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verbqueen 07-13-2011 11:14 AM

VQ's Big hcg Adventure!
OK, after over a month of letting this hcg thing percolate and simmer in my brain, I am back from my long-awaited week in Mazatlan and ready to begin this crazy thing.

I "loaded" (and what an apt name--last night I actually felt the weight of the food in my gut weighing me down as I walked around the house) Monday and Tuesday, and today is the start of the 500 calorie adventure.

I'm no stranger to extremely low calorie diets. I've done the goofy, but fun and pretty effective, Cabbage Soup Diet many times. In the last year, I've done two rounds of JUDDD and managed those 500 calorie days with no difficulty, but there's a BIG difference there! With both the soup diet and JUDDD, each day is different, and there's something new to look forward to tomorrow to help you get through today. With this plan, it's a long spell of 500 calorie days in a row, and that could be quite, quite difficult.

The difference, so they say, is the hcg hormone's suppression of hunger. I feel REALLY skeptical about that, but we shall see. Maybe I'll be wrong.

So this morning, I set up a little assembly line in my kitchen, with a bag of chicken tenders, a package of ground sirloin, various vegetables and an assortment of ziplock bags, with my food scale set up at the end of the line. I portioned out and packed up 100 grams packages of all sorts of things, and set out some of my favorite spices, my bottles of various vinegars and Braggs Amino Acids, and some cans of fire-roasted tomatoes. I'm trying to make this process as easy as possible so I won't have any excuses for failure to give it my very best effort.

So it comes to this: I am completely committed to doing a 21 day Phase 2 round of this plan, followed by the appropriate Phases 3 and 4. It's not fair to the plan or myself to judge its effectiveness by only doing a partial attempt.

If it happens that I am going great guns and enjoying it and wanting to do a longer Phase 2, I'll make that decision when the time comes, but I won't do less than the full 21 days.

I've picked the mid-summer to try this because my normal life is full of lunches and dinners out--several each week. But in the summer, my time (and my meals) are pretty much my own. I have one challenge ahead. I need to go spend a week with my husband and son in Seattle (long story--he's doing a longterm job assignment there and son wants to find a job there and stay permanently, so he joined him). But those two are QUITE used to me being on some diet or other and they have a nice condo with a great kitchen, so it's not like I'll be staying at a hotel or something. I think I can do it.

So here I go! This morning, on my first day, I've had one dose of pellets, two cups of coffee and an apple thus far. (The having only coffee for brekkie should work out fine for me--I don't have much appetite in the mornings. I am NOT a morning person.)

My freezer and fridge are fully supplied with portioned out baggies, but I'm off to the grocery store to add a few more things to my collection--some strawberries, shrimp, a couple of lemons and some crackers/melba toast.

So let the adventure begin!

verbqueen 07-13-2011 12:52 PM

Oh dear lord...I just took a before pic (front and, worst of all, back) in a swimsuit. Hideous. Monstrous. If I were going to have an appetite, that just took it away.

Talk about your "abnormal fat." <<shudder>>

verbqueen 07-13-2011 08:26 PM

So Day 1 is drawing to a close, and I feel pretty darned good. I went all day without feeling especially hungry, until about 4:30. So I just went ahead and cooked my dinner and ate at 5.

Had a small challenge when my sweet houseguest, my kids' best friend from high school who is staying with me this week while he's in town for work, wanted to take me to dinner at our neighborhood Thai place. I just explained that I'd already eaten, but I'd love to go along with him and enjoy a cup of green tea while HE ate--which I did, no problems!

So far, so good.

verbqueen 07-14-2011 09:50 AM

Happy morning for me! Down 3 pounds overnight--my two pound load gain is gone, and it took one of my vacation pounds from last week with it! Maybe, just maybe, this is actually going to work for me!

