If you’re like me, dieting and weightloss is on your mind a lot of the time and you’re constantly looking for the next new diet to help quickly shift those pounds. I’ve tried many of these diets and will be talking about them in my future posts, but today we will be focusing on Slimming World.
What Is Slimming World
Slimming World is a subscription based service and is widely popular. You can either join online or attend slimming world classes. It claims to have a flexible eating plan that discourages calorie counting and focuses on the goodness of food. Straight from the website it boasts that you’ll never go hungry due to the ‘free foods’ which can be eaten in unlimited amounts. More movement and exercise is also encouraged by their physical activity program, ‘Body Magic’. Slimming World also claims to offer unlimited support by either IMAGE Therapy if classes are attended or use of the online forums if signed up online.
What Can You Eat On Slimming World
Free foods can be eaten in unlimited quantity if you are hungry. These consist of most fruits and vegetables in whole forms, lean meats and fish, pasta, rice, potatoes, eggs, beans and lentils. The reason why I say fruits and vegetables in whole forms is because if you were to blend a banana to add to a smoothie, that would then be counted as a syn, which is what the ‘unhealthier’ foods are measured by and you have 15 to eat a day. I’m not sure how this makes sense as it is still just a banana. I am also unsure how unlimited pasta and rice can help aide in weight loss, I understand that they also encourage the use of portion control (½ plate or vegetables ¼ protein and ¼ carbs) but if you’re someone who doesn’t like vegetables or cant eat specific types, naturally you’d want to fill that gap with whatever else you’re putting on your plate – like more protein or carbs which defeats the object of what they are trying to encourage.
My Slimming World Pros
- Theres no calorie counting. The Slimming World plan encourages you to eat only when you’re hungry and to fill up on mostly their “free foods”. As most of their free foods are low in calories (bar a select few), a natural calorie deficit should occur.
- Makes you think more about what you’re eating. As you are encouraged to only eat when you are hungry, you are also encouraged to make healthier choices such as cutting the fat off your bacon, using Fry Light instead of most oils and eating unhealther stuff less often as there is a limit as to how much you can eat to stay on track with the Slimming World Diet (Syns).
- Support is provided. This could either be via weekly classes and most likely a Facebook group if you join in person or a forum with access to lots of different recipes and places you can ask questions if you join online.
My Slimming World Cons
- Some free foods can allow over-consumption in calories. As I said in my pros list, the majority of the free foods are low calorie foods but there are some which definitely aren’t. These are pasta, rice, potatoes and other starchy foods included. Yes, in moderation these foods are great for a healthy balanced lifestyle but when labelled as a free food, that means you can eat as much as you want of it. For example, imagine for dinner you just want a bowl of plain pasta (we’ve all done it!). You wouldn’t just give yourself one portion of pasta, that wouldn’t be nowhere near enough to fill you up! You’d fill that bowl up which could result in you eating 5 or 6 portions of cooked pasta. A 100g of cooked pasta is on average about 131 calories. If you’re going to have 600g of pasta, because lets face it, 100g of cooked pasta is small, that would be 786 calories. Quite a large amount for just a bowl of pasta. If you were to have a bowl of salad, you wouldn’t be looking at anymore than 150 calories depending of what veggies you put in. seeing as both pasta and salad are considered ‘free foods’ the density and calorie amounts are very different.
- Weightloss and weight gain is sometimes announced in group. Yes, you heard me right. The times I lost or gained weight, it was always announced to the group, along with everyone elses results. The loss call outs werent so bad but the gains were the worst. I vividly remember the consultant announcing how much I had gained and asked me to explain why I thought I had! I’m not saying this happens in every group, some consultants swear against it, but it’s happened in the three different groups I have attended.
Did It Work For Me
Ultimately, no. Slimming World did not work for me. I tried my hardest to stick to the plan but even with all the options I had available I still felt incredibly restricted. If I was hungry, I didnt always want to eat a piece of fruit, sometimes I had a savoury tooth that vegetables just didnt seem to touch and pasta seemed a bit much to snack on. I made sure to use my syns every day but I found they didnt go far. If I wanted to have a meal deal from my local tescos, a sandwich could be upwards of 20 syns! Even a chicken pasta salad was a no go as it was pre cooked pasta and the dressing was a no-no due to syns. I think the most I ever lost on Slimming world was about a stone, but after a while, the never ending salads, boiled eggs and snacking on packs of ham got to me and I just couldn’t continue it. Not to mention when gaining weight I’d be called out on it in front of the group and would have to explain myself and why I think I gained it in front of everyone. That was the last straw for me, I was never going back.
Does Slimming World Work For Everyone
Slimming World has the potential to work and although there are many success stories, it’s not for everyone, myself included. There is a lack of recommended serving sizes for the free foods which are not low in calories, like pasta and rice, which isn’t very helpful toward your weight loss as you can potentially over-consume calories and possibly even gain some weight. If you pay attention to the portion control method used and only eat when you are hungry then yes, Slimming World may just work for you but it is important to remember that everybody is different – what may work for one may not work for another.
So there you have it. My thoughts on Slimming World. Do I think it works? As a short term commitment, yes. Long term? Maybe not. It definitely does not work for everyone, some people have lost all their weight and maintained, some people lost and regained and some – myself included- did not lose much at all.
Have you tried Slimming World before? What are your opinions and experiences?
If you think Slimming World could be for you, read more here