The Slimming World Food Optimising Diet promotes weight-loss through calorie restriction in the diet. Members are encouraged to be active, but exercise is not a formal part of the Slimming World plan. The diet is based on these principles:
- Nutritious or filling foods having a low calorie content are termed “free foods” (that is, the quantity consumed is unrestricted).
- Higher-calorie foods containing plenty of minerals, vitamins or fiber are termed “healthy extras”, and are recommended to be eaten in 4 small servings daily.
- Other foods are measured against a daily allowance based on their “syn values” (coined by Slimming World and short for synergy SYN is actually a re-working of the registered trademark SIN). A total of between 5-15 syns per day is permitted, depending on your goals – 1 glass of wine comes in at 5 syns. Syn values for individual foods are calculated by a proprietary method based on calories, and the values for thousands of foods can be checked on theby members of the program.
Red Days and Green Days
Each day of the weekly diet under the Food Optimising plan is termed an Original (or Red) day or a Green day. Foods may be classified differently depending on which day they are to be consumed.
- Red day “free foods” include most fruits and vegetables, white fish, lean meats and eggs. Milk, cheese, bread, grains, beans, potatoes and dried fruits are restricted “healthy extras”.
- Green day “free foods” include fruit and vegetables, grains, beans, pulses, pasta, rice, tofu, and eggs. “Healthy extras” include milk, cheese, bread, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, meat, and fish.
Participants choose either the Green or Original (Red) option for the day and stick to it all day. With either option, members can eat plenty of healthy, highly satisfying foods, while the intake of energy dense, fatty and sugary foods is controlled.
The recent addition of two further choices, Mix2Max and Success Express, gives more flexibility to the Food Optimising diet plan, and more options for slimmers.
- Mix2Max gives flexibility by allowing a mix of Green and Original the same day, choosing at each meal time instead of each day, and still allowing snacking through the day from a long list of foods.
- Success Express gives participants a super boost to their weight loss when needed, by allowing Green and Original Free Food on the same plate, without counting. One third of the plate is filled by free choice from Green or Original Free Food lists. The other two thirds is filled with so-called Superfree Foods (super healthy, super low in energy-density) such as vegetables and salad. There is still a long list of foods that can be snacked on throughout the day.
Sample Meal Plan
1oz muesli and fat free vanilla yoghurt.
227g baked apple with 1tbs mincemeat, and 7 high fiber crackerbreads.
On a Green day – Spicy chicken and spinach with pasta and a green salad.
- Stir fry in a wok, about 120g chicken, marinated in (fat-free) yoghurt and curry paste (2 syns) .
- Add spinach until wilted.
- Add steamed green beans.
- Add cooked pasta and half a small pot of fat-free natural yoghurt.
On a Green day, for a tasty and very filling spaghetti bolognese use a measured serving of lean mince in tomato sauce with plenty of pasta.
On an Original day, for a very satisfying lunch have a jacket potato, mounded with low-fat chicken curry.