Reflections on a THM Fuel Cycle

I was on the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) plan for about five months when it happened. Day after day, stepping on the scale … and it didn’t budge. Starting out on THM, I had told myself I was not going to do a fuel cycle (for non THMs, a one week fuel cycle is two days low carb high {healthy} fats, two days high {healthy} carbs low fat, two days low carb low fat, and one day of low carb high {healthy} fat again.) but this went on for two months. I told myself I was content letting the scale move at its own pace, that I didn’t have the discipline required to restrict my diet for a fuel cycle. After two months, though, I was ready to see some more progress. In the first five months (pre-stubborn scale) I had lost 22lb. It was time to do a fuel cycle.

Looking back on a one week fuel cycle, this is what I learned.

I called my mom to persuade her to be my fuel cycle buddy (for accountability and support), and re-read the section in the plan book on fuel cycles. Then I created a menu and shopping list.

One week later, this is what I learned:
  • I have more discipline than I give myself credit for
  • If you cook every meal on a fuel cycle, you’ll have TONS of leftovers! Make sure you have someone either not on plan who can eat them when you are switching fuels, or that you eat the same things for same-fuel days. (Or cook single-serve portions.)
  • Fuel cycles are not as hard as they sound. I psyched myself out and made it out to be much harder than it actually was.
  • Plan more snacks, especially fuel pull snacks.
  • I don’t eat nearly enough vegetables (even though I love veggies)
  • Your weight will yo-yo. That’s okay.
  • You may not lose very much weight during or immediately after the cycle, but it’s still worth it!
  • The last day is the hardest (at least it was for me) … don’t quit early! You made it this far, so have a spectacular finish!
  • The day after a fuel cycle is not an excuse to celebrate and go crazy eating everything you weren’t allowed to have the past week. Although this is very tempting, it could potentially ruin all of your hard work.

All in all, the day after the fuel cycle I weighed myself and had only lost three pounds … but at least the scale was moving (downward!) again. I have high hopes that the weight will continue to come off, especially based on other experiences I have read where not much weight was lost during the cycle but the results were seen weeks after.


Have you completed a Trim Healthy Mama fuel cycle? What did it look like for you? Did you see lots of initial weight loss, or did seeing results take longer?



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