Dr. Joey's Maintenance Plan

By implementing these steps, you will be well equipped to keep the weight off for life no matter what event or stressor you encounter.

We are never given a dream without the power for it to come true.

— Richard Bach

The third annual Cityline Weight Loss Challenge was a smashing success with our 3 winners losing 97 pounds collectively!

At this stage of your weight loss journey, you have likely hit your goal weight or are within striking distance of it. For starters — bravo! I am confident you now feel much lighter, more energetic and have a surge of health that is priceless. This is also the time when many people ask the age-old question “I did it — but how do I keep it off?” There is almost a fear that you will lose control and gain back the weight. I assure you, there is no reason to worry. By implementing the steps outlined below, you will be well equipped to keep the weight off for life no matter what event or stressor you encounter.

One of my greatest joys is bumping into a former weight loss client two to three years after he or she has completed my program and seeing that that person still looks as healthy, svelte and fantastic as ever. When this happens I know they have lost their weight for good (just look at Tracy – she has kept all her weight off since having Eva!).

There are a few basic principles that are involved with maintenance, which include:

Do not deny yourself — follow the 80-20 rule of eating. In other words, 80 percent of the time, follow a healthy diet and 20 percent of the time, allow yourself to fall off.

Eat up to 2 grains per day — occasionally toss your grain into dinner. Please refer to information below on healthy grain options.

Continue to eat large amounts of vegetables

Consume 2 to 3 fruits daily

Watch your nighttime eating patterns

Engage in physical activity regularly

Continue to weigh yourself 1 to 2 times per week

Do not consume alcohol daily (stick to 2-4 on weekends)

Practice 1 day of light eating (i.e. grain-free day)

Keep your fluid intake high (2 litres of water per day)


Other general rules for maintenance include:

1. Eating a protein source at every meal. Remember, protein triggers the secretion of the hormone glucagon which breaks down fat.

2. Eating breakfast (300-350 calories) each morning with a protein source such as eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt or protein powder. Natural nut butter (almond, soy or peanut) on whole grain toast is also an excellent option.

3. Avoid high glycemic index carbohydrates such as sugar (cookies, muffins, cake, candy pop) and refined flours (bagels, white bread, white pasta, white rice, sugary cereals). Over indulging in these foods creates the over secretion of the hormone insulin which will result in excess fat storage. In addition, cravings will tend to creep back in when eating too many refined flours or sugars.

4. Stop eating by 7pm. Late night eating is often emotional and is a one way ticket to gaining weight. If you catch yourself munching on cereal, bread, cookies or crackers late at night – replace with celery, carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced apple, herbal tea or 2 skinnychews.


Proteins (4-6 ounces per meal)

Ideal protein options include:

  • 4 ounces of chicken, sliced chicken or turkey (or 1 chicken breast) = 28 grams of protein
  • 4 ounces of fish (salmon, tilapia, sole, halibut, tuna etc.) = 28 grams of protein
  • 6 ounces (1 can) of tuna = 40 grams of protein
  • 4 ounces of lean beef = 28 grams of protein
  • 1 large egg = 7 grams of protein
  • 1 cup of milk = 8 grams
  • 1 ounce of cheese = 7 grams
  • ½ cup of cottage cheese = 15 grams
  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt = 11 grams
  • ½ cup of tofu = 20 grams
  • 1 cup of soymilk = 6 -10 grams
  • ½ cup of tempeh = 15 grams
  • ½ cup of lentils cooked = 9 grams
  • 1 scoop of protein powder – varies (approximately 15-20 grams)


On maintenance 3 servings of fruit per day is recommended.

Ideal fruits include:

  • Blueberries, raspberries & strawberries
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Pineapple (eat sparingly)
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Bananas (frozen bananas are ideal for a morning shake)
  • Mangoes
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit

Fruits to avoid include:

  • Dates
  • Lychee nuts
  • Raisins (use sparingly)
  • Fruit juices with added sugars
  • Canned fruits in syrup


A serving of fruit is equivalent to:

  • 1 small piece of fruit
  • ½ cup raw (cut-up) fruit
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) of pure, unsweetened fruit juice
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup of canned fruit
  • ½ a banana
  • 2 small kiwis, apricots or plums


Vegetables are considered “free foods.” Eat as many vegetables as you like with the exception of white or mashed potatoes.

