HCG Diet Dosage: Troubleshooting Hunger on the hCG Diet – How To Find the Right Dose for You
Table of Contents:
- The Basic Summary of This Whole Article
- Are You Using Homeopathic or Hormone-Free hCG Drops?
- Reasons to Pay Attention to Dose
- What Should My Hunger Level Be on hCG?
- Reasons for hunger the first few days on the hCG diet
- Carb withdrawal – Loading for hCG affects hunger
- Benefits of Loading Clean/Low Carb on Hunger for the hCG Diet
- The Right Dose of hCG– Finding the No-Hunger Sweet Spot
- Homeopathic Drop Dosing
- Tiny Dose Adjustments Have Big Effects
- When to Make a Larger Dose Adjustment Quickly
- hCG Dosing for Men
- The Dosing Debate
- How to Go About Adjusting Your Dose of hCG
- When Hunger is Not a Dose Issue
- Don’t Just Let Yourself Be Hungry on hCG……Whatever You Do
- What to Do in the Meantime While Waiting for Dose Change to Take Effect
- How Long Before You Should Notice the Effects Of Your Dose Change
- MINOR Adjustments Are Often All That is Needed
- Where to Find Your Dose on the Syringe
- Real hCGer Dosage Stories on Finding Their Best hCG Dose
Just one of many similar emails I get:
“I’m only on day 4 of P2 and I am having a difficult time thinking I am going to make it. I am insatiably hungry ALL the time. In the morning, before I have lunch, right after eating lunch, mid afternoon, before dinner, right after dinner. Besides the food being less than appealing, I am sticking to the 500 calories. I am a mom of three small boys and I won’t make it to the end of this if I continue feeling this horrible. I am completely miserable.”
I promise you it doesn’t have to feel this way.
You: “WHY do I feel hungry on hCG?? Why I am starving??”
Me: You are NOT crazy, and IT’S FIXABLE. Fixable.
Right Dose = No Hunger
Wrong Dose = Hunger
This is how it should be and can be:
Even though most are only eating only 500 calories during Phase 2 of hCG, with the right dose of hCG, there is no hunger. Really really. As a person whose done 5 rounds total of this protocol with injections myself to get to my current weight (which I’ve maintained for 6 years now as of November 2018 with no further hCG use), I have seen this for myself and it’s pretty miraculous. So if that’s not how you are feeling, I’m here to help you GET to that lovely place of not feeling like you’re starving.
While there ARE other reasons that hunger might become an issue unrelated to dose, which I discuss briefly later on this article, by and large, this is THE NUMBER ONE reason people struggle on this diet because they find themselves constantly hungry and they don’t realize their dose is off. Tiny tweaks to dose really do change the hunger you experience.
You will also hear from a growing number of real hCGers who have sent in their “dosage stories” – that is people who were starving (not okay), then adjusted their dose, and felt way better (way okay-awesome).
If you’ve gotten your hCG from a weight loss clinic, they tend to dose too high for many which causes the hunger. You may not know that you can now get real hCG injections, drops and pellets online through the following sources- it’s legit, and you get your prescription along with the hCG when you order through them:
Article Summary – the Short of hCG & Hunger:
1. Reasons to Pay Attention To Dose of hCG:
- If you are hungry on the diet, it will be totally intolerable and you will give up.
- Having no hunger on this protocol is a good indicator that your body really is using your stored fat for fuel. It is possible that being on too high or too low a dose of the hormone that causes you hunger will cause your body to hold on to fat instead. This could cause you to not lose weight at all, or to lose muscle.
2. How You Should Feel When on a Good Dose of hCG For You
- Aside from the first few days of the diet, for the majority of the time you are on the VLCD of the protocol, you should not be hungry most of the day.
- So in general how you should feel on the right dose of hCG: Most of the day not hungry, hungry at meal times, even more hungry if you wait too long to eat one of your meals, but then once you eat your meal you should be satisfied and no longer hungry for several hours afterwards. For those with blood sugar issues you may find that you need to eat a little something in the mornings. Many though will not need to eat anything until lunchtime.
3. How to Find your Dose:
- The majority of people on hCG will find a dose somewhere between 125iu-175iu for hCG injections to be their sweet spot. On a rare occasion, a woman may need as high as 200iu. Typically 125iu is the lowest dose a person would ever take on the diet, however I have also read on a rare occasion that menopausal women may need a dose as low as 75iu in order to not feel hungry- please keep in mind this is not normally the case though. By and large, the majority of females do best with the least hunger on a dose between 125-175iu. Typically the leaner you are, the lower the dose you need. If you are have only 15-20 lbs or so to lose, you will most likely feel best on 125iu. If you are more like 50+ lbs overweight, it’s very possible a higher dosing of 175iu and above may be best for you until you lose more weight.
- One thing I want to iterate here is that tiny differences in dose can make a HUGE difference in your feeling of hunger. The time when making tiny dose adjustments of 10-15ius at a time is if you are put on a much higher dose than typically works for most to begin with, like 200 iu or 250 iu. In those cases, if you are on such a dose and totally starving, I would immediately jump all the way down to 150 iu or 125iu and then go from there, raising in small increments as necessary once I have that lower starting point.
