Tips for Phase 3 of the HCG Diet
After the rigorous regulations of Phase 2 of the HCG diet, Phase 3 can come as quite a relief. It marks the time period during which you can increase your calorie intake drastically. This means going from the meager 500 calorie-intake of Phase 2 to your full daily requirement, which should be somewhere around 1,600-2,500 a day (assuming you are only lightly active during this time; calculate appropriately). You must be careful with the freedom that Phase 3 allows, as it can be all too easy to backtrack. Following are a few tips on how to complete Phase 3 of the HCG diet successfully.
Phase 3 is known as the ‘stabilization’ phase, and it entails exactly what its name implies: regaining homeostasis. To begin Phase 3, record your Phase 2 end weight and use that to guide you through what comes next.
During Phase 3, be sure to abstain from carbs or sugars of any sort. While around 2 pounds of weight gain is to be expected during this time, much more fat can be accumulated if you allow yourself foods (like carbs) that perpetuate fat storage.
What you should eat during Phase 3 is primarily protein. It will fill you up, and so long as you are keeping your calorie-intake in check, you should not gain any weight from it. Veggies are okay as well, except for potatoes, squash and other starchy kinds. Fruit is kind of iffy at this point -yes, it’s very good for you, but fruit is also high in sugar. To be safe, an exclusive protein/veggie combo is probably your best bet.
Do not take any HCG during Phase 3′s three week duration. This would make it impossible for your inner systems to normalize. This is especially important if you have already met your goal weight. It can be tempting to continue -for your health and mental well being’s sake, don’t.
Should you wish to exercise during Phase 3, start slow. Your body is in a delicate state after the first couple of phases, and needs to be treated accordingly. It’s best to keep effort to a minimum until Phase 3 has ended. After that, feel free to pick up the routine of your choice.
Weigh yourself every day during Phase 3. Ideally, your weight should not fluctuate over 2 pounds. Keep in mind, though, that a great deal of weight changes are caused by varying levels of water retention. Since the scale is not a 100% accurate way to track true fat gain, don’t obsess over the number it displays. Instead, keep tabs, adjust your diet if the alterations in your weight seem more drastic than they should be, and move on. Once you have completed this phase, try to go back to weighing yourself just once a week. If you begin exercising then, make allowances for muscle gain. Remember that the scale shows you the weight of your bones, muscle, organs, and so on. Taking measurements can be a more accurate alternative.
Undue weight gain should be taken seriously during this phase. For example, if you find yourself gaining over the 2 pound allowance, take a good look at what you have been eating. Under eating at this point will do you no favors. Make certain that your calorie intake is where it should be. What you are consuming also plays a part in weight fluctuation. Do not eat too much of one thing. If vegetables make up most of your diet, include more protein and low carb fiber. If the opposite is the case, eat more vegetables. Balance is the key.
Most importantly, don’t lose motivation. You’ve been on a long, difficult journey, with plenty of ups and downs, but you are nearly finished. All of your efforts thus far depends upon how well you execute this phase. Keep your mind on how far you have come, and know that the three weeks’ of Phase 3 will pass whether you are maintaining your results or not. Be strong enough to make it through and earn your reward in the end: your goal weight, and the knowledge that you can do anything you can set your mind to.