This article was originally written by the Sequence clinic team (now known as WeightWatchers Clinic).

A guide to eating for weight-loss maintenance

Published July 14, 2023 | Updated May 5, 2024

You’ve made it to your weight-loss goal. Congratulations! You definitely have reason to celebrate!

You may be wondering “What’s next?” It’s likely that you put a lot of hard work into reaching this goal. Making changes to things like your nutrition habits, daily movement, sleep patterns, and much more! While it’s exciting to reach your goals, it's important to remember that in order to maintain the progress you’ve made, you also have to maintain the habits you’ve developed.

That being said, let’s talk about sustainability. Ask yourself, “Can I keep doing this for the rest of my life?” If you can’t continue what you’re currently doing long-term, then it’s likely that you won’t be able to maintain your progress. If you think this may be the case for you, consider how you can adjust your routine to establish habits that will last a lifetime. For example, while it can be tempting to eliminate certain foods for weight maintenance, restricting or eliminating certain food groups doesn’t really align with a lifelong, sustainable approach to nutrition. The WeightWatchers programs are designed to help you continue to eat all foods that you enjoy while either in weight-loss mode or maintenance mode.

Some research shows that restricting your intake of certain foods leads to increased hunger and/or cravings, and is a consistent predictor of overeating. Plus, omitting whole food groups can make maintenance very difficult and honestly not enjoyable! It’s hard to appreciate the progress you’ve made when you’re constantly feeling hungry or missing out on dinners with friends. For weight maintenance, as well as for weight loss, it’s more important to focus on establishing healthy eating patterns over time than it is to focus on eating perfectly every day.

To avoid feeling burnt out, focus on what you can add to your routine instead of what you have to limit!

Add snacks

Many individuals are afraid to eat more often because they think it leads to eating more calories. In most cases, it actually leads to better portion control at meals, because you’re less likely to overeat at meals when you don’t approach them overly hungry. Having a meal or snack every three to four hours can help to manage hunger levels and cravings throughout the day by regulating blood sugar. This is because when you go too long without eating, your blood sugar may drop. If this happens, your body responds by sending signals to the brain to eat something to bring your blood sugar back to a stable level. When this happens, you may be more inclined to reach for higher sugar foods. However, if you eat regularly and plan for a balanced snack, you may avoid that initial drop in blood sugar, making it so that you’re less likely to experience those cravings for sugar that make it more difficult to stay on track.

Add extra protein

Protein is one of the most satiating types of foods, so ensuring ¼ to ½ of your meal consists of lean protein can help improve portion control by making you feel more full and keeping you fuller for longer. Protein can also help prevent large blood sugar spikes after eating, potentially curbing a craving shortly after a meal. For this reason, including a protein source with all your meals and snacks will get you the most benefit!

Add volume

Follow the plate method and fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. These high-fiber vegetables are great for volume eating; a strategy that focuses on increasing the volume of meals by adding foods that are high in nutrients but low in calories, like non-starchy vegetables and fruits. Volume eating can aid in weight maintenance because it increases the amount of food at each meal without adding many calories, helping you to feel full and nourished rather than deprived and limited.

For example, two cups of broccoli will have more fiber and fewer calories than 1/2 cup of rice. This means that a large portion of broccoli will be much more filling than a small portion of rice. This doesn’t mean that you should always choose broccoli over rice, but this example is something to think about when building your plate and choosing your portions. Try filling ½ of your plate with broccoli, and about ¼ of your plate with rice rather than vice versa. You’re still able to enjoy both foods, but filling a larger portion of your plate with broccoli allows you to feel more full for fewer calories than if you had only had the rice.

Other foods like salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, onions, and zucchini, for example, can increase the volume of your meal without dramatically increasing your calories.

Add foods you enjoy

You don’t have to give up the foods you love. In fact, restriction often leads to increased or more intense cravings. Bringing intention to your food choices by making conscious decisions around your indulgences (rather than feeling like your food choices happened to you) is a powerful way to rewrite your relationship with food. For some individuals, planning treats that they truly enjoy can prevent feelings of deprivation and lead to better long-term adherence to lifestyle changes. So go ahead, have a slice of birthday cake or treat yourself to a homemade ice cream cone! Enjoy your treats mindfully without guilt and remember that one treat won’t undo all of the other nutrition-related habits you’ve been working to establish.

