Interested in Slimming World, but now sure how it works? Check out my review for an online membership Slimming World
When you sign in to Slimming World with an online subscription you are greeted with the screen below that has easy to find links to your daily inspirations, action plan, and what is trending at the moment on the website.
As well as that you will see a bell notications link that will alert you to anything new happening or new comments to posts you have participated in on the community forum.
Then, of course, the browse section links to all your useful tools such as food optimising tools, weight loss planner, food search, community, profile, recipes etc
Most who visit my blog are not new to Slimming World, but for those of you stumbling across my blog that has not heard about this fab healthy eating plan before. I felt it was about time I did a review.
Slimming World formed in the UK over 40 years ago, 1969 to be exact by Margaret Mile-Bramwell.
The organisation holds meetings in various locations in the UK and has groups led by trained consultants, which are a place for members to share their experiences, discuss all things relating to the plan, including their weight loss.
Members are also weighed weekly and awarded by set goals as they are reached. It is a great support network.
In addition to the group meetings, they also have an online plan for members who are not able to make the weekly meetings or are in a location where no meetings are available to them.
Slimming World USA
In 2009, Slimming World ventured Stateside opening up various group meetings in the Texas area. Then in 2012 the Slimming World USA online program went live, it was amazing having a support team this side of the Atlantic.
Sadly at the end of 2019, Slimming World decided to discontinue their USA website and instead now all members regardless of where you live are directed to the UK website.
This is to ensure all members receive the same amount of support, information and are kept up to date on any changes etc to the programme.
I know many have been concerned about not having access to food lists for the country they live in. But as an online member, you will have access to the syns estimator and can easily work out the values in items from the nutritional information. Of course, if you are sticking to mainly those generic free foods that are available everywhere, there will not be a need to constantly work out syn values anyway. Which is always the best and healthier option.
A lifestyle Change
As most of you have read on my About page, I tried many other diets and while successful, I always found them unsustainable in the long term, until of course, I started on my Slimming World journey.
Since joining I can honestly say it has never felt like I am on a diet, there are so many delicious foods available to us and it totally retrains how we approach food and cooking.
No counting calories, weighing foods etc
So much so, that even when I haven’t been 100% focused, I still am following it loosely, which in turn means, since I started this way of healthy eating, the weight I have lost has not gone back on.
Slimming World is different from many other healthy eating plans in that it doesn't involve having to count calories, work out points or weigh food items constantly. Which as a busy mum was something that hugely appealed to me. It was easy to fit into my busy lifestyle.
So what does the program involve? I thought I would break it down for you below:
That is a word you will see used very often in the Slimming World plan.
Basically food optimising allows you to continue enjoying all the foods you love, but in a more positive and healthy way and if you hate having to count calories/points and weigh every single piece of food that enters your mouth, then this is the plan for you.
There are 3 basic steps to Slimming World:
This is a list that you can pick and choose an unlimited amount from, and you will be surprised by the amount of free foods that are available. Meat, fish, pasta, rice, potatoes, eggs, fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses etc, the list goes on.
Just think of all the delicious food combinations you can make with those.
The only recommendation is that you fill a ⅓ of your plate with speed foods (certain fruit and nonstarchy vegetables), What this does is naturally portion controls your meals, without any need for weighing or counting calories. All free foods are high satiety, meaning they keep you fuller for longer.
As well as your free foods you also get a certain number of healthy extras. These are 2 A choices which are foods which are high in calcium and 1 B choice which is high in fibre. They are added to make sure you give your body gets all the nutrients it needs.
Lastly is syns - No food is off bounds on Slimming World. Your daily syns are there to allow you access to the foods which are not on your free foods list.
You can choose between 5 and 15 syns per day to either incorporate into your meals for items which are not free, or on treats/snacks/wine etc.
All foods that are not free, have a syn allowance. So if you fancy that piece of chocolate, you can still have it and be 100% on plan.
It all sounds too easy right? Well that is because it is easy - Extra Easy
Which was the name that was given to the weight loss program by Slimming World. They now just call it - Food Optimising
Here is a sample of the yummy filling foods you could be eating every day while losing weight:
Syn Free Crispy Hash Browns
These are syn free as they use all FREE FOOD ingredients perfect served with eggs cooked to your choice, most of which are also syn free if you don't use oil, butter or milk.
Grilled Mushrooms and tomatoes are a great addition too and will add some speed foods to your plate.
Fancy ketchup? Then you can serve with some as part of your daily syn allowance.
Chicken and Lentil Soup
A delicious and hearty syn free soup using all FREE FOODS it's a perfect filling meal with healthy vegetables and good proteins like chicken and lentils.
A family favourite this cheeseburger pasta is syn free when using one of your Healthy Extra A allowances for the cheese. Perfect served with a delicious side salad with some vegetable of your choice.
