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Jenniferʼs joy

How our cover star lost an amazing


ʻOver 50st goneʼ

Real-life slimming secrets that will work for you

43 gloriously pages of


good food

All your favourites from pizza to pad thai PLUS:

We ♥ dessert

Dreamy low-Syn puds

Success in


Get the weight loss you want this week with our super-filling plan

Win a seaside spa break for 4

HAPPY HABITS! 7 ways to find a new slimming groove p20


live happy!

visit for your free 7-day slim-down plan!

Photograph: Gareth Morgans

Ch ick en cho wm ein


Slimming World …and enjoy the food you love – chicken chow mein, curry, burger & chips, even decadent desserts – and lose weight beautifully! It doesn’t sound like a diet, does it? That’s because it isn’t! It’s Food Optimising, and it’s going to change your life.

eat happy! You’ve probably heard people talk about Slimming World. They eat big portions of real food with the whole family, they’re never hungry – yet the weight drops off! They can hardly believe it, and neither will you. Because Food Optimising is every bit as delicious, generous and effective as they say – all without counting calories, without having to weigh or measure everything you eat and without missing out on your favourites!

be happy! Because we know that forever weight loss goes so much deeper than what you eat, we support you on every step of your journey at our friendly, inspiring groups all over the UK and Ireland. Together, we’ll help you achieve things you never thought possible.

happy days! Slimming World costs just £4.95/€9 a week and right now you’ll save £5/€9* with our half price membership offer. Better still, if you join together with five friends, you’ll all get your first week FREE too! (You’ll pay just £5/€9 each on week one.)

find out where, when and how

search online for Slimming World

0344 897 8000 *Standard membership fee is £10/€18 and weekly group fee is £4.95/€9 – see website for full details.

In this issue ●● on the cover

be inspired

10 ‘My 5st triumph’ Cara Difalco put years of yo-yo dieting behind her to drop five dress sizes – and she feels fantastic!

14 ‘The new me is here to stay’

She once thought weight-loss surgery was her only Sarah Kinally is 8st 11½lbs lighter without going under the knife

20 ● Spot your slimming danger zones



Do certain situations send you off track? These seven super strategies will help you get into a new weight-loss groove

23 ● Spring into slim Brighten up your week with these Free and low-Syn meals and snacks, and see great results on the scales

34 ● Jennifer’s 9st 9lbs lighter

Meet our inspirational cover star Jennifer Ginley: Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2017

look, cook, eat

46 The great British fakeaway We’ve Food Optimised all your takeaway faves for a Friday-night (or any night!) feast that’s bang on plan!

59 Overnight porridge oats

Four fruity takes on the popular Food Optimising brekkie

60 Celebrate! Get into the St Patrick’s Day spirit with our push-the-boat-

out celebration menu – three tasty courses for just 2½ Syns


62 ‘Sharing recipes helped us slim’

How eating and cooking together helped mother and daughter Heather and Rachel Gibson lose over 6st

69 Globetrotter

Our brand-new series of recipes from around the world kicks off with a French classic – Steak frites with Béarnaise sauce

70 Feel Free!

Say hello to your new weeknight heroes: a trio of dishes, all Free and ready in half an hour or less

74 Food news

Fill your trolley with the best new Food Optimising buys

78 ● Made with love


From divine puff-pastry tartlets to the sweetest dainty filled meringues, we think you’ll heart our super-cute puds

march/april 2017

106 ‘M’ for men


88 ‘I’m no longer scared of the mirror’

Hairstylist Kurtis Bissett looks and feels like a whole new man after losing 10st 7lbs

90 Break through the BUT...

How ditching this three-letter word could help supercharge your motivation


93 10 weight-loss wins

Slimming down can improve your health in some surprising ways – here’s our pick of the best

96 ‘We did it – together!’ After losing 14st 9½lbs, Andrew and Paula Butler are loving life as a slimmer, healthier couple

be your best you 105 In bloom

The prettiest eyeshadow shades for spring

106 Over the rainbow


How to introduce colour into your wardrobe...

