I thought I would do a little post to help others understand the benefits of speed foods (used to be superfree foods, but has slightly changed/been updated).
Do I have to add a 1/3 speed foods?
That is a question asked by many, and some of those who are used to the Original and Green plans often find it hard to understand how Extra Easy/Food optimising works when you are mixing the two food groups together unlimited.
I am therefore, hoping this post will help those who are new and old, to understand why Slimming World recommend a 1/3 speed foods at every meal time.
Look at this plate for instance, a big pile of bacon and tomato pasta. All free foods on Slimming World, so I can eat all this right? Well yes you could, but if you started eating lots of meals like this at every meal time, with no speed foods, you might find your losses are slow or that you are not losing weight at all. So what can I do to improve?
Well firstly you do have some speed foods added in the homemade tomato sauce, but it is nowhere near enough, so lets remove some of the bacon and tomato pasta from the plate and add a 1/3 speed foods with a salad. Obviously it doesnt have to be a salad, it can be any kind of speed food of your choosing.
Now doesn’t that look better? I nice healthy balanced plate.
This is why a 1/3 speed foods is such a clever concept, you have naturally reduced the portion of your free foods, by adding these foods without the need to weigh or count calories in any of your meals. So naturally you will be eating better, your portion controls are managed and therefore you will naturally lose weight.
I don’t like most of the speed foods, so what can I do?
That is a response I see very often, and it is fact that there are many people who do not like vegetables, who struggle to add the speed foods to their plate. So how can you get these foods into your meal and naturally limit your portion of the free foods? Well if you do really struggle to add it to your plate. Serve yourself a homemade soup made with lots of speed foods first, or perhaps a small fruit salad and then serve your main meal on a smaller plate than what you would normally, so you are not piling it high with the other free foods.
One comment I also see all too often, is to have a bowl of fruit, after your meal. However this defeats the object of the speed foods advice, because chances are, once you have eaten that big plate piled high with free foods (and no or little speed foods), you will either be too full to eat the fruit or will be eating extra food just for the sake of it and of course that is not the intention of the recommended 1/3 speed foods.
How can I add speed foods to my meals?
There are many ways you can add them to your meals. As I mentioned before, if you struggle adding it to your plate, you can always start your meal with a bowl of soup made with lots of healthy vegetables, which will fill you up a little before eating your meal. Otherwise add speed foods to your plate with things like side salads or roasted veggies or when cooking things like spaghetti bolognese, chilli, shepherds pie etc, use less meat and bulk it all out with lots of speed foods. Also with all the vegetable spiralizers that are now available you can literally spiral any vegetable and turn it into something delicious, cauliflower rice is another good one (you will find a couple of recipes right here on my blog). But remember – it is only un-starchy vegetables that count as speed foods. I see many people making the mistake of thinking sweetcorn, peas, beans, parsnips etc are a speed food. They are free foods, but not speed foods.
Below I will do some examples at each meals times of how you can add speed foods to your meals.
- add fruit to your cereals
- cooked breakfast can have things like tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, spinach etc added to them
- bacon sandwiches are great filled with some grilled tomatoes and baby spinach
- or start the day with a small bowl of fruit salad/melon before your poached egg on toast etc
- add a mixed salad to your plate (things like lettuce, onion, beetroot, tomatoes, cucumber and apple are all great in salads),
- add some roasted veggies to your plate (courgettes, aubergine, onion, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot are all delicious roasted)
- vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, with a little stock added, some black pepper and a bit of a HEa serving of cheese and then baked in the oven is a great way to add some superfree to your plate.
- replace mash/chips with things like roasted butternut squash or mashed swede/carrots or celeriac chips
- make a ratatouille which is great served alongside meats/carbs
- spiral some veg and have that in place of pasta/noodles
- replace rice with cauliflower rice
- when cooking things like spaghetti bolognese, chilli, stir fries or shepherds pie etc, use less meat and bulk out with lots of vegetables (onion, courgette, carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, bean sprouts etc)
- or start the meal with a bowl of superfree soup and then have a smaller plate of your main course.
So yes we can eat free foods unlimited, but within reason, because at the end of the day if you eat more than your body physically needs regardless of what healthy eating regime you are on, you will not lose weight. We should all be trying to recognize when we are satisfied and not get to the point where you feel stuffed. Something that is very hard to do, but is easier to obtain when sticking to the 1/3 speed foods advice.
A good tip I also do when preparing my meals, is to think speed foods first and free foods after. So for instance put at least 1/3 of speed foods on your plate first and then add the other free foods.
Also if you can add more than a 1/3 speed food to your plate, then even better. The more speed foods you eat, the more you will boost your weight loss. I sometimes have a least a half superfree on my plate, especially if it is things like roasted veggies (my favourite). You don’t have to do an SP day to bulk up with the speed foods.
Here are some of my SP friendly sides to give you inspiration for some dishes to up your speed foods.
I will leave you with this little diagram.
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