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Hello lovely hCGers. This interview is part of what is now a plethora of weight loss success stories with real everyday women (and men! There’s a few dude interviews in there) who have used either hCG injections or drops with the hCG diet protocol to lose between 20 and 150 lbs.
See all the hCG interview episodes
These are in-depth conversations one-on-one with hCG ladies where you get to hear their whole weight loss story and the tips that helped them succeed.
Read short written hCG testimonials
These are short testimonials of ladies who’ve written in their hCG diet results to me for quick motivation.
Linda’s Basic Stats:
- Age: 61 years old (she’s turning 62 soon)
- Height: 5ft 3in.
- Starting weight BEFORE HCG: 154.5 lbs
- Post loading weight: 158.5 lbs
- Weight on last day of injection: 136 lbs
- Current Weight: 128.5 lbs
- Weight loss post hCG, in P3 and beyond: 7.5 lbs
- Went from a size 12/14 to a size 6/8
- Did one 6-week round of hCG injections
- Has been stable and successfully maintaining for over 8 months
- Skincare and Makeup Products Safe to Use on the HCG Diet
- Oil-free Moisturizers
- Corn Huskers Oil Free Lotion
- Food Scale
- Seal-A-Meal Vacuum Sealer System
- Jimmy John’s Unwich
- For a list of P2 recipes, visit hcgchicarecipes.com
- Favorite Resources for Phase 2 of the hCG Diet
- hCGChica’s Phase 3 to Life Program – you can enroll anytime, but I recommend at least a week BEFORE P3 starts if at all possible so you have time to familiarize yourself with the program and plan ahead.
The hCG protocol has helped Linda lose 26 lbs in just one round! She has never felt better and she has been maintaining her weight loss for the past 8 months.
“I honestly believe going on the hCG diet was one of the best things I did for my body.”
According to Linda, she has been small and skinny the majority of her life. She remembers weighing barely 100 lbs when she was in high school.
At the age of 22, Linda was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. She was put on different kinds of medication and she went into remission in her early 30’s up until she was 39 years old, when she had to go through unsuccessful fertility treatments. Linda believes the fertility treatments caused her to come out of remission and may have also caused her to start putting on weight.
After coming out of remission, she had to go through chemotherapy for her Crohn’s and she also started taking high doses of Prednisone (a daily dose of 80 mg) which caused her to gain more weight. Linda was 45 years old when she went through remission again.
At one point, Linda had lost the weight she had put on because of a tragedy in her family that caused her to stop eating. However, she put the weight back on after she had a full hysterectomy and was put on Hormone Replacement Therapy. She went from weighing 103 lbs to her pre-hCG diet weight of 154 lbs.
LINDA’S P2 EXPERIENCE
Linda decided to do the hCG protocol after she went to see her sister and brother-in-law who, at that time, had both been maintaining their hCG diet weight loss for almost a year. At the time of her visit, she was the heaviest she had ever been. “And I was always the tiny one in their family!”
“You can do anything for 28 days.”Linda’s Mantra
Linda thought her sister and her husband looked amazing and she resolved to do the hCG diet herself. She initially committed to just doing it for about 28 days, but eventually decided to do it for 40 days instead because the longer she was on the diet, the better she felt. “I thought, why don’t I do this for 40 days and I won’t have to do another round.”
Rayzel: I committed to 6 weeks when I did my first round. I thought I was only going to do the protocol for that set period. I went into the diet not intending to change my eating long term. It was not because I did not want to, I just did not see how I could do it.
So remember, it is okay if you’re not mentally there yet, in terms of committing to a long term change, but commit to the specific time you will do the diet, whatever you think you can handle. You can always decide to commit to it longer once you see the changes and start feeling better.
Linda used the same clinic and doctor as her sister. She used hCG injections and what she followed was basically the original protocol, except that she did not consume the traditional VLCD of 500 calories, she was instead put on 600 calories a day (which she did not always reach). There were also some off-protocol food that she was allowed to eat and she was also able to mix her veggies.
Some of the AP (Alternate Protocol) food and ingredients that Linda included in P2:
- Ground turkey breast – Linda had turkey burgers in lettuce wraps almost everyday for lunch.
- Ground bison
- Bell pepper
- Cauliflower rice
- White tuna and yellowtail – According to Linda, she really craved sushi and sashimi but she avoided the salmon and dark tuna. She also had a little bit of wasabi and shaved radish with it but she did not notice any impact on her weight.
- Braggs Amino – as an alternative to soy sauce.
- MCT Oil – She often used less than the allowed one tablespoon a day. She would usually add it to her stir fry or for salad dressing with red wine vinegar or lemon and garlic .
