Slimming World Changes

By now you’re probably aware that Slimming World has shared some exciting news that will take place at the end of the year/ new year. I have posted below a copy of what has been shared. Remember you can find out more info about this from your SW consultant. He/she will be able to answer any questions if you feel confused after reading this. To me, it is all good news! How fab is it you can now enjoy both milk and cheese options in the same day without counting one of them as syns? And I am so excited that paneer has finally made it to the healthy extra A choices. What do you think of these changes SW will be introducing? Have you already started to put them in place?

EXCITING NEWS!!

Food Optimising changes from Christmas!

Our Nutrition team here at Slimming World regularly review the latest scientific and nutrition research, food trends and product information to make sure our generous Food Optimising stays bang up-to-date and in line with current guidance, so that you can achieve the very best weight loss results in the very healthiest way.

To help you achieve your dream in 2019, you’ll receive a special limited edition NEW MEMBER PACK FOR FREE when you come along to group during Christmas week or New Year week. And, in it, you might spot a few changes to Food Optimising:

1. Enjoy an additional Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice every Extra Easy day – for even more calcium and even more choice!
2. Due to new nutrition information:

A handful of Free Foods have lost their P symbols – baked beans, broad beans, mung beans and all varieties of peas (except split peas)

A few Healthy Extra ‘a’ choices have changed.

A Healthy Extra portion of whole cow’s milk has increased to 200ml

The Healthy Extra portions of rice and almond milk have both decreased to 400ml

40g Paneer cheese is now a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice!

Some products are no longer Healthy Extras:

Kelloggs Special K Milk Chocolate Delight Bar

Sweetened dairy-free milk

Reduce fat/light soft cheese (including Philadelphia Light)

Soft goat’s cheese

3. And on an Extra Easy SP day, enjoy at least half a plate of Speed food, and the rest Protein-rich food as usual. Plus two Healthy Extra ‘a’ choices and one Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice and, to boost your weight loss further, a maximum of 10 Syns.

This is in addition to the changes we let you know about earlier in the year, that fat-free flavoured yogurts canned pasta in tomato sauce and instant mashed potato now have a small Syn value, and that some vegan-friendly products including canned jackfruit and plain/smoked seitan are now Free Food.

If you’ve spotted that one of your favourites is no longer a Healthy Extra, you’ll get plenty of ideas in group for Free Food and Healthy Extra alternatives. And if you’d love to adopt some of those changes from today – feel free!

Lost Mojo

Hands up anyone who is struggling with their weight loss?

You started off so well on your journey but lately you have lost your focus, feeling like you cannot do it anymore. You know deep down that you still really want to lose weight but you’ve had days, weeks or even months when it felt harder to stay focused. Your willpower has gone, abandoned you. Maybe its the summer holidays, friends and family are over, your own kids have their needs and planning goes out of the window.

Perhaps some other life event or living life itself simply gets in the way and your commitment to slimming gets pushed to the back of the queue. That doesn’t mean we cannot regain focus or determination again.

The last few years have been tough for me, even more since the middle of last year. Although I tried my very best to food optimise as best as I could, most of the time I was failing. I was failing at the weight loss immensely. All my meals are picture perfect but behind closed doors I was (and still am) taking comfort in the food that I know I shouldn’t be eating. I stopped caring about myself a long time ago and I am now at a low point in my journey, it feels as if for every step I take forward I end up taking 2 backwards. I know it has to stop.

When I first joined Slimming World back in 2011, it took me just over a year to lose 4 stones. I was extremely determined at the time to lose weight to both feel and look better. Once I reached my goal I maintained my weight loss for a couple of years and thought that being a SW consultant would help me stay focused on my own weight loss journey. How wrong was I? I loved my role as a SW consultant (I did that for over 5 years) and seeing so many of my members of my groups lose weight with my help gave me such a wonderful feeling, but I was neglecting myself in the process.

