Trim Down Club Review

I’m generally dubious and often skeptical about diets, but I can’t find fault with the concept of the nutritional meal planning in the Trim Down Club and I have given it a good going-over. Use quick menu below.
9.3 out of 10

I’ll tell you the truth: my favorite thing about the Trim Down Club (besides that science backs up the plan) is that it’s inexpensive to join—a pair of movie tickets costs more. Plus, there’s a solid 60-day money-back guarantee. For me, that’s huge. It’s super-smart nutrition, plenty of tools, support and guidance, and it’s a steal. Bonus: If it doesn’t work for you, you don’t pay. [1]

They’re not pushing supplements or shakes or bars or anything you generally associate with a “diet program.”

The trial membership is only $1.99, which gets you in the door, lets you take a looks at the food plan and gives you access to the tools the website offers. Then, if you like what you see, you can continue your membership for $9.90 per month—less than two fast-food meal deals. And that’s it. They’re not pushing supplements or shakes or bars or anything you generally associate with a “diet program.”

So am I in? Let’s see.

What is the Trim Down Club?

Strictly defined, a “diet” is simply what you eat—a meal plan. Colloquially, we use the term to describe a plan for weight loss, or as a health-related nutritional plan.

“…scientifically and nutritionally sound and the Trim Down Club plan itself is affordable compared to other diets.”

This is How It Usually Goes

But mostly, a diet is something you go on to fight the great belly battle. On, then off, then on again, then off. Weight lost, then gained back, then lost, and gained. You know the drill. And it’s a near certainty that you’re paying out the wazoo for supplements, replacement shakes, home-delivered pre-packaged meals or frozen diet TV dinners, tools like calculators and calorie counters…not to mention the money spent on the rest of the family’s meals. Whether it’s a well-known, time-tested commercial plan, or a new-kid-on-the-block diet, or maybe the latest juice fast, detox or cleanse, or some crazy fad like Twinkie or tapeworm diets, we’ve all done one at one time or another and mostly, without lasting success.

Trim Down Club the 8-Week Program tool
Change is hard. But the Trim Down Club makes it easier with tools like the 8-Week Program.

Then there’s the Trim Down Club, which is technically a diet, but not that kind of diet; it makes sense, is easy, scientifically and nutritionally sound and the Trim Down Club plan itself is affordable compared to other diets. So, what’s not to love? Let’s find out.

How Trim Down Club Is Different?

At its core, the Trim Down Club is all about preparing your own fat-burning meals—which are just right for the whole family, too—based on a personalized meal plan created by nutritionists and dietitians. In the club you get a library of recipes, and a huge online support and networking community. The Trim Down Club provides all the tools in an easy, user-friendly website; the whole thing is online. And it costs less than a couple of Grande Caffe Lattes each month. No supplements or prepackaged anything. No kits, no gadgets, no counting calories or fat grams or net carbs. Nothing like that at all. Currently, with 1 million members and a social media following of almost 200,000, something’s cooking with this Trim Down Club and it smells good. [2]

“…No kits, no gadgets, no counting calories or fat grams or net carbs. Nothing like that at all.”

Lost 75 Pounds 12 Years Ago

Listening to Dr. Karen Shackelford tell the story of why and how the Trim Down Club was created, you learn a lot because she learned a lot. She lost 75 pounds twelve years ago and has kept it off. Her story—the science and the ultimate plan idea—is all pretty inspiring. And while I usually don’t rely on a company’s own site for objective reviews, the testimonials seem to be honest and candid. There’s nothing to lose but weight. Well, that and more, Shackelford says. With sixteen years of failed diets to finally figure it all out, she’s pretty passionate saying she found herself thinner, happier, and nicer without starving and without eating “diet” foods.

Fighting The Good Fight

There’s a lot of “deliberate misinformation” online about how to lose weight, Shackelford says, adding that the big food manufacturers want you to eat their products and make “huge fortunes” selling you food that include the five foods she believes are the worst you can eat (We’ll get to those). And then the diet companies “make small fortunes selling you weight loss strategies they know don’t work.” [2] (quote is from the video)

Trim Down Club recipe layout
Delicious recipes with all you need to know for time, difficulty, and serving size at first glance.

Her own yo-yo dieting experience for more than sixteen years reached the breaking point for her at 205 pounds. Shackelford went on a 30-day juice cleanse, desperate to lose weight. It made her and her family miserable, she says, and ultimately at a fast food place where she downed a king-sized meal plus a shake. Like she says now, “If you ever need to gain weight, just diet.” [2]

The Epiphany Moment

The epiphany came after noticing, and then noting, what a slender colleague ate for breakfast and lunch; plates with real food, as opposed to the meal replacement shake Shackelford was having for lunch. Then, she re-created the same meal her colleague had eaten. And stuck with it. And within about a week, found she’d lost a little weight. [2]

The Trim Down Club provides all the tools in an easy, user-friendly website; the whole thing is online. And it costs less than a couple of Grande Caffe Lattes each month. No supplements or prepackaged anything.

