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Syns - Newbie not really getting it

Hi guys,

I started slimming world on Monday and while I'm liking how I don't feel restricted on it at all I am also confused by it, especially in regards to syns.

I enjoy eating healthy so it's been easy for me to use few if any syns the last few days however I keep seeing people saying that it's important to use them. I just don't understand how i'm ever going to lose weight if I do that. I mean, I could technically eat a chocolate bar every day (and would if I believed I could still lose weight, trust me) but I just do not understand how this could possibly be justified as part of a diet.

Can someone please explain this to me? Do SW just assume people won't do that or something? Ahhh! Confuuuused!
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Hi Shutterbugsmile. welcome to Slimming World and Minimins!

Regarding syns, SW do indeed expect you to use your syns and stipulate you should use a minimum of 5 per day and a maximum of 15.

Syn is short for 'synergy' and refers to the fact that food optimising consists of three parts - free foods, healthy extras and syns, all working together to create a good weight loss.

Each syn represents only 20 calories so 5 syns is only 100 and 15 is 300 calories. Part of the reason why their there is so you don't feel deprived and can stick to plan over the long term.

So if you want to eat a chocolate bar every day and have the syns left to do it, go right ahead! The experiences of SWers on here should reassure you that you can eat your syns and still shed the pounds so go for it. You have only the weight to lose. Good luck!
Its also worth noting that you don't need to use your syns on naughty food. You could cook with olive oil (6 syns a tablespoon) or have avacado or nuts. All healthy oils but fairly synful on SW. You could also use it for a bit more cheese, or an extra slice of bread & a million other things that aren't chocolate!
Yeah - despite my 'you don't have to usr syns on chocolate' post i am similar to HH in that i use most of mine on chocolate
& wine. I've lost over 2stt so far.


Put the kettle on
At the risk of sounding like some muppet, sw is less of a 'diet' and more of a way of eating healthy for life. Its showing that in the long run yes you can have a bar of chocolate a day, as long as what you eat the rest of that day is sensible healthy food.

I think diets over the years have got so ridiculous, and us following them all have completely forgotten what it is to just eat normally and healthy. So when we see sw that lets us actually eat 'normal food' like potatoes, and then see we can have 'treats' on it too, we see at as madness! When really its probably the best way to go about it. Ill stop rambling now!!


bye bye baby tummy
I agree why do you sound like a muppet?

Also if you don't eat x amount of calories in a day your body will begin storing fat!

by using the syns it helps to ensure you eat enough Calories to keep your matabolism going
didnt know about the 20 Calories thing! Thats really good to know! I started this yesterday.... red day today... but i will be making sure i have my allowance of syns XD


bye bye baby tummy
Also I am simular in my meals i dont use syns reallyIf i do it might be upto 3 which is nothing, my snacks tend to be fruit which again is fab but then you have to think about how to use your syns...

I find they are my fun money to spend on foods i really enjoy feeling I have a treat each day
I had 9 stone to lose at the beginning, with will take me over a year, if I didn't know that some things I could have if I planned for them then I could have a binge,and stay off the wagon!

Also a diet completely devoid of any fats is not good for your gut think of it as greasing the path, your bowel is a vital organ, it needs bulk, water, a little fat, and plant fibre for it to work healthily.
So a syn or two from low fat spread, or a chocky bar or mayo will not harm your weight loss.

Actually I think that people sabotage their own weightloss by thinking they know how to do it better than the plan!


Full Member
The weeks that I had my best losses were the weeks that I made a real effort to have my syns. Our consultant compares weight loss to a fire, if you don't put enough fuel in the stove (your body) then the fire will die out. The psychology of syns is important as well because you never have to feel deprived on SW which as us serial dieters will know, as soon as you deprive yourself of something you want it soooooo much more and end up binging!
I'm with the OP - I'm not a natural snacker and it would never occur to me to have chocolate, bread or crisps every day. I use my syns for things like crème fraiche, pastry, mayonnaise, gravy, more healthy extras because I follow Extra Easy, smoothies, Yorkshire puddings, chicken with skin as opposed to with it removed. I much prefer to work my syns into my meals than to have them as snacks. Also, I try not to eat anything - even fruit! - between meals because it's so bad for your teeth to graze constantly.


Better to Drink your Syns
I use my syns for either wine, gin, salad dressings, and the odd jar of premade sauce to make a quick and easy meal.
I thought/think the syns are there because people will cheat on a diet and then feel awful and then maybe lose the will power to continue. We got overweight because our eating habits are just that habits and if the diet says no crisps and we love crisps then we are never sticking to that diet but if diet says we can have half a bag of crisps then we are more likely to stick with it as it's not complete cold turkey.

Sent from my iPad2 using MiniMins
I know what you mean, I started last Friday and on Monday really struggled (can you believe it) to get rid of my 15 syns! I know now that I can have between 5-8 and that is okay. Can you save any syns up for the weekend?

Also, I have been eating the dried rice n veg or dried pasta for my lunches and find these very filling, is this okay?
I know now that I can have between 5-8 and that is okay. Can you save any syns up for the weekend?
Yes, 5-8 Syns a day is fine. You are recommended to have at least 5, and no more than 15, each day.

It's not in the plan to carry over Syns, although some people do do it. Technically, that is not really sticking to plan though. You would probably be better to have a Flexi Syn day/meal if you know you're likely to use more than 15 Syns. If you do a search on Minimins, or go on the Slimming World website, you can find out the full details/"rules" of Flexi Syns.

Also, I have been eating the dried rice n veg or dried pasta for my lunches and find these very filling, is this okay?
Yes, that is fine. But if you're following Extra Easy you must remember the 1/3rd SuperFree rule which is an essential part of following the plan.
it actually says in the most recent advice on the sw website that yes it is absolutely okay to save your syns if you want to

Check out the myths and misconceptions article :)

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