Exercise in Phase 3

Exercise in Phase 3: when its okay, how to get started and what you should expect.

When entering Phase 3 it is important to not jump straight into an exercise routine. Your body is coming out of a very strict season and you will first want to introduce the new higher calories before doing any exercise including walking. It would be best to make sure your body is settling in to your new calorie counts before beginning any exercise program.

Make sure you are getting within 200 calories of your maintenance calories. If you do not get enough or too many calories in phase 3 you will gain. We get the question a lot of how can I eat so many calories, but if you think about how this protocol works our bodies are breaking down abnormal fat and we are getting a lot more than 500 calories daily. If you stop protocol and do not increase your calories you will go into starvation mode which can cause a gain. You can check maintenance calories here here and please email if you need help getting started Click Here.

Week One Sample Menu:

First week of p3 menu:

Breakfast- 3 eggs and meat/veggies (meat must be sugar free) and try adding in veggies such as bell peppers, onion etc.. or whatever you like.

Snack– 1 scoop of protein.. make sure there is  no added sugars or chemicals or 1- fruit (p2) orange, strawberries, apple, grapefruit. You can add in oils, butter, seeds and heavy whipping cream week one. You can also use almond milk or coconut milk in your smoothies.

Lunch 6-8oz of meat and veggies such as chicken salad you could have 8oz breast on a bed of spinach or lettuce 2-3 cups with tomatoes or other veggies.

Snack– grissini( keep it in a few days a week at least until we add other grains)

Dinner– 6-8 oz protein and veggies.

First begin adding in new protein and veggie sources and then after the first week start adding in healthy fats such as Greek Yogurt, oils, flaxmeal but Carol said keep oils/seeds/nuts to 4T a day… avocado to salad etc will help you get your calories up.  Remember to add one new item per day and monitor the results at the scale.  Problem foods are typically milk, cream, cheese, nuts and any other sugary fruits so be careful and introduce these in small quantities after week one.  After the first 2 weeks the weight become less volatile and by 21 days you will have stabilized.

Adding in exercise after week one would be light walking only.  By week three you can get a more aerobic exercise with a brisk walk and extend it to 40 minutes.

Reasons for Possible Gains with Exercise:

  • As you move into p3 stabilized (after 21 days or p4) you need to be prepared if you are doing strength training as you may gain weight, especially in the beginning.  You will need to rely heavily on measurements at this time.  When I was a trainer I would instruct those looking to tone only, to do 20 minutes in anaerobic cardio workout and never lift over 10 lbs with the arms or 30 with the legs.. If you want trim thighs watch how much weight you are lifting with your legs or you will  end up with thunder thighs.  Lower weights in smaller reps of 10-12 are best for toning and not building bulk.
  • If you are gaining you might not be getting enough calories.  You need to make sure you get in protein right after you exercise.  This will help with restoring the muscles and help cut down on inflammation and soreness which will effect the scale as water retention.
  • No enough sleep.  Dr. Oz (Click Here for Article) recently had a show about the importance of the cortisol that is released during sleep and recommends for our health and weight loss that we get at least 7 hours a night.  Not getting enough sleep can greatly effect your mood, attitude, weight management and cause many health issues.  Let your body restore by giving it enough rest every night.  If you need help falling asleep try the Valerian root tea which is helpful sleepy time tea.  Here is a complete list of foods and tips for helping with sleep.  (Click Here)
  • Be careful of hunger which can cause you to eat more than you should and things you shouldn’t.  Sometimes when we are exercising we feel justified to have something as a treat.  Be careful of this mentality as it will get you in trouble quickly.  You need healthy protein and also healthy carbs after a workout.  Not being able to eat those necessary carbs in phase 3 causes issues because the body is not getting what it needs to restore.  Healthy Carbohydrate options for P3 stabilized (after 21 days) are veggies, fruit and even beans such as kidney beans,  black beans, and legumes, and whole grains.
  • Exercise might not be burning as many calories as you think.  Be careful to find the right amount for getting enough but not going over calorie intake.


Elliptical training for 44 minutes/500 cal
Kickboxing for 25 minutes/272 cal
Jogging for 60 minutes/470 cal
Pilates for 30 minutes/119 cal

Exercise may trigger hunger make sure the calories you are consuming are the right ones that will fill you up. Foods high in fiber, protein and healthy fat will keep you from sabotaging your results.

