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Old 12-16-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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Default Before/After Meal Plans?

Am I allowed to post this in here (I'm not a maintainer... I'm still at square one!):

What did you used to eat before you lost, and now what do your meal plans look like?

Forgive me for not being a maintainer but I find people in the other forums who yo-yo always have a different diet plan and I would love to see it from people who were successful.

What did you eat for each meal and snack before, and calorie total?
What do you eat for each meal and snack now, and calorie total?

Thank you so much- your inforamtion is SO valuable!!!
- Michelle

Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/HormonalChicks

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Old 12-16-2013, 10:05 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
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S/C/G: 174.5/157.2/149 for now

Height: 5'7.5"


Hi, Michelle!

Of course you can post here! You're way ahead of the curve by thinking about maintenance this early - you will be spending many, many more years in maintenance than you will in weight loss! And yet, you need to think harder about it, because the way you lose the weight isn't going to be all that different from keeping it from coming back. So when you choose how to lose, make sure it's something you can do for a very long time.

I think the one thing that most of the eating styles here have in common is that we all generally go out of our way to limit the processed simple carbohydrates and fake fats. "The End of Overeating" explains it pretty well - it is really hard to be a normal-weight person when you're undernourished. Learning how the deck is stacked against you by the food industry can go a long way to helping you navigate the obstacles.

I lost my 25# (and have held off 20# consistently for going on 4 years) with calorie-counting, a lot of weighing, and typically 1500 cals/day during the week and 1700 on the weekends. Maintenance appears to be around the 2000 mark. I eat a lot of whole foods, low sugar, and a LOT of good fats. Avocados, nuts, and non-factory farmed animal fats from meats, eggs and cheeses. Our dietary philosophy is best summed up by Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions". The way I plan my meals is simply about color - if it's beige or white, it needs to be a very tiny part of the plate, and not be there more than a few times a week. Beyond that - if I need to be losing (currently the case), I go back to weighing and counting. If I don't, my eyeball is decently calibrated now that I'm familiar with what a true portion size is, and what calorie-dense foods are.

Rigidity has been, and is, my enemy. So I don't have a "meal plan" to share, per se. Generalities, I can do:

Breakfast - never boxed cereals. Oatmeal, if it has fruit and nuts. Lots of different ways to do eggs. Target is 300-350 cal. I am experimenting with intermittent fasting, so breakfast becomes my optional meal during the week.

Snacks: Nuts, seeds, a mozzarella cheese stick, a piece of fruit - if combined with one of the others.

Lunch: Meat and cheese sandwich, V8, a couple pieces of fruit, almost any non-cream based soup, cheese, raw veggies, dinner leftovers, etc. More often than not it's 500-650 calories.

Dinner: Favorite cookbook - Paul Prudhomme's "A Fork in the Road". I love the techniques in this book; everything is very flavorful and colorful. It tends to be extremely low fat; I put nuts, cheese or avocado into the salad to give it a boost to my tastes/needs. I have a glass of red wine with dinner more often than not, even when losing. My calorie target will determine the math but around 700 is the lowest I like to go or I find myself trolling the kitchen before bed.

Hope that helps. My experience is only one. I am sure you will get a bunch of responses and somewhere in there, you can find something you can live with! The most valuable piece of advice I ever saw on this forum was the simple statement "We are all experiments of one." Learning to listen to what you truly need is the greatest lesson.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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I second ICUwishing's recommendation of The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler. That book started my journey.

I actually tried several different plans while I was losing (I'm easily bored). That helped me figure out what worked best for me and make gradual changes that worked. After reading The End of Overeating, I stopped the binges on junk food. But I still found that I overate, even healthy stuff, if I didn't find some way to keep track of things.

Aside from binges, I was eating healthy foods but too many of them. A typical day might have been:

B/ 2 slices of toast with butter

L/ A sandwich, small salad or veggies and dip

Snacks/ some candy, maybe a fruit or two, another slice or two of toast

D/ 2 pieces of grilled chicken, a big potato with topping, a small salad or veggie side dish

Calories, on days I didn't binge, were probably 2500. On binge days, who knows? Up to twice that?

Here's what I ate yesterday:

B/ 2 slices of toast spread with yogurt cheese mixed w/ a little mayo

L/ Tempeh sausage crumbles (http://www.theppk.com/2008/10/tempeh-sausage-crumbles/) with homemade stuffing (using a homemade high protein / low salt bread and homemade low sodium chicken broth + veggies) and a giant cabbage salad

S1/ Applesauce bread pudding (http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2013/12/...udding-recipe/) with a drizzle of Grade B maple syrup

S2/ 1 slice of toast, an apple, a few pecans

D/ Vegetarian three-bean chili over a baked potato with a bit of grated cheese on top, plus another giant cabbage salad

Maybe 1500 calories? That's more bread than I have some times of the year but I've been experimenting. I bake my own bread in a bread machine so I can control the ingredients to make it as healthy as possible.

