Phase 4 – The Rest of Your Life
Once you have reached your desired goal weight and followed the 3 week Phase 3 maintenance, you will continue to Phase 4, which you will follow for the rest of your life. Sugars and starches are slowly added into your diet in Phase 4. Eat breakfast like a king; eat lunch like a queen; eat dinner like a pauper. Load your calories earlier in the day.
Late day eating is very hard on your metabolism and encourages weight gain. A minimum of 9 months of being absolutely vigilant about staying within 2 pounds +/- of your stabilized weight is a necessity. There are many cases where dieters will re-gain the weight lost by jumping back into their old eating habits. You can correct a splurge by simply utilizing Phase 3 clean eating for a few days. It is important to understand that you cannot go back to your old ways without going back to your old body.
- Take your supplements as recommended. Limit to one starchy carbohydrate per day.
- Try to eat healthy whole grains, multi-grains, or wheat pastas and breads.
- Use brown rice not white.
- Try sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes.
- Avoid using white flour starch when cooking as much as possible.
- Avoid fried foods and fast foods.
- Read food labels so you know what you are buying. Avoid anything with corn syrup solids or high fructose corn syrup which is a major factor in weight gain.
- Use Stevia as a sweetener. It is a natural product. It does not have the same metabolic effects of artificial sweeteners that can create weight gain and trigger sugar cravings.
- Know the caloric values of your alcoholic beverages. Mixers are calories be careful.
- Always eat breakfast in the morning. Do not skip that meal. Use a meal replacement if you are not into cooking or find yourself in a rush to get out the door.
- Eat your carbs earlier in the day. It is easier on your metabolism and does not encourage late eating weight gain.
- Do not eat within 3 hours of bedtime. It encourages weight gain and acid reflux.
- When you buy groceries, do the majority of your shopping around the outer perimeter of the store. The fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, and meats are stored there. Down the aisles are all the processed foods that are not so good for you.
- If you cannot manage fresh vegetables, buy frozen ones. Do not buy canned.
- Take your supplements. Under the supervision of your health care provider, increase the status of your health by taking omega 3 supplements, fish oils, CoQ10, antioxidants, etc. All of these add to your health.
- Never allow more than 1 starchy carbohydrate on your plate with each meal.
- Limit your sweets intake to special occasions and increase your exercise regimen the following day.
- Allow yourself a “cheat day” once a week. Have a meal at your favorite restaurant.
- Avoid foods that have a high glycemic load. This is not the same as the glycemic index.
- Drink at least 2-3 quarts of water daily.
- Exercise is critical to weight maintenance; no getting around this fact.
- You may integrate starches into your diet but choose wheat pasta, whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, multi-grain cereals and limit your refined sugars. Try to exercise 3 times per week, take your daily vitamins and supplements, and drink plenty of water.
- Incorporate starches into your diet slowly by allowing only 1 starch daily for a week in Phase 4 and then increasing to 2 as desired thereafter.