- Men in general seem to do best with slightly higher doses than women on average. A number of men seem to feel the least hunger on 200iu.
- One way to figure this out is to gauge when you are feeling hungry. If you are feeling hungry especially towards the end of the day, that may be an indication that your dose of the hormone is too low and you need to increase it. If you are feeling very hungry earlier in the day, that may be an indication your dose is too high and you need to lower it.
- Hunger is not a dose issue when you are on the leaner side or when you’re not sleeping enough.
Are You Using Homeopathic or Hormone-Free hCG Drops?
If you are not using real hCG injections or prescription drops or pellets and are hungry – changing your dosage will likely not help.
hCG is a real hormone, not a placebo – you need to use the real thing to get the real effect of it. So if you bought your hCG from a local store like walgreens or walmart or GNC, or you purchased drops online that were already mixed, this is not real hCG, and this is why you are starving and feel so weak and lethargic.
In this case I highly recommend checking out my resources for real prescription hCG injections, pellets, or drops – you do not need a prior prescription for this, you get it through these companies when you order.
I know it’s both popular to think all hCG is the same and tempting to buy something for 30 bucks off the shelf, but I promise, now is not the time to screw with your metabolism.
As someone who has been maintaining my own hCG weight loss from the real hCG injections for 6 years, and seen many others not maintain, using the real hormone is one vital key for most!
What Should My Hunger Level Be on hCG?
Let’s talk about it in a nutshell first, then we’ll expand on the topic in a little more detail.
In a nutshell: As >you should not be hungry most of the day . However, at mealtimes, times like noon and 6pm, it’s normal to be hungry to need to eat the designated hCG meals. That’s why we do eat that small amount of 500 calories. You are going to feel the need to eat something, so it is normal to be hungry at those times. So just because you do get hungry a couple times during the day, if it’s time to eat your meal, that’s fine, that doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong dose.
The key here is that when you do get hungry and then eat your small meal of 200-250 calories, when you complete eating it you should then be satisfied and no longer hungry for several hours afterwards.
hCG Doesn’t Give You That “Just Finished A Bowl of Spaghetti” Fullness
However, one big thing to note here is that you’re not going to feel “full”. And that sensation can take a little getting used to and can sometimes be mistaken for hunger. When I first started the diet, I was in the habit of overeating pretty much constantly, so I wasn’t used to, or comfortable, with my stomach not feeling full. Over time, the feeling became more comfortable to me, and today, years post my hCG weight loss journey, my “normal” is not feeling full.
There’s definitely an empty feeling going on that’s not the same feeling as finishing a bowl of spaghetti, but you should be no longer hungry. You may consistently have an “empty” feeling in your stomach that you are not used to, especially if you’re used to eating to the point that you are really “full.” Remember, there is very little actual food in your stomach, so an “empty” feeling is normal. This is different than actual hunger.
Overall How You Should Feel When on a Good Dose of hCG For You
So in general how you should feel on the right dose of hCG: Most of the day not hungry, hungry at meal times, even more hungry if you wait too long to eat one of your meals, but then once you eat your meal you should be satisfied and no longer hungry for several hours afterwards. For those with blood sugar issues you may find that you need to eat a little something in the mornings. Many though will not need to eat anything until lunchtime.
And remember that real hunger is not the same thing as your stomach growling – that’s something I didn’t use to know! I learned over time that if you’re stomach grumbles but you wait it out for 15-20 minutes, the growling completely goes away. The growling sensations that our bodies give us have to do with a hormone called ghrelin. You can learn more about what true hunger is in Robin Woodall’s excellent book on the hCG protocol here: Weight-Loss Apocalypse: Emotional Eating Rehab Through the hCG Protocol
Hunger during the first few days of the 500 Calorie Diet
The first few days that you are on the low calorie portion of the protocol require it’s own explanation, because during these first few days it is normal to experience a little more obvious hunger than you will experience for the majority of the diet. It can be a little harder those first few days to tell if you are on the right dose of hCG, because even if you are on the right dose, you may feel hungry.
Reasons for hunger the first few days on the hCG diet
When you start the loading phase for the diet, the majority of people load the traditional way- that is to load up on any and all foods- this means the foods will not only be high in fat, but high in sugar and refined carbohydrates as well.
To explain the sensation that this can cause, have you ever done something like eat a large meal full of carbs like tons of pasta late at night and got really full, then the following morning you find yourself waking up very hungry, much hungrier than usual? And it seems strange doesn’t it, because you think to yourself, “I ate a lot more than usual just 6-8 hours ago, yet I’m starving when I wake up!” Whereas when you just eat normal meals, you do not wake up feeling extremely hungry. Why does this happen?
