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
Change+2.0-0.4+1+0.3+0.3

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
Change+1.6-0.8-0.1+0.2+0.3

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 fitday.com, 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
Change+2.0+0.5+1+0.3+0.1

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pedometer Winner!

I plugged in the numbers over at the trusty http://www.random.org, 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
Before185.437.7627.417.1
After166.035.2524.515.9
Change-19.4-2.5-1-2.9-1.2


And my final measurements:


ArmThighWaistHipsBust
Before12.2524.540.045.045.0
After11.522.2539.043.042.0
Change-0.75-2.25-1.0-2.0-3.0

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).

BMI and LBMI

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".

FRONT VIEW:













SIDE VIEW:












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
Yesterday166.235.9524.515.7
Today166.035.2524.515.9
Change-0.2-0.700+0.2

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 28)

First day of no HCG. I had a little more low-level hunger throughout the day... I had to find things to do to keep myself busy and occupied, or else I thought about wanting to eat.

One more weigh-in tomorrow, and then I will take some "after" pictures. I will also be posting my opinions regarding the HCG Diet.


Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 1 medium navel orange (80)

Total Calories: 578



WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday166.436.3524.615.7
Today166.235.9524.515.7
Change-0.2-0.40-0.10

Monday, March 23, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 27)

Today was my last injection of HCG. I now need to keep up the 500 calorie diet for an additional 72 hours before I am free to eat anything but starches and sugars for 3 weeks.

I'm getting more hungry as the days progress. I am glad I only have three days left before I can eat more. And the first thing I want is some peanut butter. I bought some good all-natural peanut butter today (no added sugar), and there's some celery just waiting to be covered in it!

Today I was hungry when I woke up, hungry about an hour and a half before lunch, hungry two hours before dinner, and hungry for about a half hour before bed.

Still exhausted. I know people who exercise on this diet, and I don't see how they do it. I am seriously lacking in energy, and I'm eating extra protein and averaging between 500-600 calories a day. My guess is that my vitamin and mineral stores have been severely depleted from such tight calorie restriction.

Interesting results this morning. My total body fat has not changed, but my visceral fat has dropped. Considering that earlier in the month my visceral fat had at one point just popped up to a 7, now it just dipped to a 5. It appears I have lost fat around my organs. Once again, though, my LBMI is dropping.


Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: chicken (110), 1 cup spinach (7), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 1 medium navel orange (80)

Total Calories: 546


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday167.836.3624.815.8
Today166.4 36.3 5 24.615.7
Change-1.4 0 -1.0 -0.2-0.1

Sunday, March 22, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 26)

Last night, I took 4x the amount of potassium again, as well as doubling my magnesium. I felt a little improved today, though I am still more tired than usual. I have had hunger today about an hour before it was time to eat dinner, and had hunger about an hour before bed.


Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)
Dinner: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 10 large strawberries (70)

Total Calories: 578


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday168.036.3624.815.8
Today167.8 36.3 624.8 15.8
Change-0.20 0 0 0

Saturday, March 21, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 25)

Even with taking extra potassium last night (4x my usual amount), my muscle fatigue is back. Not only is it back, but my joints are aching everywhere-- knees, hips, ankles, feet, back. I'm starting to crave eating fatty things like peanut butter, butter, cheese and avocados.

I am exhausted. I feel like I'm sick with something, but I'm not sick. Just calorie deprived. I did get hungry about an hour before lunchtime, and had low-level hunger pangs between lunch and dinner.

My libido has basically disappeared. My interest in many things has waned, and all I want to do is sit down and veg out.

Weight is down, but body fat has once again gone up. LBMI is dropping again.


Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 5 extra-large strawberries (45)

Total Calories: 543


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday168.236.1624.815.9
Today168.0 36.3 624.8 15.8
Change-0.2 +0.2 0 0 -0.1

Friday, March 20, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 24)

I took some extra potassium last night (4x my usual amount), and my muscle fatigue doesn't seem to be quite as bad today. I don't dare walk much, though! That really hurt yesterday.

Still very tired... when I get home, I'm not interested in doing much of anything.

Not really hungry today, except when it was time for meals.

Ok, another 1+ pound loss today. Body fat went up, LBMI went down. It seems that whenever I lose at least a pound, my body fat increases.


Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: 3 slices turkey (90), 3 cups spinach (21), 10 large strawberries (70)
Dinner: chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 540


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday169.435.6625.016.1
Today168.2
36.1
624.8
15.9
Change-1.2
+0.5
0
-0.2
-0.2

Blog Party 2009!

