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HCG Diet Protocol Tips: How to avoid a ‘Steak Day’

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What makes the HCG Protocol different than a normal diet? There are several important factors:

  1. If you follow the maintenance program, you will not only stabilize your new weight, you will learn how to eat appropriately over time
  2. You can truly change your metabolism and be able to make natural adjustments as needed to keep your body at a weight that you feel great at.

In my own recovery from food addiction and an eating disorder, on the rare occasion that I have encountered women that naturally maintain their weight and who have a healthy relationship with food, I have observed that they easily adjust their food intake depending on their body weight and health. Sometimes, they indulge. Sometimes they eat in a really healthy and clean manner. If they gain a small amount of weight, they cut back on their eating until they get back to their comfort zone. Gaining a small amount of weight doesn’t send them into a shame hole, that then sends them into an eating spiral. They simply adjust and get back to what feels best. No drama. :)

While learning to maintain your weight after the HCG protocol, this method of adjusting your food intake on a regular basis is about the most important eating behavior that you will gain from this protocol. Learning to use these natural adjustments can truly change your relationship to food and your body weight permanently.

One of the ways that is often recommended to stabilize your weight is what is called a ‘Steak Day’. A ‘Steak Day’ (described below) is to be used any time you reach 2 pounds over your goal weight. It is really easy to do, and works amazingly well to stabilize your weight.

I personally have found that doing other corrections before you reach that 2 pound limit is really helpful, and can become a normal part of your daily eating habits. You can use any of these methods to keep your weight stable over time. I suggest that you try them all! I find that some work better for me than others, but I have heard that all of them work for some people.

I have included some great correction day options below.

When you do try them, let me know how it goes!

Good luck,

~Inspired Girl

TO AVOID A STEAK DAY: To be used when you have gained 1 pound or 1.5 pounds

These methods are not meant to take the place of a steak day if you gain 2 pounds.
They are only intended to assist you in easily dropping a pound or so when you are getting close to a required Steak Day. If you see a Steak Day drawing near, you can try any of the following, which will usually bring your weight down a pound or more in a day or two.

Here are my personal best options.
I have used all of these and they have worked for me
These are also great to do AFTER a steak day to get better results than from just doing a steak day on it’s own.

Option #1

  • Drink lots of water that day.
  • Don’t eat until lunch;
  • Have a whole can of tuna (water packed), or chicken with mayo on either lettuce or celery for lunch
  • Have a big portion of protein for dinner with a small salad and 0-1 carbohydrate dressing (ex. Ranch);
  • If you are extremely hungry, you could also have 2 poached eggs for breakfast or as a snack

Option #2

  • Breakfast or Snack: 2-3 poached eggs
  • Salmon Sashimi or smoked salmon with NO sugar or additives (4-6 ounces)
  • Dinner: Steak or other protein & plain, low carb vegie
  • Apple or Tomato

Option #3
Protein only days.
Any combination of the foods listed here can work really well.

  • Eggs
  • Plain Chicken or Turkey
  • Plain Fish
  • Plain Beef
  • Maybe 1 or 2 vegies: low carb vegies: asparagus, spinach, broccoli, etc
  • Maybe 1 or 2 apples: I tend to drop more with NO apples. Substituting a tomato works wonderfully

Option #4
Chicken Day

  • Roasted chicken all day and nothing else

Option #5
Egg day

  • Eat 9-12 eggs throughout the day and nothing else.
    Poached, scrambled, omelet. Use a teeny amount of oil only.

I have never tried the methods listed below; I have simply read about them.
I tend to gain weight from cheese. I do want to try the yogurt day however I have heard from some people that it can leave you feeling bloated.

Option #6
*note from inspired girl: cheese doesn’t usually work for me personally

  • Eggs and some cheese in the morning.
  • Steak or roasted chicken in the afternoon.
  • More steak or roasted chicken in the evening, followed by a decent portion of cheese again.
  • Tons of water.
  • Nothing else.

This method is supposed to correct water retention especially if you’ve been trying to eat light and not getting enough protein.

Option #7
Apple and Cheese day

  • For breakfast have 2 apples and 2 oz cheese.
  • Repeat for lunch and dinner.
  • Drink lots of water in between.

Option #8
Greek yogurt day

  • Eat sugar free, plain Greek yogurt all day
    Full fat yogurt & 8 oz of berries

Good luck with these.
Do let me know how they work for you, it is always great to get good ideas from fellow HCGers!

~Inspired Girl

 

69 Comments

  1. How much steak (oz or calories) is to be eaten if you need to do a steak day?

    • Hi Shannon,

      I have never seen anything written about the amount of steak to eat. Most of what I have seen has said, large steak. I eat a BIG one, anywhere from 10-18 ounces.
      Here is my blog post on how to do a Steak Day:
      http://www.inspiredgirl.me/hcg-how-to-do-a-steak-day-p3-phase-3-maintenence/

      I hope that this helps!

      Let me know how it goes!

      Good luck,
      ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

      PS: I am not a doctor nor an expert in the field, and nothing I write here is ever intended as medical advice. I am just another HCGer who has had some success :)

  2. Hi! I just wanted to thank you for all these tips, as well as these comments, they helped me immensely! This is my third round, and I’ve usually never had any trouble stabilizing or adding fats, but this round I guess I got carried away. I started adding almond flour cookies on my third transition day… I KNOW, stupid. Then I got into almond butter before the first week was up, and I went from 124.6 (LDW) to 127.8..

