We’re well into the new year and I bet most of you have thought about some changes you want to make this year. January is not my favorite month because it means Christmas is over and it’s cold, very cold. However, I do love looking forward to the new year and making new years resolutions. We get a clean slate in a sense and it’s filled with hope and possibilities. Like many, I like to categorize my resolutions. One area is always health and I’m betting that for most of you that is the case as well. We are all looking for ways to feel our best so we can be happy, have energy, serve others with our unique talents, & show up in the most effective way possible.
For those of you who are new to THM (Trim Healthy Mama) or even for those of you who have been doing THM for awhile & are looking for ways to tweak your journey, here are 10 tips to help you make progress in the new year.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify! I can’t emphasize this one enough. I am a busy SAHM of 5 kids, and there is no way THM could have been sustainable for me for over 6 years without simplifying it. Find your family favorites and make those often. Rotate between 2 or 3 breakfasts & lunches each week. Do not feel like you have to look in the recipe books for every single meal or you’re going to tear your hair out! Nobody has time for that!! Tweak meals your family already loves to eat. I love to help mamas with Meal Planning. So if you need some help, feel free to download my free meal planning guide here: Simplify Your Meal Planning
- Switch up your fuels. It’s really easy to get stuck in the S rut. Most of us love the decadent desserts and meals that we can have with S meals, but the only way THM works is when we consistently switch up our fuels, including lightening up our S meals. Not only does it change up our calorie load from meal to meal since S meals generally have more calories due to their fat content, but it also ensures we get a variety of nutrients. I did Atkins before I found THM and I got major leg cramps because I was definitely missing out on some key nutrients. Not fun. Experiment and find your sweet spot. Find what mix works best for your body. Personally I have most success when I have E meals for breakfasts and lunches on days I workout and then on days I don’t workout I have 1 E meal, and then either S or FP meals and snacks. But find what works best for you!
- Eat at least 5 fruits and veggies. When we fill up on low calorie dense foods like fruits and veggies then we are able to stay full and get the nutrients we need to combat cravings without always eating calorie dense foods. If you have a hard time getting in your fruits and veggies, an easy way to do it is to have a fruit for breakfast, a fruit and veggie for lunch and then 2 veggies for dinner. Voila, there are your 5 for the day! Or you can always make a smoothie in the morning with several servings of fruits and veggies. I love to throw a handful of spinach into my protein smoothies. It helps give me those added nutrients in the morning to kick-start my energy levels and it’s a great start to the day.
- Drink Water. This one seems simple enough, but is has so many benefits. Often we mistake our bodies thirst signals for hunger signals. If you find yourself hungry a lot in between meals, drink several glasses of water. Water not only helps keep you full, but it will help keep your skin clear, you’ll sleep better and you’ll have more energy. Serene and Pearl have a sensible approach to water, they suggest we simply use our common sense! I like to have 10 glasses of water a day (the minimum recommendation for women is 9), so I fill up my THM butterfly water bottle twice and sip on it throughout the day. When I workout or sweat a bit more, I drink more. You can change up water by making a GGMS, drinking tea, adding in fruit slices, etc., but good old fashioned plain water is always a good idea.
- Make sleep a priority. When we’re tired we are hungrier because the same hormone that cues our hunger signals (grehlin) is released in larger quantities. We tend to overeat when we really just need to sleep. 7-8 hours is recommended, so make sure you start winding down early enough in the evening so you can get a restful night’s sleep. A great way to ensure this is to create an evening routine each night such as taking a warm bath, reading a good book, meditating, reading and writing a to do list for the next day.
- Move your body. When we take time to move our bodies, our sleep is always better. We should celebrate the fact that we can use our bodies and find loving movement we enjoy. Don’t suffer through exercise if you hate it. I do not like going to the gym with a lot of people so I found a smaller gym with smaller classes that fits my style and personality better. I also love to do online workouts, take walks & listen to podcasts, go hiking with my family, jog, dance, bike and spend time with my kiddos outdoors. It doesn’t matter what you do (although adding in some strength training is helpful), just make sure you do something!
