How long should I be on the hCG Diet for? Is a question that is commonly asked by women in particular before they begin the hCG program as most people like to have a timeframe in which to plan their diet around. Let’s face it, especially if you have never tried the program before it is really good to know just how long you may be following the eating plan.
This is indeed a loaded question however, as there are several different factors involved. Generally speaking, if you decided to start the 23-day program you could expect to lose between 5kg-7kg within that timeframe, if you have more than 7kg that you would like to lose then you would consider the 42-day program. Piece of cake, right? Well, not exactly.
These are some additional factors to consider prior to starting the program to ensure that when you finish the program that you will receive the best results.
42 Day program vs 23 Day Program
The first consideration that I would like to tackle when considering how long you can take hCG is aimed only at lovely women on the program that are still menstruating.
So, why does this have to be factored into how long you can stay on the program?
Simply because during the program we suggest stopping the drops while menstruating and then restarting the drops post menstruation. You are then required to add the days that you stopped taking the drops to the days left on the program for example if during your normal cycle you bleed for 4 days, you will stop the drops during those 4 days and add them to your program i.e., 23 days + 4 days. This will also extend the maintenance phase of the program by an additional 4 days.
Secondly, phase 1 of the program is centred around loading, personally I have lost weight during loading although I must emphasise that I loaded with only healthy fats, not the naughty pizza, chips kind of loading but avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, good quality oils type loading. This isn’t the case for most though, who will inevitably gain weight during the loading phase as they enjoy their last feast prior to starting Phase 2. It is important to take this into account when you decide which program you would like to start as loading may impact your starting weight.
How Long Can You Take hCG Drops For?
The next consideration in how long that you can take hCG drops would be around how much weight you would like to lose. If you have more than 5-7kg to lose consider the 42-day program as it is way more efficient for your needs. If you want to get the most bang for your buck you will likely have a more desirable weight loss by the end of the 42-day program. Additionally, if you have mentally prepared to do the 42-day program, you are well and truly setting yourself up for long term success.
Quite often as in most weight loss plans you will experience a weight loss plateau, there may be a few days in which you won’t see any significant weight loss then all of a sudden weight loss kicks in again. It could be something simple like your body adjusting to losing fat and water weight so quickly.
What I do know though is that it is worth sticking to the plan to reap the full benefits. Additionally, the longer you are on the program, the easier it is to stick to, you start getting to a point in which everything becomes a lot easier as you feel more comfortable in what you are doing and with the food that you are preparing. You will have a good idea on when to incorporate exercise into your routine and of how your body is reacting to the intense changes it is experiencing. Furthermore, the longer that you are on the plan, the more fat you will lose and the less inflammation you will have in your body.
Putting The Two Together
After considering all the above, if you do not have much weight to lose, and you are wondering how long you can take the hCG for you could consider the 23-day program. With the addition of the inevitable weight loss, you will also reap the benefits that come with eating a clean diet, a 3-week detoxification that will improve your energy, your skin and general wellbeing.
You may also consider doing more than one round of hCG particularly if you have excess weight to lose. You may decide this will work best for you by doing subsequent rounds on the 23-day program over the 42-day program or vice versa, everyone thinks of this differently and again, how much weight loss is expected will need to be factored into your decision.
Subsequent rounds of the hCG protocol can be just as successful as the first. You can start the 2nd round immediately upon completion of maintenance. However, if you decide to take a break before doing another round, then it’s important to continue with healthy eating and not revert to old, unhealthy eating habits. If you are going to do a 3rd round, then consider a pause and give yourself 3 – 6 weeks of Clean Eating and having a break from the hCG drops before starting the third round. You could use our 4 week clean eating guide to help you during this period.
Fortunately, this protocol is self-limiting, so if you no longer have abnormal fat stores, you will start to feel extremely hungry and will not be able to continue. Effectively, your body will dictate how long you can take hCG.
When you have completed the program try to remain mindful when introducing new foods back into your diet, it may be worth keeping a diet journal or diary and monitoring foods that may make you feel bloated, or unwell after consuming. Try omitting those foods for a few weeks and then slowly reintroduce back into your diet and continue monitoring how you feel. This will be the best indicator of how your body feels about certain foods and whether you should continue to eat them.
Overall, I hope this gives you a good overview of how long you should be on the hCG program and of important considerations to take into account that will help you work with the program that is best suited to you.
Adv Dip Health Science Naturopathy, Nutrition