Thursday, June 20, 2013

Losing the "Baby Weight", Part 2 - Trim Healthy Mama!

I have a very exciting concept and book to recommend to you all for optimum healthy living, but also for weight loss and maintenance of that "new you" once you've achieved it!  

The book is called Trim Healthy Mama!

From Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison, "those Above Rubies ladies" as I always hear others refer to them as.  *smile* 
"No More Fads! A Common Sense Guide To Satisfy Your Cravings And Energize Your Life. By Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison. For Women Of All Ages And Stages! Over 250 Recipes, Proven Ways to Lose Weight, How to Balance your Hormones, How to Re-fire your Metabolism, Make your Skin Glow, Ignite Marriage Intimacy, Simple but Effective Exercise Plan. (for Pregnant Mothers too!) Answers for Postmenopausal Women."

Most of you probably remember the post I wrote 3 weeks ago entitled Losing the "Baby Weight", Part 1  - The Diet Plan That Helped Me Lose 64 Pounds Finally!  Well I need to change up my recommendation to that diet plan.  I did lose the weight quickly - however I didn't learn anything about how to maintain that new goal weight.  

I thought, naively in hind sight, that since we had been eating very healthfully before I could just step back in to my old diet style and maintain my new weight.  Well, that's not what happened.  I knew how to maintain 64 pounds heavier than I am now, but not my new weight.  That is a whole new ball game.

I reached my goal weight on a Thursday in April 2013, and that weekend as I tried to begin eating normally I gained 5 pounds!  Not only did I feel like I could I not stop eating once I started as I was so craving the variety of food, and I was combining the wrong foods together causing my body to put the fat back on!  *choke!*  *gasp!*  So, that Sunday I went back on the first diet for the next week.  I did lose that weight again, but was really struggling with being back on that diet having worked so hard to reach my goal and then thinking I could just jump off of the diet and move on.  *sigh*  Okay, Friday arrived again the following week and I went off the diet again...and re-gained 5 pounds that weekend!  *yikes!*  Back on the diet again on Sunday...I did this three times.  Gain...lose...gain...lose...gain...lose that same 5 pounds...for a month.  Two days off the diet, and 5 days on again.  It was so disheartening!  And I felt so afraid of eating!  And I felt like I couldn't get off of that first diet.  Now what?!

I called my doctor and explained what was going on and asked for his advice and help.  He gave me good instruction and told me of a way to maintain my goal weight.  The basic principle being to avoid combining fats and complex carbs (grain) in the same meal.  For example eating lunch that included fats such as cheese, peanut butter, oils, butter, with protein and vegetables; and for dinner eating a meal that had basically no fat but included carbohydrates such as breads or pasta with the protein and vegetables.  But not combining the two fuel sources.  With this plan one can eat most foods and not be deprived - just not eat them together.  Let's look at this principle some more.

Both fats and carbohydrates are sources of fuel.  When we're past puberty our bodies can usually burn one source of fuel at a time, not tandem burn.  So when we feed our bodies both fat and complex carbs together, our bodies burn the sugars first (complex carbohydrates in grains) which are easier and set the fat aside for later.  The problem is that when we eat the next snack or meal the same way, the body never has time to go get that fat that was set aside as a fuel source for later and so that fat then stays on the body.  However, if we only offer the body one source of fuel at a time then the body can burn it off just fine.  *smile*  

If we eat complex carbs - grains, pasta, bread, etc. - with our protein and veggies then our body burns that single fuel as energy.  And if we eat fat isolated from carbs (with protein and vegetables), our bodies can burn that just fine, too, and we feel satiated!  So really it's not a matter of never eating fat in order to lose weight, or never eating carbohydrates.  It's a matter of not tandem fueling the body by eating these two fuels together.  But if you think about it, most all American foods combine fat and carbohydrates!  Hamburgers, lasagna, crackers, muffins, even latte's with the carbs and fats in the milk.  Most food items are made with both fat and carbs stuck together!  So...what does one eat to implement these principles of separation?!  Don't worry.  God has everything under control as always, and He showed me a wonderful plan for success simultaneously with giving me these principles from my doctor.

