5 THM things I don’t do according to the plan and the one thing that I always do in order to make the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle work for me.
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Trim Healthy Mama is a lifestyle (not a diet) that teaches you to basically alternate between low carb meals (S) and low fat with healthy carb meals (E). There are a few more details in the book but that is a very basic overview. The THM plan has worked well for me as a way to eat healthier and lose weight. However, many people find it complicated and difficult to follow.
I decided to share 5 THM things I don’t do that are mentioned frequently in the book or on the Facebook support groups. For me, simplifying the plan allows me to be more compliant. And therefore, lose more weight!
5 THM Things I Don’t Do
Let me start this off with a little disclaimer. These things that I don’t do are probably beneficial to some people. I am sure they help some people stay on plan or to lead a healthier lifestyle. I don’t want this post to sound like I am telling you not to do these parts of the plan.
I just want you to know that they are not necessary in order to succeed. The plan actually started based on the very simple principle of separating fuels (fats from carbs) and some of the newer and more complicated add ons may scare some people off from starting.
So if you like these 5 things that I skip, by all means do them. But if you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed, overworked in the kitchen or just scared to start, read this and know that you can make it work without all the special items and complicated meals.
1. NSI (No Special Ingredients)
If you have read many things on Protecting Your Pennies, you know that saving money is our thing! And one reason that I do not use many or any special ingredients is because of money. The special items tend to cost a lot more than just buying whole foods.
When I committed to the program, a change in my eating habits was my goal. So I stopped trying to eat like I was eating (meaning that I am not attempting to THMify a triple chocolate molten lava cake). And I started trying to eat healthy, simple and whole food meals.
So as opposed to trying to figure out how to take 10 ingredients to make a waffle or a cupcake, I just skip those things. And that is hard for me to say because I LOVE sweets. I choose to go off plan once in a while and eat a treat that will really be enjoyed. Yes it takes some willpower to hop right back on plan but it works for me.
The second reason that special ingredients are skipped in my house is the complication that they add to my life. You will read more about this in number 3. When I hop in the kitchen, I want quick and easy. I want foods I am comfortable with and know that will develop into a meal that my family will eat with no waste.
Special Ingredients Used at My House
While talking about 5 THM things I don’t do, I should probably include what I do purchase. There are a few personal choice items that make my life easier instead of complicating it! So for that reason, I do buy a few of those items fairly consistently. The best news is that these items are typically available at Walmart (and sometimes even Aldi).
Joseph’s Lavash Bread & Pitas
Mission Low Carb Tortillas
Halo Top Ice Cream
Stevia (I very rarely use this but I do usually have it in the pantry)
2. No Shakes, Trimmies, GGMS, Sippers
The first time I did THM and failed, I did try lots of the shakes and GGMS. While I don’t care for the GGMS, many of the shake recipes that I tried from the cookbook were good. I liked them. They were packed with healthy items (although I skip those Okra recipes, I just CAN’T) and tasted yummy.
So why do I not do something that I like? I have two kids and work full time. I am the diaper changer and the runner to extra curricular activities. I am also trying to squeeze in a workout here or there for me. So just like many of you, I am busy.
Although I like the shakes as a snack, most times my snacks need to be quick and even premade or proportioned for grab and go portability. I will make a green smoothie as a breakfast on occasion but in general, my blender stays in my cabinet collecting dust. Only to be used on special occasions.
I know this is not for everyone. I have read on the Facebook groups about plenty of women that have literally burned their motors up from all the use that they give their blenders. But I am just more of a string cheese and handful of nuts THM girl.
3. No Complicated Desserts or Homemade Bread
Lots of people seem to struggle with the desserts that are on plan. The recipes can be time consuming and use lots of special ingredients making them costly. And then if you don’t like the taste, it can be really frustrating to see all of that effort and money wasted.
Since I am not one to stock a ton of special ingredients, I stick to a few very simple desserts that can eliminate my sweet tooth in a pinch. Choosing this path also makes my time in the kitchen much less.
For the bread, I purchase a loaf of sprouted bread for my E meals every week (Aldi makes this so affordable). As I said in number 1, THM meant life changes for me. So as opposed to trying to make a bread that I can eat with S meals, I just don’t eat bread with those meals. It is a small sacrifice for me when I can eat bacon, steak or cheese during those S meals if I choose. And if I am just desperate for something that “feels” like a carb in an S meal, I might choose to have a Mission tortilla or a Joseph’s product.
4. No Eating When I am Not Hungry
The recommendation is trying to eat every 3-4 hours on THM. So for this “rule” I feel like I kind of follow it and kind of don’t.