I've gradually trended toward more protein (that's what the bread pudding and stuffing are about -- ways to take bread and make it higher protein). Vegetables, though, are probably my biggest change. I like a high volume of food, still, and veggies are the way I get it.

Edited to add: I just realized that I was vegetarian yesterday. I generally eat 2-3 ounces of chicken three times a week and 3-4 ounces of tuna once or twice a week.
My goal story: Fifty and feeling fabulous!

Last edited by gardenerjoy; 12-16-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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Before: Pasta, soda/sugary drinks, snacks, lots of sodium, high carbs to other macros ratio. Exercise - NOTHING EVER. Calorie total - maybe 2500-3000? No idea. Didn't track.

After: Meat, veggies, dairy, have dessert regularly but try not to overdo it. High protein and veggie consumption. Exercise - running and weightlifting 5 days a week. Calorie total - 1800-2400 most days. Do not currently track.
Push on some more!

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Old 12-16-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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When I was heavier, I was eating pretty much the way I eat now, but at a higher quantity, PLUS snacking on a lot of sugary candy and things like pretzels. Now I try to eat as little junk as possible, and prepare almost all of my food at home from whole ingredients.

For breakfast I always have a cappuccino with whole milk, non-negotiable. If I want food, it's usually some kind of whole grain hot cereal with some kind of fruit mixed in (favorite is mashed banana)

Lunch is usually a really large salad made of raw vegetables, no dressing. In this colder weather, I've been eating smaller salads and adding something hot. Usually it's a soup or stew. Today it was roasted Brussel sprouts.

Dinner is usually salad and some kind of simply prepared protein, like stir fried chicken or pork tenderloin. Last night it was lentil stew. I often have a small amount of whole grains, like brown rice or quinoa.

Snacks are things like a piece of fruit, vegetables dipped in some kind of bean dip, wasabi peas, etc.

I hope that helps some... And best of luck to you!
Original Goal Met

Working on losing some bloat...

Last edited by newleaf123; 12-16-2013 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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Of course you can post! It's great that you're thinking of maintenance already.

I can't provide you with calorie counts for my "before" meals because I seriously had absolutely no idea how much I was eating. I did dig up my old "goal" post and this is what I had written in it about how I used to eat (keep in mind that my "before" was when I was in college and every meal was at the all-you-can-eat dining hall or out at a restaurant). I expect I ate approximately 2500-3000 calories/day.

Here's an example of what I might have eaten on a typical Saturday in college: first would be a bowl of cereal in my room. A couple hours later, I would go to brunch, where I would probably have a couple pancakes, a couple pieces of sausage or bacon, some eggs with cheese, maybe a belgian waffle if I was really hungry (with strawberries and whipped cream, of course), and a couple bites of whatever "lunch" food they had (chicken strips or something). I would always have dessert afterwards too. Around mid-afternoon I would probably go to the coffeeshop and get hot cocoa or chai. Dinner would probably be a big plate full of spaghetti with the oily sauce they always had, five garlic breadsticks or so, and a piece of whatever kind of chicken or fish they had available. Plus at least one of the desserts from the spread (cake, cheesecake, pudding, pie, ice cream, etc). In the evening I would go to a party with my friends, have a couple drinks, then go buy ice cream or pizza when we got the "drunken munchies."
Here's what I dug up from my food log for a typical day last March (though I only log/track when trying to lose):

Breakfast - total 486 cals
oatmeal w/banana, flaxseed, walnuts; skim milk

Lunch - total 734
Sausage, chard, and lemon lasagna
Chinese chicken salad leftovers someone had at work

Snack - total 120
Minneola tangelo
Some tofu

Dinner - total 422
cooking light sloppy joes on kaiser roll
cooking light napa cabbage slaw

Maintenance for me is typically about 1800 calories per day with one "cheat" meal on the weekend where I eat whatever the heck I want. I don't have any off-limits foods. I typically eat cold cereal in the summer and oatmeal in the winter for breakfasts, make most of my recipes from cooking light magazine, and have a splurge meal every week. When I start gaining weight, I rein it in to 1400 cals/day until the weight comes off. Unlike many people on here I was able to lose and maintain while still eating a ton of carbs, including white rice and white pasta. My typical maintenance includes exercising 4-6 days a week for 30-60 minutes.

That said, right now I'm still recovering from a twin pregnancy, so everything is out the window. I do expect that when I get back into weight loss mode I will be following pretty much the same plan I always have.
08/10/2004: 185 lbs 08/10/2005: 140 lbs 11/28/2005: 130 lbs!

Last edited by paperclippy; 12-16-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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Location: Davis, Ca
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S/C/G: 204/114/120

Height: 5'


I lost by calorie counting after trying all the diets over the years. I had been at goal for several years until cancer came to live in my body. I am in chemo now and hope to get back to my goal weight.

