So far in this series of information on breaks from the hCG diet and length of time to do the diet we’ve covered:
- The basic rules for breaks between hCG rounds,
- When taking shorter breaks and/or extending your round of hCG past the normal max allowed of 40 injections can work out well.
I consider this post though, to be the most important one- why sticking to the original outline for round length and breaks (or even longer breaks!) is a good idea.
When to Mozy (Rather Quickly Still) Through the hCG Diet
I’m serious you guys- this can be a total tortoise and hare story here. If you look at my whole hCG journey, it will seem like I took FOREVER compared to what is generally believed to be possible as far as how fast one can be lean and mean. But I did take my time when it comes to the breaks I took and now it’s been a whole year since I finished hCG, and I’ve actually been maintaining a healthy weight range for my height for over 2 years now!
It’s very important to me to not be negative about the failings that are sometimes experienced on this diet- because I’ve had those too, and I’m very sensitive to not wanting anyone to feel bad about themselves. But I just want to make it clear for those of you who are new to this, sometimes rushing things has lead to a vicious cycle of weight gain and weight loss. What we might want in our heart is often less realistic than if we used our heads and take it a little slower.
It’s not necessarily that you have to be perfect in every way to do a fast-tracked weight loss journey- it’s just I’m nervous to mention the positive aspects of doing this because I know it’s all too easy for us women to latch on to any excuse to do something that involves faster weightloss, when often it may not be in our best interests.
Nevertheless, there are certainly times as you have seen in these examples, that it can be totally warranted and work out well. The first two ladies mentioned in my previous article in this series were quite overweight- both losing over 100lbs each, which leads to one of the reasons you may choose to consider doing the diet faster- if you are very overweight and are at risk for many health issues due to your weight, I can see why this might be something to consider. The 3rd woman was not as overweight but had been eating and nourishing her body in a very healthy positive way for quite some time prior to starting hCG.
In the end, what I am asking of us ladies is to be honest with ourselves. If you have any doubts that you are not a prime candidate for fast tracking your hCG journey, PLEASE do it the normal way- because the normal way is actually still QUITE FAST people- keep in mind that during your breaks from hCG, whether they be weeks or months, you are not living the “diet life”- you get to enjoy normal living- well, perhaps a healthier version of your previous normal.
I feel I personally benefited the most by taking long breaks between my rounds of hCG. In fact, I took far longer breaks than even Dr. Simeons suggested. My shortest break was 8 weeks, and two of my other breaks between rounds were 3 months and 4 months long actually. And I’m not at all saying I’m better because I did this. There were some reasons that for me this was a really good choice, which we’ll discuss next. As I explained earlier, there have been some very mentally motivated and strong people who have gotten through their entire hCG journey with few breaks. You will have decide what category you most likely fit in.
Reasons longer breaks from hCG can be good:
- Your body has time to rest and recover leading to better weightloss (and health!) later.
- You are forced to develop good habits and learn to make corrections when the scale goes up for the wrong reason.Y
- You can incorporate some exercise to maintain a good balance of muscle on your body, which I feel leads to easier weight maintenance later.
- Too many events coming up to make a successful round of hCG truly viable, making it wise to wait awhile.
1. Your body has time to rest and recover.
I think we sometimes underestimate the importance of this. As much of a supporter of the hCG Diet that I am, I still do feel that it takes a toll on your body. Heck, so does Crossfit. As good as crossfit is for me, if I did it 7 days a week, my body would actually start breaking down because it didn’t have the time it needed to recover. This is just good sense.
A fellow hCGer who took just a 2 week break between two short 23 day rounds told me this: “I was extremely exhausted by the end and wasn’t losing much, but lost 40lbs total. Not sure I’d do that again because of the fatigue.”
I really appreciated her sharing her thoughts because I think this happens pretty frequently- the protocol IS taxing. Losing weight rapidly makes your body put out more adrenal hormones than usual, and this can lead to adrenal fatigue if you don’t stop in time for them to recover before you starting getting seriously symptomatic.
Here are some articles for those of you want to read up further on the adrenals and cortisol:
- How Cortisol Affects Weight Loss
When you take an appropriate break from hCG, or don’t do a round for TOO long, your body can maintain it’s homeostasis better- a weird word that basically just means your body can maintain it’s internal balance and not have different organs or systems in your body get overstressed or out of balance.
