Your comprehensive resource to answer your questions about the hCG diet protocol.
I highly encourage doing your research before embarking on this HCG protocol. This page is a work in progress guys…..just so you know there is MUCH more to come.
Please also see my HCG HOW TO section for video and blog posts on this topic.
Loading on Hcg
Dr. Simeons mentioned in his original protocol, laid out in Pounds and Inches, that if you were off hCG for less than 2 weeks, you could re-start the 500 calorie diet without reloading. If you are right at that 2 week mark, it may be that you might do something in between and do 1 loading day. Just an idea.
I’ll just quote Dr. Simeon’s mention on this subject below: “During the two days of forced feeding from the first to the third injection – many patients are surprised that contrary to their previous experience they do not gain weight and some even lose. The explanation is that in these cases there is a compensatory flow of urine, which drains excessive water from the body. To some extent this seems to be a direct action of HCG, but it may also be due to a higher protein intake, as we know that a protein-deficient diet makes the body retain water.”
So the majority do gain weight loading or gorging in the 2 days before starting the VLCD on hCG, but some, including myself, have lost weight on at least 1 of the loading days. Typically for me I lose a little weight after the first loading day- like maybe .8 or 1 lb, then I gain 1-3 lbs the 2nd loading day, so my net loading gain is usually like 1.5-2lbs.
How much weight you gain while loading on the hCG diet is highly individual, but there are few things that I have observed in watching many people on youtube do the hCG Diet and in my own rounds of hCG that contribute to this.
– First time loaders:
If this is your first time loading on the hCG Diet, you may find that your loading gain is minimal, usually in the 1-4lb range. What??? How can I say 4 lbs is minimal? Well, as you’ll soon see my hCG friend, 4 lbs is nothing to the hCG hormone- if you gain 4 lbs loading, you will most likely lose most, if not all of that, after your very first VLCD (very low calorie day). Why are loading gains on the first round of hCG usually minimal though? A couple reasons this could be is that loading weight is typically at least partially water retention. New loaders who perhaps may have been already eating a salty, high fat, or sugary diet before starting the hCG Diet (this was me) most likely are already carrying excess water weight, so there is no inflated gain from extra water weight from suddenly increasing fat/sugar/salt while loading- you have already been eating like this (I was). As an example, I only gained .8 lbs loading for my first round of hCG. And believe me, I did load well- cartons of ice-cream, the whole nine yards. It seems like first time loaders usually gain somewhere between 1-4 lbs loading (sometimes called gorging) for hCG.
– Subsequent rounds of hCG:
I have also noticed that a large percentage of people who load for the hCG diet (the traditional way with starches and sugars included- more on that in a minute) on subsequent rounds seem to gain more- sometimes quite a bit more. I have seen loading gains of 6-9 lbs for subsequent round loaders. I can’t be sure of the reason for this, but one of my guesses is that those who are loading for 2nd, 3rd, 4th rounds, etc. have often been eating a very healthy diet during P3 and P4, between rounds, and thus are not carrying around extra water weight or having excess water retention because of this healthy diet. Thus the sudden enormous increase in carbs and sugar while loading causes a fair amount of water retention, inflating their loading weight (ie. a person who gains 9 lbs loading did NOT gain 9 lbs of fat in 2 days-I’m pretty sure that’s totally impossible). Additionally it’s possible the hCG hormone itself is more easily recognized by a person’s body after the first round and perhaps get’s “into their system” more quickly than before. These are just my ideas- not fact by any means, but the truth is, traditional loaders (loading with sugar and carbs included) does cause larger loading gains on future rounds from what I’ve seen.
– Loading “clean” or loading “dirty”:
This definitely will play a role in how much weight you gain loading for hCG. I have loaded what can be called “clean” or “low carb” for the last 3 hCG rounds. This means loading on only high fat, high protein foods and leaving carbs and sugar out of the picture entirely. Loading clean will result in the smallest amount of loading gain. What does clean or low carb loading on hCG look like? Watch my vlog for Round 5 loading on this. I ate 4000 calories and 300 grams of fat EACH day while loading, but did it “clean” and only gained a net of 1.6lbs loading (and this was at my current weight then of 132 pounds). You can see the actual report of what I ate for loading here.