    I ended up finding this site, as well as a couple others, and ended up doing a steak day a few days ago. The morning after the steak day, I was down to 126.8, which was better, but meh. I ended up following the advice to do a meat & veggie day after the steak day, and woke up the next morning at 126.8 again, and pretty much came to terms with just maintaining that. The next day I was planning on doing another meat and veggie day, but “accidentally” ate a plum, some strawberries, and a peach, PLUS some ranch on my salad. I went to bed feeling awful, but I woke up at 123.0!! It really did take a while for that steak day to catch up with me. :)

    I just wanted to comment so other people who are reading the comments (like I was) could see one more person’s experience where it really did work!

    Some personal stuff:
    Age:22
    Height: 5’1

    RD 1 (2013)
    Start: 176 lbs
    LDW: 147 lbs
    End: 138 lbs
    (maintained for over two years, then gained 8 lbs over 2015 holidays)

    RD 2 (Feb 2016)
    Start: 146 lbs
    LDW: 132.2 lbs
    End: 131.2 lbs
    (Stabilized fine, went crazy in p4 with sweets, gained 3 lbs)

    RD 3 (May 2016)
    Start: 134 lbs
    LDW: 124.6 lbs
    End: TBD :)

    • Dear Tamra,

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I have had a similar experience of it taking a bit of time for the steak day to catch up. Also, I have found it helpful to consider what happens in a full week, not just day to day 😉

      WOW!!! Your stats are AMAZING! From 176 to 124. CONGRATS! I am totally inspired by this :)

      Also, GOOD for you for getting back on track. Of course, everyone messes up, everyone eats food that don’t feel good, or even accidentally something that they have a reaction to. But the key to long term maintenance, I believe, is to not let that spiral out of control. Instead, catch it as soon as you are able and get back on track. I have found personally that the more I get back on track quickly, the less I let it spiral, the easier it gets. And over time, the amount of time between eating foods I don’t feel great about gets longer and longer, until eating well became a habit and what i really do prefer.

      Thanks again for sharing, and do keep in touch, let me know how you are doing over time.

      Best to you,
      ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

      PS: I am not a doctor nor an expert in the field, and nothing I write here is ever intended as medical advice. I am just another HCGer who has had some success :)

      • Thank you! :) Yeah I agree with you on the downward spiral, haha. I recently had an issue with not adding enough fats, and my weight was going up again after the steak day. I was advised on a forum that I might not be eating enough fats/calories, and sure enough when I increased my calories to 1800-2100, my weight started going down.

        I finally got it to stay at 124.4 for almost a week, but the last couple days it’s been creeping up again… :( I’m not sure if that is a sign I need to start reducing my calories or cut out my fruit or something. The first day it went up I thought it was a fluke, maybe water retention, cause it only went up from 124.4 to 124.6. But then the next day (this morning) I was up to 125.8 :( I’m thinking of using one of these Avoid-A-Steak-Day tips, trying to see which one I should do.

        • Hi Tamra,

          I find the all protein days (meat, fish, or chicken or a combination, or protein and P2 vegies to be the easiest to do and the most effective. You may find that your weight fluctuates a lot at this point, so continuing to adjust is really helpful. Even now, I tend to do a 1-2 protein & vegie only days once weekly as needed. It feels good and really works!

          Let me know how it goes!
          Good luck
          ~Inspired girl aka Barbara

          • I ended up using option #1, with some personalizing. Instead of mayo I used mustard, and had some bellpepper chopped up in the canned chicken. The meat I ate was turkey burger, about 14-16oz of it, and I put it inside my salad, and used about 2 tablespoons of ranch. I ended up dropping about 1 pound, which was a success, in my opinion. :)

            Do you include much fat in your protein and veggie day? I think including a couple days of cutting out fruits would work for me a lot, cause I tend to go crazy with my fruit, but I’m afraid if I cut out fats I’ll start gaining again :(

          • Hi Tamra,

            I am glad you were able to find a good variation on the ‘avoid a steak day options’ and you were successful. YEA!

            I do some FATS in the protein & veggies days. Not necessarily a LOT. But I use oil on salads, have fatty steaks, and sometimes, butter on veggies. It works for me, but everyone is different. Also, if you DO decide to not do fats on those days, one day of low fat is not likely to be an issue 😉

            Let me know how it goes!

            Good luck,
            ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

            PS: I am not a doctor nor an expert in the field, and nothing I write here is ever intended as medical advice. I am just another HCGer who has had some success :0)~

  3. Hey! Thank you so much for you advice. Today i will do option 1. But there is still one question left. What do you mean by ‘big portion’ protein for dinner?

    • Hi Daria,

      Thanks for reaching out. I am glad you are finding the information helpful.

      For me, I usually eat a BIG portion; ie a 14 ounce steak, or 2 very large pieces of chicken or 10-14 ounces of fish. Even a .5 – .75 pound burger works (NO BUN OR CHEESE), or any type of meat. Everyone is different, so you have to test it out and see what works best for you.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Good luck,
      ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

      PS: I am not a doctor nor an expert in the field, and nothing I write here is ever intended as medical advice. I am just another HCGer who has had some success :)

      • Thanks a lot! I really have to say that P3 is so much harder than P2!!! My weight is bouncing. But i keep going through it. No giving up :-) I

        Option 1 worked very well for me. I lost one pound. Now i am slowly increasing my calories… step by step.

        Barbara, again. Your website is a big HELP for those who feel lost in P3. You and HCGChica, you both rock it. Thank you. Wish you all the best

        • Hi Daria,

          YEA! I am so glad that it worked for you. Thanks for letting me know!

          I really have found that increasing calories very slowly works best for me. And as you know, your weight WILL flluctuate in P3, that is really normal! YES DON’T quit. P3 IS really challenging, and I agree, for me also and I think for most of us, it is harder than P2. P2 is just so simple and structured!

