THM Review in 3 Points

Note to readers: This review is not meant to be a replacement for the book and I would recommend reading it since the authors go into great detail about the fundamental knowledge that this plan is based on.

As far as I know, Engineers aren’t exactly known to be bloggers or exceptionally “wordy” type people. I learned in technical writing that each word needs to be essential in building each sentence; each sentence must be aligned like the shaft of an arrow heading towards the main point you are attempting to get across. Each word and point ought to be so essential that if missing, the whole structure would collapse and not make any sense. As victims to our training, we tend to be short worded and to the point in our conversations and writings (works great for the workplace but not for first dates!).

Why am I saying this? If you have sat down to read the THM book, you may have been overwhelmed by the shear size of it! Since trying out the “THM” lifestyle, I have had many people ask me what the book is about and what is the difference between this and the plethora of other “diets” out there. When my brother, a Mechanical Engineer and soon-to-be medical doctor, (see link to his site) said to me in true engineering fashion: “I don’t have time to read the book; what is the main dogma, the 1-2-3, the condensed version of the book?”, I had to pause and pull everything together in that huge book that made sense to me and express it in under 60 seconds. I haven’t read every single detail of the book myself but my wife has and I would highly recommend getting a copy as we reference it on a daily basis. From what I learned through my own reading, discussing with Ruth and observing how my body reacted, I was able to create a review of three main takeaways from the book. Since then, I have shared it with other people and at the request of one of Ruth’s contacts, I am going to share it here!

Point #1: Stop spiking your insulin. Refined sugar is your enemy; it spikes your blood glucose levels and makes your pancreas work overtime. Soda, pop, double-doubles, cheese cakes, chocolate bars, cookies, most cereal are actually killing you and rotting your teeth at the same time! Even honey, maple syrup and excessive amounts of fruit and fruit juices, while ok in moderation, are over consumed in our diets and are contributing to the sugar endemic in North America. Keep in mind that sweetness itself is not the enemy, the sugar (pretty well anything that ends in “ose” on the ingredient label) is. The other thing about sugar is that it is like a drug, the more you have it in your diet, the more you crave it. So, the next time you are thirsty – drink water; next time you order coffee, cut the sugar; Instead of picking up a snickers, grab a piece of cheese and/or some walnuts; instead of ordering the sweets at a coffee shop with your coffee, sneak in some THM approved sweets in your wife’s purse… seriously, this is what we do (see pic below)! Bottom line: Cut the refined sugar

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Point #2: Stop mixing your fuel – for the men: imagine trying to run your motorcycle on gasoline and coal at the same time…this is what you are doing when you eat your tough-guy meat and potatoes or burger and fries. It is my understanding that your body really only burns one fuel at a time, so if it sees carbs and fat at the same time and in abundance, it will start to burn one and store the other. The idea around the S, E and Fuel pull meals is actually pretty simple. Your body is interested in 3 types of foods: proteins, fats, and carbs. Think of it like protein is the building block or foundation of your meal and can be combined with either carbs or fats (not both). Proteins come from hearty foods like egg whites, milk, nuts, meat, fish, chic peas, kidney beans, lintels, etc. Many of these foods already contain fats like the milk, nuts, red meat and fish. Don’t mix these in meals with high carbs. Carbs come mostly from the fruit and vegetable family of foods like pineapple, mangos, potatoes, and anything wheat based like pasta and breads. So how do we put these fuels together?

1. Protein and Fats – this is your satisfying or “S” meals. What’s ok?  Bacon and Eggs, but skip the toast, orange juice or fruit smoothie, and home fries. Try coffee (no sugar), water, and fried zucchini instead (the THM book has plenty of options). So, what about the North American Staple: Burger and fries? Sorry, two fuel types: its adding unwanted pounds. Good news though: you can still enjoy hamburgers – Ruth and I frequently order triple bacon cheese burgers (from a restaurant that serves real meat – we are not fast food types) without the bun but with extra lettuce and all the toppings. Believe me, it is something to see my wife put away a triple bacon cheese burger and still have room for more:)

2. Protein and Carbs – this is your energizing or “E” meals. What’s ok? Oat meal with berries and greek yogurt and black coffee. Oat meal packages don’t count since they are full of sugar! You need to substitute the honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar out with a low carb sweetener like stevia extract powder that won’t spike your sugars. As a side: I hear lots of people complain about the taste of stevia and other sweeteners – Unless you are allergic, consider these two points: go easy (very easy) on how much you put in – stevia is extremely potent (Click the link to see just how much more potent it is!). Secondly, give it time, develop a taste for it – I am convinced that the reason you “don’t like the taste” is similar to why kids “don’t like their broccoli”! It is almost entirely a mental thing. I can almost hear my mother say: “eat up, it’s good for you!”.

