After telling myself, every Monday, that this was the week I would finally start eating healthily, and by Tuesday find myself surrounded by empty chocolate and guilt, I decided to take the plunge and join Slimming World.
I grabbed a (semi-) willing friend and we nervously ventured to our first meeting. Honestly? It was weird. And a little overwhelming. But I was excited to start and the more I read about the food I could eat, the happier I felt. In fact, there wasn’t really anything I couldn’t eat, and for someone who is motivated by things I can’t have, this was a huge relief!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept behind Slimming World, the very basic version is that there are a lot of food that are ‘free’. Not monetarily sadly (why does healthy food cost so much?!), but in terms of ‘Syns’, which is Slimming World’s way of keeping track of the slightly less-“good” things you eat. I have mixed feeling about Syns because I think it makes them sound evil. You are ‘allowed’ 5-15 Syns a day, and these can come from things such as bread, and cooking sauces, or just treats like wine and chocolate. This ensures you are getting enough calories to, y’know, survive, but also that you are not feeling deprived of the things that make you feel good.
You can eat as much ‘free’ food as you like. This is generally fruit and veg and the usual things you’d expect. The idea is that you should never feel hungry as you can snack on these things. There are also a whole load of meal ideas that you can make that are free/low on Syns, leaving you free to enjoy some treats. It’s a little more complex than that, but generally, that’s the deal.
Slimming World has encouraged me to cook new things, and the first time I made hand-made burgers I was amazed at how good they tasted – I am a cooking Godess (sort of!). I also made Syn-free chips which actually ended up tasting better than the usual oven chips we tend to buy. Steven is loving it!
I managed to make a Big Mac in a Bowl which, although not quite as delicious as a real Big Mac, was a pretty good compromise, and I even tried the famous Diet Coke chicken – surprisingly way tastier than it sounds!
We even managed to go to Frankie & Bennies and have a low-Syn meal!
The real saviours for me have been Muller Light yoghurts. They are Syn free (except a few flavours but I prefer the free ones anyway), and make such a good breakfast on the go, or even a sweet treat in the afternoon. It also helps a lot that they are on offer at the moment so our fridge is FULL!
Diet drinks are Syn free so I’ve been able to have a Diet Coke in the afternoon when I would usually fill myself up with sweet and/or chocolate to give me a boost. I also have a small pack of Rainbow Drops which are only a few Syns, and are 9packs for £1 in Poundland! Perfect for fulfilling my sweet tooth without feeling guilty or spending money at the shop!
Mini Milk ice-lollies are low on Syns too and so you don’t have to feel left out when everyone else is eating ice cream (not that it’s really the weather for it right now…) and there are a whole range of desserts, mousses etc that can be made low of Syns.
So far, I’ve lots 4.5lbs in two weeks, which is a nice steady loss. It’s made me think more about the food I eat, and I’ve paired it with walking (mostly to the shops but still!) and hot yoga.
I even managed to resist everyone in the office getting McDonalds at lunch today.
If I can do that, I can do anything!