The short term goal of the HCG Diet is, of course, to lose weight. The long term goal is to keep it off. In order to successfully lose pounds--and more importantly, keep them off—it is preferable to reset (or fix) and increase your base metabolism, which Dr. Simeons’ described as one of the effects of successfully completing the HCG Protocol. These two goals are inextricably entwined. According to Dr. Simeons, in order to successfully affect your metabolism, the HCG Protocol must be followed exactly as described in Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity. Timing is everything, and for a minimum of 21 consecutive days, you'll need to be on top of your game and be sure to execute all directions to the letter. It takes three weeks of daily HCG and a 500-daily calorie diet during the HCG phase to effect the desired changes. If this isn’t followed correctly, the essential metabolic changes may not be as effective as possible and it is more likely that you'll quickly regain the weight you lost.
From the HCG Phase to the Maintenance Phase
When you've reached the end of the HCG phase, you'll stop taking HCG but still follow the 500 calorie diet for 72 hours before moving into the maintenance phase. During the maintenance phase, you'll no longer be restricted to a 500-daily calorie diet, but you'll need to avoid all sugars and starches for the first three weeks. You will also make sure to maintain your weight at its current point (+ or – 2 pounds) in order to establish a new weight set point in your body. This shouldn’t be too difficult because the HCG phase will usually leave you with fewer “bad” cravings like junk food, and a new desire for healthy foods that, shockingly, taste great and make you feel satisfied.
During the maintenance phase, your body will begin to take over the task of ensuring the new weight is maintained, and soon, you won't have to focus on adhering to a specific diet. Rather, you'll eat when you're hungry and ideally make instinctively good choices.
Your odds of achieving the goal of maintaining your weight loss are largely determined by how well you followed the protocol for HCG phase and how well you follow the three-week, post-HCG maintenance phase.
In summary, the HCG Protocol isn't a magical diet, but rather a physiological process of re-setting and optimizing the body's functions. Any deviation from the protocol potentially prevents or diminishes the process of change from occurring as effectively as possible. Therefore, you'll need to be fully prepared, motivated, and ready to go before you begin the protocol. Here are some tips to do just that:
- Read the full manuscript of Pounds & Inches, and make sure you understand exactly how the HCG Protocol works, including knowing the phases of the protocol, and understanding the requirements of each phase.
- Have the right foods on hand before you begin.
- Prepare emotionally to help you focus on adhering to the protocol to the letter.
- Plan ahead for times when you know the protocol may be difficult to follow, such as during a holiday or vacation. Better yet, plan to execute the protocol during a relatively quiet month so that you can adhere more easily.
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