We consider this to be the most important phase of the whole program. It is very exciting to lose the kilos from all those trouble spots, but the aim of this program is to reset your metabolism so that moving forward, you can eat well and not put the kilos back on.
During Maintenance YOU CAN’T EAT (a very short list)
Sugary Foods or Starchy Carbohydrates including:
Bread, or anything containing wheat or grain flour: e.g.: Grissini sticks, cake, pastry, biscuits, croissants.
Pasta of any sort
Rice of any sort
Cereals of any sort
Beans: eg: lima, cannelloni, kidney, broad (you can eat green or butter beans)
Potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, okra, peas, corn
Processed Sugar: This category is easy to identify. Look at the packaging, if the nutrition panel includes sugar then don’t eat it: lollies, chocolate, cake, muffins, dried fruit, soft drink, fruit juices, sweetened or flavoured milk drinks.
During Maintenance YOU CAN EAT (a lovely long list)
Lots of foods can now be introduced to your diet, the following need to be introduced one at a time, so that you can gauge you bodies reaction. Many people, who struggle with weight, actually have food intolerances that have not been identified.
Milk: 200ml per day
Cheese: 30g per day
Nuts: 30g per day
It is not normal to blow up like a balloon after eating. So if you experience any discomfort after eating a food for the first time on Maintenance, it is worth exploring the causes.
PROTEIN & CALORIES
Working out your daily protein and calorie intake is a little complicated. There are so many variables including but not limited to the following: age, height, gender, level and frequency of exercise, lean body mass (weight minus percentage body fat).
We have included some tables below as a guide but to simplify your transition into Maintenance we suggest the following:
Start your day with breakfast, eggs and avocado are always a great way to begin your day. Increase your portion sizes of protein by about 50% or up to 100% for males (eg 150g - 200g of chicken). Add variety into your daily vegetable intake (perhaps a salad with 30g of feta, a few olives and a drizzle of your favourite dressing) or a selection of steamed vegetables or stir fried vegetables. Add a couple of serves of seasonal fruit with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Add a couple of serves of mixed nuts (1/3 cup per serve).
Rule of thumb: Approximately 25% of your daily calorie intake should come from protein rich foods. 100g chicken breast is about 110 calories.
When we talk about the required grams of protein it is important to remember that the foods that we refer to as protein such as chicken, beef, eggs, nuts etc are not all protein. As indicated in the previous example 100g of chicken contains approximately 26g of protein.
The table below will give you an indication of your daily calorie requirements during Maintenance.
Remember about 1/4 or 25% of these calories needs to come from foods we refer to as protein.
The following assumptions have been made:
Age 35, height 5' 4" (162.5cm), exercise moderate 3 times a week.
Body Weight refers to goal weight not actual weight.
|Body Weight||Calories per day||Body Weight||Calories per day|
|65kg||1780 - 1880||105kg||2330 - 2430|
|70kg||1850 - 1950||110kg||2400 - 2500|
|75kg||1915 - 2015||115kg||2450 - 2550|
|80kg||1985 - 2085||120kg||2535 - 2635|
|85kg||2055 - 2155||125kg||2585 - 2685|
|90kg||2125 - 2225||130kg||2600 - 2700|
|95kg||2190 - 2290||135kg||2615 - 2715|
|100kg||2260 - 2360||140kg||2630 - 2730|
The younger you are the more calories you will require and visa versa.
The taller you are the more calories you will require.
The number of calories required are worked out on your body mass index not your total weight so generally the higher the percentage of fat you have the less calories you require.
There are more accurate calculators of daily calorie intake available but if you follow the guidelines above and tips below you should be able to pinpoint the correct amount of food for you. Not being able to eat starchy carbs or refined sugars will make this process a lot easier.
The important thing to do is to keep your weight constant (give or take 200/300g) during this phase. If you find that you put on a couple of hundred grams decrease the amount you eat the following day. If the opposite occurs increase the amount of food. If your weight increases by 900g or more go on a steak day (see your User Guide for instruction) and assess whether the gain was caused by an indiscretion or because you simply ate too much the previous day. Adjust your intake accordingly.
Grams of Protein per serve of the following:
|Food||Proteinin grams||Food 30g||Protein in grams|
|100g Turkey||28g||Tasty Cheese||5g|
|60g Egg||7g||Cottage Cheese||10g|
|1 cup Milk||8g||Feta||7g|
Your protein in grams should range from between 80-160g depending on all the parameters mentioned earlier. The protein content of a particular food also varies. For example a breast from a free range chicken will have a higher protein count in grams than from a caged chicken.
