Slimming World is not a diet, in actual fact, it is a healthy eating plan, it is a way of life. That is why there are over 900,000 members attending groups each and every week, losing weight and feeling great.
Like most diets or healthy eating plans, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around the plan and even more around the foods that you can and can’t eat. You would have been told that some foods you can eat, but as soon as you do something different with them, then they have a syn value, sounds crazy, but in some cases it is true, especially because it can be easy to overindulge in a food that has been changed, a perfect example would be fruit, you can eat them and they are syn free, great.
Now if you decide to make a smoothie out of the fruit, it has to be syn’ed, why? Simple because you can overindulge in it and the natural sugars in the fruit mean that it will take you off plan quickly.
I wanted to write about some of the Slimming World myths and misconceptions that I have heard, read about or been asked. I will be honest, there are some very far-fetched ones, but there are some really very believable ones that even the experienced Slimming World follower may fall for, hopefully, I can answer some of those myths and confirm what is and is not true.
Slimming World Myths
1. I’ve been told that I haven’t lost weight because I haven’t eaten enough – could this be true?
In some ways yes that is correct, but that doesn’t mean start having larger portions, what it actually means is something a lot simpler. You need to Food Optimise better, you need to eat more Free and Superfree foods, don’t forget the basics of the all-important 1/3 of a plate of Superfree Food for all meals.
If you stick to the basics of what should be on your plate, then it should kick your weight loss back into shape, mainly because you’ll be filling up more on this super-satisfying food and using your syns for the bad foods.
2. Are Fruit Smoothie’s, Couscous Cake, Smash Pizzas and Lasagne-sheet ‘Doritos’ Free?
Like I said at the start if you eat foods, but then decide to change them, these can seriously affect, so Fruit Smoothie’s, Couscous Cake, Smash Pizzas and Lasagne-sheet ‘Doritos’ are NOT Free.
You may be asking why? Well it is simple, you are changing the use of food and this can make it easier to over-eat, so to protect your weight loss they are syn’ed!!
When you use foods such as pasta, rice and grains in their original form, they’re low in energy density (calories). Pasta, couscous and rice are usually the main bulk to most meals and you should then pack the rest of the meal out with Free and Superfree foods. This should then give you sufficient bulk to be a satisfying meal in itself.
When you start using other foods such as couscous in a cake or Smash to thicken a sauce or pasta sheets to make Doritos style crisps or fruit to make a smoothie, it changes the original use of the food, meaning that it is easy to overeat them. Fruit contains a lot of natural sugar, so when you eat a piece of fruit it’s fine, but as soon as you make it into a smoothie, you need to use a lot more, so the natural sugars really mount up, so now it needs to be syn’ed. Pasta sheets into Doritos, so easy to overeat, these HAVE to be syn’ed.
It is a very effective way of adding a lot of extra calories in a non-bulky way, so they need to be counted as Syns.
3. Is the Scan Bran Cake really be just 1 Syn per slice?
First of all, I’m not a fan of Scan Bran, I have tried it, don’t like it, so don’t eat it at all. If you are using Scan Bran, in my opinion, you must be very inventive to make it taste nice, especially in a cake. You may be thinking, well the whole Scan Bran cake is only 10 syns. Well, that is not quite true.
If you are making a Scan Bran cake, you need to look at the syns for it, as when you use Scan Bran like this, it MUST be syn’ed.
You can have 5 Scan Bran and they are counted as 1 Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice or 1 Syn per slice. If you’ve counted some of the Scan Bran you’ve used as a Healthy Extra, it will need counting as Syns once it’s cut up – unless you’re eating the lot!
When you are making a cake, you need additional ingredients such as Cocoa, Some Spread, Milk, Jam, Honey, these all add up on the syn front.
4. You can’t save your Syns up for a night out at the weekend!
Oh yes, you can!! You can save up your syns and use them up on the weekend BUT that would mean that you may be depriving yourself of syns throughout the week, but if you can do this, then go ahead. Make sure it is not the night before weigh in. If you’re worried about messing up part way through, there is an alternative and that is to be flexible with your Syns.
