The Philosophy of Maintenance
Completing your first round of the HCG Protocol is quite an accomplishment. It's not easy to follow the many guidelines and adhere to the restrictions, but if you persevered and made it to the end, you've likely lost a great deal of weight.
Moving On To the Maintenance Phase
Once the HCG phase is complete and you've dropped some excess pounds, you may be tempted to forego the critical maintenance phase and choose instead to simply watch what you eat. But if you don't adhere to the maintenance phase of the HCG Protocol, it will likely have been all for naught. The maintenance phase is just as critical as the HCG phase, because during the three weeks of maintenance, you're re-setting your normal weight point and teaching your body to maintain that weight.
The Goal of the Maintenance Phase
During the maintenance phase, your goal is not to lose more weight, but rather to maintain the weight loss you've so far enjoyed. This phase also serves to bolster your confidence as you embark on another HCG cycle or move on with your life in your new body. If you still have weight to lose, you can go on to complete another round, but for now, it's all about staying within two pounds of the weight you were on your last HCG day.
Maintenance Phase in a Nutshell
It takes about three weeks after the HCG phase for your body to re-set its new normal weight point and for your weight loss to become stable. During those three weeks, an episode of excessive eating can lead to wild weight fluctuations, but by the end of the maintenance phase, your weight will stabilize, and you'll slowly be able to return to eating a normal, healthy diet.
During the maintenance phase, carbohydrates, or sugars and starches, are entirely off-limits. Consuming even just a little sugar or starch can lead to catastrophic weight gain, but once the maintenance phase is complete and you slowly begin adding sugars and starches back into your diet, your weight will have stabilized and you can do so without devastating consequences.
The All-Important Daily Weigh-In
Daily weigh-ins are essential during the maintenance phase. Every morning before you eat and after you eliminate, you'll weigh yourself, and if your weight is more than two pounds over your last HCG day weight, you'll take immediate measures to correct it. Dr. Simeons reports that most people on the HCG Diet stay within the two-pound mark and find that their appetite isn't as big as it used to be. You'll likely find that for the most part, with the exception of starches and sugars, you can eat what you wish within reason and not gain any weight back.
Adherence is Critical
Just as you prepared yourself ahead of time for the HCG phase of the protocol, you should prepare yourself for the maintenance phase. Although your caloric intake isn't restricted like it was during the HCG phase, it's crucial to know what foods you need to avoid and develop a strategy for following the maintenance phase to the letter. After all, you've come a long way, and in just three weeks, your weight will remain stable indefinitely as long as you eat reasonably well.