Step 3 - Overview

Step Three Overview                          

Congratulations, you are now ready for your plan for life.  This is for the rest of your life.  You will now be on 100% whole foods and have learned about living a healthy lifestyle with the knowledge to maintain a healthy weight.  Your coach will continue to support you and, of course, you can still have some of our proteins for healthy snacks.  Remember these tips:

  • Review Step Three - Success for Life Plan
  • Review Success for Life Food Groups
  • Review Step Three - Success for Life Hints
  • Check in once a month for the next 6 months with your coach
  • Make good food choices
  • Eat healthy snacks
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Read labels
  • Enjoy your Reward Day
  • Be careful of alcohol. Use in moderation
  • Exercise - It is important to exercise to maintain your weight. Review the Exercise Lessons and have fun
  • Enjoy the New You!
  • Extra Food Groups With Maintenance

We hope you have learned about food combinations while on the ITG Diet.  You are now able to incorporate the foods you were not able to have when you were on Steps One and Two.  Remember, if you slip back into your old habits then you will start to gain weight.   However, yes there is a way to have those foods but in moderation and to follow your ‘Reward Day” with a low carbohydrate and low fat day.   Since you have been restricting the fruits, dairy/fat and grains in your diet let’s review what are the sources of those carbohydrates.  And don’t forget to look at your food nutritional labels!  Keep your Success For Life Food Groups and Food Groups lists from Step One available at all times for serving suggestions on your food categories.

Helpful Tips about Step 3 Success For Life - Maintenance

  • Try to have each serving of fruit, whole grains and dairy throughout the day instead of at dinner or late at night. This will allow your body to more efficiently use and digest the extra sugars or carbohydrates in order to use it for energy instead of storing it as fat!
  • Use your fruit as a pre workout! Have your serving of fruit 15-30 minutes before you go for a walk, job, bike ride, swim or anything else that gets your heart rate moving! Your body will use the sugar as a fast acting pre workout to give you energy and, the best past is, you'll burn most of the sugar off from your workout!
  • Wholes grains - MAKE SURE THEY HAVE FIBER! Calculate your Net Carbs by subtracting the fiber from the carbohydrates on the nutritional label and this will give you your net carbs! I wouldn't go over 10-15 grams of net carbs (depending on the fiber amount)

 New Daily Template


New Daily Food Groups

What Foods Contain Carbohydrates

Recognizing carbohydrate containing foods can be difficult, especially with all of the highly processed foods on the market.  Below is a list of foods you can include in your lunch or dinner carbohydrate meal (separate from your fats).   Aim for high fiber, 100% whole grain, or low net carb foods to help keep you full and your blood sugar stable, which will make it easier to maintain your weight!

Grains/Flour-based Foods (See Good Complex Carb list below for desirable choices)

  • Bread, buns, bagels, English muffins, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, pizza crust, tortillas, corn bread
  • Cereals (hot and cold), low fat granola
  • Pasta, rice, barley, couscous, bran, cornmeal
  • Low fat or fat-free crackers/chips

Beans & Legumes

  • All dried beans (kidney, chickpeas, chili, refried, etc.), lentils, peas
  • Peanuts and tree nuts (contain fats & carbs, save for Fun Food Day)


  • Fresh fruits and berries
  • Frozen fruits and berries (look for ones with no added sugar)
  • Dried fruits (try to limit/avoid)
  • Fruit juices (try to limit/avoid)


  • Fat-free, low fat, soy and almond milk
  • Fat-free Half-and-Half, coffee creamers (limit/avoid)
  • Fat-free and low fat yogurts
  • Low fat or fat-free pudding
  • Soft cheese and reduced/fat-free cheeses are higher in carbs than full-fat, brick cheeses
  • Check labels for carbohydrate and fat content. Remember serving size!


  • Starchy vegetables - potatoes, yams, corn, peas
  • Root vegetables - carrots, beets, parsnips
  • Winter squashes - acorn, spaghetti, pumpkin
  • Cooked/caramelized onions


  • Jams and jellies
  • Ketchup, BBQ sauce
  • Honey, sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses
  • Caramel/chocolate sauces, breakfast syrups
  • Some prepared tomato sauces (check label)

Sweets and Beverages (Save for Your Reward Day)

  • Cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, pastries, candy, chocolate (even if it says sugar-free, likely still has carbs)
  • Snack bars (granola bars)
  • Soda, fruit juices
  • Beer, mixed drinks, cordials, liqueurs, sweet wines (drink in moderation)

What happens if I regain some weight back?

Don’t worry; it is normal for our bodies to gain weight.  We start enjoying life and it is easy to slip back into some old habits.   All you have to do is get back on the plan for a short time and you will get back to your goal.   Just don’t let that number get above 5-7 pounds.   Make sure you still weigh yourself weekly to keep on track.  Remember your coach is here to help you maintain that weight goal. 

You continue to eat the way you've been taught. You have achieved your weight loss goals, rested your pancreas and have learned to eat and maintain your new healthy weight by choosing healthy foods and a balanced diet.

In this step of the program, you and the ITG coach will set a healthy 7lbs weight range for yourself to fluctuate up and down in! Down below I have some helpful maintenance tips!

Try These First!

If you notice your weight starting to get to the higher end of your weight range, make sure you try these steps first to address the issue before contacting your Certified ITG Coach:

  • Are you drinking enough water? (At least 64oz Per Day)
  • Are you constipated? Constipation can add a few pounds to the scale! Try a good fiber supplement such as MiraLax, BeneFiber, Senna Fiber, Smooth Move Tea or Acacia Fiber to help resolve the issue.
  • Are you having an abundance of dairy or sugar? Your body can get very bloated and retain water if you are not eating properly. Try a few strict days of following the ITG Program template to see if that can help your body get back on track!
  • Have you been drinking alcohol? Alcohol is very high in carbohydrates and calories. Alcohol also makes you hungrier and more likely to get carried away with snacking! Try a few days without any alcohol and follow the ITG template.
  • Are you getting enough sleep? Not getting an adequate amount of sleep effects how your metabolism functions. Being overly exerted gives your body the “crash” sensation and makes you more tempted to snack and possibly binge eat! Get some sleep!
  • How stressed are you? Being overly stressed for long periods of time causes an increased appetite, drive cravings for more food and makes it easier for your body to acquire more belly fat! Try relaxing or meditating!
  • If you have unsuccessfully tried all the steps above and cannot keep within your weight range, IT IS OKAY! Call your coach and get back in to complete a tune up week to get you back on track!

Defining Maintenance

Maintenance is a totally different part of the ITG Diet Plan, and it means maintaining healthy habits for a lifetime.  It is important that your patients understand what it means to maintain a healthy body weight.   Maintaining a healthy body weight takes discipline and monitoring of habits and food intake.   Maintaining the skills of eating every two to three hours, exercising and choosing healthy foods is key.  Portion control and healthy cooking methods also help to keep body weight where it should be.  It is important for you and your staff to discuss with your patients the idea or concept of what a healthy weight is.  It is unrealistic for your patients to think they will stay (or should stay) at their goal weight forever.  Like life, body weight will ebb and flow and never stay a consistent number on the scale.   Ask your patients to define what maintaining their weight means for them so you and your staff know the patient’s perception of what weight maintenance is.


Examples Of Meals


This is the meal where basically you can have whatever you want.  You can have all of your basic food group; grains, fat/dairy, fruit and protein, all in one meal if you want.  (Refer to your Success For Life Food Groups for suggested serving sizes).  You do not have to eat a large breakfast; however you need to make sure that you get enough protein in your daily diet for the entire day. 

Example Breakfast:

  • 2 slices of whole wheat toast or 1 English muffin
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt (preferably Greek-style)
  • ½ cup blueberries or strawberries
  • 2 eggs, 3 – 4 oz lean ham or 3 slices lean bacon

For most people this is a lot to have at one sitting.  You can save your fruit and yogurt for your mid-morning snack.   In a hurry, always have an ITG protein food in your purse or briefcase for any emergency situation. 

LUNCH – This meal should be lower in Carbohydrates and higher in Fat

(Note you can switch your lunch and dinner meals if desired)

As always it is advised to never skip meals.  It is important that you feed your body the proper fuel at a regular schedule.   All vegetables are now permitted. (However still be conscious of the higher carbohydrate veggies for example, corn, carrots, and other rooted vegetables.   Continue to broil, boil, bake or grill your proteins.  You can sauté in your Healthy Oils as listed in Step 1.  Make sure you have some good dairy/fats for this meal.  Low-fat cottage cheese or 1.5 oz of hard cheese. 

Example Lunch:

  • 4 – 8 oz lean chicken, beef, pork, turkey, lean cold cuts, grilled fish or seafood on a green salad
    • Be careful of your dressings. This is where you can get into trouble.  Still go for oil and vinegar or make your own.  See recipe at end of this document or Walden Farms is still an option.   They also have easy to carry packets you can put in your purse or briefcase for travel
  • 1 – 2 oz hard cheese (this could be parmesan, romano, feta, swiss, etc.)
  • 1 – 2 cups vegetables (grilled or steamed)
  • Water or unsweetened tea for a beverage

If you have a sandwich for lunch; eat only have of the bun or one slice of bread.  Whole grain is the best.  Be careful of mayo and other condiments.  Good choices are mustard, olive oil and seasonings.  Ketchup has a lot of sugar so it is recommended to look for low carbohydrate products.  Walden Farms has low-carb ketchup and BBQ sauce.  Add a little horseradish and really kick it up.  


 DINNER – This meal should be lower in FAT and higher in Carbohydrates

(Note you can switch your lunch and dinner meals if desired)

This is when you will be adding good complex carbohydrates back into your diet.  See your Grain/Starch servings in your Success For Life Food Groups.  Your proteins should be low in fats and grilled, baked, broiled or sautéed with healthy oils or boiled.  Not fried.

Example Dinner:

  • 5 - 8 oz lean chicken, beef, pork, lamb, turkey, veal, fish or seafood
  • ¾ cup spaghetti, pasta, cooked rice or baked potato (Be careful of the sour cream. Use low-fat cottage cheese)
  • 1 - 2 cups vegetables (grilled or steamed)
  • You can have a marinara, tomato sauce, or simply toss in olive oil. (Read your labels for low fats and low-carbs)
  • 1 - small slice of whole grain bread (Be careful of butter. Best to use olive oil and a pesto for dipping
  • The best dessert fruit: Baked apples with cinnamon, or berries with low-fat yogurt


What is my Reward Day?   This is your one day a week you can have whatever you want.  Indulge with pizza, desserts, all of those things you have been dreaming of at night.  However, you need to be careful the first time you have your Reward Day, you may feel a little sick.  Your body is not used to having all of those carbohydrates, fats and sugars flooding your body at one time.   Do not feel guilty.  Your body needs to be processing these foods properly again.   You will not gain the weight all back.