Notes and Tips:Maintenance/P3
1. See if you can find any low carb cookbooks. Here are a few suggestions; Dana Carpender. She wrote 500 Low Carb Recipes and 500 More Low Carb Recipes and a lot of the recipes in those books would be Phase 3 friendly. Keep an eye on the ingredients and avoid the recipes with nuts, nut flours, bake mix, guar gum, molasses, honey, etc., or anything that could be a starch.
2. Also, Suzanne Somers has cookbooks which use Low Carb philosophy; you can also try Low Carb for Dummies. You can also check out the master of low carb–Dr. Atkins. These can help the culinary challenged.
3. It is important to remind you: eat at least double the protein you were eating on the protocol so you won’t be protein deficient. If you get to a level of protein deficiency, be sure to do a steak and cheese day (as described in Simeons Pounds and Inches and here).
5. You can find out the minimum calories you should be consuming here. It is your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), or the calories burned if you did absolutely nothing all day given your particular height, weight, and age. You can use your BMR for your lower range boundary, figuring that anything less than that creates a deficit in calories, which you don’t want. Then, add another 300-400 calories to that figure (given that you don’t stay in bed all day). It is important to eat enough calories because if you try to subsist on too few calories or “rabbit food,” then your body will require that just to maintain. –JPS
6. It’s a good idea to still write down what you are eating as you need to know where your set point is and identify “problem” foods. Many people can stay around 1700 calories with absolutely no problem; be careful exceeding 2500 calories. In addition, insufficient calories can also produce problems. Listen to your body and watch its signs.
7. Remember, Dr. Simeons said you can eat anything you want except sugars and starches. Follow one simple rule, watch the scale. This means exactly that, you can eat up to three fruits a day, cottage cheese daily and have avocado and feta with dinner. You can drink (wine in small amounts). The only thing to try to maintain is a doubling of your protein from the VLCD as you don’t want to become protein deficient. Some sample foods on this phase include: prime steak, avocados, fresh fruit and vegetables; you can put butter on those vegetables and cheese at times. You can eat fresh shrimp and fresh fish, often baking it in butter, wine and herbs, You can drink white wine on a few occasions. You can cook your eggs in butter and make omelets with vegetables and a little cheese. Use olive oil, eat more dietary fat—it can be the key to maintenance. Overall, eat the good fats and the scale goes down, try to limit the fats and the scale goes up.
8. Many have found that the maintenance phase demonstrates a change in attitude toward food. For example, not getting a second helping of food, but just eating what is on your plate. People are not as hungry as they remember being pre-protocol. Instead people eat because they need to eat, not because they have this overwhelming desire to stuff their mouths. People also find that they have ridden themselves of the emotional attachment to food.
9. Don’t be afraid if the food you loved before the VLCD no longer tastes the same or gives you the same feeling they gave you before. Sometimes, it can take almost 4 or 5 days to even start enjoying the food again. We believe it is because your body is so used to one way of eating, it takes awhile to adjust to the new way of eating again.
10. Be careful of introducing too many new foods at once. Try to introduce foods one at a time, so you can determine if a certain food causes a gain or loss. Some people have trouble with dairy or nuts. Our suggestion is to go with lean protein, fruit and vegetables during the first few days to balance out. Then, GRADUALLY introduce foods like nuts and dairy one at a time, so that if you react negatively it is easily identified.
11. Read the label on everything you introduce during this maintenance phase. Be sure there is no form of sugar in it or other additives (look for any -ose, corn syrup, MSG, etc.).
12. It is important on this maintenance phase to look at the glycemic index of foods, and the carb count. This specifically means that foods are ranked on the effect they have on your glucose levels. These high glycemic foods are exactly what Dr. Simeons wants you to refrain from. Check out this website for more information on glycemic levels.
13. Be careful of yogurts which contain sugar regardless of soy or milk based. You can use organic PLAIN yogurt and then sweeten it with Stevia and add fruit to it (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or whatever else you are craving.)
