As you may know or have been reading, I've been following Trim Healthy Mama since mid December of 2013. Today is Valentine's Day, and two days past my two month "trimmaversary" - so as my Valentine's gift to you, I'm sharing my top ten tips for success during my short time so far following THM.
Note: I am not an expert nor claim to be on Trim Healthy Mama - so if you want more information and details you should definitely get your hands on the book! These tips are just from my own experience thus far.
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2. Menu Plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So true on THM. Pick meals to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I write them down on a pre-printed calendar and use pencil because some days change before they can even begin! Be flexible but have a general idea of what you have in the fridge, freezer and pantry for the week to make sure you have a general meal plan or else you may end up eating something you didn't want to eat.
3. Truly stick to the 2.5-3 hour rule. I did not do this at first and I didn't see the scale move. While I felt better, I wasn't seeing results. Then, someone posted an interesting tip on the Facebook page for THM - keep reading and see Tip #10 - that if you do not wait the 3 hours between S and E you may be inadvertently creating a crossover meal which would hinder weight loss. To ensure you can truly wait the few hours in between, make sure you're getting a wonderful serving of protein with your S or E meal. If you truly cannot wait, it's best to have a similar fuel to your previous meal or a FP snack. Or, guzzle some water or a THM drink to help tide you over. Once I stuck to this rule, I saw a drop on the scale.
4. Make the FSF and BBS your BFF. The week I really saw a lot of weight loss was when I was incorporating the Fat Stripping Frappa or the Big Boy Smoothie. Wowza - they are tasty and filling and Pearl and Serene really mean it when they say it strips the fat away! They are Fuel Pulls at their core -depending what you add to them but you can pair them with your S or E meals or snacks for some extra help in the weight loss department. I usually pair them with my E lunches because I tend to get hungry sooner eating them than if I ate an S lunch - which is normal!
5. Shrinker and other THM drinks. I love The Shrinker. I also love the Good Girl Moonshine and the FSF and BBS I mentioned above. There's also Bullet Proof Coffee which I have not yet tried but others rave about, THM Hot Chocolate and SO many other tasty drinks that you can have to keep things interesting and keep your metabolism going. The Shrinker definitely kills cravings and keeps me satisfied until a next meal. And, they don't call it the Shrinker for nothing! You can find all the drink recipes here on the THM Pinterest page.
6. Don't underestimate the power of the E. Also during my mega-weight loss week, I incorporated more E meals mostly for my lunches. I made a tasty Veggie Quinoa Bean soup that was filling and delicious and made sure I had at least 3-5 E meals in my meal plan each week. Carbs are not the enemy on this plan. In this case the E meals replenish your body and keep your metabolism going. I was a bit timid about the E meals at first but soon realized how important they are. It's a little bit of trial and error to find the balance that keeps you going towards your goal, but don't exclude or forget them!
7. Keep it simple. With the amount of recipes in the book, the pins on Pinterest you can find and the lovely Internet it's easy to get confused about having to buy this ingredient you don't have it or haven't ever heard of it before. One thing I love about THM is you don't have to buy anything over the top or crazy to eat this way. Some things are helpful and I would recommend but otherwise I find it best to keep recipes simple. A grilled chicken salad with avocado, veggies and some plain balsamic vinegar is a great S meal and isn't complicated. Also by keeping meals simple you can better learn the S, E and FP basics much quicker.
8. Try new recipes. So while it seems I may be a bit contradictory here with my previous "keep it simple" tip, I also found trying new recipes once I fully understood the basics was awesome. It keeps your metabolism going and your taste buds happy, too.
9. Don't forget some key rules. For example, I completely forgot that you can have up to one cup of berries with an S meal (1/2 cup if blueberries). I was totally skimping on my fruit allowances (I learned go easy on the fruit though if you are carb sensitive!). And, you can have other fruits like apples and some melon or oranges with your E meals. I was so focused on the general rules, I forgot the other mini-rules! See tip #1 again :) Another key rule was to make sure your S meals aren't too, too heavy! This hindered my weight loss for SURE - I mean, I could have avocado and cheese and nuts and coconut oil and almond flour and cheese cake?!?! Of course I went a little "nuts" - sorry couldn't resist. But, when the scale wasn't moving, I lightened up my S meals and varied them and the scale started moving in the right direction.
10. Join the Facebook support groups. When I first joined the groups, they were amazing for me to learn to decipher E, S, FP, Crossovers, GGMS and all the crazy acronyms and tips and tricks. I thank all those people on the boards and the moderators who helped me learn the basics while I was reading and found encouragement and motivation in hearing their successes and learning from their "mistakes" along the way. However, there came a time where I was not losing weight initially as I had hoped and I started to feel discouraged and fell into a "why not me" funk (the lack of E meals, the not waiting 2-3 hours, the too-heavy S meals). I looked at all the before and afters and hearing how so many had lost 6 pounds, 10 pounds or more in their first three days or during their first week and here I was not losing barely a pound. But don't make the mistake I did and compare your progress to others! Everyone is different. Pearl and Serene talk about how your body needs to heal and everyone may heal faster than others - and it depends on the dietary background you are coming from! I did the 21 day sugar detox before starting THM so I may have been more "healed" than others so my weight loss wasn't as fast. I had already cured my sugar cravings and eliminated many things from my diet so I may have started off better than someone coming from a "Standard American Diet" (not trying to be rude). I wouldn't be here if it weren't for those support groups and the wonderful people on them.
Here's the main Facebook group page and a lovely Beginner Page they recently added. They are closed groups so you have to request to be added.
So, there you have it - some of the main things that may be helpful that I've learned in my two short months on THM.