HCG diet journey… finally losing that post-baby weight! (Part 1)

Have you ever struggled with your weightloss like me?  For some its a struggle of 75+ pounds, for others, the last 20 that just won’t come off is equally frustrating.  For new (or seasoned) mommas, the babyweight is always a daunting chore.  Well, you are in good company!  Welcome to my post-baby-weight weightloss journey on the hCG diet!!!  This entry and a few entries following with be carefully following my weightloss journey with the HCG diet.  First, I am not aiming to lose astronomical amounts of weight.  Only about 20-25 lbs.  After having my fourth son almost four years ago, I was lazy during breastfeeding and did not work to get the baby weight off, and have struggled ever since to get back down to my pre-baby size.  I have tried a number of different approaches, all healthy options, but I don’t think I was motivated enough to do something strict.  Finally, it dawned on me, I have been whining and complaining about this struggle for nearly four years now, and have given a half-effort to about six different methods, and have seen no sustained progress.  Enough is enough!!  There is no excuse for whining.  If I have a goal, I will find a way to reach it.  So, as I was shopping last week I came across some HCG drops on sale and thought, “Hmm, these are cheap, I’ll just buy them, research and see if it’s worth trying.”  I got home, opened them up and read the diet plan and was like, “hah!  yeah right!” and put them away.  But as I did research and came across friends who had had great success on this diet, I saw that doctors were giving it the thumbs up (in fact it was designed by a doctor), and the food prescribed in the diet is very healthy, I thought, “Well, maybe I could just buckle down and work hard and see some results.”  So, that’s what I did.  I bought the necessary food, prayed for grace ;), and jumped in a week ago.  And I have been so excited by my results!  So excited in fact, I thought I’d share on here with ya’ll in case any of you have found yourself in a similar frustrating situation.  First, let me give you an overview of the diet.  (If you’re looking for a good book to really understand it, this cookbook is excellent.  It explains the diet AND gives you recipes.  Two for one!)

 

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!  Keep reading to see a summary of the diet.  

 

Phase 1: Loading phase.  Two days.  

  • Take HCG drops three times per day before meals; don’t drink or eat within 15 minutes of taking the drops so as not to dilute them in your system.
  • This phase is two days of eating as much FATTY foods as possible.  These fat stores help your body more gracefully adapt to the next phase which is the Very Low Calorie Diet phase (VLCD).  I didn’t take this phase very seriously and wish I would have.  My first three days, especially the third were tough.  Plus, who doesn’t like an excuse to eat every fatty food you ever wanted?  No food is off limits.

Phase 2: Very Low Calorie Diet with weightloss. Day 3-40

  • Again, you will be taking the HCG drops three times daily, not within 15 minutes of water or food.
  • This phase of the diet focuses on putting your body into Ketosis state, which is where your body is living off your own fat stores.  You can lose 1-2 lbs of fat per DAY.
  • The calorie goal these days is to stay within 500 calories.
  • On these days you typically skip breakfast but spend the morning drinking herbal teas, black coffee or water.  At least 32 Oz of liquids is your goal.  It is good to go the way of decaffeinated drinks so you don’t get jittery.  Lunch and Dinner is created from the selected foods in the lists below.
  • No exercising for these days.  Activity should be kept to a gentle stroll.  You need all the calories you are taking in!

Foods For The HCG Diet Phase 2

This is a list of foods you can eat while doing Phase 2 of the HCG Diet.
Use this list as a quick reference when shopping and preparing meals.

VEGETABLES
– Any kind of lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, cabbage
– Any kind of onions
– Any kind of tomatoes
– Fennel
– Cucumber
– Radishes
– Celery
– Asparagus


PROTEINS
Your meats/poultry cannot be cooked on the bone. All meats should be trimmed of all fat (and skin)
– White Fish
– Lobster
– Crab
– Shrimp
– Extra Lean Beef (steak, 96% premium lean ground beef, pot roast)
– Chicken


FRUIT


– Apples
– Blue Berries, Blackberries or Strawberries
– Lemons


DRINK & OTHERS
– Herbal Tea
– Bottled Water
– Melba Toast
– Sugarless Gum
– Steevia (natural sweetener, any flavor)
– Braggs Liquid Amino (this is a soy sauce type of product)
– Mustard
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Any natural herb or spice, salt and pepper, garlic

