* Prices may differ from that shown
I know that there are already quite a few reviews of Slimming World (SW) already on here, but I thought it might be worth my writing one as there seem to be relatively few written by those who have opted for online memebership, rather than the 'traditional' classes route! My 'star rating' is based on my online membership, and is not a reflection of the classes route, which I haven't experienced.
It was back in March that I finally decided that I needed to have a serious try at doing something about my weight. I am only 5ft 3, and was hovering around the 12 stone mark. I knew some friends who had done really well following SW, so decided that it might be worth a try. The fact that my sister was getting married in October, and that I was to be 'Maid of Dishonour' was an added incentive; I look terrible in her graduation photos from a few years ago, and, knowing my mum would inevitably put wedding pics up on her wall, wanted to avoid that horrible sinking feeling of seeing horrendous photos of myself every time I went round there!
*Cost and Options*
I decided that the online option was for me, as I have health issues which often make it difficult for me to go out. I wanted support and guidance, but really didn't want to rely on being able to go out in order to achieve this. SW currently offer 3 levels of online membership, with different associated 'benefits'. Costs are currently £60 bronze, £65 silver and £80 gold, all for 3 months' membership. The basic difference between the 3 options is that with silver, in addition to bronze online access you receive 7 issues of the monthly SW magazine by post, and with gold, you receive the magazines and also get 2 SW books. The magazines retail for over £2 each in the shops, so if you think you may like to read them then a £5 for 7, home delivered, is a real bargain. Typically, subscribers also receive the magazine a week or so before it hits the shops, making your SW non-subbers jealous!
After some umming and ahhing, I plumped for the gold option, mainly because £15 was cheaper than I could purchase the books on offer (even secondhand), and I wanted to get as much information about it all as possible, to maximise my chances of success!
*Does It Work?*
Let's be honest, this is what we all want to know when considering any 'diet plan'. I have to say its a resounding 'Yes' for me. I now weigh 9st 5lbs (or thereabouts), and have done this entirely by eating differently (I absolutely hate exercise). I have recently started doing a bit of exercise but wanted to stress that my losses were entirely down to the plan, and not because I have also been doing huge long hikes or lots of Zumba classes!
*Is It Easy To Follow?*
With a little bit of willpower, yes. I follow the latest plan, 'Extra Easy' (EE). On EE, you basically have a few groups of foods to consider. There are the 'super free' - things like veg and fruit, 'free' - baked beans is probably my number one from these, as well as rice, pasta and potatoes, 'Healthy Extras' (HE), which fall into 2 groups, a dairy one(A) and a fibre one (B), and 'Syns'' - everything else, especially naughties!
The way the EE plan works is that you are required to have at least 1/3 from the 'super free' group with every meal. You are also allocated a maximum of 15 'syns' to spend each day, however you wish, and one HE from group A, one from group B. As long as you stick to the 1/3 super free rule, you can eat as much pasta, potatoes and rice as you like.
I have found it really, really easy to fit into family life with a few small tweaks. The two things I personally miss the most are bread and cheese (both HE's), but to be honest I think any kind of weight control programme is going to require a few little sacrifices, and I can still have extra out of my allowance by using syns on them!
*The Online Experience*
Whichever level of membership you opt for, the online 'experience' is the same. You receive 3 months of access to the website which allows you to access 1200 recipes, a 'syn checker', food diary, weight loss charts, and 'rewards'.
In all honesty, I was disappointed with what I received for my money on this point. The plan is fantastic, but I did feel that I was being a little bit cheated by the lack of personalisation regarding my online experience, particularly when I considered that the price I was paying was pretty much the same as someone who goes to a class, as they seem to get a lot more for their money.
The recipes are pretty good, but are available so many places online now that this in itself wouldn't really be a reason for me to join..you could also purchase a lot of SW recipe books for the price of 3 months membership.
The weight loss chart and graph were quite nice, but I have recreated my own in Excel (and I am by no means a technical genius).
The 'support' consisted of 'standard letter' type pages, which the system selects for you and displays based on your 'result' that week; a gain, and you see a 'oh well, have some motivation' message, a loss and you see 'oh wow you've done well', basically! There really was zero true 'personalisation' just signposts to read the same sections of the website over and over again depending on my weekly weigh in result.
'Rewards' are coloured gifs which display on your SW online profile. Not worth paying for imho.
The food diary was marginally handy, as as you add things in, it allows you to select whether they are syns, HE's or whatever, but yuou need to know yourself which group to flag them into. I was disappointed by this, as I had naively assumed that the system would allocate the groups if I just put in the food...no..lol
The syn checker was probably the thing that I used the most, but I did find over time that I 'learned' the value of things, and used it less and less. In the end, I didn't renew my membership after the 3 month period I initially signed up for, although I have continued to follow the plan.
SW itself works. The plan works. It is a healthy plan to follow, you see results, and never need to feel hungry.
The online 'experience' is, imho, a bit of a rip off. Zero personalisation, and nothing I can't do myself in either word or excel on my own computer, for free. I would've been better off just buying the books and learning the plan, rather than spending such a large sum of money on not very much from the online membership 'benefits'.
