December was awful. Diet wise, I mean.
With tins of sugar-laden treats coming in and out of the house, I felt my resolve and discipline dissipate. Chicago popcorn, sugar cookies, fudge, toffee bars, chocolate – by Christmas, I was completely undone. The wonderful thing about Trim Healthy Mama is that even if you completely blow it, you can be back on plan in 3 hours. I had multiple opportunities to start over, but I didn’t. I’ve been doing Trim Healthy Mama for the better part of 4 years – I had absolutely no excuse for this!
I told myself I would shape up in the New Year, and since 2017 is just a few days away, I’ve come up with a plan to keep myself on plan.
Several things happened when I fell off the wagon. I think it’s important for me to write them down so I can remember if cheating for an extended period of time is really worth it when temptation arises.
- I was more tired
- My skin broke out
- I felt and looked bloated
- I felt weaker
- I drank less, which led to dehydration and extremely low blood pressure, especially in the mornings.
- I often binged on sugar when I was actually just thirsty.
- I drank a lot more coffee because I needed the extra boost.
- I wanted to EAT ALL THE CARBS.
Getting back on plan is less overwhelming when you break Trim Healthy Mama down into 6 main principles:
- No sugar or other blood sugar-spiking sweeteners like syrups, nectars, and honey (use xylitol, Gentle Sweet, Super Sweet, Erythritol or SweetLeaf Stevia instead).
- No refined carbohydrates (Choose healthy carbs, keep them under 45 grams and limit to E meals).
- Choose good fats (S’s) or good carbs (E’s). Do not eat both together (unless you’re in maintenance mode and can afford the odd Crossover).
- Always have a source of protein in your meal that fits your fuel type (Fat-based S meals can have a fat-based protein source like beef, cream, nuts, and cheese. Carb-based E meals need a lean protein source like chicken breasts, beans, collagen, broccoli, 0% fat Greek yogurt, egg whites, and 0% fat cottage cheese).
- Wait 3 hours between each meal (unless you’re pregnant or nursing). This gives your body enough time to burn through its last fuel source.
- Alternate fuel sources. I eat mainly fat-based meals (S’s), but it’s important to throw a carb-based meal (E’s) in there every once in a while to keep my metabolism guessing. Plus, God made fruit. Praise Him.
If I stick to simple, basic dishes instead of trying to pull out all the stops with time-consuming recipes that require special ingredients, I’m much more likely to succeed at staying on plan. Also, I don’t usually have the time to make two separate meals (one for me and one for the rest of the family) each time we sit down to eat, so it helps to serve dishes that require no extra effort to adapt.
Take lunch, for example. The family usually enjoys sandwiches on sprouted bread (Canadians, Loblaw stores sell a wonderful bread made by Stonemill that has been fermented for 48 hours. It’s delicious!) made with butter, mayo, mustard, ham, cheese, and lettuce. This is a great Crossover for my husband and the kids. If I want a fat-based lunch (S), I could skip the bread and layer the toppings inside a Romaine lettuce boat. If I wanted a carb-based lunch (E), I could replace the ham with leaner chicken breast, skip the butter, and limit my mayo to a teaspoon. No special ingredients or extra preparation is required for me to eat on plan; I just need to make the choice between fats or carbs.
(By the way, all of the recipes on this blog are special-ingredient free.)
I’ve also noticed that it’s much easier to avoid temptation if you have an on-plan version of your favorite treat available. I have a weakness for cheesecake, brownies, coconut cream pie, boterkoek, pudding, and chocolate just as much as the next girl, but I can be fully satisfied, feel well, and not a wee bit deprived when my sweet tooth aches and one of the above is in the house.
Having a large pot of soup or chili that can stay in the fridge for a week makes a quick lunch or dinner, if you don’t mind eating the same thing for several days in a row. Butternut Squash Soup and Chicken Soup are wonderful E soups that can be accompanied by a slice of sprouted bread; Tomato Spice Soup is a Fuel Pull that can be turned into an E or an S by serving it with either bread (E) or cheese and nuts (S). Cream of Broccoli Soup (recipe coming soon!) is my favorite S, and Pizza Chili is a complete S meal on its own.
Doubling up a recipe and throwing half in the freezer for emergency purposes also helps to stay on plan when life gets hectic. I love storing meals and baked goods in these glass containers. They’re clear (so I can see what’s in them), the lids seal tightly (no freezer burn), reusable (cost effective and environmentally friendly), non-toxic, and freezer, oven, and dishwasher proof.
