STAGE 4:LIFE-LONG MAINTANANCE

Congratulations on completing the BioAesthetics hCG Diet Program!

INTRODUCTION

Normal eating and healthy food

You can now eat normally and this poses problems for many people. If you’ve been dieting for manyyears, you’ve probably been going from periods of semi-starvation to periods of over-eating. Mostpeople don’t know how to eat normally. So, what exactly is normal eating?

Normal eating involves eating a diet that is based on clean, natural and healthy foods; eating whenyou’re feeling hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied, but not full. It also involves being able toenjoy the occasional treat. Eating in such a pattern will provide your body with essential nutrients while maintaining a normal and healthy weight. By adding the occasional treat, it will also prevent feelings of deprivation.

Over the next few months, it’s important you focus on establishing this healthy pattern of eating.Make this your top priority.

You have been provided with a meal plan to use as a guide of how many servings of each food group you need per day, in order to maintain your current weight. There is no need to count calories. When you are comfortable with this eating plan, you can add a free meal each week, but always return to the basic plan at the next meal. If you consistently over-eat for a prolonged period of time, you WILL undo the resetting process and gradually regain the weight. Eating normally will help you effortlessly maintain your new weight.

Ideally, your basic meal plan shouldn’t differ too much from what you were eating in Stage 3, with theaddition of starchy vegetables and whole-grains. It is best to choose natural and organic foods containing little additives. Avoid sugar, processed foods, vegetable and trans fats as much as possible, as these interfere with hormonal balance and can cause severe cravings.

Choose your occasional treats wisely and enjoy them.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Normal eating and healthy food

You can now eat normally and this poses problems for many people. If you’ve been dieting for manyyears, you’ve probably been going from periods of semi-starvation to periods of over-eating. Mostpeople don’t know how to eat normally. So, what exactly is normal eating?

Normal eating involves eating a diet that is based on clean, natural and healthy foods; eating whenyou’re feeling hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied, but not full. It also involves being able toenjoy the occasional treat. Eating in such a pattern will provide your body with essential nutrients while maintaining a normal and healthy weight. By adding the occasional treat, it will also prevent feelings of deprivation.

Over the next few months, it’s important you focus on establishing this healthy pattern of eating.Make this your top priority.

You have been provided with a meal plan to use as a guide of how many servings of each food group you need per day, in order to maintain your current weight. There is no need to count calories. When you are comfortable with this eating plan, you can add a free meal each week, but always return to the basic plan at the next meal. If you consistently over-eat for a prolonged period of time, you WILL undo the resetting process and gradually regain the weight. Eating normally will help you effortlessly maintain your new weight.

Ideally, your basic meal plan shouldn’t differ too much from what you were eating in Stage 3, with theaddition of starchy vegetables and whole-grains. It is best to choose natural and organic foods containing little additives. Avoid sugar, processed foods, vegetable and trans fats as much as possible, as these interfere with hormonal balance and can cause severe cravings.

Choose your occasional treats wisely and enjoy them.

Carbohydrates

By now, you should be eating some fruit and vegetable carbohydrates with each meal. These types of carbohydrates are important as they contain many essential nutrients and antioxidants – so there’sno need to fear them. Grains and some starchy vegetables do not have many nutrient benefits when compared to non-starchy vegetables and fruit and they can cause weight regain, so you need to be very careful when introducing them. Studies have shown that long-term weight maintenance is more likely when following a low to moderate carbohydrate diet.

In Stage 2, you followed a very low carbohydrate diet that allowed your body to utilize fat stores for energy. This is similar to the ketogenic diet but without the addition of healthy fats. Ketogenic diets are an excellent method for rapid weight loss and if performed correctly can be very beneficial to health. There is some evidence of significant health benefits with long-term ketogenic diets in certain neurological and autoimmune conditions. However, in most cases there is no need to follow such a level of carbohydrate restriction long-term as it may be detrimental to your success.

If you continued to follow a low-carb diet long-term, you are likely to develop an extreme sensitivity to carbohydrates and this may lead to hormonal imbalances that will set you up for weight gain. For some people, long-term ketogenic diets can lead to a reduction in serotonin (the happy hormone) will reduce and increase in cortisol (the stress hormone that also leads to cravings). This imbalance can cause severe sugar cravings and mood fluctuations leading to over-eating and weight gain.