It began slowly but I started to dislike the way I looked and I began to feel like a fraud standing in front of my members in group when I was failing myself. I know most of my members did not think any less of me but the few that commented on my weight did upset me. There is such an expectation from members and everybody else around me that I wonder if they even care about what others may be going through, including their own Consultants? There’s no support network for consultants that are struggling, that’s something that Slimming World should look into.

I know the answer to get back on track is to join a group. I’ve tried that a couple of times recently but repeatedly failed. I was not prepared to commit or make the right changes and those bad habits were still there. I know the SW plan inside out and know what I need to do so I thought I’d share what I will be doing to get myself back on track and hope this will help anyone else who may be struggling too.

Understanding emotional grooves

Most of us know that we don’t just eat when we are hungry – comfort eating, boredom eating, social eating, picking without thinking – they’re all common behaviours that some of us slip into at times. And that is okay! Knowing when your danger times are will help you understand your emotional grooves and you can then put plans in place to protect yourself from sabotage. Developing a fruit habit and filling the fridge with Speed food snacks will help turn a potentially dangerous time into something far more manageable.

Planning

Once you understand when your danger times are, you can set about planning your day/week. I like to spend a half hour with my favourite recipe books and food optimising book and then plan what I will be eating for the week. Some people don’t like to think that far ahead and that is okay, you can plan a couple of days in advance or even plan your food for the day. Planning is the key to success though! Knowing what you will be eating will give you a great sense of control. I like to plan in detail – I write down everything on a planner and try to stick to it as much as possible. On my planner I will have all my meals written down as well as snacks, syns and healthy extras. I tend to keep syns to 5-10 on my planner, and if for any reason I need to use extra then I am covered!

Meal Planner

Meal Planner

 

Food Diary

Alongside my planner, I will be using a food diary to keep track of the food actual eaten. You can buy food diaries online to keep track, but you don’t need anything fancy. You can just jot it all down in a notebook and that works fine. You just need to keep note of what you’re eating and should you need it in the future you can easily refer back to it.

Body Magic

I must admit that this is one the parts that I struggle with immensely but know that it can happen if I make the time! I am usually full of excuses as to why I don’t have the time to fit in any exercise but I am hoping that by planning in some sort of body magic in my planner, will help me ensure I actually do it! I am not a very active person, so for me personally body magic will come in the form of walking. I have a treadmill at home so no excuses for not getting any walking in if the weather is bad!

Be kind to myself

One of the main things that I need to concentrate on is being kind to myself. If I have a bad day or if I don’t make a good choice I will not beat myself up about it and will be kind to myself. Having a wobble doesn’t have to mean giving up on my weight loss.

Support network

I know that the best way to keep on track on my weight loss is to be a part of a support network in a SW group, and that is how I lost my weight originally. But this time, I will be going on this weight loss journey on my own. I find the support I get on social media is fab and am hoping that by documenting my own weight loss journey online will help me to get back to where I was before. If I struggle on my own, then I will bite the bullet and get myself back to a group!

A new SW Member – Me!

So today I took the brave step to walk into a new Slimming World group as a new member. I haven’t weighed myself for a while and every so often I weigh at my own group but I strongly feel I need the support for my own journey.

The last few months I have struggled myself. I know the plan, I know it works and all my meals are cooked the SW way but old habits have started to creep in! No excuses for it really, just me giving in to temptations and not caring about the consequences. I’ve had enough of feeling this way, and I know I’ve gained some weight back as my clothes are starting to get tight!

I chose a group far away from where I live as I just want to be a member, I don’t want people to judge me for being a consultant.

I followed my Sat Nav to the venue and parked up. I have to admit I felt very nervous, just as nervous as I was back in January 2011 when I first joined a SW group. I’d previously sent a text to the Consultant to let her know that I was going to join her group. She already knew who I was and asked to be treated just like a member.

