Here for the Slimming World FAQ? Read on!
I notice that, on various Slimming World sites, the same type of questions tend to get asked. Well – because we’re the gift that keeps on giving, we’re building an FAQ for all you new starters who may have questions that you’re too shy to ask about. We’re going to keep building this up until it’s a nice, comprehensive document but don’t worry, it’s still full of snark and cheek. If you have a question suggestion, please leave it in the comments.
Hope this helps!
Slimming World FAQ
What are the basics?
You need to understand that I’m not a consultant and all of this is based on my own experience with Slimming World. You should consult your book, ring a class, check online if you have any queries or questions. I’m not your keeper!
So – most of your food will come from what they optimistically call ‘Free Foods’. You can eat as much of this stuff as your little tummy will hold – though stop when you feel full. There’s no weighing or measuring with this, just eat eat eat. Common sense applies – a potato is free, that family pack of Walkers Sensations that you’ve already ate in the back of your car isn’t.
Then, choose a Healthy Extra A and a Healthy Extra B. These are measured ‘extras’ that you should have during the day – to put it bluntly, your Healthy Extra B (fibre) will make sure you’re going for a shit whereas the Healthy Extra A ensures the bones in your ankles won’t snap on the way.
Finally, you get to use your syns. Syns, on top of being a spelling pedant’s worst nightmare, are Slimming World’s way of keeping you in control whilst still obliging your fatty-boom-boom tendencies. Any food that isn’t free or part of your Healthy Extra will have a syn value, and as a general rule, you’re encouraged to spend between 5 and 15 a day. So if you fancy a bar of chocolate, you can have one (a Kitkat Chunky is 12.5 syns, so you could have one a day!) and if you’re heading for a night out, you can still drink. Thank Christ eh, imagine meeting your friends whilst sober.
Finally, you’re supposed to make sure a third of your meal is made up from speed foods. We’re talking most vegetables (most, but check your books) and fruit, so put some berries in your yoghurt or serve your evening meal with a lovely salad.
Confession time: I don’t always bother with this, and I haven’t burst into flame just yet. I get the odd drunken phone call from an ex-consultant telling me that because I failed to stick 100% to plan she’d had to remortgage the house and sell her children into slavery, but well, tough tit.
Easy to make two mistakes – like this:
What then is a S Food? Or a P Food? And F? And C?
Slimming World like letters of the alphabet, that’s for sure. Some free food have these various labels added on to denote they’re:
(S) Speedy food (they’ll fill you up with far fewer calories)
(P) Protein-rich (they’ll keep you fuller for longer)
(F) Fibre-full (they’ll keep things moving)
(C) Calcium-rich (they’ll stop you having teeth like a row of condemned houses)
What’s happened to Red and Green?
Well, can you hear me back there in the DISTANT PAST? Shall I call you on your Nokia 3310 after Series 1 of Big Brother? EH? Red and green days were the old ways, grandma – mainly meat on a red day, mainly carbs and veg on a green day. I lost seven stone this way but when I came back to Slimming World, with both sets of cheeks burning (one through embarrassment at putting the weight on and the other through general chaffing), everything had changed. It had gone to Extra Easy – one unified plan. It then changed slightly again with the introduction with Extra Easy: SP. But that nonsense is for another entry.
Slimming World FAQ
Am I too fat or too skinny for Slimming World?
No. You want to lose weight, so does everyone else in the room. I’ve never been to a class where I’ve felt any attitude towards skinny or fat people. You’ll not be the fattest one there, and even if you are, who cares? You’re making a positive change for yourself and you should be happy about that. If anyone makes a snide comment, fuck ’em. Just don’t bloody eat them.
What happens in a class from the moment I walk in to the moment I leave?
I don’t know – it varies. But here’s how mine goes. You arrive, pay your money and flash your Slimming World card like the world’s most boring FBI agent. You then stand in a queue and chat (if you’re social, or stand and read recipe cards / the books on the table / your phone if you’re antisocial) whilst waiting for your turn on the scales.
Oh – drop off that banana that you caught walking out of the kitchen of its own accord as a ‘prize’ for whichever unlucky sod gets the joy of finding a nearby bin to decant all that on-the-turn fruit into on the way home from class. Seriously, if you’re kind enough to bring fruit in for the Slimmer of the Week, good on you, but try and keep it fresh. I’ve won Slimmer of the Week before and been given what amounted to moonshine by the time I got the basket. Here’s a simple guide:
Next you’ll get on the scales, making apologies to no-one in particular about your ‘bad week’ or faint promises that you’ve been good like someone is going to appear from behind the curtain and gun you down if you’ve put a pound on. The machine will bleep and someone will record your weight in your book and give you a sticker if you have hit a milestone. You can then make yourself a coffee, have a natter (god I fucking hate that word but have a chat is even worse), buy some books, read some recipes. After everyone is weighed, the consultant will start the class. Generally, they’ll spend around ten to fifteen minutes talking about recipes, and then everyone will be asked how they have done and how they are feeling. Note below if you’re shy. This normally takes about an hour and your hands will look like corned beef from all the clapping. Honestly, you’ll feel like a seal.
