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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Coming clean about the HCG diet

I'm on Maui right now but here's something interesting (I hope):

The other week I posted about some accomplishments I've made on this journey and I think the one that most people picked up on (and wrote to me about) was the mention of the HCG diet. 

I don't consider this an accomplishment at all but it was a huge lesson learned... the hard way.

What is it?
The first thing you should know, is that the FDA has made the HCG "homeopathic" diet products illegal as of December 2011.  Read here for the report.

If you don't know what the HCG diet is, educate yourself here with the literature from the Dr. who started it all.  But basically, it's a very low-calorie, super strict, diet that incorporates human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) through drops or injections. 

Supposedly HCG makes your body use up fat like there's no tomorrow... on average 1 lb a day!  But come one people, a 500-calorie/day diet will make you lose weight no matter what!

Why did I do it?
After being fed up with my weight-loss plateau, I needed something to kick the last 20 lbs to the curb.  I did a ton a research and even though I knew trying a fad diet was stupid, there was a lot of people who had great success with HCG. 

I bought the drops, read the instruction manual, started an HCG blog to document my progress and hoped for the best.

What were my results?
I lost about 12 lbs in 3 weeks, which put me at 127 lbs... but at what cost?  I was grumpy, starving, weak, and moody during those weeks and I stopped all exercise (because the protocol calls for very little activity). 

The worst part?

I regained those 12 pounds within a month plus an extra 20 lbs, putting me back up at 160!  And I understand the regain might not have been HCG's fault entirely, but if it was the miracle weight-loss diet I was hoping for, wouldn't HCG be making headlines like crazy?

What were my consequences?
Too many to list but basically any regret you could have about regaining weight... ten-fold! 

I know it's common for people to lose weight then regain it, but I felt like I failed 10x more because I regained my weight in a stupid way... by trying a diet I knew was dangerous. 

My self-confidence fell, I was so embarrassed about the way I looked, I didn't want to eat right and exercise any more, and I just hated myself for trying HCG even though I knew it wasn't healthy!!  In fact, I felt way better about myself at my heaviest than I did with the regained weight.

What did I learn?
Relosing the weight has made me that much stronger on this journey and I've realized a lot of things I missed the first time I lost the weight.

Simply put, nothing trumps good nutrition and exercise.  And now I know it for a fact. 


Desperate Student said...

Thanks for being so honest and sharing what you did and how it made you feel. I think you make a good point. Glad you've seen success the healthy way, you are truly and inspiration!

Nellie said...

Thanks for sharing!

Beth @ Kitchen Minions said...

thanks for sharing! I've seen this all too many times, and it doesn't have to be HCG-I can say the same about my low carbing. It was slower on both ends but it was unsustainable for me and I regained because of that.

InWeighOverMyHead said...

Thank you for sharing so other people know this is just a fad. I think you may have saved some people the trouble today.

Kyle Gershman said...

My SILs had similar experiences with the HcG diets...lost it...regained it. One has lost it back and then some, but that was with taking up running.

No shortcuts, I'm afraid...and you are really bound and determined to keep doing things right.

Good on you!

Treadmill Hiker said...

Hi - new blogger here, so don't mind me jumping in. Thank you for sharing what was obviously unpleasant to share. I'd never heard of HCG, but if I hear it mentioned by others now, I have some references to lead them to.

I hope you can stop being hard on yourself about it. The journey is full of ups and downs of all sorts, and the only thing we have TRUE control over the whole time is how we treat ourselves. Forgive yourself, chalk it up to a lesson learned and experience to share, and MOVE ON. Your blog is very motivating!! Thank you for that!


The thin seeker said...

Glad that you came to that final realisation that in the end it's all about what you eat and exercise.

Keep up the good work.