Welcome!

I started this blog to provide REAL information to REAL people researching the HCG Diet. If you, or anyone else you know, are considering losing weight via HCG, I implore you to take some time to read my blog. I made myself a guinea pig so others could learn from my experience what exactly the HCG Diet does to your body.

I'm almost done with it-- another week-- so you've stopped by at a good time!

If you would like to win a free pedometer, enter here!

But please spread the word about this blog to your friends who are considering weight loss. I feel everyone should be educated regarding this current diet trend.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 23)

I am getting more and more tired every day. Less energy. I get winded from going up one flight of stairs at work (I don't use elevators). My muscles feel week, especially my thighs. I'm feeling the effects of an extremely low calorie diet. I've been hungrier, but not terribly so.

Tonight I walked to Spanish class. According to my pedometer, it was just over 2800 steps. OH. MY. GOSH. My hips hurt SO bad by the time I got there, I could hardly walk! A walk like this wouldn't have caused me any problems before I started HCG. Are my joints getting achy because I'm not eating any fat?


Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 2 cups spinach (14), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: 3 slices turkey (90), 12 spears asparagus (39), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 543


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday170.035.6625.116.2
Today169.4
35.6
625.0
16.1
Change-0.6
0
0
-0.1
-0.1

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 22)

A little hungry today. The HCG doesn't seem to be suppressing my appetite as well as it did at the beginning of the diet. My body fat continues to drop, though, and my LBMI seems to be staying steady instead of dropping. This is good!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 3 cups spinach (21), apple slices (90)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 1 cup cooked cabbage (34), apple slices (90)

Total Calories: 575


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday170.435.7625.216.2
Today170.0
35.6
625.1
16.2
Change-0.4
-0.1
0
-0.1
0

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 21)

Only slightly hungry today, between breakfast and lunch. I've been noticing over the past three days or so that some of my muscles are spasming-- my thigh muscle, especially, has been doing a twitch freakout on a fairly regular basis. Very weird. But I have been taking magnesium and potassium nightly, to keep from getting muscle cramps...

Speaking of magnesium, if you're doing this diet, and have problems with constipation, be sure to take magnesium supplements.

Interesting results today-- weight went up, body fat went down. Is my body starting to build back the lost muscle with the fat being released? Seems that might just be so. We shall see what tomorrow brings!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 1 cup broccoli (54), apple slices (90)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 1 cup cooked cabbage (34), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 608


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday169.636.1625.016.0
Today170.4
35.7
625.2
16.2
Change+0.8
-0.4
0
+0.2
+0.2

Monday, March 16, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 20)

I've been a little hungry today, but not too bad. I am looking forward to being done with the VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) so I can eat carrots and bananas again. I miss them!

Good stats today. My body fat appears to be dropping, as well as my weight again. LBMI is inching up, but still has some to go to match what I started out with.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 3 cups spinach (21), apple slices (90)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 12 asparagus spears (39), apple slices (90)

Total Calories: 580


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday170.836.9625.215.9
Today169.6
36.1
625.0
16.0
Change-1.2
-0.8
0
-0.2
+0.1

Sunday, March 15, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 19)

I haven't been hungry today, so I did the skip breakfast thing. I'll make up my calories with veggies at dinner. Mmmmmm....broccoli. :) Even with skipping breakfast, I gained back almost half a pound. I'm thinking that skipping breakfast isn't a very good idea.

Breakfast: water
Lunch: Chicken (110), 8 spears asparagus (26), apple slices (90)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 2 cups broccoli, cooked (108), apple slices (90)

Total Calories: 534


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday170.436.9625.215.9
Today170.8
36.9
625.2
15.9
Change+0.4
0
0
0
0

Saturday, March 14, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 18)

I haven't been hungry today, except when it's been time for meals. Went dancing tonight-- didn't get too tired. It's nice to have the extra weight off me so I don't get exhausted doing something I love.

Lost weight, but body fat is staying about the same (as per my LBMI). Not an appreciable difference either way, except that maybe my pants will be looser tomorrow. :)

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 8 spears asparagus (26), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 12 spears asparagus (39), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 575


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday171.036.8625.315.9
Today170.4
36.9
625.2
15.9
Change-0.6
+0.1
0
-0.1
0

Friday, March 13, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 17)

I've been hungry today between meals. It's not uncomfortable hunger, but by the time I was able to eat dinner at 7:00pm, I was REALLY hungry.

