Changing Your Eating Habits After the HCG Diet- Is It Possible?

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In speaking with many of you, there is a lot of concern over HOW you will eat well and maintain your weightloss from hCG once the diet is over.

This is a valid concern of course as, like me, you were most likely unsuccessful at losing weight or possibly even maintaining your weight before starting the hCG diet, so as phase 2 is coming to a close it can be quite nervewracking to know what is going to happen.

There are many reasons for having trouble losing and maintaining weight- this particular blogpost is about addressing the fear of being unable to make long-term healthy changes to your eating habits, especially with regards to sugary foods.

I think best case scenario is, when you start this protocol, you have mentally prepared yourself in advance for making a life change.  That is ideal.  But what if you’re not mentally there?

What If You’re Ready for the Diet but Not Ready for the Long-Term Change?

But what if you don’t feel ready for this change yet completely?  What if you are really scared about eating differently the rest of your life?  That’s what this particular post is about.

To be honest, when I first started this weight loss protocol in February 2011, I had NO intention of changing how I ate long term.

I was addicted to sugar, so while I figured I could manage to do a specific diet for 40 days or so, I couldn’t even begin to fathom not having my fill of ice-cream and cookies that I used to eat in large amounts.  How could I when I could barely make it one single day without them?

I Didn’t Know the Ultimate Solution When I First Started the hCG Diet

I figured a bunch of weightloss would help me to stay true while on the diet, but beyond that?  I seriously doubted my ability to change forever.

It’s not that I didn’t want to make a life change- it’s that I didn’t see how I could possibly do it when I knew the kind of cravings I experienced.  I envisioned a daily battle through the rest of my life eating healthy food while wishing with every fiber of my being that I was eating chocolate cake and ice-cream, and I knew I couldn’t manage to live that way for long.

I have a strong history of starting really strict diets for myself and then giving up after just 2 or 3 days because my cravings for sugar were just so intense that I couldn’t handle it.

So when I began my first round of HCG Injections, I didn’t have it all worked out.  I didn’t feel confident about the future.

How the hCG Diet Quietly Leads You to Long-Term Changes

I kind of discovered how I’d be able to make life-changes as I went along my weight loss journey, instead of having it all mapped out beforehand.

In a nutshell, the ultimate solution for me to have the ability to change my life forever (it hasn’t been forever yet, but it’s been about a year and a half of making the right choices 95% of the time) has been to eliminate the craving for sugar entirely.  I didn’t know this was possible but it is.

The way the protocol is designed, it basically carries you through an extended length of time that changes your eating habits for you in a sense.

Say you choose to do the 42 day protocol- that’s 6 weeks of eating super clean, whole foods- the only real carbs you’re having are 2 fruits a day (most hCGers today don’t really eat the melba/grissini).  The strength you have to do this comes from the very motivating rapid weightloss you are experiencing.  Following that you have 3 weeks of phase 3 where you are again, eating no starches or sugars as you stabilize your new weight.  By the time you get to the end of this period that’s over 2 months- 9 weeks- of eating super clean, low carb foods and you most likely haven’t eaten any of the unhealthy foods that you used to over-indulge in.

By the time that you get to the end of that 9 week period, you don’t have those cravings anymore.  You’ve been eating clean long enough that your system is cleaned out, it’s healing, and those little gremlins that used to say “give me sugar or die!” inside you are dead or in hibernation.  You’ve broken the “habit” of unhealthy eating, and the cravings have gone along with it.

You no longer have the habit anymore of….I’ll just give you an example of what I used to do…..going to the local ice-cream shop, buying a half gallon of pralines ‘n’ cream, and eating all of it.  YES.  I did used to do that.  And it wasn’t just a one time thing.  I got so addicted to sugar that the 1/2 pint I started with wasn’t enough anymore, so that turned into a pint, which eventually turned into a half-gallon.  I didn’t think I could live without that, that’s how addicted to sugar I was.

I just wanted to encourage you guys that as you go through this process, don’t be too worried if you don’t feel like you can make that long term change.  What I mean to say is, don’t let you doubting yourself stop you from starting your weight loss journey.  I truly believe that individuals are very unique and that how we go about making changes in our life successfully will vary person to person.  So while some may need to have the proper mental mind-set to start out with, some of us may not start our weight loss journey that way, and that by no means precludes us from beings successful too.

What Does the Long-Term Change to Healthy Eating Feel Like When Done This Way?

By the time I finished that 9 weeks of eating super healthy, my cravings were really gone.  Actually they were gone just a couple weeks into Phase 2.  This made it actually easy for me to make the right choices.

I had just lost 27 lbs in a short time and I looked great to me.  While i was still technically overweight, to me being 27 lbs lighter was a big difference compared to how I previously looked so I felt I looked great!  That was very motivating for me.  Sugar had been out of my system long enough by this time that those cravings truly were just not there, and having cravings vs. not having them makes a HUGE difference in your ability to make the right decision for your body.  It’s a night and day difference.

If you feel mentally ready to make a long term change, that’s great certainly.

But not all of us start the protocol feeling confident about that and I just want you guys to know that’s okay and that doesn’t mean that you will fail.  I was so surprised and so pleased to see how my body changed and how my desire for food changed over the course of the whole protocol.  Since I no longer craved sugar and I was really valuing my new body it was now actually quite easy to make the right food choices.

The Pre-hCG Diet That Has Helped Me Really Ensure Success on hCG

There is a little something that I now do before every single round of the diet that helps me be sure that I will have a successful round of hCG, which for me personally, is making sure that I’m not having cravings for sugar.

