Phase 2 of the HCG diet is often the most controversial, due to its extremely low calorie requirement. 500 calories a day can be a tough plan to follow, but those that do often report losing a lot of weight from typically hard to target areas. While phase 2 gets most of the attention, phase 3 is arguably the most important. It is the phase in which you will either cement your weight loss or gain it all back and be forced to undergo the HCG diet protocol again.
In some ways, phase 3 of the HCG diet is much easier than phase 2. For one, you don’t need to be worried about being hungry. Because there is no low caloric requirement, you can pretty much eat as much as you want. However, the amount of food you eat relates directly to your waistline, so it is still important to be careful about how many calories you eat and where they come from. Eating a lot of meat, for example, may cause you to start gaining weight because of the fat content and the fact that it is so calorie dense. A better idea would be to eat large amounts of vegetables. If you feel hungry during phase 3, reach for a plate of veggies instead of something like meat, cheese or grains.
Sometimes, you can offset eating a larger amount of calories by working out. If you notice that during phase 3 you are steadily putting on weight, and you don’t want to reduce your caloric intake, you can add exercise to burn off any extra calories. A good place to begin would be with 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. This can be anything from a good, vigorous walk to a light jog, or anything in between. If you’ve been putting on relatively small amounts of weight, then moderate exercise will probably curb it. However, if the weight gain has been substantial, then modifying your diet as well as exercise is a must. Dr. Simeons has an emergency protocol in place in the event of rapid weight gain during phase 3 that includes eating nothing all day and then eating a large steak for dinner. Doing this often helps people who find themselves gaining weight during phase 3.
It’s extremely important that your weight does not change very much during phase 3 of the HCG diet plan, so if you decide to exercise make sure that you don’t overdo it. If you find yourself continuing to lose weight, you should probably slow or even stop your exercise routine until the 3 week period is over. If you don’t want to reduce your amount of exercise, you can always eat more. Eating heavy, calorie dense foods like cheese will help you to have the necessary calories to maintain your body weight. You should still abstain from starches and sugars, though, as these foods can have a nasty effect on your body during phase 3 and rapidly increase the rate at which you gain weight.
The best time to begin exercising is when phase 3 is over and your weight is successfully stabilized. After this, you have much more control over your daily diet and you can increase or decrease your type and frequency of exercise in order to maintain your body at its current weight, or continue to lose more.