Third day of small weight loss, but body fat has reduced. Very interesting!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 3 cups spinach (21), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 16 spears asparagus (52), 10 large strawberries (70)

Total Calories: 563


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday171.237.5625.315.8
Today171.0
36.8
625.3
15.9
Change-0.2
-0.7
0
0
+0.1

Thursday, March 12, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 16)

No hunger today, except when it was mealtime. I am noticing, however, that my skin is drying out and/or showing signs of stress. I have some spots on my hands that get eczema on them, and I usually can keep it under control by eating a balanced diet that includes healthy fats and supplementing with additional vitamin E. Those spots are coming back with a vengeance, growing and spreading. If it continues to where they're bad enough to ooze (sorry for grossing you out!), I'll have to use vitamin E (which has oil in it). I suspect my lack of consuming fats is playing a large role in my dry skin. The National Institute of Health cautions, "...that low fat diets can result in a significant decrease in vitamin E intake." My normally-on-the-oily-side face is drying out, too.

Interesting. I hardly dropped any weight today (and nothing yesterday), but my body fat decreased for the second day in a row.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 2/3 cup grape tomatoes (18), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 4 cups spinach (28), 8 extra-large strawberries (72)

Total Calories: 538


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday171.437.7625.315.7
Today171.2
37.5
625.3
15.8
Change-0.2
-0.2
0
0
+0.1

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 15)

Today marks the halfway point through the HCG Diet. I haven't been hungry today, except when I had to eat a late dinner. But I wasn't starving, just really hungry when I was finally able to eat. The broccoli (how I love it!) is eating up my daily calories, fast. And the cottage cheese in the mornings... My weight didn't drop, which I suspect has to do with eating so late at night (almost 10pm), and my calories were almost at 600.

Since today is the halfway mark, I will post my current statistics as far as actual body fat lost vs. lean muscle lost. (To figure your "fat pounds", multiply your weight by your body fat percentage number, and divide by 100.)

Beginning fat pounds of body weight: 69.9 lbs.
Halfway fat pounds of body weight: 64.6 lbs.
Total amount of fat lost: 5.3 lbs.
Total amount of weight lost: 14.0 lbs.
Total amount of lean muscle lost: 8.7 lbs.

Halfway through conclusion: I suspect this diet does not deliver as advertised. Yes, weight drops off as quickly as claimed. But it is not all body fat, as the literature would have you believe. Lean muscle is also lost, and at this point, I've certainly lost more muscle than I have fat.

Only 15 more days left for the HCG Diet to redeem itself and melt away the fat!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 1 cup broccoli, cooked (54), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 1 cup broccoli, cooked (54), 10 large strawberries (70)

Total Calories: 598


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday171.438.0625.315.7
Today171.4
37.7
625.3
15.8
Change0
-0.3
0
0
+0.1

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 14)

I've been hungrier today. I wonder if, after you've been off the shots for your period, that you have the two to three days of hunger again. Maybe tonight, in the middle of the night, I won't be hungry anymore again.

My LBMI is still dropping. This is NOT good. More lean muscle lost, not fat!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 3 cups spinach (21), 10 large strawberries (70)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 1 cup broccoli, cooked (54), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 575


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday172.438.0625.415.8
Today171.4
38.0
625.3
15.7
Change-1.0
0
0
-0.1
-0.1

Monday, March 9, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 13)

I don't think I can handle egg whites anymore. The stuff from a box is really, really nasty, I've decided. Starting tomorrow, I'll be eating cottage cheese instead!

Haven't really noticed much hunger, besides when my body has been telling me it's time to eat.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90)
Lunch: 3/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese (120), 3 cups mixed greens (27), apple slices (72)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 4 cups spinach (28), 10 extra-large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 537


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday173.838.4625.615.8
Today172.438.0625.415.8
Change-1.4-0.40
-0.20

Sunday, March 8, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 12)

Started the shots again today. I haven't been hungry at all.

I've been cooking my chicken the last couple days with the rosemary and poultry seasoning; today I decided to try it with Mexican Spice. Not bad at all!

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90), Sugar Plum Spice herbal tea (0)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 3 cups mixed greens (27), 10 large strawberries (70)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 3 cups spinach (21), 12 large strawberries (84)

Total Calories: 512

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday174.838.4625.815.9
Today173.838.4625.615.8
Change-1.000-0.2-0.1

Saturday, March 7, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 11)

Didn't lose much today, but everything else seems to be holding steady. Let's hope that it will be jumpstarted tomorrow when I begin my shots again.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90), Vanilla Hazelnut herbal tea, with 1/2 tsp. xylitol (5)
Lunch: Chicken (110), 2 cups spinach (14), 10 medium strawberries (40)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 5 cups spinach (33), 10 extra large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 494


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday175.238.4625.915.9
Today174.838.4625.815.9
Change-0.400-0.10

Friday, March 6, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 10)

I've been hungry today. Not terribly so, but more just a nagging "Feed me!" kind of signal from my body. I think that yesterday's small deficit of calories did make a difference.