2. Developing the Tools Necessary to Maintain Your Weight Loss Long Term
The following is something that has run through my own mind before (thankfully I have a very smart hubby whom I actually listened to- thanks hunny!), and I have observed it quite a few times in others – this mentality:
“Eh, I can just go ahead and eat whatever I want because I’m starting a new round in a few weeks anyway.”
How many of you have thought this at least once? C’mon, admit that you’ve thought this! I think we can all look at this on the page and realize, woa, that is not a healthy way to look at it. But the truth of the matter is, it’s very easy to think this way inside ourselves. Food is just one of those things that can really be a vice in a sense for some of us, and that can cause us to make concessions for ourselves for why it’s okay to fall back into unhealthy eating patterns. Especially because food is often used as a way to cope when things in life aren’t going well – which is um, pretty often for most of us right?
When you take a longer break from hCG – my longest break I think was about 6 months – you don’t have this ‘out.‘ The next round is simply too far away and using this excuse would mean my weight will be back to where I started or worse by the time the next round rolls around. I’m am forced instead to find another way to cope with an error I made, or to make a different healthier choice.
Taking a fairly long break between hCG rounds helps you to develop the right tools that you need to maintain long term.
To me it’s kind of like being an apprentice. Who is better equipped to take on a woodworking job – someone who has apprenticed as a woodworker for a couple years, or someone who only read a book about it?
When you take breaks from hCG and find out what works well for you, what doesn’t work well for you, it’s kind of like your being an apprentice for what regular healthy living is all about- not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too.
As an example, here are a few questions to think about:
- How will you handle it when you give in and eating a bunch of things you didn’t mean to for a few days and you feel you let yourself down? How will you address this without giving up or sabotaging yourself further?
- How will you handle it when your weight goes up a few pounds near your menstrual cycle? How will you react?
- How do you handle the eating of sugar in Phase 4? Can you handle it in a balanced way, eating only a reasonable amount, then stopping, or do you find yourself easily bingeing on it? If the latter, what can be done to prevent this (for me the answer was just to avoid sugar completely always).
The answers to these types of questions were things that I had to learn along the way- I had to learn that for me personally, I can’t handle eating foods with sugar in them in a balanced way. Others might be capable of it, but I learned I am not, and gradually realized what I had to do to keep it in control.
I had to learn how to change the way I thought about myself when I “failed” myself and got out of control with my eating. In the past such failures would cause me to judge myself so harshly that I would give up and only do more damage. I learned how to change this and what I could actually do to fix errors. I learned that I really do have control, and that mistakes do not have to be permanent. But it took TIME and PRACTICE to learn this. My months between hCG rounds were the perfect training ground for this.
Waiting until you are completely done with hCG to start any of this process in my mind is much more frightening. It’s like the difference between the confidence level of the apprentice woodworker signing on for his first paying job, vs. the dude who only read a book. Which one is going to feel more confident and probably do better?
I never realized before just how powerful our mind is in affecting our actions. And I didn’t realize just how possible it is to truly change the way we think about ourselves. But it has been literally the key for me to maintain my weight loss long term. If I hadn’t done this “apprentice” work, I wouldn’t have been capable of handling this- the answers to the above questions I asked would have been different, and my weight loss would not have been maintained as a result – leading to many extra rounds of hCG to get to where I’m at and a lot more damage to my body, that is difficult to recover.
3. An Opportunity to Take Up an Exercise Program
Many of you may start hCG coming from a place of inactivity. While I was very active in previous years, the state I had gotten to by the time I started the hCG protocol included no exercise for quite some time. I totally think hCG preserves lean muscle tissue better than other diets. I think it causes better abnormal fat loss than other diets. But you WILL still lose SOME muscle on hCG- at least women will.
If you think about it with the idea of keeping things in balance, it makes more sense to make this a journey where you alternate losing fat with working out to build strong bones and muscle. This keeps the balance your body needs to maintain the weight loss long term. Using your muscles makes your body think you need muscle because they’re being used, so your body will be more likely to keep the muscle it has, and build more.
Contrast that with simply dieting over and over and over….and over and over. You can see how each time you do this, and don’t spend a little effort and time keep in your level of muscle healthy, that over time, you can end up with a body that, while perhaps thinner, doesn’t have as much muscle as perhaps it should, because you gave your body reason to believe you don’t really have any use for muscle.
Obviously this is over-simplified and I’m not a nutrition or fitness expert, but this seems to made sense to me and I feel like my own hCG results bears this out.
