My doctor told me to load for 2 days (even though many who follow Dr. Simeons’ original protocol load for 3 days, as that’s what his original instructions state).
Please note: I used the sublingual homeopathic pills my doctor gave me (with a daily dose of 500IU of HCG) and this came with a booklet with instructions based on Dr. Simeons’ original Pounds & Inches protocol. I joined a support group on Facebook that follows the original protocol so I ended up following a mix of the two.
For the most part, they are very similar. Here are the differences that affected me:
- My booklet said load for 2 days, not 3, so I did. I found my first week really difficult because I didn’t load enough fat and I didn’t do it for long enough. I would recommend following original P&I protocol here and loading for 3 days.
- My booklet allowed vegetarians like me the option of consuming a protein powder for one of my daily proteins, so long as it was under 110 cals a scoop and had at least 20g of protein, and was only sweetened with stevia. I used Designer Whey vanilla and it met all of these requirements (except it only had 18g per scoop, but was only 100 cals, so I usually used a gently heaped scoop). Original P&I protocol do not allow protein powders in Phase 2 (the VLCD – very low-calorie diet – phase). I still lost using protein powder every other day so don’t see an issue with this.
- My booklet said no oils whatsoever. The support group I joined said that 2 tbsp of unrefined, organic, cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil is not absorbed as calories by the body, rather it is treated as a supplement. Thank God for this! I chose to follow it and continued to lose having 2 tbsp a day. If you mix 2 tbsp coconut oil with 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I recommend Hershey’s brand) and some drops of liquid chocolate stevia with a dash of sea salt and then freezing it into chocolate saved my life on this diet. I used to eat this as a treat prior to HCG and it was the thing I looked forward to most every day, and it helps keep you regular (the cocoa powder has a bit of a laxative effect and the oil lubricates and keeps things moving smoothly…helpful when you’re not eating much!).
- My doctor said I could eat up to 800 calories a day, whereas original protocol says 500. My doc said 500-800 should be fine, but to be honest I tried to stick to 500 calories. This was tough in the first week or two when I was hungry, but in week 3 I wasn’t hungry at all and it was a struggle to even eat 500. I would stick to 500 if you can.
So with those differences in mind, I popped my first sublingual pill and started loading! I thought this would be fun but halfway through day 1 I already hated it. I wasn’t used to stuffing my face as I had never eaten poorly before, and eating this much fat made me feel stuffed, bloated and uncomfortable all day – plus I had to work all afternoon on a photoshoot. Feeling that fat and bloated looking at swimsuit models all afternoon wasn’t that fun!
Note: I strongly recommend loading clean. This means fat, sure, but limit the sugar. Tons of sugary, fatty treats will just lead to worse detox symptoms in week 1. Think tons of eggs, guacamole, toast with thick layers of butter and nut butters, and maybe something as a treat that you’ll miss (like full-fat cheesecake or, for me, I had one Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar).
Still, here’s what I ate today:
- Breakfast was poached eggs with much more Hollandaise sauce than I would usually have (I’m not great with gluten so I nixed the English muffin, otherwise this would have been eggs Benedict!) and fried potatoes with ketchup. I ate this out at my favourite breakfast diner – they make the best poached eggs!
- I picked up groceries for my first week of HCG and got some treats, too. A white chocolate Milkybar, a bag of Cadbury’s Buttons, a Haagen-Dazs cookies’n’cream ice cream bar and a slice of chocolate cheesecake.
- I came home and started on the cheesecake but didn’t like it, so ditched it 3 bites in. I had the ice cream bar instead but then felt sick from a sugar rush. No fun!
- Had a handful of buttons and headed out to work. On my way home from work I stopped by my favourite Mexican restaurant and picked up some fish tacos and guacamole with chips. I then made a chilled chocolate torte out of soaked cashews and hazelnuts. It’s a nut-based raw vegan dessert I love (here’s the recipe) but it’s exceedingly decadent. I had book club the next night and planned to take the remaining slices along.
Went to bed feeling really uncomfortable and stuffed. No measurements or weigh-ins today. I keep a daily journal so with each day’s post I will include an excerpt of some lines I wrote about the diet. Here were today’s:
“This fat loading thing isn’t nearly as fun as you’d think it’d be! I gave it my best shot while trying to avoid sugar crashes. …For planning, I wrote out what I would need to eat each day next week so that the forethought is taken care of. It sounds a little mundane but I’m starting safe so if I add a new food in Week 2 and my losses stall, I have a good idea of what’s causing it. I’ve got this!”