Hello you beautiful lot you ❤
Okay, so, I have spoken about fitness motivation, losing weight and being body confident a few times on this blog, however, I now have a new update for you guys.. I bit the bullet and joined Slimming World. I know. WILD. But hey, I thought I would share it with you guys and give my thoughts on it so far and how I have been doing!
So, I joined Slimming World 2 months ago now, so I have been living and breathing it for a little while, I am in no way saying I am an expert, but I feel like I have gotten to grips with it and seem to understand it a bit, so why not share ey? Sharing is caring 😉 So I thought I would take you through what all of the food bits mean, what kind of exercise I have been doing and what I have found the most challenging, so you can get a more clear picture of what it’s like away from the Slimming World reps who will push the happiness and positivity till the end of time.. so yeah, here are my honest thoughts and experiences on Slimming World so far and what I think of it. If you are super interested in what the meals look like and what kinda snacks and treats you are allowed then I have made a healthy eating Instagram account so you can pop over and check that out 🙂
~ My weight journey.. ~
I thought I’d give you a bit of background about my weight just so you can understand more why I have now tried Slimming World. My weight has always fluctuated, much like everyones, but from my first year of university till now it has been a very up and down road. I gained a LOT of weight in my first year of uni, and continued gaining and losing weight throughout my final years of university too. It has only really been over the past 3 years ish that I have started exercising more, eating a bit healthier and losing weight more often than gaining, which is okay I guess, but I basically want to feel good in my skin. So that’s why I have decided to change my eating lifestyle as that was the crux of my issue. I would workout then drink a load of booze or eat a load of chocolate, which isn’t good, so I wanted to change my eating habits more than anything else, which Slimming World is helping me to do! I will show you some pics below throughout the years so you can see what I mean about gaining, losing a bit, gaining a lot, losing not a lot… I literally hate looking back at these photos so enjoy them..
2012 after my first year of university..
2012-13 going into my second year of university..
2013-13 third year of university..
2014-15 after university…
~ What it means ~
Okay so, we all know that everyone raves about Slimming World because they have the ‘free foods’ included in their food plans, which basically means you can eat as much as you want of those foods and still lose weight. These foods include pretty much all fruits and veggies, pasta, rice, grains, meat (with all visible fat removed), eggs, beans, peas and grains & most fish. Some of the fruits and veggies are also classed as ‘speed’ foods which means they help you lose weight quicker, so the more speed foods you eat the better.
So, now that you have all of these foods that are free, you can eat as much as you want of those, you are also allowed one Healthy Extra A which is dairy products so milk, milk replacements and some cheeses. You also get a Healthy Extra B which is your fibre intake for the day so certain breads, cereals, cereal bars, crispbreads, dried, canned and cooked fruit. For your Healthy Extra A & B you are only allowed a certain amount of these, any more and they would be classed as syns for the day. Each day you are allowed 15 syns, this sounds like a lot, but it’s really not! You can, in theory, save up your syns and use them in one day so, for example, if you knew you were going to be going out drinking you could have a low syn week and save up the syns for that one night. However, this doesn’t necessarily work for everyone and so you would need to test this one out for yourself. They do suggest you do 15 minutes of ‘Body Magic’ per day, which is essentially walking or some other form of exercise, which thankfully I don’t need to think about this as I walk a lot anyway so 15 minutes is nothing!
~ Food ~
Okay, so, this is the main thing with Slimming World really is enabling you to think differently about food, make more sensible choices and think more about how you cook, prepare and create your meals as well which, in all honesty, is a very positive thing. Encouraging people to think more about what they put in their mouth is of benefit as it means the individuals will learn what to do and keep those behaviours as well, which is the crux of it all, this is a lifestyle and it isn’t just diet.
I would say the food side of things for me was relatively easy, I had been calorie counting for over a year by the time I joined Slimming World so I already knew what was good and bad food choices, however, being allowed to eat pasta, rice, and grains freely without worrying about the calories in them is amazing. To be honest, not thinking about calories at all is really REALLY refreshing, I honestly love that side of it. It is such a breath of fresh air to eat as much fruit as I want without worrying about calories, honestly love that side of it!
