By now you must have completed the first two stages of the HCG diet if you are reading this content, so you’re advancing to the next one. Maybe you’re even wondering what this stage entails. You have nothing to worry about, especially since you’ve already done most of the hard work to begin with, in the first two.
You’ve spent weeks sticking to a low carb diet and the 500 calories per day routine. And by now, I bet you’ve started noticing some changes in your body to show you that you’ve not been messing around. Phase 3 of the HCG diet is now the next step to complete.
This last phase involves gradually weaning yourself off HCG. It’s what we call the “Maintenance mode or phase.”During this process, you stop taking your HCG drops or injections and start increasing your food intake gradually. You still have to avoid starch and sugar though, for at least three weeks.
By this time, your body would have gotten used to the HCG intake and your diet, so you use this opportunity to stop and allow your body to flush out the hormone from your system. You’d have to remain on your 500 calorie diet for at least three days after stopping the drug, to give your body the chance to wean itself off it.
Once you’re ready, you can boost up your calorie intake to about 1500 per day in this last phase.
What’s the purpose of HCG Diet Phase 3?
What this maintenance mode does is train your body to boost its metabolism on its own, without the help of HCG. It’s why you have to stop your intake and allow your body to flush the drug out.
Phase 3 ought to last around three weeks, and during that period your body will require more calories to burn energy. It’s one of the reasons why you can’t skip the phase since the main aim is to stabilize your newly acquired weight loss.
If you plan it out right, phase 3 of the HCG diet can be the most exciting and rewarding part of the entire dieting process. You get to add new foods to the menu; allowing your meal plan to be fresh and innovating.
I know a lot of people that enjoyed the third phase of their HCG diet plan. It all depends on how you handle the journey. All types of food items are permitted in this stage, except for starch and sugar. Always eat whenever you’re hungry, but make sure that you stop as soon as you’re satisfied.
Don’t stuff your face just because you’re supposed to eat more than the 5oo calorie content you’ve been stuck with since you started the diet. You should never let yourself get full.
Phase 3 lasts for three weeks, but some people tend to extend theirs longer until they feel stable enough to stop. It’s not compulsory, but it’s a personal choice. Do whatever works for your body.
I get that phase 2 was a little bit tasking on you – what with the strict guidelines and rules, but everything you did was for a reason. It might not be easy adjusting to the less restricting diet plan that phase 3 offers, but it’s okay to eat whatever you’d like but within reason.
Phase 3 of the HCG diet allows your body to settle into its new, lower set point. And it’s crucial that you keep your weight as close to what it was during phase 2 in this third stage.
Always keep in mind that the goal of this phase is to stabilize and manage your weight. I guess it’s why we call it the maintenance mode. You also have to maintain your eating habits to prevent relapsing into old eating patterns.
Let’s check out the eight basic tips that would help make this third stage a big success for you.
Avoid Sugar and Starch like the Plague
During the three weeks of phase 3, your eating habits must be as healthy as ever. You’re basically going on a low-carb mode here, and embracing foods with lots of sugar and starch isn’t the best way to go. Your keyword should be, “If I don’t know what’s in it, then I probably shouldn’t eat it.” you might not know it yet, but you’ll thank yourself for that mantra later on.
If you’re wondering why you should avoid sugar and starch, I’ll tell you why. Foods with high carb levels tend to cause more significant fluctuations in insulin levels. These affect your blood sugar, which in turn affects your fat storage. And since you’re just weaning your body off the diet, it’s more sensitive right now.
I’m not saying that you should avoid them forever; wait until your body is a bit more stable. So, for now, don’t eat; grains, beans, starchy veggies like yams and potatoes, cakes, cookies, and everything sugary.
If you’re not sure about the contents of an item you get from the grocery store, be sure to check the nutrition label at the back, or ask someone about it. Sugar has different names and can be masquerading as something else; that’s why you have to be careful.
Eat When You’re Hungry, and Always Stop When you’re Satisfied
This point doesn’t need much explaining. Eat only when you feel hungry, but not to the point that you feel overly full.
Allow your Calorie Intake to Increase Gradually
If you stick strictly to the second tip, you won’t have much issue with this one. I know that after the strict calorie regime of phase 2, anyone would be eager to start stocking up on things they weren’t allowed to eat at that time. But that shouldn’t be the case. You should still stick to the 500 calorie rule, at least for a little while, and then gradually increase it; adding a few more each day, until you reach the prescribed limit.
Taking a cue from the P3tolife Program, you could have 900-1000 calories daily for the first week; 1100-1200 for the second one, and 1300-1450 for the third week.
Slowly Introduce Dairy Products, Nuts, and Fatty Foods into your Meal Plan
Since you’ve been avoiding them for the past few weeks, your body might be sensitive to certain kinds of foods. So, the best way to prevent problems is to introduce them back at a languid and careful pace.
The HCG is supposed to leave your system entirely after 72 hours (it might differ in some people and body types), so start small when introducing fat and dairy products since the body might still be sensitive.
Keep your Weight within 2lbs of your LDW (Last Day Weight)
Your LDW is the weight that was shown on the scale on the last day of HCG injection or oral drop. After weaning your body off the drug, try to maintain your body weight. Focus on the calorie contents of your meals and ensure you don’t go all out.
Adopt Steak Days When Necessary
The idea behind this tip is for when you go 2lbs or more over your last day weight. When that happens, you fast for the most of the day, then proceed to have a large steak and tomato (or apple) for dinner. Also, drinking lots of water during the process is a pretty great way to ensure it works out well.
Steak days are great for creating calorie balance. You don’t have to worry about starving; that’s where the water comes in handy.
Start Phase 3 Again After A Steak Day
This tip is especially useful when your weight keeps fluctuating.
Stick to A Definite Plan
Create a great meal plan and follow it completely. If you’re having difficulties coming up with something on your own or you don’t have the time to do it, you could always find someone to help out.
How to Find Recipes for Phase 3
There are several recipes for the various phases of the HCG diet, but what’s important is finding the right one that you can adapt.
One of the best places I’ve noticed where you can find awesome recipes for phase 3 is Pinterest. You’ll discover pins and contents with recipes for Ketogenic (KETO), Paleo, and Low Carb Diets that fit the profile of what you need for HCG phase 3.
Here’s a list of foods that are considered safe for phase 3
- Baking Ingredients
- Coconut flour
- Chia seeds
- Baking soda
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Fish (cod, salmon, tuna, trout)
- Low carb protein powders
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
Avoid all forms of alcohol, except red wine, all beans, grains, starchy vegetables, and sweetened milk.
With the right meal plan and calorie intake, you should be able to complete your phase 3 without any significant setbacks.