Trim Healthy Mama was recommended to me after I reviewed Choose to Lose, and indeed the approaches are similar in that both advocate carb cycling–having some meals be protein and fat and other meals be protein and carbs.
I’ve read a lot of books on nutrition and diet, and I think the idea of carb cycling is sound, but it’s REALLY tough to implement. I don’t mean that in a “it’s hard to follow a diet” way. I tend to be more of an abstainer than a moderator, so I find it stressful to try to remember when I ate which nutrient. It’s a lot easier for me to just have a couple of hard and fast rules and stick with them. That said, if you’re a moderator, this approach could be great for you.
Although I found the book needlessly long and complicated, I did get some good ideas that refreshed my meal planning. We tend to eat a fairly low carb, natural food diet anyway, but with a busy schedule and sleep deprivation I had gotten into a habit of too much sugar and sloppy eating. Reading this book was good impetus to stop going nuts with all that. I find I’m referring to it nearly every day for some recipe or another–I found a few that are really fabulous like a low carb pizza crust, low carb cake, and a low carb roll that works for sandwiches. That said, I also tried other recipes that were complete duds. Or else maybe the authors just used overly superlative language so I was expecting too much. I didn’t buy many of the expensive ingredients recommended, but I do have flax seed powder and protein powder and Truvia on hand already, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for me to make a lot of the recipes.
The book also contains sections on exercise (they follow the weights/body weight calisthenics/no hours of cardio on end approach), hormones (kind of hard to follow, and I’d be super cautious dinking around with hormones if I were you), skin care, and sex (summary: have more of it), among other related and semi-related topics. It’s a long book, and meanders through many topics, so it lends itself to skimming and cherry picking.
One caveat is that the authors tend to present their approach as an issue of Biblical living. I think we are called to be good stewards of our bodies, and the authors do mention that other people might have different interpretations of what the Bible says about food, but I think you should take the book for what it is–a nutrition and lifestyle plan–and not read too much into it about spiritual issues. I’ve noted this tendency in other books lately (like the study guide for 7, for example), especially the idea that Christians shouldn’t eat pork. What about Acts 10? So as with most books, I think it’s a good idea to take the good and skim the weird or inapplicable.
If you’re really into nutrition or like to read about diet research, Trim Healthy Mama might interest you. It might be worth checking out of the library first, if that’s an option, because it’s pretty expensive if you only wind up using a couple of the recipes or ideas.
Have you tried a carb cycling diet? If so, did it work for you?
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