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SW HQ's reply today on Cous Cous and cake!!

MrsBabyCakes

Naughty Fridge Picker
#1
Setting the cat amongst the pigeons this is the reply I got today!!

Dear N****

Thank you for your email, I hope the following helps clear the position for you. If you use cous cous to make a cake it would have a syn value.


Make sure our members know, if you follow the plan (any Food Optimising plan) 100% you will lose weight!

What if members are changing the plan?

Our members can be quite creative when it comes to finding “healthier” substitutes for their favouurite meals and snacks, yet this can spell disaster for their weight loss!

Tweaking the plan changes the spirit of Food Optimising and could result in members adding lots more Syns to their day without even realising! This is how members could be changing the plan and getting it wrong…

Making snacks like “Slimming World doritos” from lasagne sheets, quiche using pasta in sauce, and cake from couscous or chickpeas: Although the main ingredients for these recipes are a Free Food they have to be counted as Syns because they’re easy to overeat without realising. When these foods are used in their intended form they’re bulky and usually the main ingredient of a meal along with other satisfying Free or Superfree Foods. This is when you would gain the greatest satiety from these foods. In essence eating them in this ‘snack’ form encourages members to eat more calories without the satisfaction of a filling, healthy meal and this could be jeopardising their weight losses. It’s an effective way of adding a lot of extra calories in a non-bulky, non-satisfying way. To protect members’ weight loss we would always recommend when using these products in this way to count them as Syns.

Kind regards

Beverly

Support Services
This is in reply to the email I sent them:

Dear Sir/Madam

There seems to be a great deal of confusion amongst not only your consultants, but also your syns helpline, each giving conflicting advice.

There are many delicious recipes online that include the use of cous Cous. To clarify, the cous cous is used in its normal manner, its not ground down. It is made with water as it normally would be, and then used in a cake recipe.

The books say it should be syned if used as a flour alternative, however this definition seems to have caused a great deal of confusion. Some consultants are taking this to literally mean, that cous cous cannot be used, in anyway shape or form, without it being syned. Some consultants however, are saying that if its not ground down, like a flour, then it is syn free to use it in a cake, as long as it is made in the usual way. Also your syn helpline has caused much the same confusion over this.

I would appreciate some clarification on this matter.

If I make up the cous cous in the normal way with water, and then use it to make cake, do I syn it? Or is the use of it in this manner Syn free?

I post on a weight loss forum, where this is causing some confusion, and it would help all the members knowing a definitive answer.

Thanks for your help and clarification in this matter.
 
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#2
It’s an effective way of adding a lot of extra calories in a non-bulky, non-satisfying way.

I just ate some and it was very satisfying lol.................I have synned it though!
 
#3
I like how they haven't commented on how they will tackle the issue of conflicting advice from consultants etc. This is the main problem here.

I have made some of the cakes in the past, but mainly for special occasions etc, it is not something I would make regularly and certainly not something I have ever overindulged on. I still dont think I would syn it, as long as I am limiting myself with it.

The next thing to happen, will be quark used in cheesecakes, quiches etc, will also no longer be free and I dread to think what else. Eggs?? lol
 

Circes

Strutting her stuff
#5
I have to say that I agree with this reply and was always a bit surprised by their earlier reply that said it was still free if made up with water. To my mind the acid test is to ask yourself if you would be using this food in this way if you were not on SW? Would you be using cous cous to make a cake - I seriously doubt it!

But I absolutely agree that they need to tackle these misconceptions and ensure that consultants are giving the same message. They also need to look to their own staff though as the previsou reply from HQ completely contradicted what this person has said!
 
#6
I think this reply makes most sense. I have never understood how people can't see that the couscous in the cake is being used as an alternative to flour. I would never eat it without synning it.
I usually keep out of the couscous cake debates because it is divisive and SW don't help when their consultants vary in their advice.
 

jodidi

Silver Member
#7
I to agree with their reply I can totally see where they are coming from. But why do they keep contradicting themselves. One reply says "yes it is free if it is made up with water as intended, then if you choose to add sweet or savoury flavourings that is your choice " But now its not free. When I used to work the big problem I noticed in companies was that there was very poor communication. The right hand didnt know what the left was doing. I think this is the problem here. This is obviously a big problem and SW need to address this in their staff meetings. I also think that they need to reassess how they word things in the food optimising book.

I hope they dont make quark synned :eek: when used as a cheesecake etc. If they start doing stupid things like this it wont go down too well with the members.
 

suepat10

I am one of the 63336
#8
I was in a really grumpy mood this morning so I emailed SW and have had a good whinge about all the contradictions. Not just over the cous cous cake (though I did point out that the emails with contradictory answers had come from them) but also the things consultants have said that contradict what other ones say. I've had 3 consultants in the last 12 months and they have all said different things on using your syns etc.

I'll probably get a years ban from SW :p xx
 
#9
I don't get this as when you use th couscous in the cake it is swelled with the water and then the cooking process causes it to swell further ,therefore probably being THE most filling cous cous could probably be??
I had one slice (1/8) and tbh I felt bloated from it ,therefore it is not easier to consume.
 
