Phase 3 (P3) is the critical time period following the hCG Protocol weight loss phase. The idea is to lock in weight loss by creating a stabilizing environment keeping one’s body within two pounds for three weeks thus establishing a new set point.
I want to emphatically emphasize Phase 3 is the most important segment of the protocol.
Too many disregard Phase 3 thinking they are done with eating strictly. However, without diligent careful Phase 3 observance, weight may be quickly re-gained as many return to their old way of eating. P3 is the vital transitional phase not only stabilizing one’s body, but for adapting new eating and behavioral habits lasting long term into weight loss maintenance.
Remembering and abiding by the following five principles will create the needed environment for a successful P3 … and onward to lifetime maintenance.
- The Role of the Hypothalamus
The hypothalamus primary function is homeostasis meaning to maintain the body’s status quo system-wide.
During P2, the hypothalamus is resting. Since the hypothalamus regulates body temperature, this is one reason why you get cold and stay cold while taking hCG.
Dr. Simeons says in Pounds and Inches, P2 is a period of rest for the hypothalamus:
It seems that even in the mildest cases of obesity the diencephalon requires about three weeks rest from the maximal exertion to which it has been previously subjected in order to regain fully its normal fat-banking capacity.
During P3, the hypothalamus is reawakening and readjusting to a new lower set point weight. This requires staying within a two pound weight gain range from the last dose weight for 21 consecutive days.
- P3 means NO sugars and NO starches.
Treating P3 with minimal or disregard is the number one reason for weight re-gains after a successful P2. The rules are pretty simple – no sugars, no starches. The question may arise: Should I eat fruit due to fructose? This is an individual choice. To set yourself firmly on the healthy eating path, choose real whole foods including appropriate low glycemic fruits.
- Correction Days (CD) are Imperative.
During P3, if your weight goes above the two pound range limit, a correction day is in order. Dr. Simeons recommends instituting a steak day immediately, or several days of strict dieting may be necessary to correct the situation.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to Steak Days (Alternative Correction Days). With these additional correction day choices, it makes it easy to choose a viable option; no matter what is happening in your life, or how busy you are. Correction Days are even feasible at a business lunch or dinner.
- After a CD, the 21 Day Clock Starts Again.
Okay … this 21 consecutive day rule isn’t listed in Pounds and Inches, and quite frankly, if you have known me for any length of time, this will be the first time you have heard me say this, at least in public.
As I get clearer on the important role P3 plays in the entire hCG Protocol, I am convinced it doesn’t matter which method is used to lose the weight (hCG, MIUE, HFLC, Atkins, South Beach, etc.). What does matter is maintenance and the vital importance of stabilizing the lower weight and establishing a new set point.
By implementing a minimum of 21 consistent days, allowing your weight to be stable within the two pound range, the higher the likelihood of having a set point lasting for life, or at least until your next round. ::giggle::
- P3 is a Primer for Making Life Style Changes.
No one can disagree when I say – lifetime maintenance comes with a caveat. You absolutely must change your lifestyle. Eating the way you did previously caused your weight gain in the first place. Making changes and practicing new eating patterns begins with P3. Developing a clean eating habit will serve you into and all through lifetime maintenance.
Once 21 consecutive stable weight days have passed (no correction days), the next step is P4. Begin adding clean sugars and starches to your diet carefully observing if any new foods intolerance manifests in your body.
By following the above guidelines, planning and incorporating a P3 into your next round or weight loss program, maintaining one’s hard earned weight losses are exponentially higher. Most importantly, changing eating habits reflecting your new healthy lifestyle will be the best gift you give yourself.
If you have experienced challenges in locking in your losses and finding the right maintenance plan for you, why not consider FitCamp or 1:1 Coaching as a vehicle for discovering what works with your body and plant yourself firmly on the road to health.