I just came off of 325+ days on Nutrisystem where I lost 25-30 lbs (depending on what day I weigh). I plan to use the Slimming World Food Optimizing plan for continued weight loss. I'll be sharing with you my impressions, successes (and maybe failures) so you can decide if this plan is right for you.
I've been on Nutrisystem for 325+ days and I've lost 30lbs (but gained back about 3-5 depending on the day of the week I weigh). It's time to move on! I receive pitches from publicists daily and yesterday I received one from a company I'd not yet heard of named Slimming World.
Evidently Slimming World is from the U.K. and has been around for quite some time (1969). They are now expanding into the U.S. market so the timing was perfect!
The program fee is $30.00 up front for the first 3 months then $10.00 per month for subsequent months. Rates are slated to go up later in the year to $65.00 intro fee and $15.00 per month. Unlike Nutrisystem the program does not offer any prepared foods but intends to teach you how to select and prepare your own healthy foods.
Slimming World provides a daily on-line journal system, a weekly group online meeting (if you wish) telephone support, recipes and meal plan suggestions. There is also an online community of other members on the plan. They also have chat support for basic questions.
The company is promoting themselves as a program for "foodies". This appears to be true in that the emphasis is on healthy food choices and clean food preparation and what they refer to as Food Optimizing. Foods are broken down into these categories:
The list is pretty big but for the most part it is most fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, rice, and pasta (even the plain white stuff). Nothing can have any added oils or fats. If you use oil or other fats you will deplete your daily allowance of "Syns" which I describe for you below. You can eat all you want of these foods and you don't have to measure or count them.
You will select 2 items from the Healthy Extra "a list" which includes various types of milk and cheese for adding calcium to your diet. Then you select 1 Healthy Extra “b” choice (for fiber) each day and these include things like healthy cereals, whole grain breads and tortillas, nuts, seeds, dried and canned fruit. These items are to be measured or weighed so you don't exceed the daily allowable amounts.
This may be a good time to note that as a professional "dieter" I typically weigh or measure certain foods as a matter of habit. For me those tend to be fats like olive oil, butter, cream. It's not a bad habit given these foods provide more calories per gram than any other food.
The Syns, short for synergy (and I think it makes reference to sinful foods) group is pretty much "everything else". This group is largely made up of most all the fats, sweets, calorie dense foods. Depending on your current weight and the amount you have to lose you are provided with a daily Syn allowance. Mine for example is 10. To give you an idea of how these bad boys add up, one tablespoon of heavy cream is 2.5 (of my 10). Another example is a 5 ounce glass of wine is 5.5 and a tablespoon of any type of vegetable or olive oil is 6.0 and butter is 2.0 per teaspoon.
This is really a subcategory of foods that branches from the free food list. It indicates that a
The slimmingworld.com website will further categorize foods as "F" for high in fiber and "P" for high protein and "S" for speed foods which are foods particularly low calorie, like radishes, cucumbers, lettuce, for example. For the fastest weight loss you'll want to eat mostly from these foods.
If you have a family you prepare meals for Slimming World is probably a better choice for you than Nutrisystem unless you are putting the whole family on Nutrisystem. I can't image the burden to have to prepare one meal for yourself and separate meals for the rest of the family. Of course the biggest plus of Slimming World is that you're teaching your family more healthful eating habits.
So now it's time for me to dive in and see what it's like to get this all sorted out and applied to a daily meal plan.