In my last post I wrote about my weight journey and announced that I was planning to start Slimming World. You can read that post here if you haven’t already. I have decided after careful deliberation that I won’t be attending the weekly Slimming World groups. I have been to a few and feel like they just aren’t for me and I don’t think I will get enough out of the session to be worth the £4.95 weekly fee. For some people, they wouldn’t have had the success they did without their weekly group meetings so for some people they are crucial. If you aren’t sure whether or not group is worth it for you I would consider going and seeing what you think.
If, like me you plan on starting your Slimming World journey alone, or you just want to try the plan to see if it’s right for you before committing, this guide should give you enough information to get on your way on the Extra Easy Plan.
I have created a simple pie chart showing the extra easy plan in a visual breakdown. The plan is made up of five sections:
- Free Food
- Speed Food
- Healthy Extra A
- Healthy Extra B
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 plan so make sure you check to ensure you are following correctly and don’t hinder your success.)
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.
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)
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 a (S) next to them are also considered speed foods. Try to make up at least a third of your meal as speed foods.
Fish is a free food and can be cooked anyway you like as long as you don’t cook it with fat. If fat is used then make sure you count the fat as a Syn.
Fish can be white fish, shellfish or 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.
Meat & Poultry
To make sure the meat and poultry you are eating is free choose the leanest cut available. Mince should be less that 5% fat for it to be considered a free food. Make sure you remove all visible fat and any skin from poultry. Fat can be added but it must be counted as a Syn. Burgers, sausages and some pre-made meatballs are usually synned and not on the free list.
- 5% of less fat mince beef
- Bacon Medallions
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. 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.
Dried pasta is free. Fresh pasta contains a syn value.
- 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)
Other Free Essentials:
- All Herbs, Spices, Vinegar,Salt & Pepper
- Mustard Powder (Jarred mustard has a syn value)
- Stock pots/cubes
- 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
- Flavoured Tea
- Diet Fizzy Drinks
- Slimline Mixers
Each day you can choose one healthy extra A and one healthy extra B.
Healthy Extra A
This includes high calcium dairy foods.
- 175ml Whole Milk
- 250ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- 300ml 1% Fat Milk
- 350ml Skimmed Milk
- 30g Cheddar
- 40g Reduced Fat Cheddar
- 2 Dairylea Light Triangles
This includes high fibre, whole grain cereals.
- 35g Porridge Oats
- 40g All Bran
- 60g Wholemeal Bread
- 2 Medium Slices Wholemeal Bread
- 1 Kingsmill Sandwich Thin
- 2 Weetabix
- 2 Alpen light Cereal Bars
(Some dried and canned food as well as nuts and seeds are also included please check for details.)
Syns are foods that are most likely to jeopardise your weight loss. Scoring foods like this and giving 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 it’s 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
- Glass of Wine – 6 Syns
- Pizza Base – 13.5 Syns
- MilkyWay – 5.5 Syns
- 25g White Chocolate – 7.0 Syns
- 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.
- 1 HEALTHY EXTRA A food.
- 1 HEALTHY EXTRA B food.
- Choose between 5-15 SYNS.
Before you start:
- Familiarise yourself with the basic concept of the plan
- 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 is stocked with all the right foods and you have used up any of the wrong foods
During the plan:
- Weigh out your Healthy Extra A & B each morning
- Plan out meals for the week
- 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!
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.
For more information on Slimming World and to find a local group visit their website here.
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**Please note this post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Slimming World or any other company. All opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional or dietitian this post relates solely to my own experience only. Whenever you make a change to your diet it is advised to seek advice from your GP. This information is not intended to replace the advice or information provided by a medical professional. If in doubt speak to a healthcare provider or dietitian. Information provided is correct to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. From time to time Slimming World change aspects of the extra easy plan which means this information may have changed, to stay up to date please refer to their website for the latest up to date information.