As it stands, the online membership is definitely not good value for money when compared to the cost of attending a SW class.
Slimming world offer a way of losing weight whilst Eating! No starving allowed! I have followed slimming world after every pregnancy. First time I lost four stone and this time I have so far lost 12Ib in 6weeks.
£4.95 a session (cheaper if an OAP or student) children can attend free if accompanied by a full paying adult. They have special offers like buy ten weeks and get two weeks free.
There is a joining fee of about £10 but there are always lots of offers in magazines for free membership.
For Slimming World to work you really do need to attend a class(although they do offer an internet membership). Classes are held weekly and on their website you can easily find a local class. Just turn up and you will find a friendly welcome. It is not like diet club on Little Britain. The consultant will talk through the plan and will weigh you. In the meetings members celebrate people's loses, goals, recipes, giggles and encourage each other if they are struggling. There is no witch hunt if a member has gained! At no point is a members weight read out this is kept private.
Classes can vary according to the consultant. Many do slimmer of the week, raffles and every time you lose a stone they have a bag which weighs that amount so you can feel what you have lost.
There are three main ways to follow the plan. . .
1. Extra easy . On this you can eat potato, meat etc but a third of the plate needs to be veg.there are certain vegetables that are better than others called superfree which is what you aim to have with each meal. It means you can have roast dinner or homemade burger and chips! You get one choice of milk or cheese.
2. Red day. You can eat as much lean meat as you like but will need to weigh out potato/ pasta as you are only allowed a certain amount.
3. Green day. As much potato as you like but you are restricted on meat and need to weigh out a certain amount. You get to have more cheese on a green day if you choose to.
You can eat cake! Everyday you have 15syns which can be used to have treats or things like gravy on dinners. It is therefore possible to go out for a meal or have that doughnut. The idea is that little and often will stop you from binging.
Slimming world is a way of eating lots of good food and lose weight. I would really recommend it.
I'm still classed as pretty much a young adult ready to start Uni in September. After I finished college I got a car and just became lazy I ate a lot of food and just didn't take notice what was going into my mouth and what it could do to my health and weight. Just recently I got a few comments from close family members saying I had put on weight, I knew I had but sometimes admitting it just isn't that easy, I needed to tone up mainly round my stomach area. I'd also gone up a clothes size from a 14 to a 16 which wasn't a big issue for me but obviously its not nice to go up a size for anyone really!
So I did something about it for 2 weeks I have been following in the footsteps of my Mum and Nan who both do Slimming World. My Nan has been to many classes and met new people and my Mum does it from home. I follow the books that list how many syns per food. I actually think 15 syns a day is a fair bit it may not seem like it but you can eat a lot. I have a Kit Kat chocolate bar every day (5.5 syns), Snack a Jack Crisps (2.5) A warp which classes as your bread allowance for the day and on a Meat and Fish day either some tuna, ham or Turkey and plenty more.
There are 2 different days you can do on Slimming World. Original and Green day, both allowed 15 syns on each. On a green day i dose up with vegetables, plenty of fruit and I love an egg and toast for lunch, there are so many things people eat on Slimming world that they may never had noticed before. Like quorn! If you are a great meat lover on a meat/fish free day this is a great substitute.
I have only done Slimming World for two weeks and I have already dropped a dress size. By eating the right things but allowing myself to have a treat each day. It makes you look forward to food more and get excited about having a treat. There is a lot of online support and the prices for a suscription are really good considering what it can you do for your confidence and health.
You are even allowed 1oz of cheese a day, it doesn't seem a lot but when you weigh it out its a lot! Fat Free yoghurts no syns, diet Coke/lemonade etc is all free too. And depending on what type of milk you drink you can have a fair amount so no need to restrict tea or coffee! (I switched to skimmed milk and it makes a difference!)
So there you have it my opinion on Slimming World its easy to stick to and you can eat a lot of food as long as its all varied. I have one day off a week to eat a pizza and panini but be good for the week with one treat or two a day and it will fill you up! You'll lose weight in no time and be happier in yourself like I am now. I', preparing for Uni and now I am doing slimming world I realise there are so many things I can still eat while I am there.
Give it a go, you won't regret it sign up online or join a club. If you join a club its roughly £4 a week but when you hit your weight target you don't pay from then on! Make friends, have support and feel better about yourself! Its most certainly been a massive help to me! :)
I joined slimming world about 3years ago and lost 4st. I was a diabetic then and on byeta. So that helped me lose weight. I've since reversed the diabetes and in the past 2 years ive been struggling to stick to plan. I've gained 2st of what I lost. I rejoined 4 weeks ago and lost 2lb in the first week. Since then nothing at all. Ive stuck to plan, I do ee. Ive written everything down ive even been swimming. The first time around I didnt do any exercise at all. Ive had a 6 day break since I last swam because of work commitments and still no loss.any tips or advice? I never go over my syns, last week I had a total of 35 syns.Kayleigh
When I first joined my local slimming world, I did fine, then that consultant left, and another one took over, she is a grade A BULLY. I have suffered at hands of bullies most of my life, I am 63 years old now,.
