I first started this blog when my eldest was starting primary school. Suddenly I had time on my hands, and it gave me some freedom to start doing something for me. I began writing and attending Slimming World. I was overweight at the time, an extension of the baby weight I had gained during pregnancy that just continued to grow long after the baby was born. I’d spent four years of my life as an extension of my child, losing myself entirely. I had gained some unhealthy habits, and without a second thought, I had piled on the pounds. Slimming World was so good for me – giving me structure and a place to start with boundaries that felt supportive. I hated going to group, but I shed a lot of weight, and it didn’t take me long at all. I wrote about the plan and my journey with Slimming World, but since then, a few things have changed, so I wanted to update things and refresh my Slimming World Guide for 2023. Don’t forget to keep scrolling for your free printable!
Before we get started, I just want to remind you that Soph-obsessed is not affiliated or associated in any way with any weight loss plan. I don’t work for them, and I am merely sharing my first-hand experiences. I personally think we should normalise people wanting to lose weight and become healthier if they choose to do so, but here at Soph-obsessed, we are very much focused on health first. Before starting any weight loss journey, it is always recommended that you speak to a doctor or health provider to ensure that you have the best support suited to your individual health needs.
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Slimming World Guide For 2023 – What Is Slimming World?
Slimming World is a well-known weight loss program established as far back as 196. It has grown to become one of the largest and most successful weight loss plans in the country. The program revolves around a flexible eating plan that promotes healthy eating habits and sustainable weight loss. It employs a unique food optimisation system, assigning “Syn” values to foods to indicate their energy density and filling capacity. Members are encouraged to select low Syn foods that are nutrient-dense and filling, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. The program focuses on the importance of cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients and avoiding processed foods with hidden fats. Support and guidance are available through weekly group meetings led by trained consultants.
When you first join Slimming World, it can seem like a lot of information to understand in one go. That’s why I have created this Slimming World guide for 2023. Once you fully understand the principles of the plan, it is really easy and straight forward to follow.
Slimming World Guide For 2023 – The Plan
Before you get started with Slimming World, don’t forget to head to my Slimming World Essentials post to find a list of all the things I find helpful when following the plan.
The great thing about Slimming World and how it differs from other popular weight loss plans like calorie counting is the little need to weigh and measure. Now that is a blanket statement because, yes, certain things do need to be measured; however, the main bulk of what you will be eating can be served without the need for scales – which is always a win.
I have created a simple pie chart showing a visual breakdown of the plan. It’s made up of five sections referred to as:
- Free Food
- Speed Food
- Healthy Extra A
- Healthy Extra B
Weight loss can be lonely alone – if you want some support and company, then join my FREE Facebook Group HERE.
Foods that fall under the free food category require no weighing or measuring and are yours to enjoy. They should make up the main portion of your meal and consist of:
- Meat & Poultry
- Dairy Products
- Meat Replacement Products
- Beans & Lentils
(Not everything that falls under these categories is on the plan, so make sure you check to ensure you are following correctly and don’t hinder your success.) Dried pasta boiled in water is free – BUT most fresh pasta is not. Dried rice cooked in water is free, BUT most packet rice that you microwave is not. It is always best to refer to your up-to-date Slimming World Guide for 2023 – (or the year you are joining to check what is excluded from this list.
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Pretty much all fresh and frozen fruit is free. Cooked, canned and dried fruit are categorised under Healthy Extras and puree fruit; any fruit juices or smoothies are classed as Syns. It is important you log these correctly; otherwise, you could be deviating from the plan and hindering your weight loss unsuspectedly!
Examples of Free Fruit:
- Apples (S)
- Blackberries (S)
- Clementines (S)
- Grapefruit (S)
- Kiwi Fruit
- Melon (S)
- Nectarines (S)
- Oranges (S)
- Pears (S)
- Plums (S)
- Raspberries (S)
- Satsuma (S)
- Strawberries (S)
- Tangerines (S)
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Most vegetables are also free this includes fresh and frozen.
- Baby Sweetcorn (S)
- Bean Sprouts (S)
- Beetroot (S)
- Broccoli (S)
- Cabbage (S)
- Carrots (S)
- Cauliflower (S)
- Celery (S)
- Chillies (S)
- Cucumber (S)
- Green Beans (S)
- Garlic (S)
- Leeks (S)
- Lettuce (S)
- Onions (S)
- Peppers (S)
- Spinach (S)
- Spring Greens (S)
- Tomatoes (S)
(Peas are categorised under Beans & Lentils)
Fruits and vegetables with an (S) next to them are also considered speed foods. You want a third of your meal to consist of speed foods.
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Meat, Poultry & Fish
You always want to be choosing lean meat, and mince should be 5% or less fat. You need to remove all visible fat and skin from poultry. Burgers, sausages and some pre-made meatballs are usually synned and not on the free list. Fish is a free food and can be cooked any way you like as long as you don’t cook it with fat. Fat can be added when cooking, but it must be logged and counted as part of your ‘Syn’ allowance. This is a Slimming World Guide for 2023, but some information can change, so always check direct for the latest information.
- 5% or Less – Fat Mince Beef
- Bacon Medallions
- Oily fish. *Slimming World recommend you try to eat at least two portions of fish a week and one portion of oily fish a week.
If you don’t eat meat or you incorporate meat replacement into your diet, some examples of free products are:
- Quorn Mince
- Quorn Meat pieces
Eggs are free on extra easy and can be cooked how you like, but if you add fat, remember it needs to be classed as a ‘syn’.
Rice is a free food as long as it is cooked without fat. Packet rice often has a syn value, so check in advance to be sure.
Related Post: Quick, Easy, Egg-Fried Rice
Dried pasta is free. Fresh pasta contains a syn value due to the additional oils it contains, which help keep it moist!