I made the best dinner tonight. I cooked my chicken in a small amount of water, with salt and rosemary in the water, and poultry seasoning sprinkled on the chicken. It was delicious. I accompanied it with steamed spinach and a strawberry smoothie.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90)
Lunch: 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese (160), 3 cups mixed greens (27), apple slices (72)
Dinner: Chicken (110), 4 cups spinach (28), 10 extra large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 577


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday176.438.9626.015.9
Today175.238.4625.915.9
Change-1.2-0.50-0.10

Thursday, March 5, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 9)

I wasn't hungry for breakfast today, so I didn't eat egg whites this morning. I've been dragging, but I don't know if it's because I'm still sick, or that I didn't eat protein this morning.

One good thing about this diet-- my acid reflux has pretty much left the building.

Did falling below 500 calories today give me a smaller weight loss? Or now that I'm (hopefully) dropping fat, the loss is smaller than it was when I was losing muscle?

Breakfast: water
Lunch: 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese (160), 2 cups mixed greens (18), apple slices (72)
Dinner: Spicy white chili (110), 4 cups spinach (28), 1 medium navel orange (80)

Total Calories: 468

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday177.039.4626.115.8
Today176.438.9626.015.9
Change-0.6-0.50-0.1+0.1

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 8)

I went to the doctor today, so now I have prescription cough syrup. Not sure what all the ingredients are, but if it has sugar, it isn't much. YUCK!

Today is the first day of my menstrual cycle, so as per the protocol, I did not give myself a shot this morning. I will start it up again the last day of my flow. I have been hungry a little bit today, but not bad. Someone I spoke with about this program says it isn't unusual for women on their periods to need to eat about 200 calories more per day while they're off the shots. So we'll see.

My body fat is back up after getting re-hydrated. Still losing weight, but it is obviously lean muscle mass as indicated by my falling LBMI. I am hoping that will turn around soon. As soon as I'm feeling up to it, I will be exercising again to build lean muscle mass.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90)
Lunch: Mexican chicken soup (110), 3/4 cup diced tomatoes, cooked in soup (24), 10 extra large strawberries (90)
Dinner: Mexican chicken soup (110), 1 cup diced tomatoes, cooked in soup (32), 1 medium navel orange (80)

Total Calories: 536

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday178.638.3626.416.4
Today177.039.4626.115.8
Change-1.6+1.10-0.3-0.6

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 7)

I broke down today and took some cough syrup that had sugar in it. I admit it-- I was desperate. And the worst part is that I don't think it helped my coughing all that much. :( It certainly seems to have stalled the weight loss.

But today my body fat decreased. Part of that is probably because I'm dehydrated from being sick. I suspect it will go up tomorrow when I become better hydrated.

Did fantastic on calories today. Only got hungry when it was time for dinner.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90)
Lunch: Lemon chicken soup (110), 1 cup spinach (7), 10 extra large strawberries (90)
Dinner: Cinnamon curry chicken soup (110), 3 cups spinach (21), 1 medium navel orange (80)

Total Calories: 508


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday178.639.9626.415.8
Today178.638.3626.416.4
Change0-1.600+0.6

Monday, March 2, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 6)

I am so ready to be over this cold. But since my kids are still fighting it, and I'm a few days behind them, I think I'll be dealing with feeling cruddy for a bit to come.

Last night, I was STARVING when I went to bed. Interestingly, though, when I woke up at 1:00am, I wasn't hungry at all. Weird.

I've upped my caloric intake today, hoping to get a minimum of 500. I spoke with someone regarding their HCG program, and she says they don't see a significant difference at all between people who stick to the 500 calories, or those who go with their 750 calorie diet. So I'm not too worried if I go over. However, if you go under, I hear it can stall weight loss.

I did something stupid today-- I'm currently hacking up half a lung, so I grabbed a cough drop without thinking off my work desk today and popped it into my mouth. Uh, oh. High fructose corn syrup! (Note: Before beginning this diet, clear your desk and home of items you usually use and/or snack on so you will not go into autopilot mode and eat something you shouldn't.)

I am still very concerned that my LBMI is falling. Rapidly. I'm still gaining fat, and losing muscle. Not good.

