Weight Maintenance & Healthy Living: How Much Should You Be Eating?

Article posted in: South Beach Diet
phase 3 healthy living

Maintenance on the South Beach Diet is a big deal: Not only does it mean that you’ve reached your goal weight (yay, you!), it means you’ll be learning how to maintain a healthy weight with minimal hunger and without deprivation. Maintaining your healthy living and diet is crucial to keeping the weight off that you worked so hard to lose!

Once you reach your goal weight, you’ll:

  • Continue to follow the basic South Beach Diet principles
  • Enjoy all foods in moderation
  • Look your best
  • Enjoy optimal health
  • Eat happy and healthy for life!

grilled chickenAs you move into the maintenance phase of South Beach, you’ll follow our easy guidelines to gradually increase your calorie intake. You’ve reached your weight loss goal and no longer require a caloric deficit—and this means more food in your daily meal plan.

But before you get carried away, by more food, we mean additional servings of the same high-quality foods you enjoyed while losing weight. Yes, when you enter maintenance and healthy living, you can enjoy all foods in moderation. However, we recommend that you stick to the South Beach Diet nutritional principles for the beansmajority of the time for optimal health. This means for most meals and snacks on most days, your plate should be filled with proteins, healthy fats and veggies. Your body knows and loves this food, and it has responded by getting you into the best shape of your life. Keep feeding it the good stuff, and you’ll keep up with all the hard work and dedication you just put in.

Now that we’ve covered what you’ll be eating, let’s talk about just how much you should be eating for maintenance and healthy living:Fruits and vegetables

You can continue to eat six times a day (with three meals and three snacks) if that works best for you. However, you may find that three larger meals work best for your lifestyle. Rearrange your daily layout to suit your preferences and fit your schedule.

You’ll also be adding in more food to increase your calories and maintain your weight. However, the specific meal plan you choose to follow for maintenance will determine how much you eat from each food category.

Some people may wish to increase their net carb intake to 75 to 100 grams each day (Low-Carb meal plan), while others may prefer eating less carbohydrates with 50 grams of net carbs per day (Very-Low-Carb meal plan). Men and women also eat different amounts.

Not sure which plan is right for you? Click the link below to learn more:

South Beach Diet Weight Maintenance Explained

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Check out this chart to see the number of servings you’ll eat for each food category every day for the different maintenance meal plans:

Looking for examples for each food category? Check out this article for examples of Good Carbs and Fruits that you can start adding in during weight maintenance. Refer to our Grocery Guide for examples of Proteins, Healthy Fats and Vegetables. Tip: Make sure to keep track of your net carbs and stay within your daily limit.

Here’s exactly what you should be eating during your maintenance phase based on your meal plan and gender:

women sample day

men sample day

Stay on top of your progress by weighing in frequently to monitor your maintenance. Follow these guidelines if you see the scale move in one direction or another:

  • If you continue to lose more than one pound a week, add in one lean protein or one healthy fat per day, your choice.
  • If you start to gain one to two pounds per week, remove one good carb from your day.
  • If you’re maintaining your goal weight but are still hungry, add in more vegetables, but be sure to choose from lower-carb, non-starchy options only.

Maintenance is all about enjoying your new healthy lifestyle. You’ve already got the South Beach Diet principles under your belt to empower and inspire you to eat healthy, live healthy and be healthy—they’re like second nature to you now. So, get out there and live your healthiest, happiest life! Enjoy a few treats from time to time, and fuel your gorgeous bod with delicious, clean food the rest of the time. You’ve got this!