Vegetables Portion Calories
Asparagus 4 ounces 20
Beet Greens 1 cup 25
Broccoli 4 ounces 30
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 50
Raw Cabbage 1 cup 25
Raw Cauliflower 1 cup 30
Celery 1 stalk 5
Collard Greens 1 cup 25
Cucumber 8″ 15
Dandelion 4 ounces 50
Endive/Escarole 1 cup 10
Green Beans 4 ounces 40
Raw Kale 1 cup 40
Leeks 1/2 cup 16
Lettuce 1 cup 15
Romaine Lettuce 4 ounces 25
Green Onions 6 small 25
Raw White Onions 4 ounces 40
Green Sweet Peppers 1 medium 20
Red Sweet Peppers 1medium 25
Radishes 4 small 8
Spinach 1 cup 10
Squash/Zucchini 1 cup 40
Tomato 1 medium 20
Turnips 1 cup 55
Turnip Greens 1 cup 45
Watercress 4 ounces 25

Fruit Portion Calories
Apple 1 medium 80
Grapefruit 1/2 40
Strawberries 1 cup 55
Black Berries 1 cup 62
Blue Berries 1 cup 83
Lemon 1 medium 17

Phase 3: Stabilization phase.  3 Weeks.  CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!!

  • The first three days of this phase you keep eating the VLCD but withOUT HCG drops so that you can give your body time to get the hormone out of your body before introducing new foods.
  • On the fourth day you can begin introducing new foods SLOWLY back into your diet.  The reason for this is because your body has trained itself to such limited calories and types of foods that to go back to regular eating straight away would shock your system and put the weight right back on.
  • In this phase you bring your caloric intake up to 800-1000 calories, gradually working your way up to 1500 calories.
  • Go to this page for a detailed food list.  http://www.hcgdietdrops.com/hcg-phase-3-other-food-list.html
  • This phase is characterized by three daily habits:
    • you must weigh yourself every day
    • you must remain within 2 pounds of your last injection weight (over *OR* under) and,
    • you cannot eat sugars and starches (which is carbohydrates minus the fiber)
  • Exercise: You can re-introduce exercise in this phase.  Your goal should be 30min-1 hour 3-4 times per week.
  • For more details on this phase, go here.
  • For success tips and menu samples, go here.

Phase 4: Maintenance phase. The rest of your life!

  • This phase you can bring your calorie intake up to 1800-2000.
  • In phase 4 when your weight has become consistent and stable you will start to re-introduce sugars and starches back into your diet. Starting off slow is always good. Don’t go binging!
  • To maintain your weight, you will have learned a lot of healthy alternatives, so use them in this phase!
  • For the first three weeks you are watching very carefully and very slowly working sugars, like chocolate or bread, into your diet.  But do only one per day to see how your body responds.  As your body gets used to this foreign object and learns how to metabolize it, you can settle into a nice little routine.
  • Use your natural sugar subsitutes and develop a habit of having a splurge meal only once or twice a week.  Be careful still though, as you can rack up on calories if you’re not mindful of how much is going in.
  • Focus eating still on fruits vegetables and proteins, and let grains and sugars be the smaller portions of your meals.  Keep sugar in moderation.

Links to help: 

Phases 3 & 4:

So that’s the overview of the diet.  The first few days are the most challenging, but as your body adapts, it will become much easier.  Let your thinking about food change WITH the food, so that after you’re done, you don’t return to old habits.

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!

 

 

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Sharpie marker remover

It was one of those mornings, I was doing dishes and my toddler was quiet in the living room w the TV on. I felt a nudge to go check on him but put it off just long enough to find him creating a masterpiece with a sharpie on my laptop. Ahhhhhh!!!!! I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed desperately for a solution, and was reminded of my 91% rubbing alcohol I just bought, so I used that with a towel, and it worked!! No damage from moisture bc the alcohol evaporates so fast. Praise the living lord!! My laptop was recovered!!

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The Great Masterpiece

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The Christmas Miracle

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The tools of my demise (marker) and my Salvation!

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The Guilty

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Not wanting his guilt to be captured on camera.

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Evidence that he really is a perfect child. 🙂

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The chocolate I bribed him with to smile in the last photo, and the incriminating evidence on his hands of his crime. 🙂

Banana bliss!

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Are you like me and have wanted to preserve those bananas that are going bad but hated the slimyness you were left with when they thaw in their peels? I always thought my mom must have really loved banana bread to endure the slimey, juicy grossness from thawing bananas. Then, one day a light bulb came on and I realized, if I peel them and put them in a large ziploc, smash them flat, I can freeze them all flattened out in much less space than the traditional way! So, that is the idea! When you have some overripe bananas, just peel them, stick them in a baggie and press them flat for ease of storage and then lay them flat in the freezer. Label them when you do this so you know how much you’re working with.

