Updated: Oct 3, 2020
For those of us who no longer have to manage periods and are on the HCG Diet, this post does not apply to you and you are free to continue the HCG Diet without interruption. p.s. we're all secretly jealous of you - ha ha!
First of all...what is TOM?
It's pretty simple...
TOM is short for "Time of the Month" or "Period".
Now that we got that out of the way. Let's talk about why we're really here. We all want to now why are periods so crazy when we're on the HCG Diet and how can we make it less miserable.
So you want to know...
Should you continue with the HCG and follow protocol?
Should you discontinue the HCG and follow protocol?
I believe there are no wrong answers to this question. Deciding to go either route won't totally ruin your diet; however, they both have different effects on each of us. In Pounds & Inches, Dr. Simeons states 'You should stop the hCG drops/injections during your TOM/period but to continue consuming 500 calorie hCG diet foods. That way, when your cycle is over you can resume taking your hCG, continue with the 500 calorie diet and get right back into losing pounds.
Sure this is what Dr. Simeons says but did I do it his way the first time around?
When I first did the HCG protocol, I did not discontinue the drops when TOM came as Dr. Simeons instructed. I decided since I was already two weeks into the diet, down 15 lbs and feeling like I was on top of the world, I would just ignore these very specific instructions - I wasn't going to discontinue the drops - I was doing too well AND losing weight like an HCG pro! I was feelin' myself!
Let me tell you - that was a miserable decision. I regretted it and I encourage you not to repeat this same mistake. My cycle (which is already super heavy and long), was even heavier and lasted far longer than I imagined. I also experienced hunger for the first time, I became lethargic AND to top it off, I began craving sweets like never before (see P2 Chocolate Delight recipe if you have a sweet tooth). My releases slowed considerably and I stalled for about 2 days.
You can't imagine my frustration. Just think about it - if you've been on this journey before, you already know you don't want to wake up, relieve yourself in the bathroom only to step on the scale to "0 losses". I don't want you to feel this type of frustration. There are so many other things we deal with when committing to a new lifestyle that we do not want to relive mistakes that can be avoided. I have already done the hard work for you.
Listed below are a few tips to help you successfully navigate this special time. Sure it's miserable for most of us but we CAN make the most of it in order to have great success on protocol.
1. When is the best time to start the HCG Diet?
Women, pick a date right after your menstrual cycle. The HCG Protocol says to stop the hormone injections if you are menstruating. So if you start the diet right after your cycle, you are less likely to have any interruptions. Always plan the diet around your cycle to make it as easy on yourself as possible.
2. What to eat during TOM?
It's pretty simple. Stick to the hCG approved diet foods.
3. Is it normal for my period to come earlier and last longer while on the HCG Diet?
Yes. This is very common. It’s not anything to worry about, this is just a sign that your body is responding to a change in your diet, weight loss, and the HCG formula. Fat produces estrogen, so as your body starts to lose fat your estrogen levels change. Your period usually starts when your estrogen levels are at their lowest. This can be one reason you start earlier and experience longer periods.
4. How long will my period last while on HCG?
HCG can extend the length of your period. By how much, it’s hard to say. It varies person to person. It’s a total inconvenience, but try to ride it out. Like we said, this means your body is responding to the formula. My cramps seem worse than they usually are, is that normal? We have seen a lot of women report cramps being a little more intense while on the diet. There’s not much you can do to prevent this. Grab a heating pad, drink some water, and hang in there. Make sure you aren’t drinking any caffeine during your menstrual cycle. Caffeine acts as a stimulant which triggers your uterus to contract more (which is the cause of cramps in the first place).
5. Will HCG affect my birth control?
Doing the HCG diet will not counteract contraceptives (it won’t cancel out your birth control and make you get pregnant). However, if you are on birth control to treat severe cramps or acne, the HCG Diet can alter with its effectiveness in treating those symptoms.
6. Is it normal to gain weight on my period?
This is totally normal. Your body retains a lot of water while you’re menstruating. This means you can see gains up to 6 pounds during your menstrual cycle but this is a temporary gain and it’s just water. Cut salt out of your diet to minimize the water retention, but most of all don’t freak out! Seeing some weight gain when you’ve been sticking to the protocol can be incredibly discouraging, but it’s only temporary. That water weight normally comes off the day after your cycle ends.
There you have it!
Sure HCG can affect your period, and while it’s a bit annoying, it’s nothing to be too concerned about. It's always best to Wait it out - TOM will be leaving town before you even know it!