Slimming World FAQ's
OK here we go, another thread that will hopefully answer a lot of question we get here
What are free foods?
Free foods are called free because you can have as much as you want without feeling guilty. No measuring, no weight - just eat until you're full.
Green Day carbohydrates fill you up and slowly release energy; rice, pasta and potatoes. Pulses lentils and grains.
Red day protein fills you up and keeps hunger pangs away. Lean meat and some fish.
These foods are chosen as they fill you up quick and keep you full up for longer.
Super Free Foods
The old definition of superfree foods was:
"Super free foods are simply those that are free on both days; fruit and vegetables, Mullerlight yoghurts, Bovril, Herbs, Soy Sauce to name a few!"
With the introduction of Extra Easy superfree foods now mean all fruit and vegetables that are free on both red and green. In my opinion this is just a marketing thing from SW so they don't have to say 'fill half your plate with fruit and/or vegetables'. So now Mullerlight yoghurts, Bovril, Herbs, Soy Sauce are just referred to as syn free.
What is the difference between Free Food and Syn Free?
There is much debate about this, so this is just my take on it. Free foods are foods that you can have as much as you want without feeling guilty. No measuring, no weight - just eat until you're full. Therefore keeping you full up and less likely to snack.
Whereas syn free foods are low enough in calories in combination with their ability to fill you up not to be synned - such as muller lights. With things like soy sauce, herbs etc., you would have to eat incredible amounts to add up to too many calories.
Why are they ‘free’?
SW free foods are worked out by calorie density, (i.e. how many calories for the volume) and how they fill you up. For example say a choccy bar is 300 calories, yet it won’t fill you up, you want to eat more (probably junk).
Whereas you could have a large jacket potato and some baked beans for the same calories and it would fill you up and heck of a lot more than that choccy bar. (These calorie comparisons are estimates - I'm not a walking calorie book )
Can I really eat as much as I want?
Yes! The number one rule of Slimming World is ‘everything in moderation’. The idea is to fill up on free foods, keep eating until you feel full – then stop. It’s about learning your body’s limits, whilst not feeling guilty. Learning when your body is full will help you maintain when you get to target. If you'd usually have a small bowlful of pasta for example don't have a bathtub full just because it's free!
What is Extra Easy?
Extra easy is the new plan introduced in January 2009 to celebrate Slimming World's 40th birthday.
You can think of EE as a hybrid of Green and Red. You follow it in exactly the same way with a few slight changes:
- Anything that is free on Red OR Green is free on EE.
- You have ONE healthy extra A and ONE healthy Extra B. You can choose from either of the Red and Green healthy extra lists.
- The number of syns you have stay the same (between 5-15 more info below). The only difference is you take the lower syn value. If something is 6 syns on Green and 3 on Red, you count 3 syns on EE.
- It is advised that you fill your plate with 1/3 superfree foods (see above) at each meal. It is not essential, but is highly recommended.
- You must fill 1/3 of your plate with with superfree foods (i.e. fruit and veg) at each meal.
What are syns?
Syns are everything that don't fit into the category of free food or healthy extra - it's not just "treats" like chocolate, wine, sweets, biscuits etc.(although these do have a syn value). It can be things like gravy, butter, stuffing, additional Healthy Extra's like cheese, milk and bread. Syns are there so you don’t feel deprived or have to cut anything out. We all like a nice treat, whether it be a big bar of chocolate or gallons of gravy on our Sunday dinner, but too much causes weight gain.
Everything that isn’t a FF or HE has a syn number the number depends on how calorie dense it is. i.e. how many calories it has for its volume, and how quickly it turns to energy.
How many syns should I have?
Unless your consultant has told you different, aim for 15 syns a day and definitely no less than 5.
Do I need to use all my syns?
Yes! It is a myth that having little or no syns will help your weight loss. If you are having no / very few syns then you aren’t following the plan. There are several reasons to have all your syns.
You should never feel like you are giving anything up on SW, but still obeying SW’s number one rule: ‘everything in moderation’. Don’t eat for the sake of eating as this just reaffirms bad eating habits. Try mixing syns into meals, using sauces/oils, or extra health extras (each HE is approx. 6 syns)
15 syns = 300 cals
300 x 7 days = 2100 cals
In order to lose a 1lb per week you need to reduce your calorie in take by 3500cals per week in order to lose a pound (on top of your normal maintenance cals) so by not having any syns at all you will not even lose an extra pound!
Should I have them daily or weekly?
This is a debate that continues to rumble on. The official Slimming World guidelines are that you should have them daily and you can’t roll them over or save them up as this may promote ‘binge eating’. Whether saving your syns up and using them all at once, a night in the pub for example, affects your weight loss it largely down to individual circumstances.
If you want to do this all I can advise is that you keep an eye on it, if you notice a slow in your weight loss, plateaus or gains this may be the cause so maybe have a rethink.
What are Healthy Extras?
A’s and B’s 2 or 4 depending on the day. Healthy Extra’s are in the plan to make sure we get the nutrients our body needs; protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, and fat. Plus all the vitamins and minerals we need. The reason these foods are limited is because whilst they are good for us, when eaten in excess they cause weight gain – so it’s very important to measure them correctly and not to guesstimate. (Each HE is approx 6 syns if you want to have additional amounts and syn them)
Do I need to have them?
Yes! Again it is a myth that having little or no healthy extras will help your weight loss. If you are having no healthy extras then you aren’t following the plan. Not only do healthy extras help your weight loss, they provide you with all the goodness your body craves
How can I possibly lose weight eating this much?
