Putting My Mom on a Diet: Week 13 Meal Plan and Weigh-In

For new readers, here’s a brief refresher: I’m putting my mom on a diet, here is the plan I designed for her, and here are her weekly updates: week 1week 2week 3week 4week 5week 6week 7week 8,week 9week 10week 11, week 12. Welcome!



Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 1 tablespoon Teddie all-natural peanut butter (100) = 260

Lunch: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread (100) + 3 ounces Dietz & Watson homestyle turkey breast (90) + 1 ounce Hoffman’s sliced cheddar cheese (110) + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard (10) + lettuce and tomato (15) = 325
+ 1 cup red grapes (60) = 385

Snack: 1/2 ounce walnuts (about 12 = 100) + 1 ounce raisins (100) = 200

burger sweet potato and corn

Dinner: 4 ounce bunless cheeseburger (4 ounces of 85% lean ground beef = 240 + 1 ounce cheddar cheese (100) = 340) + 1/2 cup steamed corn (65) + 1 small sweet potato (about 4 ounces cooked = ~100) + 1 teaspoon butter (~35) = 540

Dessert: 1 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1535




Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 1 tablespoon Teddie all-natural peanut butter (100) = 260

Lunch: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash Bread (100) + 3 ounces Dietz & Watson homestyle turkey breast (90) + 1 ounce Hoffman’s sliced cheddar cheese (110) + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard (10) + lettuce and tomato (15) = 325
+ 1 Granny Smith apple (100) = 425

Snack: 1/2 ounce walnuts (about 12 = 100) + 1 ounce raisins (100) = 200

chicken dinner

Dinner: 4 ounces balsamic marinated and grilled chicken (120 for chicken alone + 30 for marinade = 150) + 3/4 cup tomato, basil, and feta brown rice (200) + 1 1/2 cups roasted broccoli (100) = 450

*Andie note: recipes for the balsamic marinade and the tomato, basil, feta rice are in this post.

Dessert: 1 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1485




Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 1 tablespoon Teddie all-natural peanut butter (100) + 1 banana (100) = 360

Lunch: Ham and Cheddar Salad
vegetable base (3 large handfuls mixed greens, ½ cup chopped bell pepper, ½ cup chopped cucumber, ½ cup shredded carrot, 6-8 cherry tomatoes = 50 calories) + 3 ounces sliced turkey breast (90) + 1 ounce Cheddar cheese (100) + 2 tablespoons Ken’s Steak House Light Honey Mustard Dressing (80) = 320
+ 1 Granny Smith apple (100) = 420

Snack: 1/2 ounce walnuts (about 12 = 100) + 1 ounce raisins (100) = 200

Dinner: none

*Andie note: AHHH. Mom was working late into the night without a break for dinner, so in some sliiiiiiight way, I’m understanding. She assumed she’d grab something on the road, but she said, “There truly wasn’t ever a moment where it would have been OK for me to take the time out to eat.” We talked about how convenient it would have been for her to have been able to pull a KIND bar or some extra trail mix from her purse. Lesson learned: always carry snacks.

Snack when she got home at midnight: 1 cup of red grapes (60)

Total: 1040




Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 1 tablespoon Teddie all-natural peanut butter (100) + 1 banana (100) = 360

Lunch: PB&J Wrap: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, & Whole Wheat Lavash (100) + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (200) + 2 tablespoons Bonne Maman strawberry preserves (100) = 400
+ 1 cup strawberries (50) = 450

Snack: 1/2 ounce walnuts (about 12 = 100) + 1 ounce raisins (100) = 200

photo (80)

Dinner: 2 all-natural, all-beef hot dogs (160 per hot dog = 320) + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard (10) + 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish (15) + 1/2 cup Bush’s baked beans (150)
+ Quick Caesar Salad for 1: 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce (10) + 2 teaspoons Ken’s Steak House Light Options Caesar dressing (~25) + 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (~15) = 545

Total:  1555




Breakfast: Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin (160) + 1 tablespoon Teddie all-natural peanut butter (100) = 260

Out to lunch: Grilled chicken wrap with lettuce, tomato, and yellow mustard (500) + 1 banana (100) = 600

chicken in creamy mustard marsala sauce

Dinner: 1 serving (about 4-5 ounces) Chicken with Creamy Mustard Marsala Sauce (I omitted mushrooms, ~300 cals ) + 3/4 cup jasmine rice (170) + 1 cup steamed sugar snap peas (50) = 520

*Andie note: OMG. That post! I’m cringey. So old, so weird, but the recipe is dynamite. What I can’t get over is: why was I assuming you’d have leftover chicken lying around to use? Here’s what to do: cut up a pound of raw chicken breast into 1-1/2″  chunks or long strips and saute it in a bit of oil (about 1 tablespoon) over medium-high heat with salt and pepper. Once it’s cooked through, remove the pieces to a plate before beginning to make the sauce.

