Monday, August 31, 2009

Dr. ATW Simeon vs. Kevin Trudeau

I am finishing up my last week of HCG injections for Round Two this Wednesday!! In my research--I'm trying to prepare again to take on this very important phase--I came across a very different protocol than the one that I was familiar with.  It turns out that the original HCG protocol that was designed by Dr. ATW Simeon is much simpler and less overwhelming than the one outlined by Kevin Trudeau in his book called The Weight Loss Cure (or something like that).  I have never read the book, but the websites that cited his version call for a much longer list of foods to avoid including things like preservatives, ice water and artificial sweeteners--anything man-made or chemical.  It may very well work, but my experience has been that Dr. Simeons protocol works just fine and is much easier to follow.

In short, Dr. Simeons' protocol, which is available as a free download in the sidebar, says that you may eat any food that you like only avoiding sugars and carbohydrates.  You do need to weigh yourself daily and if an increase of more than two pounds occurs, then you do a Steak Day which results in an immediate drop of 1-2 lbs.  A Steak Day is when you skip breakfast and lunch and eat a big steak and big apple for dinner.  Supposedly, it works like magic!  I never had to try it after my 1st round because I never gained enough to warrant it.  In other words, the diet worked for me without all the bells and whistles that Trudeau's diet calls for.

I suppose it is up to you which diet protocol you prefer. As for me, I look forward to the Jello Sugar Free Pudding and Blue Bunny No Sugar Added Bunny Tracks ice cream-in moderation, of course-as my reward for making it this far!  I'd love to hear which protocol you are using and which you like best! Leave a comment and let us know!

Eating out on the HCG Diet

Even if you love to cook, sometimes food just tastes better when it's prepared by someone else! But frequent restaurant outings are part of what got me into trouble in the first place. In the beginning of the HCG diet,  I tended to avoid Girls Night Out and other social activities because these things almost always involve FOOD and lots of it!  But soon I found that there were several local restaurants that offer an HCG menu and that I could adapt several menu items at my favorite restaurants as well.  It's true that options are still limited and temptation is high, so if you need to eat out, firm your resolve and make a plan ahead of time.

In St. George, you can find the following options:

  • The Palms restaurant, located in the Holiday Inn on Bluff Street, offers a simple phase 2 menu for around $5.00.  They offer all the available options from both the meat and veggie list. 
  • Rise and Dine, located next to Costco,  offers a great HCG menu for both Phase 2 and Phase 3.
  • Green Valley Spa has an HCG menu that can be delivered to your door. I haven't tried these, but they look delicious.  A little more expensive, but they'd be a great option for a busy schedule. A link to their menu is in the sidebar or visit
  • Also Signature Suppers, located in the Boulevard Commons across from Smith's, has specially prepared meals for pick-up or delivery.  Check out their menu at
Other restaurants can customize your orders to fit the HCG protocol as well.  Just be sure that they are not using any oils, butters, or marinade in the preparation.  Ask for vegetables to be steamed and bring your own Walden Farms dressing or use vinegar and lemon on salads.  Don't be shy about asking for a custom order. I have found people to be very helpful and a lot of times the server has recognized that I am on the HCG diet and it leads to a great conversation as well.  
Good Luck! Be sure to share any tips you have learned or new places you've found in the Comments section! 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tips for Spicing Up the P2 Diet

When I first heard about the 500 calorie diet, my first thought was that I can eat that in 2 spoonfuls of my Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter Cup Perfection with chocolate dipped waffle cone!!! (Yum, btw.) It was a surprise to me that I could actually handle the VLCD with little to no hunger while on the shots.  I admit, again, that I was hungry (and grumpy) the first few days, even with my Phase 1 binge, but I soon adjusted and handled the diet just fine.  

A couple things I learned to make this phase a little easier:

  • You will need a good digital scale that measures in ounces.  Accurate measurement can make the difference between frustration and success. 
  • No anti-stick cooking sprays allowed on this diet.  The best way to keep your food from sticking is to de-glaze your pans with a bit of water while cooking.  It also keeps the meat tender and moist, and with steak, it makes a yummy gravy like sauce too!  
  • Invest in spices, but check the contents. Some spices also contain sugar which is a no-no.  Vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, ginger, onion powder, basil, oregano, and many others work great!
  • There is a line of products called Walden Farms which is allowed on this diet.  They contain no calories, no carbohydrates, no sugar, no gluten, but they are pretty tasty and a little goes a long way.  I really like the BBQ sauce, the Raspberry Vinaigrette, and the Asian dressing.  They also have jams, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, marshmallow cream, and peanut butter.  I have a link to the Walden Farms website in the sidebar or you can click here. Many health food stores also carry this line.  Harmon's food stores also carry a fairly complete line of Walden Farms products.  
  • I found several good recipe websites which I have also posted in the sidebar.  Be sure that the recipes are for the phase you are in though. Some of the sites I found did not differentiate between Phase 2 and Phase 3 recipes, but you can tell by the ingredient list. If it includes items that are not allowed in Phase 2, don't try it or save it for later. I will also be posting my favorite recipes.
  • Grissini bread sticks and Melba Toast are optional as snacks or for use in recipes.  I never enjoyed them as snacks but you can crumble them up to make coatings for chicken or to add some crunch to a salad. 
If you have any great ideas, or tips on making the diet easier, please leave a comment.  Remember, phase 2 is when your brain is relearning how to process fat in your body.  You are making changes now that will ensure your future success!  Be strong and stick to it!  

