I’m done with the Phase 2 portion of the HCG diet, and have moved on to three weeks of a little more lenient eating plan. Still no sugar or carbs and very little fat, but my options have increased dramatically and I can now eat 1200 calories per day instead of 500. For those of you who are considering this type of diet, here are a few tips to help you live through the 28 days of 500 calories.
Purchase the nicest fruits, meats and vegetables you can find. A mealy apple will ruin your whole day when you are so limited.
Three and one half ounces of meat is only five bites. If you drop one and the dog eats it, your spouse may have to restrain you from doing harm to yourself. (You won’t have enough energy to chase the dog, so he is safe.)
Buy all your allowed foods before starting the diet or you will find yourself eating wilted celery sticks because you are ravenous and didn’t plan ahead. Take some time to make salads and sauces so you have them available and ready.
Crystal Light packets in lemon can be used to sweeten up the apple slices, the orange flavor can be used to make an oriental chicken and the berry flavor can be blended up with the strawberries to make a smoothie.
The Walden Farms products are pretty good and can be used as a base for sauces.
Be kind to yourself during this month. Get a pedicure, float in the pool, read a trashy novel. Anything to give yourself a nice treat that doesn’t include food.
Eating out on this diet is a challenge in restaurants, but in Mexican restaurants it’s impossible.
I used more milk in my coffee than was allowed. The benefits outweighed the negatives.
Black coffee with some sugar free hazelnut syrup and poured over crushed ice was a lifesaver.
If you don’t have a good non-stick skillet, invest in one. Same for a steamer.
I can achieve the same results using a little chicken broth and a non stick pan without needing oils or butter.
I’m allergic to Stevia.
I didn’t suffer the DT’s after quitting alcohol cold turkey. That was a relief.
When faced with a cooking challenge, I can deliver!
If your weight loss goal is minimal, some people will criticize your efforts. I heard this a lot: “you’re a size 8? I would KILL to look like you.” I thought this a lot: ” I would kill myself if I looked like YOU.”
You will be hungry. No getting around it. But the hunger is manageable and only slightly annoying. The crystal light drink mixes helped most often when my need to snack hit. Usually in the late afternoons.
It took me 2 weeks to realize ‘unlimited lettuce’ meant I could have a mixed green salad at every meal. It sure amped up my plate both in visual appeal and volume.
Make sure you eat all the perishables in your refrigerator on your load days, or you will be watching the cheese, yogurt, bread and milk die a slow, lonely death.
Don’t leave meals up to chance. If you attend lots of breakfast or lunch meetings, bring backup or you’ll be forced to pick the lettuce and tomato off a sandwich for your meal. Celery sticks and a small piece of cooked chicken will save you from certain death. Go ahead and eat your apple in restaurants; they don’t care.
Unflavored gelatin is a good binding agent for ground beef. Keeps it moist, too. It works well as a thickener too, just soften a little in some cold water for five minutes and then mix into sauces.
Restaurants, as a whole, were unable to manage a meal with the unique dietary restrictions. Or just couldn’t be bothered. I spent most of my limited restaurant mealtime picking out forbidden vegetables from salads (shredded carrots, croutons), asking for items not normally served (red wine vinegar). There was just no creativity when flavoring foods for me. I ate a lot of plain grilled burger patties and chicken breasts.
My cooking is a lot better than most restaurants, no question. It was before, and it is doubly so for unique meals.
I miss exercising. Didn’t think I’d ever say that, but it’s true.
You WILL eat food dropped on the floor if you don’t have a replacement. (And the dog didn’t see it.)
So, would I do this again? I’m not sure. I didn’t lose as much as I anticipated, but I am pretty happy with the results as a whole. I’m on phase 3 now, and will continue to slowly lose weight until I stabilize at my ideal. If I don’t get back into an exercise program I can easily see my weight climb back up – phase 3 is not too much different than what I was eating prior to the HCG program, so the added physical activity will be a must. A number of people mentioned that they would go on this diet if I was the one preparing the meals for them. I’d love to do that for someone, or a group of people all at once (easier for me to make meals in quantity) to help them achieve their weight loss goals. Hit me up, maybe we can work something out!
Here are a few more meals I made with the ingredients I was allowed to have.
Roasted Poblano Chili stuffed with spiced beef and a sauce of adobo chilis and tomatoes.
Mexican style shrimp cocktail and an orange and radish salad
Ginger Orange Chicken over Cauliflower ‘rice’
Roasted Onion topped with a buffalo mayonnaise made with Walden Farms Mayo
Side Salad with Walden Farms Dressing
Lemon poached fish with cucumber and tomato salad