Linda knew that the best way to be successful on the diet was to plan ahead. A few days before starting the protocol, she prepared little muffin cups of egg white and spinach omelettes as well as baby meatloaf that she also put in muffin cups. She also bought a food scale and a food saver machine (Seal-A-Meal Vacuum System) for measuring and storing her protein portions (100g portions of chicken, fish, fillet steaks)
Other food items/meals that Linda included in her P2 diet were broiled lobster and shrimp. She also admitted to having to resort to fast food chicken or burger patty wrapped in lettuce when she is traveling. “It always showed up on the scale the next day.”
Linda explained how she hates eating the same stuff repeatedly. “My sister, who has done hCG diet three times, can eat the same stuff every single day.” She said. “Thank goodness I’m creative and I love to cook.” Some of the recipes Linda mentioned she liked from the P2 recipes were the chocolate sauce, tomato soup, asparagus soup, and the savory slow cooker recipes.
It took a few weeks into the diet before Linda got into the groove of what she could and could not eat whenever she went out. One of Linda’s regular treats was apple slices sprinkled with ground cinnamon. “I’d have it when others were eating their treats or when I was out and hungry.” Another one of her snacks was frozen berries.
As for sweeteners, Linda occasionally used Sweet’N Low. When she got to P3, she started using erythritol. She also uses a bit or honey or agave. “I hate stevia.” She says. “I wish I liked it because it would have made my life easier.”
Rayzel: I also hated stevia when I was first introduced to it. Now I like it and it’s practically the only sweetener I use. For more information on stevia and for stevia products, check out my hCG P2 resources blogpost.
“This is not a diet, this is a cleanse and I will listen to my body.”
Linda also did B12 and Lipo (MIC) injections during the protocol. She even continued the B12/Lipo shots until 45 days after her last hCG injection, well into her P3. She explained that the shots were not to accelerate her weight loss (she actually doesn’t think that the shots contributed to her weight loss) but for her to have more energy. “I had more energy, I felt amazing.”
Another thing Linda talked about was how careful she was with her skincare routine. She did her research on the best lotions that to use while on the hCG diet.
Rayzel: I get a lot of questions about skincare and cosmetics while on the diet. Aloe vera based lotions are great to use. There are a lot of oil-free moisturizers available now, one example is Corn Huskers lotion. I have a special PDF download of makeup and cosmetics that’s oil-free.
Keep in mind, though, it’s more important that you do the diet and focus on the food aspect of it. So don’t stress yourself and don’t freak out too much over skin care and cosmetics..
Another great thing Linda found about the hCG protocol is she was able to basically cut out everything inflammatory in her diet which was very beneficial to someone like her with an autoimmune disorder.
Linda used to eat bread a lot, in fact she referred to herself as a “bread monster. “I always suspected I shouldn’t be eating bread.” She found out later, during her hCG journey, that she was gluten-intolerant and has since been gluten-free for 9 months now.
Linda explains that she did not go into the hCG protocol with the mindset that she was permanently going to change her eating habits, that she was never going to consume bread or sugar anymore. She intended to go back to eating what she regularly did after she was done with the protocol.
However, while she was on the hCG diet, she listened to her body and realized she felt fantastic after cutting out gluten and sugar and she absolutely loved how she looked.
She was also sleeping better, never feels bloated anymore, and is proud of her very flat tummy. Linda has also stopped taking allergy pills and using her inhaler because she hasn’t had allergies for the past 8 months. She also does not need Advil or Aleve anymore because her arthritis also became better after she took out the inflammatory things out of her diet.
Rayzel: I know it can be terrifying, when you crave something and you can’t see how you can live without it. You don’t have to immediately commit to permanently giving up what you currently enjoy. As you go through the process, how you feel will start changing and you can make your decision based on that. What you thought was not doable at first may eventually feel doable. Just let that organic process happen.
FINDING THE RIGHT DOSE AND CONTINUING HRT
Linda’s hCG injection dosage was 150 iu but she felt ravenously hungry while on that dose so she brought it down to 125 iu but the dosage reduction was not enough to curb her hunger. She eventually found her sweet spot in 112 iu.
Women who are on menopause usually need to take lower doses of hCG (somewhere in the 80-120 iu range, lower than 125 iu which is the standard lowest dose.) For Linda, she had to adjust her dosage to 112 made all the difference in the world.
Rayzel: Always remember that there is a right hCG dose that is unique to your body. The amount of hCG you take impacts your hunger level and it can make you either super hungry or not hungry at all. Find my in-depth post about adjusting your dosage HERE. There are all kinds of feedback from people and how their dosage change affected how they felt.
You can also read more interviews of post-menopausal women who successfully lost weight on the hCG diet HERE.
According to Linda, it was the information she got on hCGChica that made her decide to cut back on her dosage. She had been reading up on menopause and the hCG diet and thought that maybe her dose was too high. It did turn out that adjusting her dose was really all she needed to get rid of her hunger pains and to feel great on the diet.
When Linda entered menopause due to her complete hysterectomy, she was put on HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy. Linda continued taking her HRT while on the hCG diet. She talked about how she personally regulated her HRT dose until she found her balance. She now only takes her pill (a derivative of Premarin) twice a week.
“When you are dosed right, you feel amazing.”Linda, on finding her perfect dose
Linda explains that she only needs to take a hormone replacement dose that is enough to prevent hot flashes so she does not wake up soaked in sweat in the middle of the night.
For those on HRT, Linda has some advice to finding that perfect dosing balance. “It’s not going to injure you to take too little. Too much is never good of any kind of hormone, especially synthetic ones. Listen to your body. How are you feeling, are you sleeping okay, are you feeling crazy irritable, are you having night sweats? When you cut your dose back, the worse that can happen is you took too little and it did not work so you need to up the dose a little. Listen to your body. “
PHASE 3 AND 4
Like a lot of hCGers getting out of P2 and going into P3, Linda was terrified. She wasn’t sure what she was going to eat after the pretty rigid VLCD that she followed during P2. “First thing I ate was an avocado.”
Linda knows several people, including her sister, who have done the hCG diet. They advised her to take P3 as seriously as P2 or her efforts will be in vain.
The nutritionist at her clinic has been a great guide to Linda. For P3, the clinic provided the following macros for her:
- 1st week: 1000 calories, 25g carb, 100g protein, 30g fat
- 2nd week: 1050 calories, 35g carb, 100g protein, 30g fat
- 3rd week: 1150 calories, 50g carb, 100g protein, 30g fat
Linda was also provided information on what she could not have and what to gradually introduce to her diet like grains and dairy. Dairy was the last one introduced.
Aside from the permanent changes she made to her diet, one of the things Linda says has helped her maintain her weight is the fat blocking medication, Orlean, that her doctor prescribed. According to Linda, for days when she goes over her recommended fat intake, Orleans helps take the excess out of her system.
“I used to look pregnant after eating pasta or bread.” Now, Linda is completely gluten free. She limits her grain and dairy consumption and she has also not added any processed sugar back into her diet, with her only sweeteners being erythritol or a little honey or agave.
Linda does not eat dessert out. If she wants a sweet treat, she makes her own gluten-free and sugar-free dessert using almond flour. She would also occasionally have Halo Top ice cream.
“I was really afraid to add rice and potatoes back into my diet. I’m a big starch person. I am eating them now but not too much” Linda does her best to follow a more paleo diet and says she wants to cut back on her starch intake from a little to hardly ever.
Linda’s Phase 4 Sample Day Menu:
- Breakfast: Coffee with skim milk and erythritol – link to swerve
- Gluten-free oatmeal
- Lunch: Jimmy John’s Unwich
- Dinner: Roast chicken with a quarter of sweet potato
- Snacks: popcorn, dates, paleo brownies, REDD protein bar, RXBar protein bar
For those of you who need a plan to follow for phase 3 of the hCG diet, P3 to Life is a structured maintenance program designed to help those who are off the hormone or in between rounds. Go to p3tolife.com for more information and to enroll in the program.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
“I think the key is to weigh yourself daily and be careful what you eat.” Linda says. “I know that sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s true.” She says that it is also important to know that there are lots of ideas for meals during P2 and P3 so you can be creative while on the protocol.
“I track everything that goes into my mouth every single day. “
For those who did not succeed on hCG, Linda believes that the primary reason is that some people fail to listen to their bodies about what is and isn’t good for them. Linda used the diet as a way to cleanse her body (this is actually a recommendation from a friend who uses the diet as an annual cleanse).
“Remember that P2 is a short period in the big game of life, embrace the time to figure your body out and give it a nice vacation from bad stuff.”
“They go right back to everything they did before and they don’t watch the scale like a hawk.” Linda lives by the 2-lb rule; gain 2 lbs and you have to back off to a P3 life for a bit. She says that her sister tends to go back to her old eating habits so she has to do hCG every November, before the holidays, as a correction.
When she is at a party, she makes sure to tell people that she can’t have gluten and it totally works to prevent any offers of cake and treats.
And whenever she wants a treat, she makes her own baked goodies using ingredients like dates, honey or maple syrup, almond, and coconut flour. She also indulges in a few sips of wine or vodka.
“Don’t deprive yourself or you will fail, just remember life if full of trade offs including what you eat daily.”
Linda is also very consistent with using Fitness Pal everyday. She religiously tracks her weight and intake, and reviews her micro nutrients daily. She still follows her doctor’s / nutritionist instructions in terms of her daily calorie consumption (100g protein, less than 100g net carbs, less than 45g sugar, less than 40g fat).
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