Your weight loss may be smaller, but you could also achieve some really good weigh losses if you do avoid the feeling of deprivation.
5. My muscles will turn to fat if I stop exercising!
Now, this is just a silly thing to think. Muscle will NOT turn into fat, fat and muscle are two vastly different things and both have very different functions, so that means that one can’t turn into the other. If you stop exercising you will lose strength and/or size of the muscle, you may also lose the metabolic benefits as well (this is the rate that your body burns fat).
The ideal scenario is to gradually add more activity into your lifestyle, that can be going for a walk in the evening if you had a dog then take the dog out, start an activity such as swimming or even the gym. If you do miss one time, then don’t beat yourself up, it is not a failure at all.
The most important thing is to find a way to overcome what stopped you and get back into your routine.
6. Is there such a thing as the Slimmer’s Plateau?
The quick and simple answer is NO, but actually, the full answer is a little more complicated. There are a lot of Slimming World members find that after Food Optimising for several weeks or even months, they get to a point where the weight loss reaches a sticking point, you just don’t seem to be able to get rid of those last few pounds, you could be maintaining most weeks.
You know what, we have all been there. I certainly have and it can be hard to get out of that feeling, but I do have a solution.
Firstly, remember that it’s not unusual for weight losses to be inconsistent week after week. All sorts of factors can affect our weight from the time of day the weigh-in takes place, the number of clothes you are wearing, differences in fluid retention etc.
This is why it is recommended you get weighed just once a week at around the same time, and wearing similar clothes… or none at all (although that might be frowned upon in groups!!). Seeing weight loss over, say, a month gives it a much better guide to our progress.
Weight loss does generally slow down after the first few weeks too – where you might have experienced 5, 6, 7 or even 8lbs losses. Weight loss should generally settle to a steady rate as the body adjusts to your new way of eating and body fat is lost.
If you have tried the above and are still in the Slimming Plateau, then I would then look making a SHOCK change to the body, shock the system into thinking something has happened. Depending upon which plan you follow (Red, Green, Extra Easy), for a week, switch it up to one of the others. Your body will be wondering what is going on and it will kick the weight loss back into action. Even try increasing the amount of Superfree foods you are eating as well, see if they help.
7. Slimming World Food Optimising
After Food Optimising for a while, it’s also easy for little habits to sneak in, especially if you have a family, things such as to lick the lid of the kid’s creamy yoghurt pot, to finish off the leftover oven chips, to be a little too generous with your Healthy Extra portions. No matter how positive we are that we’re Food Optimising 100%, sometimes sneaky Syns creep in and can play havoc with our weight loss.
The groups and members have a wealth of motivational tools to help you discover if any little habits might be scuppering your weight loss, and overcome them to get you back on track, so whatever might be causing you to think ‘plateau’, take advantage of all the support offered in group, because you’ll be back on track in no time.
Hopefully, these Slimming World Myths have helped show you some of the pitfalls that you may have fallen into. I know for sure that I have succumbed to some of them. Let me know what you think of the Slimming World Myths.
And what are some of the key secrets?
Members are urged to continue to plan ahead as well as being helped to identify the foods, situations and emotions that could trigger past habits and then develop strategies to overcome these challenges.
And with target members attending classes for free as long as they stay within a few pounds of their new weight, it means the extra help costs members nothing.
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos says: “When we set ourselves a weight-loss goal and achieve it, it’s natural to want to celebrate – and we deserve to as well!
“However, it’s important to recognise that losing weight is only the start of a new healthy lifestyle and that maintaining weight loss can bring a new set of challenges.
“In order to avoid becoming trapped in the yo-yo diet cycle, it’s so important to approach weight loss as a permanent change – from the outset if possible – and focus on developing new healthy habits that are sustainable in the long term as well as getting support to make those changes.”