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Health and Happiness: My Journey

ROUND TWO: First Round Mistakes and How I Plan to Do P3 Differently This Time

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Hello All! Well, today is R2 VLCD 20, and I have 4 more days left on VLCD, 6 left until P3! With that in mind, I've been giving a lot of thought to what I did right/wrong last round, and what I'm going to do differently this round with that knowledge.

First, here are the 2 main things that I did wrong during my first P3:

#1. CHEAT! I am completely convinced that this was my biggest error in my first P3. Cheating in P2 is bad enough (and I did this alot in my first round!), but in P3, cheating can really mess up your stabilization for the long run. I had to do a lot more CDs than I would have thanks to cheating, and even extended my P3 a week in order to stabilize better!

#2. GO LOW CARB I'm talking about less than 15 carbs per day. I was so desperate to "maintain" that I only ate protein when I wasn't cheating or doing a correction day. This depleted my glycogen stores, which in turn made P4 much harder. Not only that, but I wasn't getting very important nutrients! Dr. Simeon's never says not to eat carbs, only to avoid STARCHES and SUGARS.

My 2nd mistake also carried into my P4. At first, I began increasing starches, and was actually doing very well. I could have Ezekial bread, gluten free granola, sweet potatoes, and more while maintaining my weight. However, I really had to add them extremely slow because my too-low-carb P3 had left my body unaccustomed to any carbohydrate. Unfortunately, instead of continuing to up my carb count, I lowered my count to 10 or less net carbs per day to try to lose my last 15 pounds. THIS was my BIGGEST MISTAKE.

After realizing that I was depriving my body of essential nutrients and was on the verge of some sort of "low carb" eating disorder (though I was eating plenty of calories), I began to reevaluate how I ate, and started to eat more well rounded. I maintained my weight for about a year eating 30-45 net carbs per day, exercising, and weighing daily as per protocol.

Although I was maintaining my weight, I still wanted to lose those last 15 pounds, as well as repair my metabolism after my low carb roller coaster. I decided to return to HCG with a few goals in mind:

#1.Achieve a BMI of 21
- Losing my last 15 pounds would bring me to this very healthy BMI.

#2. Add more variety to my diet
-After botching my first stabilization, the level of low carb I was forced to eat at eliminated a lot of healthy foods from my diet. I knew that I wanted to be able to eat healthy carbs like bananas, apples, and carrots on a daily basis without going over a carb count and gaining.

#3. Repair my metabolism and establish a WOE I could be happy with for life
- Although I was able to maintain for a year, my yo-yo eating at the end of my first round damaged my metabolism, which had already been damaged by years of up-and-down calorie intake due to the recurrent gastric distress caused by my undiagnosed gluten intolerance. I wanted to be able to eat clean, whole foods, without counting carbs daily. I wanted to be able to endulge on the rare occasion and not gain 5 pounds overnight. I knew that I could be happy eating clean and natural 99% of the time for the rest of my life. I wanted to be free of my slavery to food. I didn't want to have to worry and plan every single thing that went into my mouth forever.

I knew that my final round of HCG could do that for me.

Today, on VLCD 20, I am 2.6 pounds away from my goal, and crossing my fingers that I can make it in 4 days! But more importantly, I am doing everything right this time, and I've felt fantastic. I have followed protocol to a "T." I loaded properly this time, with focus on mostly fats rather than sugary starches (though I did have a treat or two just for grins). I haven't cheated a single time during P2, and really haven't had the desire. I am so proud of myself for staying strong and sticking to what I've set out to do. Unlike cutting out fruit like I did in my first P2 in hopes of speeding losses after cheating, I've kept in at least one apple a day, and my average carb count has been around 50, which is far more than I've had for the past year.

Now that I've done P2 the right way, I know that I can do the same for P3 and beyond. Here's my plan for R2P3:


GOAL: Maintain LDW range without reducing carb count from P2 in order to prevent glycogen depletion.
PLAN OF ACTION: Keep in a daily apple, eat lots of vegetables, eat good fats and protein, keep up fluid intake!

