What is Phase 3?
In Phase 3 you consume at least 1500 calories a day (this varies, use the calculator to determine your exact calories) with no sugars and starches. If you are having problems stabilizing then check the Calorie Control link to get your maintenance caloric intake amount. The purpose is to reset and lock-in your new base weight. Dr. Simeons states the importance of weight stabilization and when you can do another round of the protocol, if necessary, or move on to Phase 4 – lifetime maintenance. Check out the Phase 3 stabilization resource guide for more tips and information.
Weight loss should not be the objective of this during phase 3 it is about re-setting the hypothalamus, so that we NEVER have to regain the weight. The only way that happens is through STABILIZATION. Maintaining gives you the ability to become more aware of your body, and what increases your gains and losses. You will see what carbs and sugars you can eat and what you need to stay away from. If you fail to follow the protocol during P3 you will most likely gain weight when you begin adding back other foods in Phase 4.
Phase 3 can be the most difficult and most important part of the whole process. Not only should it be done correctly to maintain your last dosage weight, but here are many other things phase 3 will teach you. It is important that you do not continue to lose weight in this phase because any loss in P3 most likely will be loss of muscle or structural fat. According to Dr. Simeons protocol in Pounds and Inches you need to stay within 2 pounds over or under your LDW.
You will need to make adjustments to your food choices and portion sizes to maintain your LDW. Learn how individual foods affect your weight as they are added back into your diet. Be careful of introducing too many new foods at once. Try to introduce foods one at a time – it will help determine if a certain food causes a gain or loss. Try to go with lean protein, fruit and vegetables during the first few days of P3 and then slowly introduce foods like nuts and dairy one at a time, so that if you react negatively it is easily identified.
Keeping a daily food journal will also help you pinpoint problem foods and discover which ones work well for you. Use a journal that will help calculate your calorie, protein and fat intake. Learn what portion sizes you can eat without gaining weight. Everyone is different, so you need to find out what will work for you. Keeping a journal will help identify the foods that cause you to gain weight. It may be fruit, nuts, or just the amount of a certain food like dairy products. After you eliminate problem foods, you can slowly bring them back in to your diet in P4.
We have found that when we get to the maintenance phase we realize there is a change in our attitude towards food. We find ourselves not going back for a second helping of food, and we are satisfied with what is on our plate. We are not as hungry as we were before starting the protocol. We find that we now eat because we need to eat, not because we have this overwhelming desire to eat. Some also find that they no longer have the emotional attachment to food they once had.
A good way to begin P3 is to keep your vegetable and fruit choices the same for the first several days and add additional proteins and fats. In this phase you should not be trying to limit your fat intake. You need to have your protein intake at about 60%. You don’t want to keep losing weight or go over the 2 pound range, so if you are still losing you can increase your vegetable consumption. Add green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and other low glycemic veggies into your diet. If you are maintaining nicely, then add slowly introduce some new fruits. If you gain weight reduce the amounts or eliminate the latest foods you added for a few days and then try to add them again.