Mom rants about the Trim Healthy Mama diet
And by "mom" I mean me. You guys, I have some things to say about THM.
Okay. Have you heard of the this? Let me sum it up for you. These two Christian sisters who used to be Christian singers but are now stay at home moms and have no nutrition background, wrote this book with the cheesiest-ass name ever: Trim Healthy Mama. Moms from all over are hopping on the plan because they can "eat cake every day!"
Their original book was 642 pages. They boast that their plan is easy to follow yet it contains 642 pages of rules and regulations. What you can't eat and when you have to eat. It's exhausting. They eventually came out with two separate books to replace the original. Their Plan book (336 pages) and the Cookbook (512 pages) to go along with it. (affiliate links in this post)
Most of the recipes in their cookbook contain ingredients that are their own brand "Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend" and several other products, and by principle, I just don't do diets that require purchasing special products. This is my same beef with the Beachbody company and their unreasonably expensive Shakeology product. I know so many people who have success on that plan, but I still have trouble getting behind a "lifestyle" that requires me to spend so much money on their products. That is not sustainable to me. But this is not about Beachbody, it is about Trim Healthy Mama.
Oh wait, did I mention that this is a "Biblically sound" diet? Whatever the hell that means? The sisters don't eat pork (though it is allowed in the diet), and then they quote some verses but completely disregard others. It felt very forced and like a way to get in to the Christian mom niche (which is huge and apparently buys stuff like this). It's confusing and a total stretch.
So I tried it...
Naturally. I'm typically someone who judges something relentlessly for two years before giving in and trying it myself. I'm still a year and a half away from purchasing Lularoe Leggings (that's a rant for another day).
From the first time I heard about this plan no one could really explain it to me. They kept talking about "S" meals and "E" meals (phrases that only exist in this plan and are stupid nonsensical names in the first place). They talked about how often you could or couldn't eat and all the things you couldn't eat, but they somehow ate cake out of mugs everyday. Nothing added up and it baffled my mind that anyone would even try this garbage.
Then a friend of mine (who is an actual scientist) recommended it and I thought if a scientist lady thinks it's legit, I could hear her out. She said that it wasn't confusing and then boiled it down for me in an easy explanation. "You can eat protein + fat or you can eat protein + carbs but you cannot eat carbs and fat together."
Then I came across this post by Crystal at moneysavingmom.com and thought it was worth a try. You should read it, but I'll spoil it for you. She had to quit the diet, because she was losing too much weight. That's the sort of first world problem I want to have.
So I bought the plan and the cookbook and dug in. It took a couple days to wrap my mind around, but then it was pretty easy. After years of not allowing myself to have carbs (even the good ones), I was finally able to eat sweet potatoes and oatmeal again! It tasted like freedom.
And let's be honest, I do enjoy the process of trying out new diets. I know it's so unhealthy to put my body through all of that, but I enjoy it. Have you read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling? She talked about fad dieting being a hobby for her and I was like, "I DO have a hobby after all!" My love for Mindy Kaling is for another day. She's a boss...literally and figuratively.
I've been following THM for 2 weeks and...
I'm down 3 pounds and I don't feel guilty when I eat. The weight loss is secondary to the freedom with food I've been experiencing. Two weeks is not a long time, but it feels truly sustainable and can provide freedom to people who have given their lives to low carb or low calorie diets in the past.
Last spring I lost the rest of my pregnancy weight which was about 10lb and 8 inches in 6 weeks following the slow carb diet from Tim Ferriss' book the 4 Hour Body (which I recommend for rapid weight lost and body recomposition...he claims 20lb in 30 days for people who have a starting weight above 120lb), but it is fairly restrictive and lean and I just never felt satisfied. Also, I hate lentils, and it's hard to follow it if you don't like lentils. If you are looking to jump start something, I highly recommend giving the slow carb a try for a month, but it didn't work for me as a maintenance diet even though he requires binge days for his plan. I will say, his love for kettle bells has stuck with me. He also addresses the female orgasm in this book which he apparently did a lot of research for (and I'm sure he loved every second of), so you are welcome.
Other diets have been calorie restricted and if I went one calorie over 1200, I would feel so guilty.
I feel satisfied and my stomach feels flatter. Overall it's going well. I still refuse to make the recipes that require their special ingredients. I'm sure they are fine, but they are expensive and I just refuse to follow something that requires me to buy their products. There are only a handful of the recipes from the cookbook, but they are worth buying the book for. Really, for the most part I just pick a protein, pick either a carb (starchy vegetable or a fruit) or a fat (cheese, avocados, bacon, etc) and then fill the rest of the meal out with vegetables. It's easy and satisfying.
I hate that I'm writing this post. It's humbling to so severely judge a "fad" like this only to hop on the bandwagon two years later. But that's how I roll. I'll let you know when I quit because I have begun losing too much weight.
Have you tried it? What has your experience been?
NOTE: Sarah Knox, of mommingishard.com, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com