Woke up feeling not at all hungry, but had a headache and hated having to wait twenty minutes after my pellets before I could have some coffee. I don't think my headache is diet-related. I've picked up a cold on the airplane to Mexico, and have been having all kinds of sinus pain and pressure. Coffee definitely helps, though, and I'm already feeling better with a half a mug in me.

I had a potential diet challenge arise today, but I've headed it off. My elderly friend, who was widowed last month, wanted to go to a matinee, so a friend and I agreed to take her today (we're seeing that Tom Hanks movie, Larry Crown.) The other friend suggested lunch at a very fattening ladies tea room type place. I thought it over, tried to imagine what I'd eat, or just sitting there not eating. Now, I had no problem doing that last night with my young friend, Adam, but ladies are so nosy about each other's diets and I didn't want to have to explain anything. So rather than make up some goofy excuse, I simply called my friend and said "hey, I put on a few vacation pounds last week and I'm following a really strict diet this week to take them off. I'm just too afraid to tempt myself by eating out, so you two have a nice lunch and I'll meet you at the theater." Who could argue with that? Honesty is the best policy, usually.

Yesterday I made a batch of the P2 chili and divided it into two portions, so I"ll have one of those for one meal today. I'll probably have chicken for the other meal. I'm thinking of making kind of a chinese chicken salad with napa cabbage, chicken, rice vinegar and an orange. I've heard some folks say that the orange stalls them, so I if I do that I will make it my only fruit today.

Yesterday I only ate one of the starch portions because my calories were already up to 550 without it. I'm not going to be anal about the 500 calories, though. I'll follow the guidelines and if it comes to 600, so be it.

I will check in here later with how I'm feeling. Right now, I feel on top of the world with that 3 pound loss!

verbqueen 07-14-2011 01:53 PM

Here's a pic of me and the hub from Mazatlan last week.

Boy, am I shiny! (It was astoundingly humid that night.)

I bought three of those maxi dresses--halter at the top, but floor length--at JC Penney's for half price. They are great for me--hide a multitude of sins, since all my fat resides between belly button and knees!


P.S. Ended up not doing the movie--our poor little friend, Libby, forgot all about it. Ok with me--I really need to do some housecleaning, because daughter an I are hosting a shower here Sunday afternoon. Of course, am I cleaning? No--I'm sitting on my butt playing on LCF!

verbqueen 07-14-2011 09:32 PM

As I sit here preparing to go to bed, I am simply marveling that after 2 days in a row of 500ish calories, I am not feeling at all hungry. Wow. That's crazy.

verbqueen 07-15-2011 10:08 AM

Down 2 more pounds this morning, so all my load weight is gone, plus three new pounds! Wow.

I feel very good, physically, but probably this is just because I'm so excited about the losses. I feel like I could run out and slay a dragon, in fact!

The weight I am today is the weight I had struggled to achieve over a two month period during May and June, after I realized I'd put on ten pounds over the winter and spring.

Any losses after today will be new territory, and then I will be REALLY excited.

But in the back of my mind, there is this: I know perfectly well that I am a very slow loser, and terribly, terribly prone to stalls. I know that one fine morning, very soon, I will wake up to no loss. Probably to lots of days of no loss. So I'm trying to temper my excitement with a dose of reality.

And now, I am off to eat my morning apple, and then commence on some house-cleaning!

verbqueen 07-15-2011 02:18 PM

Still feeling fantastic--so good that I just cleaned the living and dining rooms top to bottom. That's mostly where the bridal shower will take place, so I'm feeling pretty good about that!

After my piano tuner leaves, I'm headed to the grocery store to get shower stuff. This is not the "cake, punch, after dinner mints and dishes of nuts" kind of shower of my youth. The girls are planning appetizers, sangria, and a cookie and cake-pop display. Some of it is being brought over by others, but my daughter is going to bake cookies tomorrow (she's a wonderful baker!) and I agreed to make mini-quiches for my contribution. So I need to go get the stuff for those things. Will I have a problem with cookies baking and with having to be in the kitchen fussing with food? I doubt it. After all these years of Atkins-ing while the rest of the family continues down their merry, carby road, I'm quite used to being in my own food-world and ignoring other people's foods.