As I walked into the hall the room was busy. Lots of women were chatting away to each other. I had no idea where to go next. I felt as if all eyes were on me. I was looking out for the Consultant and could not see her at all. I started to panic as I thought maybe she wasn’t in today! I went up to one of ladies and asked for the Consultant and thankfully she was there! She was weighing her members.

I made my way to the new members area and started filling out an enrollment form. The Consultant came over and had a little chat making me feel more at ease. I didn’t get a new Member Talk, she said ‘you know the plan and what to do’. So over I went to find a seat in the horseshoe. Most of the chairs were taken up, people put their bags and coats over them. I found an empty seat and just sat there. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity, looking around, checking the surroundings and the members chatting to each other. Luckily I had my phone on me so I decided to check my messages and read the news!

The group was really buzzing and more people kept coming. Eventually the Consultant started the session. I missed her ‘hello and welcome’ with all the noise from the members! They were a rowdy bunch! It reminded me of my group. I am a quiet Consultant, I sometimes struggle to get my members attention when we are ready to start too.

Yet it got worse, throughout the whole of Image Therapy the ladies sitting to my side kept chatting to each other! I found it really distracting and totally rude to the Consultant and other members actively involved in Image Therapy. Crucially there were a few times when I missed what was being said by another member because of all the little group chats. Again, that got me thinking, how must new (and existing) members at my group feel?? What important information are they missing out on? Does this put them off from staying for Image Therapy?

I got weighed at the end of group by the Consultant. I was really dreading the scales. I had no idea what to expect! I knew it would be a gain but didn’t know how much. I was surprised by the amount I’d let myself gain but at the same time I was so glad I went along. Had I weighed at my group, I would’ve ignored the damage and carried on regardless. After all, I didn’t feel I had to be accountable to anyone. I set my target again, I need to lose 1st to be where I was a few months ago. I am annoyed, disgusted, ashamed and angry at myself for losing sight of my journey. Every week I stand in front of my members and help them learn new slimming grooves, make better choices and find healthier alternatives. I was not just letting myself down but also my members.

I know that now I am part of a SW group again, as a member, I will concentrate on getting those weight losses going again for myself. I also know I can do it, I’ve done it before. If anything, now it should be easier as I know the plan inside out! I owe it to myself to not cheat the plan, I promise myself to weigh and measure everything that needs to, count my syns more carefully and most important of all, I will enjoy eating Free Foods without feeling guilty. I am done with the self sabotage, here is to a healthier me again.

To my dear Members in both Groups, my experience has made me realise that it is easy for both new and existing members to miss out on the immense benefits of Image Therapy. I wish to ask all of you to please be aware of this and to catch up with fellow members and friends before and after Image Therapy and not during it, and while Image Therapy is ongoing and you have something to share please share it with all members in attendance.

Hartley’s 10 Cal Jelly Pots

Who knew that a simple jelly pot could lead to many debates on my social media platforms!

Many slimmers may have recently come across the Hartley’s 10 cal jelly pots. I’ve been having them for a few years now since I was a SW member.

I didn’t think that posting a picture of it recently would cause such a stir with so many people doubting the jelly was suitable for vegetarians as the pot does not have a ‘suitable for vegetarians’ label which is fair enough, but I always check food labels before buying them! I check for two things:

  1. Ingredients
  2. Syns

I would not knowingly eat and post/share food that I would not be allowed to eat in my halal diet. I hope this post will help those that may need more clarification. I have included below a response from an email from Hartley’s. If in doubt please do your own research and contact them yourself.

“Thank you for contacting Hartley’s about our jelly range.

Most of our jellies are not suitable for vegetarians. Our tablet and powdered jellies, designed to be made at home, contain gelatine. Some of our Ready to Eat jellies contain the colouring Carmine, which is an animal product.

