Trim & Healthy: How to Lose Fast & How to Stall

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how to lose weightQ. Any specific advice for us on how to lose so quickly? I’d love to hear some of your own ‘tricks.’

A. I’ll answer from my own experience here, and what I’ve seen from moderating this now nearly 6,000 member Facebook group:

How To Lose Weight Quickly

Mostly, those who lose quickly are just those blessed with a fast metabolism that recovers quickly when sugars are removed. They don’t ‘cheat’ or eat off plan frequently and they do avoid real sugars, but they do bounce a good bit in their calorie intake.

While THM is not really designed for quick weight loss, it does happen for some. What makes it different from ‘quick weight loss’ plans and gimmicks is that it doesn’t attempt to ‘force’ weight loss at the expense of overall health…so for those whose bodies *can* lose quickly, they do. For those who need a slower, gentler approach, they experience loss and healing at the rate that their own body dictates.

Those who lose more slowly either have underlying health or hormone challenges that their bodies are dealing with in addition to weight loss, so that slows them down.  But the basic lifestyle and diet of Trim Healthy Mama are only going to support their rate of healing and move ‘diet concerns’ out of the way when dealing with a health problem that needs to be addressed.

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Some ladies find that adding in additional liver support really helps their body process the fats into and out of their body in a much more efficient way.  (The liver processes all lipids or fats, including the ones we eat, the ones in our bloodstream that we are giving off as we lose weight, and also our hormones, which are lipids.)  Silymarin is one of my favorite herbal liver support herbs, and one I take daily to support my body in healthy weight loss.  Some signs that you may need liver support are: pimples or acne, indigestion after meals (especially fatty meals) that ranges from bloating/gassy feelings to pain, and a history of gall stones.  I’ll be posting more on liver health soon with an upcoming series on digestion.

Plateaus or Stalls in Your Losses

Plateaus and stalls can be a normal part of healthy weight loss.  Early on with THM, I would be seeing my friends losing 1-2 pounds a week at a steady rate, but I would stall for 2 weeks and then lose 2-3 pounds.  It’s just how my body worked at that point, and it does fall within the normal range of weight loss experiences.  I’ve also had phases where I was losing around a pound a week with no real changes to what I was doing.  So that can change as your body adjusts and heals.

Certain times in your monthly cycle can also stall weight loss, but just because you’re retaining water.

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The Scale Speaks-When to Ignore It

It’s REALLY important to not get too number bound with your scale.  It’s a good indicator of overall weight, but that involves SO much more than just body fat.  Hormone fluctuations, water retention, and more will dramatically affect the scale anywhere from 1-4 pounds per day.  It’s NORMAL for your weight to bounce higher in the evening. This doesn’t mean you’ve put on fat!

This is one of my favorite quotes from the Facebook group, from a lady who had seen the scale move up from one day to the next:

“My husband always reminds me: “A pound [of fat] is equal to 3500 calories…did you REALLY eat 3500 too many calories yesterday? Really?”

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Pitfalls For DIY Stalls

Here are some of the most common THM obstacles to weight loss that I see frequently on the wall over on the Facebook group:

  • You go longer than 4 hours between meals and snacks during the day. The feeling of not wanting food or not being hungry is a great indicator that you’re stalling out your metabolic fires.
  • By counting calories and being overly restrictive, AND/OR by over-exercising or stressing your body while restricting fuels, you can also accomplish the same thing: an overall stalling or slowing of the metabolism. This will really make a person feel like CRUD. And I think it happens pretty frequently, because of the ‘eat less to and work out harder to get skinny’ lie that most of us have believed our whole lives.  And even worse, not eating enough also brings you into my next pitfall:
  • Not eating enough slows or stalls the detox systems of the body. (this will open in a new window).  Now, the site I just linked to is not a diet theory site…it’s an explanation of the two detox phases of the liver.  I know I’m a geek for reading stuff like this, but I learn the COOLEST stuff!  Like this,

    “Inadequate protein intake specifically reduces Phase I clearance, and insufficient calories decreases overall detoxification function. The detoxification process requires large amounts of caloric energy, which comes mainly from the food we eat. If we do not eat enough protein, the body breaks down vital tissue protein to produce the energy it needs. This decreases the available amounts of Phase I and Phase II enzymes, amino acids, and peptides, because the body breaks down protein to amino acids and peptides. The greater the toxic burden of the body, the higher the need for protein, carbohydrate, fat, and micronutrient intake.” (emphasis mine.)