– Loading with sugars and carbs included:
This is the traditional way to load, where you just eat whatever you want while you load the 2 days, just in larger amounts than usual, but still with a focus on making sure the food items are high in fat. This could include things like pizza, ice-cream, cake, donuts, etc. Dr. Simeons did make it clear however that the purpose of loading is to get a high amount of fats into your system, but he made no restriction as to how the fats were taken in and even mentioned some of the aforementioned foods himself as possible options. You can, and many do, load for the hCG Diet, this way, and if that is what you want to do, do not attach any guilt to it. It’s a perfectly acceptable thing to do while you load for hCG- Dr. Simeons himself said so! That said, you will experience the most loading gain, especially on subsequent rounds, when you load this way.
So how soon will you lose the weight you gain loading on the hCG Diet? This of course depends partially on how much weight you gain while loading for hCG. In general though, you can usually expect to lose all the weight you gain from loading on hCG within 2-3 days of starting the VLCD (very low calorie days) of the diet. Most of the time I would say 2 days. Less often, 3 days. If you load “clean” (low carb with just high fats and proteins and no sugars or starches) you will most likely lose all your load weight in 1 day.
My personal hCG loading and hCG losing stats:
How much weight I gained loading on each hCG Round and how much weight I lost the 1st two days of the diet.
Time it took to lose my loading weight: 1 day
VLCD 1: -1.8
VLCD 2: -1.8
Totals: Lost all load weight + new weight after the 1st very low calorie day.
(3 day load)
VLCD 1: -3.4
VLCD 2: -1.8
Totals: Lost all but .2 of the loading weight in 1 day.
VLCD 1: -2.2
VLCD 2: -1.2
Totals: Lost all load weight + new weight after 1st day on the low calorie part of the hCG Diet
VLCD 1: -2.2
VLCD 2: -0.2
Totals: Lost all load weight + new weight after 1st day on the low calorie part of the hCG Diet
VLCD 1: -2.0
VLCD 2: -0.6
Totals: Lost all load new weight after 1st day on the low calorie part of the hCG Diet.
I should mention: for those loading on their 2nd, 3rd rounds and beyond, sometimes individuals seem to gain more weight than usual when they load the normal way (with starches and sugars as part of it), and at times I’ve seen it take quite some time to get this load weight off- like 6-12 days! Thankfully this is not what normally happens, but for me this is all the more reason to load what I call “clean” or low carb. I load without starches and sugars, and my loading gains are always minimal when done this way and always come off in 1-2 days. I definitely don’t want to spend half my round losing loading weight. Again, this isn’t what normally happens, but I have seen it and I don’t know why it occurs.
What is Clean or Low carb loading for hCG?
Load without carbs and sugars.
Focus instead on high fats, proteins, and low carb veggies.
Foods I eat when loading clean: Meats like porkchops, chicken thighs with skin, lambchops, steak, etc., butter on everything, low carb veggies, sour cream, avocado, cheese.
Foods I avoid when loading clean: All regular sugar sources, fruit, all grains, nuts very sparingly.
Here is a photo showing what I consumed during the 2 days of my last clean load:
Reasons I chose to load low carb for the past 3 rounds:
I loaded on whatever I wanted my first 2 rounds which included all the “fun” things like ice-cream and chocolate cake. My last 3 rounds I chose to load “clean” aka “low carb” and for myself only this is what I’ll continue to stick with for any future rounds. There were a couple of reasons for my decision and why I’ve done it for 3 rounds now.
Reason #1- Loading on sugars and carbs was too like my previous eating disorder.
The very first reason I ended up deciding to load clean for the hCG diet on Round 3 was because loading “dirty” on round 2 led me back into my binge eating mentality and it wasn’t a healthy thing for me to do mentally. I used to have a binge eating disorder and that load set me off on a 9 week binge eating rant. After that I realized that never again could I EVER binge on those types of foods for any reason whatsoever. That’s a pathway in my brain I must block off forever.
Reason #2- Get into Ketosis and Fat Burning Mode Faster
But I also had a couple other ideas in mind when deciding to load clean and the cool thing was things panned out just as I had planned- I did some research on getting into ketosis, etc, stuff like that, and decided to eat low carb for a week and half prior to starting hCG, then load low-carb, then hope to be in ketosis (fat burning mode) right away- and guess what I was! I am always in ketosis after the first VLCD (very low calorie diet) day now. I kind of feel like this helps me make the best use of time while on the hCG Diet because my body is already burning fats right from the get go instead of having a bunch of carbs and glycogen stores to burn through first- I don’t know I could be wrong about that- that’s just my theory. So far seems to work good for me so I’ll stick with it.
