Women UK take a look at Slimming World. With over 40 years in the slimming industry, it is one of the big names in the UK and seems to have stood the test of time. To be successful for this long in a pretty competitive market, you imagine it must work right?
With around 2500 consultants in the UK, slimming world is a slimming club that combines a unique diet plan with group support of a weekly weigh in and motivation. You must be a member to have access to both although you can become an online member and have access to the diet plan.
Slimming World’s unique plan is called Slimming World Food Optimising. The theory behind the plan is simple – to lose weight you need to take in fewer calories than you use up. Slimming World Food Optimising achieves this reduction in calories by encouraging clients to freely (as much as you like) eat foods that are lower in calories but high in nutrients such as pasta, lean meat, rice, fish, fruit and veg, whilst limiting calorie-packed foods that are nutrient-poor such as biscuits and wine! Pasta? I hear you say! Yes!
Where Slimming World focuses on eating lower calorie foods, this food optimising allows you to eat as much as you like and so claim you will never be hungry on a Slimming World diet. The downsize to this of course is that there is no education on portion control, wighing or measuring could lead to lead to slipping back into old habits.
The diet has three steps in which you follow
Step 1 – Choose Free Foods
Slimming World provides detailed lists of foods that can be eaten in unlimited quantities. Fresh fruit and most veg are classified as Superfree Foods because they are so low in calories. Free Foods include lean meat, chicken, fish, potatoes,rice, pasta, grains, pulses, starchy veg, eggs, fat-free dairy products, Quorn andtofu.
Step 2 – Choose Healthy Extras
In addition to Superfree and Free Foods, you are allowed Healthy Extras every day. Slimming World provide a list.
Syns is shorthand for synergy –Regardless of the plan you choose to follow, you are allowed five to 15 Syns a day. These include foods like biscuits , cakes, crisps, dressings, alcohol, ice cream, preserves, puddings, pizza, chocolate and sweets. The Syns value for some foods may vary depending on the plan you are following but as a guideline one Syn is equivalent to around 20 calories. This gives the mindset that no food is banned and so no negativity around your new diet plan!
Exercise is encouraged through ‘Body Magic’ a program that encourages 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. Your exercise plan though is not a calorie count against exercise so you don’t get to see the relationship between food and exercise.
The group support or in Slimming World terms, IMAGE (individual motivation and group experience) is the weekly meetings where you are with other dieters on the plan to share tips and ideas.
In summary, Women UK found the overall plan with Slimming World a great way for new dieters who may have limited experience or knowledge about healthy eating to make that first step into losing weight in a supportive and easy plan.