Sunday, 5 August 2012

Slimming World Basics - The Extra Easy Plan

Hi!

So, I said yesterday I would explain some of the basics of Slimming World to anyone who was interested! I hope it will help concrete it in my mind too, so bear with me! I wont be going into explicit detail, as I'm sure that would breach some kind of copy right or trade mark or something, but if you have any questions feel free to ask!

When you go to a Slimming World meeting, you'll be introduced to three different plans. There are Original (or red) days, Green days and the more recent addition, Extra Easy days. At the moment, I will be following the Extra Easy plan the majority of the time simply because it does what it says on the tin and is really easy to follow! Not that Original and Green are hard to get to grips with, but I find the choice on Extra Easy is wider and I feel more satisfied.

Food is split into three groups; Free food, Healthy Extras and Syns. The majority of your food for the day should come from the free food group - but the range of free food is huge! And you can eat as much of it as you like - eat until you are full.

Free Food
Free food is split into two groups - free and superfree. Superfree foods are fruit and vegetables which are free on all plans, no matter which you are following. These include (but are not limited to):
Fruit - fresh or frozen but not cooked or tinned
Vegetables - with a few exceptions such as peas, sweetcorn, parsnips, potato and sweet potato


On the Extra Easy plan, these things are also free:


Eggs - poached, scrambled, boiled, fried using low fat cooking spray - in fact any way you like as long as no fat is added
Fat free and very low fat dairy - including plain and some fruit yoghurt, very low fat cottage cheese, very low fat fromage frais, skimmed milk soft cheese such as quark
Meat replacement, such as quorn, textured vegetable protein (TVP and tofu)
Low calorie soft drinks, black tea and coffee

There also also things like stock cubes, dried herbs and other seasonings that are free. Also, fat free salad dressings that are less than 40 calories per 100ml can be used freely.


Meat and poultry - Bacon, beef, chicken, ham, pork, turkey ect. all skin and visible fat removed. Mince should contain less than 5% fat. Most things like sausages and burgers have a syn value.
Fish and seafood - Cod, haddock, prawns, tuna etc, free unless canned in oil
Pulses - beans (including baked beans), lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans etc
Rice, pasta and grains - Couscous, all types of dried pasta, quinoa, bulgar wheat etc, all types of rice
Starchy vegetables - potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, parsnips, sweet potatoes etc



So as you can see that is a huge list! All of it can be enjoyed freely, and will fill you up. No weighing, no counting. It is pretty easy to create whole meals from just the free foods.

Healthy Extras

Healthy extras are additional foods that our bodies need for health. On the Extra Easy plan you chose one 'a' choice and one 'b' choice per day.

'A' choices are dairy foods that are high in calcium, for example an 'a' choice could be:

  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 28g cheddar
  • 42g feta
  • 42g mozzarella
  • 42g reduced fat cheddar
  • 3 mini babybel light cheeses


'B' choices are high in fibre, for instance:
  • 35g porridge oats
  • 2 weetabix
  • 57g wholemeal bread
  • 4 original ryvita
Syns

Syns stands for synergy, and every food that isn't on the free foods list has a syn value, and this is why you really need access to the slimming world literature, either through the online source or through meetings. Everyday, you can have up to 15 syns - use them for a treat (a 140ml glass of wine is 5 syns, or a 2 finger it kat is 5.5) or add some extra cheese (6 syns per ounce/28g), a bit of sauce (extra light mayo is 1 1/2 syns per 2 level tablespoons and 4 tablespoons of gravy, made with granules is 1 syn) or a slice of bread (3 syns).



I hope I haven't confused the hell out of you here! It can be a little overwhelming at first, but it soon all sins in. And it works! I know it sounds mad that you can eat all the pasta, meat, eggs etc that you like, but really, you can. Of course, you have to chose to eat these things instead of the high syns foods like chocolate and crisps, and that's the part that I'll struggle with. I'm going to weigh in in the morning, hopefully that will shock me enough to banish the cravings!

If you have any questions, please ask and I'll do my best to answer. But really and truly, if you want to follow this plan you need to have it explained by someone trained to explain it, and you need access to the literature. There is no class near me at the moment, so once I get my finances sorted I'll be joining the online resource. Until then, I'm going it alone! Wish me luck!

