10 Things You Absolutely Must Have Whilst on Slimming World Diet
Why Slimming World?
I started Slimming World because I had many friends who have achieved some great weight loss with them. Some further points made my decision for me:
Doctor endorsed: [unofficial of course!] My friend and colleague who carries some major heart problems admitted to his doc during a check up that he'd joined a weight loss group. The doctor looked at him sharply and asked 'which one'. When my friend replied 'Slimming World' the doctor just nodded and said that that was about the only one where he wouldn't advise him to leave the group.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding friendly: SW is an alliance partner of The Royal College of Midwives. They help women successfully manage their weight before, during and after pregnancy. As a woman who is keen to begin a family (and didn't want to stop eating healthily once pregnant), this was important to me.
Free foods: I do a lot of exercise (around 7 hours per week). I needed a system that allowed unlimited amounts of healthy food so that I could fill up and properly fuel my body. I knew I needed an adequate amount of carbs and protein, and on browsing my friends pack-up I knew I could do this with SW.
So I've followed SW (almost) religiously for a few weeks. Here are my 10 must haves:
1. A good non-stick frying pan
Essential for cooking many many things without adding fat. Cooking spray (see 2) is useful but won't help in the grans scheme of things without a good pan to start with.
2. Cooking Spray
Fry-light is quoted most often, but other brands are available and some slimmers have reportedly made their own!
Essential for taking snacks and meals out and about.
4. Herbs and Spices
Use herbs and spices with abandon or else resign yourself to giving up due to bland food. Fat tastes good which is why we learn to cook with too much of it - replace the taste!
Hobbies other than eating food I mean. Keeping your hands and/or brain very busy will help you from thinking of your stomach. [NB: On SW you eat enough to be full - keeping busy stops you from eating due to boredom, and boredom eating is usually our higher calorie treats rather than healthy foods]
6. A Food Planner
Whether this is a scrap piece of paper split into sections or a custom design, a food planner will help you to organise the next few days or week ahead. Plan around free or nearly free meals, with your healthy As and Bs incorporated. As you add meals, add to the shopping list. Mark out where there will be any crunch points such as meals out or visitors coming and try to save your syns for those times and/or come up with a plan to avoid high syn foods and drinks.
7. A place to pin your plans and achievements
You can make this a full blown 'inspiration board' or you can just assign where to keep things. I kept my SW folder on the coffee table at all times for easy reference along with my weeks meal plan. I pinned up my achievements behind the TV with other cards so that they were always in sight. Think about where you will put your shiny stickers when you achieve them - The SW book is good but they change them occasionally. If you have a long way to go perhaps think of keeping them on the outside cover of your SW folder, or on another item that you can cherish.
8. Dishsoap or dishwashing tablets
I know this sounds silly but compared to how I used to eat before SW, I go through a l LOT of dishes, bowls, mixers, chopping boards, tupperware and pans! When I have time to prep food I seem to have the dishwasher going non-stop so be prepared!
9. An organised and well-stocked kitchen
This may be obvious but you shouldn't ever be ravounously hungry on SW. Being well stocked on your go-to foods is important. Be careful that you're not just eating the same foods all the time, but having these to hand stops any panic and impulsive quick food shopping. I recommend:
Eggs, Bananas, 1/2 size tins of beans, sweet and normal baking potatoes, apples, wholemeal bread (healthy B) stored in the freezer, pre-cooked bacon, ham, salmon and chicken in the fridge etc etc
You will know what your favourites are, but also remember that 1/3 of your food should be speed foods.
10. Great friends/family/housemates
This is probably the most important. Your family or housemates will either be cooking for you or eating very SW based meals with you. They'll need to try to eat sweet and fatty foods in a non-tempting way. They'll need to think about your needs when you go out for dinner, or when arranging to go to other peoples houses, and finally they'll be the ones who congratulate you or commiserate with you each week on your journey.