Here are my THM pros and cons and my reasons for developing my own plan I call Balanced Eating, which is all about...balance :). There are alot of things I love about THM, but obviously the cons were too big to overcome for me.
What's Trim Healthy Mama Anyway?
If you're not familiar with Trim Healthy Mama, the easiest way to learn about it is to go to their Trim Healthy Mama website. I'll give you my take on their plan in my THM pros and cons below.
Trim Healthy Mama Pros
1. I want to look like Pearl and Serene and speak like them, too.
Check out their pics on their site and above (taken from their site). Those ladies have had lots of children, and they still look amazing! Don't get me wrong I love my body and who I am, but if I had to choose a different one, either one of theirs would be great. Plus, they have an Australian accent or is it New Zealand? Who cares, they sound posh! Finally, they're sisters and have a lovely sister snark going.
2. Separating fat and carbs while getting enough protein to regulate hunger works for me.
A basic tenet of THM is don't eat fat and carbs together. The maximum amount of carbs you eat with fats is five grams and vice versa. Plus you're supposed to get 10 / 20 grams of protein in snacks / meals. This way of eating really works for me. I lose weight when I eat this way, and I'm not stuffing my face because I'm so hungry.
3. Controlling the type of grains I eat is a big plus for me.
THM has quite a few rules around what type of grains you eat, how much of them, etc. I have a problem digesting wheat, and corn goes straight to my hips. Overall, I like their guidelines on grains. If you have stomach issues when you eat wheat such as bloating and stomach pain, check out my post Gluten / Wheat Intolerance or Enzyme Deficiency? for suggestions.
4. Not using sugar helps me with my sugar addiction.
Yes, I'm a sugar addict. And like any addict, the best thing I can do around sugar is not have it. I've learned how to control my addiction and share in my post For the Love of Sugar: Addiction and Natural Substitutes. THM also recognizes cane sugar and high carbohydrate alternatives have no place in a healthy diet.
5. THM doesn't count calories. Instead they count grams of carbohydrates, fats and protein.
I've found separating out carbs and fats and counting them works far better for me than counting calories overall. In addition, if I'm not tracking my protein intake, I tend to undereat protein and then my appetite rages out of control.
Oddly enough, I'm more likely to eat more carbs than more protein when it does rage. I also can easily eat more carbs than I should at a sitting, that is if I want to maintain my weight.
6. There are oodles of THM sites with lots of recipes and tips.
THM has a coaching certification and there are many bloggers with recipes. Plus the plan originators have their own books.
Trim Healthy Mama Cons
As you can probably tell by my list of pros, I really wanted the THM plan to work for me. However, I had to finally admit it didn't. Here's why...
1. THM is all about eating meat.
They advocate eating meat, and many of the main meal recipes are centered around meat. I've gone through different types of eating from carnivore to vegetarian to pescatarian. However, I believe eating meat on a regular basis is not good for me and for most people. I also believe it's not good for the planet. For this reason, I need an eating plan that's centered around reducing meat intake at a minimum and focuses on recipes that do not include meat.
2. THM uses sugar substitutes that literally make me (and my dogs) sick.
THM uses erythritol, xylitol and stevia in place of sugar. Erythritol causes me (and my partner Beck) to have very scary tunnel vision. In addition, I'm allergic to ragweed, and stevia is in the same plant family. It causes me to have extremely low blood pressure, dizziness and fainting. Xylitol is lethal to dogs. Since my dogs expect to clean out my plate and bowl regularly, I can't use xylitol without endangering them.
3. You're either on plan or off plan with THM.
I don't do well with strict diets. I prefer to eat healthily the majority of the time and to also eat foods occasionally that I know aren't healthy, but I love. While THM does have a category called crossovers where you have fat and carbs together, I'm pretty sure they reserve those for pregnant and nursing women, children and people who are already at target weight.
4. It's difficult for me to find the super fast, healthy recipes with THM.
I have to be the laziest cook around. I love home cooked food that I know has top quality ingredients, but I don't want to spend more than 15 minutes preparing anything. THM does have a type of person they call "Drive Through Sues". However, the types of foods and recipes focused on that personality type are generally unhealthy in my opinion (and theirs from what I can tell).
I want all my eating plan recipes to be 15 minutes or less and the faster the better. I don't want to have to look at every recipe to sift through and find the quick ones to prepare.
What Do I Use in Place of THM?
Maybe you've read through my THM pros and cons and now think, "That THM plan sounds like a good fit for me!" In that case, go for it.
However, for me, the cons were deal breakers. After figuring out my THM pros and cons, I took all the pros of THM and incorporated them into a plan I call Balanced Eating.
Balanced Eating: My Seriously Modified THM Plan
In Balanced Eating, I basically separate out fats and carbs, primarily go gluten / wheat free, and provide a way to eat off plan without feeling guilt or bingeing. I also consciously limit the amount of meat I eat while making sure to get enough protein from other sources.
Balanced Eating isn't about feeling guilty when you eat meat. It's about focusing on eating other protein sources primarily because there's plenty of evidence that's best for your health and the planet.
In place of the sugar substitutes used in THM, all the balanced eating recipes that need sweetness use monk fruit powder. You can learn all about monk fruit powder, including where to purchase the best type I've found, in my post For the Love of Sugar: Addiction and Natural Substitutes.
All the recipes posted on Naturally Happy Healthy Me and used for Balanced Eating take 15 minutes or less to prepare.
I frequently use THM recipes that are pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan, require 15 minutes or less to prepare and can easily be converted to monk fruit powder for anything sweet. For example, the majority of the recipes in the posts Seven Low Carb / Keto Desserts Roundup| Sugar Free w/Monk Fruit & THM S and Seven Low Fat Sugar Free Dessert Roundup | Monk Fruit, THM E are THM recipes with recommendations to change the sweetener to monk fruit powder and suggestions to avoid common allergens where possible.
Like the THM sisters, I'm not a dietician, nutritionist or medical professional. However, I have a deep interest in being healthy and happy and have created Balanced Eating to meet my own needs. I'm sharing that with you as I hope what works for me will also work for you.
What Works for You? Please Comment
In this post, I've taken you through my journey with THM, listed out my THM pros and cons and explained why I created Balanced Eating as a result. I've vastly simplified my lifetime experience with weight loss and maintenance to focus only on the THM aspect.
I realize my experiences may not be the same as yours. What's your experience with THM? If you're not using THM, then what eating plan are you using? How does it work for you? Sharing helps everyone to make better informed decisions by knowing what real people like you and me are doing.