Hx


This is not a sponsored post and I was not offered any remuneration for writing. All opinions are my own. All diet plans should be followed with caution and I highly recommend seeing advice from a Slimming World consultant before embarking on the plan.

57 comments:

  1. This has been the most informative and useful site I have come across in my search for a non member set of details to see if I would like it before I join! Thank you so much

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  2. I agree - really useful info. How is the diet going anyway? I just joined SW on Monday.

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    1. Thanks Lisa, it's going well (I rejoined a group) and have lost 7 1/2 lbs in 2 weeks :)

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  3. on extra easy i understand the 1 third superfree and the 2 thirds other BUT during the day for snacking aswell as the syns and superfree stuff can you snack on eg chicken or pasta or any free food

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    1. Elaine, you should go for the superfree foods (or syns) as snacks first and foremost, but you can also follow the 1 third superfree to 2 thirds free rule here - for instance a mullerlight yogurt as your free food, but mixed with some fruit for the superfree. The Slimmingword literature says you should have 1/3 superfree 'if you can', so as long as you do it most of the time, you'll see the results x

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  4. Thanks for doing this post, it's really informative! I find the whole syns & different plans really confusing but this has really helped x

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  5. this was so helpful...I have made my mind up! I am going to start slimming world :D

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  6. iv been doing weight watchers on n off for over 10 years and since starting again a month ago i really cant get to grips with the new point system, plus im bored of counting points!

    I didnt like the sound of slimming world because of red n green days, im a vegie n dont eat meat or fish so i was worried id struggle on a red day?
    but im giving it a go n i start slimming world tmor, im a bit confused about the diff plans but it was great reading your post.

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    1. Agree don't like new WW plan at all

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    2. Yeah totally agree having lost 66lbs on previous WW plan just can't do new pro points .
      Going to give SW a try though

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  7. Hi I really don't understand the extra easy bit, can u help please thanks donna

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  8. Hi can u tell me how extra easy work, totally confused thanks Donna

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    1. Hi Donna, it's all explained above. Basically you can eat unlimited amounts of free food, one of each healthy extra and between 5 and 15 syns. I really would recommend joining a group and having a trained Slimming World consultant explain it if you haven't already. Hope that helps!
      Hx

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  9. Hi - very informative - but just one question, slightly confused about potatoes, sweetcorn are not 'free foods', but do appear in the list of eat freely food section - can you mix these with meats? Thank you

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    1. Hi Lindah, yes you can eat starchy veg with meats on the extra easy plan. They are free food so do not need to be weighed or counted. However they are not Superfree, as their starch/carb content is too high. Slimming World recommends that 1/3 of your plate is made up of Superfree food at each meal, so you can't count potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweetcorn or parsnips (or a few others) towards this. Hope that helps!

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  10. Hi - very informative - thank you, just slight confusion over when starchy foods (potatoes, sweetcorn)can be mixed with meats. They are not allowed in 'free foods' but are on the main list.
    Thanks Linda

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  11. Thank you for a really simple and easy to understand explanation of the plan! X

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  12. Great blog helped me understand it better

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  13. Peas are a super speed food so can be eaten as part of your 1/3 super free on your plate. Also mushy peas are super speed free food too. This means they really help speed up with the weight loss.
    Strawberries are a great super speed food too and melon.
    Best thing to do is join and get all the info on the free, super and super speed foods.
    Sorry to point this out but above statement reads as peas are not part of your 1/3 super free.

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    1. I'm sorry, peas do not count towards the 1/3 super free food that Slimming World recommends you eat at each meal. Peas are a SPEED food (not super speed though) but not super free. There are also some beans and pulses, and meat and fish which count as super SPEED. Super speed and super free foods are different. I do currently attend a Slimming World class, and if you do too your consultant can clarify this for you :)

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  14. A excellent blog on this so helpful! Will be dtarting tomorrow with 8 stone to lose! Here goes :) how many syns is a choccy bar x

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    1. Good luck Anna! If I can do it, anyone can, I promise!x

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  15. 2 Stones 2 lb and loving doing SW back in Aus now so going it alone but the weight continues to go, another 5 lb to go, good luck everyone :)

