially, it’s just one big mess and huge waste- I mean how long did it take you to make that fifty bucks?
If you do lots of what you might think of as minimal cheating throughout a whole round- say you consistently end up eating like 1000 calories on the diet- you may not gain, but you also likely won’t lose much if anything either- and I think we can all agree even living on 1000 calories a day is more like a walk through a long muddy puddle in your brand new 4 inch heels than a jaunt on a fresh spring day.
So here you are consistently cheating but still having a rough time every day for weeks on end and what do you get out of it? Nothing. No weight loss, nada. You can see why this is all so pointless. Which is why I often advise people who ask me about it to simply abort the round early if they can’t get their head back in the game. That’s okay- to me better to recognize that you just can’t handle it right now and try again later than to spend so much time wasting time and emotional energy- in that case I think it’s a demoralizing experience that you will have to now recover form emotionally and you can save yourself that by just stopping early.
Don’t Let a Mistake Dictate The Overall Outcome!
Hey, you know what? I’ve eaten 2 porkchops sauteed in butter during the middle of my 5th round of this diet plan. Also multiple large handfuls of cashews. No it wasn’t a good choice at the time, but I did it, and guess what, I got over it, and I’m here still maintaining my weight loss from hCG over a year later now, so it didn’t ruin the whole thing. Yep, it wasted time on the protocol- it wasn’t fun seeing the scale go up 2-3lbs overnight and then taking another 2 days to get back to where I was 4-5 days prior to that, essentially close to a whole week “lost”- but I got through it. So can you should this happen to you. I hope it won’t, but I’m just being realistic.
The most important thing is DON’T LET A MISTAKE DICTATE THE REST OF YOUR ROUND. When you make a bad choice one day, this does not mean that you are a failure or that you don’t have what it takes to succeed- not at all. The people who succeed make mistakes. To follow through with success you have to be able to learn to move past them and continue to believe in yourself DESPITE those mistakes.
This is something I didn’t use to know. I used to think that I was the only one who screwed up and that meant I wouldn’t achieve what I saw others achieving. Then I read that people that people who succeed make mistakes too. NO WAY!! For real? I have many stories going on in my life; many are still unfinished. Even this weight loss/weight maintenance journey is never fully over- but a chapter of it has closed enough that I feel I can confidently say yes it’s true, I am a person who has successfully gone through the process, and maintained the results for over a year, and I did make those mistakes along the way. Successful people make mistakes- I’ve now experienced this. It feels good to know there’s hope. You WILL get through this- some days you won’t, but over the period of weeks, months, and years, you will get where you want to go with this journey if you stick to it.
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- pep talks by yours truly
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