109 Yes, you can quit!

How to stop smoking without stubbing out your well-laid weight-loss plans


112 Falling in love with fitness

While losing 6st 2½lbs, Kirsty Walker discovered a passion for Body Magic that changed her life

everything else 4 Recipe index

7 Editor’s welcome 41 ● Win a spa break worth £1,300 102 Subscribe & save! 116 From the heart


121 Shop the issue 125 Terms and conditions 127 Are you our next magazine star? 128 Fancy that! Cover credits Photograph: Paul Buller. Styling: Rachel Fanconi. Hair & make-up: Liz Kitchiner. Jennifer wears: Dress, Chi Chi London. Earrings, Dower & Hall. Ring, Dyrberg/Kern. See p121 for stockists


Recipe index Your at-a-glance guide to all the delicious dishes in this issue and Syns per serving

meat & poultry



29 71 50 24 53 60 128 54 27 50 61 70 53 72 63 25 69 48

Beef lasagne 1½ Bucatini all’amatriciana FREE Burgers with mustard ‘mayo’ & sweet potato chips FREE* Chicken Kiev with chunky chips 1½ Chicken with BBQ beans, sweetcorn, slaw & fries 3 Colcannon parsnip cakes with bacon FREE Curried Scotch eggs FREE* Duck ‘pancakes’ 1 Five-spice pork with stir-fried veg FREE n Four seasons cauliflower pizza ½ Guinness-braised steak with crunchy green slaw & chips 1 Harissa-spiced turkey couscous FREE Lamb doner kebab FREE Mustard pork with parsnip mash & apple sauce 1½ Sausage & bean pasta bake FREE Steak fajita boats FREE Steak frites with Béarnaise sauce ½ Ultimate chicken tikka masala FREE

fish & seafood 49 54 12 30

Fish & chips with tartare sauce 2 Prawn & butternut-squash noodle chow mein FREE n Prawn jalfrezi FREE Traditional side of salmon FREE




71 28 65 73 26 74 65

Chickpea curry with spinach & eggs FREE Falafel with herby giant couscous FREE Herby vegetable quiche FREE n Minted courgette & potato tortilla FREE Risotto primavera FREE Spicy bean jackets 2½ Veggie pad thai 2

sweet things 59 66 59 80 59 61 83 82 80 59 80 84

Banana-berry overnight porridge oats FREE* Banoffee cheesecake 3 Carrot cake overnight porridge oats FREE* Chocolate & orange cheesecake 5½ Hot apple pie overnight porridge oats FREE* Irish coffee & chocolate pots 1½ Pancakes with mixed berries 2½ Passion fruit & mango panna cottas 1 Peach & raspberry kisses 1 Peach Melba overnight porridge oats FREE* Raspberry & cherry jellies ½ Strawberry puff-pastry tartlets 4½

n Extra Easy SP recipes packed with Speed and Protein-rich foods; perfect

when you want to lose a little more in a little less time *Add 6 Syns if not using the wholemeal roll/wholemeal bread as a Healthy Extra and add 7 Syns if not using the porridge oats as a Healthy Extra






editor’s welcome

Find your happy place


ooking at our fabulous cover star, Jennifer Ginley, this issue, I’m just bowled over by her inspiring 9st 9lb weight loss. And do you know what the first thing I see is? I see a smile that used to be shy and uncertain transformed into pure beaming joy. At Slimming World, we understand that weight loss means so much more to you than fitting into a smaller pair of jeans or feeling great in a dress. It’s about finding lasting health, happiness and confidence. On page 34, Jennifer speaks movingly of how food used to be her friend and her enemy. The thing that gave her comfort also became her greatest source of torment. Now she’s able to enjoy the pleasure it brings without the guilt. And if you, too, would love to make over your relationship with food, we’re here to help you get off to the best start possible. As well as slimming versions of your fast-food favourites, and some sumptuous lightened-up desserts, we’ve got strategies to help you find your new groove. Discover how to tame the triggers that might send you off track (p20) and address the negative thoughts that stand in the way of your dreams (p90). There’s inspiration from our other sensational real-life slimmers, too: from Sarah Kinally, who is loving life after dropping 10 dress sizes (p14), to husbandand-wife team Andrew and Paula Butler, who spurred each other on to lose almost 15st between them (p96). They’ve found their healthier, happier future and now it’s your turn – are you ready to amaze yourself? Sara Ward, editor


