Monday, September 21, 2009 - KSL 5 News investigates Utah's HCG diet deals

So despite the sensationalized spin, I think this report got it pretty much right.  The details of the diet were right on...and their concerns about what people who order HCG online are really getting echoed my own.  I disagree that there is "no scientific evidence" as there have been several studies done, many supporting the HCG protocol. (See my previous post for more on this.)

I would hope that this report does not damage the availability of this protocol to those who really need it.  It's been an amazing solution to a lifelong struggle for me! I, too, encourage the involvement of a physician as yo begin and the cost of the overall diet has been a bargain compared to some boutique-type health clinics and online sellers that have offered the diet at outrageous prices.  If you do order your HCG online, you might want to verify that it is coming from an authorized physician or pharmacist.

There is a lot of information posted on the KSL website, including the complete report. Check it out and post your comments....tell us what you think!! - KSL 5 News investigates Utah's HCG diet deals

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KSL Investigative Report

Tonight, on KSL 5 at 10pm, there is going to be a story on the HCG diet. I'm interested to see what they have to say about it. The commercials make it seem very controversial, which they tend to do, but I really hope they give it a fair evaluation.  I am especially interested in the "drug dealing" aspect.  It appears from the ads that there is a person buying HCG online with serious consequences, and while I think the rules are fairly ambiguous about buying this stuff on the Internet, I'd like to hear more about what the rules are.

I've been concerned about where people get their HCG, and whether it is really safe. I never really felt comfortable beginning this diet without medical supervision. I always recommend seeing a doctor when you begin this protocol, so that you are sure about what you are doing and are not putting yourself at any unnecessary risks.  However, since the rules for this diet are so straightforward, it is something that can easily be followed without regular visits to the doctor's office. I guess you should weight the pros and cons before you decide. It will be interesting television tonight!  Tune in at 10pm to see it and check back here tomorrow for my review. I'd love to hear your comments as well!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Science of HCG

Before beginning the HCG diet, I did much research concerning the safety and effectiveness of the HCG diet. There are arguments for and against. Critics say that you will lose just as much weight on a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) without the HCG as you will with, and that the HCG has no effect on weight loss.  There is a much cited double blind study in which two groups followed a VLCD, one with a placebo and one with the HCG injections. In this study, both groups lost weight and there was no significant difference between the groups.  However, this study only looked at weight loss.

I just finished reading a very interesting study which did a similar double blind study, but measured more than weight loss.  It looked at BMI, loss of fat tissue, body circumference and irritability. In this study, there was a statisitically significant difference in the HCG group compared to the placebo group.  The HCG group was found to lose more fat tissue and to be less irritable, although no difference was found in body measurements.  It was an interesting article.  You can read about it here.

At any rate, my own experience has been this...I have tried and failed many times to reduce the number of calories I ate and to increase my activity; in short, eat right and exercise.  Before the HCG diet, this only led to increased hunger, frustration, and ultimately a depressing rebound in any weight I had lost.  However, with the HCG, I had a couple days of irritiblilty at the beginning of phase 2, but overall there was very little hunger. I did not feel moody or frustrated at not being able to eat, in part because the pounds dropping off was very emotionally satisfying.  The study showed, and it was true for me, that weight loss is a result of lost fat rather than lost muscle mass as in other VCLD protocols.  There is just something about the way the HCG works on the hypothalamus in the brain.  And, no study has shown any side effects from the use of HCG.

In my own UNscientific research, I found enough information to give this diet a try. I have seen it work for myself and for many others.  They say that if something is too good to be true, it usually is, which is not bad advice. But, after 75 lbs. lost, I've decided that this diet really delivers.  I am my own science project.  If you are serious about losing weight and are willing to follow the protocol to a T, you will see the same results I have.

Do some science of your own! Let us know how your experiment turns out! I would love to share in your success!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jodi's Favorite Cream of Chicken Soup

Effortless Cream of Chicken Soup

  • 100g cooked chicken

  • celery (allowed amount)

  • 1-2 c broth

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 T dehydrated minced onion

  • 1/2 t parsley

  • 1/2 t basil

  • ground white pepper (to taste)

  • salt (optional)
    1. Preheat saucepan over MED-HI heat.
    2. In food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until reaches desired consistency.
    3. Pour into saucepan and bring to boil.
    4. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and heat 20-30 mins.
    5. Serve.

    TIP: For the cooked chicken in this dish, I use the chicken I boiled to make the broth.

    I usually start out by adding 1 c broth to the food processor, and then gradually add more broth until it's the soup consistency I prefer.

