I will be honest that as strict and as crazy as this diet sounds, I really never expected to be able to stick to it hard-core. But my goal was to lose 20 lbs, and I should make it! I still technically have 3 days left on the diet, and as of right now I've only lost 18 lbs. But with three days left to go, I think I can lose the last two.
So in all their humiliating honesty, here are my before and after pictures.
And as of today- 18 lbs down-
That would be 6 inches lost off my waist, and 18 lbs in just 3 weeks!!And the rest of the details-
Waist- 6 inches down
Arm- 2 inches down
Thighs- 2.5 inches off each
Neck- 1 inch off
Bust- 4 inches off under bust, 1 inch down on bust
All pretty good right? But my butt?? Barely 2 inches down. I as so hoping to lose more off my butt. There is now a 10 inch difference between my butt and waist.
Dress size? Down 3 sizes!
Now for more about the diet, my person experience-
The first 2 days of taking the HCG you "load up" on as much food and calories as possible. I thought this was going to be my crowning moment. Me? Get to eat everything I want? I can totally do that, right? This was supposed to be my Lorelai Gilmore moment! I was looking forward to it. I spoke to a few people (including Heidi) who had been on the diet, and they all told me how impossible their load days were. They had whined and said how they couldn't eat anything. I just knew I could do better.
By the end of the first day on the HCG I could barely eat anything. I had planned out my meals for my load days to include trips to all my favorite places. And I couldn't do it! I was seriously having to force myself to eat. It was depressing!
The second day? Even worse. It felt like that post-Thanksgiving Dinner full stomach when someone has just put your favorite piece of pie in front of you. You can't possibly eat another bite, and yet, there it is, chocolate silk cream pie, and its the last piece, and if you don't eat it, someone will steal it from you. That is how every single bite of food felt on my second day of HCG. I was attempting to force myself to eat more than usual and realized at the end of the day that I had eaten considerably less than usual. Ugh! So I had to add a third load day to make sure I had enough food in me to start off the diet.
For the life of me, I still don't know why or how that all works. But it did. I haven't been hungry from this diet once in three weeks.
So then the real diet begins. The 500 calorie diet. Which yes, does sound impossible. But the HCG is there to keep you from getting hungry, and encourages your body to burn up fat stores. Knowing that I was going to have to give up diet sodas for the diet, I weaned myself off of them the week before I started the HCG. Much to my surprise, I don't want them anymore! (But three weeks of just water and boring teas is getting very old.)
I primarily ate strawberries and oranges for my fruits. I'm just not a big apple eater, although I did eat a few on the diet. The vegetables were all choices I normally hate, so that was rough for me. I despise celery, especially without either ranch dressing or peanut butter to hide the taste. So I only ate that once. For the most part I ate a lot of asparagus and cucumbers.
The meals do get dull, but you do start to get inventive. My favorite thing was crab meat with spinach and strawberries. Its actually not a bad meal at all.
Cheating and this diet-
Ha. There is an overwhelming fear of cheating on this diet. But the desire to cheat wasn't very strong. The diet is actually pretty fun! I lost 10 lbs in the first 7 days! You don't want to cheat when the weight is just falling off of you! It was fun to go to the scare and weigh myself every day to see how much I had gone down again. So when the temptation to cheat was there, it wasn't ever because I wanted to eat something, but because I really wanted to taste something more interesting. When I did cheat (just a few small handful of times) it was incredibly small and insignificant. I "cheated" with 1 potato chip. Not the bag, just 1 chip. I know, I'm going to hell. I took one little finger swipe and lick of cake frosting. I ate 1 tiny bite of pizza (which made me horribly sick!). And that was all of my cheating over the last 3 weeks. Each time I cheated, I made sure to walk the dog an extra mile that day.
And in the interest of full honesty and disclosure, yesterday I couldn't take it anymore, and put the tiniest amount of sharp cheddar cheese on my little tiny patty of meat. (It was divine!)
Low blood sugar-
The first 2 weeks of the diet I had no problems with hunger or low blood sugar. I really was surprised. I will admit though that this past week I have had a few spells where I realized my blood sugar was getting low, and I had little head rush moments when I stand up. This is usually cured quickly by just eating a few slices of an orange, or a strawberry or two. In 2 instances, I tried those tricks and still had a massive headache after. I tried a few glasses of water, to not relief. So I went to Maverick and indulged in a caffeine free Diet Coke, which cured it instantly. Go figure.
Now, you already know from below about my horrid stomach ache. I am convinced that was completely unrelated to the diet. So ignoring that, and focusing on the other 20 days of this diet- I have never felt better. I swear its like being on happy pills and energy pills at the same time. I have more energy than I know what to do with. I'm sleeping fabulously! And I just feel great. As someone frequently plagued with gastrointestinal issues, I will just say this. Not one problem. Perfect GI system. Its a freaking dream come true. I barely know what to do with myself. No indigestion. Nothing. I feel fantastic. I don't want the diet to ever end!
Like I said, I haven't been hungry once. I have, however, found myself not eating enough, and wondering 6 hours later why I was so hungry. It was always cured by eating whatever I hadn't bothered to eat during mealtime. It was my fault, and never the diet.
I'll be honest. The diet isn't easy. But the results are so fast and visible that it isn't hard to stay motivated.
Now that I've finished the HCG doses, I have to do a few weeks of a modified South Beach diet. This is to help your body reset to its new weight and metabolism. I'm really looking forward to starting it. I MISS CHEESE AND EGGS! It may be the strangest cravings I have ever had. But I can't wait to add eggs and cheese back into my diet.
So why did I do the HCG diet over some other diet? Because I have tried everything. I've tried 5 small meals a day. I've tried adding weights. I've tried adding more cardio. I've done Atkins. I've done everything. I can always drop 8-10 lbs quickly, but then it comes right back, and I can never keep it all off. That was something I noticed was a common thread among many HCG users. They were all chronic dieters like me. And this worked for them.
There you have it. My experiences with the HCG diet. If you have questions, let me know.