I have made a few friends at slimming world, and sometimes bring them a gift,if I have been away, whenever i do this the consultant comes up to me(typical bully, gets me on my own, where no one can hear her)and asks me " do you know how many sins are in what you have given....",I have no idea I say, however, she does not tell me, nor does she explain how i can find out how many sins are in the product.
The final straw was a couple of weeks ago, the consultant is always asking me personal questions, do i have a partner, why did I move where I live, then she and another bully in the group, shouted me down, the consultant was asking me questions, to feed the other bully, and I could see she was enjoying this.
I haven`t been back since, I have explained to my friends why i am not going back, one of them said she hates to see the way the consultant grills and singles me out, whenever I give her a gift.
I thought slimming world was about slimming, it seems not
Having finished university and moving into my boyfriends house I had decided enough was enough, I looked at myself in the mirror and I hated what I saw. I wanted to be thin not only for myself but I wanted to change what other people thought about me. So I headed along to the first group ( this is my second time on slimming world), I previously lost three stone four years ago and I wanted to feel that success again. I went to this group with my boyfriends mum, she is such a help and inspiration and she helps me choose the right foods to eat. I had to become a member again and so I paid £9.95 for that, plus the normal £4.95 fee for the week. I recieved a small card which they use to record all the details electronically. I climbed on the scales and I got such a shock, I didnt know how I could have let myself get to big.
Anyway I recieved my food optimising pack which contains, a small choose success booklet, a food diary sheet, to record your eating habits for the week, a leaflet advertising for consultants, F.I.T weekly log sheets so that you can record your weekly excercise, a body magic booklet for that extra help with your excercise, 7days 7 ways booklet with recipes from people who have already reached their target, and last but not least you food optimising book, this book has all your syn values, red, green and extra easy days explained, healthy extra A+B explained, and foods such as free and superfree also explained. This is also the book where your weight loss gets entered into every week. This is private to yourself and your consultant only.
So I started group and I sat and listened to the stories that people were telling eachother, they also have extra tips on recipes, books of which you can buy from group as well as the slimming world magazine, and various healthy bars such as Hi-Fi bars, with flavours such as rocky road and the all new berry bakewell, which I did buy last night and havent tried yet. Group is a great place to gain inspiration and find out how other people have success in their weight loss which can give you ideas on how to boost your own personal success.
I went home and decided to follow the extra easy plan every week, this so far has seemed to work for me, in my first week I lost 4lb, with a further 10lb in the next three weeks, making me lose a stone in my first month, so I recieved my two shiney stickers to put on the back on my food optimising book, I also recieved slimmer of the week, and slimmer of the month, I was ecstatic, with the support I was recieving off my family and my consultant I knew I could do this. I joined the slimming world facebook group that my consultant had set up, this was so that I could recieve even more recipe ideas and help during the week when I was not at group. I had however been teetering around the stone loss, that was until last night however when I lost 5lb, IN ONE WEEK. Im proof that it can be done! I lost the most in the group and I was super proud. My consultant was just as pleased as myself.
So your fruit and vegetables are all called free and superfree food. The vegetables all have a S or an SS grading, which mean a speed food, or a super speed food, which means they will speed up your weight loss when eaten. Eggs are also free food, which is great as I love scrambled eggs and beans for breakfast. Meats such as chicken, lean mince, lean bacon, lean beef etc are also free on extra easy, however this will vary on the original and green day plans.
You are allowed two healthy extras each day, you are allowed one Healthy Extra A option, which you can choose between 250ml semi-skimmed milk, 35g cheese (healthier types of which are listed in the food optimising book), various cheese grab and go amounts, such as laughing cow, dairylea triangles, babybel lights, 2 35g tubs of philadelphia light. You are also allowed one Healthy Extra B option, which you can choose between cereals most of which are weighed at 35g, my cereal of choice is shreddies, cereal bars such as 2 alpen light cereal bars, 2 ryvita dark rye, 60g of any wholemeal bread, my bread choice is hovis nimble, dried, canned or cooked fruit weighed ar 40g - 85g as listed, soups such as baxters chunky, baxters healthy, weight watchers soup. I personally use my healthy extras for breakfast as I then do not have to worry about them for the rest of the day, I have semi-skimmed milk and shreddies on a common basis.
I also have a few other great tips if you are thinking about taking on slimming world, drink lots of water, trust me it works, this is the first week I have been drinking lots of water, 2l a day and over and I lost 5lb. I have also been having a mugshot for lunch, a few varieties of which are free, such as tomato and herb, tomato, chicken, roast chicken. Batchelors savoury rice is also free for flavours such as beef, golden and chicken. This week I am aiming for another 4 1/2 lb as this will see me achieve my 1 1/2 stone award that I have been after for months, I just got stuck in a rut, but I recieved the help of my consultant that I needed and I have finally found my feet again.