3. Low fat and low carb (can include protein) – These are your fuel pulls. For all you perpetual snackers out there, you don’t necessarily need lots of proteins in these snacks; i.e., choco pudding from the THM book (p.366), the gummies, celery, etc. As a meal, they should likely be paired up with some protein – the book suggests 3 oz (i.e., cabbage or cauliflour with a lean white meat like chicken, turkey or white fish).

Point #3: Give your body the chance to burn the fuel you just ate – leave approximately 3 hours between meals. It is hard to believe that 3 hours is all it takes for the human body to break down the food, recognize the fuel type, convert the fuel to useable energy forms and deliver it to the parts that need it!  My day looks like this: 5AM – wake up; 5:30-6AM – breakfast; 9AM – snack; 12PM – lunch; 3 PM – snack; 6PM – supper; 9PM – snack; 11PM – bed. So the next time you reach for a snack or have the munchies, do your body a favor and check your watch. Maybe just have a glass of water instead and wait til snack time (just like when we were kids at elementary school)!

That is about it! These are the 3 points that I took from the book – there are more points of course and tons of recipes in there but if you can stick to these, I guarantee that you will be more healthy and enjoy your food more! I hope this has been a help to you and welcome you to comment below or share this post with your partner (many macho men are scared of the “mama” part in the title of the book!), friends and family. Please click “like” and “share” below!

You can also check out my post His Perspective to see more of my perspective and point of view. Having trouble getting started on THM? Get set up for success by reading my post called “3 Things you need to start THM

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional, rather, I am a simple Christian husband trying desperately to fulfill the position God has for me. I do not claim to be an expert in areas of human sciences, nutrition sciences or kinesiology. I am just sharing what makes sense to me and has worked for me in hopes that it will help you too!

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61 thoughts on “THM Review in 3 Points

    • Everyone should read this first and then tackle the book. The THM book would make so much more sense as you plow through it.

      • I had the same thought Diane!! This is the “THM Start-up Guide.” Would give individuals a quick start to begin the program without feeling the requirement to read the entire book beforehand.

        • Hi Rebecca, thanks for your comment! I need to make it clear that my intent in writing this post was not to discourage anyone from reading the book or to degrade it in any way! The book is very well written and an absolute necessity for those planning to try THM. My intent was two-fold: 1. To simplify the main concepts of the book that made sense to me and to present them in a simple, concise, non-intimidating fashion allowing the readers to have a big picture before attempting the book. and 2. To appeal to the men out there to give it a shot for the good of your health. This is not for your wife only! Show her some support and hop on board; you will be glad you did!

          • Thank you – just asked my husband to read this because he wants to understand the plan but I have a hard time explaining it and not quite sure of it all yet. He does not have time to read the whole book so this has helped him and me. Thank you for supporting your wife and for encouraging us!

          • My husband and I both appreciate your summary and will recommend it to other confused potential THMers!

  1. Scott, you nailed it in three points. This was excellent. I suggest your wife place this article in the file section of the THM Beginners for all the newbies. Thanks. Kaye

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  3. So good! I get lost in too many words and this is Such a direct and clear presentation. Thank you for this break down and perspectives. Thank you for your commitment to our Lord…we need good Christian men standong up for Him!

  4. Such a concise and clear picture that wraps all that encompasses THM in a neat package!
    My husband and I have been more or less following it for almost a year. It is interesting to note that when we went “off plan” we felt horrible and yet there was no need to go “off plan”. It is now our way of life!!
    Hubbies cholesterol is under control and his triglic’s went down by half after just three months on plan.
    He has more “will power” then me when we are out and about but I’m learning that I HATE those insulin spikes so to forget the ice cream and go for the red meat :).
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Great to hear Julie! I am happy for you and your husband exercising your “will power”! I was always quite sensitive to sugar and diabetes runs in my family – that was enough for me to make lifestyle changes!

  5. really enjoyed this , and hoping my hubby reads it as he likes to tell people what i’m doing , but sometimes leaves out important info , I think this hit all the stuff you need to know , shared it on my FB page , thanks so much for writing it for the world to see 🙂

  6. Thanks Scott for doing this!! It was awesome to meet you this past weekend!! You are a blessing to this program!!

    • Thanks Ingrid! It was great to meet and chat with you too! Thanks for motivating me to write this; the response has been great and I probably wouldn’t have tackled it without your suggestion! Hope you enjoy your products! God Bless.

  7. Thanks so much for this! I’ve read the book & have tried to explain it to my hubby…I read this to him & he said…send that to me, I can understand him, lol

  8. Thank you so much for this! I was having difficulty grasping the concept, even after reading the book. But, you have helped me understand it!

    • Thanks Sarah! My wife has made a couple recipes from your blog and they’ve all been great. I’m sure she will be posting a review on the most recent “cowboy cookie” recipe…they didn’t last too long in this house!

  9. They say in the book to wait 3 hrs after your last bite before you eat again. If that is so, are your times a little off schedule?

