The Phases of Protocol Explained!

There are four phases to the Protocol.

Phase 1:

Phase one is preparing for the diet.  This is a preparatory phase that is very important but many skip.  We recommend at least reading Pounds and Inches and trying one of the detox methods as you await your shipment.  You can use this time to read Pounds and Inches, do your measurements( check out the myotape) and work on detoxing your body to prepare for the diet.  Try the Health Pro Detox Plan a week before starting. P2 is a detox itself. Detoxing before just helps with some of the symptoms the first week which may include hunger, cravings and some report headaches.

Phase 2:

When you start taking the drops or injections is the beginning of phase 2.  The first 3 days of phase 2 you will be eating a high fat diet known as loading days. On Day 4 you will begin your start of the VLCD (very low calorie diet).  Click here to visit the Phase 2 Guide.   There are two programs a 23 day plan and a 40 day plan. The minimum days on a round is 23 days. This is 3 days of loading, 20 days on vlcd. You will continue vlcd for 72 hours following your last dose.

Phase 3:

This phase begins the first day following your last dose and will continue for 21 consecutive days. This is one of the most important phases of the diet.  The goal here is maintenance.  You do not want to lose or gain more than +/-2 lbs during the 21 days. Dr. Simeons says in Pounds and Inches you are resetting your hypothalomus to this new weight so your body will remember it and it will keep you from gaining back weight in the future.  You do not want your weight do go above or below 2lbs. of your LDW (last dose weight).  During this phase you should set your maintenance calories using this calculator based on your personal information of age, weight and height. Click here to check the calculator. Make sure it is set to sedentary and maintenance is selected at the bottom. If you experience a gain during your stabilization period immediately do a Steak Day or Alternative Correction Day. If you go over from cheating then you will restart your 21 day reset cycle. Please ignore gains caused from hormones or external issues such as water retention from traveling. Click here to visit the Phase 3 category for tips and recipes.

Phase 4:

Once you achieve your goal weight you are ready for phase 4.  Phase 4 is the “forever” phase.   We do not ever want to return to our previous weight and will want to maintain and stay at our LDW.  Phase 4 is actually easy once you have stabilized correctly.  If you happen to have an off day the weight comes right back off easily with clean eating and you can continue this process.  In Phase 4 you can begin to add back in limited natural sugars and starches.  You will always want to monitor your weight so that if you have a serious gain you can correct it, but it is easier to have a treat in p4 and actually see no gain at all.  Click here for all your Phase 4 category information.

We hope this information was helpful.  We know the phases can be confusing.


  1. alicia on September 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    i am very confused right now and this is so overwhelming to me.i have just finished phase 2 with a victory of 44lbs weight loss . i am now into day 2 of phase 3 but im afraid to eat because i dont know what to eat so im still eating phase 2 food. ive read the instructions for phase 3 but i still dont understand it so can someone please help me, i dont want to undo all my hard work. im also going to do an additional round of phase 2 because i still have 25lbs to loose, so i also need to know how to get to that point.

    • Shawna Culp on September 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      In Phase 3 you eat normally with the exception of no sugar and no starch.
      Continue to drink plenty of water daily. I also recommend continuing with
      tea daily.

      During this period, the so-called carbohydrates, that is sugar, rice, bread,
      potatoes, pastries, etc., are by far the most dangerous. You can add in fats
      at this time and oils. Read your labels and avoid any hidden sugars.
      Examples of fats would be oil, butter, cheese, sausage, etc.

      The goal of Phase 3 is to maintain your new weight loss, not to lose more
      weight. This is the most critical time for long term success. You do not
      want your weight to go above or below the 2lb. mark of your LDW. If you do
      gain over 2 lbs at any point you need to restart your three weeks from that
      date. We strongly believe in 3 consecutive weeks of stabilization before
      moving into phase 4.

      Shawna Culp


  2. Peg Mulvihill on October 16, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I am on my first day of phase three. Because TOM is expected today I know my weight could be up a few lbs and could drop a few over the next week. Should I be concerned if I go below the two lb loss when TOM is done? Normally I am up anywhere from 2 to 5 lbs during during this time of the month. I even thought that I should start counting the three weeks from the time TOM is done since that will be my actual weight with no extra bloating. I don’t want to mess up this important part of the plan.

    • Shawna Culp on October 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm

      I don’t count TOM weight. I always gain and retain water for several days but it always goes away. I use the water off pills and drink lots of fluid and make sure I am getting B vitamins and magnesium during that time. I do not do a correction day for TOM weight.

