You’ve worked so hard to achieve weight loss and muscle gains on the HCG diet. Learn our tips and tricks for keeping off your weight and maintaining the body of your life in Phase 3 of the HCG diet.
One of the most (if not THE most ) important part of the HCG diet. If you’re thinking about doing the HCG diet, getting ready to start, or even if you are on the diet right now (especially if you are on the diet right now), understanding the purpose and the how-to’s of Phase 3 on the HCG diet is KEY to lasting success on the program.
So, what exactly is Phase 3 of the HCG diet?
Phase 3 of the HCG diet is the 21 day “stabilization” phase after the 500 calorie protocol has been completed. Whether you are finishing a 26 day round or a 46 day round of HCG, Phase 3 is the same. P3 starts immediately after the HCG is fully out of your system- 3 days after your last HCG dose. Because the HCG is no longer in your system, calories must be brought up, but in a way that doesn’t shock your system or lead to weight gain. Dr. Simeons (the original creator of the HCG diet) lays out the ground rules for Phase 3 of the HCG diet very clearly in his original manuscript Pounds and Inches. In it, he explains that the HCG dieter can incorporate higher amounts of any kind of vegetables, protein, and fruits-provided they are careful of the fruits much higher in sugar content. He also gives the dieter the freedom to incorporate other foods in the phase as long as carbs and sugars such as “starchy whites” are completely avoided during the 21 day period. Even the healthier complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and sweet potatoes should be avoided.
Is Phase 3 really that important?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of HCG dieters that don’t understand the importance of Phase 3 or maybe just don’t do it, (for whatever reason) and because of that end up gaining the weight back. Phase 3 is crucial in maintaining your new weight loss. After 26 or 46 days of following the 500 calorie protocol with HCG, the body has to begin to readjust to normal calories. Yes, that’s right….you do NOT have to continue to eat 500 calories to maintain your weight loss, nor should you ever try! According to Dr. Simeons and his research, it takes roughly about 21 days for your weight to become stable and not fluctuate. This is why it’s important to stay away from refined sugars and breads because your body has not quite adjusted to them yet. Eating them too early on can cause huge fluctuations in your weight. Adding in higher calorie (and still healthy) foods like eggs, olive oil, avocados, etc. can help you raise your calories and get your body more accustom to eating more normally. After Phase 3 in Phase 4, carbohydrates and sugars can be slowly incorporated back into the diet.
MAIN POINTS EVERY HCG DIETER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PHASE 3…
Stick to the diet for the FULL 21 days. Dr. Simeons is very clear in his original instructions that Phase 3 should last 21 days. He spent a great deal of time and research with numerous patients, and this was the conclusion he came to that proved the best results. It takes around 21 days for the weight to not only become stable but for the hypothalamus in the brain (the gland that regulates the metabolism) to reset. Not completing the full 21 day protocol could prevent the metabolism from regulating correctly and thus make keeping weight off more difficult.
Weigh every day: No exceptions. One of the biggest factors of Phase 3 is the weighing part of the phase. Weighing every day is actually just as important as the foods you choose. The purpose of weighing each day is so that if you happen to see a rapid fluctuation in your weight one morning, you can immediately correct it. Remember, your weight is still very unstable at this point. There is really no forced calorie counting in Phase 3, so watching your weight is your own individual judge that you may or may not need to change something. For example, maybe you overdid it on the almonds the day before. And then there are sometimes, that your weight may go up a tad for no real reason or explanation at all. So, don’t panic, just make sure you correct it right then. According to Dr. Simeon’s P3 guide, he states that every morning your weight should be within 2 pounds of your LDW (lowest daily weight). Your LDW is the last weight you recorded while you were eating on the 500 calorie protocol-or your morning weight the first day you started Phase 3. If you are within the 2 pound range, no changes are necessary, but if you are over 2 lbs, you must immediately do “steak day.” A steak day involves fasting throughout the day while drinking only water and then eating a large steak in the evening. You may also add an apple or tomato if you wish. For some, the steak day may not make much sense. But simply put, it increases the amount of protein in the body while the fasting helps you burn off the extra calories. Dr. Simeons explains in his protocol that if a steak day is not done the exact day the weight loss is noticed on the scale, then it can be extremely difficult to recover. So, weighing every day is a must!
Phase 3 is not the “weight loss phase.” A common mistake a lot of HCGers make is trying to lose more weight on Phase 3. Yes, it is possible that on some days you may randomly go down a pound because again, your weight is unstable at this point. But, just as it is important to be within the 2 lb. range, it is equally important to not be under 2 lbs. of your lowest weight on HCG. The real goal of Phase 3 is to help stabilize your weight. One of the biggest mistakes HCG dieters make is to try to lose more weight on Phase 3. Either they start exercising too much, or they try to under eat and keep eating the 500 calories or lower…yikes! Usually, to their disappointment, these dieters will not only start to feel tired and fatigued, but they usually tend to see their weight go up not down. Without HCG, the body must have more calories especially protein. Otherwise “starvation mode” can occur. Dr. Simeons also adds in his manuscript that if someone does attempt to lose weight in the phase, it can be dangerous and is “usual at the expense of healthy, structural fat.” He then mentions that most HCG dieters are actually surprised at how much food they are able to eat on Phase 3 without weight gain. But trying to lose weight during this time is not a good idea. If more weight loss is desired, then another 500 calorie HCG round should be repeated within a minimum of six weeks from finishing the last 500 calorie round.
What happens if I cheat on P3? Hey, it can happen to the best of us…and we certainly hope it doesn’t happen to you. No one wants to mess up all the hard work they’ve done this far! And nothing excuses cheating, but if you slip, the first thing to do is forgive yourself, let it go, and don’t cheat anymore! It sounds, basic, but it really is the key. Doing a Steak Day to make up for cheating isn’t what it was originally intended for, and it may or may not help you recover. So, do yourself a favor, and be as careful as you can be during this part of the diet! And remember, you have A LOT more food choices and bigger food amounts on Phase 3 than Phase 2. Take full advantage of it! There’s no need to eat chicken and lettuce alone when you can now spruce it up with avocado, tomatoes, egg, broccoli and even a little bacon and cheese here and there. Dr. Simeons even stated that having a glass of wine on occasion does no real harm. Don’t go crazy, of course, but there’s no need to be fearful of food either. Need time off from cooking? Phase 3 is the perfect phase to go eat out on. It’s much easier to order a lean steak and a side of veggies, for example, because you don’t have to count the size and amount, and if they cook it in a little oil and butter, it won’t wreck havoc on everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve! So, don’t deprive yourself too much, you’ve done a lot of dieting at this point already. Enjoying the foods that you are allowed in this phase will keep you from falling off the wagon.
Schedule accordingly: Phase 3 is STILL part of the diet. This really goes out to those of you who haven’t started the HCG diet yet and those of you who may be gearing up to start another round. Scheduling when exactly you are going to do the HCG diet is VERY important. It’s really hard to complete the HCG diet successfully when you have a vacation and/or event coming up. You don’t want to put yourself in a tough situation. Remember, that Phase 3 is STILL part of the diet. Some people disregard it completely because they are no longer taking HCG. This is a big mistake and can cause problems or self-sabotage unknowingly. So be smart when you are mapping out when the best time for you to start the HCG diet is. Trust us, you’ll be thankful in the end.