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    More Phase 3 Tips!

    I am just ending my 1st week of Phase 3 (no sugar, no carbs) and I'm finding myself questioning everything I'm eating, even though I have been pretty stable on the scale and I thought I had all this down from the last time. In my research, I found a page from HCGDietInfo that has quite a few good tips on it and thought I would share it here.

    It's important to remember that Phase 3 is for stabilization and it is also important to pay attention to which foods affect your daily weigh-ins. A food diary can help with this. Now that I have a little more flexibility in my schedule, it can be easier to lose track of how much I've eaten during the day and I need to make sure that I am keeping my protein intake high--at least double what it was on the VLCD--and a diary or a calorie tracker can help with this as well.

    A great food tracker site which I've used is It offers free membership and an comprehensive list of foods. It can also be customized and keeps track of activity, weight goals and other health indicators.

    If you have other great tips for Phase 3, or for any of the phases, please share them here! I'd also love to hear how you are doing on the diet! Tell me your overall weight loss, so we can share in your success!

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Two of My Favorite HCG Recipes!

    Strawberry Smoothies
    6 large strawberries, sliced
    16 oz. favorite Crystal Light beverage (I like cranberry apple.)
    1 pkg. Truvia (Stevia)
    Liquify all ingredients in blender until desired consistency. Enjoy!!!!

    Ginger Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    3.5 oz Chicken cut into cubes
    3 large cabbage leaves
    chopped cabbage to equal 3.5 oz
    3 T. Balsamic Vinegar
    1 T. Ginger
    1/4 t. onion powder
    1/4. t. salt
    1/4 t. pepper
    Garlic to taste
    In a bowl combine cut chicken, vinegar, seasonings, cook on med-hi until done. At end of cook time, add in chopped cabbage and 3T water. Lower heat and continue cooking until cabbage is cooked. Place chicken mixture into cabbage leaves and roll into wraps. So YUMMY!!!

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Phase 3 of the HCG Diet

    Also known as the first three weeks of the Maintenance Phase, this is the most critical phase of the diet. Your hypothalamus is being reset to your new weight during these three weeks.  It is important that you do not consume any sugars or carbohydrates since they interfere with the hypothalamus' control of your metabolism.  You can eat any foods you like, at any time during this phase, but you cannot have sugar or starches.

    It is also important for you to weigh daily during this period. You should note your weight on the last day of your injection, this is your target weight. You will also need to continue the 500 calorie diet for an additional 72 hours from the time of your last injection.  It takes about 72 hours for your body to rid itself of the HCG in your system.  At the 72 hour mark, you can begin to increase your calories. As you weigh daily, you don't need to worry about any increase unless you go 2lbs over your target weight, even if it is just by a few ounces.  You should also be careful not to lose more than 2 lbs either since this may be a sign that you are not eating enough calories and may put your body back into "starvation mode."  

    There are actually two procedures that I am aware of at this point.  The clinic I went to suggested a Grace Period if you are going to do another session. Basically, you are advised to stick to the VCLD menu & only increase your portions to about double what you had before, roughly 1000 calories.  This Grace Period lasts about 3 weeks at which point you would start Round Two of Phase Two again.

    Dr. Simeons' original protocol and the majority of the research I've done online recommends a period of at least 6 weeks before you begin Round 2 and the only limitation is the sugar and starch rule that I explained earlier.  After the 3-week no sugar/starch period, you would then begin to add back in some of the sugar and carbs you would eat normally and continue in this maintenance phase for the rest of your life, unless you planned to do a repeat round of injections.  This period is sometimes referred to as Phase 4, but it is still the Maintenance Phase.

    At any point during phase 3, should your weigh exceed your target weight by more than 2 lbs, you will do a Steak Day.  A Steak Day calls for you to skip both breakfast and lunch and then eat a big steak and a big apple for dinner.  I'm thinking at least 7 oz for the steak and a fairly large apple.  This will result in an immediate drop of 1-2 lbs the following day.   It seems kind of magical, but those I know who have tried it say it really works.  As of this post, I haven't had to do a Steak Day since my weight has stayed well within the target range.  If you have tried it and want to share your success, post a comment here.

    It is also important to note that if you plan to do more than 2 rounds of Phase 2, the wait period between rounds increases each time.  For instance, it is suggested that you wait 6 weeks between Rounds 1 and 2, and then wait 8 weeks between Rounds 2 and 3, 12 weeks between Rounds 3 and 4, etc.  This is to avoid developing HCG immunity.