My husband and I are sane, rational, health-conscious professionals. Sure, we are more likely to run with the Hashers than to play a round of tennis with Muffy, but in all other respects were are pretty tame and WASPy. For crying out loud, we both have Ph.D.’s. But sometimes all that rational thought doesn’t mean you won’t try something just a little bit crazy.
Back in the spring, my friend Steve started blogging about his new diet. And damn, he lost 40 lbs. And his wife lost a bunch, too. WTH? So, I called him to ask what he was doing and how he was doing it. He told me that he and his wife went on the HCG diet. You know, the Celebutard-endorsed, Dr. Oz promoted diet. It can’t be that bad, Dr. Oz is a doctor, right? I asked the hubby if he would be interested in trying it with me. We were still in North Carolina with nothing else to do, so why the Hell not?
How it works: You get this vial of drops and put them under your tongue 3 times a day, restrict your caloric intake to only 500 calories per day, and then pretend you’re not hungry.
The program only lasts 26 days, so we like to refer to this as our “detox” and not a “diet”. When we did this in the spring, we each lost 10-15 lbs. (and kept it off), but more importantly we felt better and were conscious about how many calories are in food. You will never look at food the same way again. So, here are some survival tips if you want to try this yourself. (And BTW – I’m not a doctor, well, not a medical doctor, so get check all of the important stuff before you think this might be for you.)
1. Don’t do it alone. I would never consider this if I wasn’t “in it” with the other food-purchasing person in my house. It does take a radical shift in what you eat, even if only temporarily. If you think you can sneak this program in and just eat less of what is normally cooked in your house, you will probably fail or hurt someone. And while you’re at it, if you keep firearms in the house, this might be a good time to double check the gun cabinet locks.
2. Fill up a bag of hard to chew vegetables and add them to everything. This seems crazy, but it seems to work for us. I chop up a bag of celery, carrots, onions, radishes, cabbage, etc., and add it to every salad. This will double your serving size, and a mentally make you think you are eating more because it takes you so damn long to chew. Hopefully, you don’t suffer from TMJ.
3. Plate your food well. Again, this seems like window dressing on a tenement, but it will make a difference to your mood. Everything looks better over a bed of spinach, and you can eat an entire bag of spinach for approximately 20 calories.
4. Water, water everywhere. You are going to get the munchies – mid-afternoon and late at night for me. While I can usually quiet the 3 p.m. munchies with a small apple, the ones at night I think come mostly from boredom. Every time I think about food, I chug a glass of water. With the small exception that I now wake up 6 times at night to pee, it seems to help. The fact that my new office is 15 feet from the refrigerator does make things a little more tempting.
5. Cheat. Ok, I know what you’re going to say, “if you have to cheat, then this is useless.” Hey, do what you gotta do. Personally, I know people that go on Atkins for a few months and become these rancid, spiteful human shadows of their former self while telling you they can eat all they want as long as they avoid carbs. You know what – eat a damn cracker. I add a few crackers to lunch and it makes all the difference. When we did this in the spring I remember my husband freaking out around Day 10 and storming off to go eat the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the corner. Really, eat an extra carb before you become ‘that guy,’ it’s ok.
We wanted to get this out of the way before football season started, and we’ll have to ease ourselves in about 2 weeks into the season – but I’m going to allow myself to cheat on game day. Otherwise, it really would be useless.