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Use the frozen bananas for ice cream (recipe below), smoothies, or banana bread! Let me know what else YOU would use them for! Banana chocolate peanut butter icecream 2 frozen bananas 2 tBsp cocoa powder 1 Tbsp peanut butter If you like it sweeter, use some natural sweetener! Blend away in a food processor till smooth. If you like it softer just add a tiny bit of milk until desired consistency.

Creative and Affordable Organizing ideas!!

With this last pregnancy, I felt like I nested in phases.  First it showed up in lots of creative cooking (which my husband was thankful for!), and then it showed up in totally revamping and organizing much of our cluttered areas of our home (which he was also thankful for until I asked him for the check card to pick up organization supplies at the store. Hee hee…).  The last phase was the normal cleaning and cleaning, but this blog is dedicated to the creative ideas I got for organizing on a budget.  I’ll post some photos for you with brief descriptions and if you get inspired, well, yeehaw!!  Oh, and the pre-photos are pretty bad, so, um, don’t judge! 🙂  (I have to apologize for my less-than-exceptional pictures.  It’s taken me so long to get these posted, I forgot I still needed to edit photos.  😉 )

Project #1: Purses!!

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Purses on shelves...

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Purses in piles... almost can't even tell what this mess is!

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Purses forgotten high in the closet...

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And purses behind doors in corners! (Although I think this was the one I used regularly at the time, hence the prime spot on the floor. 🙂 ) This is also my "famous" purse. It was used in the filming of "Entourage". It was part of their wardrobe supply, and when they were done with it, the Producers passed it along to "Its a wrap" resale shop in L.A., and they turn around and resell those items. It was neat, everything in the shop was tagged as to what show it came from so you knew whose stuff you were wearing. Neat little experience, but now my green purse, here, has a little bit of a celebrity complex because of it. 🙂

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The weapon of choice: a baseball cap door hanger from Walmart, approximately $5. Its not super sturdy, the hangers are plastic and not metal, but for my purses, it worked. And the little hooks are adjustable! You can space them out or slide them closer...

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This is what the full length of it on the door looks like. It simply hooks over the top and under the bottom of the door, you can tighten the base strap and slide the hooks up and down. I found it in the home organization area at walmart, near the hangers, and other closet paraphernalia.

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Its amazing the goodies you'll find lurking in purse pockets when you take the time to clean them out. Confession: this bowl of knick-knacks (and lots of lipgloss!!) is still on a shelf in my closet! oops... Anyways, cleaning them out will lighten the purses for hanging on these plastic hangers.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!………………..

The AFTER photo: 

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Ta-Da!! The finished product! My purses were finally able to breathe, leave space in my closet for more "stuff", and be fairly out of sight. We usually leave our closet door open so they are invisible most of the time. But even with the closet door closed, they look nice and orderly.

PROJECT #2:  JEWELRY!!

The next “thorn in my side” was that my jewelry was EvErYwHeRe!!  I had some necklaces hanging on scotch brand plastic hooks on the wall in my closet, had earrings in a multi-drawer  organizer, and bracelets and rings everywhere!  So I needed a neat way to have them all organized and in one place.  Below is what I did.  I’ll show you the before and after, and if you want to see HOW I did the board, leave a comment and I’ll make a tutorial for it.  But I will say, if I were to do it again I would make it much simpler.  At least its pretty!  So here are my  before and after photos:

This is where I kept my earrings, some bracelets, and who knows what else. I think this is where I had some hair pieces and stuff too.

This was a little box I got when I bought a BUNCH of cocktail rings in downtown L.A. for super cheap, and it became the gathering place for all my cocktail rings past and present. And some other things as you can see.

