Getting started in P3 can be scary. No one wants to gain their weight back. Take a few moments to read my blog post on getting started if you haven’t already. It really helps to be prepared and take it slowly.
What foods should you actually eat on P3? The most important thing to remember is this: do not eat any SUGARS or STARCHES. If you are strict about this, in addition to limiting dairy, nuts, sweet fruits, and starchy vegetables, you will do well on P3. In other words, stick to beef, fish, chicken, turkey, and non starchy vegetables, and some carefully chosen fruits.
This can be challenging because there are hidden sugars and starches in many foods. Be sure to read labels, and if you don’t know what a food item is, either look it up or skip eating it for now.
Below is my simplified list of foods to eat in P3 based on what I learned from Linda Prinster’s book and also from my own experience. You may notice that my list is not exactly the same as hers; I tend to err on the side of caution. For me I found it better to go slowly and avoid anything that effected my weight negatively.
This is a simplified list, and it only includes foods that I personally would be likely to eat, so you may want to review Linda Prinster’s information and create a more complete list for yourself. Her chart takes a bit of time to get through, but it is quite thorough and worth the effort.
Before I personally began P3, I spent some time with her book, and I started a spreadsheet that included the information that I needed. I then created an easy-to-view format that I carried with me all the time.
Another amazing resource is HCG Chica’s program: Phase 3 to life. It covers everything you need to know about P3 including menus & shopping guides, recipes (*including yummy desserts), tools, challenges you might encounter, success stories and much more. It is truly an invaluable tool for success in Phase 3 and in lifelong maintenance.
I suggest that you create your own spreadsheet, and that you carry a list of these foods with you at all times, perhaps on your phone. You can simply bookmark this page on your phone and use this list when you need it to assist you in staying on track and stabilizing your weight.
- Diet Sodas
- Lemon Juice (make lemonade & lemon slushies with lemon stevia, yum!)
- Low Fat or Non Fat Milk
- Water: Carbonated
- Coffee, with low fat milk and/or artificial sweetners only
- Fish: All types
- Beef: All types (I use caution at first with fattier meats such as pork, lamb, veal, prime rib, ribs, or tri tip)
- Coconut: Raw, Fresh, no added sugar
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Snow Peas
- Snap Beans
- Tomato Paste
- Au Jus: NO SUGAR OR FLOUR
- Coconut Milk Lite (use with caution and be sure to get an organic brand that has no added sugar)
- Gum: sugar free
- Luo Han Guo
- Marinara Sauce: NO SUGAR OR FLOUR ADDED
- Mayonnaise light
- Mustard: no sugars
- Oils: WITH CAUTION
- Popsicles: fruit only: sugar free
- Saccharin (Aspartame)
- Seasoning (non sugar types)
- Soy Sauce
- Sugar Twin
- Tamari: Wheat Free
- Vinegar: all types
- Wasabi: no sugar
These next foods are listed as ‘eat with caution’ in Linda Prinster’s book, using caution in both quantity and frequency. She also says that you should refrain from having too many of these foods in one day.
Personally, I stayed away from almost all of these foods in P3, especially at the beginning. I was able to easily have some half and half in my coffee (yum!) and some oils for cooking and on salads, but at first, most foods on this list made my weight jump up. Just remember, this is not forever! Your only goal in P3 is to stabilize your weight and your metabolism, so it is worth choosing your food very carefully and being patient.
DO NOT EAT THESE FOODS AT FIRST – AT LEAST BE CAREFUL TO KEEP THEM VERY LIMITED.