It works like this:
I’m taking the piss a little – and don’t get me wrong, this bit can drag and/or be dull if you keep hearing ‘I’ve been good, I don’t know how I’ve put weight on, I only had a catering size sandwich platter and a gravy milkshake’ ten times over – but it can be inspiring and it’s always well meant. There will then be a raffle and a lucky dip, Slimmer of the Week will get a round of applause and a bowl of liquid banana, the person who put on the most weight will get a punch on the jaw from the consultant for messing up the statistics, then everyone flies out the door to be the first car out of the car-park and to ring the Chinese before it gets busy.
I’m shy, and don’t want to discuss my weight with the rest of the class – what can I do?
Tell your consultant – if you don’t want to be addressed in the class, then they’re supposed to respect that and not bring you into discussions. But there’s one key thing to stress – your actual weight will never be spoken aloud in the class unless you mention it. There’s no gigantic display on the scales like on The Biggest Loser, it’s not going to bark your weight out like a menstrual version of the machine from BIG.
Classes can be a bit dull sometimes – how can I spice them up?
Firstly, don’t be a dick about it – people are there to get encouragement and help and if you’re sitting there talking to your mate and making it hard for others to concentrate, then you’d a bad person and I hope a cat shits in your shoes. That said, they can drag. Paul and I like to play ‘last clap’ – where the challenge is to be the last person in the room to clap whenever someone loses a pound or two. Or, play ‘Not Clap’, which is where you make the clapping noise doing everything but clapping your hands – use your mouth, smack your lips, rub your knees together. Try to get an ABBA song into your conversation. My favourite trick is to start a round of applause where there may not necessarily need one – by the time the class has done 50 or so ‘WELL DONE YOU’VE LOST A POUND’ round of applauses, it becomes like Pavlov’s dog, completely reflex. So if someone announces they made a shepherds pie, rattle off a quick round of clapping and see if everyone else joins in. Well, it passes the time.
Is it worth sticking to class?
Yes, if you have a good class. If the consultant has the charisma and personality of a windswept bus-shelter then you’ll struggle to stay interested and give up. Find another class if this is the case. A good consultant, as all mine have been, will engage everyone, talk, swap recipes, keep things fresh. You’ll get a lot more from it this way. If not, you’re paying £5 to step in someone else’s sweaty footprints and be told your weight. I’ll provide this service for £4 a pop if you want to save money and I’ll even cast disdainful looks at your poor taste in socks whilst I’m doing it.
What happens when I hit target?
Margaret comes out from the cupboard where they store the spare chairs and the hymn books, hair all Dallas-like, massive cigar in her mouth, slaps you on the back and tells you in 20-Bensons voice that you’ve made it, kidda. Then it’s a free makeover in Bella magazine and slap-up Iceland ready-meals all round. Actually, sadly not – you get a certificate and free membership for life, as long as you don’t start going all spherical again.
Slimming World FAQ
I’m a Ten Tonne Tessie. Do I get extra syns?
This seems to vary. If you have to be wheeled into your class by a group of strong, muscular men, I’ve heard that you’re sometimes afforded extra syns. Makes sense, given you’ll need more calories just to keep your engine running, but check with your consultant.
Can you ‘save up’ your syns and blow them all in one day?
As many a spotty chav has huskily whispered in the ear of his girlfriend, it works better if you spread them. But – you’re allowed to be flexible, yes. If you know you’re going out on Saturday for pizza, allocate say 60 of your syns to that day and be mean and lean throughout the rest of the week, and enjoy it. But as a rule, you’re better off using the syns throughout the week with an average of 5-15 a day. Go nuts, just make sure you syn them.
Is it better to avoid using syns? Surely less treats going in means more weight coming off?
Perhaps, but most people find that if they use their syns, it feels less like a diet and more like a normal eating plan, which is exactly right. Think of it this way – would you prefer to lose the weight quickly and then to have it all pile back on like drowning rats on a floating door, or would you prefer to lose weight sensibly, enjoying the things you like, and for it to stay off once you hit target? Exactly.
Put succinctly, it’s using an ingredient for a purpose other than the original use – so if you’re making a cake from cous-cous or building a deep-fat fryer from mashed banana, you’re shit out of luck. However, lets be sensible – if you mash a banana it is the same amount of bloody syns as a non-mashed banana in my eyes. Admittedly if you eat ten billion of them mashed up in a smoothie you’ll end up fat again, but a mashed banana versus an unmashed banana will have the same amount of everything in it. Remember: syns don’t float in the air waiting to strike. They’re either in the food or they’re not.
Slimming World FAQ
What can I use Scan Bran for?
