Phase four of the HCG diet is the “Transition and Maintenance” phase which is the final part of the medically supervised weight loss program. At this point in time, you will have achieved maximum weight loss by adhering to the strict protocol outlined in phase one through three.
This phase of the HCG diet is intended to enable you to re-introduce additional carbohydrates and find the right daily caloric intake needed to allow you to successfully maintain your new weight.
For many who have attempted to lose weight in the past, they’ve found that this can actually be the most difficult part of the diet program. Old habits and the availability of foods that can compromise your weight loss can seem ‘rewarding’ after a hard-earned period of strict diet protocols. However, phase four should be seen as the period where you put into use all the tools you’ve learned throughout the diet to be able to practice strict discipline and to encourage a healthy lifestyle to keep your body in top shape, energy levels at its peak, and your overall well being in a quality state.
The transition and maintenance phase introduces the increased amount of daily calories gradually. Maintenance calories is the amount of calories that is needed to be able to help your body maintain your new weight indefinitely. It will take a week-by-week process to accomplish and discover the right calorie maintenance amount for you. This is sometimes called Reverse Dieting. Just like with conventional dieting, you need to know when to stop and what foods to eat or not to eat. Reverse dieting is the same.
The only changes to your diet at this point will be the re-introduction of additional carbohydrates. Because you can experience anxiety or concern over what foods to eat without compromising your weight loss results, it’s highly encouraged that you continue to seek advice from your HCG doctor or a diet coach that specializes in the HCG diet. Every individual is different and has unique goals and circumstances. It’s important to calculate your personal maintenance calories to keep the weight off and feeling and looking your best.
Important – Calculate maintenance calories needed. Speak with a diet coach that specializes in the HCG diet. Continue to use your food journal.
Phase four of the HCG diet can be an extensive topic in itself, and many are looking for more guidance as to how to transition back to a normal diet. Below are some common questions and concerns many have about the transition and maintenance phase of the HCG diet.
Questions About Phase 4 of the HCG Diet
Q. Where can I calculate my maintenance calories?
A. There are many maintenance calorie calculators that you can utilize online. A general rule to calculate this is to take your weight (in pounds), multiply by 10 to get your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Take the BMR and multiply it by the activity multiplier to get your maintenance calorie amount. The activity multipliers are:
- Sedentary – 1.2
- Moderately Active – 1.3
- Active – 1.4
- Very Active – 1.5
- Athlete – 1.6
Q. How many calories do I need to increase each week?
A. Because every person is different, it’s encouraged to speak with a diet coach or your HCG doctor about your maintenance calories and where and when you need to stop. Below is a week by week guideline of a gradual increase in calories.
- Week 1 -2: 1500-1750
- Week 3-4: 1750-2200
- Week 5-6: 2200-2750
- Week 7+: 2750+
Q. When do I stop the gradual increase of calories?
A. You stop increasing your daily calories once you have reached the week your maintenance calories are met. For example, if your daily calorie needs are 2000, you’ll increase your calories to 1500-1750 calories during week one and week two. You will increase your calories to 2000 in week three and continue to maintain that daily amount indefinitely to maintain and control your weight.
Q. Do I have to increase my calorie and carbohydrate intake? I like the progress I’ve made so far.
A. It’s extremely important to increase your daily calories and carbohydrates to achieve a healthy diet. Consuming less than the maintenance calories will detriment your weight loss goals by forcing the body to be indefinitely in diet mode. This can slow down your metabolic rate causing you to have weight plateaus, low energy, and even weight gain.
Q. I’m not the weight I want to be yet. Can I do the HCG diet again?
A. Yes. You can safely do another round of the HCG diet after six weeks of completion of your most recent round. It’s best to discuss with your HCG doctor the best time for you to tackle your weight loss goals again.
Q. What carbohydrates should I re-introduce to my diet?
A. Stick to healthy carbohydrates such as sources of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Think whole foods to compliment and enhance your weight loss results and an improved quality of life. Continuing to eat the foods approved in phase two and three of the HCG diet is highly recommended, while you keep track of any additional foods you re-introduce back into your diet.
Q. What foods should I avoid now that I’m in phase four?
A. Avoid processed and sugary foods with added preservatives, additives, and chemicals. This is the same for beverages. You want to avoid any foods that will put you back into the same shape you were when you began your HCG hormonal therapy for weight loss.