Optimal vegetable choices are those that are green or orange such as broccoli, spinach, mesclun mix, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Other free vegetables include:

  • Cauliflower (try mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes!)
  • Celery
  • Corn (eat occasionally)
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers
  • Rapini
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Green beans
  • Edamame (soybean pods available in the frozen section of your heath food store)
  • Green peas
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Squash (i.e. spaghetti squash)

Recommended amount:

  • Sweet potato – maximum 2 per week
  • Squash – maximum 1-2 per week


In order to maintain your weight loss success, it is best to avoid grain at your evening meal. Whole grain cereal for breakfast with a protein source and/or a whole grain wrap or sprouted grain bread for lunch with protein (chicken, fish, turkey) is recommended.

If you feel your weight is starting to creep back on, restrict your grain intake to 1 meal per day only.

When eating grain, ensure you are only consuming whole grain options such as:

  • Sprouted grain bread – Sprouted grain bread pre-digests the starches and lowers the glycemic index of the grain making it ideal for weight loss.
  • Wheat germ – Wheat germ helps to relieve constipation and lowers cholesterol. It can be added to baking recipes or sprinkled on top of yogurt, cereal or mixed in smoothies.
  • Quinoa – Pronounced keen-wa, and known as the “Mother of all Grains”, this grain contains more protein than any other. The protein in quinoa is complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies cannot make on their own. Quinoa can be substituted for rice or used in soups or stews to thicken.
  • Steel cut oats – Oats also have the ability to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you regular – two helpful weight control aids! 1 cup of oats contains less that 150 calories making it perfect for those who are watching their waistlines. Oats can be used in recipes in replacement of breadcrumbs.
  • Flax – Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3-fatty acids, the essential fat necessary for weight loss. Ground flaxseeds are also high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Add 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseeds to you breakfast meal daily.
  • Millet – Millet is loaded with vitamins and protein. It is very mild in flavor and can be added to several dishes.
  • Kamut – Kamut is a distant relative to wheat. Compared to common wheat, kamut is richer in protein (by between 15% and 40%), minerals such as magnesium and zinc, Vitamin Bs and Vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids, but contains a little less dietary fiber. Kamut provides much energy and is appreciated by people with active lifestyles. It is easy to digest and is generally well tolerated by those with a sensitivity to gluten. Kamut flour is not refined or bleached, and thus retains all its nutritional qualities.
  • Spelt – Spelt is a distant relative of wheat. It is rich in protein, fiber and vitamin B complex, magnesium and iron. Spelt is available in pasta, flour and bread form.

Gluten free grain options include:

  • Basmati rice
  • Brown rice
  • Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet

A serving of grain is equivalent to:

  • ¾ cup of slow cooking oatmeal
  • 1 slices of whole grain bread
  • ½ cup of whole grain pasta (kamut, spelt)
  • ½ cup of brown rice
  • 1 wrap (100% whole wheat or whole grain)


Fat (3-4 per day)


  • 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil for sautéing vegetables or other foods
  • 8-10 nuts such as almonds or walnuts
  • ¼ of an avocado on a salad or in a sandwich or wrap
  • 1-2 tbsp. of flaxseed oil in a dressing over a salad
  • 2 tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds over a salad or on chicken
  • 1tbsp. of canola oil or olive oil to make your morning eggs
  • 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseeds over salad, in a morning shake, or in a yogurt for snack.
  • Butter or trans-fat free margarine should be used sparingly (no more than 1 tsp.)

What is NOT allowed!

The following foods below are a one way ticket to knocking you out of hormonal and calorie balance and will lead to weight gain. These foods include:

  • White bread, white pasta, white rice
  • Refined flour or sugar cookies, muffins, cakes
  • Deep fried foods
  • Full fat red meat or cheese
  • Cream sauces or soups
  • Full fat salad dressings
  • Sugared beverages such as juice or various coffee drinks

Courtesy of www.drjoey.com