In plain English, that means: Eat enough food or you’ll feel like crud.

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  • Mamas who are nursing can pretty easily fall into this same zone of getting too few calories, as they need additional calories to fuel their milk production on top of what they need to keep their metabolism revved.  KellyMom, an awesome site for breastfeeding info says this:

    “Consuming less than 1500-1800 calories per day (most women should stay at the high end of this range) may put your milk supply at risk, as may a sudden drop in caloric intake.A mother’s “baseline” need for calories (not including lactation) depends upon her activity level, weight and nutritional status. A mother who is less active, has more fat stores, and/or eats foods higher in nutritional value may need fewer calories than a mom who is more active, has fewer fat stores, and/or eats more processed foods.”

    Nursing Mamas need an additional 400-500 more calories per day to support healthy milk production IN ADDITION to the number of calories that they are burning with working out or just regular life activities.  So listen to Kelley, and listen to your body: eat when you feel genuinely hungry.

  • By avoiding E meals, or too few E meals…you’re basically doing an Atkins low carb diet, and you will only lose weight initially, and then find yourself exactly in the same shoes as the lady who only eats celery and birdseed: feeling like crud with no energy. I’m gonna do a shout out for emphasis here: HEALTHY CARBS FUEL YOUR METABOLISM!!!Do not be afraid of your E friends: fruit, beans, brown rice, quinoa, sweet taters, and popcorn. Just keep them away from fats and in the measurements given in the book and FEEL what they do for your body, your emotional state, your energy levels, and your waistline!

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Now, let’s shimmy down to the other end of this teeter totter.  Away from the celery sticks and lettuce turkey wrap lunch…at the opposite end of the spectrum: the Lasagna Lunch with brownie dessert.

  • A lady can lose her momentum from overstocking her lunchbox with too many calorie rich foods.  Peanut butter, nuts, bacon, avocado, chocolate, and cheese?  All fine in moderation, but if these are your ‘go to’ foods that make daily appearances in hearty quantities, then it’s gonna be hard to get your end of the teeter totter off the ground real quick.  An over-fueled metabolism is going to have more to store.  You will want to lighten up your meals and snacks, and vary the quantity of fats and calories that you’re getting from meal to meal.
    There is much enjoyment in just using a great olive oil and vinegar salad dressing on a salad with some grilled chicken breast…this is an example of a “light S” meal.  It’s fine to indulge in a good fried chicken or cheeseburger casserole from time to time, but don’t camp out in calorie rich land too consistently.  (Do be aware of all the nummy recipes out there made with almond or nut meal/flour…it’s easy to forget that you’re indulging in almonds when it looks like a muffin).
  • and the final trap is the worst: not fully coming off of sugar and complex carbs, so your addictive bonds are never severed, and you suffer through your ‘diet food’ until you can get your hands on the next doughnut or bag of chips. These ladies fall off the wagon in a big way for weeks at a time, and really never feel the effects of THM or fall in love with the health giving foods.  IMO, there are often emotional and sometimes even physical issues or vitamin and mineral deficiencies that drive these behaviors. Worst of all, they feel the intense guilt associated with the cycle of eating binges and weight gain/body image that THM offers freedom from.

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Stuck on Sugar

Believe me…I NEVER thought I’d be free of desiring sugar.  I loved sweets.  I fought hard emotional battles against the idea of Weight Watchers and diets, because no Twix bars…no Dr. Pepper, and no Krispy Kreme donuts until after I had lost the weight.  Life without sugar just wasn’t even on my radar.  I was SHOCKED beyond words when I was taken through the drive through of a Krispy Kreme on week 3 or 4 of Trim Healthy Mama, and I didn’t even have one tiny desire to eat one…and I wasn’t even mildly annoyed by ‘missing out’.  In fact, I didn’t feel like I WAS missing out…it felt so weird, and so freeing!