Scan-Bran is sold as a crispbread on the shop during Slimming World classes. You’d get more flavour and succulence ripping up a lino tile from the floor of a busy A&E department. That said, if the bottom of your feet look like a block of cheese that has been left out in the sun to dry, you could very easily use one of the Scan Bran slices to pumice your feet. Other uses include planing the top of a door to make it fit or acting as wall-lagging for particularly small houses. Don’t spend the money.
Are the Hi-Fi bars worth it?
Meh. They’re alright. Quite a frightening list of ingredients on the side, though – all that overly processed crap for one tiny bar no bigger than an index finger. You can buy decent Alpen bars for around the same price, but why not have an orange instead? Or suck on a Fisherman’s Friend (0.5 syns for two), if you can get someone to give you a lift down to the docks, you dirty hussy.
What about the magazine? Eh? And the books – you haven’t mentioned anything about the books?
I think both are worthwhile. The magazine is very feminine and focussed on women – which is fair enough, because it’s very much a female-dominated business. That said, the before and after stories are inspiring and there’s some decent recipes to be had. The books too are worth getting, with the recipes being tried and tested, although I find an awful lot of SW recipes out of the books come out a little watery. Just buy and adjust the recipes to suit.
Do YOU have a book?
Oh my, thanks for asking. Yes I do. But it isn’t about slimming, it’s about the month that Paul and I spent in Orlando for our honeymoon. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might get even a bit moist at the thought of us strutting around in our ASDA swimming shorts, back-hair and heatrash on show. You can find it here for only a quid or so. If you buy it and love it, please review it!
Can I get a prescription for Slimming World?
In some cases, yes. It seems to vary, but it’s worth checking with your GP to see if he’ll write you a prescription for twelve weeks. That’s a decent saving of around £70. Different partnerships and districts have different rules, so it may be that you’ve got to go to a council equivalent of Slimming World – if so, god help you. Worth asking though.
Is it worth buying a countdown?
Yes – it incentivises you to come back, especially if you’re a tight bugger like me. But wait – there’s nearly always an offer on for a free book when you buy a countdown – if there isn’t, wait a bit and one will come around. Might as well get a bit extra out of it.
Slimming World FAQ
I’ve heard that sweeteners are bad for me – should I resist? However will I make my half-syn roulade now?
This all boils down to personal taste. Personally, I think you’re better off using a bit of sugar and synning it rather than tipping a whole jar of Aldi Splendid into a cake. Not because I have any particular objection to the blend of chemicals, but just because it’s better to have a little of something decent rather than a lot of over-sweet shite. But that’s just me. For the record, there’s no evidence of sweeteners causing any harm other than in those who can’t process aspartame. But that’s super rare. So on you go.
Can I detox? My mate swears by a detox programme where she drinks nothing but horse piss and vinegar and she’s lost weight!
I’m not a scientist, not least because I’m too fat for a lovely white lab coat – I’d look like someone had parked a caravan in the corridor. Plus my interest in science extended to melting pens in the Bunsen burner and retching during the birth video we were made to watch during Sex Education week. Sex education in our school was a bust – all the boys were taken away and shown how to roll a condom onto a cucumber (no wonder men have such self-esteem problems when it comes to their cocks – to make it realistic they should have given out cucumbers, gherkins and those tiny pickle slices you get in burgers) and all the girls were taught how to best plug up their minnie-moo. Then we were shown a particularly gruesome video of someone popping a baby out and that was that. There was no mention of gay sex, despite me staying behind late and dropping my pencil case on the floor in front of the teacher with a leer on my face and a wink in my eye. That last bit wasn’t true. I never had a pencil case!
Anyway how the fuck did I get there? Ah yes. I’m not a scientist. But you don’t need to be to know detoxing is a load of shite, especially when you have to buy something in order to facilitate getting rid of the ‘bad toxins’. They always follow the same pattern – spend an obscene amount of money to buy some weird gel, powder or mix, restrict your calorie intake to something like 500 calories a day, and then sit there slack-jawed as the weight falls off. Well, the weight isn’t coming off because of the gel, is it? It’s coming off because you’re not eating enough calories to keep your body going, and as soon as you get back onto normal eating, all that lovely fat is going to rush back on. But at least your lips won’t be blue.
Put succinctly, don’t get suckered in by all the talk of dramatic weight loss and ‘I’VE NEVER FELT BETTER’. People are out to make money from slimming but the only way to do it is to eat healthily, exercise more and maintain that lifestyle going forward. No amount of gels, potions and nonsense will speed that up – because, think about it, if that were the case, none of us would need Slimming World, would we? To that end, that’s the joy of Slimming World – there’s no fancy chemical or procedure, just good honest food and plenty of support.
Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
That’s easy – it’s because, just like me, they long to be, close to you.
Do you have the recipe for that cake in the mug that people cream their knickers for?
No. But I DO have this: