If you are following Dr. Simeons' protocol, you can do between 23 and 40 injections, and follow the last injection with an additional 72 hours of the 500 calorie diet. Only then may you add more calories, but scrupulously avoid starch and sugar for 3 weeks. If you gain or loose more than 2 lbs. during this maintenance phase, you need to correct with a steak day or if loss is the problem, increase calories till you are stable.
If you haven't already read Dr. Simeons' manuscript "Pounds and Inches", I recommend you google it and read it. I had to read it every day during my first round to make sure I wasn't overlooking something. Most folks who have used HCG have found that the original protocol, followed to the letter works best.
After you finish you need to s-l-o-w-l-y add in starches and sugars ( in the form of whole grains and fruit ) and try to find your threshold for these without gaining more than 2 lbs. After your first round you need to allow 3 weeks to stabilize and another 3 weeks to find out how much and what kinds of starchs and fruits you can tolerate without weight gain.. The time between each successive round increases respectively:
Between Rounds 1 and 2 - 6 weeks
" " 2 and 3 - 8 weeks
" " 3 and 4 -12 weeks
" " 4 and 5 - 20 weeks
" " 5 and 6 - 6 months
The increasing delay period between rounds is intended to prevent a build-up of HCG in your body, and immunity to it's effects. But the 3 weeks of strictly avoiding starch and sugar never changes no matter how many rounds you need to reach your goal.
If you follow the protocol correctly you should not need to continue taking HCG to keep the weight off. In fact this is undesirable. The point of the Protocol is to re-set the hypothalamus gland so that you no longer need radical dieting to maintain your weight. I was amazed at how easy it was to maintain my weight after my first round. I did gain a little, but with minor adjustments found my way back to within 2 lbs. of my weight on the day of my last injection. I ate a very satisfying and delicious diet that was high in protein and fresh raw or cooked vegetables. And the weeks on the 500 calorie diet trained me in portion control. When I did my loading days for my 2nd round, it was really hard to decide what to load with. Sweets and breads just didn't have the allure they used to have!
You are correct Ginsa and I could not have said it any better. The breaks in between are just as important as the actual Rounds/Phases. In fact, Phase 4 is learning to stablize for life. I find it important to weigh myself daily even off HCG. If you weigh yourself off the diet you can make corrections to any gain the next day to get back to your LDW. I now stay away from any process foods, breads (except Ezekiel), Pastas. So all those potato chips, hot dogs, subs sandwiches, bologna is all out of my normal everyday menu. I find that the money I save not buying that stuff allows me to buy, shrimp, crab, scallops, T-Bones and better cuts of meat instead. Great tradeoff.
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