Phase 3 of the HCG diet is the most important phase as you will be making the transition back to your "normal" diet and will start gradually adding foods back in. Dr. Simeons mentioned that for Phase 3 starches and sugar were still forbidden while very sweet fruits like dates and bananas should be avoided altogether. Also, vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn and any vegetables or fruits with starches should be avoided as well.
You should continue to avoid eating most dairy except low moisture mozzarella cheese. Once you reach Phase 4 you can start adding more dairy back into your diet as long as you can tolerate it without weight gain. Some people can tolerate dairy foods better than others, while some people can't consume much dairy without side effects like weight gain, bloating, and malaise.
Food allergies are more common than ever, so you have to be careful about certain foods and ingredients that may trigger allergies such as gluten, fructose, lactose, soy, and corn. Most of these foods are not allowed on the HCG diet even during Phase 3 with the exception of fructose and lactose in mozzarella cheese.
You may have heard about gluten sensitivities and diets that avoid gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, so if you are following the recommendations for the diet you will be avoiding gluten throughout Phase 2 and Phase 3. If you notice that any symptoms you were previously having such as headaches, joint pain, malaise, brain fog, rashes started to go away after you started on the HCG diet, you may very well have had a gluten sensitivity or allergy.
Vegetables to eat during Phase 3
On Phase 3 you still have a wide range of foods to choose from in spite of some of the restrictions that you have. You can basically have any vegetable you want with the exception of plantains, corn and high starch vegetables. Most vegetables do not have a high starch content so that leaves you with several options. Some other vegetables that have high starch content that you may want to avoid include peas, water chestnuts, beets, carrots and butternut squash.
You don't strictly have to avoid some of these foods but you should be careful to limit their quantities. It's better to stick to the dozens of low starch vegetables during Phase 3 such as: broccoli, bok choy, peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, snow peas, spaghetti squash, green beans, egg plant and many others.
You can be pretty liberal with the vegetables that you eat during this phase and remember that you don't need to strictly limit your calories to 500 per day like during phase 2, you just need to calculate your last dose weight maintenance, which is usually a minimum of 800 calories but may be more. Vegetables are one of your best food sources that are low in calories and filling so try to stick mostly to vegetables and protein as you did during Phase 2.
Proteins to eat during Phase 3
Since you can pretty much eat any protein that you want during Phase 3 you don't have to be as careful with protein choices as you did with vegetables. Very high fat meats should probably be avoided unless it is fatty fish. Foods like chicken, turkey, lean beef, and fish are still your best options during Phase 3. Keep in mind that you have to be extra careful about starchy vegetables and fruits if you do start eating meats that are high in fat, as Dr. Simeons warned about the quick weight gain that can start to occur when high fat foods are mixed with starch and sugar in Phase 3.
Again if you are careful to document the types of meat that you start eating again during Phase 3 along with your fruit and vegetable choices, you can determine if there is a particular mix of foods that is causing you to gain weight.
Fruits to eat during Phase 3
You have to be extremely careful with your fruit choices since there are some fruits that have a high glycemic index, which means that they are more quickly digested and can cause an insulin spike and quick weight gain. If you have any doubts about a particular fruit that you think may have contributed to weight gain, the chances are that it's probably a good idea to get rid of it.
Foods like kiwi, pineapple, grapes, mango, pomegranate and bananas can have some health benefits but because they are high in sugar they can cause you to gain weight, especially if you aren't careful to limit your starch content with your vegetable choices and if you eat high fat proteins.
Dried fruits are particularly high in sugar and can be dangerous during Phase 3 because they don't fill you up like regular fruits do and can be eaten in large amounts without much thought. Dried high sugar fruits like pineapple and mango are pretty much like eating candy so you have to avoid those as well. Stick to the fruits allowed during Phase 2 as well as low glycemic index fruits like berries, plums, peaches, cantaloupe, nectarines, apricots, and pears.
Watch your weight as you add foods back into your diet
You have to be careful to monitor your weight as you add more foods back into your diet, and also make a note of the foods that you start re-including. It may seem time consuming to do so but if you start gaining weight or getting any symptoms you can pinpoint the exact cause.
It's especially important to note the foods that you reintroduce if you had allergy symptoms that cleared up once you started Phase 2 of the diet. This way you will know exactly what foods might be triggering your allergies and you can steer clear of them in the future. If you start adding a bunch of foods back into your diet all at once you won't know the exact cause of your allergic symptoms. At Nu Image Medical we have diet consultants who can advise you on your best food choice options after you reach Phase 3 of the diet and come up with a nutritional plan that will work for you based on your medical history and allergies. To speak to a medical professional now about the HCG diet click here.