Congratulations! You made it. You absolutely did it. What a journey it has been. From the early days of Phase One, when, in between bites of anything you wanted, you wondered what Phase Two would be like. To the re-imagining of yourself during Phase Three when you carefully began redesigning your eating habits toward a more permanent, balanced lifestyle.
Here you are at Phase Four of your HCG Diet Protocol. Awesome.
But wait! What exactly is Phase Four? Does this mean there are more restrictions? Do I have to up my intake of the HGC hormone? Do I have to eat a plate full of weird looking green pasta from a health shop?
No. Because Phase Four is all about re-entering the so called real world of food, and learning to make educated, healthy choices during normal dining experiences with friends and family.
Getting Out Again
During the three previous phases, chances are, you might have stayed home a bit more. Particularly if this was your first time cycling through the diet plan. Outside of any lunch breaks with your co-workers, you might have felt a bit odd sitting in a restaurant, turning down just about everything on the menu, much to the annoyance of family and friends.
Phase Three meant you were able to start re-introducing certain foods back into your diet, while watching for carb, dairy, and sugar sensitivities, their reaction on your weight, and overall wellbeing. Phase Three was also about slowly rebuilding your daily caloric intake, finally bringing you to around 1,500 calories per day depending on the demands of your lifestyle; highly physical or fairly sedentary.
Think of Phase Four as the phase without an end. This is how you eat going forward. Essentially, now you are responsible for maintaining a healthy weight and to continue figuring out what meals are best going to help you stay on goal.
For some dieters, this can seem intimidating. The previous three phases offered the support of a structure. No matter how many times we might have railed against the caloric restriction, or the Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) shots, now we are standing out there alone; we appreciate the structure we once had.
No diet comes without maintenance. The HCG Diet Protocol helped get you to your goal. The goal however, is not to remain at Phase Three or Phase Two forever. It is important to continue making the healthy choices at the right portions similar to the final week of Phase Three where you reached almost 2,000 calories per day.
Fail to maintain and you could be pulling those fat jeans back out of the closet again!
Maintenance though, does not have to be a challenge. Think about it, just being on the HGC Diet Protocol, you are already aware of what you are putting into your body and how it affects your mood, water retention and other factors. During Phase Three where a careful reintroduction of food types took place, you might have discovered a sensitivity to some foods. Prior to being on the diet, you were unaware of the negative effects on your body that certain foods may have had, due in large part to their being just lumped in with everything else you were eating at that time.
Now, with greater awareness, you have a default structure built in, and it is this structure that will maintain your path to continued success.
Still a Diet?
Don’t think of Phase Four as a diet per se. You are literally eating for life. As in better long-term health with more energy to do the things you enjoy doing. Eating well through nutritiously dense calories packed with protein, vitamins, and micro nutrients just makes sense!
So, instead of telling people you are on a diet, tell them, this is your diet instead. Far more empowering, giving you more control over how you view the new lifestyle emerging from your weight loss.
Check your Labels
Restrict all processed foods as much as possible, but if you absolutely must, check labels for salt, fats, and sugar. Go for fresh and if possible, organic every time. Allow a little extra time for grocery shopping, so you can check labels. Salad dressings are notorious for high sugar in the form of fructose. Oil or vinegar-based dressings are always going to be better for you.
Stay clear of fast food restaurants, and avoid simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bleached flour, rice, and sugary foods. Anything that is refined. As you introduce foods back into your digestive system, opt for whole grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables. In fact, your carbohydrates should ideally come from these.
Research on line for foods that you like, as well as recipes. Check your HCG Supplier for recipe downloads and tips. Nowadays there are some great savory and sweet food combination ideas for just about every diet out there. HCG is no exception!
Join an on-line HCG Diet support group where you and others can share your HCG Protocol journey along with others. Groups can be a great support, especially if you have fallen off a little bit during a special occasion.
Not with food! Now that you have squeezed into your ideal size, it might be tempting to throw everything aside for a day or two and indulge. After all, you tell yourself; you have earned it!
While, undoubtedly you have, indulging in carbs and sugary foods will only lead to feelings of self-doubt and guilt later on. Not to mention the possible revisiting of a pound or two or more.
Instead, treat yourself to a new dress or a new pair of jeans. Something that makes you feel good and showcases the dedication you have put into transforming your life.
Apps and websites are great resources to help you stay on track. Phase Four is all about setting up for continued success, so yes, there will be calorie counting. Apps and websites can give you a complete calorie, fat, and nutritional breakdown of each of the different foods you want to eat. If possible, download one or two of these apps onto your device or smart phone, so that no matter where you eat, you remain in control of your healthy lifestyle.
So here we are. Phase Four. Reach out to your HCG supplier for information about meal planning, recipe ideas, and calorie counting.
You have come this far. You’ve got this. Trust me.