So you’ve finally finished your HCG injections, and you can now go back to eating everything you want, right? Wrong! If only that was how weight loss worked, but alas, although you have a bit more freedom in your diet, there are still restrictions on what you can and cannot eat during Phase 3 of the diet.
You’ve already completed Phase 2, hopefully without cheating, so a few more weeks is possible, just think of how far you’ve come! Phase 3 in HCG diet is all about maintenance, and now that you have lost the weight your body needs to be slowly introduced to foods so that you don’t begin to gain weight.
For some, Phase 3 can be slightly scary, after all, you’ve been losing weight for weeks and now you need to make sure you don’t gain any back. Weight is a difficult thing for many people, so having a great support system during this time can help immensely. If you’ve been doing the HCG diet with a friend or loved one, even better, and if you don’t feel like you have anyone to turn to, there are a number of active forums and social media groups who are ready to welcome you and share their tips, no matter what the number on your scale is.
Why is Phase 3 Necessary?
In Phase 3 HCG injections, or other forms of HCG are stopped, and after waiting 72 hours, your body must learn to readjust to sugars and carbohydrates. This cannot be done all at once, so this phase is done for three weeks to help slowly reintroduce a diet that would be more normal. After the HCG diet, maintenance is vital, so be sure to take this phase seriously. During Phase 3 you may eat what you would like, as long as it does not have sugar or carbohydrates, so you still need to make sure you're eating an HCG friendly menu and you should also eat more calories each week, up to 1500 calories for most people, though you may require more or less.
The diet plan also requires that you weigh yourself each morning after using the restroom, and if you go over two pounds from weight when you stopped injections, you absolutely must do a steak day to drop those pounds and get back on track. If you do gain a couple of pounds, use your steak day to re-check nutrition labels and see which foods have caused the weight gain and should be avoided. Gaining doesn’t just happen out of nowhere, so zeroing in on the culprit is going to help you in the long run.
Some women do become bloated during their menstrual cycle, so if you gain during this time, wait until your cycle ends to see if weight was caused by water retention. With the HCG diet Phase 3 is meant to allow your body to become accustomed to regular foods and meals, and to help you find foods and meals that help you sustain your weight loss. Even if you have not lost the amount of weight you had hoped to lose, Phase 3 is still necessary before you can begin the HCG diet again.
What is the HCG Phase 3 Food List?
Before introducing all of the foods you missed back into your diet during HCG Phase 3, there are a few foods that you should be reintroducing first. These foods should be introduced slowly, so you can easily tell which make you feel not so great, and which make you gain weight. For many dieters they find that many dairy products caused them to gain weight, and even experience some acne. While this isn’t true for everyone, it’s an example of introducing a new food and understanding how it is affecting your body.
The foods to bring back into your diet are going to be vegetables and fruits, and some other lean meats. Adding in nuts, diet sodas, real butter, organic cooking oils, and other seasonings are great to add into your diet, but be on the lookout for sugars and hidden carbs, especially in some nuts.
To create a food list you can count on, create a spreadsheet with the foods you have eaten that haven’t made you gain, or haven’t caused any other adverse reactions, and then create a list of ingredients in foods that you eat as well in order to help you further. Once you understand which foods you can safely eat, you’ll be able to quickly find a pattern of foods that have not worked for you, such as grains or certain beans.
One quick note to be aware of is processed meats, especially deli meats, which can have hidden sugars, so order from the deli counter and make sure your meats are free from additives or sugars. Many grocery stores are now selling organic varieties in their deli, making it much easier to shop for your dietary needs.
HCG Phase 3 Recipes You’ll Love
Here are some great sample recipes we have found from food lovers who are watching their weight while on Phase 3. Many times, recipes may have ingredients you have not introduced yet, or cannot have on the menu without gaining, so always have an alternative, of which there are many. As always, check the sugar content and look for ingredients that may not work with your dietary needs. There are new recipes created each day, and a great resource is going to be Pinterest, so check often and create boards with your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.
Cranberry Chicken Salad
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
- 6 celery stalks
- 2 cans water chesnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup real mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 Tblsp. dijon mustard
- 3 Tblsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbslp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tblsp. powdered sweetener (stevia or splenda)
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
Cut the cooked chicken breast into 1/2 inch pieces, and chop and water chestnuts. Combine the diced chicken, celery pieces, water chestnuts, and cranberries into a large bowl, set aside. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar with a whisk until smooth. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, sweetener, and stir. Add celery seed and green onions and stir again. Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the chicken and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 1 Tblsp. sugar-free crunchy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch of salt
Melt the chocolate and mix in the remaining ingredients while it is still warm. Let the mixture cool, and then roll a tablespoon into balls. Dust with coconut sugar and enjoy the dessert.
- 1 lb chicken breast tenders
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/2 Tbsp. oregano
- 1/2 Tbsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 egg, beaten
Before you begin this recipe, it’s best to keep a bowl of warm, soapy water in the sink, that way you can quickly wash your hands after handling the chicken, and you don’t have to worry about cross contamination.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and beat egg in a different bowl. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, and then dredge the chicken through the breading. Set onto a baking sheet while the oil heats in a pan. You should heat the olive oil to about medium high heat. Brown the breaded chicken on both sides in the hot oil, and then place into a baking dish. Bake the chicken until it is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.