Overall I would say join slimming world for a successful weight loss, it helps a lot more to go to a group and hear ideas and recieve inspiration from other people in the same situation as yourself who are struggling to shift the pounds, it helps to know that you are not alone on your journey and someone is there every step of the way. You will also recieve random texts of your consultant to check how your weight loss is going. The consultant also tries to give you various free food each week, both if you recieve slimmer of the week, or win the raffle, all prizes are free food, or food which can be used to make different optimising recipes.
This has been the difference that I have needed and now I want to lose weight, the food optimising part of the success is now a second nature to me, I can process what each syn value is in my head without consulting my book, it has also made me feel a lot better about myself and watch what I am eating more. Join slimming world and you will never look back, it is your first step to success and with the right help and the right willpower you can do it. I am in the right frame of mind now and I want to meet the new me within a year. Go on you know you want too!
Having just finished University I decided it was time to shift the weight I have put on during my time as a student. As I'm sure many people have experienced it can creep up on you sometimes and before you know it you've put on a couple of stone, and I could probably put on a lot more than that if I don't do something about it now.
I am a big lover of food, and cheese is my favourite thing ever, I'll never be one of those people who can live off salad and be happy about it. Prior to Uni I would go swimming at 6am on a morning before work or go to Pilates and other classes on an evening. I was able to eat a few takeaways and other yummy things and it not really be a problem. When I moved away to Uni I quit the gym as I was moving away from home, and as a skint student didn't bother joining another one. Going out several times a week with a takeaway at the end of it and lazing around whenever I wasn't at work or lectures certainely took its toll. Looking back I could have spent slightly less on going out/takeaways and joined another gym but obviously I can't change that now.
Anyway, three weeks ago I decided to join Slimming World, as I'd heard it was fantastic, and that you can eat a lot and still lose weight-providing you eat the right things of course. I was scared to go to the meetings as I didn't want to get weighed and I didn't know what everyone there would be like.
You can join Slimming World online but I felt the best way to get results was to go to the meetings as the thought of being weighed every week and having the support of fellow members makes the whole thing more effective. It costs £5 a week to attend meetings which I think is well worth it because I would have spent more than that on junk food per week in the past.
My mum joined with me as she would like to lose a couple of pounds but I think she's mainly doing it to support and encourage me and also to make it a bit less scary. When I arrived to my first meeting the consultant/leader took us off to one side with the other new members to give like a welcome talk and tell us what the diet entails. We were provided with membership cards and a folder which tells you about the eating plan/what you can have/how much you can have etc. You also get your weight written in the back of the book everytime you go along with how much you have lost/gained.
Normally you get weighed at the beginning of the meeting and then everyone sits around and has a group talk about things like recipe ideas, whether they've had any problems, or whether they've done well. The weigh in is so scary and it's nice to get it over and done with at the beggining. They're really confidential about your weight and no one else has to know what it is at all. This was one of the things that scared me so it was reassuring to see this.
For every half stone you lose you get an award and the person who loses the most every week and month wins an award too. These get read out in the meeting and everyone congratulates and encourages each other.
Our group leader is absolutely lovely and sends us texts throughout the week and always replies if we have any problems or questions. She gets genuinely excited for you when you do well which is so encouraging.
--The Eating Plan--
I will try and explain the diet plan the best I can.
So on Slimming World there are three different types of 'day' you choose from. However I only use two of them because I don't really get the other one and don't like the sound of it as much. I will just explain the two I use. They are 'Original' days and 'Green' days. I can choose every day which day I want to follow as long as I stick to it for the full day.
Green Day: On a green day you can eat unlimited fruit, veg, pasta, rice, eggs, and various other things.
Orginial: On an original day you can eat unlimited lean meat, eggs, fruit, veg, and other things.
On both days you choose one or two 'Healthy Extra' A option, and one or two Healthy Extra B option. The A options are cheese and milk and the B options are things like porridge, cereal, and bread.
You can also have between 5 and 15 'syns' per day. These are the treats. Everything has a syn value and these can be found in the back of the handbook you get given. As an example a 2 finger kit kat is 5.5 syns and things like mars bars are about 15.
So to sum up you can eat as much fruit, veg, salad, quorn and eggs as you want and then on a green day you can have pasta and rice or on an original day you can have meat. On a green day you can use your B option to have a small piece of meat or on an original day you can use your B option for a bit of pasta or rice. You then have your cheese/milk and bread/cereal/etc and your 'syns' (treats.)
There is not much weighing involved apart from your Healthy A and B options, which do have to be weighed. As there are a lot of unlimited foods it makes it loads easier not to have to weigh out little portions.
There are loads of recipes you can make in a different way from usual to make them slimming world friendly. For example you can make chips if you chop potatos and spray them with frylight before baking them in the oven. You can have as many of them as you want. I also have recipes for lasagne and pancakes which you make using different ingredients to what you would normally use but they're still tasty and filling.
I hope I've explained it well enough, it can sound complicated at first but it's very easy to follow once you get used to it.
