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P3 / P4 recommendations from someone

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Seems like there are lots of newbies who have just entered p3 or are going to soon. Here is a re-post of some guidelines that I found very helpful with my firstr p3:

P3 Basics and when to add foods:

Here's Some Basics for P3 posted a while back on the boards... I figured they might help you all as much as they're going to help me.

First, find out your calorie limit: Women that means 11 times your current weight, Men 12 times your current weight.
Example: For a woman whose current weight is 150 lbs, multiplied times 11 is 1650 calories a day.
Example; for a man whose current weight is 200, multiplied times 12 is 2400 calories a day.

Week 1 OK, so for week 1 after your VLCD, work your way up to about 800-1000 calories a day. Remember no sugar, starches and low carbohydrates. Yes, you can eat fats during this time, but don't overdo it.
I like to stop my fruits and bread sticks for the first week.
Have cream in your coffee or tea if you like. Continue to drink lots of water.
I add Salmon, Trout, Shrimp scampi. Use butter, oil or cooking spray in your frying pan.
I like to add a small breakfast like an egg or 2. Make a 2 egg omelet and load it up!
Change the Protein to about 6-8 oz per meal. So for Lunch have some protein and a small salad with real dressing (sugar free) and some veggies of your choice. And get this; your salad can be a mixture of all your favorite things that you want in the salad, just no sugars, starches.
Dinner is about the same as Lunch. Protein, salad and veggies.
Try to eat a little at each meal and try to get in a mid morning and mid afternoon snack.
Add only 1 new thing every other day so you can tell what is causing the sensitivity if you gain.

Week 2 Then for week 2, increase your daily calorie count to about 1200-1500 calories per day. Do this by adding in more veggies. Maybe some soups, cheese, peanut butter, nuts and other low carbohydrate type foods.

Week 3 Then by week 3 work your way up to your total calorie limit. You should be eating 5 or 6 little meals a day; Breakfast, mid morning snack, Lunch, Mid-afternoon snack and Dinner. You might get away with a light dinner snack.

Weight yourself every day and do not allow for more than a 2 pound gain. If there is, do a Steak day!

Week 4 Now, to add in the starches and sugars, the dreaded carbohydrates.
Sugars and Starches (the carbohydrates) are the danger zone! Reintroduce these too fast, and you may have a weight gain.

So to avoid that, this is what we have learned. ADD them SLOWLY!

So, for week 4 after your LVCD, add in the one carbohydrate food that you missed the most. Eat bread, pasta, potato or whatever, but just one. Then, the next day, stop that one and add another one. Do not eat two carb foods in the same day during week 4. Only eat one carb food per meal. Just change your carbohydrate from day to day.

Week 5 For week 5, combine 2 carb foods in the same day, but not at the same meal. Bread for a sandwich for lunch and a potato for dinner or whatever.

Week 6 For week 6, start combing the carbs during the same meal, but do this 1 day at a time.
By the end of week 6, you should be eating a good, healthy, well rounded, high fiber, lower fat, diet within your calorie limit without worrying about gaining weight any longer!

One last thought:
Avoid over-eating; (stay within your calorie limit) avoid eating both a high fat and high carb meal. You may get away with a high fat meal or a high carb meal, but high fat and high carb together are a bad combination.

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Updated April 16th, 2011 at 11:06 AM by Beth_M



  1. Catthai's Avatar
    Thank you for this Beth. I also read that some have to stick to mostly P3 foods to keep the weight off. I'm not a carb person (potatoes, breads, pasta, etc) so that will most likely be me.
    Updated April 7th, 2011 at 12:01 AM by Catthai
  2. derocherl's Avatar
    This is awesome, Beth, thanks! My only confusion is about the calories limit. Even Grammy, to whom you credit these guidelines, says she eats between 2000 - 3000 calories a day and doesn't count calories. I've seen many posts from women who say they maintain at 2000+ calories, but gain if they eat less. In P3 week two, I maintained nicely and even dropped eating 2200 calories/day. I'm 5'3" and presently about 161 lbs. So the (11 x current weight) number seems low to me (I'd be at 1771 cals/day). Can you elaborate on this?
    Updated April 16th, 2011 at 09:14 AM by derocherl
  3. Beth_M's Avatar
    I don't think Colleen still eats that many calories in a day.

    I've always looked at the 11 times number and worked around that. In R1 I could do about 1800 calories. In R2 at 159 lbs it was more like 1600 to 1700 most days.

    This round at 135 it seems that total will be lower.
  4. derocherl's Avatar
    On March 5, 2011, Colleen (Grammy) said she eats well over 2000 calories: http://hcgdietinfo.com/hcgdietforums...-eat-p3-21866/

    I thought the point was--by the end of P3--to reset our hypothalamus to as high a calorie count as we are comfortable with (without stuffing ourselves), as long as we maintain our weight. This way, we don't have to worry about occasional indulgences in the future.
  5. grammy1952's Avatar
    Hmm, this isn't my advice, Beth. I never count calories. Once in a while I count them just out of curiosity. I eat well over 2000 calories a day. I don't believe in calorie counting at all. I only watch carbs to maintain.
  6. susanbaz's Avatar
    This diet has taught me that if I eat certain foods, I can eat more calories and maintain.

    If I stick to P3 eating, I can eat a few hundred calories more. As soon as I introduce even one carb, that number goes down. Same thing with regard to processed foods. If I stay away from them, I can eat more calories.

    Was it Margie who mentioned the 11X your weight theory, or am I remembering her commenting on that...I do recall reading it...but grammy is the consummate non-calorie-counter.
  7. Beth_M's Avatar
    Wow.. Colleen.. this was posted on the board several places as coming from you. Hmmm..

    I wish I could eat over 2000 calories in a day
  8. susanbaz's Avatar
    Beth, have you tried eating more calories than the 11x formula on P3?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beth_M
    Wow.. Colleen.. this was posted on the board several places as coming from you. Hmmm..

    I wish I could eat over 2000 calories in a day
  9. grammy1952's Avatar
    Other people have said this came from me? I'll see if I can find those places and correct them. I never count calories. I eat way more than I'm supposed to for my weight. I don't believe in calories in/calories out.
  10. FreedomFromFat's Avatar
    Thank you for this post! very helpful!
  11. redefiningme's Avatar
    Thanks, Beth. Very helpful.