Meet some of this issue’s inspiring slimmers

When I first joined Slimming World, I didn’t really believe I could do it. Then with each pound lost, I gained more resolve. Now I’m five dress sizes smaller. Cara, 42, lost 5st 6½lbs – p10

I’m a hairstylist, and standing in front of a mirror all day at almost 30st wrecked my self-esteem. Losing weight has given me my confidence and my life back. Kurtis, 25, lost 10st 7lbs – p88

There was a time when I’d do anything to avoid exercise. Thanks to Food Optimising and Body Magic, I’m full of energy and I’ve fallen in love with fitness.

Kirsty, 31, lost 6st 2½lbs – p112

Get in touch! We’d love to hear what you think about the magazine. Email us at, write to us at Slimming World magazine, Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW, or call us on 01773 546 071


be inspired


Real-life slimming secrets and smart strategies to help you win at weight loss

Success found! Losing 9st 9lbs set Jennifer Ginley free to live the slim and happy life she’d dreamed of... Turn to page 34 for her story


‘My 5st   triumph’ Cara Difalco was stuck in a yo-yo dieting cycle – now five dress sizes slimmer, she’s loving her new look Cara, 42, is a teaching assistant and lives in Bolton, Greater Manchester, with her daughter, Gabriella, 18. She’s 5ft ½in tall and weighs 9st 10lbs, having lost 5st 6½lbs at Claire Hunter’s Slimming World group in Bolton ‘Can you get in there and hold this in place for me?’ Dad asked, gesturing towards a poky corner of the room where he was fitting my new bath. As he lowered it into position, I tried to squeeze myself between a ladder and the wall. ‘I need a bigger bathroom,’ I said, struggling. ‘Or a smaller bottom,’ he joked. It stopped me in my tracks. Dad had never commented on my weight before and that just wasn’t the sort of thing he’d say. It made me think – if he was telling me I was big, then maybe it was time I did something about it. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t tried to lose weight. One of my best friends, Bev, and I had done every diet going, without much success. So when she suggested we join Slimming World, I was tempted to refuse. Then I remembered Dad’s comment and decided to give it a go. Although I didn’t really believe I could do it, I decided to keep an open mind about Food Optimising. I filled up on Speed Free Foods and stayed for IMAGE Therapy to pick up ideas from the other members. To my surprise, I lost weight week after week. And with each pound down, I felt more and more positive. Now, nothing was going to stop me! Even when my relationship broke down, I was determined it wouldn’t send me off track. I had so much support at group – from my Consultant, Claire, Bev and the other members who’d quickly become my friends. And at home, my daughter, Gabriella, tried out all the Slimming World recipes with me and even helped me get into exercise. When I reached my target weight, Mum was so pleased for me, she cried tears of happiness. Yet nobody is prouder than Dad. He’s always telling me so, and he’s even helped me buy a whole new size-12 wardrobe. I know I won’t be needing my old size 20-22s ever again! 10 SLIMMING WORLD

CARA WEARS: Above: Dress, Miss Patina. Shoes, Chi Chi London. Earrings, Dower & Hall. Bag, New Look p12: Coat, Samsoe & Samsoe. Top, Closet London. Jeans and shoes, both New Look. Earrings, Dower & Hall. Bangle, London Road Jewellery

first word

With a little help from... Cara shares the tricks that made a difference to her slimming journey, and the treats (and people) that spurred her to success

I treated myself every time I lost a stone. To begin with, I chose things I wouldn’t slim out of, like Swarovski jewellery, Kurt Geiger shoes or a new hairdo. Eventually, I was buying size-12 clothes! Before I lost weight, getting dressed up for nights out was always stressful. This was the only ‘going out’ top I had that fitted, and I didn’t even like it! I’d often compensate for feeling self-conscious by joking around.