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90)
Lunch: 3 cups mixed salad greens, with balsamic vinegar (27), 1 medium navel orange (80)
Snack: 1 cup (8oz.) fat-free cottage cheese (160)
Dinner: Lemon chicken soup (110), 3 cups spinach (21), 10 extra large strawberries (90)

Total Calories: 578


WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday180.839.1626.716.3
Today178.639.9626.415.8
Change-2.6+0.80-0.3-0.5

Sunday, March 1, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 5)

I'm still feeling like death warmed over today, so I spent the majority of the day in bed. I guess this will give a pretty accurate indication of how the HCG Diet works on couch potatoes. :) As soon as I'm feeling better, I will start doing my 10,000 steps per day again.

I am noticing a disturbing trend-- I am losing pounds, but increasing in my body fat percentage. This means I'm losing lean muscle mass, as indicated by my falling LBMI. This is consistent with the information and studies out there where severely restricing calories will cause you to lose muscle. I am going to continue on this diet to see if eventually the fat loss actually will occur as your body gets used to the diet.

Yesterday, when I cooked my egg whites (I'm using the pre-boxed version), they stuck to the teflon pan quite nicely. Today, at my husband's suggestion, I put them in a bowl and cooked them in the microwave. Make sure your bowl is no more than 1/3 full of eggs, since they expand a lot during cooking. I cooked them for 2 minutes, stirred them up, and cooked for an additional 1 minute. I prefer to eat mine with hot sauce.

I guess I need to pre-plan my meals. I still didn't make it to 500 calories today. I thought that by adding in the extra eggs would do the trick, but I guess not...

Breakfast: 3/4 cup egg whites (90)
Lunch: 100g fat-free cottage cheese (70), 2 cups mixed greens (18), apple slices (72)
Dinner: Orange ginger chicken (110), 1 medium orange navel, cooked with chicken (80), 2 cups mixed greens (18)

Total Calories: 458

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday183.839.0627.116.6
Today180.839.1626.716.3
Change-3.0+0.10-0.4-0.3

Need a Pedometer?

Pedometer Giveaway!


This month, in conjunction with the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party 2009 and SITS Spring Fling, I am giving away two Omron HJ-112 Digital Premium Pedometers! Omron makes the best pedometers, and I want to share their wonderfulness with you. It works in your pocket, clipped to the waist of your pants, and even in your purse! This is the best pedometer I've ever used.



To enter:

1. Go to 5 Minutes for Mom during their Ultimate Blog Party 2009 (March 20th-27th). I am giving away one pedometer there during the Blog Party.

2. To have a chance to win the second pedometer:
  • Leave a comment on this post. (To be eligible, you must enter a valid email address in the appropriate box when leaving your comment so I can contact you!)
  • If you want an additional entry, sign up as a public follower of my blog.
  • If you want a third entry, subscribe to my feed.
  • For a fourth, give Fat Loss Chronicles a "thumbs up" on StumbleUpon (please let me know in your comment!).
  • And for two extra bonus entries, post about my giveaway on your blog! Please leave your link in the comments section so I can go take a peek. :)

The winner for the pedometer on Fat Loss Chronicles will be randomly chosen from all entries received. The winner for the 5 Minutes for Mom pedometer will be chosen by them.


Comments will close at noon, March 31, 2009 (MST). Offer good for US residents only. Good luck, everyone!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 4)

I’m still feeling really sick today. I’ve got the chills, body aches, headache, stuffy head, cough… the usual wintertime crud.

As far as hunger today, I had a difficult time skipping breakfast. I usually eat a pretty hearty breakfast, since it gives me fuel for the rest of the day and I end up eating less later. So I was pretty hungry when lunchtime rolled around at noon. I split that meal into two (waited until I was hungry again, around 3:00pm). Dinner I just ate all at once.

I noticed after lunch that my calorie intake will be under the 500 per day allotment—this is because I’m not interested in eating the breadstick/melba toast. I’m not a huge bread person since my short stint on Atkins. To up my calorie intake for the day, I added extra chicken to my dinner. Starting tomorrow, I will begin eating some protein for breakfast to make up for the bread calories.

Breakfast: water
Lunch: 3/4 cup egg whites (90), apple slices (72)
Snack: 1 cup mixed salad greens (9) with balsamic vinegar
Dinner: Chicken soup (160), 1 stalk celery, cooked in soup (7), 2 cups spinach (14) with 10 extra large strawberries sliced on top (90)

Total Calories: 442

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday184.837.9727.316.9
Today183.839.0627.116.6
Change-1.0+1.1+1.0-0.2-0.3

Friday, February 27, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 3)

Loading day number 3.

