I weighed in on Monday after a week of following the Slimming World plan, well I say ‘a week of following’, I did have a spectacular day off on Thursday when I passed my driving test (yippee again) with a greasy ole vegan kebab, chips and a bottle of vino, oh and on Sunday when we had a takeaway curry – I know, I know, I’m a lost cause!
Anyway, despite these transgressions I lost half a pound which I think is pretty fair as I did a lot of last minute driving practice last week which meant a lot of sitting and not much exercise. Of course I wanted more, but don’t I always, and you reap what you sow after all. I do think Slimming World’s online response (see below) was a little OTT though – “You must be delighted” – what are they going to say if I ever have a genuinely good loss?!
I now understand the principles of the diet, which are as follows:
- Fill up on free foods which can be eaten liberally and without constraint during the day. For a vegan like me this means veggies (all except avocado are free), fresh fruit, beans and legumes, pasta, rice and grains (although bread and cereals don’t count as free), tofu and quorn products (if they float your boat) and lots of stocks and sauces which means you can whip up some pretty yummy ‘free’ meals if you have the time and no-how. I am lucky that I am able to ‘Slimming World-up’ most of my favourite vegan meals (i.e. curries, chillies, pastas, risottos, etc.).
- Choose one Healthy Extra A and one Healthy Extra B each day.
- Healthy Extra A foods are either cheese or milk. Whilst soya and almond milk are allowed, there are no vegan cheeses that fall under the Healthy Extra umbrella so I have to ‘syn’ these (see below) if I want to eat them.
- Healthy Extra B foods are things like bread, cereals, nuts and seeds, canned or dried fruit, etc. You can’t choose just any old bread or cereal though, it is the healthy stuff (i.e. wholemeal bread or sugar free, unadulterated cereals) and you’re not allowed very much of them!
- Have 15 Syns a day. Anything which doesn’t fall under the categories above (or even if they do but you’ve already eaten your 1 Healthy Extra a day) has to be ‘synned’. You are encouraged to eat your Syns and, as they don’t go hugely far, I have been. For instance, a tablespoon of vegan spread for my toast is 4 syns and a tablespoon of jam is 2 syns. A glass of wine is 6.5 syns!
- Take part in Body Magic. Basically exercise, I am currently working towards my bronze award.
It all sounds simple enough and it really is if you enjoy cooking from scratch, are organised and don’t mind sacrificing meals out and alcohol.
Now I know that this last statement will be contentious to some who will claim that you can still eat out and drink on the plan, which in theory you can, if you ask for your food to be prepared in the Slimming World way. If you just order ‘off the peg’ I would think it would be nigh on impossible. For instance, the vegan Pizza Express pizza called the Pianta is 43 syns but (only!) 800 calories. As you can see you would not be able to have even half of this pizza on a Slimming World day, but it could easily fit into a calorie counting diet.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism, there has to be some sacrifice as the rest of the diet is so generous, but it does mean that you always feel like you’re on a diet, or at least I do! I have decided that I’m going to drop the booze (caveat – wherever possible!) while following this diet and I think that without doing this I wouldn’t lose a pound as alcohol is just so high in syns.
I also take great exception to the claim that with Slimming World you can, ‘forget all those old rules, forget counting calories and points, forget weighing and measuring everything’, as whilst you can do this with free foods, measuring and counting is exactly what you have to do with Healthy Extras and Syns!
Oh dear, this post sounds like a bit of a downer on the diet and I don’t mean it to be, perhaps I will write a blog soon about the online tools provided with the online membership as I do think these are pretty good.
I hope to lose a bit more weight this week, despite it being Easter – gulp.
Wish me luck!