Maintain Your Weight Loss During Phase 3
Phase 3 of the HCG diet is considered to be the most important phase because it's where many people start to slip up. In most cases you will still be maintaining a calorie deficit, but you won't be injecting the hormone during this phase which can make it slightly more difficult. You need to be extra vigilant during this phase and stick to the requirements of the protocol so that you don't slip up and gain back some or all of the weight that you just worked so hard to lose during Phase 2. If you plan ahead for Phase 3 and do it the right away, you will maintain your weight loss results while transitioning back to a regular healthy diet that is hopefully free of sugar, starch, unhealthy fats, and processed foods.
Be sure to weigh yourself every day
You need to be carefully monitoring your weight during Phase 3. The protocol instructs you to weigh yourself every morning after you use the bathroom, and it is essential that you do this every day without an exception. If you miss just one day you can easily put on weight without thinking much about it. You have to be careful to monitor any changes in your weight and respond accordingly. If you gain more than two pounds you need to make adjustments to your diet and also try a plateau breaker (steak day or an apple day). If you skip several days of weighing then you're taking a huge risk of putting on weight without even realizing it. Be consistent with it and take records of your weight every day so that you can see how it's fluctuating when you eat certain foods. If you lose weight during Phase 3 then you're doing the right thing but you'll still need to check your weight regularly.
Don't panic if you gain weight
Don't panic if you gain weight during Phase 3, nearly everyone gains some weight during this phase because of how challenging it can be to just maintain what you've lost. Your body will be responding sensitively to foods that you start adding into your diet. If you keep good track of the foods that you are adding back into your diet, you can pinpoint the specific foods that are causing weight gain. Eliminate any foods that are causing weight gain, and only stick to the foods recommended by the protocol. Don't guilt trip yourself because guilt leads to more slip-ups and isn't a healthy habit to be in. Forgive yourself and get right back on track with a plateau breaker, and stay aware of your food choices and how they are affecting your weight.
Try plateau breakers if you gain more than two pounds
Try the steak day or apple day plateau breakers when you gain more than two pounds over your LDW (last dose weight). Either the apple day or steak day can work, it's just a matter of preference. With an apple day you eat nothing more than 6 green apples and water, and with a steak day you eat a large steak for dinner along with 1 green apple or tomato, and water throughout the day. Both of those plateau breakers can help you get right back on track. Don't try the plateau breakers for more than one day in a row, try it for one day then get back on your diet for a few days and monitor your weight. You can repeat the plateau breakers every two days or so, but talk to your medical provider if you find that you are gaining weight in spite of trying the plateau breaker.
Don't eat at restaurants
Although if you're extremely careful you can get away with it, in most cases you should avoid eating at restaurants. Eating at restaurants might be tempting when you hit phase 3, but it's just another opportunity to slip up. You might even order something that looks healthy but could be made with unhealthy oils or hidden carbs that totally throw your maintenance phase off. Your best bet is to keep cooking at home and controlling every ingredient during this phase if at all possible. If you must eat at a restaurant, be sure to ask the server about every ingredient so that you know exactly what you're ordering. Stick to meals that only have phase 3 approved ingredients, and again it's much easier to do this when you make your own meals.
Try to track everything you eat
It can be a major pain, but it is very beneficial to track every food that you eat during Phase 3. This can be easier if you continue to plan your meals out as you did during Phase 2. The effort is well worth it, because you are far less likely to gain weight when you know exactly what you are eating every day and how many calories are in each meal. You aren't as likely to go over your calorie limit (for many people it will be around 800 at the start of the diet), and it's easier to scale back on calories when you know that you've eaten too many. Take careful notes of the foods that you eat, and be sure that you keep the list of approved foods close by for reference as you plan your meals out.
Don't deviate from the approved food list
You might be tempted to eat some of your old favorite foods, but it's crucial that you don't deviate from the approved food list during phase 3 in particular. Your body will still be adjusting to the metabolic effects of the hormone during phase 3 and you don't want to throw it off balance by adding processed foods or unhealthy fats in your diet. You should especially be vigilant about avoiding starches and sugars; if you're going to cheat on anything it's better to add more calories from the approved food list rather than eating starch or sugar. Adding starchy foods into your diet or eating sugar again is almost certain to result in weight gain, so you should do everything that you can to avoid this. Continue to use your favorite HCG diet recipes and try out new food options from the approved list for Phase 3, which is much larger than the list for Phase 2.
Gradually increase your calorie intake
The goal of Phase 3 is to gradually increase your calorie intake without putting on extra weight. Start with 800 calories and work your way up to the daily recommend calorie amount based on your sex and weight. For a 150 pound woman it is around 1650 calories, and for men it is about 2000 calories for a 200 pound male. Gradually add the calories back into your diet at a rate of about 200-300 per week, or based on the recommendations of your doctor. Most importantly, stick to clean food sources and don't start adding in extra calories from junk, starch and sugar otherwise you can put weight on even if you're eating less than your daily recommended intake. If you're careful with it and gradually add foods back into your diet while monitoring everything, Phase 3 will be successful for you and you won't have any regrets or guilt. For more information about Phase 3 HCG diet tips or to speak to a medical provider about the diet now, click here to contact Nu Image Medical.