Sometimes it feels like the scale isn’t moving as quickly as you think it should. When this happens, there are a few things to look at to determine if your weight loss is normal or not.
What is normal?
The average weight loss during the HCG Protocol is just less than 1 pound per day. This means you could lose 1.5 pounds one day, and .5 pounds the next, and you would still be averaging 1 pound per day. It is common to experience days of no loss at all, and perhaps even a small gain. This is no reason to be alarmed, your weight is supposed to fluctuate from day to day due to water fluctuation and many other factors. If your average weight loss is close to 1 pound per day, then you are right on track!
The “Second Week Slowdown”
We often receive questions from people who are in week two of Phase 2 VLCD about the numbers on the scale suddenly slowing down, or stopping altogether. This is commonly called “The Second Week Slowdown,” and is fairly common. During week one of Phase 2 VLCD, the weight loss happens so quickly, that our bodies need a few days to catch up. After a few days of slower losses, the scale picks right back up again.
Plateaus and stalls
Sometimes plateaus occur for seemingly no reason at all. Though it can be frustrating, remember to look at your overall average of weight loss per day. If you’re close to the 1 pound per day average, then there is no need to be concerned. If you find that your average is falling closer to .5 pounds per day, then contact us and our Certified Nutrition Coach will work with you to find out if there is an error causing the slower losses. The worst thing that you can do when the scale is not cooperating is to stress about it, as stress will only slow your weight loss further.
Here is a list of common factors that can cause plateaus or slower losses:
1. Not drinking enough water. You should be drinking a minimum of half your body weight ounces (if you weight 200 lbs, drink 100 oz of water) You should be drinking more if you live in a hot climate, are physically active, or drink caffeinated beverages.
2. For women: If you are close to your menstrual cycle or ovulation (the bloating often experienced during this time is due to water retention, which weighs heavily on the scale).
3. Extending past 40 days on Phase 2 VLCD. After 40 days of Phase 2 VLCD, it’s normal for the scale to slow down. For best results, Phase 2 VLCD should be from 21 to 40 days.
4. Getting a good nights sleep is vital in your weight loss. Not only quality, but quantity counts.
5. Medications and supplements have the potential to slow down weight loss as well. Never stop taking a prescription without consulting with your doctor first.
6. Sweeteners used should be 100% stevia. There are many brands of stevia that have sugar in them as well, be sure to check your labels.
7. Seasonings and spices should contain no oils, starch, or sugar. Be sure to check your labels.
8. Exercising can cause water retention. As muscle fibers are torn from working out, water is sent to those torn fibers to help repair them. A surefire way to know that you’re retaining water from exercise is if you feel sore. The water is typically released after about 3 days, at which point you will see a drop on the scale.
9. Sunburns cause water retention as water is sent to the burn to help it be repaired. Depending on the severity of the sunburn, give yourself at least a few days for the extra water to be released.
If you’ve experienced a plateau of 4 or more days and none of these factors seem to play in to your situation, it might be time for an Apple Day. You can read about how to complete an Apple Day here:
*Note: Apple Days should ONLY be used when the scale hasn’t moved in at least 4 days for no apparent reason. An apple day cannot be used to “fix a cheat” or to increase weight loss overall. If completed under the wrong circumstances, it could cause further stalls.
For further help in getting that scale moving along, check out our list of plateau breakers and weight loss maximizer here: