Posts of Interest

If you'd like to read this blog in order, you may want to start with my first post and click "newer post" at the bottom of each page to move on chronologically.

Want to jump straight to my HCG Diet conclusions post?

Questions? Comments? Feel free to send me an email to: fatlosschronicles(at)gmail(dot)com. I am more than happy to respond!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Post HCG Diet - Week 3

I've officially ended the HCG Diet, even though I didn't follow it to the letter during the three weeks afterward. I was far too concerned about re-nutritioning my body to worry about if I gained more than 2 pounds above my last injection weight.

I have gained back 5.2 pounds from my last injection weight day. Am I concerned about this? The answer is the same as last week-- absolutely not. My LBMI went up again this week. That is the important number I need to pay attention to, not what the scale says.

Interesting experience this week-- if you remember this post, I walked a little over 2800 steps to Spanish class. I was in PAIN. This last Friday, I did a 11,000 step hike, and had NO pain whatsoever when I was finished. Since I started eating a full, healthy diet again, my body has apparently done some good repairs.

Also, I've started eating steel cut oats almost every day. My body fat seems to be steadily dropping (even though my weight has creeped up). There's obviously something to be said for whole grains!

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Last Week169.634.9525.016.3
This Week171.634.5625.316.6

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Post HCG Diet - Week 2

This week, I went ahead and added some whole grains back to my diet, namely steel cut oats and a couple pieces of whole wheat bread. I also had one "cheat" day (my anniversary), where we ate some fantastic Thai food over sticky rice. And I ate a cookie and a scoop of ice cream for dessert. But now I'm back being "good" again, avoiding sugar.

My health seems to be improving as I eat a much wider variety of items to get my body back to normal. I'm finally starting to feel well enough to start exercising again. I want to take it easy at first though, since I still feel weaker than before I started the diet. I can finally take a flight of stairs without being out of breath, and my thighs are no longer burning, so that's definitely an improvement.

This week, I gained about a pound and a half. I am just over three pounds over my last HCG injection day weight, which (according to the rules of the diet), I should now have a "steak day". This means that I should skip both breakfast and lunch, and then eat nothing but steak and an apple or tomato for dinner.

I don't think so.

My LBMI is going up again. That means my body is building back lost lean body mass. Once again, it is important to look at more than just the "weight" number. Even though my weight has creeped up slightly, the number that really counts has improved. Why would I want to jeopardize this healthy weight gain by starving myself for two meals? It doesn't make sense.

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Last Week168.035.7624.816.0
This Week169.634.9525.016.3

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Post HCG Diet - Week 1

It's been hard coming off this diet and back into regular eating. My stomach has been cramping up something fierce when it decides it's empty, and it hurts to have the food move through my digestive system. It's starting to ease up, but the first 4 days or so were extremely uncomfortable/on the painful side.

I've been loading up on good fats this week (avocado, nuts, peanut butter, eggs), trying to give my body what it's been craving so much. I've also kept up a goodly amount of protein, and kept my carbs intentionally low. According to, I've been eating approximately 2150 calories per day, of which 21% is carbs, 21% is protein, and 57% is fat.

I've eaten no added sugar, or starchy carbs (with the exception of raw carrots-- wanted the Vitamin A). No grains, though I am planning on adding them back in after the three week period (steel cut oats, germade, beans/legumes). I made my own yogurt, and have only sweetened it with strawberries or applesauce, and with a little agave once or twice.

My period was 4 days later than usual, so I guess the HCG kind of messed with my cycle. Also, I had an unusually light period during the HCG Diet, but am having an unusually heavy one now. I am definitely retaining some water (not unusual for me during my period), so I think that's affecting my weight a bit. I guess we'll see next week if that's true or not. :)

My LBMI is going up again. Yay! I am also pleased that my body has put all that good fat to use, and sent it to protect my organs. Visceral fat is now back up to my normal.

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Last Week166.035.2524.515.9
This Week168.035.7624.816.0

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pedometer Winner!

I plugged in the numbers over at the trusty, and it spit back this to me:

That means radiobug is the winner of the Omron HJ-112 Digital Premium Pedometer! Congrats! I'll be sending you an email soon to get your contact information. :)

And in other news, JS-Kit comments totally screwed up commenting on my blog. I'm going to have to remove it, and by doing so, it will ruin all the comments previously left here. So I've just gone ahead and decided to disallow commenting altogether-- if you have questions, or would like to contact me, please feel free to send an email!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lean Body Mass

I received a comment that stated, "Does your scale show your water percentage? If you're not taking that into consideration you're not getting the whole picture. If you don't know what you're talking about, perhaps you should keep your "math" and your opinions to yourself."

It seems that my anonymous commenter might want to take a little of his/her own advice. The simple definition of lean body mass is everything in your body, except fat. THIS INCLUDES WATER.

Since I, personally, lost 8 pounds of lean mass, I'm sure water was lost, too. And I highly doubt that I lost 8 pounds of only water-- I'd kind of be hooked up to a rehydrating drip, if that were the case.

The HCG Diet does not target only fat. You WILL lose lean mass, which includes muscle. Educate yourself before jumping into a diet that doesn't give you all the facts right up front. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

HCG Diet - What the Numbers REALLY Mean

Ok, this post will contain a lot of math. Mathphobes, you have been warned. :)

I've had some people be a bit confused with the math on figuring out fat loss vs. lean mass loss. Hopefully, this will help clarify.

The method of measuring body fat percentage doesn't matter too much-- it still gives you the same end result. A body fat percentage. It's what you DO with those numbers that shows the real results.

Let's start with a 265 pound woman. For ease of the math, we will make the assumption that on her first round of hcg, she will lose 25 pounds, and drop 3 percent of body fat.

So, she gets measured, and has the results of:

265 pounds, 39% body fat (61% lean).

Afterwards, she gets the results of:

240 pounds, 36% body fat (64% lean).

Well, hey! Those numbers look freaking awesome! I mean, according to the simple look at the numbers, she lost weight and body fat, and *gained* lean.

Not so, grasshopper.

265 times 39% body fat = 103.35 pounds of body fat
240 times 36% body fat = 86.40 pounds of body fat

103.35 - 86.40 = 16.95 pounds of fat lost on first round of HCG.
25 total pounds lost - 16.95 pounds of fat = 8.05 pounds of lean mass lost on first round of HCG.

If you turn those into percentages, we've got:

Total percent fat lost (from 25 pounds): 67.8%
Total lean lost (from 25 pounds): 32.2%

Following me so far? Now we will assume she kept the same stats, and started HCG round two. 25 pounds/3% body fat were lost again. Once more, the simple numbers look astounding! 25 more pounds gone, down to 33% body fat, and lean percentage has gone up to 67%. Again, you have to do the math to get the numbers that tell you what really happened:

240 times 36% body fat = 86.40 pounds of body fat
215 times 33% body fat = 70.95 pounds of body fat

86.40 - 70.95 = 15.45 pounds of fat lost on second round of HCG.
25 total pounds lost - 15.45 pounds of fat = 9.55 pounds of lean mass lost on second round of HCG.

Convert to percentages:

Total fat lost (next 25 pounds): 61.8%
Total lean lost (next 25 pounds): 38.2%

Are you starting to see the trend yet? The less you weigh when you start this protocol, the more muscle you will lose. Let's say she does two more rounds. She starts at 190 pounds/30% body fat.

190 times 30% body fat = 57 pounds of body fat
165 times 27% body fat = 44.55 pounds of body fat

57 - 44.55 = 12.45 pounds of fat lost on fourth round of HCG.
25 total pounds lost - 12.45 pounds of fat = 12.55 pounds of lean mass lost on fourth round of HCG.

Convert to percentages:

Total fat lost (for the fourth set of 25 pounds): 49.8%
Total lean lost (for the fourth set of 25 pounds): 50.2%

THIS is what scares me. The closer you get to your goal weight, the more lean mass you lose. This woman lost more lean mass than fat this time around! Each subsequent hcg round causes you to lose MORE muscle.