Dessert: 1 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich (150)

Total: 1530




Breakfast: 1 1/2 cups Special K Red Berries (165) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 275

Lunch: 1 large flour tortilla (200) + 3 slices all-natural deli ham (90) + 1 ounce Cheddar cheese (100) + 2 teaspoons honey mustard (20) = 410
+ 1 1/2 cups red grapes (80) = 490


Dinner: 1 serving Honey Barbecue Meatloaf (310) + 1 medium baked potato (6 ounces cooked = 150) + 2 teaspoons butter (60) + 1 cup steamed broccoli (50) = 570

Dessert: Edy’s Outshine Bar (70)

Total: 1405




Breakfast: 1 1/2 cups Special K Red Berries (165) + 1 banana (100) + 1 cup 1% milk (110) = 375

Lunch: 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Lavash (100) + 3 ounces all-natural baked ham, thinly sliced (90) + 1 ounce sliced Cheddar cheese (100) + 2 teaspoons French’s honey mustard (20) = 310
+ 1 cup red grapes (60) = 370

Dinner: 4 ounces roasted chicken breast (from a whole roasted bird, ~160) + 3/4 cup roasted potatoes (a mix of white and sweet, ~200) + 1/2 cup glazed carrots (100) + 1/4 cup cranberry sauce (110) + 2 tablespoons gravy (~50) = 620

*Andie note: Big family dinner. Basically Thanksgiving in September.

Dessert: Skinny Cow Salted Caramel Pretzel Frozen Candy Bar (160)

Total: 1525




Week 13 Weigh-In:

Starting Weight: 210

Week 1 Weight: 201.4 (down 8.6)

Week 2 Weight: 199.4 (down 2.0)

Week 3 Weight: 199 (down 0.4)

Week 4 Weight: 196 (down 3)

Week 5 Weight: 194.4 (down 1.6)

Week 6 Weight: 193 (down 1.4)

Week 7 Weight: 192 (down 1)

Week 8 Weight: 188.8 (down 3.2)

Week 9 Weight: 187.6 (down 1.2)

Week 10 Weight: 186.4 (down 1.2)

Week 11 Weight: 186.4 (same)

Week 12 Weight: 186 (down .4)

Week 13 Weight: 183.6 (down 2.4)

Total Pounds Lost: 26.4 pounds


Mom’s thoughts on progress so far:

“Hi everyone,

Thank you for all your wonderful inspiration and for giving me the drive to always keep going.  I could not do this without each of you helping me!!!  I finally lost a few more pounds and I am so grateful for that. A lot of it is due to the fact that I have not had any of what I call “U.A.S.” (unauthorized Andie snacks).  I decided to stick closer to the plan rather than adding things here and there without Andrea’s blessing.  You see, I think when your pants start to feel a little looser, your brain gets a little loose also, and you get that attitude of “I can have a little of this” and “just another scoop of that.”  Well, that quickly adds up. Maybe when I get to a lower weight, I can consider being looser, but right now I’d really like to put in my best effort.  To everyone trying to lose weight, no matter what you weigh, let me tell you that you will feel great once you get going. It gets easier. Thankfully I am eating the things that I like and that keeps me going.  I am not at all deprived and I have lots of my favorite foods regularly.  I will admit that I prefer to eat a lot of the same foods over and over and I keep breakfast simple so that I can eat it quickly when I arrive at work.  As Andrea will tell you, I do not take chances with different foods, I am such a fussy eater and God only knows how she can keep making different varieties for me.

Lets all keep going. The holidays are coming and I have a few clothing ideas I’d like to try out in smaller sizes, but more importantly, I have my goal in mind, so let’s stick to this. Hope everyone is doing well!

Take care,


*Andie note: Mom, you rule. Make up more acronyms for me.