Within 2 days of hearing about these great principles and wondering how in the world I was going to implement them (and while still stuck on the previous diet) the Lord brought an angel of a friend in to my life.  Being a new friend to me she was completely unaware of my current struggle, and yet the Lord prompted her to give me a copy of Trim Healthy Mama - as a gift.  What a God send.  *smile*  And this book not only goes in to depth with lots more information on this same principle of fueling the body with one fuel or the other but not together, but it provides over 250 recipes to enable successful eating!  I was in awe.  *smile*  God's timing is amazing to me - and being fairly nutritionally educated I had never heard these principles before.  But the blessing doesn't even stop there.

This is one of my favorite aspects of the The Trim Healthy Mama (THM) book - and a very practical one at that (my favorite thing! *laugh!*).  The authors of the book, Pearl and Serene show us how to adjust most of our normal recipes for our families so that we can be losing weight, while the family eats their normal tandem-fueling foods.  It is a big book, 600 pages (but including 250 recipes!), however please do not let this intimidate you because Pearl and Serene intentionally included all of the practical how-to's and tips along the way which I so appreciate, and that help us all to be successful without the mystery and frustration of having nice principles given to us but with out the practical how-to's for doing so.  THM is an awesome resource.  

So for family shopping and meal planning everyone in our family eats the same pretty much, with some tweaking done on my part to enable some family members to lose weight who desire to do so (in our family that would be me, my husband Bob, and our oldest daughter).  I only prepare one dinner instead of two (for dieters and non-dieters as I was doing for months), and it is very easy to simply adjust the diet a bit to stop losing weight as soon as one's goal weight is reached.  Amazing to me.  Children's bodies actually tandem-fuel just beautifully being so young and this is actually good for them, so we don't need to be concerned about these principles for them yet.  It isn't until we're older that our bodies start to choke up when we try to tandem fuel.  

There are simple principles in the THM book, but then much explanation and understanding to help educate people, and tools to implement and give a jump start for life.  There's a lot to be learned about how to separate fats and carbs; what foods fall in to which categories, and in what quantities, but then a life style is established that we can run with and have so much freedom within.  I'm beginning to experience this myself, and have talked with many others who are much further down the road than I am and who testify to these facts.  *smile*

Most people can begin reading and learning from the THM book and begin losing weight, applying the information as they learn it, trying out new recipes, etc..  I had been trying to keep the weight off that I had worked so hard to lose and I didn't have time (or patience) for a learning process while gaining weight back so fast simultaneously.  I dove in to reading the book every minute I could spare, and applied the knowledge as best as I could as I was learning.  And because of coming from the first diet with no education behind it I had a steep learning curve to begin to start losing weight.  It's taken me 3 weeks to halt the weight gain and to begin to get back to my goal weight.  *sigh*  Oh how I wish I had the THM book in the first place...but, the Lord's timing is perfect and I am confident that He has a plan in leading me through the path He chose for me for weight loss and then maintenance.

Beginning this new journey with THM I went form gaining 2 lbs. a day coming off of the last diet each time, to gaining 2 lbs. a week initially as I tried to adjust my body to a new way to eating everyday foods.  It was scary for me.  I was growing out of my new clothes and shoes and feeling so afraid (having gone before from a size 16 down to a size 4-6, including down one shoe size).  But I trusted my doctors advice, and I trusted these Christian ladies who have such powerful testimonies themselves and have great evidence of all that they have learned being very successful.  

Then one of our readers even pointed me to the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook Group!  *cheer!*  *laugh!*  (And Facebook Fan Page - more recipes, people's testimonies and photos; and the Free Forums)  God is so good, and so full of the provision we need!  This group of nearly 8,000 Mamas (which has grown by about 1,000 members just since I've joined about 3 weeks ago!) has been so helpful in answering my questions; and the moderators are also so insightful, educated, and experienced themselves.  And there are many document files in the group as well full of practical helps and ideas! 

