Dr. Joey’s Maintenance Plan

Keep the weight off and reap the rewards with Dr. Joey's maintenance plan.

Dr. Joey’s Maintenance Plan

The 6th annual  Cityline weight loss challenge has just completed and our three amazing participants have lost 70 pound collectively!

This year, as always, I was blessed to be working with three fantastic women – Jen, Safia and Jackie (click here to see their results). While Jen has hit her goal weight (31.5 pound down!) – Safia and Jackie would like to lose more and are continuing on with the current program. If you have more weight to lose – continue utilizing all the tools posted on Cityline such as meal plans, program summary sheets, grocery lists and more. These tools are designed to get you all the way to goal weight.

If you have hit your goal weight – congratulations! In order to keep your weight off and reap the rewards of all the hard work you have put in, it is important to have a maintenance plan in place. My maintenance plan will keep you mindful and on track while also allowing you the flexibility to indulge here and there.

Prior to outlining my maintenance plan, here are a few basic principles to keep in mind.

1. Plan for continued success.

Just because you have hit your goal weight does not mean you can go back to your old methods of eating (i.e. large portions, snacking at night, not drinking water). The goal is for your new health habits to stick! In order to ensure success, plan for success by stocking your fridge with healthy foods, continue to food journal from time to time and keep on drinking (water that is….2 liters per day).

2. If you are an emotional eater – play the SALT rule prior to eating.

Prior to eating, ask yourself the “SALT” question – am I eating because I am Sad, Angry, Lonely or Tired. If you are eating due to emotional reasons, try to do so on foods that are calorie light and nutrient dense such as vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers) or a piece of fruit (apple or an orange). You can also drink a glass of water or a cup of sweet herbal tea to help calm nerves and help the emotional urge to binge pass.

3. Remember your hormones!

As I mentioned several times over the past few months, weight loss is not just a game of mathematics. To lose inches around your waist and burn unwanted fat, you need to eat in hormonal/blood sugar balance. This means balancing your blood sugars throughout the day by eating protein at every meal and avoiding foods that are high in added sugars and white flours. To get an idea of what this looks like (and a summary plan of the program), please refer to the posted meal plans.

4. Avoid saying “never!”

 I have a strict weight loss rule of never putting my clients into a mode of deprivation.  There is no such thing as never having a glass of wine, a piece of pizza or some chocolate ever again. If I do this to my clients (or Cityline viewers), I am at risk of losing them and thwarting their weight loss results.  My best suggestion is if you are going to indulge – enjoy, but do so with mindfulness. No need to binge or start indulging on a daily basis – but keep the 80-20 rule in mind. Eat on plan 80% of the time and allow yourself to indulge 20% of the time. Keep in mind, you have been eating very clean lately, so if you do decide to over do it on alcohol or food – you will experience the “hangover” effects the next day.

5. There is no plan B because you are worth it.

Your energy, your confidence and feeling good in your clothes is all worth it! So of course – cleaning up your diet, drinking water and getting in shape all takes some mindfulness – but it is all worth it. You are worth it! So keep up the good work. The guidelines for maintenance will ensure you continue to keep your weight off and look and feel your very best.

Dr. Joey’s maintenance package

So now that you are ready for maintenance, the question begs – “how does the program change?” In short, maintenance guidelines are;

  1. Eat up to two grains per day — occasionally toss your grain into dinner. Please refer to information below on healthy grain options. If you feel better and more energetic eating less grain than this – feel free to do so.
  2. Continue to eat large amounts of vegetables. Healthier starchier vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash can now be consumed more liberally.
  3. Consume two to three fruits daily. Recommended fruit options are outlined below.
  4. Watch your night time eating patterns. Remember, what you consume from 3pm on can make or break your success. If you find yourself noshing on crackers, cereal, cheese, yogurt or other goodies nightly – it is a habit you want to nip in the bud immediately. Nothing puts weight on faster than night time eating.
  5. Engage in physical activity regularly . There is no way around it – the body was designed to move. To keep strength up, energy high and stress levels down engage in physical exercise a minimum of 3x per week.
  6. Continue to weigh yourself once a week. There is a balance between being obsessed with the scale (a “no-no”) but also keeping track of how you are doing. To keep within a five pound barometer of your weight loss goal – it is important to weigh in once per week. If you gain more than five pounds, it is time to re-start the original plan.
  7. Do not consume alcohol daily. Two to four drinks per week maximum is allowed.
  8. Practice one day of light eating to keep digestive capacity at an optimal level and to keep weight in check. You can practice light eating by dropping grain, having a smoothie for dinner or reducing your portion sizes.
  9. Keep your fluid intake high. As a daily rule, the body thrives on two 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Proteins recommendations (4-6 ounces per meal)

Ideal protein options include:

  • 4 ounces of chicken, sliced chicken or turkey (or one 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 =  15grams
  • 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 three 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)
  • Mangos
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit

Fruits to avoid include:

  • Dates,
  • Lychee nuts
  • Raisins (use sparingly)
  • Fruits 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, mesculin 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 one 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 germs 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

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