CLICK HERE for a printable version of this week’s meal plan!

p.s. — I went through the backlog of weekly posts and made sure that all of them had printable meal plans available. Scroll to the end of each to find the link to print!

p.p.s — It’s been a long, long time since I’ve written about my own life, so I spent all weekend writing a massive post about where I’ve been and where I’m headed. It’s on deck for Tuesday (9/17). It’s the most vulnerable I’ve felt in, oh, I don’t know, forever? You’ll see.


  1. Silvia says

    Yay! Congratulations…wow, what a journey you’ve had, Maryellen! That weight loss timeline is amazing. And I love your approach of keeping your “eye on the prize,” i.e. nice outfits for the holiday season! YES! What an amazing, rewarding fall/winter it will be for you, no “next year I’ll lose the xyz pounds…” because you HAVE. This New Year’s Eve you won’t be thinking about “starting” a diet or wallowing in soul-sapping regrets about “shoulda/woulda/coulda” but rather celebrating your accomplishments and the renewal/expansion of your commitment to good health!

    Keep your eye on the upcoming New Year’s Eve whenever your spirits slacken (again, that weight loss record/ timeline is amaaaaazing). This increasingly-closer New Year’s Eve you will definitely have a lot to celebrate! Picture that!

    Andie, looking forward to your Tuesday post. We’re here for you. Thanks again, you two, for being there with me in this weight-loss-health-gain journey. Have a good week.

  2. Janet says

    Good job Maryellen! I’m so impressed!
    I can’t remember if you had a goal weight, what is it? What is your plan for maintenance when you get there?
    Andie, you are so cool :-) Love your blog! Loved reading that old post too heheh

  3. Routhie says

    I love this series. It has never been ho-hum, but rather filled with so much inspiration. Keep up the good work, ladies!

  4. says

    How wonderful to see your post in my Inbox this morning. Maryellen, your progress is wonderful! I love your willingness to own your own traits, like being a little bit of a fussy eater, and please make no apologies. You are losing weight and well on your way to being healthy for life. As I have lost weight, I’m seeing many changes in my life – mostly issues of balance.Hope the same happens for you. I’m about your age, and I am finally focusing on self-care.

    Andie, your recent post with the shrimp, pasta and veggie dish was truly fabulous! My family raved. I used Barilla Plus pasta and made the serving size of the past on the small side to get the dish down to about 320 calories. I have such a hard time with food plans that require too much prep or ingredients that are difficult to find. Your recipes are asy to make, healthy, and delicious! Perfect. I just made a pumpkin bread, http://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/pumpkin-spice-bread.html. Maybe your Mom would like this one (or is she a raisin hater)?

    Thank you so much. My 16 year old son has now lost 28 pounds as we follow your meal plans. He’s a whole new kid!

  5. Rocio says

    Can’t wait to see the post about your life. :) Mary Ellen you are doing so so great! I can’t believe you’re almost on the 30 pound mark!! 😀 Congratulations!!

  6. T. says

    Maryellen – woohoo! you’re back in the game, girl! Look out! Thanks so much for sharing this whole journey because those hard weeks are something we all hit and it’s inspirational to just see you keep slogging away at it. Gives me determination to do the same.
    Andie – I just finished week 4 and have lost 4 pounds which is very good for me. I’m usually a slow loser and I’ve been running and strength training too, so I think I’ve gained some muscle. I’m down over 5% body fat in those 4 weeks too. Thanks for reminding me how calorie counting works. I find your basic plan very easy to follow. Though I’m not eating the exact same foods, I’m following the principles of number of calories per meal, lots of veggie on the plate, lots of salads and using many of your recipes for dinners. I’ve also been enjoying the BEAUTY of my meals, looking at the color and contrast with the plate (inspired by your photography) and really enjoy my meals so much more when I take pleasure in their beauty.
    Thanks both of you!

  7. Christina Pierce says

    that’s awesome! I’m exactly the same way with eating “looser” after doing well. I feel like I purposely sabotage myself. keep up the good work!!

  8. says

    Another great week for your mom!

    The chicken marsala is probably my favorite recipe OF ALL TIME. I make it regularly :) Most recently, I made it as a thank you to the friends who housed me in Austin. It is just beyond tasty.

    Plus I don’t know why you feel awkward about it–the pictures are still better than anything I can put together, and the recipe is perfect :) But, yeah, it did confuse me to use “leftover chicken” hehe.

