10 Tips for a THM Fuel Cycle

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Top 10 tips for a THM Fuel Cycle - if you're a Trim Healthy Mama, this can REALLY help!

I'm sharing some of my best THM Fuel Cycle Tips today! If you've hit a weight loss stall (you can read about my whopper of a stall right here), or need to change things up a bit, you may want to try a Fuel Cycle. A Fuel Cycle is a pattern of meals outlined in the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book that helps you to reset your diet, and often has great results (in my case, I got great results and had a major breakthrough! 

Here are my tips for prepping and successfully completing the THM Fuel Cycle:

Tip #1: Plan the THM Fuel Cycle during a good time.

The first time I tried a Fuel Cycle, I planned it over one of my kids' birthday weeks. Now in some cases, and for some personality types, it may not be so bad to challenge yourself right off the bat with sugary temptations. But for a lot of us, that may be too much. I like to choose a quiet two-week period where we won't be out of the house any more than we normally would, and I try to avoid birthdays and big events that could be too much for my willpower. 

{Side note: I'm reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and learning that how you approach habit building and even quitting sugar or having success on a diet depends on your personality. This is so interesting and has helped me help my kids build good habits, too!}

Tip #2: Prep Ahead.

In my Fuel Cycle Menu, I did a quick mini-prep session where I made Wonder Wraps, Superfood Chews, Boiled Eggs, Brown Rice, and Wonderful White Blender Bread. It took about 45 minutes (you can sign up below to get a download that will walk you through the process), and it made all the difference in the world! Having those items stocked and ready to grab were a lifesaver! A piece of toasted WWBB with 1 tsp of butter on FP days was the perfect snack (you aren't supposed to have nut flours on Deep S days, which is why the Wonderful White Blender Bread is for FP days instead. But if you're not doing a Fuel Cycle, it works for regular S meals and you can add more butter if you'd like).  This prep session works great for freestyling with THM, too, because having something healthy, delicious, and easy to grab available makes it so much easier not to cheat. 

Tip #3: Don't skimp on veggies and salads!

I learned during my last Fuel Cycle that I often ignored veggies when they should be making up a big portion of my plate! Don't omit veggies – try to have a good portion of your plate dedicated to non-starchy veggies with every meal. 

Tip #4: Buy a rotisserie chicken and deli meat.

Drive Thru Sue or not, you can't go wrong with having a fully cooked chicken and some deli meat ready to eat in your refrigerator. I used the dark meat on a salad with vinaigrette for a Deep S meal, shredded chicken breasts with brown rice, black beans, and salsa for an E meal, and chicken breast in a Wonder Wrap with lots of veggies for an FP meal. The possibilities are endless (I have lots of additional rotisserie chicken ideas here), but the important thing is to have a ready-to-go protein handy for busy days. 

Tip #5: Repeat your menu for week 2. 

Make a one week fuel cycle menu, or use mine – but use it twice. Repeating the same menu for week two saves time and money, and also makes me feel more like my fuel cycle is part of building good habits. I definitely recommend repeating a one-week menu to save some energy and simplify the fuel cycle. 

Tip #6: Try this custard shake for Deep S Days. 

I was pleasantly surprised by this vanilla shake from Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved. It's creamy, it's good, and it's very, very filling!

Tip #7: Make sure you have collagen.

I keep a few packets of collagen in my purse and some bottles of water or Good Girl Moonshine in my car for a quick FP beverage if I'm out of the house. You could also just buy your own THM Collagen (my favorite), and put it in snack sized baggies to carry with you. That way I can be sure I'm getting some protein in and not giving myself the excuse that I “need” to drive through somewhere for fast food. I also always try to keep some snacks in the car for my kids so I don't use them as an excuse to go off-plan, either. 

Tip #8: Try it dairy-free.

I've done quite a few THM Fuel Cycles, and I've always found that dairy-free yields greater results. I still use butter (you can use ghee, if you need to), and I also make my Wonderful White Blender Bread with Greek yogurt. Otherwise I try to skip dairy altogether. 

Tip #9: Drink a lot of water. 

Have you heard that you should try drinking water if you're hungry, because you may just be thirsty? I feel like that has been proven true in every Fuel Cycle I've done. Often a glass of water takes those hungry/bored feelings away and I realize that I don't need to eat. It's easy to confuse thirst for hunger, so I'm trying to build the habit of drinking a glass of water between meals to help me differentiate between the two. 

Tip #10: If you mess up, don't quit!

On Wednesday of week 1 of my last Fuel Cycle, a sweet friend bought a Starbucks coffee for me. I wouldn't want to tell her no, or reject such a sweet offering, so I drank it (feeling guilty the whole time). Now, I know from listening to the Trim Healthy Mama Podcast that I would have been much better off if I'd skipped the guilty feelings and just enjoyed my drink, so I'll try to savor each sip if that ever happens again. But the lesson here is that the minute I finished my drink and set my cup down, I decided I was back on plan, and back on the Fuel Cycle. It's that easy. I didn't binge on other sugary treats, I didn't decide that I'd already ruined my day (or my Fuel Cycle!) and quit. I just decided that my drink was one mistake in an otherwise fantastic Fuel Cycle, and it was time to move on. I got right back on track. 

It's so easy to tell ourselves that we've already blown it, and we might as well eat another cookie, or eat off-plan for the rest of the day, or just give up entirely. But that is NEVER the better way! Pick yourself back up and dust yourself off and decide from this minute on you are going to treat your body the way it deserves to be treated. I know you can do it!

Those are my Top 10 Tips for a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle – feel free to sign up below to get a free mini-prep session to help you have a successful week on THM!

My Favorite Fuel Cycle Resources:

FREE THM Fuel Cycle Menu & Shopping List

What's Next? What I Did AFTER a Fuel Cycle

Free Fuel Cycle Prep Ahead Instructions:

Sign up here for your free prep-ahead instructions! I'll walk you through making five THM Fuel Cycle staples in about 45 minutes. 🙂

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