If you are tired of the yo-yo diet life and are ready for a healthy lifestyle instead, consider trying Trim Healthy Mama. This is how I found food freedom and broke free of diet life for good with Trim Healthy Mama.
I am Katie and I am a sugar addict and yo-yo dieter.
I can remember sneaking treats as a kid. I remember hiding a cheesecake under my bed in my teens because I wanted to get the most slices. It’s astonishing I didn’t end up with major food poisoning from letting a pie with CREAM CHEESE AND SOUR CREAM sit in my room for hours without refrigeration. But I wanted it all to myself.
I spent years trying to control my eating. I remember a period in college when I thought I could survive on canned green beans and olives. That lasted about two days before I was at the campus pizza place.
I also remember the first time I got stuck in a pair of pants, like really stuck. I was probably nineteen and they were a pair of khaki capris that I zipped up, buttoned, and then the zipper separated but I couldn’t get them down. The zipper was stuck in the up position, the teeth no longer linked, and I was trapped in my pants. I cried to my mom and within a few days, I was signed up for Curves for Women and Weight Watchers.
I did okay on Weight Watchers. I knew how to work the system back when everything had points. I knew what prepackaged foods I could eat and what would set me over my point allowance. I skipped over lots of healthy foods because I could eat a few starbursts for the same amount of points. I wasn’t doing myself any favors!
After our second baby was born I was determined to shed the weight. I weighed about 220lbs when I delivered him and over the next year, I worked out for an hour or two every day and ate the same size portions I gave our two-year-old. I dropped the weight, but I still overindulged on sugar and was robbing my body of healthy, nourishing foods.
This all came to a head last summer when I was finally tired of being tired. My body hurt, I was definitely still eating too much sugar and not enough veggies (despite my love for salad), and I decided I needed to change. I didn’t want a restrictive set of rules that I would feel chained to but instead, I wanted to find a way to eat that I could follow for life.
How did I learn about Trim Healthy Mama?
I remember hearing about Trim Healthy Mama YEARS ago when Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom wrote a post called “Why I quit following Trim Healthy Mama.” In it, she talks about how much she loved the plan but ultimately she lost TOO MUCH WEIGHT. She could not keep it on. I thought it was crazy and never really thought about it again.
But then another blogger I follow and love, Erin Odom of Humbled Homemaker shared how she was back to following Trim Healthy Mama and was seeing tremendous results. She posted her food on Instagram and after a few months, I was intrigued. I checked out the book from the library and decided it could be worth a try. So in we jumped.
What is Trim Healthy Mama?
Trim Healthy Mama is a way of eating that focuses on balancing blood sugar and healing our bodies from the inside out.
The goal of Trim Healthy Mama is not to lose weight but rather to get away from the goods that are causing damage and run towards foods that your body needs. A benefit of choosing healthy and healing foods? We often do end up seeing a change on the scale and the way our clothes fit! But I promise that the way you feel will make you a believer long before measurable changes take place.
How do you start Trim Healthy Mama?
- Cut out white flour, white sugar, and white rice
All three of these will spike your blood sugar and are very simple carbs that will do nothing to help you heal.
- Anchor every meal with protein
This is not a high protein diet, but protein is vital to life. There is a multitude of ways to get protein such as meat, fish, beans, and dairy. Certain types of protein are better suited for different types of meals because of fat or carb content.
- Separate your carbs & fats
Our bodies use sugar, protein, fat, and carbs for fuel. If it has all of those your cells will get full before they ever burn through it all and the extra will get stored as fat. By eliminating added sugar and focusing on protein with either fats or carbs, your body will be running efficiently.
Trim Healthy Mama breaks these down into Satisfying (S) meals which include healthy fats and Energizing (E) meals that use healthy, complex carbs.
- Eat every 3 hours (or so)
Not only are we making sure to give our bodies separate fuels for efficient burning, we also need to give it time to use up that fuel! I’m a snacker. I can mindlessly eat ALL DAY LONG. And it’s definitely not because I’m hungry. This has been a big shift for me but it has made such a difference.
I get to eat snacks now. I don’t need to feel guilty for making a mug cake or having celery and hummus between lunch and dinner. I just keep anywhere between 2.5 to 4 hours between my eating times and I’m good.
Make sure you are eating enough (especially protein) at meals and snacks so you can last at least 2.5 hours before eating again. And really, 2.5 hours is not that long!
- Load up on non-starchy veggies
Green leafy veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, cucumber, okra, radishes, asparagus… the list goes on and on! No need to worry about the carbs in any of these (and others) but load them up! I will frequently have half to two-thirds of my plate overloaded with veggies. Yum!
- Give yourself grace
It’s okay if you eat something “off plan” because you have the opportunity to fix it in 3 hours. No cleaning your system out, no waiting until the next day for points to reset, just three simple hours.
There are times I have chosen to go off plan knowing I can fix it in three hours. We love sushi and our sushi place does not offer brown rice. Instead, I eat all the sushi I want and then three hours later eat something that’s on plan. Or I go to bed and eat a good breakfast instead!