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  16. found the information very useful and very helpful i have been doing weight-watchers on and off now for 4 years and have found it very hard the meals are to small and not filling and find them very boring sometimes i have been thinking of starting slimming world for a wile and lots of my friends and family friends and my mum inlaw have done and are doing slimming world and was tlking to some today about doing it i never herd of the extra easy plan till i was told and was sent this in a eamil from one of them i like the sound of the extra easy plan rather then the red and green days and im quite a fussy eating and find them to complicated and i love my salads with potatoes with this extra easy plan can i mix my protein and carbohydrates or do u still have to keep them separate as i do love y tuna pasta and thinking of not being able to eat that is quite hard to think about couldn't just eat plan pasta on the extra easy plan could i eat tuna pasta and would that count as free coz on there it said that tuna and pasta where free but didnt no if you could have them together? x

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    1. Hi Tanya, I'm glad you found the info helpful :) On the extra easy plan, you can basically eat any of the free food, in any combination, freely. So yes, you can have tuna and pasta together - or chicken and rice, jacket potato and beans, ham, egg and chips - as long as it's "free" food, you can eat it how you like! Hope that helps, and good luck x

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  18. Hi Im still confused at this EE I understand that 1/3 of your meal should be super free but what is the other 2/3 made up of x

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    1. Anything else from the free food lists! Lean meat, fish, eggs, very low fat dairy, pasta, potatoes, rice...

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  19. Hi great post but bit confused. If I eat for example a jacket and beans do I have to add a third superfree or can I eat that alone? And do I have to add superfree to every free snack that I have too? Xx

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    1. Hi Danielle, Slimming World recommends that you add a third superfree food to your plate, but you don't have to. As long as you are doing it the majority of the time you should be fine. With your jacket potato and beans you could have, for example, some tinned tomatoes, frylight-fried mushrooms and onions, or have a bunch of grapes on the side for afterwards. As for snacks, you'll probably find yourself reaching for superfree foods first anyway. I would usually have a piece of fruit (or two!) and then if I was still hungry go for a yogurt or boiled egg. I think generally, if your snacks are 1/3 superfree throughout the day, you'll be fine. If your snacks are synned (eg crisps, biscuits etc) or healthy extras you have a controlled amount so don't need to balance it with the superfree. Hope that helps!

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  20. Just to say I stumbled upon this by accident when trying to find out more information about the success with "success express; super speed" (you know what I mean) VS "extra easy".

    I am half way into week two of this plan and so far finding it fun, easy, enjoyable and as it says on the tin "extra easy"... in the first week lost 2lbs!! BRILLIANT!

    However I was wondering on success of speeding things up and if really would turn a 2lbs into say 4 or 5... anyway...

    I stumbled upon what you said and I felt the need to write to you and comment upon what you wrote here.

    First let me say... FANTASTIC!! VERY WELL EXPLAINED! If I hadn't already come to terms and understanding of it with my wonderful adviser then for sure this would have helped me no end or even prior to going to Slimming World it would have tipped me into going as it sounds brilliant! But thank you!! As said I didn't need to read this as I feel well clued up already, however I enjoyed reading what you had wrote and it gave me a confidence and knowledge that I'm doing the easy version correctly with my choices and such!! SO THANK YOU!!

    Good luck on your journey and thank you for the support and sharing this with us all :) Imogen xX

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Imogen :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post!
      As for Success Express, it does speed things up and can help if you get stuck, but I would recommend sticking to Extra Easy, at least for the first four weeks as Slimming World suggests. When I first started Slimming World (back in 2009 when the Extra Easy plan had just been introduced) I lost 2lbs in my first week, and 6lbs in my second - sometimes it just takes a week or so for your body to tune in! Good luck!
      Hx

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  21. Hi, Thanks for all your help. I'm experimenting with slimming world to see if it works for me.
    You've explained it well, but, I'm just slightly confused looking at your plan. I notice that your omelette contains 3 syns but yet eggs done in any way (no fat of course) are "free" goods. I think I'm getting the picture right that if you want to eat "free" foods you have to have "superfree" with them? I'm a bit of a one for my cereals so I'm using my syns for my cornflakes!
    Eunice

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    1. I think the omelette in the food plan you're referring too probably had cheese in it that wasn't a healthy extra (I'm a cheese fiend!), so that would explain the syns! And yes, you're right about the free and superfree - Slimming World recommend that 1/3 of what you eat is superfree. Using syns for cereal is fine, that's what they're their for!x

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  22. I am an American and love this plan. You explained it very well but only wish we had SW here. Similar to WW but refined....many thanks!