So I started Slimming World three weeks ago and I've lost 17lb which has shocked me in a good way!! Hopefully in a few months I will be where I want to be but I fully intend to continue with the plan after that as I love it. It's very feasible to stick to it as I'm never left hungry and I can have small treats. I've won Slimmer of the Week the past two weeks and I would have lost it in my first week too but you're not allowed to win on your first week. This is been a great boost and loads of people in the meetings have been really encouraging. I love everuthing about it-the food I can have, the support, and the results so far.
I highly recommend it.
Having battled with my weight since having my first son (prior to that I was always a size 10 and loved it!) I have tried pretty much every diet out there. I went to Weight Watchers after my first child and lost most of my baby weight, only to put all four stone of it back on during my second pregnancy. After that baby I tried many different diets, mainly fad diets, and then of course during my third pregnancy I put all of the weight straight back on again!
Since having my daughter I have tried the Dukan diet and cutting down on food and the weight just didn't shift. So I decided to try Slimming World.
Well I must say it is a very easy regime to follow and it seems to be working! I won't call it a diet because as my leader says it's food optimising, not dieting.
The main idea is to eat all of the right foods, and have the "bad" foods in moderation. Common sense? Of course it is but when you actually see it written down I was susprised to see how many of the "bad" foods I thought were "good". So that's where I've been going wrong!
Each day you have free and superfree foods that you can fill up on. There's no point eating too much becuase you should only ever eat until you are full, but put simply these are the foods that won't make you put on weight. You have a healty a and a healthy b choice and these are your fibres and calcium foods. They are essential. Then there are the Syns. You're allowed 15 syns a day and these are to be used on the treats and fatty foods. I tend to try and get through my days having no syns so that at the weekend I can enjoy a few glasses of wine. Other people may want to eat chocolate every day, or crisps - that is what the syns are for and as long as you don't go over your weekly syn count then you should lose weight.
I have been doing the plan for 2 weeks now and have nearly lost half a stone already, and considering I only have two stone to lose that's great. I feel fit, healthy and like this is something that not only can I stick to but that will help me live a better life in the future without the weight piling back on.
The classes you go to each week give you the opportunity not only to get weighed but also to discuss how the plan is working for you with other likeminded people. They are there to help you and advise, and support you along your journey.
The classes do cost £4.95 per week and there is a joining fee of £5 (or free if you get the voucher in the newspaper) but it is worth it.
Being overweight for all of my adult life i have tried diets here and there since I was 16. From cutting out junk food and upping exercise to extremely low calorie diets and never managed to stick to anything for more than a couple of days. I thought I was destined to be "the fat friend" forever because I could never muster the willpower to stick at any diet or regime I set myself for more than a few days.
And then I heard about Slimming World. My boss joined last year and no-one in work even noticed she was on a diet because she was eating what looked to be her usual lunch no "diet food" in sight and then she shared her secret. I started looking into Slimming World and reading up about it and then in August 2011 I finally took the plunge and joined.
As a type 1 diabetic I wasn't sure if the diet would work for me but come weight in after my first week on Slimming World I'd lost 5lb and since then I've lost a further 23lb taking me to a 2stone loss in 18 weeks.
The plan is so easy to follow and for me is mainly tweaks to meals i would have previously eaten. For example using Frylight when cooking instead of oil. And nothing is banned. You have free food, such as fruit, veg, meat and pasta, and all food which are not classed as free food have a syn value and you are allowed upto 15 syns a day so you can still have treats.
Would I recommend Slimming World to others? I wholeheartedly would. Whilst losing weight the plan is also teaching my lifelong lessons so that once I reach target I can maintain that weight and not end up back where I started again.
In this review I will discuss:
1. WHY I JOINED
2. HOW IT WORKS
3. DID IT WORK
4. EXAMPLE OF A DAYS MEALS
5. EXTRA INFO
6. GOOD / BAD?
1. WHY I JOINED
I decided to join Slimming World when I was in Year 11 (16 years old), mainly because my mum was going on about it and wanted to join, but also because I wanted to lose some weight for college. I went for around 2 month but found it difficult to follow as I was very picky with food and because my school hardly offered any of the food available on the diet. I stopped going and put the 6lbs I lost back on. I re-joined in my first year of college because I was still struggling with my weight. Although I found it easier this time as college offered a better choice of meals which suited Slimming World, I gave up again because the temptation of fast food etc was too strong. In my second year of college, I decided enough was enough, and started up again. This time I stuck to it, and from March 2010 - June 2010 I lost 1 stone 6lbs. I went on holiday and when I came back I stopped following again.
2 months ago, I started the diet again, this time though, I did not attend the meetings as I cannot afford it. So far I have lost 10lbs.
