The HCG Maintenance Phase (also known as Phase 3 or the stabilization period of the HCG Diet) is the 3 week period after you finish your VLCD protocol of the HCG Diet – Fat Release System. There are a few simple rules you must follow; you must weigh yourself every day, you must remain within 3kilos of your last taken weight (either above or below). It is extremely important to eat enough protein on this phase; many people eat at least 100 grams of true protein (about 400 grams weighed raw). We want to be clear that this 3 week period is crucial to the success of the diet. We have revised and given more detail in our Phase 3 from the original Phase 3 given by Dr. Simeon, so that you can be successful and maintain your weight.
Overview of Phase 3:

When the three days of dieting after the last dose has been taken, you may now eat anything they please, except sugar and starch.

It takes about 3 weeks before the weight reached at the end of the program becomes stable, i.e. does not show violent fluctuations after an occasional excess. During this period you must realize that the so-called carbohydrate, that is sugar, rice, bread, potatoes, pastries etc, are by far the most dangerous. If no carbohydrates whatsoever are eaten, fats can be indulged in somewhat more liberally and even small quantities of alcohol, such as a glass of wine with meals, does no harm, but as soon as fats and starch are combined things are very liable to get out of hand. This has to be observed very carefully during the first 3 weeks after the treatment is ended otherwise disappointments are almost sure to occur.

One last item before we begin: The day that you give yourself your last dose of the orally administered human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) – Fat Release System, you count 72 hours (continuing on the VLCD for those 72 hours) from that moment and then you start the maintenance phase. That weight that you were the morning of your last dose is the weight that you use as a basis for your maintenance phase. Anything OVER five pounds from that weight calls for a steak day.

NOTE: The time period to begin this phase is not 3 days after your last taken dose of the HCG Diet – Fat Release System; it is 72 hours! (For example, if you administer your last dose of the HCG Diet – Fat Release System on Monday at 8 am, you will begin the maintenance phase on Thursday at 8 am.)

First thing when beginning the 3 week maintenance phase, make sure to increase your calories to at least 800-1400. Don’t try to continue the diet after the HCG is out of your system. Bear in mind, your weight will fluctuate the first week or two; this is normal. Do a steak day if you need to. The weight will eventually stabilize. Watch the starch and sugar religiously during the 3 weeks. Read labels. (Continue) eating organic food, if possible. Make sure that you are eating enough. Use healthy fats and dairy products to up your calorie intake, if necessary. Drink enough water.

This list is roughly arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate counts, but all are non-starchy and generally low in carbohydrates. Exact carb count depends on serving size. Remember when counting carbs in vegetables that the fiber is not counted, and can be subtracted from the total.

* Sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc.)
* Greens – lettuces, spinach, chard, etc.
* Hearty Greens – collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.
* Radicchio and endive count as greens
* Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
* Bok Choy
* Celery
* Radishes
* Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)
* Broccoli
* Cabbage (or sauerkraut)
* Mushrooms
* Jicama
* Avocado
* Cucumber (or pickles without added sugars)
* Peppers (all kinds)
* Summer Squash (including zucchini)
* Scallions or green onions
* Asparagus
* Bamboo Shoots
* Leeks
* Brussels Sprouts
* Green Beans and Wax Beans
* Tomatoes
* Eggplant
* Artichoke Hearts
* Fennel
* Onions
* Okra
* Spaghetti Squash
* Celery Root (Celeriac)
* Turnip (see Carb Counts of Root Vegetables)
* Water Chestnuts
* Pumpkin
The main veggies to be avoided when reducing carbohydrates are the starchier vegetables:
* Beets
* Carrots (depends on diet)
* Corn
* Parsnips
* Peas
* Plantains
* Potatoes in all forms
* Winter Squashes (particularly acorn and butternut)

Fruit is an area where some of the low carb diets part company, as some depend more upon glycemic index or glycemic load (South Beach, Zone), while others just look at total carbs (Atkins, Protein Power). Also, some diets (Atkins, South Beach) don’t allow fruit at all in the first phase. In general, your best bet fruits are these, but do check carb counts. These are sort of arranged by sugar content, taking volume and weight, into account. This is not an exhaustive list.

Good news: the fruits lowest in sugar are some of the highest in nutritional value, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients.

Fruits lowest in sugar:* Rhubarb
* Strawberries
* Cranberries
* Raspberries
* Blackberries
* Blueberries
* Grapefruit
* Melons
* Apricots
* Plums
* Peaches
* Pears
* Guava
* Cherries
* Apples
* Papaya

Fruits fairly high in sugar:* Grapes
* Tangerine
* Oranges
* Pineapple
* Kiwi

Fruits to be avoided in the maintenance phase:* Bananas
* Dried Fruit
* Mango

Avoiding sugar simply means avoid cookies, cake, pie, candy, cupcakes, frosting, soft drinks, corn syrup, kool-aid, processed food, energy drinks, fruit juice, honey, yogurt, donuts, cookies, pudding, maple syrup, brownies, canned fruit in heavy syrup, ice cream, cool whip, boxed breakfast cereals, breakfast bars, granola – nothing with sugar.

Be sure to read food labels, check to see if sugar is added into a product before you buy it. Nearly every product in a can or box contains sugar in one of its many names. The first five ingredients listed on an item is the majority of the product, so be sure that sugar is not in the top five.

Avoiding starch means avoid cornstarch, white flour, wheat flour, any flour, pasta, any bread or bread product, breadsticks, bagels, hamburger and hotdog buns, crackers, tortillas, oatmeal, rice, polenta, peas, corn, lentils, pita bread, pretzels, corn chips, potato chips, yams, potatoes, pancakes, muffins, nearly all root vegetables, any breading on fish, chicken, or other protein, beans, grains, acorn squash, butternut squash, cereals, granola, cereal bars, popcorn, biscuits, corn bread, taco shells, croutons, rice cakes, Cream of Wheat, corn meal, and some nuts.

Most restaurants and fast food places add sugar to nearly every product, so be wary of eating out all the time. Other meats to watch out include deli meats, bacon, ham, prosciutto, sausage, and hotdogs.

Do not eat processed cheese (i.e. Velveeta), as it contains unnecessary sugars and starches. Try not to eat processed anything, for that matter.

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