The jellies we have which are suitable for vegetarians are:

Hartley’s Pineapple in Jelly 175g
Hartley’s 10 Cal Mango & Passion Fruit Flavour Jelly 175g
Hartley’s 10 Cal Blueberry & Blackcurrant Flavour Jelly 175g
Hartley’s 10 Cal Raspberry Flavour Jelly 175g
Hartley’s 1 Fruit Portion Mango Jelly 175g
Hartley’s Blackcurrant Flavour Jelly 125g
Hartley’s Lemon & Lime Flavour Jelly 125g
Hartley’s Pineapple Flavour Jelly 125g
Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly Blackcurrant Flavour 115g
Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly Apple Flavour 115g

I hope that this information helps. If you would like to discuss your concerns, or have any questions, please call me or one of my colleagues on 0800 022 4339. We are available between 9.00am and 5.30pm, weekdays excluding Bank Holidays.”

Hope this clears up any misunderstanding. Here’s how I like to enjoy my favourite Hartley’s 10Cal jelly pot – with a squirt of light squirty cream topped with 100’s & 1000’s, a raspberry and a SW Double Choc Hifi light bar. Sooo nice!

 

Hartley's 10Cal Jelly

Hartley’s 10Cal Jelly

Snacks & Nibbles

I absolutely love this feature on the SW website, which I’ve included below, that is all about snacks & nibbles! This is perfect whether you’re in need of a tasty lifesaver to keep you going, a mid-morning munch or simply a healthier alternative to a high-Syn snack, for when a ‘nibbly’ moment comes. Some need no cooking at all and some are simple to cook in advance and keep in the fridge ready for those times. Please do share using the comments box below what your favourite snacks & nibbles are.

Speed Free Food snacks
Snack on these for the BEST weight loss results. The more Speed you choose the more weight you’ll lose!

Savoury

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Veg crudités – carrot, peppers, celery, sugar snap peas, and dips like homemade houmous
  • Sweet baby cucumbers
  • Roasted butternut squash chips (cooked in low calorie cooking spray)
  • Pickled beetroot, gherkins, cabbage and onions
  • Slimming World quiche muffins packed with your favourite Speed Free Foods

Sweet

  • Fruit bowl favourites – apples, satsumas, pears, peaches
  • Melon chunks – pop in the freezer for a cool nibble
  • Fat free Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1 tsp sweetener and top with strawberries and raspberries
  • Apple wedges dunked in your favourite syn free yogurt
Other Free nibbles include:

Savoury

  • Boil or bake a fresh corn on the cob, season well – I like to add chilli powder to it too
  • Hardboiled eggs

    Boiled Eggs, Clementines & Activia 0%

    Boiled Eggs, Clementines & Activia 0%

  • Seafood sticks dipped in soy sauce
  • Lean turkey, chicken,  chicken drumsticks (skin removed)
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Drain a can of tuna in spring water and blend with lemon juice and quark to make a pâté. Mix in chopped chives and spring onions, and serve with veg sticks
  • Asda Chosen by You Vegetable Chilli, from a 400g can, topped with a dollop of fat-free natural yogurt
  • Whizz roasted red peppers in brine from a jar with fat-free natural fromage frais and paprika, then use as a dip for cooked and peeled prawns.
  • Mugshots – my favourite one has to be the Cajun pasta flavour. Be aware that if you buy this flavour in a sachet it is 0.5 syn! The pot is FREE.

    Cajun Pasta Mugshot

    Cajun Pasta Mugshot

Sweet

  • Fat-free yogurt. Not all fat-free yogurts are Free eg. Onken Fat Free Yogurt Vanilla is 5 Syns per 450g pot  (double check your favourite flavour in Syns Online to protect your weight loss)
  • Freeze an Activia 0% strawberry yogurt in an ice-cube tray and enjoy like frozen sweets
  • Ice cream: Chop a handful of cherries and stir into two pots of Activia 0% (or similar) cherry yogurts and a large tub of fat free fromage frais. Pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally
  • Fresh pineapple chunks
Healthy Extra bites – If you’ve got your Healthy Extras left, tuck into one of these super snacks!
Hifi Light Bars

