First things first: what is a THM Fuel Cycle? Trim Healthy Mama is a healthy eating lifestyle plan that you can read more about here. Basically, THM incorporates all healthy food groups in the wisest way to help lose weight and maintain a healthful balance.
A Fuel Cycle, in the realms of THM, is where you take a week or two, to buckle down and isolate the different fuels (fats (S) or carbs (E) or neither (FP)). The purpose of this is to 1) lose stubborn weight, 2) rev your metabolism and 3) feel awesome! Now, usually, THM is very freeing, meaning that you can generally switch around meals and eat pretty much as you please, with the exception of off plan foods such as refined sugars and white flour. But the Fuel Cycle is meant to be very strict. If you are feeling like a prescribed food regimen…this is the week to do it!
I’ll give my own personal reasons for doing a Fuel Cycle. I was feeling sort of in a slump and I definitely wasn’t making smart choices when it came to food. I decided enough was enough, and I was going to do a major reset starting off with the Fuel Cycle week. Now, in all my years of being on THM, I’ve never even thought about doing this. But for some reason I thought it was time. I won’t get into all the major details, but I just felt like my hormones were out of whack, my metabolism was sluggish and I needed to reboot. From the testimonials I had seen, it seemed like the Fuel Cycle was a good answer to my problems.
Here’s a breakdown of the week:
Sunday and Monday: Deep S days. This means for two days I isolated pure fats. I wasn’t an expert on Deep S meals because I had never really worried about it too much. But for two days I cut out hard cheeses (and I love cheddar cheese), cream cheeses, sour cream, nut butters…and I stuck with what THM calls the purest fats. Like coconut oil, butter, meat, eggs…basically you’re very strict “keto”, without nuts. No carbs whatsoever! Not even heavy amounts of onion or tomatoes. It was quite a luscious two days with plenty of salads with olive oil and eggs swimming in coconut oil.
Tuesday and Wednesday: E days. Now these two days isolated healthy carbs and very scant fats. For example, fruit! I was surprised how much I was craving fruit after just two days of missing it. I cooked lean meats with sweet potatoes, had oatmeal for breakfast, and snacked on papayas! It was definitely beginning to energize me (hence E meals!) and I was starting to feel like I had enough energy to make it through the day without wanting to nap all afternoon!
Thursday and Friday: Fuel Pull (FP) days. These two days pulled both fats and carbs out. Only the leanest, lowest calorie foods allowed! I was also no expert in Fuel Pull either, because other than a few snacks here and there, I felt like I didn’t need to utilize these types of meals. But I ended up really enjoying the challenge of them! I made egg white scrambles for breakfast, turkey and spinach wrap for lunch (turns out in the Fuel Cycle week it’s not recommended to use store bought low carb wraps…oops.), and FP meals from the THM cookbooks made dinner easy. I made Cabbage Roll in a Bowl and Sweet Lime Taco Joes from Trim Healthy Table. I did enjoy the glucomannan pudding for snacks. It really is filling and satisfying! So my take away from two whole FP days is that it is totally doable, and I didn’t starve to death!
Saturday: Back to Deep S. This was the last day of the Fuel Cycle, and I was so excited to have bacon and eggs for breakfast! It felt like my body was just soaking up those fats! (Not in a bad way of course…) So I branched out and made Rustic Pizza with Cheesy Kale Dip from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook for lunch. I felt really good all day!
The Fuel Cycle was a success. I had SO many good meals. I ate more salads with my meals than I have in a long time. Branching out with variety was really fun.
Another thing I did all week was make a different All Day Sipper from the THM cookbooks. The Singing Canary, Earth Milk, Good Girl Moonshine, Hello Health…they really help ya stay hydrated! And they’re really yummy. My All Day Sippers never last All Day. Usually a few hours and they’re gone!
Benefits of the One Week Fuel Cycle
For me, I noticed the following changes:
1. More energy! I could almost feel the good ol metabolism kicking up in gear. It was pretty awesome. I guess it’s hard to explain this…but I felt so good that I actually wanted to work-out for a few days in a row! (I did the THM Work-ins, of course! But I also had enough energy to walk around our property, dance with my boys, and generally move around more than usual!)
2. Clearer skin! I’ve been having some issues in this department. And after only a few days of eating and drinking well, I noticed my complexion clearing up. Thank goodness!
3. Better sleep! This one is very important to me. After a brief little study on hormones, I came to realize maybe I had some imbalances going on. (Who doesn’t?) I got up earlier and went to bed earlier. Along with this week of eating better, I loved the results! I think the power of positive thinking goes a long way, so I’m going to say hopefully I’m seeing the fruits of hormone balance from the healthier habits I’m trying to stick with.
4. Confidence and reassurance that eating well really makes a difference! I really didn’t have weight to lose. That’s not why I did this Fuel Cycle. I just wanted to feel better. It worked!
The Fuel Cycle week was a roaring success for me. Now from here, I’m free to juggle fuels, eat Crossovers, and I’m praying that I’ll continue to feel blessed from the healthy foods I feed my body!
Curious and want to know more about Trim Healthy Mama?
Trimhealthymama.com is a great place to start. Or check out the books from the library, or purchase them here:
Do a Pinterest search and endless recipes and blogs will pop up.
I would love if you brought your questions to me! Feel free to send me a message about THM and I can point you in the right direction to find great resources. It’s a lifestyle I love, and it only brings healing and health!
(Note: I wrote this post in the first week of March 2020, and I published it on my blog mid-April 2020. In case you’re wondering, I have still seen the benefits of the fuel cycle a month later and I’m going strong “on-plan”. I have no desire to mess up the good thing that was started! I still feel really good and not even craving off plan foods. Hallelujah!)
Follow along at instagram.com/balancedandblessed_thm.