Maintenance is a VERY exciting part of the HCG Protocol. While losing weight during Phase 2 VLCD is fun and exciting, the real and long-term magic happens during Phase 3 Maintenance. During Phase 3 Maintenance, the hypothalamus gland in your brain is literally being reset. When your hypothalamus is reset, your metabolism is set at a higher rate so that excess calories are used and eliminated, not stored as fat like they were before you started the protocol. And more importantly, the hypothalamus gland will create a new “weight-set-point”. Did you know that your body has a certain designated weight that it thinks you should weigh? This is why every time you’ve lost weight in the past, you’ve gained it right back! Your body was literally fighting to get back your old weight. But through the proper completion of Phase 3 Maintenance, your hypothalamus will create a new “weight-set-point” at your new lower weight, enabling your body to fight to keep you at your new weight instead. This is one of the main things that separates the HCG protocol from any other weight loss method, and it’s why you will keep your weight off forever, and with less work than ever before!
Transitioning from Phase 2 VLCD to Phase 3 Maintenance:
Record your LDW: On the last morning of taking your HCG drops, it’s important that you make a special note of your weight. This is your Last Drop Weight or LDW. You will use this number throughout the rest of maintenance, so make sure you write it down. (Remember, your LDW is recorded on your last day of taking your drops, not the day before or after). At the end of this day, you should have completed a minimum of 21 days of Phase 2 VLCD while taking the drops.
3 days of Phase 2 VLCD without drops: It takes 3 full days for the HCG to leave your body completely. Since you don’t want to start eating other foods with the HCG still in your body, it’s important to complete 3 full days of Phase 2 VLCD without taking any drops. During these three days, you will likely continue to lose more weight, but your LDW does NOT change, regardless of any weight changes.
Now that you’ve completed at least 21 days of Phase 2 VLCD with HCG, recorded your LDW, and completed 3 days of Phase 2 VLCD without the drops, it is time to move on to Phase 3 Maintenance!
Phase 3 Maintenance:
In Pounds And Inches, Dr. Simeons’ gave one rule regarding Phase 3 Maintenance: “Eat what you want when you are hungry except NO sugars and NO starches, but weigh every morning to make sure you stay within 2 pounds of weight as of last injection (last morning of HCG drops). If you go over the 2 pound limit, perform a Steak Day.”
Eat to hunger: During Phase 3 Maintenance there are no caloric requirements or restrictions. The goal is to listen to your body, and eat to satisfy your hunger. Make a goal of eating 3 complete meals and 2 snacks daily. (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner). The best plan of action is to eat lots of protein, enjoy some good-for-you fats, eat lots of fresh vegetables, and some fresh fruits. Avoid ALL sugar and starch for 3 weeks.
It’s important to remember that eating fewer calories than your body needs can cause you to gain weight. It will also encourage your body to use fuel/food less efficiently, meaning that you’ll always need to restrict calories or you’ll gain weight. To avoid this from happening, make sure you eat plenty of calories. We see far more problems from people not eating enough calories, rather than eating too much.
*Note: Some people feel lost without having a caloric goal for the day. If this is the case for you, we would encourage you to use an online BMR calculator to calculate your BMR. Make sure the calculator includes your activity level, such as the one here: http://www.everydayhealth.com/toolkit/bmr-calculator.aspx Then you simply need to aim to eat your BMR number of claories each day.
Avoid all sugar and starch for 3 weeks: As Dr. Simeons wrote, you are allowed to eat absolutely anything you wish, as long as you avoid all sugar and starch. This means that you need to continue to look at the list of ingredients of everything that you eat or drink to ensure that it doesn’t contain sugar or starch. All varieties of fruits, veggies, and meat are fine (watch the deli meat and prepackaged meat to ensure there are no sugars or starches added). Anything you can find that doesn’t contain sugar or starch is acceptable to eat during Phase 3 Maintenance. After you have avoided eating all sugar and starch for 3 weeks, you can then begin to slowly add in those missing sugar and starches. You should do this gradually for best results, over a period of several weeks, adding in 1 food at a time.
Weigh yourself daily: It is important to weigh yourself daily to ensure that the scale doesn’t go MORE than 2 pounds over your Last Drop Weight (LDW). If your weight does go more than 2 pounds above your LDW, you will need to complete a Steak Day the very SAME day. This is very important to ensure that your hypothalamus gland is able to create a new “weight-set-point” for your body. It’s very difficult to correct a 2+ pound gain if you don’t do a steak day on the very day that you go more than 2 pounds over your LDW. You have worked hard to get to this point, following the Steak Day rule will ensure that your hard work is not lost.
How to complete a Steak Day: Any morning that your weight is more than 2 pounds above your LDW, you will need to complete a Steak Day that very same day. This means that you should always be prepared to complete a Steak Day.
Throughout the day, do not eat anything, but drink plenty of water. You may drink coffee or tea, but the majority of your fluids should be water. You may use pure stevia to flavor or sweeten your water, coffee, or tea, but NOTHING else. No milk, no lemon, no other additions other than a dash of pure stevia.
For dinner you should eat 1 huge steak along with either an apple or raw tomato. Continue to drink plenty of water.
The steak should be at least 8 ounces, bigger is fine. You may use seasonings on your steak, but check labels and avoid mixes with sugar or starch. If you do not like steak, you may substitute any other protein such as chicken, fish, pork loin, whole eggs, or protein whey. Eat until you are full.
The following morning after a Steak Day, your weight should be back within two pounds of your LDW. You should then resume eating according to the rules of Phase 3 Maintenance. If for some reason your weight does not go back to within two pounds of your LDW (this rarely happens), you should not perform a second Steak Day. Back-to-back Steak Days can be counterproductive. In this case, you should wait one day and then complete a Steak Day the next day, giving you one day of regular Phase 3 Maintenance eating in between Steak Days. Again, this is a rare occurrence.
Many people use the Steak Day tool for the rest of their life. By weighing daily, and performing a Steak Day when needed, you can easily maintain your new weight forever.