Tips for Phase 3 of the HCG Diet
Phase 2 is often the most discussed portion of the HCG diet protocol. It isn’t all that surprising, as the 500 calorie a day limit that the HCG diet requires is quite controversial. It’s known as the weight loss phase because, during phase 2 is when the most dramatic shifts in weight are noticed. It’s not uncommon for people to lose a pound a day, or even more, during this period. Once it’s over, though, it is not yet time to breath a sigh of relief because the next, equally important part of the HCG diet is about to begin. That is phase 3, the stabilization phase.
The primary goal of the stabilization phase is to, if you haven’t guessed already, stabilize your body weight. Dieters will take their last recorded weight from the end of phase 2 and use that as a guide during phase 3. After the rapid weight loss experienced during phase 2, it is important to bring your body back to a state of homeostasis, that is, get it used to being lighter and associate this new weight with what it should be. After rapid weight loss, the body will often try to replace the fat, thinking it was starving, and it’s crucial to avoid this effect during this portion of the HCG diet.
Phase 3 lasts about 3 weeks, and during this time no more HCG injections, drops or pills are taken. Your daily caloric intake is also increased, and several of the restrictions of the previous phase are lifted. During the preceding weeks you ate a very healthy, albeit small, diet. In order to maintain your weight loss, it’s often a good idea to simply continue eating the way you were. Several small meals a day, consisting of mostly proteins and meats will give you all the nutrition your body needs without adding any unnecessary calories. The HCG diet calls for abstaining from starches during phase 3, and that should be pretty easy since you’ve already been doing it.
Weigh yourself every day, and make sure that your body weight does not fluctuate more than 2lbs above or below your last recorded weight during phase 2. Body weight does tend to fluctuate a little bit, due to your current level of hydration, what you’ve eaten, etc. so if your scale shows a bit of this, don’t worry too much. That’s what the 2lb window is there for.
If you find that you’re gaining weight during phase 3, first take a look at what, and how much, you’re eating. If it’s too calorie heavy, work with smaller portions of the denser foods like meats and beans and increase your consumption of vegetables. Eating more vegetables will help keep you full and not feeling deprived, and most contain so few calories per serving that it’s very difficult to gain weight simply by eating them. Should your weight continue to drop, though, you should do the opposite. Eat more dense foods, and fiber. Also, look at how much you’re exercising. If you jump into a vigorous exercise program immediately after ending phase 2, you could be doing more harm than good. Start slow with 15-30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise a day, incorporating resistance training a couple times a week at most. Once your 3 week period is over, and you’ve successfully managed your weight, you can begin exercising more intensely as well as adding starches to your diet.