You may have heard some dieters try cycling on the HCG diet. So what is cycling? Cycling is alternating Phase 2 and Phase 3 without doing Phase 4. Dieters do have to complete P3 and move onto P4 when they finish cycling.
According to the original HCG diet protocol written by Dr. Simeons, dieters are required to take daily HCG with the VLCD (very low calorie diet) in P2. After 23 or 40 days (including two loading days), dieters stop taking HCG, but continue with the VLCD for another 3 days, before they move on to the Phase 3. The length of P3 is 3 weeks. During this time, dieters may eat any amount of food as long as it doesn’t contain sugar or starch.
How long should you stay on P2 and P3 when cycling? Generally, dieters do a certain amount of days and then take equal amounts of time off. For instance, some dieters do 3 weeks of P2 and 3 weeks of P3 with great success. However, there are no hard and fast rules. Some dieters choose to do 2 weeks of P2, 1 week of P3 and cycle back to P2. It is important for dieters to ensure they take enough time to stabilize in P3 before cycling back to P2.
Cycling allows the dieter to refrain from getting overwhelmed or bored with the VLCD and to enjoy more food selections they desire for a short period. Some like shorter cycles because they have a difficult time staying on the protocol for 23 or 40 days. The idea is that cycling helps to lessen cravings, and it allows the dieter to feel as if they are not being punished by a very rigid diet plan. Cravings are diminished and the periods between the VLCD stage and the periods of free eating allow the dieter to establish goal markers; he or she can remain committed to the HCG diet longer.
Additionally, some dieters don’t want to go to Phase 4 when their goal weight hasn’t been achieved. Consistent weight loss is achieved via cycling and dieters feel better about getting closer to their goal weight. Feeling good about weight loss success intensifies the dieter’s willpower to continue. Cycling maximizes the “feel good” effect and helps the dieter stay on course.
Bear in mind that cycling is by no means an easier way to lose more weight in a shorter period of time. Many dieters think if they go right back to P2, they will start losing more weight faster, which is not true. If a dieter hasn’t done a complete round (with Phase 2, 3 and 4) yet, he or she shouldn’t attempt cycling. Only those who have successfully completed one full round of HCG diet could try cycling. When cycling, dieters should stick to the food items approved by the protocol. Cheat is not allowed during cycling.