If we calculate ALL her stats from the beginning, we get:

Pounds lost: 100
Body fat percentage lost: 12%

Looks fantastic, right? Well, let's (once again) do the math:

Starting weight: 265 pounds times 39% body fat = 103.35 pounds of fat
Ending weight: 165 pounds times 27% body fat = 44.55 pounds of fat

103.35 - 44.55 = 58.80 total pounds of body fat lost
100 - 58.50 = 41.20 total pounds of lean mass lost

Convert to percentages:

Total body fat lost (for 100 pounds): 58.8%
Total lean mass lost (for 100 pounds): 41.2%

That's starvation diet percentages, folks. And the less you weigh when you start hcg, the more lean muscle you will lose doing the protocol.

People need to look at their numbers at more than just the face value they present. You need to put some math skills to use to see what they really mean.

Knowledge is power.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

HCG Diet True and False: "Pounds and Inches"

I've pulled some quotes from "Pounds and Inches", the bible of HCG weight loss. From my personal experience, I will give each quote a true or false rating, and my reasons for that rating.

"...I found that as long as such patients were given small daily doses of HCG they could comfortably go about their usual occupations on a diet of only 500 Calories daily and lose an average of about one pound per day."

TRUE. I was only truly hungry for about 4-5 hours on the second day of the low calorie diet, but only mild hunger about an hour before meals and at bedtime near the end of the treatment.

"...we find that the injection of only 125 units per day is ample to reduce weight at the rate of roughly one pound per day...when associated with a 500-calorie diet."

TRUE. I lost .75 pounds per day while on the low calorie diet.

"During menstruation no injections are given, but the diet is continued and causes no hardship..."

TRUE. During my period, I did not take injections. I was able to continue the low calorie diet during those days with minimal hunger increase.

(regarding "gorging" days) "It is necessary to proceed in this manner because the gain re-stocks the depleted normal reserves, whereas the subsequent loss is from the abnormal deposits only."

FALSE. Subsequent loss is not "abnormal deposits only". I lost not only muscle mass and water, but also structural fat (which is claimed that you do not lose). My visceral fat definitely dropped, and it is vital structural fat to protect your organs.

"we have never encountered a significant protein deficiency nor signs of a lack of vitamins in patients who are dieting regularly."

FALSE. Because of previous experience, I know that a lack of Vitamin E in my body causes raw, itchy patches of skin to form in certain spots on my hands. Those spots came back not long into the diet, and stayed there the whole time (until I was off HCG, and supplemented with Vitamin E again).

"Towards the end of a full course, when a good deal of fat has been rapidly lost, some patients complain that lifting a weight or climbing stairs requires a greater muscular effort than before. They feel neither breathlessness nor exhaustion but simply that their muscles have to work harder."

FALSE. I take stairs regularly at work. I don't use elevators. By the time I was in my last week of the HCG Diet, I was out of breath by the time I climbed one flight of stairs. My muscles burned and shook from the effort. (Mind you that I used to be able to take 7 flights of stairs at one go, no stopping, less than 3 years ago.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

HCG Diet Conclusions

Let's look for a moment at my final statistics:

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI

And my final measurements:


When you see the numbers above, it looks pretty good at first glance. I lost almost 20 pounds, my body fat dropped 2.5% and I lost a total of 9.0 inches. My BMI is now in the "healthy" range.

Let's discuss the numbers a little further.

Fat Loss vs. Lean Body Mass Loss

Pounds of fat lost: 11.46
Pounds of lean body mass lost: 7.94

This was the main information I wanted when I first started the HCG Diet-- what is the true amount of fat lost on this diet vs. the amount of lean mass lost? After all, I'm a skeptic, and I have never heard of rapid weight loss that did not also cause you to lose muscle.

I lost almost EIGHT POUNDS of lean body mass. Eight pounds, folks. That's a LOT. In a typical "starvation" type fad diet, anywhere from 40-60% of the weight lost will be lean mass (including water weight). Let's do the math:

Percentage of my HCG Diet weight lost - fat loss: 59%
Percentage of my HCG Diet weight lost - non-fat loss: 41%

In my opinion, the HCG Diet is just like any other starvation diet out there today, as far as end results. Only 59% of my weight loss was actual fat. Included in that fat loss was a drop in my visceral fat-- this is needed structural fat, the kind that HCG is supposed to prevent. I am here to tell you that it most certainly DID NOT protect me from losing vital fat. And it certainly didn't protect me from losing vital muscle.