Pom-Bear Original Potato Snacks, £1 for a five-bag multipack, Tesco

Now I’m so much slimmer I love glamming up. It all started with a comment from my lovely dad, Glenn, and here we are together: thanks for being my rock, Dad!

I still love crisps, so it’s great I can have a 15g bag of Pom-Bear for 4 Syns.

I used to struggle just taking a stroll around the block with my dog, Rocco – we walk for miles now. It never fails to perk me up, and it also reminds me how far I’ve come.

Bracelet, £85, Swarovski

Top, Nine by Savannah Miller, £28; leggings, Red Herring, £23; both at Debenhams

As I became more confident about exercise, I swapped my tracksuit (with the top zipped up even if I was boiling hot!) for leggings and a vest.

Here I am with my daughter, Gabriella. The picture on the left was taken three months into my journey when I’d lost 2st. The one above was on my birthday last year, a week after I’d reached my target. I felt amazing – and I still do!


first word

My go-to recipe Prawn jalfrezi

This medium-spiced curry makes a great Friday-night freezer standby EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 âœą (curry only)

Ready in about 40 minutes

Gabriella and I love making Slimming World versions of our favourite curries. I cooked this jalfrezi for my dad when he came over, and he was so impressed he asked for the recipe!

Low-calorie cooking spray 2 garlic cloves, crushed 4 green chillies, 2 deseeded and finely chopped, 2 split lengthways 5 medium tomatoes, 3 chopped, 2 cut into wedges 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tbsp garam masala 1 tsp turmeric Pinch of sweetener 1 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp fat-free natural yogurt 1 onion, thickly sliced 500g raw peeled king or tiger prawns 1 red and 1 orange pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced 1 level tsp cornflour Cucumber ribbons and any freshly boiled plain dried rice, to serve

1 Spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the garlic, chopped chillies, chopped tomatoes, spices, sweetener and salt. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften. 2 Add the split chillies and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the yogurt and 200ml water. Stir well, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by a third, stirring occasionally (don’t worry if the yogurt separates a bit at first). 3 Meanwhile, spray another non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the onion, prawns and peppers. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the prawns turn pink. Add the tomato wedges and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. 4 Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water. Stir into the sauce and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in the prawns and veg, then bring to the boil to heat everything through. Serve with the cucumber and rice.


Syns per serving: FREE



Sarah Kinally, 34, is a Slimming World Consultant. She lives in Stourbridge, West Midlands

Height: 5ft 4ins Starting weight: 19st 9½lbs Weight now: 10st 12lbs


8st 11½lbs

Sarah is a target member of Michaela Mucklow’s Slimming World group in Halesowen, West Midlands, and runs her own groups in Cradley Heath, West Midlands

Despite the brave face, bullying had left me shy and withdrawn


shining bright

‘The new me is here to stay’


Once, Sarah Kinally believed she had no option left but drastic surgery. Now almost 9st slimmer, she’s found the secret to a healthy and happy future

Sitting alone in my bedroom, hunched over my laptop, I tried to stop my hands from shaking as I began to type three little words that seemed to spell out my last resort: weight-loss surgery. I’d turned on my computer so determined to go through with it. Yet now, scrolling through the search results, my eyes filled with tears as I read about the terrifying health risks: bleeding, blood clots, blockages, heart attack… I reminded myself why I was doing this. The night before, I’d had a panic attack and the pains in my chest had been so intense, I’d wondered if I might not wake in the morning. Then I’d had a dark thought: ‘Would it be such a bad thing if I didn’t?’ Without doubt, I’d reached my lowest ebb. I was only 31 and I’d virtually lost the will to live. I’d been struggling with my weight for years, going on a diet for a while, then each time giving up and gaining even more weight until, at a size 28, I felt like I’d tried everything. And now I was desperate to change. Desperate enough to spend my life savings on invasive surgery, even though I found the prospect of it completely terrifying. I steeled myself to carry on my search and clicked on another link. It was a blog post by a

