Monday, January 24, 2011

My HCG Protocol Experience

After the recent family reunion and outings, I have noticed increasing in my weight. Although it is slow, but I can already see and feel the difference. I felt heavier, more lethargic especially after lunch, and clothes were getting tighter...a bit. Yes, I blame it on 2 Hari Raya celebrations, the Pangkor Laut excursion, and Tanjong was irresistable plus lacking in TABATA exercises. And so, i decided to take on the hcg protocol.

First week was basically detox, so nothing much there, I felt as usual, just a little bit more bloated...just imagine the amount of toxins built up....then comes the 2 days BINGE day. Just what I've been waiting eat whatever I like, started with mee curry, rice for lunch, chicken wing for tea, spaghetti for dinner plus a little bit of waffle at Waffle World....yummy!! also took lots of sugarless sweet...till I was bloated to the max. Then came the second day of binge....started of with paper tosai @ Raju's with the delicacies of fried sotong, fish roe, bulus fish....lunch at Pappa Rich, had keropok lekor for tea, and dinner; rice with bawal fish curry & nasi dagang....WOW!! Can't imagine I ate all that!!!Whoever eats that much!

These first 2 days, I have started my injections. Not too bad, actually its nothing at all. Once you get the technique right, you'll be fine....If this is the biggest fear, I can assure you that you'll agree with me after your second shot. Except for minor bruises, I had probably hit a capillary (not to worry, its not an artery!), its virtually painless.

Then, the real challenge starts....500calories per day....I guess the second fear for patients. Now, if I can do it, I'm sure you can. This was my regular routine: I would have a heavy breakfast (I mean heavy but still half portion of one of listed: mee curry, nasi lemak, yee mee cantonese, meehoon sup, fried keow teow or yong tau foo....hehehe ), no brunch, I'll have lunch (normally half portion rice), no tea, then dinner (most of the time something simple eg. spaghetti or rice). Most of the time, I will be at work, so my main meals will be from restaurants.

So, Day 1 on 500 calories...for breakfast I had roasted chicken, plain without soya sauce, dipped with chili, sugar. For lunch, I had grilled chicken salad from Subway, yes I felt like rabbit, but its tasty and tolerable. No teatime as usual. I reached home at 730pm and rushed to the kitchen, gotta start cooking. Chicken breast, mushroom, green pepper, tomatoes, chillies, chopped and stir-fried with 1 table spoon of virgin coconut oil, just add lots of white pepper & all spices ground...and tadaa...I have Stirfry Chicken Breast with Mushroom...hmmmm Yummy!! And that's 2 servings, I only ate 1 portion. Before bed-time, I just took 1 teaspoon of Bragg's apple cider in a glass of water.....

From Day 1 of hcg protocol first phase, I only felt mild headache probably not requiring any painkillers, but I took Ponstan 500mg anyway. Other than bloated from the binge, I felt fine. On Day 3, still mild headache, and yes, about hourly of passing urine, that's why the first week of weight loss is usually WATER LOSS...makes sense....I lost o.8kg of probably from fluid retention in just a day!

Today is Day 4 of hcg protocol, no headache so far. I feel fine, no cravings, not hungry as I already had my roasted chicken this morning :) So far, I don't mind not having the bad carbs...I feel I'm tracing all my lab results. Should there be any abnormalities in my hormones that needs to be corrected.

At noon today, I have lost 1.4kg, when calculated o.o3kg of fat...of course its all water loss. However, my visceral fat has been reduced to 1 point lower. BMI has dropped by 0.6. Only with 2 effective injections I am already seeing some positive results.

Lab results showed LDL cholesterol slightly above normal by 1 point, normal thyroid function and lowish morning serum cortisol. However, I need no hormonal replacement as I haven't got any cravings. So far, so good....let's see what's cooking tonite!

And here's Spicy Prawn Asparagus

And I have also cooked for lunch Chicken Salsa, to be eaten with lettuce

Today D5 of the 1st phase, still the same, I'm feeling as usual, only a little lighter...My weight dropped 0.8kg, in total 2.2kg in 3days. I'm still losing fat 0.03kg and BMI dropped another 0.3 points. In a hcg programme, one should expect weight reduction of 1lb a day that is if the protocol is followed strictly. As my BMI is normal to start with, the reduction is not so drastic.

Recipe for Spicy Prawn Asparagus
Fry shallots & garlic with 1tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, then add in your prawn...once prawn is cooked, add in chilli paste & Bragg's vinegar. Add in asparagus, cut tomatoes and some spring onion. Salt to taste.