    • Hi Yvonne. Great question! I eat fairly quickly and am quite active during the day (cycling, running or walking, etc). Once my body got used to burning one fuel at a time, I didn’t find the need to wait exactly 3 hours between eating. The schedule mentioned in my post was not only convenient but also seemed to work with my inner clock (i.e., I was good and ready to eat when the time came).

  10. The article was great, but I still have one question. Does it matter how you put the meals together in a day? Like could you eat all S meals in one day…or should you mix it up? And I am sure the answer is “mix it up”? Then my next question is, is there a rule for how you should “mix it up”?
    Thanks! Jill

    • Hello Jill, I would like to direct you to Chapter 12 & 14 of the Trim Healthy Mama book. Also, both sisters give sample weekly menus and it shows how they switch it up in chapter 29 and 30. I believe it is very important that you have the book and I encourage you to read through it. To briefly answer your questions: You should mix it up and the only ‘rule’ per se is to leave around 3 hrs between meals so your body can burn one fuel at a time (ie. S or E)

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  12. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this, Scott. Well done! I have the book, and I have lent it to many people. Most realize they need their own copy. Many ask me to explain THM and since reading your article, I have sent many to read your overview of it because you did a GREAT job explaining it. Again, thanks for a GREAT synopsis of the plan. I think reading your article and THEN reading the book is a TERRIFIC idea! Hollie Mae (about 9 months on the THM plan)

    • Hollie! Thanks so much for commenting! I’m glad the synopsis helped you and your friends. I’ve been on the plan for about 11 months. I still find it wild to think that this time last year I was looking for yet another diet to shed my “winter weight”!

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  14. Thanks so much for this. I know that my husband is “done” with all the things I have tried and this explains this program in a way that he just might be able to encourage me with some knowledge. I copied the link to his email.

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  17. I just read this to my “macho” husband, and he totally gets it, he’s totally on board, and thinks the synopsis is great!

  18. A very good summary especially for men who don’t want to read the entire book. I printed and gave to my husband to read. He is following the diet with me and is very supportive but didn’t want to read the book. Thanks for the concise summary.

  19. Very good summary! I have all the books and definitely appreciated the second set best…but this summarizes even better for when I’m trying to explain (and understand). I’m still working on details always and trying to stay completely on track. Thank you.

  20. This article stinks.

    In making THM understandable, you’ve broken down my resistance by making me responsible for what I now know.

    In all sincerity: thanks, man. Life and health (and weight) are going to improve drastically.

  21. I have just started trying to use this new way of eating, and trying to lose weight. I am shocked how well I feel. Most of the time when I go on “diets,” I feel terrible with my blood sugar. I am amazed at the difference so far!

  22. Thank you for explaining the nuts and bolts of this plan. I’ve been reading the books and trying to understand but get lost in all of the words. My husband being a mechanical engineer will also appreciate this go to version even more! We’ll definitely be sharing it to help others understand the plan then we can enjoy the books even more.

  23. Great short version! I’ll be sharing this to help explain to my family that hasn’t figured out what I’m trying to do … I’m loving how I feel on this plan and its healthy! Great read, thanks! I have the new book and cookbook- happy valentines to me from my loving dear husband!

  24. Thank you so much for this overview! I have read the book a couple of times and am having success in the program. But often, people ask me what I am doing to lose weight and I have a hard time explaining quickly. This has been a huge help!! Thanks again!

  25. Thank you Thank You Thank you!!! I have had the book for over a year. I as a full time working mom don’t have as much time as I would like to sit down and read the entire book. What you have provided here is awesome! Basic outline which is exactly what I needed. Now I can get to the recipes instead of feeling overwhelmed with trying to read and comprehend what to do! Thanks again.

  26. Well, I’ve been around Engineers all my life and this was WAY wordy for an engineer. This is as bad as the book, to me.
    No sugar, no whites, except when making kefir.
    Don’t mix carbs and fats
    Eat plenty of protein. That’s my takeaway from several websites. I have the book and it’s a waste of money for someone who just needs and wants ‘the bottom line’.

    For instance, telling people sugar is bad for them, telling people not to get oatmeal in a container bc it’s full of sugar. Superfluous.
    Even when the sisters are talking about how to ‘not make the thm’ way work, they go on and on ad infinitum. I was hoping this would give what I gave up there, with just a bit of explanation. I guess I’ll have to write my own ‘bottom line’.

    • Hey Jama, thanks for your response! Sorry my summary wasn’t as concise as it could be! I try to find the balance between keeping it simple but still enjoyable to read, hence the reason I wrote it as a blog post and not a post-it note:P The bottom line is that if you can sift through all of the info, I believe you will find that THM really does allow you to enjoy your food and stay healthy. If you have specific questions regarding the post or the plan, please let me know by emailing us or by commenting on this post! Have a great evening. -Scott

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