I'm excited today because we got all new pool equipment--new pump, filtration system and best of all, a new heater. Ours had been broken for the better part of year. Our pool is just too cold to use without being heated, even most of the time in the summer. So last night I sat out in the spa and it was glorious. Today, I heated the pool to my preferred 86 degrees (it heated surprisingly fast--must be a much better heater than the one before!) and my plan is to swim later this afternoon.

That's all here. Still feeling great and not even the tiniest bit hungry!

pooticus 07-15-2011 09:27 PM

Glad you are feeling good Jess. Great piccy of you and hubby, pretty lady!

verbqueen 07-15-2011 09:58 PM

Hey, Pooti, thanks for stopping by! It means a lot--I know you're not feeling so great the last couple of days.

I am praying for you every day, my friend.

pooticus 07-16-2011 05:44 AM

:hugs: Thank you sweetie. You're doing really good. A doctor at my onc's office did the HCG diet and lost 30lbs.

verbqueen 07-16-2011 09:50 AM

Oh, another visit from Pooti! I'm so glad someone is stopping by to see me! It's heartening to hear that a doctor used this diet, since I just saw it listed in a Huffpost list of Ten Diets NEVER to Try. Hahaha.

I'm down 1.6 pounds this morning, for a total of 6.6 so far. I see it's dropping off every day. Really dreading that morning when there's no loss...

OK, my twenty minute post-pellet waiting time is up, and I'm off to pour my coffee.

verbqueen 07-17-2011 07:44 AM

I had a good hcg day yesterday, despite baking mini-quiches, making a cheese tray and a big batch of spinach dip, as well as helping my daughter bake cookies. Absolutely nothing entered mouth except my specially prepared protocol foods.

I was only down .2 this morning, which was disappointing, but I did weigh in two hours earlier than normal because I'm up early for church (which if I don't hurry up and get dressed for, I'm going to be late for!) I'd like to hope that had I weighed in at more like 9:00 like I usually do, I'd have been down at least another .2, to give me an even 7 pounds for the first five days of the plan.

Back later! (Probably much later, since we have our bridal shower here this afternoon.)

SoHappy 07-17-2011 08:45 AM

Hi!!! :hiya: Just stopping by to see how it's going for you. I'm all excited about this for you and expect you to do wonderfully. :up:

It sounds like the hcg pellets are helping to control your appetite. Is that what they do? I suppose they aren't what makes you lose weight, as 500 calories per day for three weeks should have pretty much anyone a whole lot lighter at the end than they started out at, but what exactly is the job this stuff is doing?

I have a million questions about this diet, and always had some interest in it too, so I'm going to be watching you... like, you're serving as my guinea pig test subject on this. :laugh:

So I know that you 'load' for a couple of days before you start in, but what exactly is that? Is there a certain calorie total you need to eat on a load day? Are there certain foods you are supposed to eat on those days?

And what benefit is there supposed to be for loading. I can only think that once you start your 500-cal days, much of what you initially lose would be from 'water weight' from the two load days. So why bother? There must be more to it than that. LOLOL

And when you do your three weeks of 500-cal days, are there certain foods that you're supposed to eat? Prescribed foods and forbidden foods? Like a suggested menu list or anything?

I know that after a few days of not eating much, appetite just strongly fades into the background, so after the initial days, the scant calorie limit would be fairly easily dealt with, at least that's how it would work for me.

Is there any worry about the metabolism slowing down after holding calories to a low limit over the course of three weeks, (well, I know it will have slowed in that length of time), but is it felt that by ending the *fasting* level of cals and eating more once again, this goads the metabolism to pick up speed again.

