Phase 3 of the HCG diet is absolutely essential and should not be skipped! The purpose of Phase 3 is to stabilize the newly acquired weight loss and allow the body to adjust to every day eating to smoothly move into Phase 4, the maintenance phase. Phase 3 comes with a number of great opportunities, including the chance to discover lingering weight management culprits as well as food sensitivities. It is also commonly known as that period of, “I'm scared to eat and have no idea what to eat!” This is perfectly normal, but the truth is, Phase 3 can be the most exciting and rewarding phase of the HCG Diet Plan.
Hcg Diet Phase 3: Transition and Stabilize
Frequently Asked Questions About Phase 3 of the HCG Diet:
What is Phase 3 of the HCG Diet?
Phase 3, the Stabilization Phase of the Hcg Diet, occurs when HCG Dieters complete the VLCD (very low calorie diet) on Phase 2 (weight loss P2), and are no longer taking HCG. During this period you will be adding new foods to the menu. All foods are now permitted with the exception of added sugars and starches. (All fruit is allowed.) Eat whenever you are hungry, but stop when you are satisfied, not full or stuffed.
How long is Phase 3 of the Hcg Diet?
Phase 3 lasts approximately 3 weeks. Some that find they have to do frequent steak days may choose to continue Phase 3 eating longer than 3 weeks until they feel stable, but this is a personal choice and is not required.
Why is Phase 3 important?
Phase 3 is not only important, but essential. Why? At this point, you have lost 20 to 30 pounds in just a few weeks, under a highly controlled weight loss program. Phase 2 is so tightly controlled with specifics, it can be intimidating to suddenly have those restrictions removed in P3, and be told it's ok to eat whatever you like…without strict guidelines and direction. However, this phase is extremely crucial for many reasons. This is the time that your body settles into it's new, lower set point, and it is most important that you keep your weight close to your Phase 2 ending weight during this time. That is how stabilization is achieved. P3 also helps you to transition into long term weight maintenance while still restricting the two food categories that can easily result in weight gain. These two things to avoid are sugar and starches and they are prohibited on P3. In addition, P3 presents the opportunity to address any former unhealthy habits that may reappear, as well as the opportunity to discover previously hidden food sensitivities.
How to do Phase 3 Stabilization
To start P3, the dieter discontinues the HCG injections for the last 72 hours of Phase 2. It is important to note that the 72 hours begins exactly at the last time of injection. It is NOT 3 days after the last dose day, but 72 hours from last injection or dose if taking HCG drops. During these 72 hours, the 500 calorie VLCD is still followed. At the end of the 72 hours, Phase 3 begins and the transition to stabilization and maintenance begins. It is important to eat normal calorie amounts once in P3. The first couple of days it is helpful to focus on good fats (coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocado, fattier cuts of meat ) as your capacity will be low. Fat calories are more concentrated and can help you get your calories up to normal levels quickly and more comfortably. Aim for whole foods, lots of vegetables and some fruit. Eat every time you are hungry, and stop when satisfied. Weigh daily and realize that weight may fluctuate during this time and this is perfectly normal. As long as your weight does not exceed 2 pounds above your ending weight, don't be concerned about the scale moving up and down within the 4 pound range around your ending weight. The first week can be volatile on the scale, but usually settles down by the second week. You may want to wait until week 2 to test any foods you suspect may be problems for you.
What to do if you gain more than 2 pounds in Phase 3.
If more than 2 pounds is gained during P3 of the HCG Diet, do an Hcg Diet steak day that very same day. You can follow the steak day with plainer P3 eating for a couple of days if you wish, but you should wait at least 4 days before attempting another steak day.
Phase 3 Foods and Eating
Phase 3 Foods List
Phase 3 allows most foods that were acceptable on Phase 2 (except for the melba/grissini), as well as most other foods as long as they do not have sugars or starches. Do not include grains or starchy legumes or starchy root vegetables. Whatever fruits were working in Phase 2 are acceptable, and you may include all other kinds of fruits as well, but be careful with quantities on the sweeter ones such as bananas and mangos. Now is the time to focus on what you can have however, so here is a helpful post on Phase 3 Foods List.
How to increase calories on Phase 3
Start off leaning heavily on P3 friendly superfoods with good fats and protein for the first few days until your capacity comes back to normal. Eating more frequent small meals will keep you from feeling uncomfortably full during this time.
Do I add fats during phase 3?
Yes, now is the time that you can begin adding healthy fats to your menu.
How to add fats during phase 3
Include fats that are “whole foods” and provide omega fatty acids. Examples of these food are eggs, salmon and avocado. Other healthy fats are olive oil, coconut oil, butter, nut butters, and fattier cuts of meat. Remember that fats are more satiating, so you won't need large quantities. This is the time to listen to your body. Don't let yourself get too hungry. Try to always be aware of your hunger and satisfaction levels.
Hcg Diet Recipes for Phase 3 and Beyond
Exercise and HCG Diet Maintenance
Exercise Options for Phase 3
During P3, you can continue any workouts that you are used to doing, However, starting a new, intense workout can cause problems in P3. Strenuous workouts cause muscle inflammation which can confuse your scale readings due to water retention. You could end up doing unnecessary steak days, and who wants that? The Original Manuscript does not prohibit exercise even in P2, encouraging patients that they will have the energy to continue whatever they are used to, even heavy construction work. This carries into P3. Some moderate exercise in Phase 3 (like walking or stretching) can be an excellent way to help keep that metabolic furnace burning that was revved up during P2, while also creating a new fitness habit in preparation for Phase 4, the maintenance phase of the Hcg Diet.
Phase 3 Stabilization Help and Support
- Free Phase 3 Stabilization Support in the Hcg Diet Forums.
- Identifying hormone imbalances that may be causing weight maintenance challenges
Phase 3 basic principles to help you stay on track for Phase 4.
- Avoid trigger foods
If there are certain foods you are aware of, that trigger temptation, or prove to be difficult to limit, it is best to avoid these foods in P3 altogether. As an example, if it's not possible to just eat 1 square of chocolate instead of a handful (and by handful, we mean the full bag) – steer clear.
- Weigh yourself regularly.
Just as in Phase 2 of the Hcg Diet, Phase 3 requires early morning weigh-ins to monitor weight stabilization. This should be done at the approximate same time each morning, before any food or drink is consumed. As mentioned previously, it is normal for new foods, increased exercise and calorie increases to cause fluctuating scale measurements. This does not necessarily mean weight gain. If you see a weight gain of more than 2 pounds, take action that day if possible by doing a steak day. Steak days are a tool you now have in your arsenal to correct gains going forward. Some never need to do another steak day in P4, but have learned how to modify their intake to gradually bring down small gains.
- Observe your body
Reintroduce foods one at a time. It will enable you to observe any intolerances, sensitivities or weight gain triggers. For example, eat a dairy product watch your body for a few days then add a wheat product. If you see bread or milk causing bloating, weight gain or cravings, stay away from those or eat them rarely. There are many things beyond weight gain that can signal a sensitivity. Change in elimination, gastric disturbance, headaches, mucus, skin rashes, lethargy or fatigue, brain fog are some of them.