If you’re anything like me, the phrase “Trim Healthy Mama” (aka THM) didn’t really mean much to you – maybe you’d never even heard of it – up until this point. I was vaguely aware of the existence of the plan because several ladies at my church follow it, but as far as details, I couldn’t tell ya much. Or anything, actually.
So last week I got a hold of a copy of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. This book is the 300ish-page summarized version of the 650ish-page original book Trim Healthy Mama. The writers, sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison, have also released two cookbooks: Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and Trim Healthy Table.
I’ve read most of the way through the book so far, and I’ve gotten the gist of the plan. THM is clearly geared toward women but the authors say their husbands love it and have also lost or maintained weight on the plan. In this post, I’ll lay out a very broad overview. I’ll share my thoughts about it and what the research has to say in future posts.
The plan incorporates the nutritional concepts behind several different “diets” or eating plans. It’s a little bit of glycemic index, a little bit of carbohydrate counting, some low fat, and some low carb, topped with a skosh of mindful eating (you didn’t know that was how skosh was spelled, did you? Me neither…I had to look it up). Pearl and Serene have created their own terminology with which to couch all of these different concepts. Here are a few THM glossary entries you’ll need to know:
S (aka satisfying) meal: a high fat, low carb meal with plenty of protein
E (aka energizing) meal: a moderate carb, low fat meal with plenty of protein
Crossovers: meals that contain both S (high fat) foods and E (high carb) foods
Fuel pull: a type of food that is low enough in both fat and carbs that it doesn’t count toward either group and can be added to either S meals or E meals
Fuel pull meal: low-calorie meal comprised primarily of protein and fuel pull foods
THM is designed so you can customize your own plan based on your needs:
- Weight loss – avoid crossover meals and stick primarily to S or E meals separated by at least 2.5-3 hours, with occasional fuel pull meals sprinkled in
- Weight maintenance – eat a mix of S, E, and crossover meals
- Weight gain – eat primarily crossover meals
- Children, pregnant, nursing – focus on eating mostly crossover meals to support increased nutritional needs
The meals and their organization are based on the premise of selecting fuels intentionally based on your goals. According to the authors, eating multiple fuels at a time is more conducive to weight gain/maintenance, while limiting fuels to one type or the other at a time is more conducive to weight loss. Stay tuned for how this lines up with physiology and research!
There are quite a few nuances and specifics about the foods that comprise each type of meal which I haven’t mentioned here, since this is a broad summary. I start following Trim Healthy Mama on Monday, so keep an eye out for posts with more detail and what it’s like for me while following the plan. Let me know what you think or if you have specific questions in the comments!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with the producers or manufacturers of this product; however, as an Amazon Associate, I receive compensation for any purchases of products through the links on this post.