And then, how long is the next UP eating period before starting another round of 500 calories? I think this has always seemed sort of like doing JUDDD, except instead of alternating UP Days and DOWN Days, you are alternating Up Periods with Down Periods that are weeks instead of days. (???)

See, I said I had lots of questions. :laugh: I think this plan is fascinating and wish you all the success in the world on it. I'll be following your progress with avid interest and crossed fingers. P.S...... The pic of you and your DH on vacation shows you to be a lovely and slim gal! You look great. You must just be working on just a last few pounds to your goal.

Speck333 07-17-2011 10:06 AM

Jessica, just popping in to say "hi". I've been reading up on hcg because I am becoming desperate, and am interested in your progress. Plus, you've always been nice around the boards and I like you :)

SoHappy, from the reading I've done, the hcg basically causes your body to mimic the calorie needs of your body while you are pregnant, so it's expending calories to "feed" a fetus that isn't there. So on top of the 500 calorie diet, this creates a tremendous calorie deficit. So it is more than just the 500 calorie diet. The loading, if I understand correctly, is to make sure you don't become ravenously hungry the first few days of the diet while your body is adjusting to the hcg.
Google "Simeon Pounds and Inches" and you will find the original sources for the protocol.

verbqueen 07-17-2011 08:36 PM

SoHappy and Speck (and btw, I like you, too!), I'm delighted you stopped by to visit!

SH, I think Speck answered some of your questions, and I'll expand a little on what she said. My understanding is that Dr. Simeon's observed that pregnant women who are calorie restricted, like women with morning sickness and such, seem to have some faculty whereby during pregnancy, rather than wasting muscle and organ tissue and such, they access their own body fat for fuel--hence pregnant women who can't eat much still being able to have healthy, normal weight babies. He experimented with the pregnancy hormone, hcg, extracted from the urine of pregnant women and had very, very good results. He thought that the hcg caused you to burn the minimal calories you take in--500 on his plan--and then access stored "abnormal" body fat (not the fat that you need around your organs, but odd deposits of fat like in the belly and thighs) for the rest of your caloric needs, yet still not waste your muscle tissue or lower your metabolic rate.

Whether his theory has ever been verified by large scale testing, I have no idea, but this I do know--I am mysteriously not particularly hungry and feeling very good. And also, in my other severely limited calorie dieting--the cabbage soup diet, egg fasts, stuff like that--I have never lost quite this quickly, and at 54 and menopausal, losing does not come fast to me!

Anyhoo, I'm quite happy to be your guinea pig, both of you--I'll try to report faithfully and frankly what I experience and maybe we'll all learn something! Ha!

P.S. I am not using real hcg from the urine of pregnant women, but a homeopathic version that mimics it. I think many, maybe most, LCFers are doing the same.

verbqueen 07-17-2011 08:45 PM

Gosh, SH, I looked back and saw that I still missed a lot of questions! I'll get 'em all covered, sooner or later (although someone more knowledgable may have to correct my answers.)

Anyway, unlike our old friend JUDDD, yes, the food is quite specific. You get 3 and a half ounces of very lean protein--chicken, fish or very lean beef, two times a day, plus two servings of a few very limited choices of almost no calorie veggies and two servings of a few choices of low calorie fruits. As an added bonus, you get a 20 calorie cracker or breadstick at each of those two meals! (What a treat! :rofl:) You don't get to cook those things with ANY added fat or oil, or dressings, or anything like that. It's both lower carb and VERY low fat--basically no fat except the small amount in your protein servings.

On those two loading days, you eat anything at all--you are told by Dr. S to stuff yourself and particularly to eat a lot of fat. There are no calorie guidelines.

There now--there's a few more questions answered!

verbqueen 07-18-2011 09:11 AM

Down .8 this morning! Much better than yesterday's .2. I'll take it.

I was awakened by a bad charley horse this morning, and I think I'd better drink a lot more water and use my Morton's Lite salt to get my potassium up.

