I tried the HCG diet.
(I KNOW, I know, I know. "Crash dieting never works." "You have to make lifestyle changes." "Moderation in all things." I KNOW. You don't have to tell me.)
But if I'm going to have to meet a bunch of people in February, I would prefer to be - not in the largest pants size I've ever owned. That would be my preference.
If you haven't heard of the HCG diet before, it is basically - complete insanity. Basically, you starve yourself and you take HCG hormone shots, you can't use lotion or oily make-up or cook anything that would require you to even momentarily touch something fatty, and you - I don't know - spin around three times in the dark and whisper "please make me beautiful" until it all works together to make you lose weight. (Or else, as I suspect, it's just the fact that you are STARVING YOURSELF that is effective and the rest is all complete BS.)
You can't exercise, which means my running program went on a temporary hiatus. The official reason for this has something to do with burning calories from the "wrong" fat stores, but really, I think it is because they know you would KEEL OVER AND DIE, and they don't want to be responsible for it.
The diet has phases - Phase 1, where you eat like a crazed hippopotamus for two days (this is called "Fat Loading" and it was my Very Favorite Phase); Phase 2, where you eat 500 calories per day for 23 or 43 days, depending upon how clinically insane your doctor is; Phase 3, which they call "Stabilization" and where you basically eat no carbs; and Phase 4, the maintenance phase, where you ease in a few carbs, gain everything back, and start all over again.
(Listen. I know how crazy it sounds. I have read billions of nutrition/diet/fitness/healthy lifestyle books. I am very good about READING about how to get and stay fit, just not so good at the actual implementation. I know all about how crash dieting effects your metabolism, your muscle mass, etc., etc., etc. I know about all of it. I'm not fat because I don't understand these things. But desperate people do desperate things. And after viewing Certain Christmas Pictures That Have Been DESTROYED, DESTROYED, DESTROYED, I would say that desperate just about sums it up for me.)
I started reading The Literature (from back in the 1950s - so - Highly Credible), and it sounded vaguely convincing, if you squinted and really WANTED it to be convincing and were willing to ignore all of the other things you knew about nutrition, fitness and metabolism. And I know a lot of people who have done this diet, who have done WELL on this diet - people who are NOT actually clinically insane, but rather rational, intelligent people. So I thought - what do I have to lose (besides, as it turns out, large clumps of my hair)?
I tried it. For the two fat loading days, and then for eight days of starvation.
- I lost 14 pounds in 8 days. (I suspect 80% of that loss is water, since I look not a smidgeon different.)
- My carb and sugar cravings are completely gone.
- I am completely off the sauce (Diet Dr. Pepper)
- I wasn't hungry, strangely enough.
- The aforementioned hair loss
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Skin like an alligator
- The inability to form complete sentences
- Migraines and vomiting (A HA!)
- Lost work time (due to staring at my computer wondering what the little buttons with letters on them were for)
- Irritability (if by irritability you mean completely losing my nut twenty times each day) (my children LOVED this diet)
Yesterday I started blacking out, so - as of yesterday, I switched to a sensible low carb plan that will allow me to - not starve. OH, SWEET FOOD. SWEET EGGS AND SALAD AND CHICKEN. SWEET NOT DYING OF STARVATION. SWEET BRAIN CLARITY.
So now here I am, 14 pounds lighter but still having vertigo today. I'm going to jump back into my running / weights program tomorrow (or as soon as the constant dizziness goes away).
And THAT is My HCG story.
Please folks, don't try this at home.
(Do I win for the craziest crash diet story ever?)