14. Use common sense when selecting your food for the maintenance phase. Dr. Simeons really meant to avoid the obvious starches such as corn, potatoes, cereal, white flour, beans, pasta, bread, etc., and not starches in fruits/nuts. You can follow Atkins, but use more protein than fat.
15. If you are having trouble stabilizing your weight, begin by reducing the fats a bit (i.e. cheese or oil) and increase protein and vegetables. Some people, especially women, seem to be sensitive to cheese and the sodium apparently increases water retention = nominal weight gain (though not fat gain).
16. Don’t worry about weight fluctuations (within the 2 pounds or close to it) too much. Many people, have somewhat unstable weight for the first week to 10 days after transitioning from the hCG to maintenance (a few lucky ones don’t). It is likely to stabilize for you in less than a week, don’t get upset by the minor swings.
17. Two important passages from Pounds & Inches to be aware of during this phase:
• Beware of Over-enthusiasm
The other trouble which is frequently encountered immediately after treatment is again due to over-enthusiasm. Some patients cannot believe that they can eat fairly normally without regaining weight. They disregard the advice to eat anything they please except sugar and starch and want to play safe. They try more or less to continue the 500-Calorie diet on which they felt so well during treatment and make only minor variations, such as replacing the meat with an egg, cheese, or a glass of milk. To their horror they find that in spite of this bravura, their weight goes up. So, following instructions, they skip one meager lunch and at night eat only a little salad and drink a pot of unsweetened tea, becoming increasingly hungry and weak. The next morning they find that they have increased yet another pound. They feel terrible, and even the dreaded swelling of their ankles is back. Normally we check our patients one week after they have been eating freely, but these cases return in a few days. Either their eyes are filled with tears or they angrily imply that when we told them to eat normally we were just fooling them.
• Protein deficiency
Here too, the explanation is quite simple. During treatment the patient has been only just above the verge of protein deficiency and has had the advantage of protein being fed back into his system from the breakdown of fatty tissue. Once the treatment is over there is no more hCG in the body and this process no longer takes place. Unless an adequate amount of protein is eaten as soon as the treatment is over, protein deficiency is bound to develop, and this inevitably causes the marked retention of water known as hunger- edema.
The treatment is very simple. The patient is told to eat two eggs for breakfast and a huge steak for lunch and dinner followed by a large helping of cheese and to phone through the weight the next morning. When these instructions are followed a stunned voice is heard to report that two lbs. have vanished overnight, that the ankles are normal but that sleep was disturbed, owing to an extraordinary need to pass large quantities of water. The patient having learned this lesson usually has no further trouble.
18. If you plan on doing a second (or third) round to lose more weight, remember that Dr. Simeons recommends a 6 week break, followed by 8 weeks, followed by 10 weeks, etc. Some people have chosen to limit the break to 3 weeks (going from the maintenance phase right back to the injections). Dr. Simeons recommends this break to prevent immunity, but it is ultimately up to you how long your break is; you will see how the hCG reacts to the amount of time you chose to break for.
19. If you need recipes and information on low carbohydrate eating, there is a very good Yahoo group with hundreds of low carb recipes in the archives. It is a NO chat group-recipes only. Find it here. There are also a multitude of recipe websites online. Many you can search for free. Do a web search for low carb recipes. Also, check out the Low Carb Resources website for lots of information on low carb dieting, including recipes.
20. For those who are experiencing fluid fluctuations, you can combat it with drinking a lot of water (more than 2 liters), drinking corn silk tea, taking Epsom salt baths, and watching your salt intake. You can increase protein, use fiber, magnesium as additional weapons for weight fluctuations.
21. Stay away from the surgery liqueurs (Bailey’s, Chocolate, Amaretto, etc.)
22. Do NOT try to lose additional weight during this period. Dr. Simeons states that you will lose weight from your structural and reserve fat, rather than the abnormal fat, which you do NOT want to do. In addition, the hypothalamus needs time to adjust to the new “set” weight if it is to be considered your “normal” weight. If you do not allow this 3-week period of maintaining the last injection weight, it may be much easier to gain weight in the future.