No particular plans today. I guess I'll take my daughter to Lunch Monday, but I won't be eating anything but a dinner salad, no dressing.

Will check in later!

SoHappy 07-18-2011 11:16 AM


Originally Posted by verbqueen (Post 14836692)
Down .8 this morning! Much better than yesterday's .2. I'll take it.

I was awakened by a bad charley horse this morning, and I think I'd better drink a lot more water and use my Morton's Lite salt to get my potassium up.

No particular plans today. I guess I'll take my daughter to Lunch Monday, but I won't be eating anything but a dinner salad, no dressing.

Will check in later!

I'm about as excited to read this as I would be if it actually happened to me!!!!! I am just fascinated with this, and will continue to read your journal here as you continue through the days. Great wishes for continued success. :hugs:

verbqueen 07-18-2011 06:29 PM

I shall do my best to keep you abreast of all the action, SH! (hahaha! Anyone who knows me would laugh at the concept of "action" and me in the same sentence!)

Seriously, though, I'm happy that you're interested in following my progress! I just hope I keep making progress...

I took a half an apple and a wasa cracker in my purse to Lunch Monday (it's our silly name for our ritual) and ordered a dinner salad. When I got home, I ate some 96/4 ground beef to round out that meal.

Since that ground beef was late, I haven't added anything else yet, but sometime before bedtime I'll eat some chicken and cabbage, I imagine. As hard as it is to imagine, I am not in the slightest bit hungry. It's just strange, I tell you...

verbqueen 07-19-2011 09:54 AM

Hooray! Down 1.6, boosting me over 9 pounds lost this first week. I have one more day to try to hit the 10 pound mark, since tomorrow will be my 1 week hcg-versary, haha. Make no mistake, though--I am quite happy with 9 pounds.

Today, I am re-trying that movie with my elderly, widowed friend (she forgot to come last week). This time around, unlike last time, I have agreed to meet my two friends for lunch. It worked well enough yesterday to just have a dinner salad with my daughter and eat the rest of my hcg lunch later, so that's what I will do. I didn't get too hungry and didn't have a hard time not eating more. I just hope they don't ask me too many questions....

I don't think I have the nerve to smuggle in my apple half and wasa cracker in my purse....although I could eat those during the movie in the dark where no one could see me! So maybe I will!

Back later!

SoHappy 07-19-2011 10:46 AM

:eek::eek::eek: I'm agog!!! Such wonderful and fast weight loss for only doing this for just a few days. Like a miracle.

I'm just thrilled for you. :hugs:

bacon bit 07-19-2011 10:47 AM

This is really helpful because I've been wondering a lot about this diet. I'm perfectly content with mine, just curious. What I like about you is your frame of mind. You've decided to give this a whirl, but you're 100% committed to it. I am like that, and appreciate it so much.

Speck333 07-19-2011 12:47 PM

Jessica! Wow! That is awesome :high5:

verbqueen 07-19-2011 04:23 PM

Hey--good to see you Bacon, SH and Speck. Speck, do you live anywhere near me? I'm north inland orange county--Yorba Linda. (I'm way east, almost to Corona.)

Anyway, the movie, Larry Crowne, was light and very charming and just right for a recently widowed person trying to keep her spirits up. I think our friend really enjoyed the outing.

So get this--I ordered a chef salad, but then I said "oh, but...hold the ham, hold the cheese, hold the avocado, hold the egg, no dressing." Which, of course, left a bowl of lettuce with a sprinkling of turkey on it. I'm sure the server thought I was nuts.

So I had my bowl of lettuce with turkey on it and a saltine cracker. Turkey isn't officially part of the protocol, but hey, how different from chicken could it be? And my choices were pretty limited...

Tonight I'll have my remaining P2 chili from yesterday, a wasa cracker and either an apple or some strawberries. Still feeling super good and not hungry!

