Guest Blog – Kristine C. (NC)
My weight loss story starts the same as many women in their 40’s…hormones starting to get a little wacky, your belly getting a little bigger each year, going to the gym is just not a priority anymore, and you start every day tired of being sick & tired.
But I finally hit a wall. After lacing up the running shoes and starting out for the first jog in months, I found that I could barely make it around a small pond in my neighborhood before feeling like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. I had done this jog hundreds of times before but not with this extra 75 lbs. draped all over me. Wall…nice to meet you.
After researching every possible ‘quick fix’ diet out there (and I mean ALL of them…potatoes for every meal, expensive shakes, pills that GIVE you the shakes, eating ‘windows’ of 4 hours to jam in as much food as possible…you name it, I studied it), I stumbled upon the HCG protocol. I had never heard of it and found that the claims made almost seemed too good to be true. I was wrong.
‘You’re Going to take WHAT?’
When I told my husband I was going to be taking a hormone that is used by the body during pregnancy to help me lose weight, he thought I was crazy. I explained everything I had learned and assured him that the success rate was impressive enough that I wanted to give it a try.
My protocol was 42 days and I lost 38 pounds. The program made me a believer and I signed up for a second round to lose another 28 pounds. The remaining 10 pounds came off by experimenting with intermittent fasting (8-hour window…4 hours is just crazy!) and a vegan diet (no meat or dairy). But HCG did all the heavy lifting and truly gave me my life and health back.
Of course, losing all that weight was amazing and I was getting back into clothing sizes I had not seen since I was in college but as a 48-year-old woman starting menopause, I found this program had many added benefits I had not anticipated.
How the HCG Eating Plan Stopped the Worst Menopausal Symptoms
Hot flashes, night sweats, brain ‘fog’ (I love that phrase…who thought of calling it fog anyway?), and depression are all common issues women face when their hormones bottom out. Though I did not suffer with depression, my moods were all over the map. But working my way through the high protein, low calorie/low carb eating plan with no oil and no sugar all but eliminated most of those symptoms.
I was sleeping better, hot flashes were reduced to MAYBE one or two a week (yes, a week), my mood lifted and I could think clearer at work. Cleaning up my diet made life so much easier. I felt younger and more energetic than I had in years. It truly turned the clock back.
How much if it could be attributed to the HCG itself? Most if it I’m sure but I also know that the weight has stayed off the last few years since I completed the second round. The HCG protocol taught me the importance of hitting the ‘reset’ button with my food choices and my relationship with food in general.
Looking Back…and Looking Forward to Good Health
I won’t lie…the HCG protocol is strict. Yes, there are variations of the plan, but in general it takes you back to square one by eliminating so many of the foods that cause a variety of health issues such as diabetes, inflammation, and blood pressure issues.
Sugar is often cited as one of the foods that will sometimes immediately cause a hot flash (it did with me every time…only took a minute or so to hit me after eating a sugary treat). Grains can cause inflammation that can contribute to the brain ‘fog’ many women struggle with. Strip these away for 6 weeks (or a lifetime) and you can greatly reduce their hold on your daily life.
I still keep to a lower calorie diet, I may have a sweet treat every now and then but generally it’s something I make myself with no processed sugar. Veggies are my friend and I keep oils to a minimum. And menopause no longer controls me…I control it now with better food choices.
Oh, and that jog I couldn’t finish a few years ago? I can now run a 5k with ease.