Changing is hard, especially if we’re changing daily habits. For the first four months of my marriage, I slept on my husband’s 15-year-old brick of a full bed because he wasn’t ready to change mattresses. When we got the new, pillow-top, king-size mattress, it took some time for him to get used to it. But after a few weeks, he realized (and admitted) that the new mattress was way better than the old one, and he was glad we had made the change.
I felt the same way about Trim Healthy Mama. I was comfortable with my old way of eating. Fast food, heavy carbs, and highly processed sweets were familiar—but they weren’t good for me, and they weren’t really making me happy. So I made the change. It took a few weeks for me to become comfortable with the new way of eating; now, it’s my normal. I’m healthy. I’m losing weight. And I love it. So here are some of my tips to help you start changing.
- Start with foods you already eat. During my first few weeks on THM, I prepared regular foods I was accustomed to eating, but organized them into S, E, and FP meals and snacks.
- For instance, my husband likes steak. So I made steak with buttered green beans for dinner. Protein & fat, no carbs. That’s a great S dinner, and it fit into my normal life.
- I like eggs for breakfast. So if I wanted an S breakfast, I ate fried eggs and bacon with some berries. If I wanted an E breakfast, I ate scrambled egg whites on sprouted wheat toast with berries. Not hard. Not a big change. I already liked eggs, bacon, toast, and berries.
- Keep family variations simple. My husband doesn’t want to eat my ‘special’ foods. So I often make variations between his meal and mine. But to simplify my own life, I never make more than one variation between our two meals.
- If we eat on-plan waffles, he uses regular maple syrup, and I use sugar-free berry syrup, which is usually an E. Easy.
- If he wants nachos, I eat nacho toppings on salad, which is usually an S. Easy.
- If you are cooking for children, you will need to make crossover variations. But adding a simple grain to an S dinner or some fat to an E shouldn’t take over your whole day.
- Drink GGMS. Good Girl Moonshine (GGMS) is a great beverage for hydration, as well as kicking sugary beverage addictions. It took me a few tries to find a recipe I liked. Once I did, there was no going back.
- Plan ahead. Lack of planning is my downfall in many aspects of my life. But when I make a solid menu for the week, and purchase all the ingredients, I am more likely to eat healthy—partly just because I don’t want all that food I paid for to go to waste. Check out our free menu planner.
- Find your go-to recipes. I tried some recipes I didn’t like—some were so inedible I threw them away. But I also found some I loved. I made those recipes over and over again. I made them so often I memorized them. I kept the ingredients on hand so that whenever hunger struck, I could whip up something healthy.
- Incorporate new foods and ingredients when you’re ready. Just because you’re starting out with familiar foods, doesn’t mean you should stay there. As you become more comfortable with the plan, it can be fun to try new things that you’ve never liked or heard of before: jicama, glucommanan, protein powder, etc. I have a big bag of golden milled flax seed in my fridge. You think that was there before THM? No, I’m pretty sure it’s on the shelf where the leftover takeout used to be.
- Learn as you go. It’s hard to fully understand the plan without actually trying it. Don’t wait until you know everything to start implementing it in your life. Don’t be afraid of ‘messing up,’ just try it, and continue learning as you go.
- Use reliable resources. The book should be your first stop. Read and re-read and reference. The official Trim Healthy Mama website is great, too. I also spend time on the Facebook pages (great support from both followers and admin) and on qualified blogs.
- Don’t stress out about going ‘off-plan.’ It happens. It is not an actual sin to eat a piece of cake, so don’t waste time feeling guilty about it. My husband took me out to dinner for our anniversary to the restaurant where we had our first date. I ate flautas and chips and guacamole. I enjoyed it. I went off-plan for one meal for a good reason. The next morning, I was back on plan for breakfast. I have not been struck by lightening for my eating indiscretion. Every time you go off plan, you can go right back on-plan three hours later.
- Get support. I love to text my mother-in-law, who introduced me to THM, when I have success. If your family members and friends aren’t fans of THM, reach out to the THM Facebook family for encouragement. Some of us spend all day on those pages, and we want you to have the same success we’re having.
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Ten Tips for Starting Trim Healthy Mama