To Spin or Not To Spin - You Decide

I encountered some pretty strange rules while reading up on the do's and don'ts of HCG dieting.  Some are just plain weird: no cosmetics that contain oil?  Isn't that, like, all of them?  Others were the equivalent of giving the establishment the bird:  no exercise, at all, while on the HCG diet? Uh....ooookay, if you say so.

I started to wonder.  Were these genuine, time tested "rules," critical to the success/failure of the diet, or just some dressed up form of web-hazing? Foundation-less and ashy for six weeks?  I mean, can scaring small children and starting foot fires be that important?  I had to know.

So, I decided to research six HCG-related rules and theories, one for each of my six weeks on the plan.  I looked to research and web chatter (or, as I've affectionately coined it, "witerature" - web literature) to help me identify and understand them.  In the end, I decided to focus on these:
  • WK1 - NO EXERCISE:  To Spin or Not to Spin - You Decide
  • WK2 - NO OIL-BASED LOTION or MAKEUP:  What's Up with the Crust-or-Bust Rule? 
  • WK3 - NO VITAMINS:  Uhhhhh Why?
  • WK4 - NO SPLENDA:  It Has NO Calories!  How on God's Green Earth is This A Problem????
  • WK5 - 42 DAYS MAX:  Is 42 Days of HCG per Round A Real Limit?
  • WK6 - PEE ON A STICK:  Keto Sticks and Pregnancy Tests:  Two Tests That Have Both HCG and Your Urine In Common
On the assumption that these rules stem from Dr. A.T.W. Simeon's original HCG study, I will start each article with his official position, quoted directly from his original manuscript.  For the fact-checker in you, I will link directly to scanned copy of Dr. Simeon's original - not viral - manuscript.  From there, I will break down the web theory, citing via weblinks* any source I quote or paraphrase.** I end it with "Stump the Chump," which is the one place I will share my observations, mostly in the form of questions to you.

My posts are not about offering tips and tricks on how to follow the HCG diet.  Neither do I take a position on whether to adhere to or ignore any of the above doctrines.  My goal instead is to focus on why certain rules exist in the first place.  Where do they come from?  Have they morphed over time?  Can we really get away with six weeks on the couch?  To follow, To Spin or Not To Spin, is the first in the series.  Enjoy!

To Spin or Not to Spin - You Decide

Much of the "witerature" (like that?  web + literature?  made that up, just now) around the HCG diet and exercise holds that exercise during HCG loss phase is off limits, will stall your process, and thus should not be done until HCGers are "off phase."  Others believe the prohibition against exercising is a myth, advanced because of a lack of understanding about the whole starvation phenomenon.

This is what Dr. Simeon advises in his manuscript:
We encourage swimming and sun-bathing during treatment.  ... Finally, the weight can temporarily increase - paradoxical though this may sound - after an exceptional physical exertion of long duration leading to a feeling of exhaustion.  A game of tennis, a vigorous swim, a run, a ride on horeseback or a round of golf do not have this effect; but a long trek, a day of skiing, rowing or cycling or dancing into the small hours usually results in a gain of weight on the following day, unless the patient is in perfect training.  In patients coming from abroad, where they always use their cars, we often see this effect after a strenuous day of shopping on foot, sightseeing and visits to galleries and museums.  Though the extra muscular effort involved does consume some additional Calories (sic), this appears to be offset by the retention of water which the tired circulation cannot at once eliminate.
Simeon, A.T.W., Pounds and Inches, 7th ed. (1971) at 78.  There are two divergent  interpretations of this theory.  I affectionately refer to them as Camp Couch Potato and School Scshwarzenegger.

CAMP COUCH POTATO: You'll go into starvation mode, and your body will protect fat and catibilize - that is, eat your muscle. HCG tricks the brain into specifically demanding fat, not muscle, because you "told" it you were pregnant and had a kid to nourish.  But if you exercise while eating only 500 CUs a day, it will think you are starving, contradict HCG orders, and go into "starvation mode."  Starvation mode marching start order are (1) hoard our fat until we're safe (i.e., eating again) and (2) go after muscle for fuel.  Thus, exercising during the protocol is a 'no no' and you should wait until the party is over.  More along these lines:
SCHOOL SCHWARZENEGGER:  Exercising during HCG dieting only helps; "starvation mode" is misunderstood and misapplied.  First, starvation "mode" or response is only relevant with true starving - like starving to death - not dieting.  The mass-endowed cannot thwart "physics and thermodynamics:" a body's metabolism will never slow down enough to offset the 50%+ caloric deficit during HCGing (me--> otherwise, how would anyone ever become emaciated and then die?).  And, when one's metabolism does slow down, only lean folks' bodies turn on them: chunk-a-munks' physics are on our side - our muscles are safe.  Thus, exercise and the HCG are not diametrically opposed.  Exercise increases the deficit and therefore increases the weight loss.  More:

Huh?  Dr. Simeon doesn't seem to prohibit exercise in his plan.  My read is that, (1), he says exercise can lead to water retention not immediately overcome; but, (2), limits this phenomenon to exercise of "exceptional exertion of long duration."  How did we go from that to NO exercise at all?  Other questions:
  1. Won't drinking more water than your body requires prompt voiding?
  2. Assuming muscle loss really isn't an issue, if your metabolism does slow because of a 50%+ CU deficit, do you still lose more weight than you would if you ate enough to keep it from slowing down?  
  3. Any stories out there from folks who exercised anyway?
What do YOU think?  I'd love to hear thought on this.  'Till next week!


*Not to put too fine a point on it, but you're on your own with how valid the link data is.  First, quite naturally, I don't vouch for anything you are pointed to from here.  This is simply an organized collection of other people's stuff with a range of perspectives for some of my most pressing HCG questions. Next, I haven't found a page yet that doesn't contain lots of ads.  Comes with the territory.

**I cannot as of yet take you to the point on a page that discussion what a link purports it to discuss.  You'll have to read the page to find the explanatory stuff.