- Hot dogs, beef jerky, etc
- Processed meats of any type
- Cheeses: all types
- Cottage cheese: low fat
- Half & Half
- Milk: whole milk or enriched milk
- Yogurt: plain, low fat or non fat, sugar free only
- Honeydew Melon
- Fruit juices with no sugar or additives
Vegetables & Beans
- Bamboo Shoots
- French Beans
- Any starchy vegetables
- Cooking spray
- Creamed Horseradish with no sugar
- Hard Candy: sugar free
- Ketchup with no sugar
- Nuts: all other types
- Pickles: dill
- Salad Dressing: NO CARB/FAT/SUGAR
- Spaghetti Sauce: only types with no sugar or flour
- Sugar & fat free Ice Cream
- Tomato Sauce
This final list includes a sample of all the foods that you should definitely NOT eat! Most include sugars and starches. This is just a sample, so be sure to make your own list and use your judgement.
DO NOT EAT OR DRINK THESE FOODS
- Beans & lentils of all types
- Flavored Yogurts
- Fried Foods
- Honey, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Agave
- Pinto or Black Beans
- Refried Beans
- Salad Dressings (they usually have sugar)
- Soy and Soy products
- Alcohol of all types (wine, beer, mixed drinks, etc)
- Drinks with any type of sugar in them, including drinks with honey, etc
- Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, etc
- Heavy whipping cream
- Dried Fruit
- Plaintain Chips
- Any really sweet or high carb/high calorie fruits
Vegetables & Beans
- Corn in any form
- Garbanzo Beans
- Anything starchy
- All Nuts That Are High In Fats
Flour & Starch
- Almond Flour
- Breads of any type
- Coconut Flour
- Gluten Free Flour
- Potatoes of any type
- Wheat Flour
- White Flour
- Rice of any type
- Tortillas of any type
Most Sauces Have Sugar And/Or Flour
- Alfredo Sauce
- Barbeque Sauce
- Curry Sauce
- Teryaki Sauce
- Tomato Puree
- Avoid any season with More Than 4 Grams of Sugar. Many seasonings have sugars and starches added, so be careful!
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN / MENU
A typical P3 food day for me
- Breakfast: poached eggs (3), coffee with low fat milk, 20 ounces of bengal spice tea (yum)
- Snack: apple or small amount fresh coconut
- Lunch: salad made with, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, celery, peppers, (*shredded carrots on occasion), Sliced Turkey, Tuna or Shredded Chicken (lite Mayo sometimes), olive oil (sometimes), and balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper
- Snack: apple, grapefruit, or fresh raw coconut (SMALL amount)
- Dinner: protein (steak, fish, chicken, turkey, plain hamburger: no sugars, starches or dairy added). Non starchy vegetables (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, salad (same ingredients as above) with a small amount of oil and some vinegar as the salad dressing)
- Snack: apple, grapefruit, or non starchy vegie such as diced peppers, celery, or radishes
I suggest that you keep it simple; it is so much easier to keep track of.
I continue to drink 80 ounces of fluids per day, THAT really helps!! I strongly recommend this. It is a great habit to get into. In addition, I ate small amounts often.
Ever since my first round of P2, I have gotten used to only eating until I am no longer hungry. It feels great. I get hungry easily now, and eat lots of small healthy fruit, vegie, or protein snacks during the day. Especially in P3, I ate about 6 times per day; 3 meals and 3 snacks. Notice that the snacks however, are just 1 piece of fruit or a vegie, and that my meals are pretty light also.
A wonderful snack, (one of my personal favorites!) is chopped up tomatoes and cucumbers, with a few orange or yellow peppers if you want. Sprinkle this with tons of balsamic vingegar, salt and pepper, and maybe a dash of olive oil. This is really yummy, and super satisfying. LATER in p3, I added avocado AS my protein, NOT in addition to chicken or tuna.
I encourage you to take P3 seriously. The HCG protocol really can assist you in adjusting your weight permanently, however if you don’t do the work of maintenance it can be really easy to gain the weight back. Use this time to create a new relationship to food. Add foods slowly, be patient, notice what foods you have difficulty with, and adjust accordingly. Get help and support in dealing with any emotional or addiction issues that arise; this is a great time to heal yourself.
I hope this helps!
Best of luck to you on your HCG journey,
~inspired girl aka Barbara