There are four distinct phases of the HCG diet protocol. You will only be taking HCG shots during one of these phases. Here is what to expect from each phase and how to tell them apart.
Phase One: Fat Loading (Pre-HCG Shots)
Before you begin taking HCG shots and eating a very low-calorie diet (VLCD), you will need to fat-load. The goal of this phase is to get a lot more fat into your system than usual. This is so that the hormone has something to latch onto and flush from the body, which it will then eliminate all your other fat stores.
Phase One consists of two to three days of consuming high-fat, high-calorie foods. Then, you’ll move on to Phase Two when the injections and diet begin.
Phase Two: HCG Shots & Weight Loss
During Phase Two, you will be eating a VLCD. This means 500 calories a day and no more. Eating so few calories will allow you to lose weight quickly, and the HCG shots will prevent you from being hungry, irritable, starving, losing muscle mass, and other unwanted side effects. You should feel comfortably satisfied eating only 500 calories a day as long as you are injecting your hormones at the proper dosage.
If, during this phase, you are eating in accordance with the diet protocol and taking your injections as directed, but haven’t lost weight, you will have an ‘apple day.’ Dr. Simeons stated that apple days involve a dieter eating apples exclusively for one day, up to six apples. This will help flush out any excess water and boost your weight loss. It is not recommended that you do this regularly, since you won’t get enough protein, which is important during this diet.
Phase Three: Stabilizing
Once you have completed Phase Two (which usually lasts three to six weeks), Phase Three is the weight stabilization phase. You want to make sure your body adjusts to your weight loss and doesn’t latch onto fat once you start reintroducing foods into your diet. This is still a very important part of the diet, though. Dr. Simeons suggested during this phase that the dieter avoid starches and sugars.
You’ll eat meats, fats, veggies, fruits, nuts, and dairy. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes and choose low-sugar fruits like berries, lemons, limes, grapefruit, or watermelon. You’ll consume a ‘normal’ number of calories during this time, and Phase Three lasts about three weeks. You can move on from Phase Three once your weight has been stable and consistently within two pounds (up or down) of your weight on the last day of HCG shots.
Phase Four: Maintenance
During Phase Four, you will add some starches and sugars to your diet and see how your body reacts. Don’t overdo it, and practice moderation. You’ll eventually be able to shift more towards your ‘normal’ diet, but remember that you should still make healthy choices. Eat real, whole foods in their most natural state, choose veggies and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This is a life-long phase as long as you make smart choices.
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