In Stage 3, is a low to moderate carbohydrate diet, depending on what intake you weight stabilized at. This diet would allow some degree of fat utilization, especially overnight but during the day, your body would preferentially use the carbohydrates in your meals. This is a good state for maintenance as it means that your metabolism is flexible in the utilisation of macronutrients. It is also safe to follow this diet long-term but keep in mind that there are some benefits to including small amounts of starches such brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, peas and sweet potatoes.

These starches have high amounts of dietary fibre which has been shown to improve the quality and quantity of gut bacteria. A healthy gut has been associated with:

  • Improved blood sugar regulation

  • Releasing gut peptides responsible for weight and appetite control

  • Improved metabolic and mitochondrial function

  • Reduction in cravings

  • Increased fat loss

  • Improved mood

These are good reasons to add some starches to your diet but do so very slowly by substituting one serving of fruit or vegetable carbohydrates with a starchy carb for 5 to 7 days and assess the effect it has on your weight, cravings and mood.

For example, if you had beetroot for lunch, you can now substitute it for quinoa or sweet potato for 5-7 days, then if your weight and appetite remains stable you can do the same with another meal.

It is best to avoid high GI foods, containing refined sugar and flour, as they are more likely to cause cravings, inflammation, hormonal imbalances and weight gain.

As you can see, in Stage 4, or life-long maintenance, the most important thing to consider is your carbohydrate intake and it may take some time to find the ideal amount for your body.

It is very important to re-introduce starchy carbohydrates slowly, until you establish your ideal diet. The meal plan below provides a general recommendation, however everyone is different and you will need to work out how MUCH and what TYPE of carbohydrates work for you, as this will impact on long-term maintenance. If you eat too many carbs, or eat the wrong carbs too soon, you may experience craving, overeating and weight gain. However, if you you stay on a low-carb diet for too long, you may feel flat and also start to experience cravings.

You need to find a what works for you.

Everyone responds differently when carbohydrates are re-introduced.

Most people will initially gain a little weight, approximately 0.5 to 1 kilo when they add carbs back into their diet. This is because carbohydrates become stored as glycogen in the muscle, along with a certain percentage of fluid. This glycogen storage is very important and is used for energy when needed.

Keep in mind that this is not a gain in fat stores so your clothes won’t become tighter. In most cases the weight will usually return to normal when your body effectively utilizes carbohydrate stores (this can take a few weeks).

It is best to aim for a carbohydrate intake similar to that recommended in the Meal Plan below, butprepare to be flexible if that doesn’t work for you.

Food intolerances

As you have been on a very clean diet, you may find you can no longer tolerate certain foods. Now is a good time to identify any food intolerances you may have, as symptoms become more apparent after a period of abstinence. This is another reason why a gradual introduction of new foods is a good idea. If you suspect that you have food intolerances, only introduce one new food every 2 to 3 days and assess for any symptoms.

Food intolerances are common and can present as bloating, gas, abdominal cramps, fluid retention, weight gain, headaches, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, blocked or runny nose, insomnia or cravings. If you experience any of these symptoms within a few hours to days of eating a particular food, it is best to avoid it and try again a few weeks later.

How to lose more weight

If you’d still like to lose more weight, the next three months are the ideal opportunity to do so.

The hCG hormone has produced changes to your metabolism and how your body processes and manages macronutrients, which makes it easier to lose weight.

You can lose the extra weight by:

  1. Removing the carbohydrate serve from your morning meal

  2. Removing the fat serve from your evening meal

  3. Avoid snacks

  4. Have a 12 to 14-hour overnight fast

  5. Adding a 30-60 minute walk each day

  6. Do not have any “free meals” until goal weight reached

  7. Have a Protein-Only Day once a week

If this does not produce results, you can repeat the hCG program after completing 6 weeks of maintenance.

If this is your second course of hCG, you will need to wait three months before starting another course.

For those who have completed two or more courses of hCG, a 6-12 month break between courses is required in order to prevent the development of hCG anti-bodies that may cause resistance to hCG and make the program ineffective.

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