I never really eat a morning snack. I don’t need a snack in the morning so I don’t eat one. Avoiding a morning snack works for me and I don’t find myself eating more at lunch because I skipped the mid-morning snack. I also don’t experience the sugar valleys with the space between meals here.
I do typically have lunch, an afternoon snack and then dinner. I don’t always have an afternoon snack but I do enjoy one pretty frequently. Lots of people seem to ask on the Facebook THM groups if you HAVE to eat every 3-4 hours.
The principle about why to eat that often is a good one in my opinion. However, sometimes life gets in the way. I also don’t like to eat when I’m not hungry because it isn’t a good habit for me. You may hear to eat smaller meals so that you get hungry by the 3-4 hour mark.
My policy is just to listen to my body. I don’t eat a big breakfast typically so their is not much to cut. I think it is probably the coffee that gives me a full feeling. So for me, sometimes I eat a snack, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I eat every 3 hours and sometimes I go longer. It what works for me.
5. Few Veggies at Breakfast and None Stuffed into Desserts
Ok, so this is not a steadfast rule for me. I will occasionally eat veggies for breakfast. I do like zucchini with my eggs occasionally or a little fresh spinach on a breakfast sandwich. But in general, I don’t eat a lot of veggies at breakfast and I don’t do it daily.
So if you are great about eating veggies at breakfast, just skip this! I think eating more veggies is a great thing and I do TRY to make an effort to include a veggie a couple of times a week in the morning. I just in general can’t stomach eating a veggie for breakfast, so I don’t make myself miserable forcing it. And I still lose weight. Maybe I will get better!
I also don’t make brownies with Okra or muffins with spinach. It just isn’t appealing to me. I choose to eat my veggies at my other meals and snacks. I just try to make sure I get plenty non-starchy veggies throughout the day. Don’t stress about the time of day that they are going in!
1 THM Policy That I Follow Religiously
After writing about the 5 THM things I don’t do, I thought it was only right to tell you the one thing that I always do when following Trim Healthy Mama!
I eat simple, real food meals while alternating fuels. I can tell you 100% honestly that I do not spend any more time in the kitchen when I am doing THM than I would if I was eating in another manner.
By separating fuels at meals, you eat what the plan calls S meals or E meals. There are a few variations listed in the book (Deep S, S helper, FP), however, I think when you are just starting out that just sticking with S or E makes it easier.
My Trim Healthy Mama Success & Resources
You can read about my trim healthy mama story where I have now lost a total of 60 lbs since having my baby boy at the end of 2017.
I have a couple of popular meal plans on the blog that may help you if you are just starting out on THM or if you just need a fresh idea or two. The 7 Frugal THM Dinners meal plan is great if you are on a budget. And the 7 Day THM Meal plan will be of interest if you are visual because I photographed everything that I ate for a full week – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
And if you are a “drive thru Sue” looking for what you can eat on the go, check out my THM S Meals Fast Food Cheat Sheet.
ROBYN MEYER says
Reading this page I feel like I could have written it myself except for the fact that it is just my husband and I at home these days. Our kids are grown and out of the house. I feel like I do spend time meal prepping on the weekends more for lunches to take to work and for hubby to eat during the week. I do buy sweeteners from THM but they last me forever. I don’t make sweets but have made on plan brownies a couple of times. We have been doing the “lifestyle” since September 2018 and each have lost 35+ lbs. We are looking forward to fresh fruits & veggies this summer. Thank you for writing and showing how THM can be done as a lifestyle that can fit any home with personal adaptations !
Stacy Craft says
Hi Robyn, thanks for sharing and congrats on the 35 lbs weight loss for each of you! I really love THM and was hoping to help people that feel overwhelmed by feeling like they have to do it all!
Lori Saxton says
Stacy— I am SO glad to have found this particular blog. I did THM a few times before and yes, it worked but I really got overwhelmed and went back to “normal eating” and back came all the weight.
This most recent plunge into THM again after not feeling well trying keto, I decided I needed simple and whole food groups. I am quite convicted not trying to copycat my old eating style. The results have been amazing and I am so much happier. No wierd sweeteners that
hurt my stomach and no sweating the prep times.
I came across this and went “oh my!! I could have written this!!”
Stacy Craft says
Yay! I love hearing from people that like to do the THM simple version!
I agree with you totally! The simpler the better! I lost 36 pounds 10 years ago doing low carb and have done well since just going back and forth with 5-6 lbs. I love THM because it shows you how to add the good carbs back in. I also like it as my husband is a type 1 diabetic. By eating this way he has cut back his insulin amount dramatically. It just shows you what certain foods do to your body. Thanks for writing this!