Reason #3- First Few Days of Diet Feel Much Easier– Far Less Cravings and Hunger
Thirdly, I have found the first few days on VLCD are MUCH more manageable now that I’m no longer having huge carb/sugar withdrawals when making the big change from Loading to eating super low calorie. I noticed when loading with carbs and sugars included that I would feel much more hungry and have a lot more cravings those first few vlcd’s which wasn’t fun at all.
Should YOU load clean for the hCG Diet?
That all said, loading however you want is a free choice and you should be entitled to load how you want with no guilt! I have just found this to my favorite way to load for the above reasons. I started out doing hCG expecting just a little, then realized how far it could get me, so I started getting more scientific and strategic about it.
What the purpose is NOT:
I’m quoting a section from an hCG site here (we’ll keep them anonymous so they won’t feel embarrassed): loading ” also makes you get your fill of those foods you can’t have while on the VLCD (very low calorie diet) portion of the diet. It really makes you not want those foods for a while and keep you from wanting to cheat.” I’m sorry- that’s total BALONEY.
When I have loaded with sugars and carbs as part of the picture, I am only turned off to those foods for about 15 hours while I’m still stuffed. As soon as 3pm on the very first very low calorie day hits, I’m reading to stick my face right back into a cake again. If I get 10 people to email me and tell me they have experienced otherwise, I’ll remove this section. Otherwise, I think it’s foolish to think that binging will cause you to not want to binge. That never happened to me in over a year of having a binge eating disorder. As soon as the food was digested, I was ready for more. Anyone else?
What is the true purpose of loading for the hCG Diet?
Sometimes referred to as “fat loading” or gorging, loading has to do with eating high amount of fat for some reason right? While taking the hCG hormone. To be honest I still haven’t read a totally clear 100% “this-is-exactly-what-is-happening-when-you-load-on-hCG” reason. But it’s worth noting what 2 actual authorities on the hCG Diet have state regarding this topic.
The first is Dr. Simeons himself. Here is what he stated in his book Pounds and Inches about loading on the hCG Diet: “One cannot keep a patient comfortably on 500 Calories unless his normal fat reserves are reasonably well stocked. It is for this reason also that every case, even those that are actually gaining must eat to capacity of the most fattening food they can get down until they have had the third injection. It is a fundamental mistake to put a patient on 500 Calories as soon as the injections are started, as it seems to take about three injections before abnormally deposited fat begins to circulate and thus become available. We distinguish between the first three injections, which we call “non-effective” as far as the loss of weight is concerned, and the subsequent injections given while the patient is dieting, which we call “effective”.”
The second is Robin Woodall, author of Weight-Loss Apocalypse: Emotional Eating Rehab Through the hCG Protocol. In her book she states regarding fat loading, “the relationship between the small dose of hCG and fat’s stimulation of leptin requires three days of forced-feeding. Eating high fat foods to full capacity during those days acts as a catalyst, ensuring sufficient blood leptin is stimulated by the fourth days that warrants the drastic drop to the 500-calorie protocol.”
Please note Robin advocates a 3 day load, whereas Dr. Simeons recommended only 2 days for the average healthy non-dieting adult. This leaves it up to you as to what you want to do. I loaded for 3 days one of my rounds, but I have found 2 days to be sufficient for me. One way to figure it is see how much weight you gain loading the first 2 days- if it seems like enough, you’re probably good. If you haven’t gained much at all and don’t feel like you really packed those fats in there, a 3rd day may be warranted.
What Does This Really Mean??
None of this making sense? Don’t worry. It doesn’t really make sense to me either. I think I need some more science classes or something. But the point is, loading IS important, even if you don’t understand the entire concept behind it fully. Enough people have done this protocol now to see that it works as it’s been written. As Robin puts it, “Loading is a fundamental necessity for the entire protocol to work. Without loading, participants can experience symptoms of starvation for longer than two weeks.”
If you want to be one the first to experiment with hCG without loading and then get a body fat test afterwards to see what your ratio of body fat loss to muscle loss is, be my guest! Since I only have one body, I’ve decided to in this case to stick with what appears to work best.