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Thread: Read This First: What is Cycling?

  1. #1
    Senior Member J Beanie's Avatar
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    Post Read This First: What is Cycling?

    What is cycling?

    In a nutshell, cycling is following Dr. Simeons’ protocol and rotating back and forth between P2 and P3 without doing a P4.

    Cycling is not for newbies, but for those who have completed at least one full round.

    Traditional P2 & P3


    The length of a traditional P2 is a minimum of 23 days also known as a short round. Days 1 and 2 are loading days followed by days 3 through 23 of VLCD (very low calorie diet) during which time you are taking hcg. After this point you stop the hcg, but continue with the VLCD for 72 hours if taking Rx hcg, or 48 hours if taking homeopathic hcg, before you start the P3 break.

    The length of a traditional P3 is 21 days. During this time, you may eat anything you wish except sugar and starches. You will be stabilizing during this phase. At any point you go over 2 pounds of your LIW (or LDW), you must do a steak day the next day to drop your weight back down within the 2 pound range.

    Non-Traditional P2 & P3


    Cycling can be modified to fit what works for you. For example, a 2 week /1 week round looks like this:


    • 2 weeks of P2: day 1 = first injection and load day followed by 13 days of VLCD
    • Continue VLCD for 72 hours with no injections - days 15-18
    • 4 days of P3 - days 19-21
    • Cycle back to P2

    While cycling, I typically load by eating P3 foods (aka a Mini-Load) and don‘t restrict the amounts; however, I don‘t do a traditional load day wherein I eat any and all foods to capacity and then some. I only load one day at the most. Some people do the traditional 2 load days and eat everything they wish, but realize if you do this, you will have to use extra days of your P2 to lose the load weight.

    The key is to pay attention to your body to know what works for you. One thing you must know is this: cycling is not a way to lose more weight in a shorter amount of time. Your losses will not be greater, so if that is your objective for trying cycling, you will be disappointed. Keep in mind when doing shorter rounds, any cheat will effect the result of your round so staying on protocol is imperative because there are not extra days to recover from the cheat. Of course, you can always extend the round if you wish, but then you're likely doing a full P2.

    It is recommended that before cycling, a dieter should do a complete round (P2, P3 & P4) before cycling (see Pounds and Inches for pertinent data--at the very least, you should do a full 23 days the first time). Also the last round should be a complete round as well. There are those who have been successful cycling without ever doing a P4 until their last round--this is a decision you will have to make after weighing the facts.

    Although similar, cycling is not the same as a “planned interruption” as described in Pounds and Inches. A planned interruption still assumes the dieter will continue to complete a full round including P4.

    A final word… cycling is not protocol and it does not work for everyone. You will read arguments both for and against cycling--at this time, there is no definitive information to know the long-term results. Again, it is a personal choice and doing your due diligence is strongly suggested.

    Be sure to read Dr. Simeons’ Pounds and Inches to understand the protocol: Pounds and Inches
    Last edited by J Beanie; February 15th, 2011 at 01:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Member vampkisses's Avatar
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    This alone answered half my questions! Thank you for this sticky!




    R1P2W1~-9.6
    R1P2D8-216.4~.2
    R1P2D9-215.2~-1.2
    R1P2D10-214~-1.2
    R1P2D11-214.2~.2
    R1P2D12-214~.2
    R1P2D13-213~1

  3. #3
    Senior Member J Beanie's Avatar
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    Post Food Combining

    This isn't specifically related to cycling, but I'm posting here just so I know where to find it quickly.

    Many people report they are having issues when adding foods back in during P3 and P4. Some attribute this to food allergies or food intolerance. While this may be the case, I also think leaving out groups of foods can lead to digestive problems. If you are having issues and have ruled out allergies or intolerance, you may want to consider food combining. Be sure to adapt the concepts to the particular phase you are in as some of the rules don't always apply to P2 or P3.

    It may be helpful to print this Food Combining Chart for a quick reference. I tape mine to the inside of a cupboard so it's handy.

    This is a list of the basics I compiled from MH's book as a companion to the food chart. Note there is a section on alcohol which should come in handy for those of us who enjoy a refreshing alcoholic beverage now and then.

    The Basic Rules of Food Combining


    1. Do not eat proteins and starches together. Your body requires an acid base to digest proteins and an alkaline base to digest starches. Proteins and starches combine well with green, leafy vegetables and no starchy vegetables, but they do not combine well with each other.

    Acids and Alkalines neutralize each other. Proteins and starches require different digestive enzymes which function at different pH levels in the body. Pepsin digests protein in the highly acidic environment of the stomach, and starches prefer alkaline environments such as the intestines. Combining these two types of food traps them and slows down the digestive process. The undigested food causes digestive problems such as gas, bloating, constipation, and weight gain. When you eat proteins (acid) and starches (alkaline) together, everything gets neutralized and nothing gets digested.