At least my necklaces were a "little" more organized, but there were old ones, unused ones, frequently used ones, all in one place, and getting fairly tangled. It was a booby trap just to get to the right necklace without them all jumping and diving into the piles of laundry that sat below. 🙂

What I did was took a Bulletin board, covered it with cheap fabric, painted a stenciled design on it, trimmed the edges with black ribbon, painted thumb tacks for hooks, and hung earrings, necklaces, rings and will hang bracelets from it.  The whole project probably cost me around $20, but it could have been done for cheaper.  If I were to do it again, I’d keep it simpler and skip the fabric and ribbon steps (as those were quite time consuming and not quite necessary.  Instead, I would spray paint the entire thing one dark color, stencil on a design if desired, and use thumb tacks again.  I’m just not sure how painting directly on a bulletin board would last, so if you know, let me know if that’s a good idea or a bad one. 😉  So, with all that said,

Here is the AFTER PHOTO

This works out really well for hook earrings, which is mostly what I wear. But I do have a couple pair of earrings that are large hoops and use earring posts instead hooks. Still figuring out what to do with those. I might get a piece of lace and just hang it long ways down one of the sides of the board and hook the post-earrings in that.

I staggered my necklaces and hung about 2 necklaces give or take, per tack. I also weeded down my collection and gave my older ones to my best friend's little girl. 🙂 She loved them!

So now all my jewelry is in one place and I’ve been able to actually use more of it since I’m aware of what I actually have!  (HEllo!!)

This was a great learning project and is definitely helpful and useful.

I think the Bulletin board cost me around $8,the tacks were a couple bucks, paint and stencils were under $5, Fabric was clearanced at Jo-Ann’s for $2 or so, and the ribbon trimming was $2 or so.  Overall I think this thing cost under $20, but you could totally do it cheaper if you didn’t add all the “frills”.  Ok, onto the next project…

PROJECT #3:  MY office Closet!  (Brace yourself…)

Ok, so this project was my longest process and biggest transformation.  Before I organized it, I think my blood pressure went up every time I looked at it!!  Who KNOWS what I pulled out of there when cleaning… it took days.  Well, plus I was tired and pregnant and moved slower, so a normal person wouldn’t have taken so long.  Anyways, I am LOVING this little closet now that I cleaned it out… You’d have to see it to understand, so here you go…

Woah. That's all I can say is woah.

Wow. How did it ever get this bad? See why I asked you not to judge? 🙂

At least this part wasn't too bad, but still, unusable, and no sense of what the heck is up there.

I got all inspired and did a little at a time.

First I went through all my videos (especially VHS) and got rid of a huge box.  I wanted to get rid of ALL my VHS but had to keep some special ones.

With the DVD’s, I ordered two sets of DVD albums (on www.abcdistributing.com)  to hold our DVD’s and got rid of all but 5 cases.  I kept 5 slim cases for if we lent out any movies.  The rest got thrown away!  (Although now I’m sure there are some great uses for those, but whatever… too late.)

All the kid’s DVD’s, however, hung on to their cases so the kids could just grab one movie at a time and not destroy them all at the same time. 🙂  I purchased a clear-sided shoe hanger from Walmart (?) and hung it in the gap of space that remained at the end of the book shelf and hung it from the clothes bar.  Perfect!!  The kids can get to their movies, the more special ones I store toward the top so they can’t reach them, but it worked out great and was WAY cheaper than getting an actual DVD rack.  (I think I paid about $9 at home depot- although its cheaper at walmart- as compared to $35 for a media rack.)

Magazines I wanted to keep went in Magazine files that I also ordered off abcdistributing.com.

Then I just went through all the books and memory boxes and all that jazz and just plain chunked what needed to be chunked, moved to other bookshelves what needed to be moved, moved baby stuff to bedrooms, etc.  Basically I was not afraid to THROW AWAY stuff!!

Ta-Da!! Its done! Finally all organized and cleaned up, and now we can actually USE what's in there!!

see, the top shelves have a better sense of purpose and organization here. You can see next to the magazine files, a stack of DVD's behind the DVD album. That was while waiting for the second DVD album to arrive in the mail. All those cases are gone now and its cleaner looking.

This pink organizing beauty i bought in the dollar section at Target months ago for $2.50. sure wish they had had more! I use it for knick knacks, batteries, pens, paint brushes, scissors, small glue gun, etc.

Hanging shoe organizer: $9 at Home Depot, may be cheaper at Walmart.  Get the clear sided kind!

Hanging door organizer: $2.50 at Target in the “Dollar Spot” section.

Some other small organizers in the closet were also found in the Target Dollar Spot section.

Magazine files and DVD albums were ordered at http://www.abcdistributing.com for around $4 or $5 a piece.  The Magazine files came as a set.

So there you have it!  Three finished projects that brought a lot more convenience, order, and peace to my life.  I hope this was helpful, or at least entertaining how messy a house can get! ha!  I love order, so I’m glad we’ve managed to get some more. 🙂    Have a good weekend!!