5 Foods of “The Code”

Shackelford says she then “broke the code” on how food really affected her body and developed a simple plan. First, to eliminate five foods she says “force us to become fat.” And then figured that it was about the right foods in the right combinations at the right time. Shackelford “lost 75 pounds in less time than it took to gain it,” had energy and felt better with fewer aches and pains. Before long, she was wearing a size 6. [2]

In the Trim Down Club, people learn to choose healthy fats and when thinking of reducing not-so-great fats, choose lower fat, for example, rather than fat-free, which has been processed seven ways to Sunday.

She admits that people gain and lose differently depending on a lot of things from age and activity to genetics. And cutting some foods may not work for everyone, but she insists that there are food types that “practically force body to produce fat-storing and appetite hormones. Some of us produce less and some of us aren’t that lucky and produce more.” Shackelford says the Trim Down Club will still work not eating these foods even if you don’t eat just a few of them: “Everyone is different but I hear all the time about weight loss clear skin and you’re “feeding muscles instead of fat.” [2]

The five foods thing is tricky. So I’ll break it down the way Shackelford does and point out that understanding why these five foods are bad news helps explain the nutritional science behind her diet; eat the right amount of carbs with the right amount of protein and “fat will burn off naturally.” [2]

Why? How? Biology, folks. Yes, good old science.

Trim Down Club Foods

Trim Down Club diet journal
A Diet Journal that allows you to keep track of your meals, energy, and progress along the way!

There are five fat-storing foods that must be avoided—or ideally eliminated completely—in order for this diet to work. The dreaded five fat-storing foods, the villains if you will, exist in large measure because of food manufacturers’ processing to get stuff on grocery shelves. Most processed foods have sugar, but often with names like high-fructose corn syrup (it’s in everything and it’s super bad for us), dextran and dextrose.

It’s all about the balance of foods, and that’s the trick with the Trim Down Club.

So here are the five culprits to avoid:

Here Are The 5 Foods To Avoid

Concentrated Orange or Other Fruit Juices

These contain more sugar than soda. During processing, fiber from the fruit is removed and you’re left with sugar water. Here’s the science: If you’re essentially drinking sugar, your blood sugar spikes and puts you body in fat-storing mode—where your brain says, hey, better store everything that comes in as fat just in case. So, Shackelford says, when your blood sugar (insulin) is up, your fat storing hormone is raised sugar and that equals weight gain.

Margarine

Margarine is corn (or soy) oil, hydrogenated to make it solid. Why’s it bad?

Shackelford says the sugar industry compensated scientists to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease and instead, throw shade on fats and promote fats as the villains. Fat can be the bad guy—but only certain fats, like saturated and trans-fats (which are created during the hydrogenating process).

On the Trim Down Club you learn that foods like cinnamon and blueberries are the fuel that engine needs.

Shackelford says biased scientific influence informed fifty years of nutritional advice and dietary recommendations. Fat is bad, sugar is good. So manufacturers remove fat artificially from foods—which, by the way, robs all the flavor—and replace it with sugar or a sugar-like product that’s even worse, like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Go check the labels in your pantry and fridge; I bet you find many contain the HFCS. So bottom line, fat-free “diet” foods are actually loaded with sugar. (We’ll see in a minute why that’s one of the ways we stay fat.)

In the Trim Down Club, people learn to choose healthy fats and when thinking of reducing not-so-great fats, choose lower fat, for example, rather than fat-free, which has been processed seven ways to Sunday.

“Whole Wheat” Bread

So-called “whole wheat” bread that is not 100 percent whole grains—which are great for us—is loaded with the brain’s favorite food: sugar. When your body digests carbohydrates, they break down into glucose in your blood. The amount of glucose produced can be measured as a specific food’s glycemic index. The more complex the nutrition, the lower the glycemic index. Think of it this way: the more processed a food is, the faster it breaks down; the more natural and complex a food is nutritionally, the slower.

Another 5-star review! “20 pounds in a month”.*

So unless it’s a true 100 percent whole grain (usually a mixture of whole barley, whole grain oats, whole grain brown rice, rolled oats, barley, and amaranth, for example, all of which are packed with fiber, minerals and vitamins) skip the processed wheat breads that have high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, or similar artificial flavors.