Inches Lost

I lost a total of 9.0 inches. Let's examine the lost inches a little more carefully.
  • Thigh: 2.25 inches. I have been feeling weakness and burning in my thighs during the diet. My thighs have been doing muscle twitching, I have lost strength in them and have a difficult time climbing stairs (which has never been a problem for me in the past). Considering that I obviously lost 8 pounds of lean body mass (including muscle), this would be my first guess as to where some the lost muscle came from. Second guess would be my bum, since it has flattened out and I can really feel my "sit bones" when I'm on a hard chair now.
  • Hips: 2 inches. My pants have become looser around the hips and thigh area. I was having pain in my hips while walking. Again, I suspect muscle loss in the glutes, and probably some fat around the edges.
  • Bust: 3 inches. Well, since boobage is basically all fat, I am assuming that I lost almost all fat weight from my bust. As per my usual weight loss tradition, I lose my bustline first.
  • Arm: 3/4 of an inch. Probably a combo of muscle and fat.
  • Waist: 1 inch. Ok, this surprised me. Really surprised me. This diet is supposed to get rid of belly fat more than anything else. Normally, when I've dropped back to 166 pounds, my jiggly tummy has gone down. Not this time. It's still there. My pants are almost as tight around my waist as when I started. I still have my "muffin top".
I've noticed that my weight has definitely shifted around-- in my first "before" side view picture, my back is more swayed. I'm standing straighter in the "after" shot. I can feel it, too-- with my back problems, the pain has increased slightly (even with the weight drop!) as my body gets used to less muscle to support my back (glutes and thigh muscles).


My BMI dropped a total of 2.9 points. That puts me into the high end of the "healthy" BMI category. My LBMI, on the other hand, has DROPPED 1.2 points. Remember, this is the ratio of your body fat vs. lean mass for your height. When I started, I was at 17.1 (anything 17.0 or above is healthy). I moved from the "healthy" into the "unhealthy" category within the first week, and never recovered.

This is BAD, folks. If you're saying to yourself, "Well, she did lose more fat weight than muscle", you're not understanding the whole picture here. Losing muscle is very unhealthy. It signals incredible stress on your body, which is doing the best it can to ward off starvation. Your body will always go to the muscles first and attack them, as muscle burns more energy. When you limit your energy intake (calories), muscle will disappear first (and subsequently drop the water it holds). There is no doubt in my mind that my body went into starvation mode.

Overall Opinion

Do I think the HCG Diet is a healthy way to lose weight? Do I believe that the HCG Diet is a good choice to lose unwanted fat? Do I believe the HCG Diet is safe?

The answer is an unequivocal NO.

Would I ever recommend this diet to friends or family? I cannot, in good conscience, EVER recommend this diet to anyone.

If you are reading this, and considering the HCG Diet, I implore you to find healthier ways of losing your unwanted fat. Exercise. Eat better. Lower your stress. But please, please, PLEASE do not starve yourself. The HCG Diet will do exactly that-- cause you to go into a state of starvation, even if you don't feel ravenously hungry because of the injections.

I am not better off now than I was a month ago. In fact, I have a long way to go to regain my lost muscle. I have a lot of work ahead of me, and I cannot say that the HCG Diet was an asset to my health.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

After HCG

Ok, now it's time for picture show-and-tell. The photos to the left are "before" and the photos to the right are "after".



Ending Measurements

Weight: 166.0
Body Fat: 35.2%
Visceral Fat: 5%
BMI: 24.5
Lean Body Mass Index: 15.9

Arm: 11.5"
Waist: 39"
Hips: 43"
Thigh: 22.25"
Bust: 42"

Tomorrow, I will discuss my results and opinions regarding the HCG Diet!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 29) --FINAL DAY--

Second day of no HCG. I was only hungry for a bit before lunch, a little before dinner, and before bedtime.

"After" pictures and measurements in tomorrow's post, and my opinions regarding this diet will follow in a future post!

Tomorrow morning at 6am, it will have been 72 hours since my last injection. Know what that means? That means I am having scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast! :)

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: chicken (110), 3 cups spinach (21), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 570

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI