During Phase 3 you will need to be extra cautious about weight gain as you start to add more foods back into your diet, and monitoring your weight is important during this phase. As recommended in the HCG diet guide, you will be measuring your weight every morning after using the bathroom, and the goal is to stay within 2 pounds of your last dose weight (LDW). You will need to calculate the amount of daily calories that you need to maintain your LDW, and your medical provider can help you calculate this at the beginning of the diet. For some people this can be as low as 800 calories, but others who have a higher metabolism may need more calories to maintain their weight and not gain, so you will have to continue counting your calories during Phase 3.
Don't make the mistake of relaxing too much once you reach Phase 3; you need to continue to limit your calories to maintain your weight loss results and help your body stabilize. You can resume a normal exercise routine and you should adjust your caloric intake accordingly. Always keep a portable scale with you, even when you are traveling, so that you can weigh yourself every morning. You should be sure to weigh yourself every morning before you eat anything. You can use the plateau breakers to reduce any weight gain during Phase 3, but by following a few basic dietary guidelines you shouldn't have to use any plateau breakers at all.
Carbohydrates (starches and sugars) are dangerous during this phase
The important thing to realize is that carbohydrates are particularly dangerous during Phase 3, because you will be tempted to start eating them again. Dr. Simeons noted in "Pounds and Inches" that the danger isn't just eating carbohydrates, but combining carbohydrates with fat was the biggest danger for weight gain during Phase 3. You will want to avoid pretty much all sugars and starches during the three week phase because you will be incorporating healthy fats back into your diet. It shouldn't be too difficult to stabilize your weight as long as you avoid carbohydrates, but as soon as you gain weight you will have to try one of the plateau breakers and change your diet up.
Once you've gained more than two pounds you'll need to try an Apple Day or a Steak Day. An Apple Day involves eating 6 apples and nothing else throughout the entire day, although you can drink as much water as you want. Apple Days can help you reduce any water retention that you might have, and you will also burn a substantial amount of calories during the day. You can also try a Steak Day where you eat nothing more than one tomato or a medium sized green apple during day, water, and a large steak for dinner. You can use any of the allowed seasonings on the steak. You can also choose to eat the apple or tomato after your steak dinner to help with digestion, and no matter what you should drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Exercise throughout Phase 3
If you stick to the diet protocol but find that you're still gaining more than two pounds, or even if you're struggling with keeping away from carbohydrates, you should first increase your fat and protein intake. Eating more protein each meal will help you feel more full, and fat will also help as well. On top of this you should exercise throughout Phase 3, and you can start a more intense exercise routine since you will be able to eat more calories. If you haven't exercised before you should start off more gradually. You don't want to exercise so much that you become hungry and overeat to compensate, and you may need to adjust your daily calorie intake if you are exercising frequently. However, exercise is one of the best ways to keep your weight down during Phase 3.
For your exercise routine try to do a minimum of 20-30 minutes of moderate to intense cardiovascular exercise every day or every other day, such as running, jogging, biking, hiking, swimming or playing a sport. You can also start resistance training during Phase 3, and it is recommended to incorporate at least some form of resistance training after you reach Phase 3 because building muscle is one of the best ways to maintain your weight loss results. Muscle burns calories while you rest, and having will help you maintain a normal weight and low body fat percentage.
Continue to eat organic foods and drink plenty of water
You should still drink plenty of water during Phase 3 and continue to eat mostly organic and natural foods as well. Continue to avoid processed foods as you did during the VLCD, and don't add a bunch of new foods to your diet as once. At the start of Phase 3 it's recommended that you stick to HCG diet foods, but increase their quantity, and then start gradually adding foods from the list of allowable Phase 3 foods (which include most low glycemic index fruits and vegetables, and all proteins). Carefully monitor your weight as you add new foods.
As soon as you see weight gain, you will know which new foods may have contributed to the weight gain, and you can use a plateau breaker but you should also eliminate the food that may have contributed to the weight gain from your diet. Also keep in mind that water retention is going to occur during Phase 3, and your water weight will fluctuate often so don't be too concerned about the rapid weight gains and losses. These are mostly water weight gains and they will correct within a few days. The only time you should be concerned is when you gain more than two pounds, as soon as this occurs you will have to take action with a plateau breaker, and you may also need to adjust your daily calorie intake and exercise more. For more information on how to get started with the HCG diet, and the foods allowed on the HCG diet, click here.