If you are one of the many folks who have gained their weight back after one or more successful runs through the hCG diet plan, take heart. The problem is most likely an easy one to fix. Here are the most important things to know.
The hCG Product Itself
The hCG product that you use has a great influence on what happens after you finish the protocol. Briefly, the main difference among products is whether they contain the real protein hormone. Sad to say, many products that are labeled as ‘hCG’ contain no hormone whatsoever.
Here is how to tell if the product you used has hCG in it: the amount of the hormone is stated clearly on the label in International Units (IU). This is how dosages of protein hormones are measured. Dr. Simeons, for example, typically used daily injections of 125 IU of hCG. Current products that offer a powder that you have to mix in liquid yourself, or pellets or tablets, also state clearly how much hormone they contain.
If you buy a liquid product off the shelf at Walgreen’s or from some other over-the-counter source, you can be certain that it contains no hormone. In the first place, over-the-counter sales of hCG are illegal. Moreover, any hCG-containing liquid has to be refrigerated to preserve the activity of the hormone because the protein is unstable at room temperature when dissolved in liquid.
Likewise, if you use a product that is labeled at ’10X’ or some such homeopathic power means that any original amount of hCG that it may have contained has been diluted out of existence.
Finally, be aware that many so-called hCG products claim to influence your fat metabolism like hCG does, even though the ingredients list shows only an enigmatic list of amino acids and maybe some herbs. You, Dear Reader, are certainly wise enough to not fall for that trick, I am sure.
You can, of course, lose weight on the hCG diet plan itself, even without using real hCG. This is called a starvation diet. Unfortunately, starving yourself for 30 to 45 days does nothing to alter your metabolism of abnormal fat. It does not matter one bit whether you have lost any weight. Weight will come storming back as soon as you increase your food intake to normal levels.
If you discover that you have regained most or all of your weight back because you used a non-hCG containing product, your best strategy might be to do a series with the real hormone. You have different options for getting the real hormone, as outlined here: Where to Order HCG.
Weight Gain During the Maintenance Phase
It is absolutely crucial that you follow the recommendations of this phase to the letter. You should keep within two pounds of your weight at the end of the hormone phase. In other words, do not gain (or lose) more than two pounds for a period of 21 days after the 3-day washout period from the hormone phase.
The reason that this is crucial is because, as Dr. Simeons suggested, it seems to be required for resetting your metabolism of abnormal fat. The strategy for doing so is simple: follow a low carb diet. This means that you should eat mostly fat and protein. Keep your digestible carb intake down to fewer than 50 grams per day. And make sure than none of this amount comes from starchy or sugary fruits and vegetables or from processed sugar. Yes, even fruits can derail you during this phase.
It may seem cruel that you still have to avoid some of your favorite foods, after following a very low calorie diet of 500-calories per day for a month or more. However, you must do so if you want to nail down your target weight and keep it stable.
Gaining Weight After The Maintenance Phase
Let’s just say that you have done everything right and reached your weight goal after a hormone phase of 30-45 days or so, and that you stuck to the rules of the maintenance phase like a champ. Congratulations!
Unfortunately, many people start to creep right back up in weight. It may take a matter of months, or sometimes longer, and they are right back where they started. If this has happened to you, you may just feel like giving up and staying fat. Or you may do another hCG protocol, which is a common strategy. Repeating the protocol, however, does not solve anything.
This post-hCG weight gain is of great concern to me because so many of my clients suffer from it. Although I am in the business of hCG-based weight loss, it is more important to me that people hit their target weight and stay there. Yes, it benefits me financially to have repeat clients. It is just not right, though.
I sincerely believe that you and everyone else should be able to maintain a slim and healthy body effortlessly, for life. The primary role of the hCG protocol is as a strategy to get to where you want to be quickly.
Why, then, aren’t you staying there?
I have thought long and hard about this, and I have uncovered some excellent research on what it takes to be slim and healthy. Some of this research goes back almost 200 years, which means that people knew how to get and stay slim long before Dr. Simeons came along. If I were to rank what people used to do vs. what they do nowadays, in order of importance, here are the top two mistakes that I see now…
Top Error Leading to Weight Gain
Eating too often.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the modern dogma of weight loss is mired down in things like counting calories, ridiculous and ineffective exercise programs, and arguments about which of the big three food groups (carbs, fats, proteins) are best for dieting.
Without a shadow of a doubt, here is what I can say now:
- Counting and reducing dietary calories for weight loss is never going to work for the long-term. Indeed, this strategy is so ineffective that it is idiotic. A recent study showed that a reduced-calorie diet led to an average loss of 14 pounds after 10 years. Are you impressed? That is less than two pounds per year!
