Cheating on HCG!
It happens to the best of us, and we certainly hope it doesn't happen to you (oh, we REALLY hope it doesn't happen to you-this round or any other HCG round) but chances are, if you have a good amount of weight to lose, you're going to make a mistake somewhere along the way. Hey, we're human. So, at this point, you may be saying, "Now what?" There may be a million different thoughts going through your head, and there may be some overwhelming feelings too...guilt, shame... you get the picture.
So, let's talk... We all know that cheating is NOT GOOD, and it can keep you from seeing progress, but if you have cheated on the HCG diet, the first and one of the most important steps to get back on track is to try not to beat yourself up. We all make mistakes. You're human, and you're on a very challenging weight loss plan. If you've struggled with your weight for any length of time, odds are, you've battled food temptation before. So, cut yourself some slack. Sometimes food can get the better of us. It doesn't mean that we're bad people, or that we're "just meant to be big". (I hate that excuse). Try to think of the HCG diet as kind of like a learning and growing process. If you haven't already, you are going to learn SO much about yourself and the diet through this process. Yes, we want you to complete the diet as perfectly as you can so that you get the best results, but if we were all completely perfect we wouldn't need to diet in the first place, right?
Should you stop the diet?
A lot of people on the HCG diet tend to feel that they should stop the diet or start over when they cheat or have one weak moment. There's no need to do this! Don't let one mistake dictate your outcome. We can totally understand just wanting to scratch the whole thing and start again fresh, and it's frustrating because you really wanted to "do this right." Trust us, we know, and we understand, but one slip or even God forbid two slips (yikes) shouldn't stop you from continuing on and reaching your goals. You still have a chance to keep moving forward and lose the weight you want. So, shake off all those feelings of negativity and disappointment. You're going to get where you want to be. You just gotta hang in there. At this point, if you've made a mistake or had a slip, focus on what you CAN do versus what happened. What can we do to get things back on track? Keeping the focus on the fact that you made a mistake or saying things like "Ah, I've screwed up the diet" will only make you feel worse, and can even make cheating again more probable. Try your best not to fall into the self-pity trap.
What about an Apple Day to fix a cheat?
A lot of times HCG dieters want to go straight for the Apple Day when they've cheated. Here are a few reasons why an Apple Day may not be the best choice to help you recover from a cheat. First and foremost the Apple Day was not really created to fix or correct cheating. Its primary purpose is to help the body break a natural weight loss plateau. On the HCG diet, especially during the second half of a full course of HCG, some dieters tend to see a 4-6 day weight stall. By consuming a few apples and limiting water intake for one day, Dr. Simeons found that the weight loss plateau would be broken, and typically dieters continued to lose weight as before. Unfortunately, the Apple Day protocol has, in some HCG diet translations, been mistaken for a quick fix for cheating, but there is actually quite a few reasons why this might not be the best idea. For one, there is a good amount of sugar and carbs in an apple. If you cheated and gained weight on HCG, wouldn't you probably have eaten something with carbs and sugar? Most likely the answer is yes. So, then why would consuming 4-6 apples which are nothing but carbs and sugar help you lose more weight? The sugar and carb amount in the Apple Day is around 3-4 times more than what's allowed in your normal low calorie day on HCG. The facts just don't seem to add up in order to make this seem like a viable option. Now, on the other hand, there are some dieters out there that claim to have seen some success from this, but if weight loss was seen from an Apple Day, it is most likely only from water loss and will eventually be regained.
Best recommendations to fix a cheat:
There really is no 100 % guaranteed way to fix a cheat on the HCG diet, but there are a few things/ideas that may help.
1. Drink up! Water replacement goes a long way on HCG. Water helps flush out toxins, sodium, and even fat. So make sure you're drinking enough. Don't overdo though.
2. Eat clean. A lot of people wonder how they can eat any cleaner than what they are eating on the 500 calorie HCG protocol. Again, there's really no rule book on how to fix a cheat, but lowering your carb and sugar content may help. Dr. Simeons' mentioned in his original manuscript that if they are not hungry, the HCG dieter can omit anything they wish from the 500 calorie diet.The only thing you can't do is substitute foods or add to the calorie amount. Now, you should never skip meals or lower your calories to try and lose more, but some dieters have found that eliminating the fruit and melba toast/ breadstick and eating only protein and vegetables helped them tremendously to recover from a cheating episode. The calories can be replaced by some extra veggies if you like.
3. Still no exercise. Many HCG dieters tend to think they can simply "burn the extra calories off" with exercise. While on the HCG diet, exercise is not recommended. In normal dieting, calories can be eliminated through exercise, but the HCG diet is different, and adding in exercise will be a disappointing experiment and often leads to extreme tiredness and fatigue as well as increased hunger, which coincidentally makes the probability of cheating again more likely. Might be better to stay away, eh?
Why Chronic Cheating will Only Cheat YOU in the End
Like mentioned above, we are all capable of a slip every now and then i.e. you had a slice of someone's birthday cake at the office, or you had a bad day and ended up eating a whole bag of chocolate candy at home. Again, we understand, but, there are some ways of cheating that will end up cheating you....out of losing weight, that is. If you make a mistake, correct it, and learn from it. That means, DO YOUR BEST NOT TO CHEAT AGAIN. One cheat can set someone's weight loss back a couple of days or more, but chronic cheating can be extremely devastating on the HCG diet. It's kind of like you're just spinning your wheels, for lack of better comparison. You just won't get anywhere, and yes, this includes "bites of things here and there." The scary thing about chronic cheating is this... You can lose fat really fast on HCG, but you can also gain fat really fast as well. Sometimes, we don't think of the HCG diet like that, but weight gain CAN happen on HCG if proper care is not taken to follow the diet correctly AND consistently.
Take action to PREVENT FUTURE CHEATS
Try to prevent any more cheating by figuring out why you cheated in the first place. Was it something that could have been prevented? Taking action by preparing meals ahead of time, scheduling your HCG diet round so it doesn't interfere with vacation, for example, are just a couple of ways to help prevent further cheating and weight loss stalls/weight gain on HCG. In closing, if you have cheated on the HCG diet, or if you are reading this and have identified yourself maybe as a "chronic cheater," Hey, no judgment here, we know the diet is tough. But, we also know that if you stick with it, keep your chin up, and continue the diet correctly or maybe even throw in a couple of the tips mentioned above into your routine, that you will see continued weight loss and success on the program.