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Meal Plans for Maintaining?

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Hi, I've been at less than my goal weight for a quite a long time now, after doing south beach diet for many years, but I now find myself struggling to keep the weight off, and I've fallen back into the bad eating trap day after day. I've also fallen off the exercise wagon for some months, but I've remedied that and re-joined a local gym, where I plan on going at least 4-5 days a week!

Has anyone found a good meal plan, or a book with ideas that has helped them, or they have found particularly useful? I think I'm the type of person who has to have a plan laid out for me, so that I can make sure I am getting all the food I need, etc. I have a tendency to skip meals during the day, and be starving at night.... so I need to get my food planned out better!

Does anyone have an exercise regimine they also find is working for them? I don't really need to lost any weight (at most maybe 3-4 LBS), I am 5'2" and I weight about 109 pounds... but I definitely need some toning, and maybe some inch loss (especially in the belly :( ) I'm huge on cardio, but when it comes to the weights, I just have no idea what to do.

Thanks for any help, it's greatly appreciated, there is some great advice on this forum, I've been lurking for many months!

6 Replies (last)

Well, you don't need to lose ANY weight, not even 3-4 pounds but incorporating weights is a great idea! 

here's a 7 day 1800 calorie meal plan. You might need more than that since you're doing so much cardio. I think you should tone down the cardio and ramp up the strength training. That's what will lead to inches lost! 

If you have any food preferences I can make a meal plan up for you. To give you an idea, I'm 4'11 ~100ish pounds, 23, and I eat 2100-2500 calories a day to maintain. I used to maintain on less but slowly upped it to where I am now. The body is amazing and can adapt very well to what you give it so I recommend eating 2000 calories or more on active days, 1800 calories minimum!

Thank you so much Chrissy, this is very helpful! I might have to take you up on the offer of a meal plan, I'm big into eating whole grains, whole wheat, fruits, veggies, and I do like my low-fat dairy, even though many people say it's not great for you. The exercise suggestion is definitely spot on too, I think I might speak to some of the staff at my gym to see if they are able to help me figure out something better, with maybe not so much cardio, haha.

okay some ideas: 


1. 2 slices ww toast (thick and hearty @ 70 cals min per slice) w/ 1 pan cooked egg, 1 slice of cheese = 280. Plus 1 fruit= 75. Total: 355

2. 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked in 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup water = 190. Stir in 1 tbsp peanut butter= 95. With 1/2 cup lowfat yogurt = 80. Total: 365

3. 1 cup lowfat yogurt = 160. w/ 1 oz nuts = 160. and 1 cup berries= 50. Total: 370


1. 2 slices ww bread= 140. 2 tbsp peanut butter  =190. 1 tbsp jam = 40. Plus 1 fruit = 75. Total: 445

2. 2 slices ww bread = 140. 1 slice cheese= 70. 3 oz lean lunch meat/protein = 100. 1 serving baby carrots= 35. 2 tbsp hummus or other dip = 70. Total: 415

3. 2 slices thin crust pizza and a side salad. Total: 400-500


1. 2 oz whole wheat pasta = 180. 1 tbsp olive oil =120. 1 oz cheese =100. 4 oz lean protein =120. Total: 520

2. 1 serving brown rice = 150. stir fried in 1 tbsp oil = 120. 1 serving frozen mixed veggies= 70. 1 egg scrambled into it =70. 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce =10. Total: 420

3. baked potato =150. topped w/ 1/2 cup chili = 150. 1 oz cheese =100. and 1 tbsp light sour cream = 30. Total: 430

Snack (eat 2-3 a day)

1. 1 oz nuts and 1 fruit. Total: 235

2. string cheese = 80 and 1 serving ww crackers =130. Total: 210

3. 1 banana and 2 tbsp peanut butter. Total: 300

4. 1 oz dark chocolate =160 and 1 fruit =70. Total: 230 

5. 1 cup yogurt =160 and 1 cup berries = 50. Total: 210

6. 1 apple = 75 w/ 2 tbsp peanut butter =190. Total: 265

DESSERT (1 a day )

1. 1/2 cup ice cream = 120. topped w/1 oz nuts = 160. and 2 tbsp whipped cream= 15. Total: 295

2. 1 pudding cup = 100. 1 serving graham crackers =130. Total: 230

3. 1 oz dark chocolate, melted = 160. 1 oz marshmallows =100. Total: 260

4. 2 fun size candy bars. Total: 200 max

5. 1 cup skim milk = 80. with 1 cocoa packet = 60. 2 tbsp whipped cream =15. 2 cookies on the side = 100. Total: 255


**you can have treats every single build them into your day and just plan accordingly...maintenance includes yummies. :) Hope this helps!

uhm chrissy1988, how did were you able to up the cals at which you maintain???

I would love if you helped me with a meal plan.  I am currently training for my first full marathon.   Would like to chat about Macros and C/P/F intake.

Hi everyone :)

I noticed some of you are looking for help with making meal plans suitable for your specific needs (age, weight, height, physical activity). I am a certified Health Coach, specializing in nutrition counseling and weight management, among other things. I would love to offer you the help you are looking for, if you are interested. 

Take a look at my website or just feel free to email me anytime at 


6 Replies