Phase III – MaintenancePhase III – Maintenance
Phase III is what we call the maintenance phase of the HCG diet. At this point, things will become much easier. You’ve already made your way through the hardest and most tedious part of the diet and you’re getting close to your weight loss goals (hopefully!).
By the time you get to this part, you’ll be able to eat whatever you want and as much of it as you want… for 21 days. The only exception here is that you still need to stay away from starchy foods and sugars.
One thing you should do is to make sure you’re eating protein. A lot of the time, people in Phase II will experience weight gain, and this is very often linked to a lack of protein in their diet. Making sure you get enough protein will help you avoid excess water from building up and causing you to gain weight. This is especially important in the first few days of Phase III.
Once you make it 21 days into this phase (three weeks) then, and only then, should you start introducing starchy foods and sugars back into your diet. But do it gradually and responsibly over the next three weeks. You’ll then be at the end of the maintenance phase. If you’re not at the weight you want, you may start another cycle of HCG. Keep in mind that the more times you do it, the longer the maintenance phase will be each time.
Here are some foods that you should stay away from during the first three weeks of Phase III:
- Artificial sweeteners. This includes NutraSweet, saccharine, Splenda, etc… Use all natural sweeteners if you must.
- Sugar in any shape or form: honey, sugar, sucrose, molasses, corn syrup… the whole shebang
- All starches: white rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, etc…
- Of course, no fast food!
- Stay away from all trans fats and nitrites
- Try to not use OTC drugs or other medications
Rules for weighing:
When you first get up in the morning, go to the bathroom and then hit the scale. Keep track of your daily weight and remember that it can take three weeks before your weight stabilize after Phase II. Your weight will likely go up and down a few pounds. That’s perfectly ok and expected. But if it goes up or down more than two pounds then you need to do some additional steps…
If on any given day you weigh in and it registers more than two pounds away from your weight on the last day of Phase II then don’t eat until 6PM that day. You should drink at least half a gallon of water that day, but more is great. Drink the teas that are recommended with the HCG diet. Once 6PM rolls around, eat the biggest steak you can get your hands on, along with a tomato or apple – whichever you like better, just make sure it’s organic.
What’s the big deal about maintenance phase weighing?
It’s crucial that you do your daily weigh ins. If you do happen to gain weight while you’re in the maintenance phase, it won’t go to the areas it normally would like your thighs, hips or stomach. This weight will actually distribute itself evenly around your whole body. So it will be very difficult to tell that you’re gaining weight if you aren’t keeping track of your daily weight with a scale.
Your daily weigh in is important, but it’s also very important to pay attention to what you’re eating. Don’t fall into the trap of resorting back to old eating habits and loading up your plate. Listen to your body. Stay in tune with what’s going on, how you feel and what you’re eating. While eating, if you’re paying attention and not mindlessly eating, you should notice that you’re full much quicker than before. At that point, stop eating.
Don’t skip meals, either. You need to be getting three full, balanced meals per day with fruit snacks in between. Relax. Don’t stress yourself out about mealtime. Instead, try to be proactive in developing healthier eating habits during this time. Don’t mindlessly eat i.e. sit in front of the TV and eat, paying no attention to eating.
Throughout the HCG diet, it’s very important that you carefully stick to the guidelines and protocols. A lot of the time, when people hit Phase III, they’re still stressed and paranoid about what they should eat and how much they can eat. That’s not what the rules say. The rules relax at this point and so should you. If you continue to eat like you’re still in Phase II then you’re likely to end up gaining weight again. This is is most often because your body is holding onto water due to a lack of protein. You’ll end up tired, sluggish and edgy.
So please, pay attention to the rules. Eat more. If you need to, do a steak day. Record your weight daily and in just a few weeks you’ll see your weight stabilize. You’ll be a thinner, happier you!