Hifi Light Bars

  • Cereal bars – 2 Hi-fi Light or Alpen Light bars (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)
  • 4 Ryvita Original/Dark Rye (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) topped with 4 Laughing Cow Light Triangles (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and mixed pickles like gherkins and onions
  • 60g of any wholemeal bread, toasted (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice), topped with 40g reduced fat Cheddar (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and halved cherry tomatoes
  • 30g bag Ryvita Minis, all varieties (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)
  • 500g cooked rhubarb (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) topped with fat free Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1 tsp sweetener
  • 35 pistachio nuts (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)

Eating Out Advice & Pizza Hut

As a Slimming World member you might think that you have to stop eating out to lose weight. But luckily you don’t have to give up on your social life, you just need to make better choices.

I know that is not always an easy thing to do. If you’re anything like me and go to a restaurant hungry, you might order a lot of things that you don’t normally eat or end up ordering more than you need.

What helps me and a lot of other slimmers is to check out the menu before going. Nowadays that is not hard to do, nearly every restaurant has their menu online. Study the menu well – opt for foods that are grilled or baked but watch out for creamy sauces or any other hidden syns.

If I am going to an Indian, I will always choose boiled rice over naan bread or even chappati. I ditch the poppadoms and sauces too! I choose a grilled chicken/meat starter and I tend to stay away from kebabs as these are most likely made in meat that is not lean.

If going out for a dessert, I tend to choose a sorbet over an ice cream and have a fruit platter with it.

Pizza Hut

Last night we went out for a meal to celebrate my youngest daughter’s birthday (I can’t believe she is 7 already today!). The only place she wanted to go to was Pizza Hut! That is one place that we stopped going to as a family because it is usually so high in syns and a slimmer’s nightmare to be honest! But life is all about balance and I didn’t want to be a party pooper so I made sure I examined the menu really well a few days before so I knew what to have once there.

To be honest there wasn’t much choice available, I could have had one slice of pizza which would have been within my 15 syns allowance but I knew I could not stop at just 1! I would still be hungry. So I chose to have the healthier pizza available which was their Virtuous Veg pizza at only 3 syns per slice and it was supposed to be cut in 6 so 18 syns in all not bad at all! When it arrived though it was not cut into 6 and it wasn’t that big at all so I did end up eating the lot! 18 syns for a whole pizza is great!! I filled up on all the free salad as well. Best to avoid all the pasta salads as they are quite high in syns, the couscous is ok. It is 2 syns per 100g but I am not very good at guessing 100g so I just had a spoonful and counted 2 syns to be on the safe side. For drinks I chose the unlimited Diet Pepsi (Syn Free).

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

I even took some hifi bars with me to have as dessert! I knew the kids would have cookie dough as they absolutely love it, so I planned to have a coffee with my bars whilst they scoffed on the cookie dough.

It worked out perfectly! All in all I only used 20 syns for a meal out and felt in control the whole night and back on track this morning.

Sneaky Syns & Crucials!

I am not a huge fan of sauces but when I do have them I’ve got to admit I tend to forget to count them and try to guesstimate how much I had! To really be in control of your weight loss, measuring those sneaky syns will be greatly beneficial to your success. Below are just some average syn values, be aware that different brands may have different syn values, it is always best to check the Slimming World website or app for yourself. Let me know what your favourite sauces are below.

Extra light mayo – 1 Syn per level tbsp

Reduced cal salad cream – 1 Syn per level tbsp

Ketchup – 1 Syn per level tbsp

Brown sauce – 1 Syn per level tbsp

Salt ‘n’ vinegar – Free

Tartare sauce – 2.5 Syns per level tbsp

Mustard (made with powder) – Free

Mustard (from jar) – 1½ Syns per level tbsp

Horseradish sauce – 1 Syn per level tbsp.