When I began reading the THM book I had just gained 5 pounds from my goal weight again over the weekend, then gained 2 pounds my first week with THM (but not 2 pounds a day!), and 2 pounds my second week with THM putting me then at 9 pounds above goal weight.  *cringe!*  But the weight gain had slowed way down, and my food cravings had begun to disappear, my energy was up, I was sleeping better...and I had hope.  *smile*  I applied what I was learning as best as I could, making lots of mistakes which is also one of the reasons I was still gaining a bit.  And most of the ladies I spoke with on the Facebook group who were coming off of very restrictive diets like myself testified to the same thing initially.  And then they started losing weight again after a few weeks or a couple of months, and most importantly they learned to keep the weight off and they felt great.  Everyone testified to being so healthy, and having great reports from doctors who had been managing their physical problems with them.  

With continued studying and improving in my knowledge, and with lots of advice from the Facebook group monitors and members, my third week with THM I finally arrested the weight gain and actually lost 1/2 pound.  This may not seem like very much, but it was a great turn in the right direction for me and I was beyond excited.  *smile*  I'm now in my fourth week and am eager to see how well I continue to learn and lose to get back to goal weight - and then maintain that good weight finally.  And I can easily adjust my husband Bob's and our daughter's diets so that they are able to continue losing until they are at their goal weight and then stop losing and instead maintain.

Now on our THM journey we are eating most all foods:  proteins (meats, eggs, cheeses, whey protein powder, etc.) and vegetables, but also fats, carbs, and home made sugar-free desserts.  We're just eating fats and carbs separate from one another, and in healthy portions sizes (not tiny bird-like portions, just normal serving sizes).  We enjoy coffee with cream and iced tea; desserts made with peanut butter, chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla, and ice creams, cakes, and cookies; muffins, pancakes, oatmeal; butter, olive oil and coconut oils for cooking and baking; fruits, crockpot meals, soups, sandwiches...everything.  But with THM plan savvy.  It's so cool.  

Here's a bit of a nutshell glimpse into the THM plan.  There are 3 basic types of meals:   "S-Meals" which are Satiating with fat included in them, "E-Meals" which are Energizing from complex carbohydrates, and "Fuel-Pull Meals" which do not include fats or carbohydrates (mostly just protein and vegetables) and therefore pull fuel from one's own body at a heightened rate.  Eating the 'S' and 'E' meals alternately will help people lose weight and keep them healthy, because by fluctuating one's metabolism between utilizing the fats or carbs as primary fuel sources one's metabolism is stimulated in to action!  And one can switch between 'S' meals or 'E' meals at each meal if desired, or do one or the other for a couple of days and then switch - there are a number of ways to learn to do it, whatever fits for each person.  Fuel-Pull meals are an added tool that can be used here and there, which Pearl and Serene show people how to do.  

Here are some pages I typed up for myself categorizing all of the THM recipes that we eat in to the 3 main types, to help me with meal planning quickly and to help my husband and daughter to also be able to have an at-a-glance "cheat sheet" on the kitchen cupboard for making their own food choices when they're hungry. This chart doesn't include the recipes I already have that we enjoy, just Pearl and Seren's new meals with page numbers referenced to their book.

Meal planning has taken on a whole new level for me for a while I learn to think through food for each week.  I used to plan just dinners mainly, but now I'm planning breakfasts for the three of us on the THM plan, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts (until I learn to do it more naturally).  I have been trying to determine what our main staple foods will be so that I can buy in bulk whenever possible to save money, and determine how much of all types of foods I need to have on hand for each week.  My little 3-inch post-it note dinner plan that I used to stick on the refrigerator was blown out of the water *chuckle*, so I've developed a chart for myself (of course *laugh*) to streamline my meal planning and food preparation for each week.  Here is what's working for me.

