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Shameless Re-Posting P3/P4 Basics -- SO MANY THANKS to original author!!!

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Okay, I pulled the "Basics" info below from a P3 thread where it was being reposted. I seriously do not know who originally wrote this up, but it has been such a huge help to me that I wanted to re-post it where I can get to it quicker as a reference.

If anyone has info about who wrote this, please do let me know. I'd love to credit it properly! Thanks again to my unknown resource!


P3 Basics:

Find out your calorie limit.
• Women take 11 times your current weight
• Men take 12 times your current weight

For example a women who weights 150 lbs, multiplied times 11 is 1650 calories a day.

Week 1:
Don’t over do it. NO sugar or starch and low carb. EASE into this gradually. Anytime the scale goes over 2 lbs above ldw = steak day. Nothing but water, coffee, tea all day and for dinner have a very large steak (or other type of beef) and either 1 apple or 1 tomato. Too little protein will cause a gain in p3.

• Continue to drink lots of water.
• Increase your protein to about 6-8 oz per meal.
• Add ONE NEW food type per day or every other day
• Stop eating the melba toasts
• Most decrease the amount of fruit
• Add in more types of protein – salmon, trout, turkey (pork not til p4)
• Add in butter, olive oil, cooking spray, sugar free mayo
• Add breakfast – lots add eggs as their first new item and start having eggs for breakfast. Make a 2 egg omelet in butter and add salsa
• Mix veggies
• Add a type or two (one at a time) of cheeses. Most start with hard or semi soft cheese as cream cheese seems to be an issue with many.
• Use salad dressings – still no sugar or starch allowed so watch labels – many make homemade dressings.
• Gradually increase to 800 to 1000 calories per day
• Add flax meal bread (homemade)
• Add other dairy (sour cream, fage yogurt, etc)

Week 2:
• Increase your calories this week to about 1200-1500 per day
• Try other types of cheese & dairy
• Add nuts – walnuts, almonds, pistachios (no peanuts, preferably no cashews til p4)
• Add in other low carb foods
• Add more types of veggies
• Add in a protein shake
• Add in a snack
• Try a mug cake or cocoa crack! (some add this wk 1)
• Use 3 eggs for your omelet, or a 2 egg omelet with cheese, full fat sour cream and salsa

Week 3 + on p3:
• Work your way up to your total calorie limit
• You will be eating 3 meals, am snack, afternoon snack, possibly a pm snack

P4 Basics:
You can slowly add back in sugars and starches. Add them slowly and one at a time so you can identify what causes a gain.
• Add back in the one carb food you missed the most
• The next day, stop that one and try another
• Do not eat 2 carb foods in the same day the first week of p4
• Only eat 1 carb food per meal
• The second week of p4, combine 2 types of carbs in the same day but not the same meal.
• Most lower the amount of fat in p4
• Don’t combine high carb/high fat in the same meal (no butter and sour cream on that baked potato, no alfredo on your pasta)
• Add breads, pastas
• Avoid overeating and stay w/in your calorie limit

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  1. Beth_M's Avatar
    I believe Margie or Colleen wrote this
    Updated February 6th, 2011 at 09:00 AM by Beth_M
  2. Dubbles's Avatar
    But I do remember Colleen writing she didn't want to reset her metabolism to just 1400-1500 calories a day. So she gadually upped the calorie averages she wanted. I'm sure she wrote that. I definitely plan to eat more than 1500 cal. a day, after gradual reintroduction of foods. 1500 cal is adequate, but with working out, and life, I'd much rather reset to, hopefully, close to 2000 with intake of the proper foods. (Meaning deleting for life as many hfcs items and high sugar or carb items as possible, routinely--with occasional blts.)
  3. Feisty's Avatar
    I gotta say i was disturbed at best when I first saw this. That would put my calorie load at around 2600/day and there is NO way on this earth I am going there. I did think the rest of it made good sense.
  4. mzlark15's Avatar
    Feisty, the key is that they are having you determine your MAX cal/day. This would be the plan to maintain your current weight for life. That's not what we are after. But you sure don't want to go OVER the max/day. Are you moving into P3? I've found that I'm not meeting my max cal. but I'm just pushing to keep my protein up. That seems to be making the difference for me. Must be working. I'm holding steady within a couple of pounds (below) LDW. I've got another three weeks or so before I'm looking to go back to P2 for R3.

    Let me know how you're doing!
  5. Catthai's Avatar
    I'm continuously amazed at how often the information I need gets posted right on time. Thank you for this. I've copied it off to read often.