Of course you can post here. I think most of us stopped in one day and just stayed.

Welcome !!
Goal 12/21/2007
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Height: 5'11"


Hi there,

The type of food I eat hasn't changed much, I just eat less of it (or compensate quickly for excesses). I've never liked junk food, but I do like gourmet and exotic food, so that's where I have to set the limits.

Go-to breakfast: fried egg and two pieces of buttered whole-grain toast
Go-to lunch: tortilla pizza (large whole-grain tortilla, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, grated cheese)
Go-to dinner: seafood/tofu stirfry or fish/chicken & salad, plus white wine
Typical snacks: Greek yogurt, nuts, veggies & hummus, crackers & cheese

Total daily maintenance calories = about 2,000.

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Old 12-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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I echo Becky's (ICUWishing's) statements - I eat waaay fewer processed foods now, and way more protein as a proportion of my total daily intake. I have no idea what my total calorie count used to be; probably about 2200-2400/day.
Currently, I eat oatmeal made with milk + fruit, or Fage 2% greek yogurt with a home-made banana or zucchini muffin for breakfast (total of ~350 cal), a Kashi frozen lunch plus a green salad and small piece of fruit for lunch, might have an ounce of almonds or 2 ounces of beef jerky before I go to the gym, and then dinner is usually 4 oz of chicken/fish/beef prepared with seasonings to make it spicy or tomato-y or teriyaki-glazed (or whatever), plus a cup of whole grain pasta/brown rice/sweet potato and as much green vegetable as I want (cooked with at least a Tbsp of a healthy fat like olive oil). Dessert might be a 1/2 c. of frozen yogurt + fruit, or if I'm feeling indulgent, an ounce of dark chocolate. Calorie count nowadays is a work in progress. Maintenance for me used to be between 1400 and 1600 cal/day. I am working on raising my maintenance calorie level, to where the calorie-expenditure calculators claim it "should" be - around 1900-2000 cal/day, given my activity level.

I exercise about 5 days a week for an hour, and try hard to get in at least 8000 steps a day and stand at work (instead of sitting) for an hour or two.

You don't drown in the river by falling in, but by failing to get back up.

Last edited by neurodoc; 12-19-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:45 AM   #10
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Before: toast and jelly, milk. ham and cheese bagel, milk. cereal snack. pasta w/sauce or sandwich or baked potatoes. snack again crackers or reduced fat cookies or cereal.

After: veggie omelet, green smoothie. lettuce wrap (chicken, turkey, mayo, cheese, etc). snack smoothie. fish, veggies, salad, olive oil. snacks: chicken wings, greek yogurt, turkey rollups, veggies.

Last edited by girl81; 01-21-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:10 PM   #11
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S/C/G: 230/180/150

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while i dont consider myself a maintainer YET, i have lost 40-50 pounds and kept it off for a few years now...i'd like to lose another 30-40 pounds depending on how i feel my body is looking...i used to run almost daily and then hurt my foot so badly that i still don't want to run and now i do heavy weight training nearly daily

i lose best when i keep carbs lower and i'm working to find the balance between lower carbs and too-low-and-i-binge carbs...any sense of deprivation is difficult to handle

right now i'm aiming for 1500 calories and under 150 carbs and that seems to be working well....i can maintain my current weight eating up to maybe 1800 calories but i still want to take off more weight

before i started losing weight, i baked alot of goodies and ate just as many of them i also ate whatever i wanted at work, where we provide food for the kids and paid no attention to calories or anything....somehow i seemed to find a balance where my body settled at 230 pounds for a very long time

now here is my routine:

8:30 a.m. - 2 fried eggs with a slice of cheese
10:30 a.m. - gym weight workout
11:30 a.m. - protein bar with low sugar and high protein
noon - tall skinny mocha with sugar free flavor
sometime in the afternoon i can choose between these that i have at work: cottage cheese, lettuce, tuna and mayo, dill pickles, greek yogurt, small piece chocolate...i choose what i want when i'm hungry and TRYYYYY not to eat anything that i'm serving to the kids because it's cr*p
7 p.m. - dinner for me is whatever meat i'm cooking for the family plus a steamer bag of veggies or sauteed cabbage...avoid the starches like the family's mashed potatoes or rice
evening - spoon of peanut butter OR a piece of dark chocolate...tea if i'm still super hungry

and some days after weight training, I AM SUPER HUNGRY grrrr
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by alaskanlaughter View Post
i'm serving to the kids because it's cr*p
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by girl81 View Post
I work for a childcare program and the things that we serve for snack are things like goldfish crackers, cheese its, cheerios, pretzels, burritos, canned fruit packed in syrup, corndogs, stuff like that......packaged, processed things like that....and while I have no problem with that in moderation, to me it's basically packaged carbs that I try not to eat
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