After a recent trip to Bali getting into my bathers I decided that I need to lose a few kilos. Not too many. Just enough to take the edge off. I have heard about many people trying the “very low calorie diet” or “hcg diet” it is also called. This is about my personal experience of doing the diet.
Basically it involves taking homeopathic hcg drops, eating only 500 calories/day for 3 weeks. 500 calories is about 1/4 what we need each day. Realistically I didn’t think I would be able to do it, but thought I would give it a shot. For those that know me I am a big eater and never refuse food that is offered to me.
Well, I did manage to do it. For 2 of those days when I went out for dinner it was a disaster sticking to 500 calories. Just doesn’t work when you go out for dinner. I did lose 5kg which previously took me 17 years to put. The 5kg was fat only. No muscle was lost. I could still lose another 3 to get to my ideal weight, but that is fine for now. The rest can come of using traditional methods such as exercise.
During the 3 weeks I didn’t plan to exercise because I wasn’t sure how I would feel, however I did manage to walk the dogs for 1 hour a few times and also a 30km bike ride. I could have done more exercise and found that the days I actually did do exercise the weight just dropped off.
2 things I learned from the program. Firstly what it feels like to refuse food when you really want it. Being offered cheese and crackers and having to say no was quite painful. Again, didn’t think I would be able to do it, but I did.
Second is being able to eat 500 calories only in a day. It did take me 3-4 days to get used to it. Those days were more like 800 calories. Still an amazing effort I thought.
My opinion of the diet is that it is not really a healthy way to lose weight because the fibre content is really low. Liver support is also needed. I would only recommend it to people who really need to lose alot of weight and need it done yesterday, depending other health conditions they have. A more healthy way is to eat smaller portions and eat 500 calories less than your requirements. The weight loss will be a more modest half kg/week.
Last point and probably the most important is that if you are having trouble losing weight just eating a sensible diet and exercising, then it is likely that there is some underlying condition that is preventing you from losing weight. Examples are low vitamin D, hormonal imbalance, adrenal overload, toxins or gut issues. Any of these can prevent you from losing weight and if you lose it via the very low calorie diet it will come back on if you don’t fix the underlying problems.