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Some of my friends really struggle with not losing the cravings even after weeks of willpower and sticking to plan.  For those ladies who are having trouble kicking nagging sugar and/or carb cravings, the books The Truth About Beauty, and the Diet Cure are great reads and resources that are helping a friend of mine overcome her health issues and return to healthy weight loss patterns.  She is using Trim Healthy Mamaas the basis for her ‘return to health’ along with the other two books I just mentioned:

“If THM isn’t working for you, don’t give up!! Just keep looking and paying attention to yourself to figure out what it is that you are personally missing. [The Diet Cure]diet is almost exactly THM, and there are 8 sections to figure out why it is you don’t feel good or aren’t losing weight. This book has quickly moved up on my list of all time favorite books!  Doing the questionnaire in the book I just read ruled out some key things I thought I might have, and left me to focus on deficiencies were obvious I did have! My top 3 categories were brain imbalance (hoping to heal with amino acids) sometimes low cal dieting (healing with THM) and blood sugar imbalance (on the road to healing that with supplements [from the Truth about Beauty] and already noticed a huge difference!)”

For hormone help and testing, see your doctor.  For help with mood disorders, anxiety, and other ‘odd’ and ‘random’ issues, check out The Mood Cureor The Diet Cure by Julia Ross.  For issues with unrelenting cravings (which are NOT supposed to be a part of the Trim Healthy lifestyle), check out The Truth About Beautyby Kat James.

So there you have it, my friends!  Go forth and fight for your trim and healthy best!

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Comments

Trim & Healthy: How to Lose Fast & How to Stall — 36 Comments

  1. great article! You truly have a gift of encouragement and instruction Gwen! Congrats on the victories… continued prayers for your areas of struggle.

  2. This is great information Gwen. When I stalled a couple weeks ago, I realized I was eating too many nuts and at the wrong times. When I started THM, I started with a more restrictive diet trying to eliminate some yeast issues and most nuts were allowed on that diet. I was able to get a good start on weight lose, but then I gained some back and had to figure out what I might be doing wrong. By going back to the THM book, I was able to find out what I was doing wrong and have been incorporating more fuel pull snacks into my diet.

    • Yay! Yes, sometimes ‘minor’ tweaks like that make a big difference! Great job tracking down your solution!

  3. Truly appreciate your article. It’s just what I needed! I’ve been at a stand still for almost 2 months now. I basically only need 3 meals a day and don’t get hungry in between hardly ever. I thought this was a good thing, but I see that I need to include healthy food every 3 hours to keep my metabolism going. With 8 pounds to go I have been a bit frustrated, so thank you. Also excited to look into the book recommendations. Thanks for your inspiration!

  4. Gwen, yup that’s me…stuck on counting carbs and nervous about those E meals. :) It seems like I gotta just take the plunge! E foods sure sound, look, and smell good. Ok. Here I go…
    Thanks for the helpful information!

    • Wishing you some AMAZING E meals, and some clear results on feeling how they work for your own body. THAT is what will convince you! :)

  5. Thanks for this article. I am really focusing on this and am getting the Diet Cure from the library just to read as a reference. One question…how do you know when you have eaten enough? I never know what a serving size is of certain things and really how much to eat. I think most days I don’t eat enough. I have had people make comments in the past that they think I eat too much (that was years ago and that is why they think I have weight issues) and now I just don’t know how much is too much and how much is enough. Thanks for any reply!

    • Hi Laura!
      Wow…tough question. Sometimes listening to others makes you second guess yourself and you stop being able to really ‘hear’ what you own body is saying about what a healthy amount is. Also, not eating enough can cause you loose your hunger mechanism, and overeating can make you lose your satiation mechanism.

      I can tell you this: I do about 4-6 oz. of protein, as many veggies as I want, and for things like yogurt or dairy, I stick to around a half cup if it’s with other foods, or a full cup if it’s as a meal or the main protein source.

      Does that help?

  6. Pingback: Beef Stroganoff Recipe – E Style! {Trim Healthy Tuesday Link Up!} | Gwens Nest

  7. Wow, you are an encouragement..I am a momma of four ..I was also born with a physical disability..it makes for a challege when trying to lose weight..I will not give up! It will happen for me ..someday!;)

  8. What wonderful progress Gwen. Thanks so much for all of your support on the THM facebook page. I am really loving THM and now I want to order the other books you mentioned!