woman who’d also come to the conclusion that gastric bypass surgery was her only option…then she’d joined Slimming World. Like me, the woman had been at her wits’ end and had attempted every diet under the sun. Now, having lost the weight without going under the knife, she couldn’t believe she’d ever considered surgery. It was the one thing I hadn’t tried – going to a Slimming World group. And that was when it struck me. Yes, I had to do something, but no, it didn’t have to be surgery. I could have a final go at trying to lose weight without medical intervention, like the woman in the blog. Her story had given me hope that it was worth one last try. So there and then, I made a pact with myself: I’d join Slimming World and if I hadn’t lost any weight after three months, I’d use my savings for a gastric-band operation.

Growing pains

My weight issues had started when I was teenager. I had a scar on my forehead from when I’d fallen at home and the other kids teased me about it mercilessly. I sought comfort at the tuck shop, spending all my pocket money on sweets, chocolate, cake and crisps to cheer myself up. The more I >

SARAH’S JOURNEY... July 2005

When I saw this candid snap of me, I was so upset. I’d been holidaying with my two best friends on a boat, and one of them had taken this picture when I was engrossed in my book.

Xmas 2006

I’m smiling here and trying to be festive...but what I was really thinking was, ‘Please, please zoom in on my face’. I tried to avoid having full-length photos taken if I could. SLIMMING WORLD 15

comfort ate, though, the more weight knew I could only choose from a few I put on, and the bullying just got shops and that I was likely to end up After three worse and worse. As a result, I with elasticated-waist trousers and hated school, had very few friends months I already a flowy top, whereas Jennie would and became shy and withdrawn. be slipping into glamorous felt amazing – I left school for catering dresses. In the end, I stopped college and thought the bullying going with her altogether. there was no way would stop... Then I discovered Of course, there was no way I was ditching that some of the other students I’d dream of letting my sister group for had nicknamed me Jabba the Hutt down on her big day. Inside, after the alien in Star Wars. It was though, I was terrified at the thought surgery! only when I broke down in tears in of being her bridesmaid. The idea of front of them that they realised how squeezing into a fitted dress and being in hurtful their comments were. By then, though, all her wedding photos filled me with horror. the damage had been done. What if I ruined all the pictures? Once I’d completed the college course, I spent a I kept my feelings to myself until the day Jennie short stint working in a pizza restaurant. Back then suggested we go shopping for a bridesmaid’s dress. I was a size 18, and I felt like everyone was looking ‘I can’t,’ I told her. I imagined going into a bridal at me working with food and judging me. So I soon shop surrounded by slim sales assistants, all gave up all thoughts of becoming a chef and started laughing at me because I couldn’t fit into anything. working at my family’s printing business. From then ‘Please, please can I have mine custom-made?’ on, I only cooked at home for my parents. Like me, Jennie knew just what to do. ‘It’s OK,’ she said. they loved their food. So I’d cook us big one-pots ‘Mum’s friend is brilliant at this kind of thing. We’ll and curries using lots of oil, and make differentask her if she can make it for you.’ ‘Can I have my flavoured cupcakes topped with butter icing. arms covered? Will she be able to decorate it so Now that I was earning my own money, I could people don’t think I look awful?’ I asked. ‘It’ll be fine,’ afford takeaways, pizzas and fast-food burgers. said Jennie, ‘you’ll look beautiful’. I wished I could I got bigger and bigger, and as I moved upwards believe her, but I couldn’t imagine looking beautiful, through the dress sizes, I stayed well away from however clever Mum’s friend was with the design. the scales – I didn’t want to know what I weighed. Every few months, I would try to slim down a bit. Bridesmaid motivation I’d calorie count, drink shakes, attempt low-carb Soon afterwards, Mum and Jennie announced diets, even eat nothing but cabbage soup for a week. they were going to join Slimming World to lose Needless to say, I’d soon get bored and go back to weight for the wedding. Mum was aiming to lose eating the way I had before. Each time I’d regain a few stones and Jennie, who was a size 12-14, wasn’t the weight I’d lost, plus a bit more. looking to lose lots of weight, but had a couple of Then in 2010, my sister, Jennie, announced areas she wanted to trim down. that she was getting married and asked me to be I wasn’t ready to take the plunge myself, though. her bridesmaid. In my eyes, Jennie had always been I agreed to eat the same meals as they did at home, the prettier one, and as my weight had increased, and that was it. I was too self-conscious to go to feeling less attractive than my sister had begun group, thinking other members would judge me for to overshadow our relationship. Whenever she my size. Over the next few months leading up to the suggested girly shopping trips, I’d get anxious. I wedding, just by eating the same dinner as they did