Here are some meal plans for Slimming World Food Optimising as well as Vegetarian Meal Plans
Slimming World Food Optimising SP
As well as the traditional Food Optimising plan, there is now also Food Optimising SP. which you can do for a whole week or add a few days here and there to boost your weight loss.
When you do a food optimising SP day, you fill your plate with S (speed foods) which are nonstarchy vegetables and certain fruits and then P (protein rich foods), meats, fish, eggs, certain dairy and beans etc.
As well as that, try to fill at least ½ of your plate with the S (speed foods), that is because speed foods are filling but very low in calories. Along with the above you also still get your usual healthy extras and but instead of 15 syns a day, it drops to 10 syns a day.
Here are some meal plans for Slimming World Food Optimising SP and here is a What I ate this week on SP where I lost 4.5lbs
Online Slimming World Membership
So onto the online program. What exactly do you get? Membership, of course, will vary in price depending on which country you live in and currency conversions.
With your online membership, you get this handy little booklet sent to you in the post, which is a nice size to fit in your handbag, o that you can carry it around with you at all times.
- Welcome to Slimming World Booklet (containing all the information you need to follow the plan, I like to refer to it as the Slimming World bible, as once you have read through this a few times and the information has sunk in, you will know the plan like a pro, it is also the right size to make it handy for popping in your bag too).
- NOTE: The booklet was sent with the membership I signed up to, but may not always be received for different membership options, so check what you received upon signing up.
Once you have signed up, you get instant access to the website, that has a heap of resources at your fingertips:
- Food Optimising Essentials - All the information needed to help you start and continue with the plan
- Online food diary - Weight Loss Planner where you can enter your daily meals to ensure you are 100% on plan
- Food Search - allowing you to search for any food item to check if it's free food or has a syn value. NOTE: Branded items are UK based, but it is easy to work out the syns for branded items where you live using the syns estimator.
- Hundreds of delicious and easy recipes and menu plans.
- Body Magic
- Syns Estimator - this allows you to work out the syn allowance in foods which are not free by selecting a free food allowance (if it qualifies for one) and entering parts of the nutritional information.
- Weekly weigh-in - where you are prompted by email each week to remind you to weigh in and you can set your own targets. You will also receive little motivational awards as you reach certain goals and a graph will show you how well you are doing with your weight loss.
- Motivational Support - this is geared to help you. For instance, if you lose weight, there are plenty of encouragements and little messages to keep you going, but also have a bad week and you will be sent messages to help get you back on plan and focused.
- 24/7 access to the Online Community - where you can get support and share ideas with other members. I was really pleased to see this addition to online membership, as following the plan online and not being able to physically go to meetings can be tough. This area is great for support and for sharing tips/ideas with other online members.
- Live Community Gathering - A set gathering where you can chat about how you are getting on or ask for tips/advice etc
- Members letters and weight loss/success stories - read other members success stories to increase your motivation.
- If that wasn’t enough you will also have 24/7 access to the website which also includes features with tips and support.
Stuck with understanding something in particular or need to ask a question? the Slimming World website also has a little chat box at the bottom of the page when you log in, where you can speak to a member of the team when they are online (office hours only)
Sounds great? Well that’s because it is. Once you try this new way of healthy eating, you will not believe how easy it is to lose weight and keep the weight off.
Join Slimming World
Sign up here - Slimming World
For those in the UK that are lucky enough to have access to group meetings in person. Check out my post on The Benefit of Slimming World Groups. It will help you decide whether a group class or online membership is the best for you.
If you are already a member, you click on the share buttons at the top of this post to share with your family and friends.
Tricia Lowther says
I am a regular visitor to your website and use manyofyiur fabulous recipes. I am also a consultant running 5 slimming world sessions a week in the UK. I am really hoping that the SlimmingWorld way of life gets discovered by as many people in Canada and the USA as possible as it is truly amazing. Keep up the great work you do on this site as my members and myself love it. Good luck and continued success to you with your weight loss the extra easy way.
I know you did this post some time ago, hope you're still checking for comments. 🙂 A friend of mine in the UK just started "Slimming World" and, at least for the first couple of weeks, has had great success.
I'm curious if you're still having the positive experience you note in your blog post? I'm very tempted as the plan sounds great, but it almost sounds too great! 🙂 Is it any easier to get foods now here in Canada?
If you have a moment, hope you can let me know.