4. Less Chance of Cheating If You Wait Till the Social Whirlwind Dies Down
There’s an entire article/video just on this subject here. Timing out your rounds of hCG so that they are between social events (as much as possible) can REALLY help. Even if it means waiting all summer to do your next round. There are lots of aborted rounds of hCG, or rounds punctuated with cheat after cheat to get to the end. Obviously this isn’t ideal. Sometimes circumstances are beyond our control and many may never have a time that’s completely cleared to do the hCG diet and nothing else, but it’s just something to keep in mind when deciding when to start a round.
I hope this helps you guys- I know the feeling to want the weight gone NOW. But approaching this in a wise way taking into account our personal issues and circumstances can go a long way to making us successful long term, which is what this is all about right?
37,000+ hCGers Join
how-to's | interviews | pep talksYup, I want this!
Is it acceptable to lose any weight on breaks? I know phase 3 it isn’t recommended. Is it okay to be slowly losing for phase 4 in between rounds?
I think I am one who has done many rounds with just 3 weekend between. The last round I didn’t
Loose a thing but my load. And finally I tried to
It again after 3 weeks and now I have my loading weight still. I gave up and decided to wait six weeks now. So frustrated je. G
Stephanje Hall says
I started round 1 of hcg drops on January 1 for loading and low calorie on Jan 3rd after 6 weeks on the protocol I have lost 31 pounds! I still have about 45 until my goal as I’m 5’2 and I was up to almost 205 pounds!!!! I love hcg and it has truly helped me learn my restrictions as well as my intolerances I tried to add cheese the other day and had major stomach pain the whole day! This is a great way to see what your body doesn’t react well to!!! Starting round 2 on April 1.
Tracy Hucker says
I’m set to start the HCG injections (purchased through recommendations from this site) on Friday and load through the weekend starting the 500 calorie diet on Monday. My question is this, about 3 days ago I got sick with a lung infection. I’m coughing but still functioning. Can I begin the protocol as planned or do I need to wait until I’m completely well?
This is Li-an, Rayzel’s assistant. Nice to meet you!
Since health is very important and you need to be well while on this diet, I would suggest to hold it off until you’re all well. The hCG diet has very low calorie meals and it will not help in recovery – your body needs more than the VLCD to recover from an illness.
Feel better soon!
I got covid just the day after I started vlcd, I could not stop and in 1 week lost a whooping 12 lb, I was extatic because when I’m sick, I don’t have appetite anyway, plus I lost taste and smelll for a few days. Well now I am a few days over covid and feel like my heart rate is going up and. blood sugars go into 4.5 even after a meal. I have never had it so bad before. So like Rayzel said, it’s best to recover first before you start
Robyn Filiaga says
I see the comments here are pretty old, but figure that I’d like to participate with my experiences. I started first on the homeopathic drops (although at the time didn’t know that I was in essence on the “hCG Diet” thinking I was actually doing NutriMost). I was amazed as I lost 28 pounds with relative ease. As I still had almost 100 pounds yet to lose and I had a cruise to go on that I wanted to lose more for, I shortened my P4 to just 2 weeks and started right up again with a different homeopathic drop found on Amazon. This round was essentially useless. I lost about 10 pounds, but it was a very difficult round for me. Again, because of the plans for a cruise and not wanting to be on P4 during the cruise, this was a short round with a short P4.
I waited a bit longer between my second round and the next one, but still, it was only about a month before I jumped into my third round. This time I had discovered that there was a difference between the drops and the actual hormone, so I decided to get the shots for this round. I originally planned to make this a full 40 day round, but after just 3 weeks on the protocol my body began to revolt. It had literally had enough. I didn’t know why at the time, but unlike any other round I’d done, I began having cravings like crazy. Strangely though, my cravings were relatively healthy. I wasn’t craving sugar, but I was craving things like steel cut oatmeal and winter squash. I ended this round after only 23 days from my load to my last day on the shots and my total loss from my first round was 48 pounds. I was happy with that and with the huge change in my body, but I really had hoped by this time to have lost closer to 100 pounds.