Exercise for the right reasons. Make sure you stay hydrated with your water and lemon water. It will become less about the scale and more about your overall health.  We want you to make this a lifestyle change where you are eating and exercising for other benefits such as reducing your risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.


  1. Annie on April 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I came out of p2 about a week ago and yesterday I don’t know what went into me but I ate sugar and starches as well as today! I need your help, I don’t want to eat anything else for the rest of the day which I believe I will self control myself into doing so, but tomorrow what can I do in order to reverse the damage I have caused myself? What would be a good structure to do? And for the following days? Please help me, I am desperate and do not want to harm all the hard work I have put into for a double cheating…

    • Shawna Culp on April 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      How many calories are you getting? Seems like your menus must be off. Are
      you over LDW. Email me and lets go everything. Shawna@mediapowertools.com

      • Annie on April 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        before yesterday I was eating: an apple in the morning, mixed greens with chicken (mostly) mid day and then at night a salad with different vegetables either turkey or chicken with goat cheese.. I did this for a week, did not count calories.. Yesterday I cheated mid day and ate starches as well as some sugar, today in the morning I did the same. What should I do now? Tomorrow? What’s the best correction day for this?

        • Annie on April 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

          I am in p3 already, finished with the drops over a week ago.

          Thank you so much! I will do so. Can I do an egg day and then a steak day the day after?

          • Shawna Culp on April 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm

            you shouldn’t need both. How much are you over? It is better to to a
            correction day and then make sure your calories and menu is setup for
            success and no more cheats. Not getting enough calories, too many or not
            the right combination causes issues.. Come join us in support group and we
            will get you all set up.

  2. Caitlinjean on May 9, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Just to clarify (because reading it seemed too good to be true…), you recommend keeping grissini in my diet on P3? Carbs are what I crave, and I have been dreading letting go of my grissini, but I don’t want to gain when I start P3 on thursday!

  3. Shawna Culp on May 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    yes keep it in will keep you from being intolerant to grains

  4. […] One of the first questions in phase 3 is when can I start exercising?.. Here is a post that discusses how to start implementing exercise without messing with your stabilization process.  (Click Here) […]

  5. KowKow on December 28, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Ehh, I thought sweet potatoes were a starch and you weren’t supposed to have that for p3??

  6. Kelly on August 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Do I add back in the calories I burned with exercise to my maintenance calories on P3/P4? So, if I burned 500 cals, I should add 500 to my 1500 maintenance?

    • Shawna Culp on August 28, 2012 at 10:49 am

      I would start 100-200 at a time and see how you do, expect some gain due to muscle water retention on the days that you are sore. You really need to measure progress once working out with measuring vs as the scale as the scale can climb for a bit especially when sore. Measuring weekly will allow you to get better idea of progression. If you are weight training expect some measurement gains in areas like biceps and reduction in areas like the waist line etc

  7. NiMimi Chare on September 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I can have bread and oatmeal on Phase 3? I had no idea and I think i’m not eating enough.

    • Carol Ensminger on September 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I would wait until stabilized. If you have some wiggle room and want to introduce it, do so very little at a time.

  8. Mary on September 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    How far into P3, after stabilizing, would you introduce sweet potato?

  9. cja on March 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    thank you very much for this post, I am in day 6 of R3P3 and was wondering why my weight has been going up and down so much as opposed to my first two rounds. On my first round I didn’t exercise until after P3 and I stabilized perfectly. The second and this round I introduced in the first week and now I am struggling maintaining my weight. I also notice that I am having a hard time getting up my calories…. this explains it! Thanks!!

  10. Taylor on February 21, 2014 at 7:38 am

    I thought that fruit was sugary and you couldn’t eat it during phase 3, that’s what I was told low carb(no sugar or starches) was?

    • admin on February 23, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      In phase 3 you do not add in sugar. But there is sugar in most other items that is naturally there. You do not want to consume too much but you can continue the phase 2 fruits in p3. Dr S says when you are watching your carbs-meaning there are going to be some in p3- you can be more liberal in your fat intake but if your carbs are higher you will need to balance between the fat and carb intake to stay within your two lb range

  11. Darling on July 6, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    How long do we do phase 3?

    • admin on July 9, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      stabilization is 21 days

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