There is a reason Slimming World is the biggest slimming club in the UK!
Slimming World have 40 years worth of amazing success helping thousands of people to lose weight, with a very clever, thoroughly thought out plan.
The ONLY way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you are taking in (having a calorific deficit). Weight Watchers, Slimming World, TFR diets and so on all do this, but in different ways.
Slimming World has done an excellent job of creating a plan where you never feel hungry or deprived, yet helping you receive a calorific deficit and lose weight - sometime without even realising.
Weight loss shouldn't seem like constant hard work. If you are seriously trying to get rid of excess weight and keep it off for life, then why do something that makes you feel miserable? As surely once the weight is off, that is if you don't get so frustrated you come off it before you've lost the weight, you go back to your old eating habits; put the weight back on; and you're right back where you started; usually with it all - and more to lose!
Which Day Should I Do?
This is completely down to personal preference. If you're a veggie or a vegan then you're probably not going to get the benefits of Red or Extra Easy - doesn't mean you can't do them though!
Everyone's body is different and will respond differently, some people swear by Red, some Green and some Extra Easy. Experiment and see what's right for you.
Some people will tell you they can lose 1st a month on Red, while some people struggle shifting a few lbs, while others will tell you Green is the way to go - as I said before everyone's body is different and will have varying results.
Do I Have to Stick to Red/Green/Extra Easy all week?
No not at all, you can have Monday: Red, Tuesday: Green, Wednesday: Green, Thursday: Extra Easy - whatever combination you want!!
All I will say is that once you have picked a plan stick to it for the entire day. There are two other plans: Mix2Max and Success Express where you can choice which plan you are on at each meal, although these plans are only advised if you have being doing SW for a while and have a solid knowledge of the main (Red, Green, EE) plans.
You can do Green, Red OR Extra Easy for the rest of eternity, and never deviate, or you can mix it up and have a different plan everyday - it's completely up to you!
If you have only been following one plan and your loss has slowed down or stopped, don't be scared to try a different plan for a few days and see if it helps
Do I need to exercise?
Part of any healthy lifestyle is exercise; however you can lose weight with Slimming World without exercise. As time goes on and you notice your loss’ slowing down or stopping, it might be time to start exercising.
Exercise doesn't mean going to the gym, even sitting at home with some baked bean tins watching the telly. Try this link for ideas to do at home.
Slimming World have their own Body Magic programme that promotes getting moving to help improve your lifestyle and weight loss.
How much is it to join a group?
It costs £14.75 to join a group; a one off £10 joining fee and £4.75 weekly fee. Keep an eye out in your local paper and the Slimming World website for offers of half price membership.
I can’t afford / don’t want to join a group, can I go it alone?
Of course you can! Many slimmers on MiniMins are going it alone. The best and most cost effective way of going it alone would be to go to a meeting once. You can get all the latest books/info and ask all your questions to someone who has been trained and is being paid to answer them! Even if you never go back it could be the best £15 you ever spend!
If you really can’t get to a meeting then you can either join BodyOptimise; Slimming World’s online version of the plan, (prices vary, see website for details) or what a lot of SW’ers on MiniMins have done is buy the books from ebay, just be aware that there is quite often a big mark up in price and although the books claim to be the latest this isn’t always the case.
You cannot get full lists of free foods/healthy extras or syns anywhere online other than through Slimming World’s official website, any site doing this is in violation of SW’s copyright and is very naughty!
How do I add award stickers to my signature?
You take the address from the Slimming World site and change the numbers.
This is the URL for whole stones:
Then change the number to which ever award you want:
Then do the same with the half awards:
Again change it to what you want;
Then to add to your signature, click this button:
Then copy and paste the address of the award you want into the pop-up box;
You’re done! Repeat for each award you want (just be aware you have a character limit)
That’s all I can think of right now, I’ll update as common themes pop up :-)
Last edited by squiddie : 4th March, 2010 at 08:39 PM Reason: Updated: 02/03/2010
Another fab post Natt! xx
Cheers hun, hopefully someone fabulous might sticky it
Fantastic post Squiddie. Thank you. X
Aah all SO helpful!!
A very good post Natt - I tried to add to you rep but I wasn't allowed, I need to find other people first!
Christmas challenge: 21 lb target, loss so far 9 lb, 12 lb to go
Ooo thanks, I like being repped, makes me feel fuzzy... like a bald peach!
You deserve that fuzzy feeling hun, I couldn't type all that info up!
That's brill Squiddie - I keep meaning to get around to writing one of these for my blog - I have a FAQ section there ready and waiting but I never seem to get around to it.
Do you think I can nab yours and put it on my site? I'll credit you of course! I'd also love to put other mini's thoughts about FAQs in the list and i'll credit everyone who contributes. xx
Well I don't have a job, or kids, or partner, or life... violins at the ready... and I just want to help
Go for it! Spread the message, I'm like Jebus without the beard... or being holy in any sense of the word what so ever...
Originally Posted by Vixxster
heh, I'm so putting that...
Originally Posted by squiddie
Originally Posted by squiddie
Isn't that a nectarine? LOL......
I tried repping you too Squiddie, but I have to spread it about a bit.......sorry love, but I have 'thanked you' for another brilliant thread - let's hope you get recognition with a 'Sticky'......X
No a nectarine is a peach that's hair fell out, I feel more like a peach who said "I know what would be fun" and shaved all their hair off!
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