For some of you that are new to the hCG Protocol, Phase 3 scares the LIFE out of you! No need to be scared. Just like with P2, preparation is the key – these tips will help you focus on your needs to your upcoming break. Make the most of it!
Tip #1 – Remember Your Body is Different Now
Every Phase 3 is different. Just because you did very well on one break does not mean that you will do very well on a subsequent one. Just a 5 – 10% loss of total body weight will create a completely different chemistry in your body, and foods that were tolerable one break might not be the next. Also, be aware of any medications you might be taking and how the difference in your body weight might call for a different dosage, please check with your Doctor.
Tip #2 – Learn the Lingo
Learn terms that are necessary for your health and well-being for the rest of your life. Find out what BMR and BMI are. Figure out what macro nutrients are (Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats). Understand the effect your lifestyle has on the calorie requirements of your body. Understand that by eating less than your BMR you are in danger of putting your body into Starvation Mode and that means weight gain. Learn what supplements are necessary and at what dosages. Take some time to learn the terms that are essential for your health.
Tip #3 – Start P3 Slowly
This cannot be stressed enough. After a short or long round, all you can think about is devouring the foods that you have been missing. Do not fall into this trap. Start your P3 very slowly – the recommendation for the first couple of days is to concentrate on P2 foods, add a bit more protein, mix your veggies and add fats (keep the recommended 2 fruits a day but add variety). Fats include things like butter, full fat creams (including sour cream), yogurt, oils and avocados.
Tip #4 – Track Your Progress
Data is very important. Keeping a food journal (whether online or offline) is essential to your maintaining your weight loss. This will not be forever, but the first week is crucial to you knowing what portions look like and what combination works for you. As time goes on I highly recommend you at least keep a basic food diary of what you eat in a given day, along with your weight, the change from the previous day and how you’re feeling in a few short words. Believe me when I say this will be invaluable to your success.
Tip #5 – Take Action Immediately
As soon as you gain 2 pounds over your LIW, take care of it. Don’t be lazy. Don’t make excuses. Just take care of it. Procrastination is your ENEMY. Diligence is your FRIEND. It is what Dr. Simeons advocated and he was right. Look into the different ways of doing “Correction Days.”
Tip #6 – Rethink Your Needs
The US in particular is focused in on too much protein. Retrain your head to start thinking higher fat, lower protein and low carbohydrates. Healthy and REAL fats satiate you and pack a caloric punch and enable you to reach your caloric needs without bulk. Our meat proteins should only be around 4 ounces per meal – roughly the size of a deck of cards. Then concentrate on veggies for bulk. And stick to the lower glycemic fruits and only two per day until you have stabilized.
Tip #7 – Move Your Body and Mind
Both your body AND mind need to be active to maintain weight loss. You already know the importance of getting your body to move. However, did you know that since your brain is the most metabolically active part of you that it can contribute to you maintaining your weight loss as well? For instance, did you know that although your brain only constitutes about 2% of your total body weight, it uses almost 20% of your body fuel? Your brain is the most metabolically active part of you. The more you work it, the more energy it burns. That is energy and fuel that your body doesn’t get the chance to store as fat. So get busy in doing Sudoku, cross word puzzles, chess or whatever makes you happy and excited, and then change it up periodically.
Tip #8 – Check for Food Intolerance
Most people feel that food allergies only show up as rashes, sneezing, clogged sinuses or other classic allergy symptoms. Sensitivity to a food can also show itself as an inflammatory response, where your body retains water and can result in a massive gain. If left unchecked, this can lead to regaining the weight you just worked so hard to lose. In addition, poor digestion is another symptom of food intolerance and makes your body think it is not getting enough nourishment. In response, your body will go into starvation mode (famine) even though you are eating a lot of food. Your body is simply not absorbing nutrients due to the inflammatory response to a food sensitivity.
Tip #9 – Stay Accountable
Build a support system, whether online or offline and then use it daily. Do not ever get into the mindset that you can do it yourself. Food is an addiction and like any other addiction we need a support system to make it through each and every day. Join BootCamp, join Overeaters Anonymous, join SparkPeople, hire a coach, or tell your best friend, whatever it is, do it and use it.
Do you have a Tip #10? Please share in the comments below.