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Back in 2012 a couple of my “besties,” Serene and Pearl, searched for answers to sustainable weight loss for women. As they figured out the best ways to fuel with foods for fat loss, I joined their plan and together we lost weight and regained our health.
The plan (Trim Healthy Mama) they laid out for weight loss is excellent and works for women of all ages but as I’ve moved into my midlife years I’ve learned to make a few tweaks to the basic Trim Healthy plan to make weight loss easier with hormonal changes.
A key concept we often overlook in midlife is to eat plenty of protein. Protein is a key pillar of the Trim Healthy plan and continues to be of utmost importance through your “mature” season. You need to increase the frequency of eating Trim Healthy E (energizing) fuels in midlife so your thyroid and adrenals get the best support. But the amount of heavy fats (dairy) is best reduced and a lower-fat approach taken with your S (Satisfying) fuel.
Melissa joined my Feminine Freedom Path program because even after years of success, Trim Healthy no longer worked for her. She felt she was doing everything right but instead of seeing even slow weight loss she saw no movement on her scale.
When Melissa got back on plan, she did not prioritize her E meals but instead ate a lot of heavy S meals which made her menu more like Keto and less like a well-balanced Trim Healthy menu. Plus she tried to cut calories, and increase her exercise but forgot to increase her hydration.
All of this backfired on her and she found the 3 Reasons Trim Healthy won't work in Midlife.
Trim Healthy works and I've seen it work in every season of life, but it does take a commitment and a level of patience.
It is a slow weight loss program, especially when you get to midlife. For those of you who are in your forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies, it does slow down. I want to be honest with you. But, I'm gonna tell you, if you stick with it, it does work.
Think thoughts of commitment:
“I am going to do this not to move the scale, but to invest in my health.”
“I am the girl that is committed. I'm learning to be committed day by day.”
“I'm committed to myself. I will not quit. This works for me.”
Those kinds of thoughts are much better than - “Is this working for me? There might be something better.“
Wavering and doubtful thoughts stop your Trim Healthy journey causing you to either backtrack or you do something else and you basically waste time.
Maybe you’ve found a coach to help you, or maybe you're in a different season of life, and you're starting all over again. Your commitment level is huge!
Just say, “I'm giving this one year. I won’t watch what happens on the scale. I'm giving it one year because I'll figure it out.”
When your thoughts come alive with commitment, your brain will start to figure things out.
But if you're wishy-washy and you leave it up to chance, then your brain will go to the path of least resistance, and you'll be looking for something easier, or you'll be giving into the standard American diet.
The number one reason Trim Healthy isn’t working for you - you aren’t 100% committed
Try to come up with some committed thoughts. Make a list of some committed thoughts that you practice and put in front of your eyes every single day so you’re intentional about being on plan.
A common mistake women make in midlife is to continue eating fat-heavy foods and meals.
Too many heavy S meals or even too many S meals and not enough E meals is almost guaranteed to slow your weight loss down in midlife. We all need more E (energizing) meals during and after menopause to help balance out the fats and to provide nourishment to our adrenals and thyroid. We need the energy!
Keep your S meals light while upping your intake of E meals.
Do I have numbers? No.
I don't have numbers, instead, let me show you what “lighten up” means. We are going to lighten up on dairy and choose fermented dairy when possible. I prefer fermented dairy over processed dairy like cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and things like that. It would be better to use Greek yogurt or kefir.
Lighten up the fat amounts you use in your S meals. Keep your max to around one to two teaspoons.
If you usually make a salad and dump a lot of dressing on it plus cheese and some nuts - that's a bit fat-heavy. Maybe cut the amounts in half.
Focus on less dairy and use healthier fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil. Avocados, nuts like walnuts, and seeds are beautiful.
Eating on plan, eating crossovers, and having an occasional heavy S meal is fine. But in midlife, for weight loss, you really wanna lighten up the fats consistently.
If you're having a lot of red meat, maybe start adding fish. If you don't care for fish, maybe add more ground turkey, plant proteins, or chicken.
Your midlife fuel balance needs tweaking to include more E (energizing) meals than in your younger years. This will vary from woman to woman but in general, I recommend ½ of your meals be E fuel-focused. You want to be mindful to include more E meals to nourish your adrenals and thyroid, rev your metabolism, and give you good vitamins, nutrients, and all the things you need for health.
For a healthy metabolism and a healthy midlife. Do not shy away from the E-fueled meals.
I like to make eating on plan as easy as possible so every week I choose 1-2 E fuels to prep ahead. Cook up a few sweet potatoes in your instant pot or the oven, or brown rice or quinoa, overnight oats are beautiful as well.
Have something you can grab out of the fridge, add lean protein along with non-starchy veggies then sit and eat with no extra prep. It does not have to be hard at all. Make it easy.
Snacks at night and bites-licks-tastes throughout your day count.
Your body needs 3-4 hours without fuel between meals so it can start burning its fat. If we're putting food in our mouths before the 3-4 hours, the process gets interrupted. Allowing 12 hours between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day is helpful as well. I'm not talking about Intermittent Fasting, I'm talking about limiting your eating between supper and breakfast.
Practice a closed kitchen. Stop eating after your supper meal. If for some reason your blood sugar is unstable, and you do need some fuel before bed then be smart about your choice. Midnight munchies are best kept as a Fuel Pull or protein-based.
Your body is less efficient at burning calories at night, and when we're giving ourselves a snack, some of the extra may not get burned off.
Did you know limiting night snacking may help you sleep better and regulate leptin levels too? It’s just a good practice to give your body that overnight fasting time, which is more of a natural fast.
Maybe think about what you can do to tweak your Trim Healthy journey for your midlife season.
This list is only a start, other areas may need your attention as well. Most often in menopause, you need to address hormones, exercise, and lifestyle habits to see consistent and meaningful traction in your weight loss journey.
I am not a medical professional. As a Trim Healthy Mama coach, I am not providing healthcare, medical, or nutritional therapy services or attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue.
The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before undertaking a new health regimen.
Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice because of the information you read on this website. Do not start or stop any medications without speaking to your medical or health provider.