One of the most significant things I noticed when I slid off plan was how dehydrated I became. When I eat sugar, I crave sugar. This often leads to a carb-binge when I’m actually just thirsty. My goal is to drink at least one GGMS a day. My husband loves the Raspberry Zinger and the Caramel Apple, and he’s happily agreed to keep me accountable.
It’s important for me to have breakfast on plan. It sets the tone for the whole day. If I let breakfast slide, the temptation to let the rest of the day follow suit is much stronger. I’m not very hungry first thing in the morning, but I know my body needs to be fueled after a night of rest, so a small S or Fuel Pull breakfast works well for me. Like most families, I don’t have a lot of extra time in the morning to prepare a big meal. Make-ahead single serves (like Strawberry Mousse), 0% Greek yogurt with berries, or a Muffin-in-a-Mug from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook with a cup of collagen-infused coffee are a great way to start the day. (I’ve also been known to eat cheesecake, Trimtastic Zucchini Cake, and Pavlova for breakfast. What”s not to love about THM?!).
If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it. Do you know why I went off plan so badly? It’s because I allowed contraband foods in the house. If I don’t buy it, I can’t it. If your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak, don’t put yourself in temptation’s way.
To recap, here are the 8 steps I plan to take in order to stay on plan this year:
- Don’t get caught up in the details; just remember the 6 main principles.
- Stick to simple, no-special-ingredient dishes.
- Keep an on-plan version of a favorite treat on hand.
- Have a large pot of soup in the fridge for easy lunches.
- Double up recipes and throw half in the freezer.
- Drink at least one GGMS a day.
- Eat breakfast on plan to set the tone for the day
- Don’t allow tempting off-plan foods into the house.
How about you? Do you have a plan to stay on plan this year? I’d love to hear your best tips and tricks for THM success!
34 thoughts on “How To Stay On The Trim Healthy Mama Plan”
I’m just trying to learn the plan and how it will fit into my lifestyle. My kids are grown so I mainly just have to cook for he and I and get myself off to commute to work. Your tips were very helpful! I can now better picture simply how THM can easily work for me, even though I’m not the traditional mama.
Great article! I have been learning the plan for over a year but not fully committed. This article was timely for me.???????? Thank you!
You’re welcome, Wendy! Much success to you.
Thank you! I need to get back on track. I feel all the above mentioned things…tired all the time. I’m ready to start again.
You can do it!
Biggest thing is the sweets. I haven’t made many I like so I need to try more recipes and find one I can satisfy my cravings with.
I hear you! I have a major sweet tooth, too.
The pay off day candies in the new cookbook are a real hit in my family- I usually double or quadruple the recipe so the kids can help themselves too. We out it in a candy mold with skinny chocolate and store in the fridge. Keep trying, you’ll find one you like!
Excited for your broccoli soup recipe. It seemed your chicken soup has a lot of carrots. Are those allowed? Bless you!
Yes! Carrots are allowed in a E setting (which the chicken soup is). They are considered “good carbs.” ????
I’ve been on THM since Feb. 01 and I have lost 40lbs. Ive been at a standstill for awhile due to harvest and then major renos. However, I have not gained. I completely agree with what you said though because I’ve broken out, have bloating, etc. I know that THM is totally the right path because I feel and look healthier. Now that the bulk of our stuff has calmed down and the holidays are almost over, I will embrace THM full-time again and complete to my goal. I will share this.
Congratulations on your 40 lb. weight loss! That’s huge! I wish you much more success with THM in the new year!
These are great tips! Two things that have helped me stay on plan are cutting up veggies when I get them home from the grocery store so that they are ready to grab and add to my lunches or snacks. I find if I can’t add them in quickly I tend to not eat them. Also I have started making up muffin in a mug “mixes” with all the dry ingredients so that I can throw them together even more quickly in the mornings or for a quick snack. Here’s to a healthy 2017!
Great ideas! I think I will try pre-made MIM mixes too. Genius!
Awesome post! I’m trying to get my teenage daughters to join me but they were getting confused by my explanations. I really think they’ll understand it now because of your simple outline. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Michelle! All the best to you ladies!
