P3 HCG Diet is considered to be the most important phase of the diet, because you have to stabilize your metabolism and carefully maintain the results that you will have achieved if you stuck to the HCG diet protocol. At Nu Image Medical we provide you with information on the best foods for Phase 3, but it is easy to make mistakes during this phase of the diet because you may be tempted to eat some of the less healthy foods that you previously ate, especially if you start eating sugar and starches too soon after Phase 2 is over. You really have to be careful once you hit Phase 3, and still be selective about which foods that you start to eat once Phase 2 is over. It's easy to let up and start relaxing too soon, and this is why Phase 3 is so critical to get right.
The point of the HCG diet is not just to lose weight over a few weeks; it's to establish healthy eating patterns and appetites that will last long after the diet is over while resetting your metabolism. The diet can be repeated to lose more weight and to help reset your metabolism if you revert to some of your old ways, but to avoid having to repeat the diet and avoid gaining weight during Phase 3 you need to avoid fruits and vegetables that are high in starch and sugar. You also definitely need to continue to avoid grains and sugars completely, until you reach Phase 4 when you can start slowly adding back certain low glycemic index starches back into your diet. Dr. Simeons mentioned in his HCG diet protocol that the combination of fat and starch in particular is very negative during Phase 3 and should be avoided if possible.
Why glycemic indexes are important
We often discuss glycemic indexes on this blog so it is important to clarify why the glycemic index of a food is important. The glycemic index of a food measures how quickly a food is converted into glucose by the body, and it is a scale from 0 to 100. Pure glucose is 100 on the scale, and the higher the number, the faster a food is converted into glucose. The human body performs best when blood sugar levels are stable. If you consume a bunch of high glycemic index foods, your insulin levels spike up which is always bad because it triggers your body to store any excess calories that you don't burn as fat. You will also feel an elevation in energy and mood followed by a crash which leads to fatigue and even more hunger.
Specific fruits to avoid
Fruits with a high glycemic index of 50 or higher should generally be avoided during Phase 3. These fruits are high in sugar and can cause insulin spikes when eaten in large quantities, and they can affect your metabolism as well. There are several other choices for HCG diet fruits that you can consider such as blueberries, honeydew, cantaloupes, papaya, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, peaches, apricots, apples and grapefruits. These fruits are among the lowest in sugar out of all varieties. As with anything you should consume them in moderation and in balance with other vegetables and proteins, but these fruits are all great choices compared to some of the higher carb fruits that can alter your metabolism negatively.
Fruits to avoid
- Any other fruits with a high glycemic index
Vegetables to avoid
As with your fruit choices you will have to be careful as to which vegetables that you eat on the HCG diet. The main vegetables that you should avoid include:
- Sweet potatoes
Most other vegetables are fine as long as they are low glycemic index, and you can check their glycemic index online quite easily if you aren't sure. Vegetables that are fine to consume during Phase 3 include yellow squash, most green vegetables, onions, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, radishes, and virtually every other vegetable aside from the high glycemic index vegetables listed above.
Grains must be avoided altogether
Grains must continue to be avoided during Phase 3. That means any type of cereal, whole grain, brown rice, corn products, and definitely white breads and white flour. Desserts made with flour must be avoided and snacks produced with grains should be as well. There are some pastas that have a lower glycemic index that can be eaten once Phase 3 is over, but these pastas should be avoided during Phase 3 and added back into the diet gradually.
You will have to make some decisions regarding whether or not you want to maintain grains in your diet after Phase 3 is over. In most cases you will benefit from limiting your intake of grains or reducing it entirely, as most people will gain weight when they consume grains and cereals in excess, with the exception of people who participate in high intensity exercise. Still, in most cases it is better to eat pasta and low glycemic index complex carbohydrates once Phase 3 is over such as brown rice, barley and pita bread. Many types of "wheat bread" are not actually whole grain and will end up being virtually the same as eating white bread in terms of their effect on your blood sugar levels.
Get your protein mainly from meats
Pretty much every meat is allowed during Phase 3, even fatty meats, so you are fine consuming whichever meats that you want, but you should try to get most if not all of your protein from meat sources. Legumes have protein but they also have carbohydrates, and some legumes such as fava beans have a fairly high glycemic index, so they are not the best choices for protein. You pretty much want to avoid all nuts and legumes and get your protein from meat and your fats from vegetable and protein sources. You will also want to increase your protein intake to 6 oz. per serving.
Remember that you should only consume your Last Dose Weight maintenance caloric intake, which your medical provider can help you calculate. You can also use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil in your cooking, and you can consume some dairy products such as low moisture mozzarella cheese. You can use butter in your cooking as well, but margarine should be avoided as it is an unnatural source of fat and may cause metabolic problems. Try to limit your intake of dairy products and get your fat mostly from olive oil or coconut oil and meat.
Avoid carbohydrates in spite of the temptation
You may be tempted to eat starches and grains again, especially if you were previously cooking and start eating out again. You have to avoid the temptation and stick to the diet protocol throughout Phase 3. It lasts for just three weeks and then you can start implementing certain low glycemic index starches back into your diet during Phase 4. We will discuss which starches are the best choices to include in your diet after Phase 3 is over in future articles. Don't make the mistake of loading up on carbohydrates as soon as Phase 2 is over, it the majority of cases it will lead to a disappointing weight gain.