#10
Well done Suepat! I await their reply with anticipation.
As for SW's couscous cakegate reply, even the powers that be can't agree because they told brightonrosie (I think) something completely different!
 

malaika

Lover of Extra Easy
#11
Sorry, but I really don't get the logic behind SW saying it should be syned anyway.
The amount you use in a cake is the same or less than I do with a meal, and with the other ingredients it really bulks it out.
As robsterswife said it is pretty filling.
I always make 2 small loaves with 4oz of couscous, and even when I do nibble at it a lot it lasts at least 3 days.
SW would be right if one would eat the whole cake in one go, as well as meals but that is not really realistic.
I often have couscous cake, counted it as free and it has never effected my weight loss.
 
#12
I can understand the problem. I think they are trying to discourage people using free foods to make snacks etc, where you might be inclined to overindulge. Some people have the willpower not to, but there are some that don't and a slice of cake, can easily become a whole cake. So they have to make the rule for everyone. (Although as we have noticed one consultant from the next, seems to be giving conflicting advice)

I don't see the problem if we are using our free foods as part of a filling meal. There is no "law" that says a free food must be cooked in a certain way, it would be pretty boring if it was.
 

malaika

Lover of Extra Easy
#13
Britmum you are right. Perhaps SW should consider advising members that though food is free it should be eaten in moderation.
Muller lights are free, but eating 10 a day, for example is overkill!
 
#14
I'm sure I read on someones post recently that apparently it says in the front of the SW book that the first rule of fight club.. oops i mean SW (!) is everything in moderation lol
To be fair even if that moderation is cheating on your syns and inoring advice about couscous the diet should still work, it might just work a little slower!
 
#15
Sorry, but I really don't get the logic behind SW saying it should be syned anyway.
The amount you use in a cake is the same or less than I do with a meal, and with the other ingredients it really bulks it out.
As robsterswife said it is pretty filling.
I always make 2 small loaves with 4oz of couscous, and even when I do nibble at it a lot it lasts at least 3 days.
SW would be right if one would eat the whole cake in one go, as well as meals but that is not really realistic.
I often have couscous cake, counted it as free and it has never effected my weight loss.
Arghhh Ive changed my mind now, I agree with malaika, lol! Why shouldnt it be free as you are using it in a normal way. I made one and it was so heavy there was no way I could eat it all. If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty, should any foods be free foods because all have the potential to be over eaten. Dont shoot me (ducks down) Im just making the point that this is silly. Where do you draw the line. I love SW because I dont have to weigh and measure stuff and I can enjoy healthy food, guilt free. Be me wonders how long this will last :(.
 
#16
If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty, should any foods be free foods because all have the potential to be over eaten.

I absolutely agree...well said and puts the whole thing into perpective!!!

I often use 42g of Albran (Healthy B) to make a cake with.
I add a few other bits and bobs (free foods) and some mincemeat (synned)
I am not eating the cereal as it is intended, however, I don't see a problem with this and I don't see why it should be synned because of it.
I know this maybe slightly to different to 'free food' but to me its the same principle.

If you were going to have some cous cous with a meal or in a cake, what difference does it make.

SW was never like this. It used to be so simple and dare I say it, I used to have much better results! The free food was what attracted people to the diet. Now its just a headache!!
I wish I had kept all my books from (20) years ago, and just stuck to those!!! lol
 

Brightonrosie

I want to be fitter again
#17
Hey they will be banning rice pudding next !! if this is how they want it, they should state that free foods are for main meals only and any desserts need to be synned unless they are fruit !!
 
#18
Hey they will be banning rice pudding next !! if this is how they want it, they should state that free foods are for main meals only and any desserts need to be synned unless they are fruit !!
Dont say that, I've just made one :eek:! I was actually thinking the same thing as I was making it. Then I started to question whether I'd made too much or whether I should be making it!

SW was never like this. It used to be so simple and dare I say it, I used to have much better results! The free food was what attracted people to the diet. Now its just a headache!!


Hear Hear

This is not what SW is about. Its about free foods, no messing, no weighing. Its about choice power, putting you in control of food, not the other way around. This is what makes it different from other diets! At least that is what I thought it was about! It just seems to be getting more complicated.
 
#19
SW was never like this. It used to be so simple and dare I say it, I used to have much better results! The free food was what attracted people to the diet. Now its just a headache!!


It just seems to be getting more complicated.
I'm afraid I disagree a little. SW is easy and is not a headache. The headache comes when we try to find alternatives to things which we cannot freely have, like cake.

There are so many wonderful free foods to eat in the way in which they were intended.
You get 15 syns, use them, for REAL cake :D
 
#20
I'm afraid I disagree a little. SW is easy and is not a headache. The headache comes when we try to find alternatives to things which we cannot freely have, like cake.

There are so many wonderful free foods to eat in the way in which they were intended. :D
Yeah I see where your coming from there, I suppose if we synned the real cake we would eat a normal portion. But if we make substitutes we can overeat just because its free. Thats where "everything in moderation" comes into play. I do follow what SW say because they must say it for a reason. Tho they need to get their stories straight and stick to it.