Recipe for Chicken Salsa
Fry shallots & garlic with 1tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Add chicken breasts till cooked. Then pour in salsa sauce (choose one without sugar, you can get it at Cold Storage). Lastly, add some chives, cut tomatoes and capsicum. Serve with lettuce.

Recipe for Stirfry Chicken Breast with Mushroom
Fry shallots & garlic with 1tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Add chicken breast till well cooked. Add white pepper and all spices ground to give flavor. Then, just add mushroom, tomatoes, capsicum, cut chillies, chives and spring onion. Salt to taste.

Some people are really worried about losing weight because they fear they are going to be starved. In hcg protocol, you have a restricted caloric intake, somehow I do not starve my patients or myself. We eat the proper food, furthermore, I can tell you that it taste far better than the preservative containing food. I tend to appreciate food more, why I need to eat it, which part is protein, fat and good carbs. We eat the kind of food that has low calorie to produce the deficit that is needed and its healthy. If you have taught yourself to healthy eating, enjoy the good food, you will definitely maintain your weight post programme. I don't recommend meal replacement such as shakes or snack bar. As much as possible, I would like patients to eat, the digestive system still needs to work and churn food and not be lazy from the shakes. How long can someone live on the shakes? But if you teach yourself how to eat again, you will definitely succeed. Its just a learning can teach your tastebuds to relearn the taste...

One other thing that my patients sometimes complain is lack of support from family and friends or colleagues. They want to lose weight but afraid of what others might think. Some friends even challenge them by giving a box of chocolate while on the weight lost programme. Some think that losing weight is only for the looks, however, they may have other health issues. If you know a friend or family member who is trying to lose weight (ie. medically supervised), the least you could do for that person is just be supportive. For example, someone who is trying to quit smoking, and I have seen this a lot of times, he just couldn't do it because his friends kept offering a cigarette. It has also been described in Malay saying "You look healthy (awak nampak sihat)" which actually means "You are obese". So, give them support, help them through this difficult time. They need your help, they need your support, they need to lose weight, they need to be healthy, they need to recover from chronic diseases, they dan't depend on medications lifelong....and medications alone would not do it.

And for me, my support is good. I had been obese once, I knew how it felt. All things done but still remain obese. I thought I could never lose the pregnancy weight gain. In fact, I was already obese prior to pregnancy, I just couldn't care less. I already had everything, a loving husband, 2 adorable sons, a stable job, what else would I need...until one day I did a blood test...which opened my eyes real wide....what I needed most is my HEALTH now. If I just keep on living like this, living unhealthy life, I will die sooner, I will suffer from chronic illnesses, I will have a HEART ATTACK in less than 5 years, and if I survived, I will be CRIPPLED. I won't be able to see my kids grow, they are probably going to be parent-less (if there's such word), as we both were OBESE. So, that changed my whole perspective in life. Being chubby is not cuddly....its DEADLY.... Its not something you change overnight though, and its not something that was thought in medical topics about the healthy food and exercises. I need to learn it myself....We DOCTORS learn about diseases and how to treat it. OBESITY is usually the cause of most diseases but never a way to treat weird is that?

So, last night, I went home and started cooking again....the usual kids food which was chicken spaghetti for the kids and for both of us, Steamed Sea Perch (Siakap) with dipping sauce & Stirfry Broccoli.

Recipe for Steamed Sea Perch
Clean fish thoroughly, place it in steamer with cut ginger. Fry shallots and garlic with 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil. Pour on fish....add salt, pepper, spring onion.
Dipping sauce: blend 2 red chillies, 4-6 green chillies, garlic, salt, Bragg's vinegar - careful not too much, about 1 tablespoon should do, or squeeze 1 lemon.
Recipe for Stirfry Broccoli
Fry garlic with 1tablespoon virgin coconut oil. Add broccoli, mushroom, tomatoes. You may add any of your favourite vegetable allowed in hcg protocol. Add salt & pepper to taste.

I was hungry before I started cooking but once I started eating, I couldn't even finish 1/4 of the fish or stirfry broccoli. I know now that the hcg must have taken efffect. I felt full and satieted. 2 hours later, I ate a handful of strawberries, that's about 6.

Today, D6 of 1st phase, I can fit into my old pant, size 9 :) The injection was a little painful because I was trying a new site, a little above the navel on the left side. So, my advise is stay below the navel ya. I started my breakfast with Yong Tau Foo (foochuk, white tofu, 2 lady's finger, kangkung) boiled only, no dipping sauce and minus the stuffed fish because its made with flour ie. bad carb. Overall, I'm feeling ok, no hunger pangs. Should you develop cravings or hunger pangs, just give us a call. Something can be done, no worries...

This was the Yong Tau Foo in soup, minus the dipping sauce and stuffed fish

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