By the time you reach the maintenance period of the HCG diet, you are probably feeling very proud of your efforts. Assuming everything has gone according to plan and you have not cheated all the way through the low calorie diet stages, you should have finally reached a healthy weight—hopefully your target weight!
But what happens next?
The maintenance period of the HCG diet is all about “maintaining” your target weight. The danger here is that if you immediately resume your former unhealthy eating habits and binge on takeout and sugars, you will quickly undo all the good achieved through following the HCG diet. But after sticking to a restricted calorie diet for many weeks, it is only natural that you want to start eating food other than chicken breast and white fish.
Good news then! Once you reach the maintenance phase of the HCG diet, you are not forced to follow a restrictive calorie controlled diet. Oh no. Instead, in order to comply with the rules of the maintenance period of the HCG diet, you simply need to stick to a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.
The first twenty-one days of the HCG diet maintenance phase is absolutely critical and you must avoid all starches and added sugars, so that means no junk food and processed foods—in short, everything you have been avoiding up until now anyway.
What type of foods should I be eating?
A high protein, low carbohydrate diet will be full of foods such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, poultry, meat, fish, shellfish, protein shakes and vegetable patties. However, although cottage cheese is a popular source of protein, this particular food must be avoided as it contains a very slow to digest casein protein, which causes some HCG dieters to gain weight during the maintenance period.
What types of food must I avoid?
Foods to avoid include bread, all grains, pasta, cakes, rice, oatmeal, grits, cereal, beans, carrots, sweet corn, sweet potatoes and yams, bananas, peas, and plantains. You should also avoid fruits containing high amounts of natural sugars. These include grapes, dates, mango, cherries, and watermelon.
What can I eat after day 22 of the maintenance period?
After day 22, you can start to reintroduce some complex carbohydrates into your diet. To begin with, stick to brown rice, oatmeal, steel-cut oats, a small potato or sweet potato, or Quinoa. If your weight does not rise, add another small helping of a whole grain or root vegetable.
The trick here is to take a softly-softly approach. Continue to weight yourself religiously every morning, just like you did when you were on the low calorie phase of the HCG diet. Monitor your weight carefully to make sure that two small servings of starch have not caused you to deviate more than 2Ibs from the weight you recorded at the end of the HCG diet. If all is well, continue with three servings of starch until day 32. Once again, if all is well and you have not gained weight, add an extra serving of starch so you are eating three servings of start per day until you reach the end of the maintenance phase.
What happens if I gain more than 2.2Ibs?
If this happens, do not panic—just eat steak (or vegetarian steak) for the rest of that day and the extra weight will soon fall away again.