      Shawna Culp

  3. livinlife71 on October 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I am presently in Phase 2 (43-day regimen), if I have not reached my goal when this phase concludes can I continue another 23 days without going into Phase 4??

  4. Kavita Maharaj on October 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I’m confused , please advise
    1) The article above says take drops 3 times day but the drops I ordered from (miracle skinny drops) I got say “twice a day”.
    2) the instructions also say “full dropper” but does full dropper mean “dropper is completely full-which means 2 pumps” or “the most you can extract in the dropper with one extraction?”

    I probably don’t make any sense but please advise. I’m excited to start the diet and dont want to make any mistakes.

    • Shawna Culp on October 25, 2010 at 1:54 am

      I recommend 20 drops 3x a day which is equivalent to two full droppers. Splitting the dose into 3 or more times a day helps control hunger better 🙂

      Shawna Culp

  5. Rina on November 6, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Hi, I’ve reached my goal wt, in r1, I’m in p3, just finished 4 wks (trying to do 7 wks, as Carol suggested). The 1st 3 wks, I maintained fine, the past week though, I’ve been down 4 lbs from my LDW…even though I’ve been eating pretty much the same food/calories. There’s alot of talk about what to do when you gain 2 lbs over LDW, but not much about what to do if lose more than 2 lbs. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Shawna Culp on November 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      I say after 3 weeks of maintaining, losing is fine but I would stay on P3
      foods for as long as you can. Main thing is not to stress about the loss
      after stabilization. Shawna Culp

  6. Rina on November 21, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Hi…and thanks for your previous response…it’s nice to run things by someone who’s lived the phases. I’ll be heading into ph4 soon…do you pretty much continue to eat like you do in ph3, but have an occasional treat? Do you still continue to eat full fat, i.e. cream cheese, whipping cream, butter, etc…or do you switch to lowfat versions? Thanks, in advance.

    • Shawna Culp on November 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

      No low fat 🙂 also be careful and introduce new foods especially cheese too much too soon.. Causes many to gain

      Make sure and keep your protein high and check your calorie maintenance # on the download page under calorie control link 🙂

      Shawna Culp

  7. daw on November 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    This article was immensely helpful. There is a lot of confusing information out there but I will be bookmarking this to refer back to. I’m on Day 4 of my very first round of the VLCD. Thanks!

    • Shawna Culp on November 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      approve Your welcome!! Best of luck 🙂

  8. Shawna Culp on January 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Let me check your drops. Also you can email me at and I can send you some getting started sheets
    and information 🙂

    Shawna Culp

  9. Shawna Culp on January 25, 2011 at 2:44 am

    ok I cannot tell what the dosage is from their site so please email me and
    we will figure it out.
    Shawna Culp

  10. Scttsheila on February 4, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Do you still do a steak day if you gain weight in phase 3 when your on your period

    • Shawna Culp on February 4, 2011 at 5:44 am

      This is a great question.. If you gained because you cheated i.e. ate a
      Hershey bar lol, then I would say yes, but if they gain is all hormone
      related it will go away on its own. Eating clean and having a big steak
      will help though with iron level during your period.

      Shawna Culp

  11. Shawna Culp on February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Sharon if you are doing drops you will be ok and not build immunity. Injecting the hormone causes some to become immune 🙂

    Shawna Culp

  12. trice on March 8, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Can you recommend food listings (choices) for phase 3?

    • Anonymous on March 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      There are a lot of ideas in the download section and you can also click on the right for appropriate recipes.

  13. Shawna Culp on March 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    you will fine. Read in P&I about interruptions.. He recommends resuming
    vlcd immediately. 🙂

  14. Bevatcorc on March 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Great article and easy to understand. I’m so glad I found MSD!

  15. […] Phase 1, in which you stuff yourself with fattening, surgary foods (to build up your fat stores) was a lot of fun– not terribly different from the way I had been eating for a while. But the first day of Phase 2 for me was a Saturday in which I had a long meeting (2 workshops with lunch in between) from 9 am – 3 pm. I thought it would keep me distracted, but once the meeting was over, I went home and that’s when reality set in. I was eating only 500 calories for the first time without an illness present. Not my idea of fun. […]

  16. […] that I’m in P3,  I’m tracking my daily calories based on my last dose weight (LDW) to make sure I maintain […]

  17. Rhonda Johnston on June 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I am on day 2 of p3. When I finish 3 weeks of p3 do I start again with 2 loading days or start with 500 calories? Help!

