Dr. A.T.W. Simeons developed the HCG diet to help the chronically obese lose weight by retraining their endocrine system. Strict adherence to his protocol, including a highly restricted diet and daily injections of human chorionic gonadotropin, produces results, but problems can occur. There are several reasons why your weight may plateau during the HCG diet, but most are not cause for worry. The HCG diet is not safe for everyone, so please talk with your doctor before you decide to follow it.
The first week or so of your effective injections -- that is, your third through seventh days on the diet -- the weight is likely to come off quickly, usually about a pound per day. As you settle into the diet and your body disposes of much of its stored fluid, your weight loss may drop to about a half-pound per day. Men generally continue at this pace, according to Dr. Simeons, but women tend to experience minor plateaus of one to two days where their weight remains the same. These short plateaus don't require any correction. Dr. Simeons says that these minor hiccups are simply due to water retention and are perfectly normal.
Sometimes a plateau can last four to six days, especially if the daily loss has been above average. These plateaus are self-correcting, but dieters may help encourage correction by doing what Dr. Simeons calls an "apple day." The day you wake up and see no weight loss, you are to eat nothing but six large apples from lunchtime of that day until lunchtime the next day. The only caveat is that an apple day cannot be done on your no-injection day -- you must wait until the next day if the plateau has not corrected itself.
A major plateau is relatively rare, and only occurs in people who have been obese for most of their lives. If you spent years at a particular weight and quickly gained weight, you may plateau for up to two weeks when you reach your original weight. Unfortunately, the only thing that can bust this particular plateau is time and strict adherence to Dr. Simeons' protocol. If this lengthy plateau interferes with your progress to the point where you cannot reach your goal within six weeks, a second course of injections may be necessary.
Other things can cause minor interruptions in weight loss, and some are unavoidable. Menstruation can often bring about a brief plateau, especially if the HCG is discontinued during this time. Fortunately, this plateau usually ends as menstruation ends. The other main cause of a plateau is a diet mistake. The diet protocol must be followed exactly, as any deviation may cause an interruption or even weight gain -- even something as small as an extra grissini or eating turkey instead of chicken can cost you up to three days' progress, but according to Dr. Simeons, an apple day may help get you back on track.
- "Pounds and Inches"; Dr. A.T.W. Simeons; 1971
- MayoClinic.com; Getting Past a Weight-Loss Plateau; March 2, 2010