Still not feeling well... stuffy head, cough, mild fever, headache. Dampens the appetite, and that's not necessarily good for loading days. But I did manage to eat the following:

Breakfast: eggs, potatoes with bacon and green peppers with ketchup, apple pancake with syrup
Lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two Babybel cheeses
Snack: guacamole, tortilla chips
Dinner: Olive Garden-- apricot chicken, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, breadsticks with sauce, salad
Dessert: soft vanilla ice cream cone

So I guess I did pretty good, considering. The guacamole gives me the WORST acid reflux, though. Not fun.

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday186.037.5627.517.2
Today184.837.9727.316.9
Change-1.2+0.4+1.0-0.2-0.3

Thursday, February 26, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 2)

Loading day number 2.

I managed to eat some more fat today than yesterday. I had:

Breakfast: eggs, bacon, pancakes with syrup
Snack: orange roll
Lunch: guacamole and tortilla chips
Snack: walnuts, half a brownie
Dinner: cream of chicken soup and saltines
Dessert: half a bag of Cadbury milk chocolate mini-eggs

Ok, now I feel sick to my stomach worse than ever. :( From my reading, so many people love their loading days, eating whatever they want and in large quantities. I guess I'm just weird-- I have no desire to stuff myself, get acid reflux, and feel sick. I'm SO not doing this tomorrow. I'll stick with the better food options so I don't continue to feel like crap (and gross the kids out with my gassy stomach!).

Mild weight gain today, though not as much as I expected after hearing other loading day stories. But then again, I'm not exactly pigging out. It's totally not worth the acid reflux, which I have in full force tonight.

WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday185.435.9627.317.5
Today186.037.5627.517.2
Change+0.6+1.60+0.2-0.3

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HCG Diet (Day 1)

Loading day number 1.

I gave myself my first shot this morning around 5:30am. (Note to self: do not inject yourself in the tummy where your pants waistband will rub on it. Uncomfortable for a few hours!) The injection didn't hurt as much as I thought it might (wimpy!). So far, so good!

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes with syrup
Lunch: Cheese and crackers, guacamole and tortilla chips
Snack: Walnuts
Dinner: Hot dog, chili, chocolate milk, carrots

Haven't felt too hungry today so far. I've been fighting some sort of bug the kids brought home. I've had a headache that won't quit, as well as a fair amount of nausea. I don't have an appetite at all.
WeightBody FatVisceral FatBMILBMI
Yesterday185.437.7627.417.1
Today185.435.9627.317.5
Change0-1.80-0.1+0.4

Before HCG

I had some less than flattering photos taken of me so I can share everything with you. Well, not everything. Just all my extra fat. :)





Starting Measurements


Weight: 185.4
Body Fat: 37.7%
Visceral Fat: 6%
BMI: 27.4
Lean Body Mass Index: 17.1

Arm: 12.25"
Waist: 40"
Hips: 45"
Thigh: 24.5"
Bust: 45"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gearing Up

Tomorrow starts Day 1 of the HCG diet trial for me. I will take my first shot in the morning, and then proceed to do the "loading". Since you are supposed to load up on fatty foods, and I'm not a fried-foods sort of gal, I'm planning on eating lots of guacamole and my usual protein standby, cheese.

Since I've never been a dieter (with the exception of 2 months of Atkins, and a 3 week try at Weight Watchers), I don't suspect my fat stores are low. Considering that my typical daily intake includes cheese, I'm not overly worried that I won't eat enough during the loading days. We'll see!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why I’m a Good Person to Test the HCG Diet

I’ve got a few reasons why I think I’m a good person to test this diet. The first, and most important qualification, is that I’m a skeptic by nature. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Since HCG claims to reduce just your body fat, I bought a scale that will measure my body fat. I will post all my results here on this blog, so you can see for yourself what it does.

Second, I’m really not a dieter. I went on Atkins once for two months (decent success), and tried Weight Watchers for three weeks (not so successful). That’s it. When I was on Weight Watchers, it seemed that the program worked based on calorie restriction. All I know is that I was HUNGRY on it. (Never was hungry on Atkins.) If a 500-calorie per day diet is all HCG requires, and they promise you won’t be hungry on it, I’m your candidate. It will really have to work as advertised so I don’t starve to death. I am very intolerant of being hungry. :)

Third. This diet claims to “reset your hypothalamus”. Because my weight gain is due to hormone issues, I’m very interested in this aspect of it. Will I still have hormone issues contributing to weight gain after using HCG?

