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What I Learned from a Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle
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Note: If you are interested in a Fuel Cycle, please read chapter 24 of the Trim Healthy Mama plan book for guidance. This post is not meant to give guidance on the guidelines of a Fuel Cycle. I would also recommend that you check out the official Fuel Cycle Support group on FB.
I recently completed my first ever Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle. Now, before we go any further, perhaps you do not know what a “Fuel Cycle” is. This cycle is explained in depth in chapter 24 of the Trim Healthy Mama plan book. It is used primarily to break through a stall, or to get your metabolism revving again.
Basically, you stay in one fuel mode for an entire day (or two days at a time) instead of switching back and forth like we do when we are “free-styling.” A fuel cycle is more restrictive than regular THM eating, but I honestly did not feel deprived at all!
Please, note that the plan book does NOT recommend a Fuel Cycle for someone who is just beginning THM. Give yourself some time to enjoy the different fuels and enjoy the freedom that comes with this style of eating!
I ran a challenge through my FaceBook Messenger, which enabled me to send recipes, photos, and tips every single day of the challenge. You can see my Fuel Cycle menu here.
A Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle begins with two days of Deep S, which eliminates all nuts (even Baking Blend because it contains nuts), dairy, and starchier vegetables, such as tomatoes and onions. Deep S focuses on foundational fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, butter (allowed, even though it is technically dairy), eggs and meat. I also tried to get in lots of leafy greens and okra during my Deep S days.
Then you follow the Deep S with two days of E meals. (E meals are low fat/healthy carb.)
Followed by two days of Fuel Pull (low fat AND low carb), then ending with one more day of Deep S for a one week cycle. If you are interested in a 2 week Fuel Cycle, there are more instructions in the plan book.
Now, before we go further into my results, I must confess something! First of all, I was sick part of the time during the Fuel Cycle. There was a day or two that I stayed in bed most of the day, so my food preparation was minimal! (Ha!) All of that to say that I did eat off-plan twice . . . so I cannot say that I stuck 100% with the menu plan.
But even so, I was still pleased with my results, and I learned a lot!
At the end of 1 week, I had lost almost five pounds and over 3 inches! (And yes, I was eating, even though I was not feeling well!)
I loved the E days - which I found surprising. Many people feel intimidated by E’s, but my body was craving them!
I also found that I can indeed survive without dairy! It is SO easy to be stuck in the rut of adding heavy cream, cream cheese, and cheese to every dish, but that is not smart THM. I eat my fair share of those, but I’ve also found that I can scale the dairy back and still enjoy my food!
I even discovered that I enjoyed the THM “Trimmy” recipes, (meaning I did not put cream in my coffee)! What? Yes, it’s true!
Another thing I learned is that Fuel Pulls do not kill me! I’ve always been afraid I would starve with a Fuel Pull, but I found some very filling recipes. (Secret Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake is my favorite!)
Doing a one week Trim Healthy Mama Fuel Cycle really helped me get back to the basics of my Trim Healthy Mama Style of eating! We can make it so complicated at times with all the different special ingredients, but at its core, we can use everyday food to make delicious, slimming meals!
All in all, I enjoyed the fuel cycle - it made me think twice about what I was eating, and it helped me re-focus on the basics of THM. I found some new FP and E meals that I enjoy, and lost almost 5 pounds in the process! I’d say it was a success!
Did you have a scale victory or a non-scale victory? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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This was my first FC and I have been on plan for two years.
I realised that I need to add more E and fp's to my diet.
I lost 4lbs and 1 1/2 inches around my waist. So a scale victory for me 😀
I fell completely off plan one day, but decided I wasn't "starting over," but getting back on where I fell off. I didn't weigh or measure, but my clothes are definitely looser! I, too, discovered that I CAN survive without loads of dairy and nuts. I also discovered that one way to lighten up an S meal is to START with an FP! Those FP waffles were AMAZING, even with the sugar-free syrup and peanut powder I topped them with, but they were also good with REAL PB (I didn't have to start with an S waffle already loaded with fat!)!!! Fuel Pull shakes became my favorite evening smack/ dessert... especially the ones with okra and/ or kefir!
I lost 4 lbs! Thank you for encouraging us with your posts and recipes. Getting back to basics is just what I needed!
Loved the fuel cycle. I was hungry until I added shakes!! I lost five pounds as well. I went off plan really badly the day after I was done and now I feel like I need another one in a week or So! It made me feel really good! Thank you for all of your amazing recipes!
I am new to thm and following along helped me to see the differences between the types of meals. I am still learning but this is helping me to understand it better.
I too lost 5 pounds have been fluctuating between those 5 pounds and went down to the lower end of those 5 pounds. I to realize that I did not need as much dairy as I wants thought I did.i really appreciate you taking the time to post your accomplishments and to encourage us, as this too was my first fuel cycle thank you again for the menus and all the advice.
I lost a couple # and found there are some really good FP meals. 🙂
Thank you for the great ideas. I need to sign up to try and do this next time.
I’m curious to know if the weight is staying off or if a couple pounds come back with normal THM eating? I’m still nursing so I can’t do the fuel cycle but maybe when baby’s weaned.
I've been stuck since Christmas, so I was very happy to see the scale go down 4#! I think it was good to get better discipline about timing of meals, and getting back to "pure" S or E. Learned more about FP too!
That is awesome!
Going to do my first FC since restarting THM after falling hard off the wagon when my baby was born. Thanks for the encouraging words hopefully my FC will also be a success! 🙂