I have recently come across some Crucial Sauces which are sooo tasty! I get them in my local Farm Foods but I believe you can also buy them in B&M bargains. I haven’t tried the whole range yet, only the BBQ sauce and the Mint sauce.

Crucials Sauces

Crucials Sauces

Here are the syns for some of their sauces:

BBQ Sauce – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Hot Salsa – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Mint Sauce – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Brown Sauce – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Burger Relish – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

American Mustard – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Chilli & Garlic Sauce – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Curry Sauce – 0.5 syn per level tbsp

Garlic Mayo – 3.5 syns per level tbsp

Getting back on track after a gain!

It’s that time of the week again – shoes off, feet on the scales, and a crucial number blinking back from the display. If that number is more than you were expecting it can be disappointing, but how you deal with it is key to seeing those pounds coming right back off.

Shed the guilt

When we go off track, our tendency, as human beings, is to beat ourselves up about it. We might tell ourselves that we’re ‘useless’ and that we may as well forget Food Optimising – we’ve blown it now! If we let it, it could sabotage our success from there on.

Having a weight gain now and again is normal – we’re all human after all! Knowing how to put it behind us is key to learning lifelong healthy habits.

Imagine your week like a bunch of seven beautiful roses. If one (rose/day) dies are you really going to throw out the whole bunch? Don’t let a bad day ruin your whole week. By making a better choice as often as possible the pounds will creep away. But be KIND to yourself!

I’ve had my fair share of weight gains on my journey, had I given up at the first instance I would not have reached my target!

Weight Gain

Weight Gain

Where did it go wrong?

The key to getting the scales moving downward again is to look hard for something you might be missing. That doesn’t mean blaming yourself or telling yourself you’re a failure. It should be a positive process, which leaves you feeling stronger and more confident.

Think about:

  • What time of day do you find the most tricky
  • Which day-to-day situations do you struggle with
  • Is there anything you’ve done differently from your first week (or another great weight loss week)
  • Speed Free Foods – do your meals contain at least a third of a plate
  • Are you measuring your Healthy Extras
  • What Syns do you enjoy and are you counting them (all of them)
How you can get back on track. Below are some suggestions from fellow slimmers
  • Stay to group, measure yourself (a good Non Scale Victory), go back to basics, plan, write a food diary and enjoy lots of Speed Free Food.
  • Get rid of any guilt. If you fall ‘off plan’ get right back on it (rather than thinking ‘I’ve messed up today, I’ll start again tomorrow’). Always stay to group; it’ll help you stay focused on the week ahead.
  • Stick a before & after photo on your fridge – it’ll remind you of how far you’ve come!
  • Try new foods and recipes packed with lots of Speed Free Foods.
  • Do a food diary and give Body Magic a go!
  • Ask your Consultant if you can join in the New Member Talk. You may think you know it all but you could be doing something wrong without realising.
  • Remind yourself of how far you’ve travelled on the road to a slimmer, happier life, and how much closer to the destination you are.
  • Make a commitment to yourself; decide here and now that no matter what, you’ll Food Optimise 100% for the next week. Next time you step on the scales, you’ll see just what Food Optimising can do for you and you’ll feel fabulous.

Top Tips to help you stay on track

Losing weight can be challenging for many of us, we all have our own daily trials to overcome as well as trying our very best to eat well too. Luckily with Slimming World you can eat generous amount of food! For many slimmers who have not yet found a Slimming World group, they may be out there still struggling with and battling their weight loss demons. If you think you’ve tried EVERYTHING and Slimming World is just another ‘diet’ you’d be so wrong. If you want to maintain a weight loss forever then understand this; Slimming World is a lifestyle change, not a ‘diet’.

I hate that word – DIET. To me it sounds like I have to give up eating real food, be confined to no social life and be miserable for the sake of losing a few lbs that might give me temporary happiness until all the weight lost (and usually more on top of that) piles back on again. It’s like a vicious circle, a yo-yo of ups and downs.

