Trim Healthy Mama (THM)…either you hear about it everywhere or you’ve never heard of it…that seems to be my experience with most people.
I came across Trim Healthy Mama online as I was reading about Whole 30. It sounded interesting but I didn’t pursue it because it sounded kind of “faddy” and probably not conducive to real food and real life. But I was interested enough to see if my library system carried the book. It did, but I was number thirty-seven on the waiting list! So, I requested the book and then forgot about it.
My Experience with Whole 30
At the end of the summer of 2014 (August/September) I did the Whole 30, mostly to see if my eczema was a food related issue but also hoping to loose a bit of weight. What I had suspected was proven: my eczema would flare with any sugar or refined carbohydrate consumption.
I also only lost about 3 pounds. I felt good. My body seemed more stable…less craving and blood sugar spikes. But for me it wasn’t something I wanted to stick too…no grains and my body seems to want grains for breakfast…no dairy, I like milk in my coffee and cheese! No sugar…sometime you just have to have some chocolate!
I felt like I was quite healthy…all my blood work was great. I exercised, I ate a healthy, real food diet full of whole grains, healthy fats, minimal sugar and lots of fruits and veggies, but I still carried extra weight.
So life went on. September came and we started homeschooling again, church activities started, potty training, cooking, cleaning, etc. At the end of October I received an email notice from the library, it was my turn to read about Trim Healthy Mama!
My Introduction to Trim Healthy Mama
I read the “old” book, and it is HUGE, 600 pages! Thankfully, I didn’t need to read it all at once and a large chunk of the book is recipes, but still overwhelming at first glance!
Thankfully, there is a new revised Trim Healthy Mama book, which is much less cumbersome to read. The recipes are also in a separate Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. The cookbook is beautiful and full of new recipes (over 300!) You can buy BOTH new books for the same price as the single old book. I would highly recommend buying both books, even if you have the old book.
A Simplified Overview of Trim Healthy Mama
There are three main components to the food we eat: Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates.
Protein is mainly used to build and repair muscles and body systems. Your body can use protein as energy but it isn’t our body’s first choice. A high protein and very low carbohydrate or “no” carbohydrate diet can cause weight loss. However this kind of diet is not something most people can maintain long term. Using protein as your main fuel can also sends you body into ketosis. For some people with certain medical issues, this is a good thin, but it is not beneficial for most people for the long term.
Fat is used by our body to support and repair our nervous system and our endocrine system. Our body needs healthy fats for healthy hormone production. Fat also tastes good and keeps us feeling satisfied.
Carbohydrates are most easily used by our body as fuel. Carbohydrates can be complex (whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes) or simple (sugar, refined flours, white rice). The Trim Healthy Mama book has a very scientific yet easy to understand description of how insulin works and how insulin and blood sugar swings cause weight gain. The Trim Heathy Mama plan does not see carbohydrates as “evil.” It is not a “no” carb diet or even a “low” carb diet. It is a “lower” (than the standard American Diet) carb diet and a “complex carb” diet.
So, after all that explanation, here is the basic premise of Trim Healthy Mama:
Giving our body only one main fuel source (fat or carbs) at a time, along with protein, causes our body to much more completely use each fuel source. Therefore, we do not have extra fuel to store as fat. This also causes our body to use our fat stores to provide energy once the fuel we have eaten is used up.
Switching between fuel sources (fat and carbs), while always pairing them with protein, keeps our metabolism guessing and actually increases our metabolism! This also causes our body to reach into our fat stores for fuel causing us to loose weight!
Some people and people in certain stages of life (growing children, pregnant and nursing moms, hard working men with fast metabolisms, etc) need to eat a combination of healthy fats and complex carbs at each (or most) meals. The new Trim Healthy Mama book has lots of good advice for making the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle work for all stages and ages.
Thankfully, Trim Healthy Mama teaches us to eat really yummy, healthy foods and even teaches us how to make “treats” in a healthy way! Check out the dessert section in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. It is also important to me that Trim Healthy Mama only uses real food ingredients!
My Trim Healthy Mama Journey
I got the Trim Healthy Mama book from the library at the end of October 2014. I started implementing the “plan” in early November. By January 2015 I had lost 15 pounds and one jeans size! This was without following the plan perfectly (hello holiday season!). My weight loss slowed greatly (this is common), but by May 2015 and I had lost another five pounds and dropped another jeans size.
I have been living my version of the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle over 18 months now. I’ve lost 5 more pounds and another jeans size. I have found ways to make the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle work for me and my family. I don’t worry about perfection but am able to stay “on plan” most of the time.
Any questions about Trim Healthy Mama?
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