Thursday, November 19, 2009

hCG and Maintenance

Once people get over the initial "Wow" about hCG, they are usually interested in how successful maintenance is. Can you maintain such great weight loss? It's a good question, and anyone truly interested in shedding weight should be curious about it.

When I was researching hCG in the beginning, I read many reports about people who were maintaining their weight and it was typically within 5 lbs. of their lowest weight on hCG. If you're especially diligent, you can maintain within 2 with minimal effort.

I've been off of hCG now for about a month, have successfully added carbs back into my diet and have maintained within 2 lbs. I have done 1 steak day but it wasn't because I was over 2 lbs. I did it so I could be at my lowest weight and have some wiggle room to add carbs in; a tactic I highly recommend.

Phase III can be a very stressful period for hCG'ers because all of the sudden they are released into the world of food knowing they are able to add "all oils and fats" back in. But the rules are very vague as to how much to eat and what exactly you should be eating.

I did it wrong one time. In the two weeks that I was "off" between rounds, I did about 4 steak days and had a difficult time figuring out where my balance was. But in all failure there is success and I learned a great deal about my body during that time. My 2nd foray into Phase III was, as I said, a complete success.

All bodies are different so what worked for me may not necessarily be the key to your success but it's a start. Here's how I did it.

As Phase I came to an end, I mentally prepared myself for a low-carb lifestyle. Talk to anyone who is serious about health and weight maintenance and you'll find that moderation in carbs is critical. I researched lots of low-carb recipes and sugar/starch substitutes and made a plan for how my future diet would be.

Day I of Phase III. I ate the same foods I ate for Phase II. I had more chicken breast (5 oz) and more tomatoes (2) for lunch. I had asparagus (2 cups) for dinner with about a 5 oz steak. But I added eggs (1/4 cup) for breakfast. And not just any eggs - I used Eggbeaters because they have no fat and they are pure protein. My main goal this day was to come out higher in protein than in fat. I also had an apple (large Red Delicious bought at Costco - they're huge!)

Day II: Again, same foods as Phase II (a trend I continued for 1 week) but added any veggies you can find in a salad (cucs, lettuce, carrot, tomato, mushrooms). I ate the salad (very large) with 2 tbsp of Ranch (regular Ranch). So I had eggs for breakfast and a salad with Ranch for lunch. Again, asparagus and steak for dinner. I did add ham to my eggs this morning (about 1/4 cup) because it's protein and I was mainly careful about adding in fats, oils and carbs in other foods (like nuts).

Day III: Similar foods to previous day (you're getting the idea) but today I added peanuts because I love peanuts and they're a great snack. But I only added 1/4 cup of them. For a snack, I dehydrated some steak for homemade jerky (don't eat the store bought stuff yet because usually the 1st or 2nd ingredient is sugar!) and ate that throughout the day. Again, eggs/ham for breakfast, salad for lunch and protein/veggie for dinner. Apple and peanuts for snack.

Day IV: Added cauliflower because I love it mashed with milk, and sour cream. It's a very good substitute for mashed potatoes. I didn't put a limit on how much cauliflower I ate that day because it's considered a "negative calorie" food which means it takes more calories to eat it than you will take in by eating it. I eat it in many forms. I'm still very boring at this point with eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and protein/veggie (cauliflower) for dinner. Apple for snack.

Day V: I added a few raisins to my salad.

Day VI: I added cheese (any variety) but only about 1/2 cup of cubes or a cheesestick

This is the trend for at least two weeks. I know that by the time you hit Phase III, you are seriously Jonesing for some real food but you have to take it very slow. Smaller quantities than you feel are necessary and really only one (and if you really can't stand it) a small quantity of another food. For most days, you really shouldn't even gain much more than a couple ounces. It should be that controlled.

To maintain control even better, you can work out. I found that by going running each morning for just 15 minutes, the water was redistributed in my body to the point that I would lose .6 of a pound every morning and I'd start off on the right foot every day. I'd like to say that exercise was the primary reason I was able to maintain the weight but I really think it was the combination of controlled eating and exercise.

Now I know this is not how you want to live your life forever. Smaller quantities of food and exercise every morning to maintain your weight. The good news is, it's not how it's going to be. Already, I'm getting much more liberal with the oils and fats that I eat. Take for example what I ate today (and today was a day I was trying to be careful):

Eggs/ham for breakfast (1/4 cup of each) & mushrooms
1/4 cup of peanuts for snack early morning
1/4 cup of raisins (lunch)
1 wedge of garlic BabyBell cheese rolled in two pieces of ham (lunch)
1 very large apple (lunch)
1/2 cup of homemade jerky (lunch)
3 tbsp organic peanut butter (afternoon snack)
1 cup lasagna (dinner)
10 doritos (late afternoon snack)
3/4 cup peanuts evening snack

You can see I'm a really snacky person - to the exclusion of regular lunch food. Yesterday I had a chicken sandwich for lunch (with bread yay!). The day before I ate a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. That was the day I also ate 2 orange rolls while I was baking.

I have no idea of how many calories I ate today but I know that I didn't overeat. Prior to hCG I would never have have been able to eat 1/2 of the snack foods I ate today let alone in the quantities did. Best of all, I felt no guilt at all.

At this point in my reassimilation, I am only careful about the carbs I eat. Like you saw, I had some lasagna but I was fairly light on the noodles and some doritos. There are carbs in the apple, raisins and peanuts and all of that adds up to about what I can tolerate in a day without gaining. And I know this because day one of adding carbs back in, I did it the same way as adding in fats/oils: 1 at a time. Day 1 I added 1 piece of bread. Day 2: more bread and then 1/4 cup of potatoes.

Anyway, you get the idea. Take it slow and not only will you establish your set point quickly like I did but you'll avoid the dreaded steak day. It's easy to get crazy with your new freedom but there's much more happiness in controlling what you eat than over-eating and being forced into a rigid steak day!

Good luck with Phase III. More information like low-carb recipes, etc. to come like what to do about Thanksgiving while on Phase III.

*An afterthought about what I actually want to eat: It must be clarified that the things I ate today were the things I wanted to eat. And don't get me wrong - I am a junk food fanatic! At least I used to be. But I seriously am not interested in most of that stuff right now. While I ate the doritos earlier, I was very done with them by the time I finished my small bowl. I just didn't want more. I can easily pass on all fast food. I say this because you probably looked at that list of foods that I ate and thought that it was all diet food and what I was forced to eat. Not at all - those were the foods I chose to eat and it was ALL I wanted. Believe it! I'll write more about this too.

*Post note: It is now April 22nd and the weight is still off. I'm still maintaining my weight within 2 lbs. of my original weight loss. For those of you interested in my ongoing maintenance, I will continue to post as time goes by so you can see the longevity of maintenance on hCG.

2 backward glances:

Jay said...

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HCG Diet

David bone said...

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