We all slip up and can never be completely perfect. Even the sisters who popularized this plan, Serene and Pearl, have talked about how they plan their comebacks for when they eat off-plan. This is not about a rigid set of rules but instead a way of life.
- Check out the books
I started with the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book that I checked out from the library. I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with the plan so I didn’t want to spend the money right away. I read about 75% of the book because I skipped a few chapters at the end. I got the gist of the plan and that was enough for me.
It’s a big book and if you want a more condensed version, I recommend Trim Healthy Table which is their second cookbook. The first few chapters break down the plan in a quick, easy to understand way, without going into all the nitty-gritty details of the science like the plan book does.
The first cookbook, Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, is full of delicious recipes and lots of them are single-serving recipes which are nice if you are the only one following the plan in your home. I own this book and use it multiple times each week, if not per day!
I absolutely suggest looking at your library for these books first. If they don’t carry them, see if they would be willing to buy them for their collection. My library used to only have the plan book and even rejected my purchase request for the cookbooks because they were available from InterLibrary Loan. I requested them again and again from the other library and after several times of doing this, my home library finally purchased them to keep in town. Yay!
Why did I choose Trim Healthy Mama?
- I was addicted to sugar
I used more bottled creamer in my coffee than actual coffee. I could barely stop myself from eating an entire bag of M&Ms or more than one slice of cake. I made extra frosting for cakes and couldn’t wait for my next fix. I needed help and cutting it out was the only choice.
- The balanced approach
I am not a fan of cutting out entire healthy food groups. I remember when Atkins came out that it seemed so extreme. The same with many other diets. I love fruit, bread, and oatmeal. Cheese is a staple of our grocery list and don’t even think about taking my bacon!
I really appreciated that all the foods I love (minus sugar) could still be eaten but in a strategic way to heal my body.
- The Biblical truths
After years of extreme dieting themselves, Serene and Pearl turned to the Bible to find out how God feels about food. They realized that because God made these foods we are clearly meant to eat them. Yes! But again, eating them in a way that allows our body to use them efficiently.
- Lifestyle vs. diet
I’ve done the diet thing. I’ve done the counting, tracking, feeling like I’m deprived thing. It’s not for me and it’s not sustainable for most people. Some people love tracking. I’m not that person. I wanted a way to eat that wouldn’t feel like a chore and that I could do long term. Most of what we eat is exactly what we ate before, with minor adjustments to stay on plan. Of course we can eat this way for life!
- Grace upon grace
There is no shame when I go off plan, intended or not. I don’t feel guilty when I eat chips and salsa at Chilis. I don’t sweat it when I have a small bag of popcorn at the movies (with extra butter!) and I definitely don’t get all panicky when I grab a sample from the Chinese place at the mall. One bite or one indulgence does not set me off course. I enjoy it and move on knowing I am more than what I put in my mouth.
How has Trim Healthy Mama worked for me?
Since we began Trim Healthy Mama in August of 2019 I have lost about 40 pounds. I honestly don’t step on the scale much anymore. I have dropped about 4 sizes in pants and a size or two in shirts, depending on the style.
Don’t mind my super “blessed” hair! Haha! I take my progress photos around 5:30am when I get up to workout so making myself look cute is not the goal.
I don’t hurt constantly. I used to have terrible hip and back pain and I always attributed it to my years as a dancer. I figured all the years of pushing my body to be flexible and physical had taken their toll and this is what I was left with. I was wrong! I occasionally still get back or hip pain, but it’s usually from a workout or actual injury, not because I’m inflamed from sugar.
My brain works! Yes, I still have mommy-brain because hello, five kids! But it’s nothing compared to what it was. I can get things done and stay focused.
I rarely get headaches anymore. I’ve been a heavy water drinker for years so I can’t even attribute my lack of headaches to increased water intake that many can. It’s the sugar fog that I finally broke free from!
If you want to learn more about Trim Healthy Mama
I highly recommend reading the plan book to start. While you are waiting, Gwen’s Nest has a wonderful beginner’s guide with a plan breakdown, recipe ideas, and helpful tips.
I also really love the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group. There are thousands of women in this group (and it’s women only!) but it is so encouraging and a wonderful resource. If I ever have a question I know I can search the group for others who have wondered the same thing or ask it and immediately have responses. They cheer each other on for the big and little victories alike. Resisting your child’s candy stash earns just as big of a celebration as a huge scale milestone.
While I don’t plan on changing what I blog about, I do plan on sharing a bit more about my journey and helpful tips for it on occasion because of how much it’s helped me! It’s definitely brought a little more joy to our chaos over the last several months.
Trim Healthy Mama is having a sale!
For 48 hours, Trim Healthy Mama is running a sale on their best selling items! On March 17th and 18th only you can get discounts on items like Baking Blend, Sweeteners, Whey Protein, and more!