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THM - How TO Get Started

I often see ladies confused on where to start the Trim Healthy Mama plan... some who haven't bought the book and are trying to do it by using the loads of info on pinterest, blogs, fb groups, I find others that have bought the book but are overwhelmed by the size of it... sometimes they take courage and read a page here and there, then they read something like "bananas are loaded with sugar" and they quickly close it again, put it away and feel like "they'll never get it" or "it's too hard" .... some others have bought it and read it (even more than once), they've highlighted and taken notes and they are at the stage where is all a lot of head knowledge but they don't know how to take those first steps and now WALK it.... they don't know how to land all that knowledge and translate it into daily meals....
So... what do I have to say for all of them?

Well... To those who haven't bought the book at all... PLEASE DO SO! Pinterest, Fb groups, blogs, etc... are all AMAZING TOOLS! But you'll keep coming back with not the normal regular questions we all are going to need help with ... .but questions that are clearly solved when reading the book... why can't we have honey? Why can't I have milk? My mom said I should eat more bananas... I want to have corn with my chili and so on... all those resources you'll find online are great things you can use once you've read the book.... that way, you'll also be able to distinguish if the pinterest recipe is actually a good one! (many bloggers add "THM" to their recipe but not all of them have all on plan ingredients.... ) ... If you think the book is expensive... try to save for it... it is worth it... I've often baked cookies and pies to buy something extra I've wanted... I even bought a rowing machine saving for it by selling pies, cakes, etc... where there's a will there's a way... but if you're already doing everything you can and every cent is crucial for your budget, that's ok too... check your local library, they might have a copy of the book. But yes... You DO need to have one.

Now... if you are the one who has bought the book but you're overwhelmed by the size of it... Let me assure you... there's great info there... Don't let the size scare you... There are some chapters that are not essential to get started (you can read those later), start from the beginning, DO READ the "science" behind it (first chapters) just tackle it!

If you have read it and read it and don't know where to start it could be for three reasons:

1. You feel like you just "don't get it" but let me tell you something... most of us THMs don't have a PHD, we're not geniuses, most of us have children (which I think highly damages the brain - LOL - and attention span), so... you are "getting it" but you're still unsure, and that's ok... "Practice Makes Perfect" it's until you start to apply the little things that you DO get that things click! It's like when you're in school ... you almost learn things by memory... 2+2=4 ... it might not even make much sense at first you just get it as "head knowledge" and then one day you can actually perform your own math problems... based on that same principle that 2+2=4 :)

2. You are a perfectionist - Yup... admit it... You feel like you want to get started when EVERYTHING is perfect... but allow yourself to make mistakes... it's ok... again, start practicing what you learned... if you don't understand something ask... apply the basic principles... what are those? Well... I know I can share those because they've already been shared on THM approved blogs so here I go....

Protein is the core of your meal....

You will either combine your protein with  a FUEL source... either FAT (for an S meal) or with CARBS (for an E meal) to promote weight loss... if you add both FAT AND CARBS then you have fuel collision and you get a crossover. Crossovers are plan approved but NOT weight loss inducing.
  • Satisfying (S) Meals (Protein + Fat)  - (Always try to include non starchy veggies) 
    • For example: Some sort of lean or fatty meat with buttered veggies or avocado, unsweetened nut butters, coconut oil is your best friend!
  • Energizing (E) Meals (LEAN Protein + Carbs) 
    • For example: Some sort of lean meat with a carb source (starchy veggies, oatmeal, lentils, beans, brown rice, quinoa)  (Fats up to only 1 tsp.)
  • Fuel Pull (FP) Meals (Lean Protein)
    • For example: A source of LEAN protein like a chicken breast with a salad, carbs and fats are both kept to a minimum or zero. Here you are not adding a fuel source with your protein.
  • Crossover ... Here you can mix both fuels...  
  • S- Helper: It's an S meal with a little bit of "E" carbs added... like 1/4 cup of beans, 1 slice of ezekiel bread, etc.
  Non starchy veggies are always a great addition, 0% Greek yogurt (unflavored) is plan approved and a great source of protein for any setting, (there's a new Oikos Triple Zero that is plan approved and it is flavored, it is delicious and it is FP, should only eat 1/2 a cup of that one in an S setting)

Always eat every THREE HOURS  (and a maximum of 4) ... avoid eating sooner than those 3 hours (in any setting but particularly if switching fuels)

See? You can get started... There's a lot more info... but... you have the book... right? If you start applying these principles you can then go more into each detail later... but the thing is... Let's get you STARTED!