I did a little research on how to get over carb withdrawals and therefore cravings as quickly and painlessly as possible.  From everything I read, eating high fat foods was the key to this.

So what I do before starting this protocol and before loading every round now is 7-10 days of high fat, no sugar, very low carb diet.  The key is really high fat- not just low carb.  Please do check with your doctor before doing this to make sure it’s safe for you to do as I’m not a medical professional.  This has worked well for me though.

When I do this, it gets rid of any sugar cravings I may have almost instantly- 2-3 days tops of perhaps being distracted by wishing I could eat something I shouldn’t, and after that, it’s pretty much smooth sailing for me.

Why I Found It Necessary to Do The Pre-hCG Diet

I have discovered this is rather important for  me to do, because my first round of the protocol, I experienced some pretty serious sugar withdrawals about 10 days into being on the protocol.  The cravings and symptoms of withdrawal were so bad that I felt pretty desperate and it was quite iffy as to whether I would give up or stick to the diet.  I remember being curled up in a fetal position in the dark on my bed just hoping that the horrible feelings would pass.

As you all know, on hCG the diet is very strict, the amount of food allotted is very tiny, and there is really no leeway there- nowhere you can go for comfort as far as eating goes, so when I started experiencing these withdrawals it was very very difficult to cope with and I was quite close to giving in and giving up.  The fact that I did manage to stay true to the diet was very chancy- meaning if it happened over again, it’s very possible I would have failed.

I managed to get through it, but I experienced another re-addiction to sugar one more time during/after my 2nd round of the diet.  After this happened I really started to think about things strategically and tried to come up with a plan of action to avoid this scenario again.  That’s when I did all the research on getting over sugar and carb withdrawals as fast as possible.  Because once the cravings are gone, it’s easy.  It’s the cravings that make failure likely.

In my research I discovered the importance of high fats along with low carb.  So that is why now before every round, I spend 7-10 days eating this way, clearing the carbs from my system, the cravings go away in a mostly painless way, and by the time I’m ready to start a round of this weight loss protocol, I am feeling good and don’t experience those horrible withdrawal symptoms on hCG.

There are a lot more options for getting through withdrawals while off the diet rather than while on it.  Trust me on this one- you want to be feeling as good as humanely possibly while on Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.

How It Worked For Me

I ate things like a whole package of bacon a day, steak, sour cream, cheese, low carb veggies like broccoli, spinach, snow peas etc.  I DIDN’T eat any fruit, any high carb veggies, and obviously no grain or sugar.

The first time I did this while gearing up for Round 3, my little pre-hCG Diet worked exactly as I had hoped.  And this was coming off of a 9 week sugar binge.  My sugar cravings went away very quickly- within 2-3 days, and it was almost painless.  During that 2-3 days I would occasionally feel a bit distracted by desiring something very sugary like chocolate cake, etc, but then I’d have something high fat like some bacon, and then I’d feel fine and the cravings were manageable.

Once 2-3 days of this had passed, my cravings for sugar went away entirely.  The rest of the week flew by, and then I started loading for hCG.  I also personally load “clean” always now as well- meaning no sugars and starches while loading as well- I find this is a necessity for me just because I am so sensitive to sugar.

I then went on to have a delightfully successful round of the protocol in every way.  I lost 7% body fat that round, I had no cravings, I had good energy- just fantastic overall results, and not only that my following P3 and P4 I was able to do right and have kept the fat I lost that round off ever since- which is now a year and a half ago.

You Can Be Successful At hCG- But You Have to Approach It Strategically

What I mean by the need to approach the Diet strategically is that sometimes we expect too much of ourselves.  In the quest to be what we envision is normal or what we think in our heads we should be capable of, we end up not being realistic.

The same way that it wouldn’t be realistic to expect an alcoholic to be in an around a bar all day every day and think they will never be tempted and never give in.  Is that reasonable and realistic?  I don’t believe so personally.  I feel if a person has strong temptations for particular things, those are the things that person should avoid.

In a similar vein, I found that cutting off sugar entirely and cold turkey and have high fat foods instead was the quickest and most painless way to get over my addiction to it.  I’m not saying this method will work for everyone, but for me it has worked beautifully.

I just really wanted to see if I could encourage those of you who might be unsure of yourselves when it comes to making a big long term change to your eating when you haven’t already made it yet.  I have been in that place, I had no intention of changing my eating permanently, but here I am over a year and a half later since my last true bout with sugar addiction and I have been able to make that change.  Not only that I don’t consider it to be a daily battle. It’s easy for me now- it’s just how I live.  I don’t think about needing to buy and eat ice-cream anymore- it literally just doesn’t occur to me anymore.

As you go through this process, as long as you actually follow it properly- Phase 2 and Phase 3 especially, and check into the pre-hCG Diet idea that I mentioned, you will naturally see yourself changing and that making the right decisions will become easier.

I hope that helps some of you through this understandably scary process.  I really desire to see you all achieve the results you would like, and it’s very possible- you just need to be realistic and strategic about it.

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  • inspired girl – barbara yaffee

    I totally agree Rayzel! Something happens during P2 and gets stabilized in P3 and P4, and it goes a long way towards changing your relationship to food forever. Thanks for this post, it is really helpful! :)

    • http://hcgchica.com/ HCGChica

      Thanks for commenting! It’s good there’s starting to be more information out there about the “after” of hCG, like your articles as well!