Rather than getting too hung up on these figures just try and stick to the 25% rule (25% of your calorie intake from protein rich foods).
FATS & OILS
Fats and Oils are essential for good health, and everything in moderation is ok. Remember that the fats in deep fried and processed foods are often not a good source of fat. A limit of 3 to 4 portions of fat are recommended per day. The following represent 1 portion each of Fats/Oils.
|Avocado||half||Macadamia nut oil||1 tablespoon|
|Nuts (all)||30g (1/3 cup)||Flax seed oil||1 tablespoon|
|Butter||1 tablespoon||Fish oil||1 tablespoon|
|Cream||30ml||Olive oil||1 tablespoon|
Other than the starchy carbs mentioned in ‘What You Can’t Eat’ above, you can eat as many and varied vegetables as you can fit on a standard sized dinner plate, in a single layer (remember your protein needs to fit on the plate too). Vegetables are an essential part of healthy eating, the more vegetables the better.
Most fruits are definitely okay on Maintenance. You may just wish to avoid very sweet fruits as they have a little too much sugar (dried fruits fall into this category too as they have a very concentrated sugar content).
Some Tips for a Successful Maintenance Phase
Don’t forget to weigh yourself every day (in the morning after you urinate).
This is the weight that you will be maintaining for as many days as you remain on maintenance (26 days, if on the 26 day program, and 43 days if you are on the 43 day program). If your weight increases on any day by 900g or more you need to go on a ‘Steak Day’ (refer to your HCG User Guide).
Drink Lots of Water
A good rule of thumb is 2 litres of water per day. If you are active, or it is hot, or you drink a lot of tea or coffee (these are diuretics), then increase your intake accordingly.
Don’t Skip Meals
Maintenance is about establishing good eating habits and a new set point for your hypothalamus (metabolism). ‘Smaller meals often’ is a great habit to get used to (remember to stay within your allocated daily intake for protein and fats).
Exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Walking, cycling, running, playing a sport, going to the gym, the choice is yours. If exercise is new to you, start with a 30 minute walk each day, or maybe just park a couple of blocks away from work and walk the rest of the way. You can increase your exercise as you feel able, but if 30 minutes a day is all you wish to do then just keep an eye on your calorie intake. If you love exercise and the diet phase has left you champing at the bit to get back in to it then off you go. It may take a couple of days to get your stamina back, this is perfectly normal.
It is very important to start every day with a healthy breakfast.
Why not try a couple of poached or boiled eggs with some sliced avocado and tomato?
Your favourite piece of fruit and a couple of dessert spoons of unsweetened yogurt,
OR maybe 30g (a small handful) of nuts (weigh them the first time then just estimate) with your piece of fruit.
Try a serve of protein and a fresh garden salad; maybe a bowl of leftover stir-fry from the night before.
Remember that variety is a great way of keeping you enthused about healthy eating. Have another piece of fruit and a bundle of crispy carrot sticks. If you didn’t have nuts for morning tea, have them now.
Pick a different protein and a selection of your favourite vegetables. Be creative with herbs and spices but be careful of sauces that you add from a jar or packet. They quite often have hidden sugar (always read the label).
If you like a little snack after dinner, then hold back some of your portions through the day and have a guilt free nibble. Make up a quick guacamole, or measure a small portion of your favourite pre-made dip (2 table spoons). Use vegetable or cheese sticks instead of crackers (remember no crackers during the maintenance phase).
Learn what a portion of protein looks like.
No-one wants to spend the rest of their lives weighing and measuring everything that they eat. If you initially weigh your allowable protein portion and make a mental note of what it looks like once you move off the maintenance phase you will be able to easily gauge how much is enough.
If you feel full then stop eating.
Try to eat slowly and give each mouthful a couple of extra chews. Once you feel full it is okay to stop. You don’t have to finish everything on your plate. Learn to listen to what your body is telling you.
Lemon or Lime juice.
Include the juice of 1 lemon or 1 lime each day either in water, used as a dressing or as part of a sauce. Interestingly lemons and limes are very acidic, but in your body they are a potent alkalizer. This is an important action in regulating the PH level of your blood.
Enjoy the variety of foods you can now eat. Your weight may fluctuate a couple of hundred grams either side of your target maintenance weight but this will most likely be due to the changing levels of food moving through your digestive system and the amount of water your body will need to hold to digest this food.
Important: If your weight increases 900g or more in a day you need to go
on a ‘Steak Day’ (see notes in your HCG User Guide)