Thank you for helping me not beat myself up so much for not staying on plan so well over the holidays. I have lost 50 pounds on THM in just over a year. I am not about to put it back on again but the holidays have opened the way to some old eating habits. I agree if it’s in the house I’m more vulnerable so I’m going to work on getting the sugar out and getting back to my THM commitment. Soup is on – it saves me every week when work is crazy and time is sparse ????
Congratulations on your 50 lb. shed! I need to get a pot of soup going, too.
I found it was super-helpful to me to 1) Type out (from the Plan book) the basic outline of each kind of meal (S, E, FP) so it fit onto one page, large enough to see it, and post those on my kitchen cupboards; and 2) Page through the cookbook and add each recipe name to an appropriate list (S, E, or FP), so that I ended up with a list of each kind of meal to choose from when I’m in HELP! mode; I put those in my recipe binder at the head of each section. The lists show the page numbers and tell me if I’ve already typed out that recipe so I can see the numbers in it. Now I’m thrilled to be able to add your synopsis of the basic tenets to my Desktop, because, even after 7 months of working it (yes, successfully!), I can always use a reminder!
Those are great ideas, Ruth! Thanks for sharing.
I’ve lost about 30 pounds and I’m motivated again. I’ve incorporated excercise into my routine and my best tip is to take a day and make some THM treats, freeze and , bag, always available when you want to snack but not give in to sugar.
Thanks so much, Jacinda! This is quite helpful information. Inspired me to get both my THM books out and add a daily checklist to my Wunderlist app, complete with your helpful tips. Blessings!
What is a GGMS drink?
GGMS stands for Good Girl Moonshine, which is really justa glorified way of taking Apple Cider Vinegar! ACV on its own tastes nasty, but with ice, sweetener, an extract, and maybe some cooled tea, it tastes like a punch or pop!
Thank you so much for this post and your wonderful recipes that don’t require special ingredients. Today I am just starting my THM journey and I already goofed. I had all my liquid ingredients for the “Shrinker” in the fridge pre-mixed ready to grab and go out the door with me along with all the liquid ingredients for a Mocha Fat Stripping Frapa. Of course this morning I grabbed the shrinker liquids and added the dry frapa ingredients. Not sure if it is still a THM meal, but it tastes pretty darn good! Oh well.
I like to make ahead as much as I can so my mornings run smoothly so I regularly have all my wet or refrigerated ingredients in the fridge ready to throw in the crockpot for an easy meal at night (tonight is the “Buttah chicken”. Next time I am going to start working on some freezer meals so all I have to do is add the necessary fresh ingredients.
This looks like a very sensible plan but will take a little to get it all right. Keep up the good work and thanks again for the tips that will be very helpful for a newbie!
All the best on your THM journey, Amy!
I really appreciate the simple outline you provided. want to start THM soon with the new year approaching. The books have been “calling my name” from the shelf. : )
I’m also going to participate in a closed Facebook group that will study the book together.
Well written – very encouraging.. holidays are hard – but always disciplined to get back on track… thanks for all your insight and tips.. I will be back on track in no time. 🙂
How do you handle family get togethers? I have a few close friends and family members who seemed to be annoyed with my not eating what they make. One good friend even mentioned she is afraid to have us over because of my diet.????
We ate way too much sugar here over the holidays and too many movies. Looking forward to getting back to real life next week.????
Hey, friend! It can be hard at first, but it helps me to explain that I can eat basic meat and veggies. Most people can understand that. And frankly, if something that is served isn’t on plan, I eat it graciously and start again in three hours. Or the next time, I will plan to host!
what is this a picture of??? the cup that is white with berries on top???
Great post! I fell off the wagon in May after maintaining my 25 lb weight loss from THM for 2 years. I’ve gained back most of the weight stressing over work this year, but I am so excited to get back on plan. I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so tired and so craving ALL THE CARBS all the time. Duh! Thanks for the suggestions. I know I need to keep it simple, plan ahead, and and watch my heavy S ways…
You know I have been reading the THM plan and have been adapting to it. Now I am serious and have decided to really make the effort, for me that means no alcohol. I have been on for two weeks, I feel good but havn’t lost an ounce. I was wondering if perhaps I am doing too many e meals. Should there be some kind of balance? I always eat steel cut oats with collagen and protein added every morning. Today it was wicked chicken chili, brocolli, and cauliflower, for lunch no fat. Am I just worried or what? I need encouragement.