  9. This blog was very helpfull, thank you. What brand of silymwrin do you use? I am very interested in getting some. I have had bad indigestion, bloating and gassy stomach aches in the last two years and could never figure out why

  10. Hi Gwen
    love your article.
    I’ve struggled with bloating & gassyness but the worst thing which has really got me down is my facial acne. It has worsened over last 2years& even since completely cutting out sugar & doing THM 10months now. I thought it’d get better. YOU talked about the Liver and how if its malfunctioning could be cause of acne. I also struggle to actually lose weight. The Acne tho is my biggest downer. You mentioned using Silymarin (milk thistle extract). Do u know if its safe to use in pregnancy?.
    Many times I’ve thought what a bad advertisement for THM i am because my skin is not glowing and radiant like others talk of,& id so love to have clear skin.
    Bless you for all your hard work
    Thank you

    • Hi Alep,
      I do think that liver support is a really great idea for you…check with your Dr. or Midwife on which herbs they feel comfortable with during pregnancy. I do know that a lot of the Mother’s Milk teas contain liver supporting herbs. Milk thistle and dandelion are both good ones to look at. :)

      The liver does process and break down all of the lipids, so weight loss (when fat is pulled into the blood stream), and also pregnancy and all of the additional hormones-which are also lipids, put a burden on the liver and gall bladder. This is something that I should blog about as well.

    • My midwife and her herbalist apprentice okayed Milk Thistle for me during pregnancy. I just wanted to say too that I started using soft microfiber cloths to clean my face and immediately add some organic argon oil (from Apple Valley Soaps) on my face (two tiny squirts–the little bottle has lasted me six months). My face is FINALLY clear, soft, and happy! I’ve battled acne for my whole teen-adult life. I hope that is helpful.

  11. Gwen, I just turned 50 and want to go to the doctor’s for a physical. I have had a full hysterectomy due to a family gene that greatly increases my chances for ovarian and breast cancer. Could you please give me a list of things that I should ask my doctor to check? I’m not supposed to have estrogen or anything that makes estrogen. I have replaced anything with flax for chia. Thanks in advance for your help and ideas!

    • Hi Nancy,
      I wish I could help, but I think maybe your doctor would be able to help you decide with tests you’d want based on your medical history. ♥ Take care!

    • Vitacost: milk thistle extract. And you’d want to double check with your Dr. or Midwife, but many nursing teas do contain milk thistle.

  12. I was having chocolate cravings and my nutritionist suggested Vitamin D. That’s helped. Thanks for your article. I really appreciate the extra ideas. With my food sensitivities, I’m having a hard time finding what works for me. I know that I will eventually. Right now, I’m trying to find a sugar I can have. I’ve gone through every one of the low glycemic ones except Xylitol from birch. I love sweets so I’m hoping to find one sugar I can have. I can have honey and agave (which isn’t very good for a person, I know) but not on THM. I really want to stay on plan. My other hard one is dairy. We live in a small town so it’s hard finding goat yogurt. I buy mine 90 miles away. Apparently when we went at the end of January, I didn’t buy enough. Now I’m out. ;( Rats. Oh, the joys of living in a small town. Between my food sensitivities and now my THM, I think I’m becoming a real pain for my husband, who is the family cook. We all have them though. He has celiac but his is easy compared to mine. Even one of the dogs is allergic to something. God really has a sense of humor. :) Thanks for listening.

  13. What a great article! Thanks for the encouragement about the ‘E’ meals. That certainly has been helping my weight loss when I have started incorporating them more. I will continue to learn about them after reading your article.

  14. I found this post so encouraging and informative. I work long shifts at my job and sometimes it is hard to away to eat every 3-4 hours. I didn’t realize that it could cause a stall in my weight loss. I’m going to be sure to make time to eat snacks/lunch every 3-4hrs from now on.

  15. Gwen….I don’t know how I never saw this blog post until today…after doing THM since Jan. and frequently visiting your page! It is so eye opening…I have been through some of these stages myself and have friends entering or soon to be entering them now. I can’t wait to share your ALWAYS easy to understand explanations of things with them!!!
    Hope you are doing well and enjoying your life returned to the things you most love and enjoy!! All the best to you!!!

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