I was a slim teenager but I’ve been a big girl for most of my adult life, and lately I’ve gotten bigger than ever. When you start outgrowing normal high street stores I think it’s time to take action! I first tried Slimming World a couple of years ago and had great results (I lost more than 3st) but, sadly, I’ve managed to put that back on after a series of difficulties in my life including miscarriage and a dip in my mental health (and, frankly, I can’t entirely blame my emotional issues because, really, I just love food).
Two weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and return, and I’m currently remembering everything I enjoyed about the programme. So in case any of you are looking to safely lose a few pounds (or a few stone like me) I thought I’d share my Slimming World thoughts for this week’s foodie post:
You can still have carbs
My biggest issue with modern diets is the obsession with eliminating any & all carbohydrates. I’m sure high protein diets work and some people do amazing on them but personally I know I’d never maintain that. Potatoes, pasta, rice & noodles are a big feature in my diet and I don’t think I’d be able to stick to something where those foods were banned.
Don’t get me wrong, Slimming World has some restrictions of course. Bread, for example, has an extremely high Syn content (the points value given to treat foods on the Slimming World programme) and it makes sense to mostly eliminate it. Bread is my dieting Kryptonite so this is the area I always struggle with the most.
Also, Slimming World eagerly promotes Speed Foods (a large selection of fruit and veg) and suggests they make up a third of your plate; they aren’t suggesting you eat enormous bowls of pasta and nothing else. But you can have pasta, and it’s carby cousins, and you don’t have to measure it either. This fact alone makes it the diet most suited to me.
It’s great for keen cooks
I’m a huge fan of cooking from scratch and Slimming World is perfect for that as most of the plan involves cooking for yourselves and limiting shop bought sauces which have a high Syn value. A couple of years ago they did launch their frozen meals, soups and sauces in Iceland but it would get pretty expensive & repetitive to eat those every day.
Fortunately, I enjoy cooking and thinking outside the box in the kitchen and Slimming World provide lots of help and support in the form of the meal plans and recipes you get in your joining pack, plus a whole host of Slimming World cookbooks and monthly magazine. Also, it’s easy to adapt your usual family favourites to make them Slimming World friendly – usually all it involves is switching from oil to Fry Lite and finding alternatives for cream or flour and reducing the cheese.
I can imagine Slimming World may be a little tricky if you can’t cook but I figure it’s a great opportunity to learn as cooking is such an important life skill in my opinion.
I’ve tried both Weight Watchers & Atkins in the past (remember Atkins? Wow, wasn’t that fun?) and found both to be far from maintainable. Most people would agree that keeping weight off is more difficult than losing it in the first place and I think Slimming World gives you the best chance at that. It encourages a healthy, balanced diet where you never have to go hungry and can still have a little treat every day. Obviously, this is the part I haven’t managed yet so I guess only time will tell.
It’s midwife approved
Slimming World is predominantly about clean eating, except they were doing it way before it was a thing. As a general rule (although, of course, there are exceptions such as dairy), if an ingredient came from an animal or out of the ground it’s Free Food and if someone made it in a factory it contains Syns. Slimming World isn’t entirely about this of course (for example, I’ve never seen a pasta tree) but it’s based on the principle that natural and home-cooked is better.
Because of this, and because you can eat as much free food and speed foods as you like without restriction, it’s the only plan supported by midwives and you can actually continue whilst pregnant and breastfeeding.
It’s really supportive
This time around I’d been considering trying Slimming World’s online programme but thankfully my lovely sister in law has decided to join too so we are going to an actual group again. I think this is best suited to me as I need that threat, for want of a better word, of the scales each week plus the support of the rest of your group is so helpful. Every Slimming World group I’ve ever attended has been packed full of kindness, support & encouragement from other members, with everyone sharing hacks, ideas & recipes. It really helps, especially when you’ve had a not-so-good week.
This post is in no way sponsored (I wish it was!), I just genuinely feel that Slimming World is the only sensible way to lose weight. If you’d like to hear regular updates on my progress let me know in the comments and I’ll do a regular feature. Alternatively, follow my Insta Stories where I’m currently posting a lot about meal ideas and weight loss.