Now... the other reason why you might not know where to start is:

3. You read the words "erythritol" or "glucommanan" and you feel like you will never be able to cook "normal" food again .... these sound like ingredients that you thought only the big food companies had access to! What kind of thing is going on in THM kitchens with such ingredients? Well... those are simple ingredients with big names... and guess what... all "special" ingredients in the book are not INDISPENSABLE for this plan. I actually recommend you START with the ingredients that you're familiar with (like chicken, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, beans, ground beef, cheese, avocados, apples, peanut butter, etc.) and once you get more familiar with this lifestyle look for a recipe that you really want to try and get adventurous and start getting the ingredients AS YOU ARE NEEDING THEM one at a time... that way it will not impact your wallet too hard either... You might find that you don't need them at all... or that you love them all so much that then they'll just become a staple in your kitchen.


Something else I want to recommend for beginners... Don't jump into THAT DELICIOUS LOOKING THM chocolate cake right away....

If you already did and it tasted "disgusting" let me tell you something... Your words don't offend us! LOL! ... I've seen so many times on the THM facebook group posts that say:

"I HATE THE MIM" (MIM = Muffin In a Mug) it IS DISGUSTING!

... Before you say more... let me tell you... We have HEARD IT ALL! yeah yeah... "DISGUSTING, BITTER, YUCK, AWFUL, HORRIBLE, CAN'T STAND IT, ETC."

Many of us were right where you are... I know you don't believe me... you feel like "your case is special" ... but IT ISN'T ... Your taste buds are tricking you!!! (sounds impossible to believe but it is true) ... I know exactly what stevia tastes like to you right now... and I know that it feels like "there's now way this is ever going to taste good" but... it does... and it tastes better not by "eating lots of it" ... it's not even so much a thing of "getting used to it" as much as getting RID of the "old sugar" in your system... Some ladies say it took them weeks to tolerate stevia... it took me MONTHS!!! I am a baker... (don't go to my older, way older posts but if you do you'll see a person who "loved her sugar") ... I know what "good tastes like" and when someone promised me I would eventually like stevia I actually shuddered and inside of me... I REFUSED TO! There was no way! I didn't even WANT TO like such an awful thing!!!! But one day... after cleaning my system for months and in desperation for eating something sweet I tried it again... and... hey! This is actually good!!!! And now... well... here I am... TOTALLY HOOKED!

So... don't start with desserts or you  will for sure be disappointed... start with your meals and snacks, one at a time... every three hours, avoiding fuel collision... have eggs and bacon.... grilled chicken and guacamole, chicken breast with brown rice, etc... etc... You'll get the hang of it... and once you've flushed SUGAR out of your system... give a dessert a try... allow yourself to not like it... and try again soon!

So... I guess that's my advice for those who want to get started but are still "on the fence" ... this plan is worth it! If you are still confused about some concepts... it might be actually more because it challenges your way of thinking... and I have another post on that here: THM IS TOO CONFUSING!

An extra TIP for beginners: ALWAYS READ YOUR LABELS... some of the big things you don't want to see:

Soy, Corn, Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave, Cane Sugar, Cane juice, Evaporated cane juice, Dextrose, Maltitol, Sucralose, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, etc.

Learn to read those Nutrition Labels... You are always looking for NO sugar added... (no matter if you're eating S, E, FP, Crossover, SH)... how do you know if something has sugar added or not? It should be specified in the Ingredients section, right below the CHART that shows how many grams of each component, for example, tomatoes have natural sugars in them, you might see a pasta sauce that has 6 grams of sugar and it might be on plan as long as there is NO sugar in the ingredients.

Another thing to get started on the right foot is... ATTITUDE... Remember.... Every plan (no matter how freeing) still has some guidelines we need to follow in order to succeed.... yes... there are going to be some "sacrifices" to be made... but you're doing the most "doable" thing there is in order to lose weight and be healthy.... you're not willing to "pay" a little in order to attain it? How much do you really want it? I honestly get a little too sad when I see people almost with a "threatening" attitude saying: "I hate my coffee on THM I am going to quit" ... I get sad for them ... because... they are just hurting themselves... but I see they're probably not ready yet... yes... every change, even a good one requires adjustment and getting a little uncomfortable... Give it some time.... You will find yourself liking your coffee soon enough! There are great options... and even in the odd case that we aren't able to provide you with a good choice for you and your coffee... will you let that stop you from regaining your health? Just some food for thought. (wink)

I know there's a LOT MORE that I am not covering... hey... there's a book for that! And I know your reasons to still "be on the fence" might be different from what I mentioned.... you fear for your budget, you are afraid to "quit your bread", you don't want to cook different food for you than from your family, etc... but trust me.... no need to fear... whatever your reasons are just know that this works... and it is adaptable for everyone. Let's just get you started... the future is bright on THM!

© Paloma K.

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Regina said...

Great post! Thank you, I'll pass this along to my daughters.

Lisa said...

Very encouraging. Thanks!