    2. Do not mix fruit with proteins, starches, or any kind of vegetable. Fruits digest so quickly that by the time they reach your stomach, they are already partially digested. If they are combined with other foods, they will rot and ferment. Only eat fruit with other fruit.

    3. Melons digest faster than any other food. Therefore, you should never eat melons with any other food, including other fruits. Always eat melons on their own.

    4. Do not mix acid and/or sub-acid fruits with sweet fruits at the same meal. Acid fruits, such as grapefruits, pineapple, and strawberries, can be mixed with sub-acid fruits, such as apples, grapes, and peaches, but neither of these categories can be mixed with sweet fruits, such as bananas, dates, or raisins.

    5. Eat only four to six different fruits or vegetables at one meal.

    6. Fats and oils combine with everything (except fruits) but should be used in limited amounts because while they won’t inhibit digestion, they will slow it down.

    7. Wait the following lengths of time between meals that don’t combine:
    Two hours after eating fruit.
    Three hours after eating starches.
    Four hours after eating proteins.

    Suggested: Divide the day into three food combining segments. Fruit in the morning, a protein lunch, and a starch dinner. This gives a cleansing fruit meal first thing in the morning, an energy-packed protein lunch in the middle of the day, and the slow, steady release of energy from eating complex carbohydrates at night.

    If you miscombine food, there are ways to offset the bad combination. If you eat a protein with a starch, you can eat some legumes with the starch, and it will “convert” the starch to a complete protein. Let’s say you eat chicken with rice for lunch. If you eat some beans (any kind), the chicken-rice combination will digest more easily than if you don’t eat the beans. If you eat sushi (fish with rice) which is automatically a bad combination, make sure you add miso soup. Or to help round out your miscombined meals, you can always (in a pinch) eat some peanuts after the meal to offset the bad combination. Speaking of nuts, another good tip is that if you’re going to eat a lot of nuts, make sure you eat an acid fruit with them (ex. glass of orange juice).

    Alcohol guidelines: When eating starches, it is better to drink beer or grain alcohol (vodka, scotch, etc.), since they are starch-based. Ideally, you should drink wine and champagne only with fruit. Wine with fish balance each other, too.

    Liquids should be consumed fifteen minutes before a meal or one hour after eating. Ideally, you should never drink anything with your meal because it dilutes the digestive juices, thereby interfering with proper digestion. But, if you have to, make sure you sip rather than gulp your drink.

    Food Combining “Fix It” Chart

    If you eat protein and starch during the same meal, eat some legumes.
    If you eat nuts, eat an acid fruit with them.
    If you still eat dairy, make sure to eat an acid fruit.
    If you’ve overloaded on pasta, eat an apple the next morning.
    If you’ve eaten too much sugar, eat grapes the next morning.
    If you’ve eaten too much salt, eat watermelon the next morning.
    Think thin thoughts and it will become your experience.

  4. #4
    Junior Member cindy.mcg's Avatar
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    Excellent POST!!

  5. #5
    Member Uptowncivilian's Avatar
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    This was one of the most informative posts I have read on the entire board! THANK YOU!!!!!!!


    SW160.2 1/29LW160.8 1/31 LDW144.4 3/09 D53146.6 3/23

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChaChie's Avatar
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    Forgive me if this has been answered specifically somewhere. I've read so much today that I think my head may explode.

    It seems that I read in some threads that you are supposed to double your off weeks with each round of cycling. Which is right?

    Thanks, Carole
    P.S. I agree with Uptown. This is the most informative post I've read so far.




    Currently on R4P2.

    Load Days: +2.0
    Week 1: -6.0
    Week 2:
    Day 1: 133.8

  7. #7
    Senior Member J Beanie's Avatar
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    Well... There really are no hard and fast rules to cycling. You can choose to do a longer P3 if you like. What you are probably thinking of refers to Dr S's protocol and increasing the time between rounds (review "Pounds and Inches" for specifics).
    Think thin thoughts and it will become your experience.

  8. #8
    Weight before HCG 246.6
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Beanie View Post
    This isn't specifically related to cycling, but I'm posting here just so I know where to find it quickly.

    Many people report they are having issues when adding foods back in during P3 and P4. Some attribute this to food allergies or food intolerance. While this may be the case, I also think leaving out groups of foods can lead to digestive problems. If you are having issues and have ruled out allergies or intolerance, you may want to consider food combining. Be sure to adapt the concepts to the particular phase you are in as some of the rules don't always apply to P2 or P3.

    It may be helpful to print this Food Combining Chart for a quick reference. I tape mine to the inside of a cupboard so it's handy.

    This is a list of the basics I compiled from MH's book as a companion to the food chart. Note there is a section on alcohol which should come in handy for those of us who enjoy a refreshing alcoholic beverage now and then.

    The Basic Rules of Food Combining


    1. Do not eat proteins and starches together. Your body requires an acid base to digest proteins and an alkaline base to digest starches. Proteins and starches combine well with green, leafy vegetables and no starchy vegetables, but they do not combine well with each other.

