Inside: Trim Healthy Mama takes the guesswork out of creating a balanced diet during pregnancy – a diet that helps you eat well and satisfies your cravings at the same time. This is your crash course to the 3 simple steps Trim Healthy Mama uses to create meals, along with pregnancy-specific questions answered and plenty of meal ideas!
The Internet is crowded with opinions on what you should and should not eat during pregnancy. Then throw in the mix all of the different diets out there: keto, whole 30, Atkins, just to name a few.
But they all say something different!
You want to do your darndest to eat well for that little baby…but combine that desire with too much diet information PLUS cravings? It’s enough to make a pregnant gal’s head spin (or curl up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on the couch with a side of Netflix).
That’s why I was SO thankful to discover Trim Healthy Mama early on in my pregnancy.
Trim Healthy Mama helped me to create what I believe was my perfect pregnancy diet.
For me, Trim Healthy Mama cut out the confusion and gave me the gift of guilt-free eating that truly satisfied my pregnant body. Here’s everything I learned about how to implement a Trim Healthy Mama eating plan during pregnancy.
Disclosure: I am NOT a dietician or doctor of any kind. This is the diet that helped ME maintain a healthy weight throughout my pregnancy and lose weight after delivery, but you should absolutely consult with YOUR doctor or dietician before making any major changes to your diet during pregnancy.
Is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet Really That Important?
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During the first trimester, I was extremely sick. I could hardly function.
Keeping food down became a constant struggle for me, so I definitely was NOT thinking about if what I could eat was nutrient-dense. I kept a strict regimen of Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup, macaroni and cheese, strawberries, and Chick-fil-a milkshakes. Nutritious, right?
You may be wondering if it’s really important to eat right during pregnancy. Maybe, you are one of the many women who let pregnancy be a time to let loose with dietary choices. No shame- I’ve been there!
But the studies ARE in: overeating and poor dietary choices have the potential to be harmful to your baby (source).
Today, I want to show you what I found to be the most beneficial way to eat for two.
3 Trim Healthy Mama Steps to Perfect Pregnancy Meals
I have three words for you: Trim. Healthy. Mama.
Trim Healthy Mama is the best eating plan that I have ever tried. It is the best pregnancy “diet” that I have encountered so far. And now that I’m over 1 year postpartum, I can tell you that I’ve lost all of my baby weight (and more) and kept it off by following the same eating plan.
It is simple, affordable and sustainable! You will find that you can trim down while filling up.
Eating with a plan is ridiculously easy with Trim Healthy Mama (THM)! Think of it like Chipotle: you start on one end of the line and build your meal to your liking.
Let’s jump in to your Trim Healthy Mama crash course, if you’ve never heard of THM before.
1. Decide if you need fats or carbs.
Do you want a succulent, satisfying meal right now? Or are you wanting more energy? Let that decide what type of meal you will have.
THM S (satisfying) meals: These meals celebrate fats. In this meal setting, enjoy fatty meats, nuts, cheeses, oil and, of course- BUTTER.
THM E (energizing) meals: These focus on carbs. When you have an E meal, load up on gentle grains, beans, oats, and fruit.
The logic is that your body can’t burn through both types of fuels (fats and carbs) at once. So, your body will burn through one and store the other as fat. Yikes!
Once you get the hang of it, it is a no-brainer to eat on the Trim Healthy Mama plan and maintain a steady weight.
2. Pick your protein.
Next, depending on what fuel you chose (fats or carbs), pick the protein you’d like to anchor your meal with.
Every snack or meal needs to have protein! Your body, and your baby, need protein to thrive.
For a fats-focused meal, you can enjoy any protein you’d like. These meats are perfect for fats-focused meals:
- fried eggs
- any other fattier protein
Pair lean meats and other lighter protein with your carb-focused meals. Great lean meat options to anchor your carb-focused meals are:
- lean chicken breast
- egg whites
- greek yogurt
3. Fill up the rest of your plate with veggies.
Once you have your meal mostly put together, load up your plate with veggies! With a low carb/high fats meal, fill up on non-starchy veggies. These vegetables are all great options:
- yellow squash
- spaghetti squash
If you’re having a high carb meal, enjoy veggies that have a higher carb count as well as the non-starchy vegetables listed above. You want to choose vegetables like:
- acorn squash
- butternut squash
- sweet potatoes (my personal favorite)
BUT: Don’t Forget You ARE Pregnant.
Don’t forget that you are pregnant!
The writers of Trim Healthy Mama do encourage pregnant and nursing mothers to combine fats and carbs in meals as needed. In THM language, this is called a crossover (XO).
Combining fats and carbs during pregnancy will help you to maintain a steady weight gain. Tune into your body to determine how many crossovers a day is right for you.
Some mamas have one meal a day that is a crossover. Others need more than that to avoid unwanted weight loss.
3 Examples of High-Carb Meals
Don’t be scared – carbs are GOOD!
- Chicken burrito bowls: Grilled chicken breast, brown rice, beans, tomatoes, salsa, and corn. Add cilantro and lime for a nice tang!