          Just keep within that 2 pound range, use the tools and stay POP. Your weight WILL stabilize! It just takes time! It sometimes has taken me 6-12 weeks to really stabilize, although I think most people stabilize much more quickly.

          Good for you!!!

          ~Best regards
          ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

  4. I am on day 9 on phase 3 and Have kept my balance within the two pounds I am 127 pounds
    I went up to 128.8 and did a roasted chicken correction day. that’s all I ate all day, drank lots of water and tea. I did not loose weight, not even one ounce .. so what do I do today? do I eat a normal P3 clean protocol with no fruit maybe or no fats? I have read conflicting advise on wether to do two correction days in a row. Help!!

    • Hi Diane,

      Sometimes I have found that it takes a day or so for weight gain and/or loss to show up. I don’t know if it is a good idea to do two correction days in a row because it starts to feel like dieting. If it were me, I would just keep it super low carb, so no fruits or nuts, and no dairy. I find that fats actually help me feel full and lose weight. For me, I usually do a protein and vegie day after any correction day, and I see the weight loss after that.

      Also, different correction days work for different people. So be sure to test other options!

      Let me know how it goes!

      Good luck,
      ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

      PS: I am not a doctor nor an expert in the field, and nothing I write here is ever intended as medical advice. I am just another HCGer who has had some success J

  5. I’ve done two steak days in a row with great success so it’s fine. The big thing you need to know is you have to watch your eating after any steak day for about three days-especially where fats are concerned because your body will want yo replace the fat you lost.

    • Hi Sherry,

      Yes! I totally agree, and have the same experience. I find that doing a protein and vegie only day (PS approved vegies, or P3) after steak or egg days really makes a difference. And I am sure you are correct, doing that for 2-3 days is great idea!

      Thanks for the input!
      Best!
      ~inspired girl AKA Barbara

  6. Hi Inspired Girl Barbara,

    Where did I read on here you did an apple day and two steak days? I’m trying to power through a plateau and gain of about 4 lbs from stress. My protocol encourages steak days on P2.

    • Dear Abbie,

      I am not sure what you are referring to. I don’t know that doing two steak days in a row is a good idea. I have often done a steak day, and then a protein and vegie day the day after, which seems to increase the stability of the loss. In that case, I am referring to P3.

      In P2, I have definitely had success with Apple days (5-6 apples only), or half apple days (3 apples and then some spinach or lettuce and crab for dinner). I have also done a ‘mini’ steak day, (nothing all day but then a P2 portion of steak and vegie for dinner) with some success. Another option is protein and vegies only for a few days.

      I have not done a mini steak day back to back with an apple day, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t. One thing I would be concerned about is that the hunger could catch up to you, so I generally try to eat the recommended original protocol P2 foods in a day. Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you have a big weight loss from skipping some food, you will likely plateau again. What I have found is that the weight loss tends to average out.

      Everyone is different, and this is often a process of trial and error, so good luck!

      Let me know how it goes!
      Best wishes,
      ~inspired Girl aka Barbara

      PS: I am not a doctor nor an expert in the field, and nothing I write here is ever intended as medical advice. I am just another HCGer who has had some success J

  7. Are cottage and farmer cheeses safe for options #6 and 7? Thank you.

    • Hi,
      I have personally not tried cheese days since I tend to gain weight from cheese, but some people say that they work for them, so it is certainly worth a shot. I do think that cottage and farmer cheeses might be fine, but I think you have to test it out.

      Do let me know how it goes, I am curious and also love to have the info to share with others.

      Good luck!
      ~inspired girl, aka Barbara

  8. Hi there! Thanks so much for your website. I’m doing a steak day and have two questions:

    1. I had half & half in my coffee this morning. Should I continue with a steak day? I’ve heard contradicting rules that creamer IS allowed and that creamer IS NOT allowed. Just confused on which one is correct.

    2. Can I do a Cali Kicker (or two) on a steak day?

    Your response is much appreciated! Thank you!

    • Hi Karen!

      Officially, you are not supposed to have anything but that Steak & an apple or tomato on a Steak Day, according to the original protocol. I am definitely a proponent of the original protocol. HOWEVER, every time that I have done a Steak Day, I have had coffee with 1/2 and 1/2 in it, and still found it effective. Who know, perhaps if I had skipped the 1/2 and 1/2 it would have been more effective, but personally, I am not willing to give up my coffee with some form of milk or cream. :)

      Creamer is definitely NOT part of the protocol. It almost always has sugar, and carbs, and other ingredients. I personally would NOT use it AT all.

      What is a Cali Kicker??? Unless it is xero calories and xero carbs, it is likely a big NO on a steak day.

      Good luck! Do let me know how it goes!

      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

      • Thanks so much for your quick response. When I said “creamer” I meant half & half. I wouldn’t touch Coffee Mate or any of those other creamers out there. Yuck! 😉

        The Cali Kicker is hot water, lemon juice, ACV, and cayenne pepper. They REALLY helped me during P2, but better safe than sorry, I will skip it.

        Thank you again! I’ll keep you posted…

        • Got this. I agree, YUCK on the coffee creamers,ugh!

          After I wrote that response, I looked up Cali Kicker and realized it is an HCG thing recommended by a few people. I actually think that this could be fine, and could actually help. The only calories/carbos are the lemon juice, and if you only use a small amount, I think it might be helpful, especially since you found it helpful in P2. I think it is worth a test. Do a steak day with it, and one without it and see what happens.