  1. The first thing I do when filling out my chart for the week is to look at my regular month-at-a-glance calendar for events happening that week.  If there's an evening when we will be at a friend's house for dinner, then I record that at the top of the column for that day.  For example, above the Friday column I would write, "At the White's House"; over the Saturday column I would write "At the zoo"; and over my Sunday column is often written "Errands" because that day I need to do all of the grocery shopping and other errands so I need to have "to-go" foods planned for myself, and easy dinners prepared for Bob to cook for himself for dinner.
  2. The second part of the chart I fill out is the blank line beside each meal name (Breakfast ___, Lunch ___, etc.) I write down if that meal is an S, E, or FP meal.  This helps me make sure I have balance over the course of my week of S & E meals with some FP snacks.  It also helps me see that if I have an extra "deep S-Meal" (highest in fats) on one evening for company perhaps, I should make sure that I have some FP snacks or a meal planned in for that day as well to balance it out.  Also, since it's fine to have homemade desserts after breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I'd like (*cheer!*) then I need to make sure I match the dessert to the meal type.  For example, an E meal needs to end with an E dessert (or a FP one, which is neutral) so that they continue burning the same type of fuel.  Right now for breakfast I like to alternate having an S meal (such as a fried eggs and turkey sausage patty, with coffee and cream, and some green smoothie, adjusted to be plan-appropriate) with an E meal (such as Trim Healthy Pancakes, or Steel Cut Oats oatmeal, with a fruit, and some hot tea).  So I can write down across the top of my meal plan, S...E...S...E...  Then for lunch I will have the opposite meal, so I can write across the lunch row the coordinating thing, E...S...E...S...  So I may have Trim Healthy Pancakes for breakfast (an E meal), and then an S lunch (such as a salad with hard boiled egg, plenty of homemade olive oil salad dressing, and some Skinny Chocolate for dessert).  I also circle for myself if I'm having coffee with cream, or tea.  If it's an S meal then I have coffee with cream; for an E meal I have tea (because I only like my coffee with cream in it *smile*).
  3. I then fill in the actual meal plan while referencing my recipe chart inside my kitchen cupboard (and/or looking in my own recipe binder for ideas), for meals, snacks, and desserts.  If I'm using my THM cookbook then I also write the page number of my selected recipe in parenthesies for quick reference, or if the recipe is in my binder then I write "binder" so I know that I pulled that recipe out and set it aside in my kitchen counter file box where I can find it easily when it's time to prepare a meal.  The star asterisks are where I write in which dessert I'm having after that meal.  *beam!*
  4. Finally, when I've filled out the whole chart then I look to each recipe I've chosen and record on my grocery shopping list what ingredients I need in what quantities that week to make sure I'm prepared.
* An added benefit to using a weekly chart: Seeing the meal type written down for each meal and snack also helps me remember at the end of the week what I ate exactly, so if I did not lose the amount of weight I usually do or if my weight loss stalled, I can decide for the next week where I'm going to make some changes to get back on track for weight loss.

I've also started a list (again, are you surprised? *laugh*) to help me remember where I have been able to purchase many of these new-to-me food items.  I've been very pleasantly surprised that most of the new-to-me items I can find at Costco, Wal-Mart, and a few from our local food co-op, with a few items purchased online for the best price.  Here's my list to remind me where I've found which items locally (not my regular grocery shopping list, but just the new items I've not been purchasing before now).

If you are desiring to get back to before-children-weight, or "wedding weight" as some ladies have referred to it as, or are maybe desiring to have an incredibly healthy pregnancy or nursing season, desiring to lose the intense cravings for foods that can make our lives so miserable, and to have energy and well being - then I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book.  It may seem a little more expensive than some books ($35), but for what you get it's well worth it.  Six hundred pages of knowledge, wisdom and practical application, and over 250 recipes.  This is actually an awesome price.
To achieve the wonderful goal of becoming a Trim Healthy Mama, I really recommend this eating plan - a way of eating and living - not just a fad. 

If you would like to have any of my charts, lists, or schedules that I've shared you can download those from this link.

Blessings on your health,

Recommended resources:
Trim Healthy Mama, by Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison ($35)
Facebook group for Trim Healthy Mama readers 
Trim Healthy Mama Facebook Fan Page

You also might be interested in my related posts:
Losing the "Baby Weight", Part 1 - The Diet Plan That Helped Me Lose 64 Pounds Finally!
Motherhood With Vitality, Part 1 of 2
Freedom From a Sugar Addiction


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