Why you feel hungry soon after a large meal
I’d like to quote just a small excerpt from Dr. Braverman’s article on his pathmed.com website regarding simple carbs and resulting hunger: “Simple carbs drive down ghrelin initially, but this hormone then rises within a few hours to above normal levels; causing you to feel even hungrier than when you started eating in the first place! ”
Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for those growling sounds you hear coming from your stomach at times. So loading with lots of carbs and sugar for the diet could cause a lot more stomach growling at first. So when you load for the diet the normal way, consuming vast amounts of not just fats but sugar and carbs as well, you may be hungrier in those first few days because of that drastic change from having an excess of carbs and then suddenly cutting your body off from those carbs cold turkey. Wisegeek.com also mentions regarding Ghrelin that, “research seems to demonstrate that ghrelin suppresses the utilization of fat in the adipose tissue.”
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Carb Withdrawal: The Regular Carb to Low Carb Diet Switcharoo
Additionally, I found a number of forum threads discussing how people feel when they switch over to a low carb diet and many of them mention a period of a few days where they experience carb withdrawal .
Here’s a good article describing this: Getting Through the First Week.
You had all these carbs, now all of a sudden your body isn’t getting any, and your body has to make that adjustment. Your body will be craving those carbs for a few days, and it’s not getting any. Having a higher fat diet makes it easier to get through carb withdrawals, but of course if you’re on the diet you’re not taking in fat. So it is normal the first couple days, especially if you’ve loaded the traditional way to be hungry those first few days.
Try to avoid being in the grocery store on VLCD 1 at around 3pm! I made this mistake my first round of HCG Injections and was almost in a daze while walking my cart through the piles of delicious looking foods and feeling quite hungry. But within a couple days, that passed and I was no longer hungry anymore- I was able to have my two small meals each day and feel totally fine the rest of the day.
The faq page of lowcarb.ca mentions this about carb withdrawals: “Many people, but not all, experience unpleasant symptoms during the initial period of switching to low carb eating, such as intense cravings for sugars and sweets, or maybe headaches, fatigue or irritability. This is not a sign of illness, or a reason to quit. Your body needs to clear itself of the excess carbs in your system left over from your previous high-carb diet. Once your blood sugar and insulin levels have evened out, you will feel better, and cravings will disappear. Most people find this only takes a few days, for a few though, it may last over a week.”
So do give yourself a few days on the diet before messing with your dose too much, because you may experience some hunger anyway those first few days.
Benefits of Loading Clean/Low Carb on Hunger for the hCG Diet
The last 3 rounds of the diet, I have done something a little different, which is to load “clean” or low carb. I load on high fat and high protein foods and I eliminate sugars, grains and carbs completely, including no fruit. The only carbs I have during the loading phase for the protocol are low carb veggies.
I have a very comprehensive post all about loading clean here.
This is not something you have to do by any means, but one of the reasons I choose to do this is because I find I am not as hungry those first few days on the very low calorie part of the protocol. I think this is because my body is not making that huge carb transition as I would have been if I had loaded the regular way.
Additionally, I eat low carb for 7-10 days prior to loading for the protocol as well, so by the time I’m loading and by the time I start the low calorie part of the diet, I’m basically at the point where my body has already cleared itself of excess carbs so it’s a little bit of an easier adjustment for my body. I was still a bit hungry the 2 nd day on the diet this past round but nothing at all like the hunger I experienced the first few days when I loaded “dirty” (aka with sugar and carbs). You can see my 1-week pre-hCG diet thing here.
So if you choose to load for the diet with sugars and carbs as part of your diet, give yourself those first few days, unless you’re totally ravenous all day long or something, for your body to adjust to less carbs and the hormone to get into full effect in your system. After the first few days, if you are not finding yourself less hungry on the protocol like you should be, it’s time to start thinking about adjusting your dose of the hormone to find that no hunger sweet spot.
If you choose to load for the Diet “clean” or low carb you may find the first few days of the VLCD to be pretty painless and well and have little or no hunger actually. That has been my experience, and one reason I choose to always load clean now.
The Right Dose of hCG- Finding the No-Hunger Sweet Spot
The majority of people on hCG will find a dose somewhere between 125iu-175iu for hCG injections to be their sweet spot . So the three most used doses I’d say are 125iu, 150iu, and 175iu. I’d suggest 150ius as a good start point. If you don’t have much weight to lose you might try a starting dose of 125iu and go from there.
On a rare occasion, a woman may need as high as 200iu. Typically 125iu is the lowest dose a person would ever take on the diet, however I have also read on a rare occasion that menopausal women may need a dose as low as 75iu in order to not feel hungry- please keep in mind this is not normally the case though. By and large, the majority of females do best with the least hunger on a dose between 125-175iu. Typically the leaner you are, the lower the dose you need. If you are have only 15 lbs or so to lose, you will most likely feel best on 125iu.
It seems like such a tiny difference that it’s hard to believe that such a small change could really alter much in your body. However, I have found this really is the case, and it’s important to be aware of because making too large a change in dose could easily cause you to bypass your no hunger sweet spot entirely causing you to still feel hungry because you are now on too high a dose (or vice versa).