          Let me know! I am curious about this. I do have mixed feelings about apple days myself, so now I am curious about this!

          One thing I generally do is follow up a steak day with a protein and P2 vegie day. I eat a normal amount of food, just no fruit, carbs, or dairy (except 1/2 and 1/2) and I limit oils. I find that the steak day is more effective when I do that.

          Let me know how it goes!

          Best to you,
          ~inspired girl aka Barbara

          • I’ll skip the Cali Kicker this time around just to be safe since I already had the half & half.

            I will follow your advice on a follow-up high protein day. Perhaps I will do the Cali Kicker tomorrow.

            I will keep you posted.

            p.s. If I get super hungry, is a hard boiled egg okay to have?

          • I have found definitely eaten a hard boiled egg or a poached egg on a steak day. I think the most effective way to do a Steak Day is without it, however, I have still had good results with an egg during the day. To me, it is NOT worth starving myself. I have, however, found that often, on steak days, If I drink some good hot tea, and especially green tea, I am surprisingly NOT that hungry. I DO eat a HUGE steak for dinner. I have often had asparagus or spinach with it, instead of the tomato or apple. FYI. Everyone is different, so it is important to do some trial and error tests with it, and find what works the best for you!

            Good luck!

          • Steak day worked! 3.2 pounds. Yahoooo.

          • WOW!!!! Woo hoo! Good for you!!!! Thanks for letting me know. Feels great, yes?

            =)

          • YAY!!!!! SO HAPPY!!! Great job! :)

          • According to Dr. Simeon, it’s a steak day, an apple, and water and green tea

    • Hi there, Karen!
      I must admit I am a coffee junky. And I do drink it with cream. The real deal And not the garbage you buy in the markets. I actually make my own with one part half and half and one part heavy cream. Add sweetleaf stevia drops (ie vanilla creme, English toffee, or hazelnut flavors) …YUMMY! I have been able to enjoy this on my steak days still have success with it. I can only speak personally though, as we each process food differently. I just wanted to let you know that it was okay for me. I agree with Barbara regarding the cali kicker….yuk!!!! haha! Best wishes to you. Barbie

  9. Hi I’m in p4 and I gained 8 lbs. any thing I can eat to drop the 8 or do I have to do another round. Thanks for your help

  10. On OPT 5 (the one that you recommend doing directly after a steak day) with the eggs and cheese in morning, protein for lunch and another protein/cheese meal for supper – how much of each? Is this part of the trial and error? I was thinking 2 eggs and 2 oz cheese, then 4 oz protein for lunch and 4 ounce protein and 2 oz cheese for supper. Suggestions? Thank you!!!

    • Hi Barbie!

      I personally have NOT tried this one because I don’t eat much dairy, and find that cheese tends to make me gain weight. I do think that it might work for others though, so worth a try. I think it is trial and error, and I would say, only eat until you are aren’t hungry. Your plan sounds good, 2 eggs and 2 oz cheese for breakfast, 4 ounce protein for lunch and dinner and a small amount more cheese. I am curious to see if this works for you! Good luck! and DO let me know how it goes and if it works well!
      Best to you,
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

      • Hi again!

        Well, I am inclined to think that dairy may do the same for me, so here is what I am planning to do. I am going to eat 2 eggs with the apples instead of the 2 oz of cheese. I will let you know. I did the steak day and lost 1.5 lbs! Whew! I’m hoping I will get the other 1/2 by doing this.

        Thanks again for all you do.

        Barbie

  11. Hi there! This is my first steak day! Whew! I gained 2 pounds over Christmas. I’m pretty happy it wasn’t more, but REALLY upset that it was any at all. Alas, here I go. I am going for the ribeye as you said you’ve done okay with. It’s the ‘ONLY’ steak to eat! HAHA!! My favorite. :) I will follow up the next 2 days with a couple of the other options above (protein only days). I am leaving on a 3 day trip (I’m a flight attendant) tomorrow so it’s a little scary to not weigh myself for those 3 mornnings, but I’m hoping when I return, I will see the 2 pounds gone! I am packing all of my food to bring so as not have to worry about it being prepared correctly. Praying for the scale on Friday morning will make me smile. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

    • Barbie, I am also a FA… I found a portable scale at Target

  12. Hi,
    I’m on my 7th day of stage 3 of HCG and fining it hard to maintain the weight.
    I’m following the “book” precisely and eating only what’s allowed and already needed to do 2 steak days. When I’m back to what’s allowed to eat in this phase I gain 1 kg and then need to go back to steak day.
    Is it recommended to do as many steak days through out this phase as needed?

    I’ve done this diet in the past and never had this problem with the stabilizing phase as I have now.

    WOuld love to hear your advice.

    Thanks
    Anna

    • HI Anna,

      I got your question on my blog and by email and I am happy to try to help if I can.

      I am sorry that you are having this difficulty. P3 is scary, no one wants to gain the weight back.

      I think maybe you are having more trouble since this is your third round, you have lost a lot of weight, and you are closer to your goal weight. I reached my goal weight my first round and so my body just wanted to jump back up. The closer you are to your goal and best weight, the harder it is to stabilize and maintain the weight. This is just what I think, I am not a doctor on an expert, just another HCGer who has been successful with it.

      Personally I found that if I tried to eat the full calories in the first week of P3, I gained weight. I went really slowly, and built up the calories slowly. This worked for me in both my round. Have you seen my post on tips for P3???

      http://www.inspiredgirl.me/hcg-maintenence-phase-3-tips-on-getting-started-on-p3/

      here is an excerpt from my blog post:
      Increase your calories slowly. I have found that this plan works well:

      Day 1 & 2: 700-900 calories at most, eat to satisfy your hunger only. Do not fill up or overfill yourself. you might not be very hunger at all!

