While some decide to never leave Phase 3 eating, many will be able to move into Phase 4 successfully if they do it in the right way for their body. Ultimately only you can find this out, and it will most likely be a little trial and error, but very worth it in order to keep some variety and spice to your life!
I plan to add more to this section for you guys as time goes on, but for now to get you started, here’s a few principles for Phase 4 that I live by in everyday life now, and some resources for recipes.
You can check out my Phase 4 hCG Recipes Pinterest Board for recipe ideas and to start getting your feet wet!
Principles for Phase 4 Eating
Continue to leave out processed foods in general.
Seriously, every time I eat some ‘bar” (nope not the kind you have a drink at) I just feel uggghh. No other word to describe it. When I eat kale salad, I feel AHHHH!
Add slowly healthier starches and sugars.
Different whole fruits, potatoes and other starchy veggies you weren’t indulging in before- see how they affect your weight. You might start experimenting with small amounts of grain – if you are or have decided to stick to gluten free, there’s rice and organic corn and stuff like that you may now be able to indulge in sometimes.
Keep indulgences as an occasional thing. I still don’t eat grain every day.
When I have gotten into a bit of a bad habit of doing this – my example- small occasional bowls of popcorn turning into nightly large bowls of popcorn, yes the scale creeps up and I realize I’m letting myself get a bit lax and tighten things up again.
A little sugar, kept under control MAY be okay now.
I allow small amounts of actual sugar in my diet in the form of dried cranberries in my kale salad, and when I go out for thai food, there is sugar in most of these dishes as well – my body has been okay with this.
Please remember this will be highly individual and what you can eat will be based on
- your activity level
- your unique genetic makeup
- your thyroid health, and
- your age
🙁 sorry about that last one, but it’s sadly true that this has a bearing. I don’t want to ever mislead anyone – if you are taking hormone replacement therapy or are in peri-menopause or straight up menopause, you may find you must be more strict with your eating to keep the weight off – but I have some ideas for you on how to keep weight in check with 5 non-hCG correction strategies that have worked for others as well as myself post hCG.
Phase 4 Recipe Inspiration
What you’ll notice when you check out these recipes I’ve pinned is that they do not qualify for Phase 3 in some way but are not CRAZY-back-to-old-eating-habits type recipes either. For instance, a cookie recipe may be a healthier paleo version with a small amount of honey for sweetness. Or dinner recipes that contain a starch of some sort like rice or potatoes. I feel these are balanced dishes for phase 4 – everyday healthy eating. There’s really no need to go back to old cooking ways with 2 cups of sugar in every baking recipe. But you don’t have to be stuck with using only stevia the rest of your life either.
While searching online for good recipes to eat in Phase 4 you might use keywords like
- “paleo recipes”
- “primal recipes”
- “paleo dessert recipes”
- “grain free recipes”
The idea is that in general you will still be eating in a new way – pasta and bread won’t be a nightly occurence, but that while using alternative ingredients like almond flour in a recipe, you might be using a small amount of sugar that really makes it taste delicious but is still reasonably healthy. Or that you might be making a stew with potatoes and peas in it, something you wouldn’t be able to get away with in Phase 3.
If Things Get Out of Hand
If you start incorporating things like this and you find the scale then scares you in the ensuing days, no need to panic, just back off and perhaps try something else. One surprising finding I had was that when I removed dairy from diet (something I could tell my body was not digesting well) I was able to eat fruit and more carbs in general without gaining.