I have been doing Slimming World many years now and love it. I have had the occasional break doin my own thing, but always go back to the ease of Slimming World. Being in Canada or anywhere else for that matter wont effect how well you do on the plan. Admittingly yes you won't have the support of a face to face group, but Slimming World USA (which is also available to Canadian members) does have a private facebook group which is moderated by official Slimming World stuff, where you can post questions, and get support and encouragement from other members. I don't eat much in the way of packaged food. I like to cook from scratch for my whole family, and I get the flexibility to do that with all the free food choices. Hope that helps 🙂
Thanks so much. I took the plunge and joined. Hard to go wrong, it's so inexpensive compared to other plans.
I'm going to take a few days and read through all the materials and the website before starting in earnest. It's a little confusing at first, but I think I'm just having trouble accepting how easy the plan is to follow; figuring there must be more to it. But, there's probably not. 🙂
Be sure to follow the link on the website to join the group on facebook. You will find a huge amount of advice and support on there. Good luck!!
Anna Bilbeny says
Hi!! I found you some weeks ago and I love your blog. Also following you on instagram. Im currently living in London, Im a member of SW for two years now. Im moving to the states in 4 months and Im struggling to find americam SW members to follow recipes and whats most important, find low syns or syn free products. I really wanna start getting familiar with all the items before I get there, be sure of what Im eating. I know we can look at the calories and fat and have an idea of syns but, do you know any Instagram accounts from SW american members? I really wanna continue with SW. Such a shame SW isnt that popular in the states! It should! Its awesome.
Im on instagram by the name of @annna_sw
It would be awesome if you could pass my address around the states area. Thank you love. xx
Just stumbled across this. I've wanted to join SW since it came over to the States, but I do not live in Texas. I know there is an online option but I feel that I wouldn't benefit from it as much (if at all) as I would person to person. That saddens me as I've NEVER been excited to join such a program, and when I am, it's one that doesn't have actual meetings. I know it is compared to WW here in the states (which is much more expensive - if I remember correctly) and I've found the people in my area to be rude, at least, there are people in my area though. =( I wish SW had more than just Texas locations though.
The online membership for the US is very good. You get lots of support. I suggest trying a short membership to give it a go and see how you get on.
Pauline Evans says
Just come across this and it breaks the plan down perfectly. Makes so much more sense now, thx for this. I can't wait to get started but sadly the US site is down at the moment. I live in Canada but originate from the UK and joined SW over there whilst on a visit home and loved it...
Hi Pauline. Everyone in Canada is now being sent to the UK slimming world site. They discovered there was too many difference with food regulations etc between the US and Canada, so they decided to split the two and will eventually have a Canadian site, however there is no set date for that yet, so until then, the basic Canadian lists will be added to the UK site where you can sign up for membership. Hope that helps. The US team are very friendly and supportive if you wish to contact them through their facebook page.
Debbie Upchurch says
I just signed up and paid for a three month membership. I received an email saying welcome etc. But I can't find an information or link to get onto the website. Only Facebook and instergram pages come up. Please help.
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
Hi Debbie, was it the US site? If so you need to go to http://www.slimmingworld.com and sign in with the login details you entered on sign up. If it was the uk site. It would be http://www.slimmingworld.co.uk
Dana McIntosh says
Grew up in the U.K. , now live in Calgary, Ab Canada. Best friends in UK with SW. Glenn is man of the year - lost 10 stone now! Wife Shauna has lost about 5 stone. Very inspiring. Any group/on line group in Canada? Also, what is Canada's equivalent of quark? Appreciate a response. Dana
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
Hi Dana - in Canada, you can find quark at most Loblaws stores, by the liberte brand, it is usually in the sour cream/cream cheese area. If your store doesn't carry it, just requesting it in through the store manager- hope that helps 🙂
Clare Raikes says
What about the frylight product is there an eqivalent in Canada or can you make your ownspray would Pam be similar and also an alternative to mueller light yoghurts please.
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
Hi there - yes Pam would be the fry light equivalent or I like the bertolli olive oil spray which is just oil, not other ingredients.Costco do their own brand too.
Monika J says
I am thinking about joining SW but just wondering whether It'll be easy enough for me with cooking. Do you have to cook only by the SW recipes or can you experiment a little?
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
you have a huge list of free foods at your disposal to create your own recipes/meals 🙂 if you do not want to follow a particular recipe.
Anna C Rutherford says
I am looking into Slimming World however it does not appear that Canadians can get a subscription to the US site any longer. I am curious if you ever tried the UK one and how different were they? Did you prefer one over the other?
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
I have been a member on both sites before. There isn’t really as huge difference. The only main one is in the US they get 2 healthy extra A’s but then only 10 syns a day and in the UK 1 healthy extra A but 15 syns a day. So really it kind of equates to the same.
I was a member of Slimming World USA in the past. I went to join again today and it doesn't seem to be there. Is Slimming World USA no longer available?
Shevy (Slimming Eats) says
All members now join through the Uk site, this is so that all members are kept up to date with changes and they can offer the same support to everyone.