      Day 3 & 4: 900 – 1100 calories at most (if you haven’t gained weight, if you have, eat less)

      Day 5- 6: Build up to about 1200-1400 calories. (if you haven’t gained, if you have, eat less)

      Day 7-10: Build up to an average of 1400-1800 calories, depending on your own metabolism and activity level.

      Another thing that really helped me is this: stay away from all the foods that say ‘With Caution’.

      You can find my list of foods that I eat on this blog post:
      http://www.inspiredgirl.me/hcg-p3-foods-you-can-eat-and-a-sample-menu-meal-plan/

      Personally I found that the only way I could maintain during P3 was to build calories very slowly, and eat only really safe foods.
      I did this ALL through P3 AND through P4 also. AFTER P4 I VERY slowly integrated other foods.

      I do agree with you that doing too many steak days is not a great idea, it’s like you just getting back to dieting mode. What you CAN do however, is get used to having 1-2 protein only days each week. Maybe some really safe vegetables at dinner, and a lot of fluids.

      I am not sure that this will work for you but it’s worth a try. The information about P3 and P4 is rather vague and open ended. I have found that being more controlled with it really worked for me. I know that everyone is different. For me, losing the weight and maintaining it really took a lot of time. I stayed on a variation of p4 for a very long time.

      Another thought for you might be to consider any health issues. Have you had your blood tested? Thyroid issues can certainly affect your weight, anemia, and other issues. It might be a good idea to consider getting a check up if you haven’t????

      Are you at your LIW now from all the steak days? How far above it, if not. Just curious. You might have to accept a new LIW if your body doesn’t want to stay at your original one :(

      I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes.

      GOOD LUCK!
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  13. Hi. In need of a bit of advice. I did the hcg diet a year ago and pretty much have maintained the weight loss. I started a cleanse and thought that I could handle the protocol required. I find that I am allergic to any products that are based in grain alcohol so it has started my weight to fluctuate more. On top of that my craving for sugar and food has increased. I did the cleanse in order to get ready for another round of hcg diet but I am finding that the fluid retention does increase with my intake of sugar. I know I should totally cut out the sugar and carbs, I am asking for any help or advice within this maintenance phase of p4 before starting another round of hcg. Also I am seeking out a good place to purchase the hcg drops and other products to continue with the hcg diet protocol

    • HI!

      I have had great success with BIOGENESIS HCG drops. I do not know of any others, but I do know you have to be careful because there are a lot of scams out there. Be sure to get drops that have REAL HCG in them. It is a good idea to test whatever you get to be sure.

      I have found that cleanses tend to trigger other issues for me personally. I do think that if you tend to eat a lot of sugar and carbos, it is a great idea to do a few gluten free and sugar free weeks prior to starting HCG, and to also do what HCGCHICA calls a ‘clean load’ on P1: carb and sugar free, but high in fats.

      For me, my first round, I ate sugar and carbs, which I don’t normally do, and I felt horrible, and felt really bad the first few days of p2. My second round, I did a ‘clean load’; I ate TONS of food (OMGoodness, stuffed) very high fats, etc, but no breads, pastas, sugars, etc. I felt great my whole round. I have a friend who tended to eat lots of carbos and sugar, and she did 2 or 3 weeks gluten and sugar free before her round. It was really hard for her, but by the time she got to p2, she felt great, and she found her whole round to be so much easier because she had already gone through the ‘withdrawal’ phase before she started.

      I would stick closely to P3 foods, or simply eat gluten and sugar free for a few weeks in preparation.

      Good luck!

      Let me know how it goes.

      Best to you,
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  14. Hello, great info! Question: Can you do a steak day, on phase 2 or 3, if there is no stall…just wanting a bigger release?

    • Hi!
      Well, IN P2, if your weight loss is slow, it is not a bad idea, however, I would be careful with this. You don’t want to do too many and get yourself too hungry or not get enough food. You also don’t want to your body to accommodate to it. I personally wouldn’t do it very often, and certainly not more than once in a few weeks.

      In P3, you certainly CAN, however I don’t know if it is a great idea. You don’t want to get back into the habit of ‘dieting. And in P3, the idea is to STABILIZE and maintain your weight, not try to lose. You want your body to get used to your new weight and if you are still losing, it won’t do that. Finally, you will get your body used to eating less food, which is not what you want. You want to build up to a good amount of calories with healthy foods and get your body used to it.

      I often do protein and vegie only days however. It feels good to eat really ‘clean’.

      Good luck!
      Let me know how it goes =)
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  15. Hi Inspired Girl. Love the information you provide! Also, must say that you look GREAT!!! Question, are you able to use cream in your coffee on Phase 3 at all? Also, if cream is allowed in general for phase 3, is it okay for steak days also, or must the coffee be black? I look forward to your answer! Best,Debbie

    • Hi Debbie!

      So glad you find it helpful, and thank you for the acknowledgement. I worked hard for a long time to heal my relationship to food and my body, but HCG took me the final steps to the best weight and health in my body that I have ever experienced. And the best news is that, with a reasonable and healthy amount of work and effort, I am able to maintain it. Yea!

      Cream! YUM! Unfortunately whole cream, and half and half are NOT approved in P3. I personally did use half and half in my coffee on my first round of HCG, and I think because I didn’t use any of the other ‘with caution’ foods, I had no problem with it. In general, I do find that dairy does effect my weight, so I am glad I can get away with half and half, because I DO love my coffee creamy. On my second round, I found that I was so used to only low fat milk, I was able to enjoy my coffee with low fat milk only. Whoa!

