I am going to talk about stalls that happen on Phase 2 of The hCG Protocol.
Yup, stalls happen. Nothing could be more frustrating than being on a very restrictive diet, doing everything right, and then to be at the same weight for 3 or 4 days in a row. Bah humbug!
The first thing you need to realize is that you are not alone. Everyone I have ever coached using The hCG Protocol for weight loss has had to deal with a stall at one point or another. During Dr. Simeons extensive testing period, in which he penned his manuscript Pounds and Inches, he discovered several types of stalls. In the manuscript he tells us that stalls of one or two days are to be expected. He then describes other types of stalls that can be anticipated:
- The Plateau: 4-6 days of stationary weight with no dietary errors
- Reaching a Former Level: 10 days to 2 weeks at the same weight with no dietary errors due to reaching a weight that you might have been at for years
- Menstrual Interruption: Few days before and during, and can include the time of ovulation (again, with no dietary errors)
You can see that there are many reasons for a stall.
Even if we know this intellectually, we don’t like it. Especially if we are doing everything right.
There are a couple of things to be aware of.
Remember that the manuscript, that describes this protocol, is called Pounds AND Inches. It says it all right there. Sometimes it will be about the pounds, and sometimes it will be about the inches. Even if you are NOT losing pounds, you WILL BE losing inches. Do you remember the Emaciated Lady in the manuscript? She lost 8 inches off her hips in 5 weeks without losing an ounce of weight. Continue to have faith that this is happening while you are in a stall.
Also remember that any time you stray away from the rules of the protocol, especially if that deviation came from eating wheat, it can lead to an extensive period of no weight loss.
NOTE: Here is a fascinating article I just read on the repercussions of reintroducing wheat after a period of clean eating.
With The Biz Buzz Method, I like to take a very proactive stance against stalls. I think the quicker you get your weight off for each cycle of P2, the quicker you can get to practicing your life long rules of maintenance. So with my method, a stall is defined as an average of 0.4 or less loss for 4 consecutive days. If you have lost on average 0.4 or less for 4 days in a row, then that qualifies as a stall.
With all that being said, what can you do about it?
If you asked Dr. Simeons, he would tell you to do an Apple Day. Ick. ::giggle::
But seriously, his solution was to have a client eat up to 6 large apples and as little water as they can handle. Viola! The next day there was a significant loss, which he admits is mostly the elimination of water. He also states that the water weight is not regained when the normal low calorie menu is resumed.
Hmmmm, in my experience, not so much.
In dealing with clients and members of HTA over the years, I have found that apple days always grant a sizable loss, however, there is a bounce back of almost half the weight up to the full weight lost.
To me that is more disheartening than the actual stall!
I struggled to come up with a way to break a stall that would have the least impact and allow the client to continue to lose without breaking protocol. I came up with what I call a Stall Buster menu. It is the following:
One beef/one fish
One cooked veggie/one raw veggie
Up to 1/4 cup of Half and Half
All the coffee, tea and water you can drink
You will notice that the above menu does not reflect The Biz Buzz Method rules as it doesn’t have any added fats or starches* – that is because it’s purpose is to break your stall and not to be a part of the regular protocol.
If following the above plan for 1 day doesn’t break your stall then there are some other things to look out for, fix these and see if they help:
- Water: Are you drinking enough or maybe too much? Dr. Simeons says 2 liters is a good amount. In my coaching, water is water, not tea, not coffee, not lemon water, just water.
- Protein: Are you having too much protein? Dr. Simeons says 7 oz per day, I allow up to 8 oz, but no more. Your protein grams should be around 35-50 per day. Also, endeavor to not eat the same protein twice in a day.
- Fruits: If you are in a stall, try changing up your fruits. Don’t do two of the same fruits in one day. Also, try not to eat anything sweet after 4pm including fruits. And try cutting out fruit altogether, using avocados and tomatoes as your required “fruits” for the day.
- Potty Action: Are you eliminating properly? Yes, Dr. Simeons says you can go for days without it, but in my book, I feel there should be something eliminated daily, even if it’s small. What to do if you aren’t? My biggest recommendation is being on a regime of Magnesium, and hopefully this is a lifelong supplement that you were already on before you started P2. This will be a topic for a future article.
- Calories: Are you getting the proper calorie amount? Do you count EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth? Even spices and condiments?
- Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? Weight is lost during your resting period.
As you can see, there are steps you can take to break a stall. Just remember that you absolutely MUST be in a stall to try the Stall Buster menu for it to work properly. And please don’t abuse it. Use it when only necessary.
I would be curious to hear any other remedies for breaking a stall that my readers may have used personally. Also, please chime in if you have used the above and it’s worked for you. Please share!
*edited to add on 07.15.13 to clarify that the Stall Buster Menu does not includes starches as well