Someone asked this question on one of the forums I visit. I posted a response and though I would duplicate it here:
I have wondered about this myself. When you think about it, the hCG is just the mechanism for getting the weight off and getting a new set point. From there the hCG disappears from our systems, and it becomes our responsibility to eat the proper things. If the body is presented with a constant barrage of the wrong kinds of food, it will start storing fat again.
So many times I read how people can’t wait to get back to the same foods that made them fat in the first place, like ice cream, cookies, etc. It is my opinion that our whole outlook on food must change in order to make this weight loss permanent. On P3 I ate what I was supposed to eat. I wasn’t looking for ways to cheat. In P4 I experimented with adding carbs back, but avoided the majority of desserts that were offered. It’s amazing how sugar is given away in our society. And, if you choose not to have some, people think you are being unhealthy in your thinking (the irony). If you say something like, “I’m not sure I want to try another Wendy’s Frosty because I’m not sure I want that temptation back in my head”, they look at you like you couldn’t possibly go your whole life without having another one, and that you are crazy to even think such a thing. “You mean NEVER???” That kind of thinking is what is keeping us fat.
I stopped drinking soda about 6 years ago, and even though I have still been overweight, that is one of the best choices I ever made. I’m sure I would be much fatter, and possibly diabetic by now. At first it was hard. I had to convince myself it was worth doing, even when major temptations would hit (grape soda was the biggest temptation, strangely enough), and people couldn’t believe I was serious. They would try to tempt me: “Here, just have one. You know you want one”. It’s unreal how friends can undermine healthy choices. Families put pressure on people too. We are supposed to eat what everyone else eats, or we are being unsocial: “You don’t want a piece of cake? It’s goooood! Well ok, it’s here on the table if you decide to come get it”.
So, I think there is a lot of social pressure to eat what society eats. If we give in, we are most certainly going to gain the weight back. On the other hand, if we can convince ourselves that we can actually be satisfied with eliminating a lot of what we ate before, we might have a chance. Our diet has to be different than it used to be, if we expect the new set point to stay put.
To me, P2 is like food addiction rehab. It makes me think about what we eat, and how food doesn’t have to be as social as we have made it in the past. When alcoholics and drug addicts go to rehab, we know their success depends largely on what they do AFTER they get out. If they are in a rush to pick up where they left off…well, that says a lot about their chances of success.
I have a dog that likes to run across the street if she gets a chance. If she thinks nobody is looking, she will bolt across the street and go exploring. If I call her before her mind is totally committed to running, she will come back. But, once she has a head of steam, she is deaf to my calls and she does what she wants. Human nature and appetite have some similarities to that story in my experience. Choosing not to eat something is much easier for me than choosing to stop once I get started.
In one interesting example, my sister used to correspond with a woman who had written a diet book, and had kept her own weight down for years. She was giving advice to my sister and once confided, “In my book I say that people can have sweets in moderation, but I don’t live my life that way. I have chosen to avoid them altogether because I have a hard time controlling myself once I get started”.
The hCG plan does what it says it will do. It takes the weight off, and fast – no question. It resets the body’s set point. I believe that too. I spent six weeks on P3 and P4 and didn’t gain any weight. But, how many of use are prepared to never eat french fries again? For those who feel defensive about that question, and quickly point out that we can eat things in moderation, I agree. But, it’s the moderation we have trouble with. Chain smokers can’t moderate their nicotine intake. Alcoholics can’t moderate their booze. Sugar addicts can’t moderate their sugar intake. Addiction is the lack of moderation. So, if you are addicted to something, how much can you safely have and still remain on the wagon? That is what I have been thinking about. What am I willing to give up to stay looking and feeling good?
If I end up gaining the weight back, I won’t blame the hCG. I will blame myself for taking the step to lose the weight but not committing to the sacrifices that will surely come over the long haul.