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The following information is for educational purposes only. Due to new FDA Compounding Guidelines and Telehealth Certifications,
Nu Image Medical no longer offers the HCG Weight Loss Program. GOOD NEWS! We have developed something better and easier: WAYT-less!
Phase 3 of the diet can be even harder than Phase 2, because you no longer have the metabolic effects of the hormone, but you have to successfully make the transition back into your "regular" diet. Many people find that the VLCD part of the HCG diet is a lot easier than Phase 3 because the hormone is very helpful and makes the low calorie diet a lot easier. Phase 3 has many opportunities for mistakes as the patient starts to include more foods into their diet, and appetites for some of the foods that may have caused weight gain issues in the past can start to come back. Phase 3 is also calorie restricted like Phase 2, but some patients neglect restricting their calories and end up eating way more than they need to and gaining back some of the weight that they lost very quickly.
The main thing to do is to continue to follow the protocol during Phase 3 of the diet and ensure that you don't deviate from it. This includes continuing to avoid grains, most fats (outside of natural fats like dairy, avocado and nuts), and avoiding processed foods and junk foods. Essentially you will want to stick to mostly if not all of the same foods that you ate during Phase 2, while ensuring that you increase your calorie and protein intake. You will need to pick a daily calorie intake that will sustain your weight, and for many people this amount is around 800 to 1000 calories per day but you should discuss the specific amount with your medical provider prior to starting the diet. If necessary, review the protocol again prior to starting Phase 3 of the diet so that you know which foods to avoid and the ones that are allowable.
There are always certain foods like grains that you should avoid no matter what, but there may even be some "healthy" foods that cause weight gain issues for your metabolic type. Another strategy for avoiding unnecessary weight gain during this phase is to add foods back into your diet very gradually. Essentially, you should stick to the exact same foods that you ate during Phase 2 of the HCG diet, but increase their servings a little. Then, one food at a time, you can start adding them back into your diet while continuing to monitor your weight (which is required as a part of the diet protocol). By adding foods back into your diet very slowly, you can pinpoint any problematic foods that may cause weight gain as soon as they become a problem, and you will know specifically which foods are the biggest issue. You may want to also try HCG diet meal replacement shakes if you are having trouble with weight gain during this phase and need a low calorie meal alternative.
Not every fruit and vegetable will be good for you to start integrating into your diet as soon as you reach Phase 3. You need to continue to be selective and avoid high starch and high sugar fruits and vegetables. You can always look up the glycemic index of the fruit or vegetable that you are considering eating as a quick way to determine whether or not it would be good for you. The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly the food is broken down into glucose by your body, and in general, foods with a higher glycemic index are bad for you and should be avoided. Some examples of high glycemic index fruits and vegetables include: raisins, watermelon, bananas, potatoes, beets and corn. Note that many fruits and vegetables have what can be considered a "medium" glycemic index, and these fruits and vegetables should be mostly avoided during Phase 3 of the diet.
A "low" glycemic index is usually defined as between 0-55, a "medium" glycemic index is defined as between 56-69, and a "high" glycemic index is anything that is 70 or above. If you look up the glycemic index of foods, you will notice that many foods made with grains have what can be considered a high glycemic index of 70 or more. High GI diets are associated with a wide range of different health problems like obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses, while low GI diets have a much lower risk of these health problems. Again, during Phase 3 if you stick to low GI fruits and vegetables and start adding them back into your diet one at a time, you will very likely have no weight gain issues at all because weight gain is normally caused by high glycemic index foods, but you do need to be careful with portion sizes and calorie intake no matter what.
One of the biggest causes for weight gain during Phase 3 of the diet is neglecting daily monitoring of your weight. You need to measure your weight the first thing every morning, and as a part of the diet protocol you need to use a plateau breaker like a Steak Day or an Apple Day as soon as you gain more than two pounds. Weight gain during this phase of the diet isn't an issue as long as you catch it early, but it becomes a problem very quickly when you neglect weighing yourself for a few days in a row and then find that you've gained a lot more than 2 pounds. HCG diet plateau breakers can easily reduce the effects of a few pounds of weight gain, but it becomes a lot harder to lose 4 to 5 pounds or more, so always be vigilant of your weight.
You should continue to avoid the temptation to eat at restaurants during Phase 3 of the diet. If you start eating at restaurants once you hit this phase of the diet, you are taking a major risk because it can be difficult to control exactly what you eat. And let's face it, most entrees at restaurants are not very healthy, so you shouldn't rely on them when you are trying to continue to eat healthy foods. The best thing to do is to continue to stick to cooking at home, and thankfully there are dozens of great HCG diet phase 3 recipes that are low in calories but also satisfying and will help you avoid the desire to eat out as much as possible. Once you have figured out what you can and can't eat, you can take a few more risks with restaurants and order foods that you know won't cause weight gain. If you have any questions at all about Phase 3 of the diet or want to speak to a medical provider to discuss strategies for this phase, click here to talk to one at Nu Image Medical today.