Maintenance Dietary Guidelines

By Susan Manez, MS, RD, CDN

Now that you have achieved your goal weight, the most difficult part of your journey has begun. When actively losing weight your diet plan is much more structured and restrictive, but when it is time for you to maintain your weight there are a lot more variables. However, this does not mean you have to struggle with maintenance. Remember, always refer to the basics if you find yourself regaining weight. If you’re struggling with what foods to choose, ask your nutrition team for help.

When starting maintenance, begin by slowly introducing new foods in small portions. Your dietitian/nutritionist will advise you which foods to begin, what portion sizes to try and how frequently you should be eating these new foods. Be sure to still consume adequate amounts of protein daily (60-80 grams per day). Below is a list of healthy foods you may begin introducing now that you are at your goal weight.

Food ChoicePortion Size
Dry-roasted or raw nuts/seeds, lightly salted or unsalted100 calorie pack or ¼ cup
Avocado¼ of large or 1/3 of a small
Oils (walnut, canola, olive, coconut, peanut)1 tablespoon maximum
Nut butters (all natural with no added sugar)1 tablespoon
Hummus1 tablespoon
Guacamole2 tablespoons
Vinaigrette Dressing2 tablespoons
2% fat cheese1 ounce
Ground flax seed/meal2 tablespoons
2%/reduced fat yogurt (<10 grams carbohydrates)6 ounces

Food ChoicePortion Size
Beans/legumes1/3 – ½ cup
Sweet potato½ small
100% whole wheat bread1 slice (100 calories or less)
Low sugar granola (ie Bare Naked Fit brand)¼ cup
Stone ground or old fashioned oats½ cup prepared with water
High Fiber/protein cereal (ie Kashi brand)½ cup
Grains (farro, barley, brown rice, quinoa)1/3 – ½ cup prepared
100% whole wheat pasta½ cup prepared
Whole grain crackers100 calorie serving
Peas/corn1/3 – ½ cup cooked or 1 small ear of corn
Popcorn1-2 cups popped

Protein Bar<200 calories, 10+ grams protein, <15 grams carbs

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