Shackelford explains that the Trim Down Club is health, fitness and nutrition pros teaching you how to swap fat-storing for fat-burning foods.

Processed Soy

Soy is in so many foods. And soy on its own is great, but processing strips out the nutrients; minerals, vitamin and 90 percent of the disease-fighting phytonutrients found in natural soy. It’s an empty calorie product, and Shackelford says when you eat empty calories from processed foods the body produces ghrelin, a hormone that begs, “feed me.” It’s an irresistible appetite hormone, she says. The more empty calories you consume—from foods with processed soy, for example—the more ghrelin commands you to eat.

Spoiler alert: there are even more surprises waiting for you inside the Trim Down Club.

Shackelford says it’s far better to eat nutrient-dense foods instead of processed soy foods, and kick-start your metabolism in the process; the engine that turns fat into fuel. On the Trim Down Club you learn that foods like cinnamon and blueberries are the fuel that engine needs.

Processed Meats (Sausages, Ham and Bacon)

The World Health Organization has found that processed meats can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. And they are not alone; myriad agencies working to combat cancer agree. The culprits, in part, are chemically manufactured nitrates, because processing causes the nitrosamines created to develop into carcinogens. [3] [4]

Shackelford says you must read labels on processed meats and avoid high sodium and added chemicals and choose organic, uncured meats when possible. Or better yet, avoid entirely as the Trim Down Club recommends.

What About Carbs?

Let’s take a moment to talk about carbs. Shackelford says on the Trim Down Club, you can enjoy carbs again, but the key is to make sure to balance your carbs with proteins to keep blood sugar level. Your body won’t store fat; instead it’ll burn those good carbohydrates when consumed in the right balance (mixture) of foods.

Trim Down Club Science

A study from Finland that looked at what happened to blood sugar levels when people ate a big old pile of yummy mashed potatoes compared to another group eating those same potatoes but with proteins, good fats and vegetables at the same time. The people who ate the combination of foods had a 50 percent lower spike in sugar and insulin levels than that of the folks who ate only the potatoes.

The Trim Down Club provides tips on keeping adiponectin at the right levels, to keep you burning fat and achieving weight loss—like enjoying more green tea, which increases adiponectin. And it’s also an anti-inflammatory, so bonus!

It’s all about the balance of foods, and that’s the trick with the Trim Down Club. But this experiment explains a lot about why we love “comfort” foods.

Shackelford says that the hormone cortisol, which is released in stressful situations, makes you crave sweets and comfort foods. But the cortisol doesn’t know the difference between the stress you feel when you’re sitting at a long traffic light while running late to pick up the kids, and the stress because you’re running for your life from a rabid dog.

The Trim Down Club website offers members full access to its fat-burning forum, an extremely supportive and active community.

When the body is stressed—and again, the hormone doesn’t know if it’s the long light or a mad dog, but just in case—it sends a signal with a flood of cortisol that you must eat and store that fat so you’ll outrun the dog. Stressed out? Ice cream. Stressed out? Fries. Stressed out? A big old plate piled high with buttery mashed. Those high levels of cortisol increase cravings and then, after we pig out to relieve the craving, the body stores it as fat. We just cannot win!

You Won’t Have To Starve

Keep in mind too that when you “diet” and deprive yourself of food, your blood sugar levels drop and the body thinks it’s starving, so you go into fat storing mode. But by snacking throughout the day with good-for-you, non-processed whole foods including good fats, proteins, even carbs—the fiber-rich, complex kind—you keep your blood sugar levels balanced and keep your body in fat-burning mode.

Finally, our weight loss goals are sabotaged, with help from companies who keep pitching us processed foods when we are overweight and keep packing on the pounds. And that affects the fat-burning protein hormone adiponectin; in a cruel twist, the more body fat you have, the less adiponectin you have.

You can keep up with the Trim Down Club on Facebook.

It’s all a vicious cycle: when blood sugar goes too high or too low it causes imbalance and puts your body in fat-storing mode, but the more weight you gain the less fat-burning hormones are produced. Then add stress triggering a cortisol flood telling you to eat more sugar and then store it for the next emergency…ugh.

The Trim Down Club provides tips on keeping adiponectin at the right levels, to keep you burning fat and achieving weight loss—like enjoying more green tea, which increases adiponectin. And it’s also an anti-inflammatory, so bonus!

How Difficult Is Trim Down Club?

Not Difficult At All!

Shackelford explains that the Trim Down Club is health, fitness and nutrition pros teaching you how to swap fat-storing for fat-burning foods. Personal menu plans tell exactly what carbs, fats, proteins, fruits, etc. you need to eat and in what combos at what time during the day. They do the work; you just follow.