Friday, August 28, 2009

Phase Two of the HCG Diet

Phase Two is the Very Low Calorie Diet phase, also referred to as VLCD.  During the VLCD phase, you are limited in the foods you can eat.  I thought this would be super hard, but I was surprised to find that it was only moderately hard.  In fact, I really liked the structured lack of choices.  I knew what I was going to eat every day and exactly how no menu planning, or going back for seconds, or coping with the guilt of making the alfredo sauce with heavy cream instead of half and half.

The basic daily diet is as follows:

No Breakfast.
Although, you can drink Crystal Light, or coffee/tea (2 T. of milk as creamer), or 2 cans of diet soda throughout the day.  I usually drink Crystal Light first thing, followed by 16 oz. of water.

9am- Snack--Fruit options are: 1 apple, 1 orange, 6 Strawberries, or 1/2 grapefruit.
To me, apples are the most filling and I stuck with them for the most part.

12noon- Lunch--3.5 oz (100 grams) of protein, 3.5 oz (100 grams) of vegetable.
Meat options include: lean steak, chicken breast, white fish such as tilapia, cod, haddock, halibut, also shrimp, lobster, crab.
Veggie options include: cabbage, celery, onions, tomato, lettuce, broccolli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach.
Only one kind of veggie at a time--no mixed vegetables.

3pm-Snack --Same as morning snack.

6pm-Dinner--Same as Lunch.

This can get kind of boring, I will admit.  In my next post, I will share some of the tricks I've learned for spicing things up a bit! The key to phase 2 is to STICK TO THE DIET!  There is nothing magical about the shots that help you to resist temptation, so it is up to you to stay strong.  The first 3 weeks are the most critical because this is the time that your brain is being reprogrammed to use the fat in your body for energy.  After the first 3 weeks, a mistake won't be quite as costly but it will set your weight loss back a few days.  This phase only lasts 40 days--you can do it!

Phase One of the HCG Diet-My Favorite!

The first phase of the HCG diet is your loading phase. I LOVED THIS PHASE! Two days of pure unadulterated indulgence. I had friends start this phase and they went out and got a shake on the second night. That was their BIG SPLURGE. Please don't waste this phase! If you ever wanted something fat and tasty and good, now is the time. Eat as many high fat/high calorie foods as you can during this 2-day loading phase. Pasta, doughnuts, ice cream, whatever. Nothing is off-limits during phase 1.

The purpose of this is to make sure your body has extra fat stores to use while the HCG begins working. It takes up to 3 days for the HCG to kick in and begin to burn enough fat to supplement your 500 calorie diet.

In other words, your body must have fat to burn while you begin the 500 calorie diet or you may get too hungry and give up on the diet altogether. Make sure you are following your doctor's recommendation for Phase 1.

A Word About Cleansing: Some websites recommend a month-long cleansing period, which they also call Phase One of the HCG diet. I did not know about this until after I had completed one session and I do not think it is necessary to the success of the HCG diet. And it certainly doesn't sound like as much fun!

My Before and After

Here's the proof! It's hard for me to believe I am the same person!

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And I'm not done yet...check back for more updated photos soon!

Why I love the HCG Diet!

Let me introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I've started this HCG Diet blog! My name is Tonya and I've become somewhat of an expert on the HCG diet. Not because I am a doctor or had any special training, but because I've used this diet plan and I've had GREAT success.

Before I began the HCG diet, I weighed (deep breath as I'm about to divulge this deeply hidden secret) 320 lbs!!! Now, I grant you that I am tall (6'1"), and I carried the weight well or so I was told, but it was beginning to have very significant effects on my overall health and well-being. The final straw for me was when, not once, not even twice, but three times in my 38th year someone mistook me for my husband's mother! No offense to my actual mother-in-law, but talk about a major blow. That was it...I decided to take drastic measures. I looked into many different diet plans, I'd done Weight Watchers before with limited success, and even went to a Surgical Weight Loss Seminar, but the cost and the surgery itself put me right off.

In my searching, I spoke with several of my acquaintances who were having great success with HCG...they looked amazing and had nothing but good to say about this diet. I did more research online and found Dr. Simeon's original HCG protocol and was surprised to find that it has been in use since 1945 throughout the world and I was intrigued. I also found plenty of controversy-but to my mind none of the arguments against HCG were very solid. I decided I would try it. I found a clinic that would give me a consultation and got started.

Within the first two weeks, I had lost 16 lbs! And by the end of the first round of HCG shots (about 6 weeks later), I had dropped 35 lbs total. I entered the Grace period, knowing I would do another round at the end of summer, and during the initial 3 week phase 3 period I lost another 7 lbs. bringing my total to 42 lbs. Throughout the summer, I gradually returned to a pretty normal eating pattern (phase 4), albeit I was much more aware of portions and sweets, but I didn't gain a single pound back.

As I write this post, I am just finishing my second round of HCG shots and I have lost another 28 pounds! That's a total of 70 lbs--from 320 to 250!!

The HCG diet has given me my life back! For the first time in 15 years, I am seeing the real me in my reflection and I am so glad to be back! Because of my success and maybe my very vocal recommendations, I have been asked by many friends and family members about my experience....and so this blog is born.

I am hoping that I can provide people who are thinking about this diet with the motivation, resources, and tips they need to reclaim their own lives and find success in weight loss. It's easier than you think, and it really works!