Other examples of free grains include:
- Dried noodles
Beans, Peas & Lentils are also all free.
- Fat Free Natural Fromage Frais
- Fat-Free Natural Yogurt
- Low Fat Cottage Cheese
(Certain flavoured varieties of the above can have a ‘syn’ value, so please check your current book)
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OTHER FREE ESSENTIALS:
- All Herbs, Spices, Vinegar, Salt & Pepper
- Mustard Powder (Jarred mustard has a syn value)
- Soy & Oyster Sauce
- Sweetener (granulated sweetener can be considered a syn value, so please check.)
- Fat-free dressing
- Tomato Puree (containing no oil)
- Low-Calorie Cooking Spray
- Mint Sauce (no added sugar)
- Tea without milk – milk has to be ‘synned’ or part of your healthy extra
- Flavoured Tea
- Coffee without milk – milk has to be ‘synned’ or part of your healthy extra.
- Diet Fizzy Drinks
- Slimline Mixers
I really recommend using herbs and spices to cook with to add additional flavours. The foods we are used to eating and processed food contain fats and other flavourings that, when we remove them, can make food taste bland and boring. Seasoning is your friend – use it and enjoy it but check everything is actually free food or log it!
Each day you can choose two healthy extra A’s and one healthy extra B.
HEALTHY EXTRA A
This includes high-calcium dairy foods. It may be referred to as HEX A. These figures are subject to change, so as always, check your book first. This allowance can be used throughout the day in your recipes, cups of tea or coffee or over your breakfast cereal.
- 200ml Whole Milk
- 250ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- 300ml 1% Fat Milk
- 350ml Skimmed Milk
- 400ml Skimmed Goats Milk
- 275ml semi-skimmed goats mil
- 200ml whole goats milk
- 400ml soya drink, plain and unsweetened, with added calcium
- 400ml Alpro coconut drink, unsweetened, chilled
- 325ml Alpro oat drink, unsweetened, long life.
- 30g Cheddar
- 45g Feta
- 40g Reduced Fat Cheddar
- 2 Dairylea Light Triangles
Lactose-free milk and other milk alternatives are also included, as are other cheeses, but best to check the details directly.
HEALTHY EXTRA B
Your Healthy B is all about fibre. Again this can be used throughout the day or all at once, your choice. It is sometimes referred to as a HEX B. These figures are subject to change, so as always, check your book first.
- 40g Porridge Oats
- 40g All Bran
- 60g Wholemeal Bread
- 2 Medium Slices of Wholemeal Bread
- 1 Warbutons Multiseeded Gluten Free Sandwich Thin
- 1 Wholemeal Roll (approx 60g)
- 2 Weetabix
- 2 Shredded Wheat
- 2 Alpen Light Cereal Bars
Some cooked fruit and nuts can also be counted as your Healthy Extra B, but best to check directly to ensure accurate information for your specific requirement; some examples:
- 50g of Dried Apple
- 50g Prunes
- 250g Canned Pears
- 300g Cooking Apples (cooked weight)
- 200g Strawberries (cooked weight)
- 20g Almonds 25g Flaked Almonds
- 25 Hazelnuts
- 35 Unsalted Peanuts
Syns are foods that are most likely to jeopardise your weight loss. Slimming World scores these foods and gives them a Syn value means we can still enjoy them in the right way. Some people eat their syn allowance each day, and that is what Slimming World recommend. Other people, though, have had success and weight loss by combining remaining syns and using them on, say, a weekend for a treat. It’s up to you how you use this allowance. Find what works best for you. It’s recommended you choose between 5 & 15 syns a day. There are lots of resources online to find out what constitutes a syn and its value, but a few examples are:
- 1 Level tsp Butter – 2 Syns
- 30g Bag Doritos – 7.5 Syns
- 1 Level tbsp Mayonnaise – 5.0 Syns
- A glass of Wine – 6 Syns
- Pizza Base – 13.5 Syns
- MilkyWay – 5.5 Syns
- 25g White Chocolate – 7.0 Syns
Of course, as with all the figures, these are subject to change, and it is always best to refer to your book or Slimming World directly for the most up-to-date information.
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Slimming World Guide For 2023 –
Each day you can have the following:
- As much FREE food as you want. No measuring, weighing or calorie counting.
- A third of each meal should be made up of SPEED food.
- 2 HEALTHY EXTRA A food choices
- 1 HEALTHY EXTRA B food choice
- Choose between 5-15 SYNS each day
Before you start:
- Familiarise yourself with the basic concept of the plan – it’s a lot to get your head around, so don’t feel overwhelmed!
- Make sure you have all the information easily available! (You will be referring to it A LOT at first)
- Make sure your cupboards and fridge are stocked with all the right foods, and you have used up any of the wrong foods – those first few days of temptation can be hard better to remove it entirely.
During the plan:
- Weigh out your Healthy Extra A & B each morning
- Plan out meals for the week – including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
- Keep a diary of what you eat each day (download the free printable below)
- Weigh yourself once a week ONLY, or else the results will not be accurate, and you will drive yourself crazy!
I hope you found this Slimming World Guide for 2023 useful. Slimming World is a great plan for anyone wanting structure to begin their weight journey. It is an easy weight loss plan to incorporate into daily life and doesn’t require a whole different shopping budget or a separate fridge!
To help keep on track, I have created a free printable diary for you to log everything you are eating; you can download this here: FREE PRINTABLE. Print out a new one for each day of the week and keep track of your progress.
If you want further support and company on your weight loss journey, join my free Facebook Group here. If you have found this website and articles useful and you’d like to know how you can say thank you, then I am always appreciative to receive a virtual coffee here.
For more information on Slimming World and to find a local group visit their website here.
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