I am a dedicated (though realistic) real foodie. I’m also a Trim Healthy Mama convert — I’ve adopted it as a lifestyle because I just.feel.good when I eat this way. I feel that most dedicated real foodies see the THM lifestyle as a “fad diet” full of franken-foods. This is just not so and comes from some misconceptions about THM. So, to offer some clarification, here are five objections real foodies have with the THM lifestyle and some further information about each topic.
Myth #1: THM is a low carbohydrate diet and carbohydrates are needed by the body for energy. Carbohydrates are needed by the body for energy, but THM is NOT a low carb diet. It is a lower carb diet (lower than the Standard American Diet). It is a smarter carb diet. It advocates eating only whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal) and in moderation. It uses very few flours made from grains (oat flour and spelt flour only). Following the THM plan means eating some E (energizing meals and snacks) because your body DOES need carbohydrates!
My body does best when I eat an E meal for breakfast. I feel more energized for my day and I am a happier person. I eat soaked overnight oatmeal made with Jigglegurt instead of Greek yogurt.
Myth #2: THM is a low-fat diet. Fat is needed for your body to absorb essential nutrients. Fat is needed to produce hormones and for healthy brain function. Plenty of healthy fats ARE needed by the body to function properly. The THM diet encourages S (satisfying) meals and snacks, especially coconut oil, olive oil and grass fed butter (if not dairy free), nuts and seeds. Even when eating an E meal or snack (low fat), it is emphasized to include a small amount of fat to aid in the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble nutrients.
THM is not a low fat or a low carb diet. If you are looking to loose weight, it emphasizes the separation of fats and carbs so the body can completely use up each fuel and therefore not have extra fuel to store as fat. (Read this for more information.)
Myth #3: Following THM may work to loose weight, but what about for pregnant/nursing women, kids and people who are at a healthy weight or who have very physically demanding lifestyles. Crossovers (S meals/snacks that include a healthy serving of carbs) are an integral part of the THM lifestyle. My husband and kids eat crossovers almost exclusively. All serving sizes (for weight loss or not) are based on hunger levels and even suggested serving sizes are generous. Calorie counting is considered a “no-no” in the THM lifestyle. This lifestyle can work for all ages and stages of life and activity.
Many people also think that they need to made two separate meals, one THM meal for themselves and one meal for the rest of the family. This is not true! It is easy to convert family favorite recipes to be THM friendly (S or E and/or crossover).
Myth #4: using their recipes to make treats involves lots of “franken-foods” instead of real food ingredients. They are just trying to sell their own specialty foods. If you look carefully at their “specialty” ingredients, you will see that they are all “real foods.” (See my definition of real food here.)
You can source the same ingredients from other companies but the quality from the THM brand can’t be beat. For most things the price of the THM specialty ingredients is the same for even lower than other brands! For convenience sake, I buy most of my THM “specialty foods” from Vitacost because I regularly order from them anyway.
The main reason most real foodies have a problem with THM is that they don’t understand the program or the science behind it. (Many people that try to follow the THM lifestyle don’t understand it and then don’t follow it correctly and then don’t loose weight). It really is not complicated, just very counter-cultural to many main stream thoughts/beliefs.
What are your thoughts and questions about THM?