Why should you do a Trim Healthy Mama meal plan?
Let's make this simple and answer the question right away! The reason is to eliminate the clutter and distractions that cause us to go off plan. A Trim Healthy Mama meal plan allows us to succeed!
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Meal Planning on Trim Healthy Mama
There are so many ways to fall off plan with Trim Healthy Mama. I've been following the THM plan since 2014 and most of those years it has required a specific plan to stay on plan. It was only until the last 2 years that I have used meal planning and found success with simplifying the plan for my own needs. I fought meal planning because it took too much time, was too much work, and was just too hard to think about.
So how do we make meal planning on Trim Healthy Mama easy, simple, and organized so we can stay on plan?
Maybe meal planning is not your thing. That's totally fine, there are many fellow THMers that don't need meal planning. However, there are some of us that need a little more structure; here are some reasons to do a Trim Healthy Mama meal plan:
- Save money! Planning ahead of time can help reduce extra expenses.
- It can help you become consistent with THM.
- During busy seasons of life meal planning can help reduce decision fatigue.
A Trim Healthy Mama meal plan can be used as a tool during certain times of life to help reduce the brain clutter and aid you in staying on plan. It doesn't need to be forever!
How do I start Trim Healthy Mama?
If you would like to start with the Trim healthy Mama lifestyle, it's quite easy! The first step would be to get the books. There are many quick starts out there, like my own, but there is no substitute for the actual book.
Once you have read the book, the basics of the plan consist of eating every 3 hours, and separating your meals into "Fat Based Meals" (s-meal), or "Carb Based Meals" (e-meals). Other meal types include "Healthy Fats/Healthy Carbs" (crossovers), and "Low Fat/Low Carb" (Fuel pull). Firming up your understanding of these meals is essential in your success on Trim Healthy Mama.
At this point many new THMers start creating a Trim Healthy Mama meal plan for beginners. There is freedom in this plan once there is understanding of the plan and you get into a lifestyle routine. Below is a Simple Weekly Meal Plan template that you can download!
Which THM Book Should I Buy?
I get asked this question a lot! There are many books published by the Trim Healthy Mama sisters and many others published by Trim Healthy Mama content creators. How's a person to know what to buy!? I usually recommend the Trim Healthy Table, you can find more information on why I recommend this one through my article on "The Best Trim Healthy Mama Cookbooks."
A Trim Healthy Mama Meal Plan for Beginners
The number one way I have learned to stay on plan using meal planning is a little bit 'out there' for some people. I'm not going to lie, most of you probably won't try this. I use this to set my day up for success.
Regardless of how I meal plan for the week, almost every day I make my dinners in the morning, before work, and often before my children wake up.
I've lost you, haven't I? Let me put it this way:
What is the time of the day you are most likely to go off plan? Many women in my coaching groups, say they go off plan in the evening. They are exhausted from a busy day, busy kids, and a busy evening ahead. The last thing we want to do is think through making and planning a dinner. The way I am proactive in combating this is by making our dinners ahead of time.
Making our dinner ahead of time sets up my entire THM day for success! It is the number one way I suggest THMers to start with meal planning.
When I'm tempted to go off plan, I don't want to as easily because I know I have an on-plan dinner waiting for me at home, it spurs me on to make good and solid eating decisions. If evenings are tough for you, consider trying this for one week and see if it changes your success.
Here are some of my favorites that keep well in the fridge during the day, and I can just pop them back on the stove or in the oven at dinner time.
Trim Healthy Mama Meal Plan for Beginners -
- Lazy Lasagna
- Little Sweet Little Spicy Drumsticks, pg 221 Trim Healthy Mama Table (THMT)
- Cheeseburger Pie
- Okra Infused Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Stove Top Dishes
- World's Laziest Lasagna Skillet - Stove Top - Trim Healthy Mama Table (THMT)
- Black Pepper Chicken pg 68 (THMT)
- Tuscan Cream Chicken, pg 72 (THMT)
- Trim Healthy Mama Rotisserie Skillet
- Mac & Cheese with Veggie (that your kids will eat)
Although the below verses is speaking about spiritual things, I often find myself applying to good godly things as well. Being successful on THM can be sane and easy, but it also requires some strict training to get it right.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27ESV
Helpful ways to Meal Plan with Trim Healthy Mama
By no means am I a perfect on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan! I make a lot of mistakes and fall off the band wagon. But the key is to always just jump back in! here are some helpful ways to Trim Healthy Mama meal plan.