2. HOW IT WORKS
Slimming World is based on a "free food" allowance. "Free food" is food you can eat whenever and however much you want of, such as fruit, veg, eggs etc. There are RED days where you eat as much meat as you want, and GREEN days where you eat as much carbs as you want. You can arrange your weeks to go RED DAY, GREEN DAY, RED DAY, GREEN DAY, or you can eat RED for a whole week, then GREEN. So for example, if you choose to have a GREEN day, you can eat as much "free food" as you want, AND as much carbs as you want, so pasta, potatos etc. HOWEVER, the science behind it is that certain foods are limited, as obviously you cannot eat as much as ANY food as you want. You get given 2 "A" choices, AND 2 "B" choices a day. "A" choices include milk and cheese etc, "B" choices include cereal and bread etc. Your sugar and fat is also limited as you get 15 "SYNS" (points) to use on these a day. Examples include a bag of Quavers (4.5SYNS), a bag of Maltesers (9SYNS), McDonalds chicken nugget Happy Meal (13SYNS). You can have up to 15SYNS per day, and it is reccomended you have around 8 - 10. You DONT have to use them all, but you should use at least 5 a day, as our bodies DO need sugar and fat.
3. DID IT WORK
Slimming World may not work for everyone, as my sister is diabetic and found it hard. It works for me, although it is a slow process, I haven't put any weight on following Slimming World, and have either lost weight or maintained my weight every week. A friend of mine has been following Slimming World for 12 months and has lost 3 stone 10lbs.
4. EXAMPLES OF MEALS
An example of what I have eaten today is:
Breakfast: Omlette (free food), bacon (RED), mushroom (free food), SUGAR FREE dilute (free food)
Dinner: Chicken skewers (RED), peppers (free food), onion (free food), tomato (free food), DIET Coke (free food)
Tea: Ham and and cheese salad sandwich - Ham (RED), lettuce (free food), cheese ("A" choice), brown bread ("B" choice), cup of tea (free food & milk = "A" choice)
Snacks: Alpen Light Bar ("B" choice), muller light yoghurt (free food), digestive x 2 (5 SYNS), French Fries crisps (4.5 SYNS)
5. EXTRA INFORMATION
It is worth noting that Slimming World may be unsuitable for some people e.g pregnant women, diabetics. Slimming World DOES NOT neccessary NEED exercise to work, but obviously all exercise will help. I find I lose more weight personally if I have been to the gym that week. Some foods which are not fruit / veg are classed as free food as they contain hardly any calories, fat or sugar, for example, some MULLER LIGHT YOGHURTS, some MUG SHOT PASTA SNACKS, EGGS. Be warned however, that some products very similar to these DO contain SYNS. It is wise to ask your consultant or search the SYN value either online, on the Slimming World website, or look it up in the Slimming World books you can purchase in classes.
6. GOOD / BAD?
To succeed on Slimming World, it is an advantage if you have plenty of time to spare, to prepare meals and plan your weeks, as ready meals contain SYNS.
You should also aim to be able to do at least some form of exercise in the weak to boost weight loss and keep it off, as well as improve fitness.
Slimming World has a better effect on those with more weight to lose.
It is possible to follow Slimming World for life, as you do not need to change your diet, just the amounts of what you already eat.
It can become expensive - joining fee is around £10 plus a weekly fee of around £5. Although you don't have to buy "special diet foods", buying fresh fruit and veg, as well as fresh meat etc can be more expensive than ready meals etc.
You do not need to measure our portion sizes for Slimming World (except for SYNS, "A"s and "B"s.
It is hard to follow the diet if you don't attend classes, and so it can be expensive, however, when you reach your target you do not have to pay to attend.
You can still eat out at places like McDonalds, Nandos etc, but be careful of SYN values. RESEARCH FIRST.
It is hard to get your head around at first, but if you keep a diary of what you eat for the first few weeks, it will get easier and you will start to memorise SYNS etc.
You can eat as much free food as you like, e.g. you can even eat a full chicken every day and still lose weight!
I am writing this on behalf of my mother as she has been following the slimming world diet for the past 4years and done amazingly well, we are so proud of her. She has lost 5 stone and been at her target weight now for almost 2 years! She has won slimmer of the week/month many times and it gives her great amounts of confidence and she looks great now.
She follows the Green Diet, which is for vegetarians and allows her to eat plenty of carbohydrates such as rice and pasta (which are free) and she also eats a large amount of fruit. She has to count things such as biscuits, bread, wine etc... and she is allowed 15 syns per day! One of her main dietary loves is Muller Light as they are free and she can have as many as she wants per day!
The diet has seen her trying new foods and healthier options such as using alternatives for cheese/cream such as quark and fat free natural yoghurt. She can still eat some quorn products which are free, others she needs to count.
Her downfall is the wine, but she sees it that life is too short to cut out everything she enjoys (she's cut out kitkat chunkys, so not wone as well). She limits her alcohol intake as much as she can.
The slimming world diet is not a diet, more like a lifestyle change for life! It promotes healthy eating and low fat foods, and does also encourage regular exercise but the main topic is of course the diet. The slimming world way of life provides people with a high intake of low energy dense foods (such as fruits) whcih means they are low in calories and fat, so you can eat plenty of them and still loose weight, and restricts high energy dense foods (such as high fat foods) which will be high in fat, and satiety). You can feel hungry on the slimming world diet due to the low energy dense foods but as you can eat lots of free foods it helps to fill the gap.
