The Truth About Slimming World:
Wanna find out what Slimming World is all about? Well ya came to the right place my friend…
As you may or may not know Slimming World is a UK based weight loss organisation that was founded in the late 1960’s.
Since then it has grown in to a behemoth giant that has over 10’000 groups nationwide and seen 100’000’s of people use the scheme.
But how effective is the method and what results can you expect if you sign up to Slimming World?
In this article I’m going to break down Slimming World’s ethos, plan and if it’s worth paying your hard earned cash to or is it just another well marketed fat loss flop?
This post will cover:
How Does Slimming World Work?
Slimming World states that its method is food optimising using 3 different groups to classify certain foods.
Members are encouraged to follow this plan to help control and regulate their weight loss.
Slimming World groups get together once a week for a members meeting where everyone is weighed and members can exchange experiences.
At first glance they seem to have a few attractive aspects such as no banned foods, a support network and encouraging flexibility.
But things aren’t always as they seem, so let’s get into it!
Slimming World states they make you slim but optimising food, but the method definitely doesn’t optimise simplicity!
So, let me try and break it down best I can!
Slimming World Free Foods:
First up are free foods and this basically means you can consume them in unlimited amounts!
They class these foods as low calorie so they assume you can get away with eating them at free will.
These include chicken, fish, pasta, rice, potatoes, eggs, fat free dairy and tofu…
Am I taking crazy pills here??
Yea I’m shocked too! Because all those foods contain calories.
Some more calorific than others obviously but saying…
“Go get loose and enjoy the party”
9 times out of 10 that’s going to end in tears 🙁
You could easily over eat and think these foods can’t do any harm, but you’ll be in for a rude awakening when the only thing going south is your bank balance.
The reason they would give these as free foods is in the hoping that by giving more whole food options people won’t binge, compared to the processed junk they’ve been eating before.
But this is a very risky way to change a persons relationship with food and has many times encouraged binge eating.
Slimming World Healthy Extras:
Healthy extras are the next category after free foods and include milk, cheese, bread, nuts, cereal and few other things that aren’t really important enough to mention.
Healthy extras are split into group A and group B depending on the food and slimming world states these actually have to be weighed out and measured. Thank God!
Slimming World Syns:
Coming last at the top of the slimming world food pyramid are SYNS.
Certain foods are called SYNS which is short for synergy, but also using word play and meaning bad 🙁
You’re allowed 5 -15 SYNS each day and these include foods like biscuits, chocolate, cake, sweets, pizza and alcohol.
Different foods have different SYN values.
For example a teaspoon of olive oil might have 2 SYNS, whilst a chocolate bar might have 12 SYNS.
So therefore giving the contrast of good and bad and their SYNS are the bad or naughty foods.
But here’s the thing! In reality there are no good or bad foods but just bad portions.
Ya see, whether it’s a slimming world free food or slimming world SYN both can help or hinder your weight loss results depending on the amount.
If you’re still with me and I haven’t lost you just yet let me recap…
-On Slimming World you have free foods that aren’t really free foods at all!
-Then you have healthy extras with options A & B that need to be measured out to the gram.
-After that you have SYNS which you’re only allowed a certain amount of each day, but also have weird rules…
For example a Banana is a free food but becomes 2 SYNS when mashed up because apparently chewing doesn’t take of that LOL
Wow! And you thought counting calories was too much effort??
So by trying to simplifying counting calories, they’ve complicated counting calories.
SO why not just count calories and become empowered. Then you’ll know the nutritional value of the majority of the food that you’re consuming most of the time.
Also see the science on calories here.
After you’ve read that bad boy on calories you’ll want to learn about macros AKA: macronutrients.
Getting the slimming world method right is like trying to break into bloody Fort Knox, and I’m not even sure the reps know what they’re on about???
So let’s get down to the brass tacks!
In a fat loss phase you need to be in a calorie deficit.
This means consuming less calories than your body currently needs to maintain it’s current composition as shown below.
So don’t make it harder on yourself than it has to be and follow a system that is riddled with confusion from start to finish!
Slimming world states on their website…
“This isn’t about pushing yourself to the limits, small steps really do bring amazing results and whether you walk, cycle, swim, garden we’ll celebrate every step- be it small or large’
So basically they have a very wishy-washy approach to you getting fitter through exercise and advise you to move..
Hmmm well that’s a start I guess!
I advise anyone young or old, male or female to have some direction in their fitness which will benefit them tenfold.
That would be doing at least 2-3 structured workouts a week and then whatever other activities you enjoy.
A bit more of a solid plan than just get up and move!
Online weight loss forums are littered with short term success stories, then sliding backwards and having to go back to Slimming World time and time again.
It seems many face the same problems when being consistent and trying to stay on track to get any results at all.
The fact is you don’t have to be perfect all the time to get results.
You do need to be taking action though in the right direction consistently as explained in the following video.
Weekly Weigh Ins:
Another hugely worrying factor is the only metric Slimming World use for measuring success is ONE weekly weigh in.
This would be awesome if our bodies were made up of 100% fat tissue, but last time I checked us humans have a few more components.
Such as muscle, bone, organs, connective tissue, water, glycogen amongst a few other things.
So weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean fat loss and weight gain doesn’t necessarily mean fat storage.
Just checking the scale once a week is nothing less than a shit show when it comes to gauging progress
What about measurements, photos and how clothes are fitting??
When measuring progress in a weight loss/fat loss phase using at least 3 metrics would be very beneficial as one might not be moving but another saying otherwise.
For example if hip and waist measurements are decreasing that’s indicative of fat loss regardless of what the scale is telling you.
Ill Side Effects:
Clients of mine who tried Slimming World before also pointed out some ill side effects such as poor hair, skin and nails.
Many have also reported being constantly constipated which sounds like fun, due to an imbalanced diet and not getting enough micro and macronutrients to support all round health.
Eating 7 muller lights might not be adding much to your daily total calories, but it’s hardly going to leave you glowing on the outside!
Of course Slimming World doesn’t want to educate you on calories or macronutrients or have you dealing with numbers or food portions.
Because that would actually empower you!
The less you know or have to think, the better!
What happens to slimming world if everyone gets slim??
They’re out of business and the owners and & major shareholders ain’t gonna be happy.
They’ve got cheese to make and do a lot of that off repeat business!
They know this and that’s why their method is designed in a way that keeps you ignorant and unenlightened.
Yet satisfied at times with the odd drop on the scale here and there.
Being kept in the dark and drip fed half the picture never leads to long term success!
It’s also doddle in this day and age as you can do it all via an app on your smartphone.
You will make constant progress and sustain it long term without being on any big organisations cash conveyer belt.
If a company, organisation or even trainer has you coming back time and time again for repeat business it’s not working.
A service that actually serves you gives you the tools and knowledge to get results.
Then you can go off and maintain that for the rest of your life if applied correctly instead of being hooked like a fish and reeling you back in every time you need help.
I know there’s a whole cult like following and I fully expect to be called every name under the sun by the slimming world worshippers.
But here’s my question to anyone who has been doing it for a while and still not where they want to be…
“If it does work so well, then why hasn’t it worked for you?”
Learn about what really works when it comes to weight loss, shedding body fat and regaining your confidence once and for all!
I hope this article shed some light on a hot topic that has had many confused.