At the end of that round I did a full 3 week P4 and followed it to a “T” with a variation in my weight of only a bit over 2 pounds. By this time I had read and watched more of hCGChica’s blogs and knew that if I ever had to do a steak day on P4 I would have to start all over again on this phase. I was determined that I wouldn’t have to do that, and I was successful in controlling my weight during that phase. During P4 this time I started water aerobic classes, beginning to exercise for the first time in my life, really. I was loving this, but the class I was in began doing a lot of kick-boxing in the water and the jumping up and down on the cement floor of the pool damaged my back and I had to quit and go to a chiropractor 3 times a week trying to get some relief from that pain. At the chiropractor’s office, she gave me some tests and said that my hypothalamus was not balanced. This was a shock to me considering all the time with the hCG program I’d been on. She gave me some homeopathic pills to balance it, which after a week or so, it showed as being back in balance.
This time I decided to take a longer break between rounds. However, I didn’t monitor AT ALL what I ate during my break and ended up gaining back 15 pounds. July 2 was the last day of my P4 on round 3 and I started my 2nd round of the hormone (4th round on the protocol) on October 2, giving me a 3 month break. This round so far is being extremely successful! In just short of 2 full weeks on the VLCD I have lost 18.2 pounds – far more than I have with any other round to date.
I wanted so much to believe that the actual hormone injections would be more successful than the homeopathic drops and was extremely disappointed last round when that didn’t seem to be the case. I now see that the likely reason for such a huge difference in my last round (I’d only lost 8 lbs. by this time in my last round) and this round is the fact that I didn’t wait enough time between rounds. So as much as I wanted to go fast, doing so has proven to be counterproductive to my success.
Tamara Stewart Priester says
This was extremely helpful to me! I first did HCG back in 2011 and kept the weight off for about two years (without – and incorrectly so – doing phase 4). I’m recently married and have lost 22 lbs this year on my own, but need to be down at least another 25 so that we can start trying for a little one. I’m going on the 6 week round (today being my first day), taking a 3 week break and starting to load again on thanksgiving (smart I think…lol) so that I can finish out the year strong with another round of weightloss. thanks again for your comments, it’s really motivated me 🙂
Hello @jonilb very nice to meet you! Sorry for the delayed comment here- sometimes I get behind on blog comments. Wow 110 weight loss with hCG is fantastic! 2ndly that you maintained within 5 lbs for a year is also phenomenal.
You sound like a person I’d love to interview on the blog – not sure if you’ve seen any of my other interviews – they are here: http://hcgchica.com/hcg-diet-reviews/
Would you be open to this? If so, could you email me at [email protected] – you don’t have to agree yet, we could just roll the idea around through email and I can tell you how I do it etc. Please? I think your story would be a good one to share because of how long you’ve maintained, and that you still deal with body image issues, something many can relate to. Hope to hear from you! – Rayzel
Happyrucha Brown says
So Hey Saludos from Mexico! LOVE HCG. have done 2 rounds of HCG and am in the middle of my 3rd round.. my wake up call was when I got on the scale and I saw the 100KILO number (we measure in kilos in Mexico = 220 pounds!) I am only 5’5″ so not good! Then someone said hey I just lost X on this diet you should try it! I have an extra bottle so I did!
1st round 40 days = 29 pounds did 3 weeks P3 & 3 weeks P4 Loved it no problems. THEN I went on vacation for 2 weeks. Feeling good – no problem going on another round HCG – I can eat whatever I want.. HOW MUCH can I gain in 2 weeks.. WELL I gained 6 pounds!
2nd round 40 days = 2 pound gain during load plus the 6 pound gain during my vacay came right off lost a total of 34 pounds Yay! 3 weeks of P3 No problems… SO now I am 165 LBS +/- and so happy went from size 18 to 10. But would like to lose another 15 -20 pounds.
During both rounds I kept up with my 3 times a week 1 hour Zumba class no problem. BUT I do have to admit that I am a pretty disciplined (I could say OBSESIVE) person once I decide something I GO FOR IT. So NO SUGAR EVER, NO BREAD (only ezekiel and only on p4). My Motto NO CHEATS EVER DURING THE DIET take advantage of this!
THEN I read some where that you don’t have to do 3 weeks of P4 that if you wanted to as long as you did P3 you could start another round so I went for it!
DURING P1 Gained 6 pounds! NOT good and the weight loss is much slower. It took me almost 10 days to lose those 6 pounds! But I am now in P2 D16 and have finally lost another 6 pounds pretty good for 6 days! I think 2 factors here:
1.- I should have waited & done P4 & maybe rested another 2-3 weeks or more before starting again.
2.- After 2 pretty good rounds where I lost 55 pounds & maybe my body is having a harder time releasing fat the less fat you have?
The plan is to continue & finish a 30 days of P2, do 3 weeks of P3 and REST for at least 6 months!
