Today I thought I’d do something a bit different and share my Slimming World experience. It’s not something I’ve mentioned much before on here except for saying that one of my best bits of 2015 was losing 2.5 stone. That was all down to Slimming World. I am the world’s worst dieter – I love food, I have a raging sweet tooth, and to be honest, I’m lazy. I can’t be bothered with weighing and measuring and counting and I definitely can’t be arsed with a diet that bans sugar. Fine except for at the start of last year I realised I needed to change something or my weight would keep creeping up and I really wasn’t happy with that. So at the start of May I went to my first ever fat club.
Joining was pretty nerve-wracking, I’d read what to expect but you never really know what to expect. Turns out it really wasn’t that bad. I had to join a group of about four or five other newbies to sign up and have the introductory chat from the group leader explaining all about the diet. This takes about half an hour and takes place while the existing members are queueing to be weighed (I went to a Saturday morning session and there were about 60 people). Afterwards those who stay (never more than 20 in my group) discuss how the week has gone for about an hour. Each member is spoken to but their weight is never revealed (unless they say), the only number mentioned is how much they have lost. After this is when the newbies are weighed once everyone else has filtered out so it is not at all intimidating.
In terms of the plan itself, the best thing to do is to read about it here or on their official website, it;s actually quite simple but it does sound complicated once you try to explain it. Basically you can have any amount of ‘free food’ – lean meats, fruit, veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, herbs etc, a measured amount of ‘healthy extras’ – cereal, wholemeal bread, milk, cheese etc and a limited amount of ‘syns’ – all the good stuff. Where it gets complicated is when you start looking into the free and superfree foods. So if you’re thinking of starting this I highly recommend going and joining a group, even just for one week, so that it is explained in person with the chance to ask questions.
I found that it’s not to difficult to stick too. I have a routine that suits me now. I tend to have two Alpen Light bars for breakfast during the week and take a salad or crustless quiche to work along with fruit to snack on. Then David usually cooks something amazing for dinner and I have my ‘syns’ in the evening – usually in the form of some chocolate. It’s not a super super healthy diet – you can drink as much diet soda as you like (and I do) and some healthy foods are high in ‘syns’ so I tend to avoid them such as avocados (my babies), nuts and oils, but it is good for getting you on a better path.
The number one tip I can share is to meal plan. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan. Seriously, this is the best way to stay on track. This will allow you to see where your ‘healthy extras’ are coming in, if you have to use any ‘syns’ in your main meals and prepare food in advance. Slimming World is hard to do if you don’t do this, it’s a diet that requires a lot of home cooking so if you don’t prepare for this you’ll find it so difficult. I tend to meal plan for the week ahead and then do my weekly shop getting exactly what I need. If you’re going out and want to stick to plan have a look at menus online beforehand. It’s totally possible to eat out, but it can be tricky if you’re not pre-armed with what you are going to get and what you are going have for the rest of the day.
Here are some of my favourite main meals:
Tuna with homemade salsa.
Peri Peri Chicken Salad
Burger in a bowl (this is the best!)
I’ve recently restarted the diet since stopping about three months ago. I gained back 13lbs, which is a lot but I was expecting this as I totally binged on takeaways and junk knowing that I’d restart Slimming World in the new year. Not the best mindset I know. However, I know that I need to be made accountable which is why this plan and weekly weigh-ins work well for me. I haven’t rejoined a group as David is now also doing it so that is enough motivation for me. Now if only I had a gym buddy too! In my first week back on it I’ve lost 5lbs which I’m very pleased with anyway.
I have to say I don’t really miss the group, I wasn’t getting as much out of it towards the end as I was in my first few weeks, plus I missed my Saturday mornings. But, I might rejoin if I start struggling, or at least join up to the website. However, if you think that you need the support of others, the groups are great – you can say as much or as little as you like (and actually you don’t have to stay for the chatty bit every week or at all if you don’t fancy it), and everyone is friendly and very non-judgemental.
And that’s my Slimming World experience so far. Do let me know if you have any questions at all about the plan or the group experience. Also let me know if you’d like to see more posts about Slimming World – maybe food diaries, recipes or anything else you are interested in.