- Keep a snack list on your fridge & a running list of your favorite desserts to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings. Keep a list of your favorite snacks and add to it often for those times when you’re just hangry and you can’t think straight enough to come up with a good snack idea. Especially focus on FP’s for snacks. They fill you up without adding a lot of calories and you can pair them with any fuel. For desserts, there are so many yummy possibilities that I like to keep a list of my favorites in my THM recipe binder. I add to it often and star the ones I really love. Make sure to find a sweetener you love- it makes all the difference! My favorite hands down is Gentle Sweet for baking. For drinks I love super sweet because you only need a tsp or so to sweeten your drinks. When I am out of Gentle Sweet, I like to go to my health food store and buy erythritol, xylitol and truvia. I grind those up in a small coffee grinder so they become a powder and it’s a great substitute for gentle sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, which I think most of us do!, make sure you find a sweetener that you love because having on plan sweets on hand goes a long way in helping you to stay on plan!
- Come up with some Positive Affirmations– You can lose physical weight but the saying goes that if you don’t lose the negative weight between your ears (negative mindset), then the physical weight loss won’t last. I work with my clients a lot on mindset because our minds our are most powerful tools. We can literally talk ourselves in or out of anything. Anyone that has had a weight issue has had a mindset struggle about their body, their relationship with food, &/or their overall attitude towards getting healthy and losing weight. When we change this mindset by replacing negative habits with positive habits then not only will we make more progress towards our goals, but these habits will become easier and easier. Focus on the foods you can eat. Change your mindset from “I can’t have that” to “I don’t want that because it won’t make me feel good or help me get closer to my goals”. Write down several positive affirmations that will help you stay on track when you are faced with temptation. Some examples are: “I am worth saying no to these temptations” ,”This may temporarily taste good but it will set me off on a guilt cycle”, “I am rewarding myself by treating my body well”, “I want to show up as the best person I can be so I am choosing not to eat xyz”, “That looks good, but I know I can go home and have a piece of my chocolate treeces cake and stay on plan”. Whatever affirmations work for you, write them down and put them on your fridge, at work, in your car, on your phone, wherever you can see them frequently so you always have those reminders. With time, any negative thoughts you may have will be replaced by these positive thoughts.
- Stick to Whole Foods As Much As Possible & watch the fats– A lot of us relate to drive thru Sue. When we’re hungry we want to eat as soon as possible and with little effort. This is fine, but you can be a drive thru Sue and stick to eating foods in their most natural state. When you have E meals, get your carbs from whole grains & fruits. I love quinoa, oatmeal, and brown rice. Prep one carb source at the beginning of the week to eat on throughout the week. Make a bunch of shredded chicken in the instant pot to have on hand. Make a huge salad to eat throughout the week. When you have S meals, yes you can have fats, but don’t overdo them- focus on the yummy protein and veggies in your meals. Think of fats as accessories to make them taste even better, not as the main focus of the meal. When reaching for a snack, stick to whole fruits and veggies. THM desserts and other homemade snacks are fun and yummy, however they can be overdone. If you are at a stall, evaluate what kinds of foods you are really eating. Are you abusing the low carb tortillas? Polaners jam? Sweeteners? Fats? Cut back on some of these things, and the scale will likely move again in the right direction!!
- And last but not least, when it gets hard (which it will) keep going!!! I love the saying “Choose your hard”. Yes it is hard to take time to grocery shop, meal plan, think about what fuel you’re eating, say no to sugar laden treats, etc. However, the good news is that this kind of hard becomes EASIER the more you do it! When we feel uncomfortable in our skin and are doing nothing about it, that kind of hard is the hard that will never get easier. So, when the going gets tough, remember your goals, remember how far you’ve come, and just keep going. When we make our health a priority in our lives then we are better able to handle life’s curveballs and we can show up as our best selves. What we put in our mouths is the one thing we have 100% control of. Consistently set small goals and acknowledge the small victories. Those small victories combined will turn into big ones. I know you can do it! And just think, this time next year, you will feel like a whole new you!!
I’d love to hear from you! What are your tips for staying on plan and reaching your goals this year?