With its Quick Start Guide, you get going with a step-by-step plan that includes the best new science, articles on nutrition, tips, tricks and hacks to create fat-burning meals.

Click or Tap a Button To Pick

First, choose your favorite foods and the online tool will instantly create a weekly menu to help you melt fat off your body, with simple recipes using your good food. The Trim Down Club has a library of several hundred recipes and everything is immediately accessible online, so no matter where you are you can log in.

On-The-Run Meal Prep

Even if you have never cooked, and even if you don’t always have the time to cook meals, this family-friendly diet plan includes lots of on-the-run meals and snacks that take no time to prep. Shackelford says the Trim Down Club will help to transform your body to its ideal weight or “…blueprint: When you feed it the right food in the right combinations, the fat burns away.” You’ll see a difference immediately in energy and the way clothing fits, she says. [2]

Quick Start Guide

The Trim Down Club website offers members full access to its fat-burning forum, an extremely supportive and active community. With its Quick Start Guide, you get going with a step-by-step plan that includes the best new science, articles on nutrition, tips, tricks and hacks to create fat-burning meals. The homemade ketchup, the baked chicken parm, the zucchini chips? They all look amazing. And easy to create.

“More energy, a clearer mind, and better overall mental health”A 5-star review from Sonya!*

Shackleford says Trim Down Club doesn’t believe that losing weight and being healthy should cost you a fortune; it’s a bargain and it has a 60-day 100 percent money back guarantee. Shackelford says, “You lose the weight or you don’t pay. We believe that if our program doesn’t work for you, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. The Trim Down Club guarantees you lose weight or you don’t pay.” [2]

They Don’t Forget The Freebies

When you join you get some freebies (who doesn’t want free stuff?) including the Trim Down Club food shopping guide, the Trim Down Club Cookbook, the Perfect Soup Cookbook and—my favorite—“Express Meals for 14 Days,” plus an easy-to-follow meal plans guide for people on the go. Me. You.

An Easy 8-Week Plan

The Trim Down Club’s 8-Week Plan, which offers step-by-step guidance to achieve your weight loss goals, seems like a great way to get started. It’s broken down into simple steps to give you every chance to reap the greatest benefits from the program.

If the Trim Down Club sounds like a good fit, the 8-Week Plan might be the best way to start.

Chief Nutritionist on Staff

The first week consists of checking out Trim Down Club’s chief nutritionist Ossie Sharon’s concise and informative 5-minute video which helps motivate you and explains what’s to come. During the first week you weigh in with your Trim Down Club Progress Meter and receive your first easy-to-follow menu for the week based on foods you like. You also have access to the Trim Down Club “community;” people post frequently and there’s lots of interaction; a great way to buddy-up.

One of many Trim Down Club sucess stories
Success Stories: The picture proof to get you excited for your results.

At the end of the first week, you check back in on the website to move to Week 2 and so on. The site is updated for you every week, based on your personal program goals and where you are in the process of achieving those weight loss goals. The site is chock full of great tips, articles, comments and posts from fellow club members, exercise videos, and new recipe ideas. And in the community forums, expect to make friends!

If the Trim Down Club sounds like a good fit, the 8-Week Plan might be the best way to start.

Is Trim Down Club Worth a Try?

Yes!

My Guides: the tips and tricks to achieving success that lasts.

I’m generally dubious and often skeptical about diets, but I can’t find fault with the concept of the nutritional meal planning in the Trim Down Club and I have given it a good going-over. It makes sense. You’re just eating much better food that also happens to burn fat and—bonus—the whole family can join in. Make it a family affair. Now get in the kitchen and start cooking. And if it doesn’t work, you get your money back.

*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.

So What Really Works?*

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#1PS1000 ProgramReviewVisit
#2Trim Down ClubReviewVisit
#3Mayo Clinic DietReviewVisit
#4Weight WatchersReviewVisit
#5MedifastReviewVisit

*Individual results will vary.

Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice. Aways consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements. Articles, reviews and investigations are our own opinion, and written based on the information publicly available or simply contacting the companies. We try our best to stay up to date with constantly changing information. If you find any information inaccurate, please email us, we’ll verify for accuracy and update it. Disclosure: some of the links on this website are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase an item following one of the links, we will receive a commission. Regardless of that, we only recommend the products or services, that we strongly believe will benefit our readers.

Daisy Mulcahey is a fiery redhead, skin browned from the sun and heritage, pulling and pushing a plow in a field somewhere in a tucked-in red plaid shirt, a worn gathered-at-the-waist black velvet skirt, and muddy work boots, cursing like a sailor. She works hard, loves hard, and does not play—meaning she is no fool. She’s a little fragile and often sweet, but has no problem kicking ass.


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