So what have I learned? My body loves HCG & LOVES being off of sugar.. my new best friend is flavored liquid Stevia. But my body needs rest between rounds to gear up for major weight loss. So like my grandma says Patience is a Virtue.
BTW- LOVE, LOVE your blog!
Judith Bean says
This hcg is hard work- but so worth it !! I am a Nurse, and Nurses are sometimes the unhealthiest people around- [taking care of others,but NOT taking care of themselves]. I used HCG in the '80's [when I still had natural estrogen also in my body !], and am now using it again as when I lost my estrogen- my body started with the 'fat storage'. HCG is the ONLY thing that has reduced these fat storage areas [butt, waist, stomach, thighs,etc.]. I was on NutriSystem- and Jenny Craig- . Yes, you loose, but it takes FOREVER, and they are just selling their food- so you have to keep buying this to keep the weight off [great marketing!!}. Learning to eat healthier 'on your own' is SO much more effective, and as Chica says "you finally have to come to your 'true self' of how we use food for comfort, stress relief, and all the other crazy excuses we give ourselves -.
My excuses were: "I'm getting older, my body will change, I'm not going to be on the planet forever, so why not eat, drink and be merry- screw the diets " !! – Meanwhile, I was putting on 10+ lbs a year [and I'd been a runner, in total lean shape "not an ounce of fat".. It was hard to see my body change into something that 'wasn't me'.. Now that I am on HCG- I am SLOWLY loosing weight-Have lost 10 lbs in 30 days-which @ times is discouraging,but I keep going !! [definitely NOT loosing it as fast as when I was younger !], but I AM LOOSING- and in all the RIGHT PLACES !![my butt, waist, hips,etc.]. My husband says I look great and is now a believer in HCG [he poo-pooed it before].
I responded to a blog on Amazon with the 'pro's' of usingHCG, and am now getting crazy email after emails from a 'psycho nut' who keeps emailing me that it doesn't work- . even though I told him it does, and the 'proof is in the pudding'…
Anyway, there are plenty of disbelievers in anything that is different [and as a Nurse for over 28 years, -this also includes Doctor's [some are really lazy about really finding out the pro's vs cons of something that seems 'impossible'…, some Doc's are jealous that they didn't think of this and have money coming in…and frankly, some are just too old and don't change their opinions -On ANYTHING- since they were in Med school 50 years ago !!..
Even tho I am finding the HCG harder 'this time around' after 25 years..I am still going to continue doing it, and I look better, feel better, and I believe it is helping me with my sugar and carb addictions [ice cream @ night- why not?, French bread with lots of butter ? …why not?… All those foods that comfort and ease pain and yet, in the end, make you ultimately feel worse about yourself as you gain those unwanted pounds.. HCG is totally a 'self esteem' builder and there is NO REPLACEMENT [even the yummiest dessert or carbs], that can give you the Peace, Confidence of feeling better about yourself..and that you 'stuck to your goal, and did it!!
Blessing and Encouragement to all of those that are on HCG day by day..
Stay Strong ~ !!~ judith
This is just the best article! I have completed “another” first round only I am doing something different this time. ( I have done hcg 3 times before and gained everything back) In the past I ditched p3 and yep gained weight and felt bad. This time I stuck to p3, did steak days, and lo and behold my homeostasis occurred. I lost 23 pounds in a 28-day p1…28 days only because Thanksgiving & other holidays were upon us and I wanted to be able to be with family and not be on p1. I am waiting until Jan to begin another round and this waiting time is a real gift to me. I am learning what foods put me off track. I have also learned that I have some serious food allergies… I think in the past food-binging covered this awareness up, much to the detriment of my health. So! Now I am paying more attention to what I eat, paying more attention to what is healthy for me instead of what I can get away with, and much of the addictive urges of my eating have left. Sometimes the old ways call to me, but because paying the piper is a too high price health-wise, I just let the urges go by. I think in-between-rounds is the most important time for me. The most. I never thought I’d say that. Also, I regularly visit this website so that I can keep in touch with you all… and remember what I am about. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story Mirianda! I think these personal stories go a long way to helping others- hey I wondered- would you be open to doing a recorded video chat about this and your experience with me for youtube? I am really looking for more personal stories of recovery and change that can help keep motivating others to believe in themselves- let me know- it could be just 15-20 minutes of your time- if you’re okay with it, email me at [email protected] and we’ll set up a time! – Rayzel