I've been a Trim Healthy Mama for about five years now. Well, to be clear, I wasn't “Trim” that entire time, but I was getting there! As I've shared before, I got to my goal weight after several months and easily maintained that weight loss with Trim Healthy Mama. When I first got started, I struggled. And when I'd fall off the wagon, I'd struggle again. But I stuck with it, and I'm so glad I did!
Quite a few of my friends have started on their own Trim Healthy Mama journeys, and it occurred to me that I was basically telling them all the same thing when they'd ask for advice…so I thought I'd share it with you, too! (If you want to start Trim Healthy Mama, but you're concerned about the cost, here's a post on how I started THM for just $8). Here are my top tips for getting started with (or re-committing to) Trim Healthy Mama:
1. Start with breakfast. When I started THM, I was a bit overwhelmed. By starting with just one on-plan meal a day, I was able to adjust more easily, and really understand what true “S” and “E” meals are by keeping it simple. Bacon and eggs is a great, easy S, and an excellent way to start Trim Healthy Mama. Once I had breakfast down, I started eating only on-plan snacks, then I added lunches, then dinners, and before I knew it the weight was melting off!
2. Makeover recipes you already use. I'm as tempted by Pinterest as the next girl. And when I started looking at online forums, I knew I'd have a hard time figuring out which meals I could eat. I also started to feel like I was spending hours in the kitchen. So I started looking at recipes I already used, and that my family already loved, and realized that I could THM-ify our favorite meals with little effort.
For example, if I made tacos I could just skip the tortilla for an S. If I made steak, potatoes, and veggies, I could let my growing kids have the potatoes and stick to steak and veggies for myself. Instead of ground beef, rice, and beans (crossover), I switched to chicken breast, brown rice, and beans (E, swapping a leaner protein for the fattier ground beef). Favorite salads were naturally good S meals, and my all-time favorite Alfredo sauce recipe from Pioneer Woman still worked as a heavy S over Dreamfields noodles or spaghetti squash for a gluten-free option. By making over recipes that we already used, I learned that THM can be simple and easy.
3. A little prep goes a long way! If I spend about 1/2 an hour to an hour in the kitchen every week, I can bake some chicken to keep on hand for easy salads or wraps. I can make a dessert, or slice some cheese cubes and veggies for snacks, and have it all in the fridge, ready to go. One of my favorite things to do is make a few batches of Oopsie Roll Eclairs from the THM book, omitting the chocolate. They freeze well, so I can keep a half dozen in the fridge and the rest in the freezer to eat with berries for a quick, protein-packed snack when I'm in a rush.
Even better, I make three dinners instead of one at a time which helps me to stock my freezer with healthy dinners. I have meal ideas, menus, and shopping lists in the Menus and Meal Planning section.
4. Eat at home. I'm not saying you can never eat out as a Trim Healthy Mama. Not at all! In fact, I've shared my meal choices at restaurants with you before. But for me, when I'm eating out, I have a much harder time dealing with temptation. Eating at home as much as possible keeps me on track and aware of what I'm eating, without the extra temptation of fries and sugary desserts.
5. Speaking of desserts, find a favorite! I have a few go-to desserts that keep me sane (and from driving to Cold Stone whenever I get the urge). My all-time favorites are these Pumpkin Cream-Cheese Muffins and Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies from All Day I Dream About Food (you can't even tell they're healthy, but I do substitute blackstrap molasses for the Yakon syrup!). There are some delicious dessert ideas here, too (I put 31 of them together in one post for you).
6. Stock up on drinks – I've talked about this before, but if you're a soda addict, you probably need to keep a few alternates in your fridge. Here are my favorite THM-compliant drinks.
7. Exercise. You can do it! Even if it's just walking, getting moving will help you a ton! It improves your energy levels and keeps you motivated to eat healthy. There are great suggestions in the Trim Healthy Mama book, plus I have a list of my favorite quick and effective exercise programs here.
8. Keep convenience foods for emergencies. ALWAYS have healthy snacks available! It could save your waistline and your health! Here are 31 snack ideas for THM to get you started. I keep Quest bars in my cavernous, already over-stuffed diaper bag, and before I was totally gluten-free I used to buy Dreamfields pasta and Joseph's Pita Bread. (Note: these products are the ones that I use, and they are affiliate links, which help to keep my computer running at no additional cost to you if you use them.)
Update: If you struggle with sweeteners, give Trim Healthy Mama's Sweet Blend a try! It's my favorite, and I like it far better than Truvia or anything available in the store.
I also have a new book of pre-made meal plans (they are undated, so you could even use them for years to come!) with shopping lists, prep-ahead ideas, and tons of bonus meal worksheets available now.
That's it! Those are my top tips for success with THM. Have you been following Trim Healthy Mama? If you have any tips, please comment!
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I've done the meal planning for you!
I'll send you free meal plans and shopping lists! All gluten-free, all sugar-free, and all work for THM.