I am so glad I found Slimming World when I did. If I can lose weight, so can you. Trust me!

I’ve compiled some top tips I have picked up along the way from my own experience and I have added some from my members as well in hope this can help you too. The best way to get the support to your weight loss journey will be by going along to a SW group, and not just weighing and going! You can do that at home yourself! You’re not paying just to get weighed at a group, you’re paying for the support and help from a room full of people who are on the same mission as you – to lose weight. I hope you find the tips below useful, if you have any of your own you would like to share or add to this list, please comment below.

1 Batch cook, then you always have a Free or low-Syn meal to hand!

Be organised. Make Monday’s lunch on Sunday night and freeze home-made soups/spag bol/chilli/curries for when you need something filling but don’t have time to cook from scratch.

2 Measure your Healthy Extras – ALWAYS!

It is so easy to guesstimate the amount of cereal you have or the milk you put in your tea/coffee. Just 50ml (that is two dashes) extra in your tea or coffee every day could add 10.5 syns per week! An extra 25g of porridge oats can add an extra 31.5 syns per week!

3 Plan for your ‘danger’ time of day and find something Free or low-Syn that will satisfy your craving

Mine is once I’ve got the kids to bed and I have some time in the evening to chill out. I like to save my syns for then so that I can enjoy them without being disrupted! A little of what you fancy is fine so you do not feel deprived and binge – that is what Syns are for!

4 Include at least 1/3 Speed foods to every meal

Speed foods are absolutely vital for your slimming success. The more speed foods you have, the better your weight losses on the scales. Slimming World do recommend us to have at least 1/3 speed foods with every meal, if you can have more, even better! Sometimes it might not make any sense to add any speed foods to a certain meal, for example a free food soup. You don’t have to eat some speed food to make up for it, unless you are hungry! There is no point in adding extra calories when you don’t need it.

5 Plan meals

All of us know the importance of planning meals. You might not like to plan a whole week in advance, that is ok! You don’t have to. You can plan your food day a day in advance, that way you will be in control and there will be nothing stopping you from a weight loss.

6 Drink plenty of water

You hear that a lot from many people. Water is great for our bodies and some of us are great at keeping hydrated, others not so good. The good news is that if you drink tea/coffee that can count towards your fluid intake, as can sugar free squash. You only need 6-8 glasses a day. No need to go overboard by drinking 3-4 litres a day! It is not necessary. I think I would be forever sat in the toilet if I drank that much!! Drinking water does not aid to weight loss may I add, if you didn’t drink any water you would not gain weight or not lose anything. Fluids are important for good health.

7 Stay to group

Stay to IMAGE Therapy rather than getting weighed and leaving. I can honestly say that every week (even though sometimes I don’t feel like it!) I’m always glad I stay. I always learn something new, get inspiration from the other members and have fun, too! I sometimes hear people say image therapy is boring or the same topics are discussed every week. Well, are you doing anything to make it inspiring? Are you sharing your ideas and supporting others when they need it? If the answer is no, then if a room full of people thought the same as you then group will be boring! You make it as exciting and fun as you want. You need to let the group and your consultant know what help you need (if any) or if you are a superstar at losing weight, then share what works for you with the rest. Sharing is caring!

8 Keep you fridge and food cupboard well stocked with Free snacks like fruit salad, veggie sticks and Free yogurts

So important to make sure you have all the right food in so that when hunger strikes you do not reach for the high syns alternatives.

9 When you buy something with a Syn value, write the Syn value and portion size on the packet

This can stop you reaching for a flapjack or a biscuit (or the whole packet!).

10 Stock up on herbs and spices

These will add so much flavour to all your meals. Whether you buy fresh or dried herbs, your food will not lack in flavour. Just be careful if buying spice mixes as not all are FREE.

