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Fuel Cycle Thoughts and More

***I wrote this a few days after my first fuel cycle which ended June 28th but forgot to post it. I am now on my 2nd fuel cycle and down to 141.2 pounds. I also have been eating 1 E meal a day during the week and all S meals Atkins style not worrying about my fat intake during the weekends and have maintained my weight. I am not yo-yoing with pounds anymore. Instead of going back and forth with the same 2-3lbs I am going back and forth with ounces (yay). My net carbs have stayed under 60 even with adding in 1 E meal a day.***

Today I weighed in at 144.0 for a total weight loss of 4.2 pounds. My goal was to lose 5lbs but oh well I tried. I stuck to the plan as best as I knew how. The first week I did cut it short by two days because I wanted to eat a hamburger on our date night.

Note to self: don’t start a fuel cycle on Monday, for me starting on Friday or Saturday makes more sense because the first 3 days are deep S days and easier to do over the weekend when one might be out and about more.

The Fuel Cycle was a good experience for me, one reason, I found out I’m allergic to wheat gluten. It causes inflammation in my gut. I get um, gas. Yup, having those Joseph’s breads and low carb tortillas caused my tummy to bloat, so did chia seeds.

I enjoyed my foods though. It had been a while since I had an apple or a bean burrito. No cheese on that burrito too and I still liked it.

It was a good challenge. I’m happy to report I didn’t cheat. I did goof twice. The first week I ate a chicken thigh (small 3oz but still was not on plan). On a fuel pull day you are suppose to eat very lean meats. I wasn’t thinking about that because on Atkins I can eat a chicken thigh whenever I want. I can tell you this though, I won’t ever forget that mistake and will always eat lean on a fuel pull or E meal now.

The 2nd mistake was week 2 with an E meal. The fat grams on an E meal are to be kept at 5 or under. I had two tablespoons of cream cheese on my tortilla wrap which was 2 grams too many. One of my fuel cycle friends said that was more of a light S meal, so again I learned and didn’t make that mistake. Thankfully I ate 3 hours apart from each meal and am hoping that made it not a total mess up.

I didn’t cheat and that’s very important when doing the Fuel Cycle. In my humble opinion one should strictly stick to the program while doing a fuel cycle because I believe it throws what one is trying to accomplish off and you are really not doing a true Fuel Cycle. One is trying to get their body on days 1-3 (Deep S meals)  to burn only fat, days 3-4 (fuel pull) to switch to burning your fat stores. If you eat one bite of your child’s cake on a full pull day you just fed your body sugar on a day when you were pulling back on both fuels, fat and carbs. Same on a S day. When you take a few bites of your husband’s pasta your body can not stay with burning only fat because you have added carbs and not very good ones at that. Your body is switching over. The deep S days are to rid your body of any glucose. Well by eating some pasta even a little bit your body is back to burning the carbs.

Days 6-7 are refueling days and one still needs to stick to lean meats and low-fat foods. Because I had a hard time putting together E meals and I don’t mean I was ‘afraid’ of them because they contain more carbs, are you kidding, I was happy to bite into a burrito or have some Trim Healthy Pancakes but I was afraid of adding too much of the wrong food by mistake, so I know I did a few fuel pull meals. For the most part I think I did okay though. My body is refueling on good carbs and I was not adding lots of fats (even though they would have been good fats).

Now don’t get me wrong about cheat days when doing the free-styling. When you are changing the way you eat for life, then yeah, having a meal off plan now and then is okay, that’s life and I don’t even consider that a cheat because the next meal will be on plan.

I have done this on Atkins. Since I started my new way of eating I have had two delicious Country Burgers and some sweet potato fries to go along with those burgers. Did I feel guilt, no, did I feel like I had to hide and eat the burger in a corner so no one will see me, of course not. I just ate it and enjoyed my time with my family. My next meal was Atkins and I kept on going.

BUT the Fuel Cycle is different so I encourage you to really plan your Fuel Cycle. Find a time when you don’t see a lot of engagements on your calendar. The first week I started on a Monday, so Saturday and Sunday were suppose to be E meals. I ended up cutting my first week short because I didn’t plan accordingly. Saturday is date night and Sunday is eat out for lunch day. I cut my refueling days off and jumped right back into Deep S days because it was easier and more doable for me to have Deep S meals over the weekend.

We also celebrated Father’s Day and Joshua’s birthday during the time I was doing the Fuel Cycle. Thankfully they were on a Sunday so I had no problem with staying on the Fuel Cycle. I was able to have a piece of steak and eat my S cake too. By S cake I mean I ate a Healthy Trim Mama cake with some cream on top and I did not feel deprived. Not even tempted to have cake and ice cream. Although I have been on Atkins for 6 months and haven’t had a sugar, carby, cake for 6 months nor have I had ice cream.

So what now? Where do I go from here? I was talking to my hubby about how much I love eating Atkins/Paleo  but do like Healthy Trim Mama for it’s variety. I was going over the pros and cons of both (when I say both I groups Atkins and Paleo together as one now, they mesh so well as long as I stay away from honey and higher carb veggies/fruits from Paleo).

Atkins/Paleo: I don’t have to worry about an S, E, FP, S Helper, Cross Over meal. I just eat the foods that are on plan. I can be liberal with my oils and still lose weight. I like that I don’t have to eat low-fat, low-calorie. I know how to eat this way (Atkins/Paleo). I feel like I eat more clean and when I eat more Paleo style I don’t count carbs but listen to my body. I’m on Phase 3 and able to add in many more foods and can now add oatmeal and more grains but at the same time I don’t feel like I’m eating ‘whole’ foods but they are nice as a treat.

Healthy Trim Mama: I love that I can have berries (1 cup of berries except blueberries those are 1/2 c.) without counting carbs, they are ‘free’ in a way. I like the variety of the E meals. Being able to add some bread in. On an E meal you are allowed up to 45 carbs but have to stay within 5 grams of fat.
I guess HTM has a learning curve for me too. Although you don’t have to count carbs, calories, and fats, you do in way if. I guess like Atkins you eventually just know (maybe?).

Again, where do I go . . . well I was telling hubby that I feel more comfortable eating Atkins/Paleo but will miss my Cottage Berry Whip from HTM and that I don’t feel confident enough about putting together E meals. We both decided that maybe I should stick to eating Atkins but throw in some E meals about 3 times a week. Hubby said to stick to what you know and I know Atkins/Paleo.

I have collected some good Paleo cookbooks and am not sure how’d I’d fit them in with the HTM.
I have some friends that want to do a Fuel Cycle and would like me to join, so in three weeks I’ll do another one. Right now I’m going to enjoy my cream in my coffee but limited of course. Oh and in the HTM book they recommend doing a fuel cycle every other month for those who have some stubborn pounds to lose (like me). I’m starting another one a week early. I’ll be eating good so I’m not worried about starting too early.

And that’s where I’m at on my journey to a healthier and hopefully thinner me!


  1. Great post! I am doing my first fuel cycle. I have not been losing just free-stying and been doing it since April. I need to lose 80 pounds, and I have been perplexed as to why I wasn't losing. The fuel cycle is going well. I am on my 4th day.

  2. Thanks Melanie, hopefully the FC will get your metabolism going. I've had good progress on my first and second one I'm doing okay. I have lost a few more pounds and am down to 136.8. I'll keep you in my prayers.


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