Speck333 07-19-2011 04:46 PM

Hi Jessica, I live very close to you, and drive right through YL on my way to work. A looong time ago we talked about it in PM; you had wanted to know where I got my Calorie Countdown milk :laugh:
I want to see that movie when it comes out on video. I really like Tom Hanks. That is too funny about the salad. I agree, turkey/chicken, what's the dif?
Over the weekend I tried to do an Atkins fat fast, but couldn't do it right because I didn't have the right foods at home. So I kept carbs under 10 and calories as close to 1000 as I could manage. I did this Fri-Sun. I was amazed how how un-hungry I was (thank you ketosis!) so I can relate to that. 500 calories is such a tiny amount of food, though. I would be afraid I wouldn't be able to think straight. How's your head? I get woozy and fuzzy-brained if I don't have enough to eat.

Oh, and yes, my little experiment seems to have broken my 6+ month stall, and I've lost 3 pounds since Friday. I'm used to 3 pounds in a month, so I'm pretty stoked.

verbqueen 07-19-2011 05:28 PM

Hooray for broken stalls! That is GREAT!

And yeah, now I DO remember that conversation. In fact, after that I went to Stater Brothers and sure enough, there was Carb Countdown milk, both chocolate and white!

verbqueen 07-20-2011 09:09 AM

Wow. Today is my one week hcg-versary, and I weighed in just now with a loss for the first week of <are you ready for thsi????>.....10.6 POUNDS! Is that just AMAZING, or what? Yes, that does include my 2 pound load weight--heck, I ate the food, I gained the weight, so I am "counting" the loss.

Wow. Just wow. I am off to change my sig line!

Edit: Just adding this stuff so I don't lose it-
Plan: hcg began P1 7/11/11
P2D1 +2
P2D2 -3
P2D3 -2
P2D4 -1.6
P2D5 -.2
P2D6 -.8
P2D7 -1.6

Speck333 07-20-2011 10:28 AM

Amazing is right! I'm so excited for you!

SoHappy 07-20-2011 11:47 AM

If you could see me, you'd see my eyes bugging out! :eek:


Yes, I do think that is amazing. If you were quite, quite heavy and had just started doing very low carb induction level eating after eating high carb, I could see that amount of loss in the first week, mostly from shed water weight. But pretty much only under those circumstances.

But you are fairly slim now, not a *quite heavy* lady, and you have been eating low carb for the most part for awhile now, so you shouldn't have a lot of excess water weight to lose, and yet.. something was lost, so we have to hope/believe/have faith that it was body fat. (I don't see how you would have lost much muscle weight as this is "supposed" to be - so we are told - a muscle sparing diet... plus how could your body even need to cannibalize that much of your own muscle in just a single week anyway? It must be body fat loss.

And 10.6 pounds is a goodly amount of weight to struggle to lose in a MONTH, let alone just a single week! If I was keeping an eye on you this week, I'm going to be keeping an eye with a magnifying glass on you in the second week! LOL I mean, now I wonder if this is like some of us who have a stall/rest break with no weight loss after that first week or so when we first start low carb. You know, how the newbies post that they're no longer losing after starting off great guns, and we have to reassure them that it's normal for some of us to have a little stall before settling into the real business of weight loss? Well, now I wonder if you will have anything like that happen. I'm just excited to see what happens during this second week. This is about as exciting as anything I've followed here on LCF over the years! :laugh:

So. Continued great good fortune and success as you go into the second week on HCG stuff. (Did you order it through Netrition?) I'm beginning to be really, really interested in this protocol, as you might well suspect. LOL Like I posted above, I feel like I'm a scientist, observing an experiment as it unfolds, and you're the *test subject*. :laugh:

Oh! And is your appetite still under control? I can't wrap my mind around eating in the 500-calorie range for days on end without having great hunger develop, but I do know that in a illness/surgery situation in a hospital, my appetite went away after not eating much for a few days, and it took a few more days for it to return after I was free to eat anything. Interesting phenomenon.

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