Hi Friends! I’m 2 weeks into my #PoloWeightLoss blogger challenge, so it seemed like a great time to check in and let you know how I’ve been doing!
I’m sure many of you have heard of the HCG Weight Loss Program before. I think many people almost think of it as a “dirty word”. You see someone losing weight and talking about being on a restricted diet and you wonder “Is she doing HCG?” A lot of people keep it a secret that they are taking HCG.
I want to be very transparent with all of you. I am doing the HCG program with Dr. Polo. I know that this program is considered controversial and if I’m being 100% honest a month ago I would have told you that I would never try HCG. Then I went and talked to Dr. Polo about the program and it all started to make sense to me. A few days before I started the program I was pretty sure I was going to do Dr. Polo’s RESET program, and then I changed my mind at the last minute.
I want to share with you why I decided the HCG weight loss program was right for me and some concerns I had before I chatted with Dr. Polo and why I felt the program with her is different.
First, What Is The HCG Program?
You can learn more on the Polo Health Website, but in a nutshell… On the HCG program you take 1 HCG (AKA the pregnancy hormone) tablet under your tongue each morning and then eat 500 calories throughout the day. You do this for 40 days. Like when you are pregnant, the HCG makes your body consume the fat in your body, instead of the muscle so you eliminate a ton of fat during the 40 days. It should be used to kick start your weight loss program and help you begin to make a permanent life change. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be used if you are planning to lose weight fast but then don’t want to make life changes afterwards to help sustain the weight loss.
Why I didn’t believe in the HCG program before I learned about it and why I do now:
1. I saw quite a few people try the program and yoyo back as soon as they went off the program.
I’ve known a number of people that lost a ton of weight on HCG and a month later they had gained it right back. I chatted with some of these people about why they felt this happened. Most of them said that they had the HCG prescribed by a doctor who saw them once at the beginning of the program, again at the end and as soon as they finished their round of HCG that they went right back to eating as they did before they started the program.
With Dr. Polo you see have a weekly appointment to go over your food diary for the week, get a vitamin B12 shot, weigh in, and discuss any questions and concerns. You have someone there with you every step of the way. In fact Dr. Polo has a Facebook support group for her patients who are working with her on weight loss. But really, anyone can lose weight, it’s keeping the weight off afterwards that is the hard part. Dr. Polo has a maintenance program for after you are done taking HCG. A RESET program that helps you address food issues, gain self love and reset your body’s natural “set point” and a team that includes a registered dietician, holistic nutritionist and registered counsellors to help you with all of the different areas that are causing you to gain weight.
I encourage you to ask these questions when considering any weight loss program:
- How often will I meet with you?
- How will you help support me after the program is over?
- Do you have people you can refer me to for my other food issues?
- Do you have a support group or other people who have done your program that I can talk to?
2. 500 calories?!?! How can you survive on that? Wouldn’t anyone lose weight on that few calories?
I’ll admit, 500 calories sounds like nothing, but when you are eating the right foods it’s actually a ton of food. It’s not that you are eating 500 calories a day of anything, you are eating 500 calories of very specific food.
- 2, 100 gram servings of chicken breast, white fish, lean red beef, lobster, prawn or crab. Depending on what you are eating this usually equates to about 200 calories.
- 2 servings of fruit, 1 apple, 1 orange, 1 cup of strawberries, 1/2 grapefruit. This usually equates to 100-150 calories a day.
- 2 pieces of melba toast. This equates to 40 calories.
- A ton of vegetables! Spinach, romaine, asparagus, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, celery, fennel, cabbage, bok choy… the list goes on. Most of these vegetables have 9-30 calories a cup… that means you can eat a ton of vegetables before you get to your 500 calories. I’ve actually been having a hard time getting to 500 calories because the vegetables fill me up so much!
- Coffee and tea
Here is an example of what I eat in 1 day:
An orange and spinach smoothie to start my day.
Grilled fish with cabbage salad for lunch.
Lettuce wraps with flank steak & grilled onions with a side “caesar” salad.
Homemade chunky apple sauce for dessert.
That’s quite a lot of food isn’t it? And I didn’t even show you the melba toast. While we are chatting about food here is another favorite:
Grilled chicken burgers with lettuce buns!
I definitely have not been hungry on this diet. If you want to see more examples of what I’ve been eating check out my instagram feed.
Basically the HCG program is getting you to detox and get rid of a lot of the things you don’t need in your diet… sugar, fat, empty carbs and over eating. By the end of the program the cravings start to disappear, your palette redevelops so you don’t need so much sugar to appreciate flavor and your tummy shrinks so that you don’t need to overeat.
3. Yoyo-ing can’t be good for your health!
If you want to lose a significant amount of weight quickly but don’t plan on making any lifestyle changes after the program is done than I don’t think HCG is the answer for you. In my opinion, HCG should only be done if you are ready to make a commitment to your health and take the steps after the program is completed to keep the weight off.