As you enter this new stage in your journey, remember that maintenance will look different for everyone. One thing’s for sure though: no matter what this stage looks like for you, you’ll still want to focus on the same basic principles that you’ve been practicing all along. Use the plate method as a guide. This model is the foundation for building meals that are full of variety and contain the nutrients you need! You can always go back to basics and find balance in your nutrition with this model.

For examples on how to add to your nutrition and build a balanced meal, see the recipes below!


High Protein Overnight Oats

39 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 9 Points (11 Points for those on the Diabetes Program)

Servings: 1

Total time: 4 hours and 15 minutes or overnight Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup fat free (skim) milk
  • 1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries for topping (optional)


  1. In a mason jar or a container with a lid, combine oats, milk, Greek yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds, and honey (if using).
  2. Mix well until all ingredients are combined and there are no lumps.
  3. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  4. In the morning, give the oats a stir and add fresh berries on top, if desired.

Turkey Spinach & Cheese Baked Egg Cups

27 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 4 Points

Servings: 3 Serving Size: 2 egg cups

Total time: 30 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 6 slices deli-sliced turkey
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped herbs (optional)
  • 3 slices 100% whole wheat bread, toasted


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit and grease a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Place one slice of ham in each muffin cup, pressing it down to create a cup shape.
  3. Crack one egg into each ham cup.
  4. Add spinach and a sprinkle shredded cheese on top of each egg.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your desired level.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool. Use a knife or spatula to gently remove the baked egg cups from the muffin tin.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, if desired, and serve hot with 100% whole wheat toast.

Cinnamon Raisin High Protein French Toast

28 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 5 Points (6 Points for those on the Diabetes Program)

Servings: 1

Total time: 20 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 slices 100% whole wheat bread
  • 3 egg whites + 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fat free skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray for the pan
  • ½ cup mixed berries, optional


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until well combined.
  2. Dip each slice of bread into the mixture, coating both sides.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray or melt a little butter.
  4. Add the slices of bread to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Top with mixed berries, if desired.


Egg Salad Stuffed Bell Peppers

20 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 2 Points

Servings: 2 Serving Size: 2 bell pepper halves

Total time: 30 minutes Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bell peppers (any color)


  1. Hard-boil the eggs by placing them in a pot of cold water, bringing to a boil, then letting them simmer for 10-12 minutes. Drain the water and let the eggs cool before peeling.
  2. Cut the eggs in half and place the yolks in a bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork until they are crumbly.
  3. Add the cottage cheese, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to the mashed yolks in the bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Dice the egg whites and add them to the bowl. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Cut the bell peppers in half vertically and remove the seeds and membranes.
  6. Stuff each pepper half with ¼ of the egg salad mixture.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

13 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 7 Points

Servings: 4 Serving Size: 1/4th of salad

Total time: 45 minutes Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (about 20 olives)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, red onion, bell peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, parsley, and mint.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  4. Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap

30 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 7 Points

Servings: 1

Total time: 25 minutes Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 3 oz grilled and ready-to-eat chicken breast strips (such as Tyson) or homemade chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla, medium sized
  • 2 tbsp shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 romaine leaf, washed and dried
  • 1-2 tbsp Bolthouse Farms Greek yogurt based ranch dressing. Or you can click here for a quick and easy homemade recipe!


  1. Bake chicken as directed on packaging or warm homemade chicken strips in a low oven.
  2. Microwave tortilla for 15 seconds and layer ranch dressing, romaine lettuce, chicken nuggets, and cheddar cheese inside.
  3. Wrap tortilla.
  4. Add a side salad or steamed vegetables for more volume and fiber!


Protein Packed Turkey Pasta Bake

38 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 8 Points

Servings: 6 Serving size: 1/6th of bake

Total time: 35 minutes Prep time:15 minutes


  • 1 box of protein-pasta (such as Barilla)
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (99%)
  • ½ cup low-fat 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Black pepper, red pepper, and basil to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta, cook for 8-9 minutes. Save about a ½ cup of pasta water for later.
  2. Cook the turkey for 6-7 minutes. While the pasta is cooking or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Add the turkey and pasta to a large, oven-safe dish.
  4. Add the cottage cheese, tomato paste, and spices to a blender. You will likely need to add a few splashes of pasta water to thin out the mixture. Once fully blended, mix the sauce into the turkey and pasta dish.
  5. Top with cheese.
  6. If you are prepping for later, make sure to wrap or cover the dish until you’re ready to eat.
  7. If eating right away, or when ready to eat, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes and cut into 6 servings.
  9. Pair with a veggie based side and enjoy!