- Most types of exercise completely fail to alter fat metabolism. An extreme example comes from a study of obese people who trained to run a marathon. They trained for 18 months, running an average of 25-40 miles per week. At the end of the training they completed a marathon (26.2 miles). Women in the study showed no change in body fat mass whatsoever. Men dropped a little over 5 lbs in body fat mass. Basically, men and women who started out obese were obese all the way to race day.
- The low-fat diet craze is a plague on humanity, perhaps the worst dietary recommendation ever made in all of human history. Do you know that you can live a long, healthy life by consuming a diet of mostly fat, with some protein? Yup, you can live without dietary carbs. None. You must eat fats, though, and plenty of them.
Before I go on with what you may view as health heresies, I will say that everything I am telling you is backed up by excellent scientific research. In fact, the eating styles that I have uncovered are guaranteed to shrink your abnormal fat down to nearly nothing and keep you that way.
And most of what you have to do is simply space your meals appropriately. By that I mean 5-6 hours between meals, 12-14 hours from dinner to your first meal of the next day, and no evening snacking whatsoever. (Yes, that common advice that you may have heard about eating 6 times per day is pretty much a bunch of bunk.) Details about this eating pattern and why it is so important for weight management and overall health are included in a book that I have written recently about the biology of fat. I will tell you more about it at the end of this post.
Second Most Common Error Leading to Weight Gain
Eating the wrong stuff.
Note the phrase ‘eating styles’ above. This means three things: 1) when you eat; 2) what you eat; and, 3) how much you eat. The first is the most important. Number three is the least important (yes, really!). The second point – i.e., what you eat – is the basis for the second most common error that causes weight gain, specifically fat gain. Most specifically, belly fat gain (aka, visceral or abnormal fat).
Here is the summary of what all this means:
1. Dietary carbs are fattening.
2. Dietary protein may be fattening. It depends on several factors.
3. Dietary fats are non-fattening.
The bottom line is that regaining weight is attributable to carb intake. If you could incorporate an eating style wherein you consume no more than 50 grams or so of easily digestible carbs per day, you would stop and even reverse weight gain. Consuming starches and sugars, of course, would undermine your progress, regardless of how many grams per day you consume.
Depending on your metabolic resistance to burning fat, you may have to adjust your carb intake downward. Even the 20 grams of carbs per day of the Atkins Diet Induction Phase may not be low enough. Not to worry, though. A couple of tricks that I have learned are surefire ways for overcoming any metabolic resistance, even if you don’t respond to a zero carb pattern. A full explanation of them would be too extensive here, so I will just refer you to my book on fat loss biology (see below).
The strategy of a low-carb eating pattern is especially powerful when you space your meals appropriately.
Following Bad Advice
There is so much mindlessly bad advice about weight management coming at you from all corners that it is almost depressing. The worst of the worst bad advice has reached mythical levels. It includes such thoughtless dogma as: eat less, exercise more and calories in, calories out. WRONG!
In my fat loss biology book, I’ve explained a whole lot about why such advice does not work. Suffice it for now to say that, if you ever receive this advice from a health care professional (starting with the famous Dr. Oz, on down the line to your personal physician), from a fitness trainer, from a nutritionist, or from anyone else who purports to be an expert, run the other way as fast as you can. This advice about weight loss is rife with logical fallacies regarding human physiology, and no truly good scientific research supports it. Repeating it is just thoughtless. Inexcusably thoughtless.
What to Do Now
First off, simply take a look at the table of contents in my book, linked here: FatLossBiology.com. Just note the topic material that addresses what your body actually does regarding the metabolism of fat. There is no reason to gain excess weight when you know the right things to do, and then do them.
None of the effective strategies for weight (specifically fat) management are difficult. In my own case, I have been able to reverse the post-hCG diet weight gain that I experienced at one time. Yes, I was in your shoes: dropped 25 pounds on the 30-day hCG diet protocol, gained 20 of it back, dropped down 15 pounds again on a two-week protocol, gained it all back.
At this time, though, I am now down from my original ‘fat guy in the mirror’ weight by 35 pounds. I feel better and, if I do say so myself, I like the way I look in the mirror now. In fact, I am just 10 pounds above my playing weight from high school football, which seems like a hundred years ago. (The reality is that my 50th class reunion is coming up fast.)
Most importantly for me, and for others of the ‘mature’ class in my age group, I have discovered how to stop what seemed like an inexorable march to fatness the older I got. If an oldie but goodie like me can achieve such success, then anybody can.