I remember my mum following the slimming world plan years back and thinking no way. Back then were just the red and green days. Red being a meat/fish day with limited carbs green the opposite sort of thing.
Now towards the end of last year an old work aquaintence seemed to be doing fab on slimming world. I read up on it and it seemed fab. There were several things that appealed to me on the SW extra easy plans
There is not much weighing
You can have most things within moderation
There are heaps of 'free foods' which you can eat loads of and you never need be hungry.
On weight watchers in the past i have constantly been starving as everything had a point value except veg and salad. Here on the extra easy plan i kept having to check i was doing it all right as it seemed too good to be true. I was eating as much fruit, veg, lean meat, fish, rice, pasta, potatoes, salads as i wanted. This meant all the normal family meals i usually cook could be adapted so i was on a diet yet still only cooking one meal saving me time and making dieting less of a hassle. I still get to enjoy a treat using upto 15 syns per day for anything not included. I can have some bread from my healthy extra B choice and some cheese from the A choice.
For instance i can have poached eggs on toast with toms and mushrooms for breakfast, jacket potatoe with cheese beans and salad for lunch, chilli rice and salad for dinner. As much snacks of fruit, low fat yoghurts as i want. This means its easy to fit in my lifestyle and im never hungry. A winner!
My husband has been on the slimming world plan for a year. previously myself and all the family went on it . I lost 2 and a half stone and as a family we lost about 18 stone( 6 of us). After taking aa christmas break my husband went back on plan but found however good he was not a pound came off and some weeks a pound went on. Really demoralising!! Then he had some blood tests done and they found his thyroid was underactive. The doctor has said that is probably why he is not able to get weight off,so she has upped the thyroxine and hopes it will all go back to normal. He has been on thyroxine foe 10 years but managed to lose 3 and half stone last year so keep trying everyone...it works!!
I have tried every diet imaginable .I have even been out and bought 15 avocados for the avocado diet before discovering that I don't like avocado's. I have followed diets that have been very unhealthy and joined a few slimming clubs throughout my life. Strangely the one diet I have not done previously is Slimming world. I had heard positive things about the slimming world diet but never got round to trying.
After three months of joining the Gym and trying to lose weight on my own and losing a total of one pound I decided I needed a new approach. I spoke to a friend who was doing the Slimming world eating plan and asked her about how well it worked with feeding a family and not having separate meals and her response was encouraging.
I went to the Slimming world website and discovered there was a group about 5 minutes walk away from my house during the time my son was at nursery so I decided I had nothing to lose by trying the diet.
When I first arrived I walked up to the desk and was asked to sit at a table until the leader came back.To be honest I got the feeling of been a naughty school child. When she did return she explained the plan. The plan seemed easy enough to me and I did think it could work for me.
Slimming world traditionally followed red and green days however there is an Extra Easy plan which is the one I am following;
The Extra Easy plan
Each day you should have a healthy extra option A and a Healthy Extra Choice B.
Healthy Extra A
Healthy extra A is a choice of milk of cheese. The amount of milk and cheese you have will depend on the fat content of each. You are allowed 250mls of semi skimmed milk but more skimmed or less full fat. This option can be used throughout the day. I often pour out 250mls of milk in the morning and will use it on cereal, in my tea and drink the remaining milk before bed. It is important to have your calcium each day as it helps you excrete your fat.
Healthy Extra B
For Healthy extra B you have a choice of bread, crisp breads, cereal, tinned fruit, olive oil, and tinned soups. There is a choice of these, you can't simply have any cereal for a healthy extra B or any type of bread but I do buy shop brand Wholemeal bread for me.
Super free foods
You can eat unlimited amounts of fruit and vegetables. There are a few exceptions such as Avocado's but generally these are all free. This does not include tinned fruit but does include tinned vegetables. The idea is you fill your plate with at least a third of super free. It is not rocket science that this will make you feel fuller while eating less calories.
You do have a huge list of free foods; these are mostly unprocessed foods such as meat, fish. Potatoes pasta and rice is also free. While you can have unlimited quantities these however if you cook them in oil or have coating on these are not free foods. You can cook foods with fry light and this is Syn free.
These are the goodies which means you can eat basically eat anything you like in moderation. All foods have a Syn value some seem to be incredibly high. If you chose milk for your HEA you can still eat cheese that day but you will need to count syns. I have been told to aim for a maximum of ten Syns a day but in other groups they have been told fifteen. My Leader recommends ten as he says then if you do go over you still lose weight. Given research that found that people who are overweight underestimate how much they eat this seems to be a good plan to me. You can save your Syns up for a treat if you are going out or having a special meal. You should eat a minimum of thirty five syns a week.
The first week I found the diet incredibly easy. I found so long as I was cooking home cooked meals from scratch that it was easy to keep within my Syns which I found not only was I feeding myself better but also my son was having healthier meals. I did add extra cheese to some of his meals and mash margarine into his mashed potatoes. I did find I had eaten things that I thought would be low in Syns but were actually high. I ate a shape pudding which I thought would be about one syn but in actual fact was 5 syns. I wasn't hungry and the results showed when I stood on the scales and I had lost 8 ½ Lbs so received my first sticker (which are designed to be an incentive).