In my, un-medically educated opinion, yoyo-ing isn’t healthy. I will definitely be eating more than 500 calories a day when the program is over, but this program has helped me come to the realization that:
- I don’t need carbs with every meal.
- That some of the foods that I didn’t consider processed… really are.
- That I was misreading my body’s hunger cues and often that what I thought was my body telling me I was hungry was really my brain and my tongue wanting a taste of something delicious and not my body telling me I need energy to fuel me.
- That I am a nighttime TV snacker and that I need to fight that impulse and/or make REALLY healthy snacking choices.
Do your research. Whatever method you end up using to lose weight, do your research first. Don’t jump into a program without fully knowing what you are getting into. Have a consultation with your doctor and discuss your options, research different programs online and talk to other people who have done the program you are considering and ask them for their honest opinion on the pros and cons.
So now the part that you’ve all been waiting for… How much have I lost in the first 2 weeks?
I’m going to keep you in anticipation until my last post about how much weight I have lost BUT let’s talk inches. I measured myself before I started the program and I’m so happy that I did. On the days when the scale isn’t budging it’s definitely re-assuring to check those measurements and see that I’m starting to slim down. So without further ado, drumroll please…
Crystal’s Inches Lost In The First 2 Weeks on HCG:
Left Thigh: -1
Right Thigh: -1
Left Calf: -1.5
Right Calf: -1
Left Ankle: – .75
Right Ankle: -.75
Left Arm: – .75
Right Arm: -1.25
Total Inches Lost: 18.75 inches!!!! Crazy right???
I’ve also noticed a bit of a change in my face. The top left photo is taken on the day that I started the program. The bottom right photo was taken today. Can you see a difference?
Have questions about the HCG Weight Loss program? Please feel free to ask questions in the comment field and/or email me. I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability. You can also visit Dr. Polo’s site for more information.
Make sure you check out the posts from my fellow #PoloWeightLoss Blogger Challenge writers! These ladies are killing it!
Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says
Wow – I notice a big change in your face – really amazing progress. I have a lot of trouble with restrictive diets but so glad you are doing well.
Thank you Kerrie! This program is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I haven’t been hungry at all, but I’m not going to lie, I have definitely been tempted at birthday parties and when my family is eating things I can’t.
The change in your face is amazing! It makes me wish I took before photos and did my measurements before I started too!
Thanks Margarita! It’s never too late! Take photos and measurements now. I’m sure there will be some changes before the end of the program. I know that I am going to continue trying to lose weight after the program is over too, so it’s a good thing to check in on, on those days I’m feeling discouraged. 🙂
Adriana Martin says
I admire your courage, I am afraid of this diet I don’t judge you just I am not sure if I would do it because can affect the heart and sugar levels. But congrats on your success and I hope all goes well.
Thank you for your encouragement Adriana!
Randa @ TBK says
I definitely see it in your face. I’m glad you found something that works for you.
Angie@Echoes of Laughter says
Wow! You must be so proud of yourself! That is a lot of work and commitment! And it was so interesting to see what you ate…and you are right…it is a lot of food! I have never heard of this program before, so it was very interesting to read!
Thank you Angie! I am feeling pretty dang proud of myself. I still have a LONG way to go, but what I’ve accomplished so far feels great. 🙂 I thought the same thing about the food. I thought I would be hungry all the time, but nope!
Stephanie Keeping says
You are doing great! Keep up the hard work.
Thanks so much Stephanie!
Ann BAcciaglia says
I can not believe the difference in your face. I am surprised at the amount of food you get to eat for 500 calories. I am going to following your progress!
Thank you Ann. I feel like the difference in my face is pretty incredible too. My face was looking really puffy and bloated looking… but I didn’t realize it until I put all the pictures next to each other!
Thank you for following!
Margarita Ibbott @DownshiftingPRO says
You look great. Every thing you ate looks delicious. I’m happy for you. I’ll keep reading the updates. Good luck !
Thank you so much Margarita! Being a foodie it’s been pretty fun experimenting with the very simple ingredients and making delicious food! I created an apple cookie recipe that is to die for and all that is in it is food processed apples and cinnamon!
Paula schuck says
this is a dramatic difference so far. You look great. I’ll be honest I had never heard of this diet before. What I would like more clarification on though is the HCG hormone stuff. I might actually look that up to get a bit more information about the hormone impact on blood pressure. Only because it seems to be working for you but I have high blood pressure so I want to know then that was okay to do with high blood pressure that’s all.
Thank you so much Paula. I would only recommend doing the HCG program under the care of a medical professional. At my initial appointment we discussed if I was a good candidate for the program, my medical history, prescriptions I was on, etc. HCG is a prescription and as I mentioned in the post, I think that your best chance at success is by doing the program with a doctor who offers support and weekly check-ins throughout the program (before, during and after.)
Julia watson says
Nice information on weight loss.
I worked with a guy that lost a ton of weight (like 60 lbs) on hcg. But just like you say, he ballooned back. He may have even ended up heavier than before.