Phase III of the HCG diet is the maintenance phase. This is probably the easiest phase of the HCG diet because you are almost at the end of your weight loss journey and the end is in sight.
Once you have reached the end of phase II, you can eat as much food, of any type as you like, for the first 21 days of phase III. The only thing you need to watch out for is that the food you choose does not contain any sugar or starch.
Some dieters experience protein deprivation during the first 3-4 days of the maintenance phase of the HCG diet. Weight gains during this period can usually be attributed to insufficient protein, so if you DO gain weight—increase your protein consumption as this will help your body get rid of the excess water.
After the first three weeks of the maintenance phase, you are allowed to slowly reintroduce starches and sugars. This continues for the next three weeks and then you are at the end of the maintenance phase.
Please note: if you choose to do further rounds of the HCG diet, each subsequent maintenance phase will increase in length.
Foods to avoid during the first three weeks of the maintenance phase include:
- Sugar, sucrose, dextrose, molasses, honey, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, or any sweetener.
- No artificial sweeteners, including saccharine, NutraSweet, Splenda, etc.
- Starches, including pasta, breads, white rice, yams, potatoes, etc
- No fast food
- No trans fats
- No Nitrites
- Limit drug use
Rules for weighing:
Always weigh yourself first thing in the morning, immediately after using the toilet. It will take up to three weeks for your weight to stabilize after phase II has been completed, so regular monitoring of weight is essential during the maintenance phase. It is acceptable for your weight to fluctuate up to 2Ibs from the weight you recorded on the last day of taking HCG. If your weight deviates more than 2Ibs (up or down), take the following actions:
As soon as you register a weight increase of more than 2Ibs, eat nothing until 6pm the same day, but drink as much water as possible (a minimum of ½ gallon), up to a maximum of 1 gallon. You should also drink plenty of the recommended teas, with stevia sweetener if required. After 6pm, eat the biggest portion of organic beef steak you can manage, accompanied by a large organic apple or tomato.
Why is daily weight monitoring so important during the maintenance phase?
Daily weighing is vital during the maintenance phase because any weight you gain will not pile on in the typical storage areas (stomach, hips, buttocks, thighs). Instead, the extra weight will be evenly distributed all over the body, so you will not notice unless you weigh yourself.
It is also important to pay close attention to your eating habits during the maintenance phase. Many people resume their former habit of piling huge portions of food on their plate. Beware of this and listen to your body. You are likely to feel full much sooner, so do not eat more than you need!
Make sure you have three full meals per day with a piece of fruit between meals. Try to be more relaxed about mealtimes and make a conscious effort to change your unhealthy eating habits. For example, do not eat meals in front of the television or in the car.
During the maintenance phase, it is vital that you follow the HCG diet instructions very closely. Some dieters are so paranoid about gaining weight again that they continue to eat a very restricted diet. Unfortunately this backfires and they actually put weight on because of a protein imbalance leading to water retention, hunger, tiredness, and general irritability. By following the strict instructions of the maintenance phase and completing a steak day if any weight gain is recorded, your weight will stabilize and the maintenance phase will have been successful.