    Acids and Alkalines neutralize each other. Proteins and starches require different digestive enzymes which function at different pH levels in the body. Pepsin digests protein in the highly acidic environment of the stomach, and starches prefer alkaline environments such as the intestines. Combining these two types of food traps them and slows down the digestive process. The undigested food causes digestive problems such as gas, bloating, constipation, and weight gain. When you eat proteins (acid) and starches (alkaline) together, everything gets neutralized and nothing gets digested.

    2. Do not mix fruit with proteins, starches, or any kind of vegetable. Fruits digest so quickly that by the time they reach your stomach, they are already partially digested. If they are combined with other foods, they will rot and ferment. Only eat fruit with other fruit.

    3. Melons digest faster than any other food. Therefore, you should never eat melons with any other food, including other fruits. Always eat melons on their own.

    4. Do not mix acid and/or sub-acid fruits with sweet fruits at the same meal. Acid fruits, such as grapefruits, pineapple, and strawberries, can be mixed with sub-acid fruits, such as apples, grapes, and peaches, but neither of these categories can be mixed with sweet fruits, such as bananas, dates, or raisins.

    5. Eat only four to six different fruits or vegetables at one meal.

    6. Fats and oils combine with everything (except fruits) but should be used in limited amounts because while they won’t inhibit digestion, they will slow it down.

    7. Wait the following lengths of time between meals that don’t combine:
    Two hours after eating fruit.
    Three hours after eating starches.
    Four hours after eating proteins.

    Suggested: Divide the day into three food combining segments. Fruit in the morning, a protein lunch, and a starch dinner. This gives a cleansing fruit meal first thing in the morning, an energy-packed protein lunch in the middle of the day, and the slow, steady release of energy from eating complex carbohydrates at night.

    If you miscombine food, there are ways to offset the bad combination. If you eat a protein with a starch, you can eat some legumes with the starch, and it will “convert” the starch to a complete protein. Let’s say you eat chicken with rice for lunch. If you eat some beans (any kind), the chicken-rice combination will digest more easily than if you don’t eat the beans. If you eat sushi (fish with rice) which is automatically a bad combination, make sure you add miso soup. Or to help round out your miscombined meals, you can always (in a pinch) eat some peanuts after the meal to offset the bad combination. Speaking of nuts, another good tip is that if you’re going to eat a lot of nuts, make sure you eat an acid fruit with them (ex. glass of orange juice).

    Alcohol guidelines: When eating starches, it is better to drink beer or grain alcohol (vodka, scotch, etc.), since they are starch-based. Ideally, you should drink wine and champagne only with fruit. Wine with fish balance each other, too.

    Liquids should be consumed fifteen minutes before a meal or one hour after eating. Ideally, you should never drink anything with your meal because it dilutes the digestive juices, thereby interfering with proper digestion. But, if you have to, make sure you sip rather than gulp your drink.

    Food Combining “Fix It” Chart

    If you eat protein and starch during the same meal, eat some legumes.
    If you eat nuts, eat an acid fruit with them.
    If you still eat dairy, make sure to eat an acid fruit.
    If you’ve overloaded on pasta, eat an apple the next morning.
    If you’ve eaten too much sugar, eat grapes the next morning.
    If you’ve eaten too much salt, eat watermelon the next morning.
    OMG -this is so much to remember. I must have missed this in health class in school and nutrition class in nursing school.
    Round 1 Phase 2
    Load day 1 : 246.6 on 3/1/2011
    Load day 2: 247.2 on 3/2/2011
    VLCD 16 current weight : 233.2 as of 3/18/2011
    VLCD 21 current weight :230.2 as of 3/23/2011
    VLCD 26 current weight :229.8 as of 3/28/2011

    total loss of 17.4# from 3/1/11 to 3/28/2011


    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter__________________________________________________ _________

  9. #9
    Senior Member ZellerX's Avatar
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    Hi there Please forgive me if this is an obtuse question ... but what is the benefit of cycling? I mean, What is the reason that some consider this course of action over the timing in the Simeone protocol?
    *** It doesn't matter how many times you have tried and failed, there is always the last time you tried and succeeded! ***

  10. #10
    Senior Member J Beanie's Avatar
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    Zeller, people cycle for various reasons. Some feel it is easier on the body to lose 10 - 12 pounds then give the body a chance to recover rather than lose 25+ pounds in one round. Some like shorter cycles because they have a difficult time staying on protocol for 23 or 40 days. Some feel that P4 is unnecessary until goal weight is achieved. There are varied reasons... people do what works for them and again, cycling does not work for everyone and it is not protocol. If you are new to hcg, please familiarize yourself with Pounds and Inches plus follow the protocol so you know what works. It's always best to go the proven route at first before deviating, imo.
    Think thin thoughts and it will become your experience.

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