During my second week my son was admitted to hospital so I didn't follow the plan, I simply ate what I could when I could and it was mostly out of vending machines .As a result of my poor diet I gained 2lbs but did find actually going to the group helped me to restart the plan and the following week I lost 5Lbs.
As the weeks progressed I found ways of cutting syns by buying extra light mayonnaise instead of reduced fat. I have also found places where I think it is worth spending my syns. I do now make up two teaspoons of gravy for meals or add sauce and these make meals far more appetising. I still take my son to MacDonald's occasionally but I simply have his drink out of his happy meal and have my lunch when I get home. I never particularly liked McDonald's and simply ate them from convenience.
My greatest discovery is slimming world chips. To make these chips you simply peel and chop potatoes, par boil for 5 minutes. After drying on kitchen roll put them on a baking tray and spray with fry light. These are syn free and I actually prefer them to frozen chips.
The biggest difficulties for me have been eating out and visiting other people's homes where I cannot guarantee what foods they have at home and so have even taken my own food or milk to other people's homes to ensure I don't waste syns on foods I don't particularly want.
The thing I am most uncomfortable with Slimming world is there reliance on sweeteners for sweet treats. I have difficulty with the idea that most my meals are now made from unprocessed food yet puddings seem to be laden with sweeteners. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth so tend to only eat small amounts of sweetener.
My health has improved significantly. I was on medication for high blood pressure and also gastric reflux but no longer need either. I also have so much more energy and it has increased my confidence to try new things. I still have more weight to lose but this program is working well for me.
I have been following the plan for ten weeks and have lost one stone and six pounds. I have found these so simple and know that even though I follow the eating plan more closely than others it is simple to adapt to my lifestyle. I have actually lost 10% of my body weight.
As a member of the slimming group you gain access to all the online support. This allows you to plot on a graph your progress, use a syn calculator and complete Diaries online. I do use this site most days simply to calculate syns. It does have recipes but few we have tried. I have found the online site invaluable and would have hit many stumbling blocks if it were not there.
I am a member of a private Face book group which is a circle of friends who are all following Slimming world. We use the site to ask questions, log food diaries and generally support each other. This advice given to me when I first started was fabulous as I was able to ask basic questions. I have been inspired to cook some recipes some have tried on the group and also gained inspiration from other people's diaries.
The group support
The group I go to is a small group and the meeting follows the same pattern. We have half an hour of weigh in time and you get to have a chat with other group members and have a cup of tea. After the leader will often chat about problems, weight loss or once a month we have a taster session where members make foods they have enjoyed on the plan and talk about how to make it so others can try recreate. I have found some of these talks quite inspirational and others have droned on for me. One week in particular when I sat and listened to a half hour discussion on custard when I don't even like custard drove me to distraction.
Each member brings in a piece of fruit and at the end of the meeting the person who has lost the most weight not only gets another sticker for their book but also gets to take home all the fruit. This can be quite surprising I won joint slimmer of the week when I lost only 1Lb but also wasn't slimmer of the week when I lost 4Lbs. Our group doesn't have a permanent leader and we have had a change of leader, although so many people were upset our old leader left I welcomed someone knew who had new ideas.
This Eating plan does take a few weeks to get your head round but I would recommend this plan to anyone who wants to lose weight. I have found with minimal weighing and adaption this easily fits in with a family. I can't recommend this diet highly enough and if you can't get to a group you can always join the online group.
To find your nearest Slimming world group go to www.slimmingworld.com
If you want to lose weight fast to fit into that tiny party dress then Slimming World will not be for you. However if you want to steadily lose weight and keep it off (or are just a bit lazy like me) then check out your local group.
The hardest thing for me on my Slimming World journey was plucking up the courage to sign up. It is undeniable that the thought of going into a room of complete strangers to discuss how fat you are is terrifying. I know I was certainly pooping my pants. However if you can get over this first hurdle the rest is easy.
The diet plan I followed was called Extra Easy and to be honest it is. I found that there was very little I couldn't have as long as you made it yourself you could have anything from fish and chips to spaghetti bolognaise. It may seem laborious to be making everything yourself but it stops you being scuppered by all of the bad things that manufacturers of pre-packed food hide in their stuff. What I found was that I didn't have to change my menu, just the way I prepared it. I have found that Slimming World has given my a new joy for food and for cooking. The diet has introduced me to foods I would never have tried on my own - Quark anyone??? If you do have a hankering for something a little bit naughty there is plenty of room in the diet for the occasional indulgence. It is all about choosing the healthier option.
I have also tried Weight Watchers and this may just have been the group I went to but I found them very preachy and there main agenda seemed to be flogging the myriad of Weight Watchers branded food. Slimming World is the complete opposite - there is no hard sell.
The only downside I have found to being on Slimming World is that it is costing me a fortune in new clothes. for the last year I have had to change a big part of my wardrobe at least every 3 months as the weight is dropping off.
I hope you read this and give it a go - I have never looked back.