#1 Jot Down the Meals
Sometime all you need to do to stay on plan is to jot it down! I have used this method successfully the most. After my second pregnancy with a toddler, newborn, week hospital stay, and a move schedule for the same month, I NEEDED a way to meal plan easily and simply. The Happy Planner at this point was my answer. There was no way in that busy season of life that I was going to be able to sit down long enough to plan out in detail my meals.
Using this method, I only planned my dinners. My breakfasts were the same each day, lunch was leftovers, and dinner was jotted down on these sticker sheets. I often make dinner in the morning before the kids wake up which makes the evening less stressful.
#2 Use Printables
Another way to Trim Healthy Mama meal plan is to use printables. There are hundreds of free printables on the internet! Simple meal plan printables are great for sticking on the fridge and referencing as the week goes by.
Using inserts in your Happy Planner or another planner can also be a way to see success in meal planning. The Happy Planner is my favorite way to for organization and creativity to meet, so these resources are focused on the Happy Planner printables. However, the nice thing about printables is that you can use them in whatever way you see fit!
Tracking your meals and snacks throughout the day is another way of meal planning. It's a lot more specific and doesn't require a bunch of prep work. I have found it helpful to simple jot down on my Food Freedom Tracker and Journal my intended meals for the day. I don't always stay on them, but at least its a starting point for staying successful on plan.
# 3 Use Consistent Days of the Week Schedules
I cannot take credit for this last tip. I originally found this idea on the Blog "Early to Bed, Early to Rise" It's a really fun way to Trim Healthy Mama meal plan by using consistent themes for each day of the week. You can customize your own themes, but here is an example week:
- Lazy Meat Monday
- Think some form of lazy lasagna.
- Taco Tuesday
- Think simple Tacos, taco soup, spicy cajun etc.
- Stir Fry Wednesday -
- Think anything that goes in my large skillet that is easy to whip up like Black Pepper Chicken, pg 68 (THMT)
- Simple Noodle Thursday
- Think dreamfield pasta or Trim Healthy Mama noddle recipes, or spaghetti squash.
- Friday Fun Pizza -
- Think crossover pizzas for family and a pita wrap for yourself. Or a Quest pizza occasionally (personal choice product). I often ate a personal choice pizza during pregnancy and nursing for convenience sake.
Not all of the days of the week have to be snazzy sounding. Make them simple and easy for your family. You can memorize your consistent themes and then as you create a list of recipes that go under each you won't even have to write things down! That's the type of meal planning I like!
#4 Plan the Fuels
This just may be my favorite way of meal planning right now. Just planning my fuels allows me to free style or plan everything out consistently. Using a routine, you can plan out each fuel and then leave it blank and free style or write in all the meals you are planning. The planner below may just become your best friend, click on the image to download.
Meal Planning: Keep it Simple and Sane
There are so many ways to meal plan, and honestly you must find what works for you. I know many women who love apps such as Plan to Eat. Fellow Trim Healthy Mama Coaches have been raving about the "Ate' app. Another option is the new THM Journey App. There still appears to be some kinks to work out, but it is still a stellar option. Yet there are also others that love a good ole' paper and pen planner. Find what works for your success and growth!
If you are interested in more resources for meal planning, watch my full guide below.
Susan Evans says
I've done certain foods on certain days of the week and ended up getting in a rut. My husband likes variety. I like the sound of "lazy lasagna." LOL
THM's Lazy Lasagna is fantastic! That's want we are having tonight!
Kathryn Lang says
Meal planners have been lifesavers for me over the years. Before my father-in-law passed, I was making all three of his meals - and he would get grumpy if we had the same entree a couple of times in a row. So I devised a meal planner that covered all the major entree options and spread them out throughout the week. It not only helped with the cooking, but with the shopping! Other times I used once-a-month cooking to keep the meals on track. The key is to find the system that will work for you so you will work that system!
Isn't that the truth! It's truly about finding what works for you and then going for it! I find that my system changes a lot based on different times of the year. Sometimes I need something more concrete and sometimes I need something more flexible.