I announced a few weeks ago my intentions to watch my diet in an attempt to get a beach ready body for my Thailand trip in May. As usual, I had decided to do Slimming World as I know the diet well and feel comfortable doing it but also because I’m a bit if a heifer and SW allows for a lot of food intake. I really struggle with hunger on diets and it’s at those moments that I end up having a bar of chocolate or fast food that isn’t good for me!
For those of you who don’t know, Slimming World is essentially a calorie controlled diet but I like it because large parts of your menu can be eaten without having to be weighed or counted. There are lists of “Superfree” and “Free” foods that can be eaten without limit and then you top up your daily diet with “Healthy Extras” (fibre and calcium) and Syns. Syns, as they sound, are foods which have to be measured and controlled as you only get 105 syns per week. To give you a general idea:
- Superfree foods include most fruits and vegetables.
- Free foods include most meat without fat, fish, eggs, quorn, beans and lentils and some vegetables such as potatoes and parsnips.
- Syns include stuff you’d expect to have to keep an eye on like sweets, crisps, cheese, bread, alcohol, fat.
- Healthy Extra A’s provide you with your daily calcium intake: 250ml of semi-skimmed milk or 30g of cheese…
- Healthy Extra B’s provide you with your daily fibre intake: 30g of cereal, 2 small slices of bread….
These lists aren’t exhaustive! Just a little way of explaining SW to you without getting technical.
So anyway, rather than go to a Slimming World group, which costs about £5 per week and a start up fee of £15, I decided to contact all of my friends and family and have a weekly weigh-in group for 12 of us. As a joke, we named it F.A.R.T (Fight Against Restrictive Trousers) and we have Ferocious F.A.R.Ter of the week, Inspirational F.A.R.Ter of the Month, 1/2 stone stickers and 1 stone stickers. We all pay a weekly fee of £1 and at the end of the year, when we all look like extras from a Destiny’s Child video, we will be using out £50 savings to go on a club night out. So it’s healthy and good fun!!
SW is a the best diet in my opinion for people who really enjoy cooking and food prep. It doesn’t lend itself well to pre-prepared food as all fats, oils etc are counted as syns. As an example, a homemade chicken Kiev will set you back about 8 syns (and believe me it’s really tasty), whereas a shop bought fresh or frozen Kiev will set you back about 18 syns. It’s not really worth it, is it?
I love cooking, nothing difficult, but one pot wonders and 20 minute meals are really my thing. I’ve found that almost every recipe in my recipe books can be adapted to SW, recent ventures include a Jamie Oliver Beef Tagine and a Delia Jambalaya that worked out only 3-4 syns per portion and where absolutely DIVINE!!!! Meat, fish, Quorn, Lentils and tofu are all free on SW so it doesn’t matter if you are a veggie or a hardened carnivore, there is always something for you.
So I’ve been sticking to it for three weeks and seen some pretty impressive results:
- In week one I stuffed myself and lost 4lbs.
- In week two I went on a pretty rowdy night out where I ate/drank 110 syns on one night and still lost 1.5lbs
- In week three I tried to control the aftermath of the heavy night out so only had 49 syns all week, but still stuffed myself with low-carb meals and lost a whopping 8lbs!!
In the 23 days I’ve been dieting I haven’t eaten a single bar of chocolate, packet of crisps or bag of sweets (a personal best), so all of my syns have come from “luxury” ingredients like cream cheese and breadcrumbs. My meals, although all home made, have been super tasty and because of that I honestly don’t feel like I’m on any sort of diet!
My favourite meals so far have been:
- Greek meatballs, salad, cous cous and hummus (4 syns in tbsp of hummus, rest free).
- Luxury fish pie with a carrot & swede topping (8 syns in entire pie: serves 2-4)
- Home-made chicken kiev, jacket potato and veg (6 syns in kiev, 1.5 syns for splodge of extra light spread on potato).
- Sausage & Super Mash (sweet potato, carrot & swede, turnip, parsnip & spring onion) with gravy. (2.5 syns per sausage, 1.5 syns in 100mls gravy)
- Any traditional roast meat with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, root mash, veg selection and gravy, cauliflower cheese. (1.5 syns per 100mls of gravy, 3.5 syns in cauliflower cheese, the rest is free!)
- Fat-free Big Breakfast (toast, bacon, egg & mushrooms) (1.5 syns for a bit of extra light spread on the toast).
- Beef Tagine (6 syns in entire batch).
- Jambalaya (12 syns in entire batch- serves 4-6!)
So as you can see I’ve been eating very well and still the weight has fallen off me. Add to this the other two meals a day I’m having plus snacks and I’ve felt very satisfied from start to end!
I don’t want to bore anyone with the details of my diet but will post the occasional update for no better purpose than keeping myself on track. If anyone is interested in any of these SW friendly recipes please let me know and I will post them!