Many of our customers inquire about the differences between Dr. Simeons original 500 calorie per day diet and what we describe as the more modern approach in our Quick Start Guide. There are some major differences which we will discuss here, but primarily this post will focus on selecting between the two and which is best for an individual. Neither are necessarily the “right way” to do the diet, as both have a lot of physician recommendations and support from research. Personal circumstances and prior experience is what will dictate the selection of the diet, but both will typically generate the same level of weight loss over phase two of the protocol.
Typically people are familiar with Dr. Simeons original protocol only, which is 500 calories per day in phase 2 and involves fairly strict adherence to what foods you can eat and also the portion sizes of each. This list is fairly small and includes only about a dozen fruits and vegetables and three types of protein sources. Over the years, this has been found to be overly restrictive and can actually harm people through metabolic “freezing” due to the lack of variety. It’s not entirely a sure thing this will happen to those on this diet, as everyone’s metabolism differs to some degree. This is why physicians have developed an approach called the “OWL” diet which is 700 calories per day, and offers significant improvements in the variety of foods eaten in phase two. This the protocol outlined in our Quick Start Guide.
What Criteria to Use in Protocol Selection
There are a few major factors to consider in weighing which protocol is better for the diet. Firstly, if you have done the protocol in the past and had good success on the original method, we do not necessarily suggest changing to the modern OWL approach. There are some exceptions to this, if for example you experienced significant hunger on the diet before, but otherwise if you experienced low levels of hunger and good weight loss results you should stick with what has worked previously.
This is not the only thing to consider, however, particularly for new users of the diet. If you have never used HCG before, we highly recommend that you start off with the OWL approach, unless you have a compelling reason to choose the original protocol. Simply put, users have always had just as good of success on 700 calories per day, with lower reports of plateaus and other issues like hunger in phase two, and it’s just way easier to stick to for most people. However, contrary to many people’s belief, cutting calories to 500 per day for the original Dr. Simeons method may not actually increase weight loss, even if it seems like it should. Metabolism may drop significantly resulting in less fat burnt per day, even with lower caloric intake.
This is not the be all end all list of suggestions in how to select between the two protocols, however, keep in mind that we do basically always recommend the higher caloric intake. If you’re done the diet before and it’s worked at 500 calories, there’s really no reason to switch unless you have had problems in the past. Ultimately, this is only a decision that the user can make for themselves, and we do not advocate one method or another as the best solution for weight loss overall.