HCG Diet Plateau Causes
During the HCG diet you will experience rapid weight loss initially, and there may come a point when you experience a plateau, or a drop off in the speed of your weight loss or sometimes even a weight gain (which is usually due to water retention). If this happens you don't need to worry, as there are several ways you can combat a plateau and get back on track. Keep in mind that there can be several reasons for a plateau, and if you have been following the HCG diet protocol properly you shouldn't worry because the weight loss will resume normally after three days or so.
Otherwise, there could be several reasons why you are experience a plateau, and you will need to go through a list of reasons and eliminate the potential causes. Below are some of the main reasons why you may be experiencing a plateau on the HCG diet:
Water retention - this is the most common cause of what seems to be a plateau. Water retention can happen for both men and women, but it tends to happen more for women towards the end of the diet. This problem can be solved by drinking more water and monitoring your weight, and it will resolve itself once the diet is finished or within a few days. Women may also see weight gain during their period, and this again should not be alarming and they should continue on the diet as it will resolve itself. However, women should stop the HCG medication during their period.
Eating outside - don't convince yourself that eating outside is alright when on the HCG diet. You simply can't control the ingredients for the foods you eat when you eat outside, and you run the risk that you are going to eat something that will interfere with HCG unknowingly. Do your shopping ahead of time to reduce the chance that you'll have to resort to eating out.
Too much fat intake - you have to be careful with the proteins that you consume on the HCG diet. For instance, although lean beef is allowed on the HCG diet, it is hard to control the quality of the beef that you purchase. Grain fed beef is higher in fat than grass fed organic beef, and the extra fat may affect the HCG hormone. Remember that your fat intake has to very minimal while on the diet and that protein will be the main source of fat. If you find that you are consuming a lot of beef on the HCG diet try to reduce your intake or switch to a different protein with lower fat like chicken breasts or white fish and see if there is a difference in your weight loss.
Not counting calories - you have to be careful to not go over (or under) the 500 kcal daily limit for the diet, and you need to count your calories for each meal in order to ensure this. When you don't count calories you run the risk of consuming too many or too few calories per day and you won't know how many you are consuming each meal, even if you are eating the right foods.
Exercising too much - when you exercise too much during Phase 2 you are not helping yourself lose weight because you are putting extra strain on your metabolism, and the HCG will not be as effective at burning your abnormal fat. To avoid this be sure to exercise a maximum of 30 minutes per day and keep the intensity low with light walking or light swimming only.
Using oil based cosmetics and lotions - although it may seem hard to believe, lotions and cosmetics with oil ingredients will actually interfere with HCG, and clinical studies performed by Dr. Simeons and other HCG researchers have found that oil based cosmetics are detrimental to the diet. Try to avoid using them altogether and if you have to use any cosmetics make sure that they are oil free or water based cosmetics.
Using artificial sweeteners - although artificial sweeteners do not have sugar in them they are not allowed on the HCG diet, and will definitely cause side effects and other issues if you consume them during Phase 2. The only sweetener that can be used is stevia; all others including both artificial and natural sweeteners have to be avoided due to their potential harmful side effects (of which there are many).
What to do when you reach a plateau
Now that you know what some of the most common causes for HCG diet plateaus are, you should first eliminate all the potential causes for your plateau to try to figure out what is going on. In most cases, if you only plateau for 3-4 days or less and your weight loss continues afterward, you will not need to make any adjustments at all. Otherwise if you find that are eating too much fat, using the wrong sweeteners, exercising too much or making another mistake you should correct those mistakes and continue on with the diet. If your plateau lasts longer than 5-6 days then you can definitely try one of the plateau breakers.
A Green Apple day is one plateau breaker that you can try which involves only eating six green apples and drinking water throughout the entire day. You should also reduce your fluid intake by one half of what you normally drink. This should only be attempted for one day and no other food is allowed during the Green Apple day. Another plateau breaker is the Steak Day which involves eating a large portion of steak for dinner along with one green apple and nothing else but water.
You should eat only organic apples and grass fed beef for these plateau breakers for the best results. Both of these plateau breakers are designed to eliminate excess water retention and also may help detox you from the effects of non-organic foods or ingredients that you may have consumed over the past week or two. These plateau breakers are never meant to correct mistakes or cheating, and should not be relied upon for anything but a last resort after you try to eliminate all the other potential causes of a plateau. The best way to deal with mistakes is to just correct them and resume the diet.
Having success on the HCG diet requires vigilance and the willingness to stick to the protocol and catch yourself as soon as you deviate. You will see great results on the diet even if you slip up once or twice, but the fewer mistakes that you make the more fat that you will lose on the diet. Stick to every requirement of the protocol because it has been tested and is perfectly designed for you to lose as much weight as safely as possible, and if you do end up plateauing don't worry because most of the time it will correct itself as long as you are doing everything right. For more information on the HCG diet, or to get started on the HCG diet now, click here.