Timing is everything with the HCG Protocol. Preparing ahead of time and knowing exactly what you will need to do during each phase will help ensure your success and prevent any surprises. Here is a very basic rundown of the protocol.
Days One and Two: Gorge
The first two days of the protocol involve taking your daily dose of HCG and ”loading up” on fattening foods, which will be stored as fat reserves to help you feel more satisfied and sustain you as you embark on the 500-calorie diet plan for the next 26 to 40 days. Don't worry about the weight you'll gain during these days, as you'll lose it very quickly in the days that follow.
Days Three to 26 (or up to 40): HCG and 500 Calories a Day
Starting on Day 3, you'll take your daily HCG and begin adhering to the 500-calorie daily diet. During menstruation, Dr. Simeons recommends not taking the HCG, although some people continue all the way through or only stop taking HCG during the heavier flow days (1 or 2 days).
Other than during menstruation, you'll need to take HCG every day for at least 26 days. If you wish, you can take HCG daily for up to 40 days.
After your last dose of HCG, you'll continue following the 500-calorie diet for 72 hours from the time of your last HCG. Keep in mind that your hunger will likely clue you in as to whether or not the HCG has left your system. If you're not hungry on the third day, you probably still have HCG in your system, and you can continue to follow the 500-calorie diet. If you're ravenous, the HCG is probably out of your system, and you can use the third day as a transitional day and eat two eggs for breakfast and follow the 500-calorie for the remainder of the day to help you prepare for the maintenance phase.
For Three Weeks After Stopping HCG: Maintenance Phase
The maintenance phase will last for three weeks after you stop using HCG. During these weeks, you'll completely avoid all starches and sugars. Everything else is fair game, although it's a good idea to try to eat as nutritiously as possible.
During the three-week maintenance phase, you'll weigh yourself each morning after you use the bathroom but before you eat breakfast. If you find your weight is more than two pounds higher than it was on the last day that you took HCG, you'll have to implement a steak day that day. A steak day involves skipping breakfast and lunch but staying well-hydrated. In the evening, you'll eat a large (8-14 ounces) steak with either an apple or a raw tomato.
For Three Weeks After the Initial Maintenance Phase
Once your initial three-week maintenance phase is complete, you may begin to start slowly adding sugars and starches back into your diet. You'll continue to weigh yourself each morning, and you'll continue to implement steak days on any day that your weight is more than two pounds above the weight you were on your last HCG day.
Adherence is Critical
Adhering strictly to the HCG Protocol from day one to the end of the three-week post-maintenance period is absolutely essential to your short and long term success. Deviation from the protocol risks sabotaging your weight loss and your ability to maintain your weight loss. Preparation ahead of time is key to your success. We highly recommend reading Pounds & Inches: A New Approach to Obesity, and proceeding with the protocol only when you fully understand how it works and what it entails from start to finish.
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