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    1. Slimming World is available in the US now! As far as I know there aren't many groups as yet, but you can follow the plan online.

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  23. I am an American and only wish we had SW here! :(
    Am a member of WW but SW seems a little more refined. You explained the basics very well but all you did was make me wish for more info...poo! Your the best Helen!

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  24. I'm so happy to have found this blog. I have bought the books and am waiting for them to arrive. Had weetabix, a nectarine a banana and am now boiling some eggs. Its not spot on but is a start

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  25. Hi Helen, I'm trying to follow the EE plan but I'm confused whether I include the syns of the HEa&b as part of my overall syns or are they not included at all?
    Also I've been snacking between meals on 1% Mugshots, Low Fat Super Noodles and Fat Free Muller Lights but should I be having Free foods with these snacks?
    Thanks Andrea :)

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    1. Hi Andrea!
      Firstly, you don't need to count the syns in your healthy extras - on the EE plan you have one of each (a&b) PLUS 15 syns a day. Of course, if you want more of a healthy extra you can syn it (an extra cereal bar or ryvita for example).
      Your snacks sound great and I must admit I'm one for mullerlights too! Slimming World suggests that you follow the 2/3 free to 1/3 superfree for your snacks too, for the best result. This doesn't have to be all in one sitting though, just try to balance it out over the day. Some fruit mixed in with your yogurt or some peppers mixed into your mugshot is a great way to get superfree in there! You will still see the results without the 1/3 superfree, but they will probably be a bit slower. Hope that helps x

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  26. Hi, I'm on SW EE but confused as to whether I include the syns of my HE a&b or are they excluded for my daily 15 Syns?
    Also I snack on MugShots 1%, Low Fat Supper Noodles and Fat Free Muller Lights but should I be eating Free Foods with them?
    Thanks Andrea

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  27. Hi I have been looking all over the web for info on slimming world and yours is the best info thank you. I am going to my first class with my 14 year old son tonight we cant belive we can eat so much. we dont normally eat alot but still struggle with our weight so hope we can start enjoying food rather not than feeling bad for everything we put in our mouths. Just one question are all muller light yogurts free?

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    1. Hi Jane, I'm glad you found the post helpful! Well done on joining a group, you wont regret it!
      Most Muller light yogurts are free, just be cautious of ones with a fruit layer, or cakey pieces in (the cheesecake style ones) - the rest are free! Mullerlight greek style yogurts are half a syn for a pot - but really creamy and totally worth it! Good luck with your journey xx

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  28. Hi, what a great site, starting SW EE PLAN tomorrow... A stone to lose and determined ;) Can I ask if crab sticks are free or counted in syns? X

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    1. Hi Sue Ellen, good luck on your journey! Crab sticks are free on EE (and one of my favourite snacks!)
      Hx

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    2. Oh good, thanks Helen, just had weigh in so be back in a week to report weight loss fingers crossed!!

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    3. Thanks Helen, can I just also check if potatoes, peas and sweetcorn are also free foods on the EE PLAN? A bit confused! Not sure whether I count them as syns or not... Sue x

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    4. Hi again Sue, potatoes, peas and sweetcorn are free on EE, no need to weigh them or count them as syns, just make sure you have plenty of superfree foods with them! Can't wait to see how your first week goes!
      Hx

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    5. Thank you so much,this is amazing,I think I understand the extra easy now, I will follow this all the time now, you made it sound so easy

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  29. This is amazing, all the questions I was going to ask have been answered, thank you

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  30. This is amazing, started 3days ago, found it a bit confusing but you have answered all my questions, thank you so much, this has helped me so much

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  31. Thank you for your explaining information.Really understandable.
    Can you please tell us little about raw nuts.How many syns they count for?

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    1. Hi! I'm glad you found the info helpful. Unfortunately nuts are fairly high in syns as they are relatively high in fat, and this is a very low fat diet plan, but they can be used as a healthy extra. You would need to speak to your consultant or check your books/online to find out weights/amounts x

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