  9. Joy says

    I’m trying to print out each weeks menues, and I’m having a difficult time in doing that. I thought I saw a listing of weeks which I could click on to print out each week, but I got lost on your website as i was reading all the posts etc. Thanks for your help. I want to get started right away..:)


  10. Amanda says

    Congrats, Mary Ellen! You are doing an amazing job and thank you for sharing this experience with us. And Thank you Andie for sharing the meal plans and them printable. I cannot express how much that helps. I cannot wait to see more pictures.

  11. Hannah says

    Mary Ellen, You’re doing SO well!!! I’m glad you’ve been motivated to give up those little UAS’s 😀
    Andie, I’m grateful to you every single time you show us a little bit more of your bare self. I can’t imagine writing a memoir, having to push through the difficulties and show us those raw bits, that aren’t always pleasant to speak about. Thank you, truly. I’m [im]patiently and eagerly waiting for your book! :) Thank you for being such an encouragement, and for being so real!

  12. Alex says

    Thanks for putting this series together, it helps me so much with my own weight loss. Your mom is amazing and doing great. I give her kudos for sticking with the plan so well. Please keep this series up! I would even love to see some maintenance plans once your beautiful mom hits her goal weight.

    I can’t wait for your update, since I missed reading about you a lot!!!

    How do you guys track those calories? Do you use an app and how do you calculate the calories for recipes? Any links worth sharing are highly appreciated.

    • T. says

      Alex, I have been just writing each day’s food on a notebook page. I write what I ate and the calorie count out to the side, then add them in my head or use a calculator. I’m using Andie’s counts for her recipes. The first time I make something or if I can’t remember I have been googling it. For example, I just googled “1 cup steamed broccoli calories” and it tells me 50. If I’m suspicious of that number that pops up, like if it seems too high or low, I have been clicking on the calorie counter places it sends me to. Sparkpeople was one. I just haven’t picked one to use yet, so I’m interested to see what others are doing as well. I just need it to be very simple. I don’t want to have to join and log things in online.

      • T. says

        Also, for recipe calorie counts I either use a) Andie’s b) from Weight Watchers or other magazine like Shape that tells calorie count or c) rarely I’ll make something myself, add up all the calories in the whole recipe, then divide by how many adult- sized servings it makes. I also got a $6 food scale at Target to help me with estimating ounces of meat since I’m not used to that.

      • T. says

        argh. I wish I could edit my comments! I realized if you say “steamed” when you Google it doesn’t pop up with the number. So I must have Googled “1 cup broccoli calories” and it gives you the number in the raw food. This must be a commonly accepted number. Then you add in any butter or oil used.

  13. says

    Your mom is such a rock star! She’s inspired me every week so far to keep going. Thanks so much to both of you for being willing to share your stories w/ the public.

  14. Haley says

    Awesome job, Maryellen! Keep up the good work! Andie, I’m looking forward to reading your post. I’m impressed by your willingness to open up (particularly to so many people!)

  15. says

    Your mom is doing great with sticking to the diet. I enjoyed following it. I know how hard it is to stay on the wagon. Sometimes we just have so many things thrown at us at once that we lose motivation.

  16. Courtney says

    Hey Andie and Maryellen – it’s my first time commenting on your blog, which has become a favorite. You are both wonderful inspirations and I love reading the healthy recipes – can’t wait to try some! Thank you both for sharing all you do!

  17. Rhonda says

    That is AMAZING, Maryellen! Congrats. I have tried to lose along with you. I have lost 18.5 lbs. in 2.5 months. You inspire me.

  18. Tom says

    Wow Andie! Thanks a lot for sharing the diet plan. And congratulations to Maryellen! Way to stick to the plan and away from the UAS. The Honey Barbecue Meatloaf looks amazing. I am definitely going to try some of the recipes

  19. Cathy Green says

    Hey Andie, I love the simplicity of the dinner dish on monday. Cheeseburger, sweet potato and some corn. Although on paper it doesn’t amount to much I imagine the flavours/textures go really well and its a joy to eat. I love your meal plans! Keep em coming!

  20. says

    I think that lots of people have this belief that in order to lose weight they have to follow some very strict diet plan. The truth is that you can allow yourself lots of your favorite foods if they stay inside your calorie limit. The hardest part of losing weight is the beginning – the first 3 weeks or so, after that when the first results are visible then it is much easier to keep going.


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