    • Shawna Culp on June 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      you will need to reload.. but try healthy loading.. 🙂

      Shawna Culp

  18. Frustrated on July 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I lost 20 (lbs) in a 28-day cycle.  I have been “off the wagon” for 5 days and gained 12 lbs!!  I’m not sure what to do after setting myself basically to square 1.  I did the injections, but this week (it would be around day 32) the injections don’t seem to be working and my clinic says I could do until day 35 or 40.  Should I just start with the drops?  I can’t have a break period b/c I am 27 (lbs) from my first goal weight.  I am having my severe sugar cravings again and not sure what to do?????

    • Shawna Culp on July 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      I would it is almost impossible to bounce back from that large of a gain
      back to LDW, Email if you need some help

      Shawna Culp
      Media Producer

    • Shawna Culp on July 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      I would it is almost impossible to bounce back from that large of a gain
      back to LDW, Email if you need some help

      Shawna Culp
      Media Producer

  19. Frustrated on July 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I lost 20 (lbs) in a 28-day cycle.  I have been “off the wagon” for 5 days and gained 12 lbs!!  I’m not sure what to do after setting myself basically to square 1.  I did the injections, but this week (it would be around day 32) the injections don’t seem to be working and my clinic says I could do until day 35 or 40.  Should I just start with the drops?  I can’t have a break period b/c I am 27 (lbs) from my first goal weight.  I am having my severe sugar cravings again and not sure what to do?????

  20. kit on September 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

    I will be entering p3 in five days.  I have plateaued and cannot lose a single pound and i have been this way for 8 days.  I tried the apple day and it did not work!  I have stuck EXACTLY to the diet.  I’m so frustrated because I was going to be able to hit goal weight with four days to spare and now I will have only 12 pounds to lose.  Is 12 pounds too small an amount to go back into p2 at the end of the three weeks for p3???

    • Shawna Culp on September 6, 2011 at 2:09 am

      no even 5 lbs is okay.. once you hit goal you can increase calories until you have completed the phase. It is not uncommon the last 10 come off slowly.

      Shawna Culp

  21. Shawna Culp on September 12, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Yes.. I usually save for phase 3 but many detox in p2

  22. Shawna Culp on April 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    yes if you are not post menopausal you could get pregnant when not using BC. It is less likely due to age but it can happen

  23. Robyn Robertson on September 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    There is reference to the 23 or 43 day plan yet no explanaton of the difference and purpose of each…is it just simply an extra 20 days for people who need to lose more and should be in Phase 2 longer??

  24. on December 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Hi. New to the drops, starting day 1 of loading phase. Instructions say start with 10 drops three times a day..question before meals or after meals?

    • Shawna Culp on December 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

      It doesn’t matter but most take before meals

  25. vicky on July 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

    just getting started with drops.

    – What is the differnce between 23 days and 43 days on P2 ?

    – and do your loading days count in the 23 days or are they additional ?


    • admin on July 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      23 day rounds are for 15 lbs or less. 40 day rounds are for those who need to lose more than 15+ lbs. Yes loading days are included in your total days on protocol

  26. Samantha on July 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Now iv been using nigen biotech drops and the bottle says to take one ml twice a day. I wanna know is this brand work and is that right dosage?

  27. Samantha on July 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

    O and also it say to put in mouth nothing about under the tungue. I think iv been taking them wrong what do I do!!

  28. Carolyn on January 12, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve done MSD before and the results were as expected: weight loss and stabilization. I want to do another round and include Essiac, a water-based organic herbal and root infusion, for fluid intake as well as plain water, tea and coffee. Essiac has no sugars or flavorings, it’s more of a tea than anything else. Can you tell me if Essiac isn’t recommended for this program?

    • admin on January 13, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      can you email me a copy of the label? I will be happy to check it for you. It is likely fine but I should look it over though some things are healthy they are not all p2 friendly

  29. stephanie mann on December 30, 2015 at 10:09 am

    hello i am in phase 2, and how much vegetables do i eat with each meal just wondering 1 1/2 cups of cabbage for lunch and the same for dinner.

  30. admin on April 26, 2016 at 9:28 am

    message me your menu and will help you with a detox to bring some of this weight back down..

  31. Becky Goins on June 21, 2016 at 6:48 am

    If doing a 40 day round do you skip days when taking the drops as you do for the injections?

    Thanks 🙂

    • admin on June 22, 2016 at 11:15 am

      you can but you do not have to skip.

  32. Dianne Barnes on July 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Question: the article I read said injections? I’m taking it as the drops work the same way? I drink pommergrante juice with vinegar and water is this ok? I also take prescription meds that I cant do without, neurotin, flexaril and ibprophin, are these okay? please reply

    • admin on July 29, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Drops and injections work the same. Pomegranate juice is not protocol approved but vinegar is fine. Continue all rx meds unless your doctor says so.

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