Congratulations on achieving a huge weight loss in such a short period of time. This is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Losing the weight was a giant step. Keeping it off takes a little bit of effort, but the Maintenance Diet will set you in the right direction.
The Maintenance Diet is not a strict, regimented diet, but rather an eating plan that follows a few simple guidelines. For the next three weeks, you will be eating more calories and following a low carbohydrate diet balanced to your needs.
After the Maintenance Diet, you may choose to stay on it for the long-term, some people prefer to increase the carbohydrates, and others may wish to repeat another cycle of the HCG Diet.
The Maintenance Diet starts with a caloric assessment
A caloric assessment is simply an estimate of how many calories your body burns in a day. It includes all the calories your body uses in 24 hours while you are asleep and while you are awake including exercise. This number can be estimated with charts or measured directly with a FitBit Flex bracelet ($99 online; get one).
Once we figure out how many calories your body burns in a day, we can use this information to easily establish a daily calorie target for your Maintenance Diet. You decide your daily calorie target based on your goals.
If you want to lose weight, your calorie target will be approximately 500 calories less than what your body burns in a day. If you want to maintain your weight, your calorie target will equal what your body burns in 24 hours. To figure out how many calories you eat in a day, you’ll need to open a free account on MyFitnessPal,download the app for your Android or Apple device, log in and start tracking.
For 3 weeks you will weigh yourself daily
When you start the Maintenance Diet you will weigh yourself every morning upon rising from bed. This will keep you on track and in the long-term, it’s a great way to keep yourself from falling into bad habits.
On the Maintenance Diet, you need to count calories every day. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if you are meeting your daily calorie target and you might put weight back on. So, keep your food scale handy.
If you are not computer saavy or don’t have access to online resources, use the nutritional information provided on food labels to count calories and write everything down in a notebook.
The Maintenance Diet Details
The Maintenance Diet is a basic high-protein, low-carbohydrate 3-week diet with a daily calorie target. We recommend 3 regular meals and 2 snack meals per day. Fats and oils are allowed. Fruits and specific breads are allowed in limited amounts. Sugar and high-sugar foods are not allowed. For simplicity, we provide a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to avoid. Just eat from the approved list and you’ll be OK.
Drinks — You must continue to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. That’s eight 8-ounce glasses. You may also drink mineral water, sparkling water, black or green tea or black coffee in any quantity at any time. Sugar is not allowed. Creamer and milk are allowed, but the calories must be counted. Saccharin (brand name Sweet ‘n’ Low) or stevia (pure without additives) may be used. You may not drink fruit juice or regular soda.
Vitamins — You should take a multivitamin supplement once daily. Other vitamins and supplements are unnecessary, but you may resume whatever you were taking before the HCG Diet.
Meals — On the Maintenance diet your meals are organized into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snack meals. The total calories for the day should hit your calorie target and not exceed it. For example, if your calorie target for the day is 1200 calories, you could eat two 400-calorie meals, one 200-calorie meal, and two 100-calorie snacks.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner must have a protein portion as the main part of the meal (the most calories). Homemade soups with vegetable broth are an excellent way to make a low-calorie meal more filling. You may eat all types of fish. You may eat fried foods. You may eat nuts. Fats and butters are acceptable. However, you have to count the calories. For example, if you have a fried egg for breakfast, you must not only count the calories in the egg, but also the calories in the oil or butter that you used to fry it.
Foods That are Not Allowed on the Maintenance Diet
Any food that is considered a processed carbohydrate is not allowed on the Maintenance Diet. This includes all types of rice, cereals, breads (except for those listed below), pastries, pasta, pizza, wheat and wheat products, donuts, bagels, cookies, candy, desserts, ketchup, potato chips, nachos, and anything else that’s crunchy and comes in a bag. Corn is not allowed. Also, beans of any kind, honey, syrup, canned fruits and sugar are not allowed. If you have a cheeseburger or a hot dog, the bun is not allowed.
Foods That are Allowed on the Maintenance Diet
All meats except any meats prepared with a sugary coating like honey glazed ham, brown sugar, molasses barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc. All vegetables except corn and anything prepared with any sugary sweetening agents. All fresh and frozen fruits are allowed. Canned fruits are not allowed. Nuts, butters and oils are allowed.
Emergency Steak Day
Your weight at the end of the HCG Diet is your baseline weight for the Maintenance Diet. If you find that you weigh more than 2.1 pounds over your baseline weight at any time during the Maintenance Diet, an Emergency Steak Day should help bring the weight back down.
An Emergency Steak Day is a day when you eat nothing for breakfast or lunch, but drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Then, in the evening have 1 large steak (8-18 oz) followed by an apple OR a raw tomato. The next morning when you weigh in, you should be back within 2 lbs of your baseline weight.
It’s that simple! Pick meats and vegetables and cook them the way you like, add small portions of fruit,and drink plenty of water. Track your calories and weigh yourself daily.
After the Maintenance Diet
After the Maintenance Diet, you have two options:
Option 1: Repeat the HCG Diet if you want to lose more weight quickly.
Option 2: Slowly start to add healthy sugars and starches back into your diet and keep your total daily calorie intake aligned with your long term goals. This is when you move on with your new, healthy post-HCG Diet lifestyle in your smaller clothes. Now, you should be craving healthier foods and a diet full of healthy fats, lean proteins, and fresh veggies. To control weight for the rest of your life, just weigh yourself daily. If you are up more than 2.1 lbs over your last HCG date weight, you guessed it: do an Emergency Steak Day.