NOTE: If you have NO IDEA what I'm talking about start here, with this post Elizabeth wrote on the basics of what we are doing here. Don't worry I'll wait 'til you come back.
As always, I will start with a little sketch of my personal experiences. As Serene mentions is her preference in the book, I prefer S meals and snacks over E meals and snacks. I think it has something to do with the fact that I love sharp cheese, the happy feeling that nuts give me, and heavy cream over berries. MMM! Also, it may be that because I discovered the Trim Healthy Mama plan earlier in life, my body is not as trained to love carbs as much. (Just a thought.) At any rate, this is how my eating typically looked before I realized the importance and fun switching up fuel styles:
Breakfast - 3 eggs, scrambled with bacon - S
Lunch - Salad topped with chicken, cheese, and veggies - S
Afternoon snack - Apple w/ peanut butter - E
Supper - Pizza casserole w side salad - S
Dessert - Skinny chocolate w/ coffee - S
Do you realize the problem with this? While it is a totally on plan day, it is hardly switching up fuels and making you a fat burning machine. A fuel switching and fat burning day looks like this:
Breakfast: Stacy's Baked Oatmeal w/ berries and Greek yogurt on top - E.
Mid-morning snack: Vanilla smoothie w/ 1/2 scoop of whey protein - FP
Lunch: Gwen's taco salad w/ full fat sour cream, cheese, & Joseph's - S
Mid-afternoon snack: Strawberry & oats muffins w/ a cup of coffee - E
Dinner: Pizza Casserole - S
Dessert: Couple pieces of Skinny Chocolate and soothing Oolong tea - S
Note: Don't feel bad if this is not exactly what your menu looks like; this is just an example menu that I came up with to illustrate my point. And this doesn't necessarily come through in the written menus, but whenever I am intentional to switch up my fuels, I eat a little cleaner/whole foodier. But that's another blog post for another time.
Now after reading those health menus, please don't think that I'm perfect at this. There are still days where I barely do this, because it is so busy. But I am trying to constantly work at it, and when I do I get very good results. Wahoo!
Did you notice how the three primary fuels were covered in the first 3 meals? That is pretty good, but this THM continues to mix it up by throwing in an E snack. By doing this, she ensures that her body does not pick up on any pattern to adapt her metabolism rate. A great thing about this is that she gets variety from all 3 groups, not staying stuck on a certain fuel. By incorporating FP meals and snacks, she also ensures that her body digs into its own fat reserves occasionally. A smart idea that Pearl and Serene mention is to have a light S (An S meal done a little lighter, for example pulled back cheese and fats). If you have read and analyzed Serene and Pearl's sample menus, you might remember that Serene does full days of fuels more, while Pearl mixes it up during the day more. (If you are confused as to what I'm talking about refer to Chapters 29 - 30 in the book.) Choose what works for you and your schedule, that is what Trim Healthy Mama is all about!
Another good thing to remember is that how you mix up your fuels should work for you. Everyone's menus are going to look different because we are all unique. It is a good idea, however, to throw in a full day of E or FP, occasionally, to really shake up your body. If it is very hard for you to commit to a full Fuel Cycle, shaking up your metabolism by throwing in a full day of one fuel that you get less of is a good idea toward mixing up your body. This is one of those rare exceptions where mixing signals is good!
The end result of constantly mixing up your fuels is that you burn through the weight faster, or if you are close to or are at goal weight, can mean more Crossovers. And I don't know about you, but even though I'm not necessarily used to Crossovers, they kind of signal success to me! But, whatever stage of weight loss you are at, you can implement this technique to see improved weight loss.
To wrap up this blog post, here are 3 tips to help facilitate this change/continuation:
1. Plan out your menus. At the very least, know what your breakfast is going to be the night before. Even if your menu for that day doesn't go as planned, you have a basic rough sketch.
2. Find your favorite meal or snack in the fuel style that you have a hard time eating. Now to be fair, it's kinda crazy that I'm saying this, 'cause the whole plan is yummy! But, for example, if you have a hard time finding E meals and snacks that you love, search out favorite recipes to revamp or new recipes to try. You could treat yourself to a delicious apple pie smoothie or Stacy's Overnight Baked Oatmeal. There are hundreds of possibilities! And remember, it's okay to fall back on your old favorites!
3. Tweaking current recipes. Now, don't try to make an E out of Pizza Casserole or any similar high fat dish, but if there are some minor tweaking that could happen and the recipe be made another fuel style, do it! This way, you can still eat a favorite recipe but mix up your fuel styles. Also, this is where those recipes marked S, E, or Fuel Pull come in handy!
I hope this blog post made sense to you and informed you on the importance of mixing your fuel styles. Please leave a comment on what best helps you mix your fuels and what you liked about this blog post!
Linking at Thank Your Body Thursday at Thank Your Body, Thriving on Thursdays at Domesblissity, Tasty Thursdays at The Mandatory Mooch