So there you have it. Show me the money, HCG!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Water

How much water should I drink?

A good rule of thumb is to take your weight, and divide it in half. Drink that many ounces of water per day. If you're not used to drinking that much water, you'll feel like you're floating through life. You'll probably be visiting the bathroom a LOT more than usual. :)

If you're having a difficult time holding on to your water so your body can use it, increase your salt intake. Your body can only hold and use the water it takes in as long as there's enough salt to go along with it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The HCG Diet (Part Two)

Here's how it works: every day, for 23 days, I will give myself a 125IU shot of HCG. (Women do not give themselves shots during menstruation. Stop the shots the day your period starts, and resume them again on the last day of your flow.) I have chosen to do 3 "loading days", where I am supposed to eat fatty foods. This is to build up your stores of healthy fat to sustain you through the first few days of being on HCG. Since it takes approximately 3 days for the HCG to kick in, you have to eat to capacity on those days.

After the last shot, I must continue the 500 calorie diet for 3 additional days.

The second stage of the diet starts after you have completed the 500 calorie diet. In this stage, which lasts for 24 days, you must completely restrict sugar and starchy carbs. This portion of the diet reminds me greatly of the Atkins Diet (induction phase).

It was reading about this stage of the diet that made me wonder if HCG puts you into major ketosis. I suppose it would make sense, since you are severely restricting the amount of carbs/calories you're putting into your system. Then, when you move into the second phase of the HCG Diet, you continue to be in ketosis.

I will be starting HCG injections near the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The HCG Diet (Part One)

I have been researching the HCG Diet. You give yourself a daily shot of the hormone HCG, which is supposed to curb your hunger. The curbing your hunger part is important, as this diet requires you to subsist on 500 calories per day.

That's starvation mode calories. When you drop your calories that low, the body will shed muscle (lean body mass) in response to severe calorie restriction. According to Dr. Simeons, the creator of the HCG Diet, getting the daily hormone shot will prevent this, and you will only lose body fat.

I searched and searched the internet, hoping to find a blog of someone who has tried the HCG Diet, and kept track of their body fat percentages/lean muscle mass.

Since I couldn't find one, I decided to turn myself into a guinea pig. If it works as advertised, this would be a fantastic way to shed 20 pounds very quickly, which would make exercising much easier on me (because of my back problems). If it doesn't work as claimed, I would be able to provide information to the internet regarding my experience with the HCG Diet. Either way, the information will be out there for everyone to see.

Of course, I'm hoping the HCG Diet works as claimed. I've researched it enough, and talked to people who have been on it, to know that rapid weight loss does indeed occur. I'm just hoping that it burns away the excess body fat, as it says it does.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Scale

I have an amazing scale. It’s more than just a scale—it’s a Body Composition Monitor by Omron (Model HBF-500). Not only does it measure weight (very accurately, I might add!), it also gives you your:

It has a memory function that can store up to 4 different people’s profiles, and saves data for each person for a current 90-day period.

I bought this scale specifically so I could track my body fat levels during the HCG diet. Rapid weight loss, at least how I understand it, not only involves losing fat, but also lean muscle. I want to find out whether HCG makes good on its claims of reducing just body fat.

Of course, I’m sure that my daily results will vary a bit—body fat percentage testing via bioelectrical impedance isn’t always 100% correct. But it will give me a good estimation of what my body fat results are, and allow me to calculate my Lean Body Mass Index.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Visceral Fat

There are three kinds of body fat-- subcutaneous, intramuscular and visceral.

Subcutaneous is the fat underneath the skin. Intramuscular fat is found interspersed in your skeletal muscles. Visceral fat is what surrounds your internal organs.

We’re mostly concerned about subcutaneous and visceral fat.

Subcutaneous fat is the type of fat we tend to be most aware of. It likes to collect around our abdomens, hips, thighs and upper arms.

Visceral fat is important-- it protects your internal organs from getting smashed together. But too much visceral fat is thought to increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

The scale I have measures visceral fat. I am aiming for a visceral fat level of 9 or less.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lean Body Mass Index

Instead of chasing the seemingly all-important weight number, we should instead look at a different one. Similar to the BMI, this number helps us to know if we have a good portion of our body as lean mass.