- Oven baked dinner: baked tilapia, baked sweet potato, with a side salad.
- Oatmeal with dried cranberries; add collagen to your oatmeal for more protein.
3 Examples of Fats-Focused Meals
These will rock your world!
- Pan seared pork chops, buttered broccoli, served with a large side salad.
- Taco salad: ground beef, onion, lettuce, tomato, salsa, cheese, avocado chunks, all topped with a few crushed tortilla chips.
- Scrambled eggs with sausage, spinach, and tomato; add cheese, if you please.
Trim Healthy Mama During Pregnancy: Common FAQs
Is Trim Healthy Mama a good pregnancy diet?
A good pregnancy diet is a well-rounded diet.
Some diets are dangerous for pregnant women because they cut out one or more main food groups. Our bodies need carbs, our bodies need fats, and our bodies desperately need protein when we are pregnant.
Trim Healthy Mama is an eating plan that includes all of the food groups and celebrates balance in the pairing of different food groups. This eating plan is mostly shared as a weight-loss program but I found it to be the most nourishing way to eat during pregnancy.
THM gave me guidelines on how to eat in a nourishing way. The “template” for THM meals helped me to make sure that I am having well-balanced meals and snacks!
What should be the diet in the first month of pregnancy?
During the first month of pregnancy, start nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods. Focus on your protein intake, healthy fats, and low glycemic carbs.
But really, during the first trimester, just focus on getting food in. You may be feeling really sick and the only thing that sounds good might be ice cream… just eat the dang ice cream!
Having a well-balanced diet is a great priority to have but any kind of food that your body will accept while you are sick is the food that you need to be eating.
Related: 14 Life-Savers for Your First Trimester Survival Kit
How can I not gain weight during pregnancy?
I get it. You don’t want to end your pregnancy looking like a beached whale. No one does!
While you may want to lose weight, it shouldn’t be a priority during pregnancy. Some women who begin pregnancy overweight can end up remaining the same at the end of pregnancy- but that shouldn’t be your goal.
The rule of thumb during pregnancy is to nourish your body to then nourish your baby. Do make healthy choices. Don’t burden yourself during this season of life with weight loss.
If you are still concerned after that pep talk, Trim Healthy Mama is a very gentle approach to trimming down while eating for two.
I know many women that have successfully lost weight or even stayed the same weight during pregnancy due to Trim Healthy Mama. (That is if they started pregnancy overweight.) You should not be losing weight or staying the same weight if you started pregnancy at a healthy weight.
(Have I said the word ‘weight’ enough?)
It is okay for you to get heavier and weigh more during pregnancy… you are growing a baby, and boobs, and a ginormous uterus! Even just the fluid that your body retains during pregnancy is enough to make your eyes bulge when looking at the scale.
Mama- it. is. okay.
How should I take care of myself during pregnancy?
Eating balanced meals and nourishing your body is a great way to take care of yourself during pregnancy.
Fuel your body in a way that honors your body and your baby. Eating well is a form of self-care.
If you’re looking for practical tips for pain relief and self-care during pregnancy, read this post.
How much more should a pregnant woman eat?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers the following guidelines regarding extra calories per day:
- First Trimester: you don’t need to have any extra calories.
- Second Trimester: eat about 350 extra calories a day.
- Third Trimester: eat about 450 extra calories a day.
It has been proven again and again that it is a myth that women need to “eat for two “. Some studies have shown that it is actually harmful to eat in excess during pregnancy, especially if you start pregnancy overweight.
According to Trim Healthy Mama guidelines, pregnant women should eat a meal/snack every 2 to 3 hours.
Does Trim Healthy Mama allow for late night snacks during pregnancy?
If you’re hungry, eat! Growing a baby takes a lot of energy. Your body might need a snack right before you go to bed to make it until breakfast.
I always had to eat right before bed so that I wouldn’t feel sick in the morning. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I would wake up famished in the middle of the night… so, I would eat!
Mamas, your baby needs you to eat when your body is telling you to. Trust your body’s instincts, but indulge them with smart choices.
A favorite snack of mine for the late evening has been a piece of sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and jelly on it.
The peanut butter and jelly gets gooey and warm. The toast has a little crunch. YUM.
I love to sip on chamomile tea while I eat to help me settle into sleep after snacking.
Related: 17 Healthy Breastfeeding Snacks – Easy, Quick & Satisfying
You CAN Have a Healthy, Satisfying Pregnancy Diet
So you wanted to know why I think Trim Healthy Mama offers the hands-down best guidance for a perfect pregnancy diet? Now you know!
I’ve given you a simple, straightforward guide to building a life-giving meal or snack.
You can give your baby everything that he/she needs right now by choosing healthier eating, and that is pretty awesome.
Read Next: A Girlfriend’s Guide to Folate-Rich Foods for the First Trimester
Kenzie lives with her husband and daughter in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She’s wrestled with infertility, survived a miscarriage, and is overjoyed to finally be a mama to her sweet baby girl she thought she’d never have. She especially loves helping moms who have had miscarriages find hope after loss.