Q. What is the purpose of phase four? Can’t I just skip it and go straight to eating normal again?
A. It’s important to not shock your body into a sudden, dramatic, and significant increase in calories and additional carbohydrates. Doing so can negatively affect your insulin and blood sugar levels, metabolic rate, and your set point. The transition and maintenance phase enables you to put into use the tools you’ve learned over the course of the HCG diet. You can practice more discipline in your eating habits, learn how your body is affected by specific foods, and stabilize your weight loss to cement in your new set point.
Q. Can I eat what I want now that I’m technically off the diet?
A. To prevent weight gain, a reset of your set point at a higher weight, metabolic problems, and decreased quality of life, it’s highly encouraged to eat a healthy diet with all the foods that will enhance your weight loss results and improve your energy levels and moods. Whole, nutrient-dense foods void of additional sugars and additives that are processed as little as possible are the best foods to maintain your new weight.
Q. I’ve always used food for rewards and treats. What can I do now to change my way of thinking?
A. Consider other things that you enjoy in life and activities that inspire you. Perhaps a day to indulge yourself at the spa, take that mini vacation you’ve always wanted, or buy that ridiculously, expensive leather jacket you’ve had your eye on. Surround yourself with supportive allies that can help encourage you that good company and diving into different experiences can be more addicting than that cinnamon roll.
Q. I consider myself a ‘foodie’, but I don’t want to fall back into old, bad habits. What can I do?
A. Food is the center of many people’s lives. It still can be. Instead of thinking of all the bad and wrong foods to eat, put to use the good recipes you learned during the HCG diet and treat yourself that way. Carob chips instead of milk chocolate chips and steel cut oats instead of instant oats.
Q. Can I exercise or increase my intensity in my workouts during phase four?
A. Absolutely! Now is definitely the right time to make regular exercise a good, old fashioned habit. Exercise will not only help to improve your overall wellness and quality of life, it’ll continue to enhance your weight loss results while helping to keep metabolic and hormonal processes in order to make it easier to keep the weight off and lose flab in those hard-to-lose areas. Now that you have lost a lot of weight, and if you’ve been working out prior to phase four, you’re ready to put to use the extra energy and feelings of euphoria to work. Increase your intensity and push harder. Endurance and stamina levels should be better than ever and your performance will definitely show.
Q. Why do I have to keep a food journal?
A. It’s a fact that those who continue to record their foods will continue to lose weight and maintain their weight twice as much as those who don’t. By keeping track of specific foods that you’re introducing slowly into your diet, you can review what foods work for you and what foods don’t. You can tweak your diet to help set you up for the best success at maintaining your weight indefinitely.
Q. How can I better keep track of my diet?
A. Being accountable is all about being organized and being aware of what you’re putting into your mouth. Online apps that record your foods can calculate calorie, nutrition, and portion size information that can help you have a better understanding of what you’re consuming. It also equips you with the tools to make healthier and smarter food choices.
Q. Now that the diet part is over, how much should I be drinking?
A. You should always be consuming enough water to be in compliance with the daily 8×8 rule (eight 8 ounce glasses). If you’re working out and incorporating regular exercise, it’s important to increase your daily water intake to support your active lifestyle. The same goes for women who intend to be and may be pregnant.
Q. I’m diabetic and I don’t know how the additional carbohydrates will affect me. What should I do?
A. It’s advised that you speak with your diabetic or HCG doctor to adjust medications as necessary to cater to the additional foods you’ll be introducing back into your diet. You may be given a modified diet schedule. Despite your condition, this will be a good phase to closely analyze the effects of specific foods on your body.
More Questions or Concerns?
Please seek the advice of your HCG doctor or diet coach to be able to specifically answer any additional concerns or questions you may have relating to any aspect of the HCG diet program. The benefits of a medically supervised weight loss program is that you have access to discussing any concerns you have to get the reassurance you need to be able to achieve your weight loss goals. Any negative side effects experienced during this phase of the diet should be discussed with your doctor to determine if there is an underlying condition or allergic reaction to certain foods being re-introduced.
Although this part of the diet may have you brimming with questions and in need of a little guidance, it’ll soon become second nature to you to know exactly what goes in and what your body does with it. Phase four will help you find that balance between eating right and feeling right. You’ve lost the weight, you’ve found some renewed energy, and you’re feeling and looking your best than you have in years. It’s time to applaud yourself and feel proud of the progress you’ve made. The transition and maintenance phase may be the tail end of the HCG diet program, but it’s the beginning of the rest of your life with a new body, a new diet, and a new lifestyle.