Fruit and the HCG Diet Maintenance Phase and the Impact on Net Carbs

Miyuki Would Like More Fruit on Her HCG 2.0 Maintenance Phase

If you are not quite familiar with the traditional HCG Diet protocol, it’s comprised of three phases – The loading phase, which consists of the first 2 days of the your HCG diet, in which it is required to overeat on fats. The low-cal phase, which can last from 30 to 40 days, depending on the weight loss goals of the dieter. And finally, the maintenance phase, also know as P3. The P3 phase shouldn’t be considered a phase in the temporary sense of the word, but more of a lifestyle. The word diet has mistakenly assumed a short-term connotation, when you’re diet is actually a summation of everything you eat and drink on any given day. The HCG 2.0 weight loss protocol has similarities to the traditional HCG diet, in that it consists of the same 3 phases, but the execution of those has been entirely updated with current medical research into low-carb, ketosis-based-dieting, caloric ratios and basic food chemistry creating a safer and more sustainable HCG diet for the average working adult. ketosis

The precise HCG diet question from Miyuki was messaged to me via our HCG 2.0 Facebook Page as you can see to the right. If you’re having trouble reading the small text, it’s pasted below. Also not that she is down 9 lbs. in just 6 days on the HCG 2.0 protocol

“Now my question is, how long do I have to keep 40%-fat, 40-%protein, 20-% carb? My new BMR (1,600 cal) does not allow more than 320 cal from carb (80 g), which is almost unrealistic… 2 servings of fruits take up 44 g, and I have less than 40 g allowance left for the day – very difficult to plan the meal. My Fitness Pal & Calorie counter warn me that I am too low in carb. Is this 4:4:2 rule only for Phase 3 (3 weeks)?”

The quick answer to Miyuki is that the fruit she is eating simply has too many carbs. A majority of the nutrition in any piece of fruit is  contained in the skin while the middle is mostly unnecessary sugar. To elaborate, I’ll steal a page from the lesson plan of my bio-chemistry professor. Most fruit holds it seeds on the inside underneath an insoluble skin and inner filling. The insoluble skin protects the seed of the fruit while it’s on the vine, tree or bush and is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. The inner filling is primarily made up of sugars with the purpose of nurturing the seed and/or seeds during the long winter after it falls to the ground in the fall. My biochem professor referred to the fruit surrounding the seed as a lunch box that provides the seed with energy to sustain it through the winter so that it may sprout up in the spring. The same can be said for the fruit we eat. All of the nutrition is contained in the skin while the middle is mostly unnecessary sugar that only leads to weight gain.

So what’s the solution? Eliminate all fruit from your diet? It’s not necessary to go quite that far, but how about selecting smaller fruits such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries that have a higher ratio of antioxidants to carbs. Or, consider cutting the apple from the core, leaving most of the sugar to be discarded. I know, I’m not one to waste either, but look at it this way, you’re keeping all that is necessary and eliminating that which is not. In fact, you’re not merely eliminating which is unnecessary, but you’re eliminating that which is BAD for you  and only contributes to weight gain. A carbohydrate is a fuel with little nutritional value. Look at this this way, we fill the tanks in our car with gas, which is a hydrocarbon.  The word hydrocarbon is the inverse of the carbohydrate. They’re both the same – a chain of carbon molecules with a varying numbers of hydrogen bonds. When combined with the oxygen we breath they combust providing us with energy in the form of ATP and a by-product of CO2. Pretty much like our cars. Fill it with gas resulting in transportation and CO2 exhaust. Enough biochemistry, let’s discuss net carbs their significance in the low-cal and maintenance phase of your HCG 2.0 diet.

Net Carbs

A carb is a carb, right? Not exactly. When it comes to net carbs, you’re allowed to subtract the amount of fiber in grams from the total number of carbs in grams. Why? Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Let’s begin with insoluble fiber, which is more prevalent in daily caloric intake and functions to add bulk to our stool but does NOT get absorbed into the gut. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, DOES get absorbed into the GI and behaves as an electrolyte, pulling water with it to form a substance that inhibits the absorption of unhealthy cholesterol. Regardless, both forms can be subtracted from your total carb intake. What exactly does this mean? Let’s take an apple for example. An average-sized apple contains about 20 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber. When you subtract the 4 grams of fiber from the total amount of carbs, you’re left with a net carb number of 16 grams. You just saved yourself 20% in carbohydrates to be consumed in a later meal.  HCG 2.0 is all about eating smart and budgeting calories.

Dr. Z’s HCG blog

Best of luck and happy dieting.

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