11 Don’t take other people’s word for Syn values, always remember to check for yourself

With so many different social media out there, information can sometimes be passed on incorrectly or can be out of date. For your weight loss success, always check syns for yourself. Download the slimming world app or visit the Slimming World mobile website – it’s so useful when you’re out shopping.

12 Don’t think of it as a ‘diet’. It’s a change in eating habits – enjoy it

So many times I get asked the question by new members if I still follow Slimming World! Well, of course! Even if I wasn’t a SW consultant, what I learnt with SW will stay with me for life. I have completely changed the way I cook. If you’ve had a bad day it doesn’t mean you have to make it a bad week – just start fresh the next day.

13 Have a visual reminder of your long term goal and keep it in the kitchen

This can work well for many. For me personally, I put up a picture of myself of how I looked at my largest and every time I opened the snack cupboard or the fridge, I would see the photo of my larger self and that would make me think twice before putting anything in my mouth! Of course sometimes I do not have the will power to stop, I am human and nobody is perfect. But don’t let little setbacks stop you looking at the bigger picture of where you would like to be.

14 Don’t compare yourself with other people’s progress

This is your journey and it will be as unique as you are – follow Food Optimising and you’ll feel amazing in no time! Stay positive, believe in yourself and remember it’s not always about the number on the scales but how you feel on the inside. Some people take the fast route and some people take the slow route – but they both reach the finish line. If you give up you won’t reach your target weight but even if you continue on the slow route you’ll get there eventually.

15 Once you reach your target, don’t think you can go it alone!

Remember when you reach your target weight, coming to SW each week is FREE! Even if you can’t attend every week, try to go to a group at least once a month and stay to IMAGE Therapy to re-inspire you and keep you on track. Make the most of your group and all of the lovely people in it. We’re all going through exactly the same feelings, having the same thoughts, fears and emotions. Support is the best tool on our journey – use it often!

16 Enjoy regular walks

Or any other sort of Body Magic. It will help you feel so much better. Walking is my favourite, I can do it anytime I want and it is FREE!

17 Keep a food diary

Online, diary sheets, photos. Whichever suits you. Keep counting and be honest on the diary – even if you go over your Syns! You are only cheating yourself by not being honest on the food diary.

18 Take your body measurements when you start

What better incentive to keep going than when you check your measurements and you’ve lost inches as well as lbs! I took my measurement when I first started as a member every 2-3 months. It really helped me stay on track especially on the weeks I didn’t see a weight loss on the scales.

These are just some of our tips, do share what works for you in the comments below.

A menu example of a SW Food Optimising day

One of the most common questions I get asked by members when they first join Slimming World is ‘So what should I eat?’ A lot of members get so overwhelmed by the amount of food you can eat on plan that they simply do not know where to start. So here is an example of a day on plan. You can find a 7 day planner on the SW website here (there is also a vegetarian option) or the SW magazines. If you have your own suggestions please comment below, I’ll be making changes to this list based on feedback.

Breakfast

Overnight Oats – super quick, prepare night before, using porridge oats, fruit and yogurt. Recipe is here.

breakfast brunch eggs beans etc

breakfast brunch eggs beans etc

Weetabix – really simple, just Weetabix with milk and topped with fruit of your choice.

Cooked Breakfast –  eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, sausages and optional toast. See my favourite here.

Lunch

SW Ready made soup – available exclusively in Iceland. My favourite is this one

Homemade tomato soup – easy to make using only a few ingredients, recipe here.

Jacket potato – top it with your favourite toppings.

Dinner

Chicken curry with rice – super easy recipe here

Pasta with meatballs – one of our favourite meals

Fish & chips – eat chips and still lose weight! Make your own perfect chips.

Snacks & Syns

Fruit

Veg crudites

Hifi bars (available from SW groups only)

Low syn crisps – French Fries, Snaps, Walkers Pops etc.

Example Snack, Fruits and hifi bars

Example Snack, Fruits and hifi bars