I had a patient text me with some questions regarding the maintenance phase of her HCG 2.0 diet today. The answer is a bit long-winded so rather than emailing her, I figured I write everything into a blog and send her the link. The generalities of HCG maintenance are included in the book, but it’s not uncommon to have a question or two about the specifics. For example, Lisa was curious about nut butter, aka peanut butter, almond butter, etc. So, I thought I’d use this as an example of h0w to read and interpret food labels to determine your caloric limitations during maintenance. If you haven’t read the book, this may be a bit foreign, but I’ll do my best to accommodate.
Dairy, which is mentioned in Lisa’s text is another example. We all love cheese, but, sorry to say, beyond infancy it’s unnecessary. Sure, we need our calcium, but there is more calcium in a cup of spinach than a cup of milk; with fraction of the calories. Believe me, I don’t want to take the fun out of eating, but is a burger going to be any less tasty without the cheese… not really. Recognizing and adjusting minor things like this in your diet can spare you 200-300 calories per day. To put things in perspective, a 160 pound person burns roughly 85 calories by walking 1 mile at 3 mph. On the flip-side, there are 104 calories in a slice of American Cheese. So, would you rather walk a mile and 1/4 or eat your burger without cheese? You decide. BTW, is there a more brilliant word in the English Language than perspective.
Fats are sort of a weird anomaly, which is why I chose to use them as my example on calculating food labels. I say that because fats are usually a by-products of our food choices. They’re never a main course or something you choose to eat. They generally just tag along with our protein or carb choices, kinda like a sun burn on your vacation, you don’t want to over do it. Carbs and protein are easy to tally, because they’re “what we’re eating,” which make them easy to add or subtract. So, if we can figure out the fats and learn to successfully incorporate them into our carb and/or protein entree, the rest is simple. Let’s take a look…
Using the label above, how does a single serving of Skippy Peanut Butter figure in to your maintenance diet of 125% of your BMR of 40% protein, 40% fats (1:1 of Omega 3s and 6s), and 20% carbs.
Fat – 17 grams × 9 calories = 153
Carbs – 7 grams × 4 calories = 21
Protein – 7 grams × calories = 21
I know, I promised there would be no math, but if you’re on a 1625 calorie maintenance diet, as is Lisa, 1-2 servings of Skippy Peanut Butter would be entirely acceptable. Of course, there are more organic alternatives with less sugar.
This is how you would read a food label on maintenance. However, if you’ve read the book, you’d know that you cannot increase carbs beyond 30 grams per day within the first 3 weeks of discontinuing the drops. The reasons are explained in HCG 2.0 – Don’t Starve, Eat Smart and Lose on page 50. To summarize the maintenance phase, you’ll continue the HCG 2.0 low calorie diet for 72 hours after you discontinue your HCG supplement. Following 72 hours, you may begin to re-introduce dairy, nuts, avocado and other food items as long as you keep your carb intake below 30 grams per day. After that your diet will be the 40-40-20 mentioned above.
Best of luck on maintenance. I tell patients on a daily basis, everyone will lose weight on the low calorie phase, but whether you keep the weight off will be up to you and the decisions you make following. Health eating is easy if you make the time for it.