FOOD LIST: “Tricky” Foods
(Listed in order to be tested)

Eggs: Not a major concern because I ate them in P2.
Cheese: Did well with it in R1 – something I’m not willing to cut out of my life!
Greek Yogurt: The probiotics are great for digestion!
Almonds: Will try as almond butter first because I want it in my Greek Yogurt!
Coconut Flour: I love this for baking, so I want to make sure it’s good ASAP!
Wine: Just a bit to start. I’m sure I won’t need much after a month away! :)

FOOD LIST: Safe Foods
(Not too worried about these!)

Cocoa “Crack”: Everyone needs some chocolate!
Brussels Sprouts
Green Beans
Sunflower Seeds
Beef: Finally!
Bacon: Yes!

With this plan, I believe I am going to enable my body to learn how to properly metabolize food again, and start my journey into a life less dictated by what I eat...in other words, a Healthy Life.

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Updated February 3rd, 2013 at 01:50 PM by SkinnyMari



  1. bobes's Avatar
    Love it! This is EXACTLY what I want to do and focus on!!! Please please keep blogging so I can learn from your experience! I just bought a 25lb of coconut flour in preparation for P3 last week.
  2. SkinnyMari's Avatar
    Thanks bobes I plan to. I've been searching around to see if anyone's documented a P3 this style continuously, and haven't found anything. I'm going to keep track of how it works for me daily to hopefully help people out in the future! Guinea pig time!
  3. LilShelliBelli's Avatar
    Hi SM, I just wanted to drop by and tell you how much I enjoyed your blog post! So funny that you should write about this on the day I dug an old book off my shelf. I originally bought the book years ago to try helping my dad with his weight and eating habits, and I suddenly had a revelation...DUH?! Maybe time to read it for myself?!

    Your plan of attack for P3 sounds very much like mine (although this will be first time for me). The book is called (Reader's Digest) "Magic Foods: Live Longer, Supercharge your energy, Lose Weight, and Stop Cravings" (57 Fast Acting Magic Foods and 100+ Recipes). It's been the only thing I've read thus far that supports the fact that I want to eat healthy, but not eliminate vital nutritions (like carbs) from my daily life. I'm obviously not through the whole book yet, but it's pretty good and talks about the differences between GL and GI (Glycemic Load vs. Glycemic Indexing). I'm not planning to be obsessive about calorie counting and etc. I want to enjoy life! But as I approach P3, it gets me excited to think about all the good things I can eat and still maintain good health, body, mind etc. Might be something you would enjoy.

    Thanks again for your post! It was awesome!
  4. Exercisegal's Avatar
    Hey sm.. I also have 1 more week for a 40 day round. Trying to get to 115, and at 117 this am, so I always read in the accountability forum. Bc I've been the same weight as you on days, I've kinda kept track of how you were doing. Reading your blog was like reading my journal. I REALLY struggle with falling into the no carb deal, but then I eat ANY and I have a 5 lb weight gain!!! I've struggled keeping an apple in phase 2. It's hard to loose with fruit for me, but it's ok it it's earlier in the day. Please keep posting and I'd love to try in p3 to stabilize at 30-50 carbs per day! I too live coconut flour, so hoping it works! Good luck in your last 4 days!!!! Go 115!!!!

    Carolyn... Exercisegal
  5. Exercisegal's Avatar
    Oh, something else super funny is that photo of the gym girl has been my screen savor for the last year!!!! Too funny!!!
  6. SkinnyMari's Avatar
    LilShelliBelli - Thank you! That book sounds really interesting. I'm with you, I want to enjoy life and not constantly think about food! As long as I stay gluten free, I'm hoping that's what I can achieve!

    Exercisegal- How funny! Weight sisters! LOL. Good for you keeping that fruit in! Its tempting to take them out, but I think a slower rate of loss (as frustrating as it it!) is worth it if it means better stabilization and a stronger post-HCG metabolism! Good luck to you in your last week, you'll definitely make it to goal, I'm sure!!
  7. marvless's Avatar
    Excellent post today! I'm right there with you in making sure I don't go too low carb in maintenance. This has been such a learning experience. Please do keep us posted.