BBQ Pulled Chicken Baked Potatoes

35 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 10 Points Servings: 4

Serving size: 1 small potato (or 1/2 potato if 2 large were used) with 1/4th of the pulled chicken mixture

Total time: 4 hours


  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (My personal favorite is Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 4 small russet potatoes or 2 large cut in half
  • ¼ cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup light sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions/green onion (optional)
  • 2 cups steamed vegetable of choice


  1. Place chicken breast, 1 cup stock, and seasonings in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 3.5 hours or until chicken can be easily shredded.
  3. While chicken is cooking, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Wash potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes or until a fork is able to pierce through them.
  5. When chicken is done, shred with fork or hand mixer and toss with ½ cup BBQ sauce.
  6. Stir chicken, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Cut potatoes in half, top with shredded chicken, cheese, sour cream, and green onions (optional). Add steamed or roasted vegetables as an extra topping or as a side item. Steamed broccoli or cauliflower would go great with this!
  8. Serve and enjoy!

High Protein Black Bean Burrito Bowls

20 grams of protein, 21 grams of fiber, 9 Points (10 Points for those on the Diabetes Program)

Servings: 2

Total time: 35 minutes Prep time: 15 minutes


  • ½ cup rice of brown rice
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1½ cup black beans (about one 15 oz can, drained)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • Optional toppings:
    -2 Tbsp each: light Sour cream, salsa, sliced jalapenos, cilantro (as desired)
    -1 Tbsp lime juice


  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. Empty can of black beans in pot with chili powder, garlic powder, and salt, stirring occasionally until warm.
  3. Divide ½ of the salad greens and ½ of the rice among 2 bowls and place black beans over the top.
  4. Top with sliced avocado, corn, tomatoes, olives.
  5. Serve with Sour cream, salsa, lime juice, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro if desired.


Protein Dip; Serve with Apples or Celery

Dip contains 15 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber.
5 Points (6 Points for those on the Diabetes Program)

Servings: 1

Total time: 5 minutes


  • ½ cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ⅛ tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 apple


  1. In a bowl, mix together peanut butter, and honey until smooth. Microwave in 10 second intervals until desired consistency.
  2. Stir in the yogurt until smooth and sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  3. Serve with 1 small apple or celery!

1 small apple adds 4 grams fiber and is ZeroPoint Food*. (*1 small apple adds 3 Points for those on the Diabetes Program)

1 cup of celery adds 1 gram protein, 2 grams fiber, and is a ZeroPoint food for all.

Frozen Yogurt Dipped Cherries with Chocolate Drizzle

6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 6 Points (7 Points for those on the Diabetes Program)

Servings: 4

Total time: 1 hour & 10 minutes Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 1 cup fat free vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips


  1. Place pitted and washed cherries into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the greek yogurt to the cherries and coat all cherries.
  3. Place yogurt covered cherries on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Microwave the chocolate chips in 10 second intervals until smooth consistency.
  5. Drizzle melted chocolate over the yogurt covered cherries on the baking sheet.
  6. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or until frozen.
  7. Break apart into bite size pieces.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Tomato, Cucumber, and Feta Salad

9 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 5 Points
Servings: 4

Total time: 15 minutes Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, diced cucumber, garbanzo beans, and sliced red onion.
  2. Add the crumbled feta cheese and chopped parsley to the bowl.
  3. Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar over the top of the salad, and toss to combine.
  4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Can be eaten on its own or with whole grain crackers.

Recipes adapted from Allison Holladay, RDN.

*Exact nutrient information will vary.

It’s important to continue to work on improving your habits no matter what stage you’re in. It’s likely that as life changes, so will the factors that affect your habits. Being proactive and setting new goals to address these changes can make it easier for you to manage your health. WeightWatchers Clinic has great resources to help you do this! If you aren’t a member already, see if you qualify!