The one thing I would say about the food side of Slimming World is how they brand the ‘free foods‘. They say you can ‘eat as much as you want’ which, in my opinion, isn’t a good thing to suggest to people. Gorging on anything if you don’t use the energy from the food will cause weight gain, especially with rice & pasta, so I think they should re-brand how they do that section as over-eating is NEVER a good thing, even if its healthier options.. that, in all honestly, is one of my biggest negatives as encouraging gorging isn’t ever a good plan. Eating when you’re hungry is fine, stopping when you’re full is fine, but don’t sit and eat 25 eggs just because they’re free is all I am saying!
I would say overall the food side is easy to follow, the main thing I had to change was how I cooked my food to I switched out coconut oil & olive oil for varieties of FryLight which is a cooking spray. It’s pretty rubbish I can’t lie to you and if you cook at high temperatures the FryLight just burns but yeah.. that’s the main change I have done to my eating habits, as well as allowing pasta and rice back into my life more as well which is amazing.
~ Meetings ~
Overall I think the meetings are good, I think its nice to support each other and share ideas for meals and treats which I find really useful, it’s also good to just vent about anything you’re finding hard or any challenges you’ve faced that week. The whole set-up of announcing if people have lost, gained or maintained their weight is still an odd one to me, I feel like people should be able to choose if they want that information shared which is maybe why a lot of members turn up to be weighed and leave straight after and don’t stay for the meeting. Weight is a sensitive topic, so I think if the set-up was more of a general conversation between everyone and allowing people the opportunity to share that information themselves rather than the rep announcing peoples losses, gains or maintains it would potentially be of more use to me personally, and maybe others too. Overall I kinda like the meetings and kinda don’t like them, I’ll keep you updated 😉
~ Positives ~
The positives overall are that you have an okay amount of freedom with your food, you are allowed a lot of foods as free or healthy extras, which I like as it allows for flexibility with meal ideas and food when you’re out and about and can’t cook your own, which is really useful. I have found the meetings are good overall, the people who go all seem supportive and nice so that is a benefit too. I do really like the certificate/sticker system when you hit a milestone like losing half a stone, a stone, a stone and a half and so on, that is a really positive thing to do and it really does give you a spring in your step! The process of people applauding you when you’ve done well is also a really nice thing too. The overall idea of the group is great, I just don’t like the lose, gain or maintain announcements every week, if they stuck to just big achievements that, in my opinion, would be nicer.
~ Negatives ~
The main negative I would say would be the syn structures. I miss feeling a bit more free with treats and booze I can’t lie about that. It sometimes feels like I am being pushed into a box which isn’t a healthy mindset to have, however, I have started thinking of it more like taking responsibility rather than being told what to do. If I have a super boozey weekend, for example, and then get weighed and I have gained weight, it is taking responsibility and thinking ‘okay cool, I know why that’s happened, I know what I need to change for this next week, it ain’t so bad.’ Turning the thought processes into a more positive outlook can be hard, but it really helps you stay more on track.
The biggest negative I have found is other people around me rather than the actual plan or group scenarios. It is SO HARD to continue going with something when people around you are saying:
‘oh so you can gorge on everything then? Sounds SO healthy…’, ‘why aren’t there calories involved? that’s pointless, how would you ever lose weight?’, ‘I think it encourages bad eating habits’ ‘I think its a waste of money’
Like, honestly, people around you are the biggest battle, they plant seeds of doubt in you constantly and question EVERYTHING which is really annoying when you’re just starting out. But hey, it’ll be nice to prove them all wrong and stick my middle finger up when it works (which it is so far) and look and feel the way I want to!
So there we go guys, there’s my ‘big’ update! I will try and keep you up-to-date as much as I can, I was thinking of doing some foodie posts as well if anyone would be interested so you can see what I eat during the week & at weekends, so let me know if you want to see that!
Lots of love & talk soon,