Lean body mass is everything but the fat in your body. Using the following formula, we can figure out our Lean Body Mass Index:

{Weight - [Weight x Body Fat % / 100]} / {[(height in inches)(height in inches)]} x 703

Ok, I know that looks massively complicated, but it really isn't. :)

Start with your weight: 150
Total Body Fat % : 24.3

Now, multiply those two numbers together and divide the answer by 100: 36.45

Find your Lean Body Mass by subtracting that answer from your weight: 113.55

Take your Lean Body Mass and divide by your height in inches times itself: .0277
(Let's say you're 5'4", which is 64". 64 x 64 = 4096)
(113.55 divided by 4096 = .0277)

Finally, multiply that answer by 703: 19.47

And there you have it-- your Lean Body Mass Index!

The higher your number, the more fit you are. Men should aim for a LBMI of 19 or more, and women 17 or more. Anything below that, you are carrying around too much body fat and not enough muscle.

Calculate your Lean Body Mass Index. How do you measure up?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hidden Fat

What is BMI missing?

Is it possible to have a BMI in the "normal" range, and yet still be unhealthy? The answer is yes. Let's look at our two women from before, assuming they're both 30 years old and 5'6" tall.

Woman A: 150 pounds, 34% body fat. BMI = 24.2
Woman B: 160 pounds, 31% body fat. BMI = 25.8

According to their BMI results, Woman A is "Normal", and Woman B is "Overweight". However, if you look at a table for healthy body fat percentages, we find that Woman A is in the "High" range, whereas Woman B falls within the "Normal" range.


Body Fat Is Important!

Fat has gotten a bad reputation in our society. We are told to avoid fat, not get fat, avoid fat like the plague. But body fat is vital for healthy everyday functioning. It protects internal organs, is essential for proper nerve function, stores energy, and is needed for digestion and producing hormones. While too much body fat can definitely be unhealthy, too little body fat is also unhealthy.

What Should I Aim For?

Healthy body fat percentages are different for men and women, and also change depending on your age.

Women
AgeLowNormalHighExtreme
20-40Under 21%21-33%33-39%Over 39%
41-60Under 23%23-35%35-40%Over 40%
61-79Under 24%24-36%36-42%Over 2%


Men
AgeLowNormalHighExtreme
20-40Under 8%8-19%19-25%Over 25%
41-60Under 11%11-22%22-27%Over 27%
61-79Under 13%13-25%25-30%Over 30%

Source: Gallagher et al. Am J Clin Nut 2000; 72:694-701

Monday, January 26, 2009

BMI

Let's start with some of the basics.

A helpful number to gauge your progress is the Body Mass Index, or BMI. A simple formula is used to calculate this ratio between a person's height and their weight.

BMI = [weight in pounds times 703] divided by [height in inches] times [height in inches]. If you use metrics, use the same formula, except substitute kilograms (pounds) and meters (inches).

Using the formula to calculate my BMI:

[187 x 703] / [69] x [69]
[131461] / [4761]
= 27.6

Better yet, you can use this handy online BMI calculator.

BMI Result Classifications:
  • Less than 18.5 (Underweight)
  • 18.5 to 24.9 (Normal)
  • 25 to 29.9 (Overweight)
  • 30 or more (Obese)

This tends to be what many doctors offices and medical establishments use to calculate if you are at a healthy weight.

But taking into account body fat percentages, is BMI the most accurate way to go? Or should we dig a little further?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weight vs. Other Measurements

I want to blog my progress using four main focus areas:
  1. Weight
  2. Measurements
  3. Body Fat Percentage
  4. Lean Body Mass Percentage
Out of the four listed, the least important is weight. Why is that, you ask? Your weight does not always accurately portray what is going on in your body. Let me give you two scenarios, of women of the same height. Choose who is the healthier woman between:
  • Weight: 150 pounds. Body Fat: 34%.
  • Weight: 160 pounds. Body Fat: 31%.
The woman who weighs more is the healthier woman.

Think about this today and try to change your ideas about what is a healthy weight for you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why I Want to Lose Weight

Let's get started with some vital statistics. I'm 5'9" tall, and weighed in today at 187 pounds. That's me on the right, attempting to take a picture of myself. :)

Since I am tall, I hold my weight well. People would not consider me fat-- probably more like "padded". Mostly, I really don't mind how I look. I like to think I can dress myself decently for my body type, and attempt to look nice with whatever my weight happens to be.

My main reason for wanting to shed the extra pounds I have is, as I said before, for health reasons. I have already had two back surgeries (low back, lumbar region), and am in constant pain. Every extra pound I put on puts additional torque on my back, causing even more pain. I've reached a point where the pain is really limiting my ability to work, play, and enjoy my life.

It is time.