      For steak days: the instructions say NOTHING but fluids, Steak, and a tomato or apple. So if you want to get the most out of your steak day, black coffee is your best bet. I, however, simply adore my coffee creamy. I do use low fat milk or half and half in my coffee on steak days. Perhaps I would drop more weight if I didn’t?

      Finally, a tip on steak days. I have consistently found that the weight loss shows up the day AFTER the day after the steak day. Meaning, weigh yourself the day after the steak day, but you may not see a big drop. Do a protein and non starchy vegie day after the steak day. By the day after THAT, I noticed a big drop. I hope this makes sense!

      Good luck!
      Let me know how it goes!
      ~Barbara aka inspired girl

      • Hi Barbara! Thanks so much for the reply! Soooo…I started P3 this past Friday and went a lil crazy…ugh. We went to our favorite restaurant and I had my favorite steak, cooked with duck fat (oh my) and just veggies, which is fine, but it was the wine that killed me. I wound up having 3 (full :-)) glasses over the course of the evening. I woke up 3.2 lbs over my LIW, so I immediately did a steak day. I followed it perfectly except I did have 1 tbsp of heavy whipping cream in each of my 2 cups of coffee in the AM. I woke on Sunday to only a .2 lb loss. I was hoping for the “day after the day after” loss, and followed P3 (which included a careful dinner out with friends (no sugar or starch) with 1 vodka martini (no sugar or juice, just olives) and 1 glass of wine, but only lost another .2 lb. Bother. So yesterday, Memorial Day, I just did a regular P3 day, but didn’t eat until 2:30, because I wasn’t hungry and waited for hubby to return from cycling to have Korean soup (yam noodles, beef, veggies). Then later we had dinner and I just had steak and asparagus…clean. I woke today to a 1.6 lb gain, so 4.4 over LIW. That hit me hard and I realized I need to really, really get serious until my weight stabilizes. I worked too hard and feel too good to have it all be for nothing. I need to pause on the eating out and def pause on alcohol. It’s just such a social thing to wine and dine with friends…but it will have to wait while I reset my metabolism. I did an excellent steak day today…no cream in coffee, just lots of liquids and then a huge rib eye steak tonight with only salt, pepper, and garlic followed by a long walk and then an apple with cinnamon. I’m full, but hoping for a loss tomorrow or the day after!! Tomorrow I am going to do one of your recommended protein/veggie days. We’ll see.

        One thing that is cool is that my body fat % is staying low…today it was 14.3%! Wow! I definitely don’t like to just focus on the pounds, but also on the body fat% as that tells the whole story. You may be curious about my stats. I am 5’4″. My start weight (pre-load) was 147.4 and BF 28.4%; my LIW was 128.8 and BF 15.8%! So I lost 18.6 lbs and 12.6% BF! This proves that HCG enables the retention of lean body mass (lbm) since my starting composition was 105.5 lbm to 41.9 fat and ended with 108.4 lbm and 20.4 fat! I actually gained almost 3 lbs of muscle!! Those are stats I like and want to maintain!

        Final note: I am using heavy whipping cream or half and half in my coffee on my normal P3 days as everything I read says it is actually okay in P3 and I, like you, love my coffee a lil’ creamy. :-)

        Thanks for listening to me and for all of the good info on your blog!!

        Best,
        Debbie

        • YES YES YES. You have to take P3 and P4 seriously. You WILL gain the weight back, and go back to old habits really quickly.

          I would CUT out all alcohol. IF you do drink, WAIT until p4, and have white wine only, and only about 1/2 glass. BUT wait til p4, and don’t eat anything else sugary or starchy on that day.

          See if you can do half and half instead of whipping cream. Cut out the noodles! NO starch. Cut out the YAMS, no potatoes. Perhaps you may want to review the list of approved p3 foods. I had to read it over and over to get it!
          http://www.inspiredgirl.me/hcg-p3-foods-you-can-eat-and-a-sample-menu-meal-plan/

          Often it takes a few days for the weight gain to catch up. And unfortunately, sometimes if you gain a bunch during P3 from eating outside of the protocol, it doesn’t come off. So be very cautious and deliberate with what you eat.

          As you said, YOU WORKED way too hard to gain it back.

          GREAT on the body fat loss. That is awesome, and really what is important. WHOA. That is amazing.

          CONGRATULATIONS on the weight loss.You must feel great. It is SO WORTH it to be strict at this point.

          Just remember, this is NOT forever, however I found that to maintain the weight loss, I had to be REALLY STRICT in P3, P4, and for at least 4-6 weeks after.

          OK! good luck! STICK with it!

          Let me know how it goes.

          Best to you,
          ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  16. Hi! I love the idea of these pre steak day options, however I am worried about not injesting enough calories. I have a hard time this first week in P3 – I maintained thte first 3 days, jumped up 5lbs, did a steak day and went down 2, and again this am I am up 1.5 again. I am trying option 1, one of the reasons I feel I am all over the place is because I am not eating enough. Any advice or suggestions on calories doing option 1?

    • Hi Marisa,

      Most people fluctuate A LOT in P3. 5 pounds does seem like a lot. I would follow your hunger only. I personally found that the first week I was NOT that hungry, and built up my calories very slowly; that when I (or others) jump right in and eat the full amount, there is a weight gain. I found that if I increased calories very slowly, and built up to about 1600 -1800 in the first week to 10 tens, that worked well.

      Did you read my post on P3? I think that will help.
      Getting starting on P3

      Be sure that you are NOT getting ANY sugar or starches, and avoid all foods that are listed as ‘eat with caution’. Build up calories slowly. I found that I COULD eat large portions of protein (meat, fish, and chicken), and vegetables, but I was careful with fruit and anything that seemed to increase weight.

      Protein only days are very helpful (as in option #1). I did them at least a few times a week in P3 and in P4. I still (8 months later) do them once a week. Keep in mind that your main goal is to stabilize your weight and get your body used to the new weight. It should stabilize over time, mine certainly has!

      I hope that this helps! Let me know how it goes.
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  17. Hi. Just wondering how much Greek yogurt can be eaten in your option 7? It says to eat it all days with fruit. That sounds wonderful so me since I could put down a whole tub of it with cinnamon in just one sitting. Lol. Also, how much roasted chicken if you do a chicken day? Do you still weigh it?

    • HI!

      I personally have not done a greek yogurt day, but definitely would do one if I wasn’t trying to limit my dairy intake. I am sure that I WILL try one at some point! I found this suggestion online somewhere, and have heard of others doing it. I love greek yogurt and could also eat tons of it if I let myself. I have read varied opinions on this, but I would think that 4 – 5 servings (about 8 oz portions) in a day would be a good thing to try. ONLY PLAIN, low fat or non fat yogurt. I would keep the fruit to a minimum.

      For a roast chicken day, I have done that and had great success. Since these are meant for p3, NOT p2, I wouldn’t weigh the pieces, but I would be conscious about how much you are eating. Don’t over do it. Just enough to feel good, not stuffed, and not be hungry. A good thing to try would be either one leg and thigh, or a chicken breast, 3-4 times throughout the day. Maybe even 5 times if needed, depending on your weight and metabolism. Keep the oil to a minimum. And then see how that goes for you. You can adjust it the next time you try it.

      These ‘special adjustment days’ have continued to be trial and error for me. In other words, you will need to test them out and see what works for you. I have found that the weight loss sometimes takes TWO days to show up on the scale! So if you don’t notice an immediate drop the next day, don’t freak out. Just eat a ‘clean’ day with high protein, healthy vegies, and small amounts of fruit, and you will likely see a good drop the day after.

      I hope this helps! Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

      Best to you!
      =)
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  18. Hi, Barbra! Thank you so much for the additional tips! No, I’m not sure that the spray that I have actually includes HCG in it. It isn’t from the source you mentioned, so it may not.

    It turns out that there is more than the 30 day supply in the bottle, so I have been continuing with the spray (3 times a day) and the VLCD. Luckily, I have lost a little over 2 lbs more, but I am stalled again…(5 days so far this time). I have been staying within protocol this entire round (besides my one coconut oil attempt to break a long stall).

    I do have the HCG Redbook 1st edition from my original shot at HCG and it was incredibly helpful. Do you think any of the revised versions (I believe Revision 5 is available now) would make any difference? I am curious as to if foods such as quinoa, flax, chia, hemp…etc. would be in the newer versions. I think flax was in the first, but I haven’t brought it out yet to look for the other ‘health foods’.

    Thanks again and I look forward to your future posts! Have an amazing day! =o)

    • Your weight loss will definitely be better, and your hunger less if the product has real HCG. It would be a good idea to test yours, and get a different brand if it does NOT. Having real HCG is also vital to losing the ‘correct’ type of fat (more on this in Dr Simeons book)

      I don’t know if the later editions of the book change what you can eat. I have the 3rd edition, and it seems fine. I personally doubt if Linda Prinster would include the alternative foods, she seems to promote following Dr Simeons original protocol, as do I (except some mixing of vegetables for some people some of the time LOL).

      What is your total weight loss? in what time period?

      Best to you!
      =)
      ~inspired girl aka Barbara

  19. I just found your site and am so glad I did! What I’ve read so far includes wonderful info!

    I’m just finishing up Ph2 and anxious about the maintenance phase(s). I did my first round about three years ago (injections) and had great success. Unfortunately, I regressed back to my bad and emotional eating habits and gained what I lost and more. Now I’m using the drops and have not lost nearly the pounds I did with injections, however, inches are dropping like flies (yay)! I do anticipate doing another round of injections after this maintenance phase, but want to ensure that all my hard work (well, sticking to protocol) isn’t for nothing this round. I have been in Ph2 VLCD for 30 days, lost 13 pounds only (have had numerous stalls for 3-5 days at a time) and even gained 1.6 lbs with one attempt to break a stall (coconut oil). I am a bit discouraged, but know that this is a wonderful system and am hoping for more success in the long run.

    I recall LOVING steak days after my first round and am happy to see additional options to help avoid weight gain during and after maintenance.

    Looking forward to reading more on your blog! Thanks for your help!

    • Dear Michelle,

      I am so glad that you found my blog post helpful!

      I used drops several times, so know a bit about them. Are you sure you have drops with real HCG? The only company I personally know of is BIOGENSIS. How is your hunger? If you are too hungry, or if you work out, that will definitely SLOW down your weight loss.

      Here are some tips for drops that REALLY HELPED me!
      •Instead of doing 12 drops 3 times per day, I did 9 drops 4 times per day. Much better result
      •Be 100% sure to NOT drink or eat anything for 30 minutes BEFORE you do the drops and 30 minutes after. Makes a huge difference.
      •Be SURE that your HCG drops are potent, there is information on line regarding how to use a pregnancy test.

      I hope this helps.

      13 pounds in 30 days = .43 pounds per day. That is a GREAT average. My average was about .33 per day (I am 57, in menopause, low metabolism). My younger friends lost about .4 per day. FYI. Men DO lose a bit faster (darn it!)

      Some tips on maintenance:
      Be sure to read my blog post for P3:
      http://www.inspiredgirl.me/hcg-maintenence-phase-3-tips-on-getting-started-on-p3/

      At minimum do the full 3 weeks of p3, and full 3 weeks of p4 before doing another round. I would wait another month or MORE AFTER P4 before starting your next round. Let your weight stabilize!

      I hope this helps, let me know how it goes. It really does take a BIG lifestyle change and effort to keep the weight off over time. I do believe that most people need support and therapy to really deal with the issues that this change requires. HCG just gives you a fresh start and a clean slate, but as you know, maintenance is the key.

      http://www.inspiredgirl.me/weight-loss-game-changer-hcg/

      I strongly recommend that you stick with the ORIGINAL protocol. From what I have seen, people who use the alternatives do not lose as much weight (i.e. coconut oil). Go back, READ Linda Prinster’s info on what to eat on P2 and stick to it. I would only eat apples or grapefruit. I think that mixing vegetables sometimes is ok, as long as your weight loss is good. Also, cutting down on tomatoes often helps increase your weight loss.

      From what I have seen, everyone stalls! it is not a big deal. If you lose 1 pound per day, you will have an equal number of stall days, because your AVERAGE will likely be around .4 pounds per day.

      OK! GOOD LUCK, let me know how it goes!
      Best to you!

      ~Barbara aka inspired girl

      =)

  20. I hope this does not sound stupid….I am currently doing a steak day today. Going out to buy my steak after work. Is there a preferred steak to purchase? A leaner cut or can it be a fattier cut? Also, can I dress it up with Celtic sea salt and pepper? Can I fix it like I would do a regular steak? With butter? Just wondering cause I am definitely 2 lbs over and want it off. Should I also exercise today to help my situation?

    • Hi Crystal!

      This is a great question. Steaks days work really well, although a bit challenging to last the whole day without eating. Knowing you get a big fat steak at the end of the day helps!

      It is probably better to get a lean cut, however I have eaten big rib eyes and had great success. I would definitely get steak though, I have tried tri tip and prime rib and I did not get the same results. I do get BIG steaks however! 14- 16 ounces.

      Any spices are fine, but don’t use anything with sugars, or wheat, or corn starch etc (the same as P3).

      I don’t think you should use butter. I HAVE used a bit of olive oil. I often eat some asparagus, or a salad with lettuce, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and some vinegar, with a small amount of oil. And then nothing else.

      Exercise might help, however, on a steak day, it will just make you hungry, and it might make it harder to last the whole day without eating. I drink a TON of fluids, teas, (no sugar of course). On occasion, if I am too hungry, I will eat 2 poached or hard boiled eggs during the day. But I get better results when I don’t.

      I often find that the 2-3 pound weight drop takes 2 days, not one. The first day I do a steak day, the second, I do a protein only day. ON the second day, I eat eggs for breakfast, protein only for lunch (meat/fish/chicken) and protein and a p3 safe veggie for dinner and exercise can help at that point. With those two days, I will generally drop at least 2, maybe 3 pounds.

      Over time, I have found that doing protein only days, with some p3 vegies, once or twice a week works wonderfully for ongoing maintenance.

      I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes, ok?

      =)
      ~inspired girl, aka Barbara

    • Thanks Crystal for asking this question, I’m doing my first steak day today and was wondering the same thing! Great reply from Inspired Girl, thanks so much!

      • Hi Lisa! Glad you found it helpful. Let me know how it goes! :)
        ~inspired girl aka Barbara

        • I did GREAT with a steak day! I was up 5 pounds from the day before, it may have been the dreaded period or that I went a little crazy the night before (no sugar or carbs, but went overboard on the protein/calories) and I did the steak day (I bought a bunch of top sirloin and grilled it, plain). I ate as much as I could, which ended up being 18 ounces (!!!?!!) and a tomato later. Today I was down the 5 pounds plus 2 more. **fingers crossed**

          • Great! Yea! Good to hear. I suggest that you follow up with a protein and vegie day only, I have found that this really helps you stabilize. Glad you got such great results, I always find that steak days are worth it! =)

  21. Hi there! I happened to come across ur website and just in time! I have done 4 successful rounds losing 65lbs and almost as many inches. I consider myself a pro at this

    • Wow! Good for you! That is amazing! Congratulations! :)

  22. Thanks so much for posting these options. I am headed for P3 in a couple of days and I am very nervous, as I have done this before and ALWAYS gained the weight back. Three times, so this time I want to really stabilize my weight so that I don’t need to do another round of drops.

    • Maintenance is truly the key to this protocol. It can be very challenging. I am so glad that this helped.

      BE very strict re: NO SUGAR or STARCH! Also, if you haven’t already, read my blog post about P3. It really helps. I have used it every time, and so have my friends, and it really works. IF you can maintain your weight through p3 and p4, and for about a month after, your weight will be much more stable.

      http://www.inspiredgirl.me/hcg-maintenence-phase-3-tips-on-getting-started-on-p3/

      Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
      best to you
      ~inspired girl
      Barbara

  23. Thanks. I personally have done the yogurt day with berries and the roasted chicken days with great success. Never heard of apple and cheese. Might try it.

    • I have not yet tried the yogurt & berry day. Now I want to try it for sure. Chicken works great! Thanks for the thoughts :)

  24. Thanks so much! I lov these obtions!!!! I was doing the steak days for one pound so much that to go all day with out food is so painful! I AM going to try the other ideas ! I also have overeating food disorder and have gotten away from eat when hungry . So want to get back to that ! Thanks , Cyndy

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