June 2012

On my sister’s special day and wearing the bridesmaid’s dress she’d had made just for me. I’d designed it to cover me up as much as possible and still I wanted to disappear... 16 SLIMMING WORLD

Sept 2013

The year I became a godmother for the first time, and started thinking about how my weight might stop me playing with Henrietta. Would I be able to jump on a trampoline or fit in a swing?

March 2014 Putting on this size-22 dress was such a milestone. I’d dropped three sizes since joining group six months earlier, and it was the first thing I’d bought from a high-street shop in years!

shining bright

each day, I lost 3st. Looking back now, I so wish I’d gone to group with them. I know I could have lost much more in that time if I’d started my weight-loss journey properly – with support. On the day I went to Mum’s friend’s house to have my bridesmaid dress fitted, it had to be taken in from a size 26 to a 22. I wore a spotty red wrap dress for Jennie’s hen party and for the first time since I was a little girl, I actually felt pretty. My bubble of happiness burst when my gran suddenly got very ill. We learned she had dementia: we’d always been very close and I took it badly. And, just like I’d always done, I turned to my old favourites of sweets, chocolate, cake and crisps for comfort.

Shocked into action

When Gran passed away two days before Jennie’s wedding, I was heartbroken. And, when I fastened up my bridesmaid’s dress and it was uncomfortably tight, I felt like a failure, too. I spent the whole of Jennie’s wedding day thinking that I’d spoiled it for her, and wishing I could hide myself away. Now I wasn’t even trying to fight my comfort eating and, as I got bigger and bigger, my health started to suffer. I was driving home from seeing my cousin in Somerset and while I was on the motorway, I started to feel anxious. My chest began to tighten and I thought something terrible was happening to me. Although it soon passed, I was worried there was something wrong with my heart and went to see my GP as soon as I could. He explained that it sounded like a panic attack and was probably due to stress, so nothing to do with my heart. But, he cautioned me, I was very overweight, and yes, that could one day potentially lead to a heart attack. A few weeks later, I had another panic attack – the one that pushed me to research weight-loss surgery and find that woman’s blog post about Slimming World. The problem was, I still felt too self-conscious to walk into a group on my own. Knowing Mum and Jennie had enjoyed Food Optimising before the wedding, I asked if they’d come with me. They agreed, and we all headed >

Aug 2014

This is when my group voted me their Woman of the Year – I felt so proud! Now there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to get all the way to target. I was on a mission...

Oct 2015

I wore this sparkly dress to the wedding of a friend I’ve known since I was four. It was such a shock when it fitted and I realised that meant I was 10 sizes smaller than I used to be.

Nov 2015

I had my reallife Cinderella moment at the Slimming World Woman of the Year awards. I felt elegant and confident in my strapless green dress and enjoyed every minute. SLIMMING WORLD 17

shining bright

Nov 2015

Yes, that is an old pair of my trousers, and yes, my fantastic first Consultant, Paula, and I both fitted into them! I can’t thank Paula enough for all she did to help me change my life. 18 SLIMMING WORLD

June 2016

After I became a Consultant myself, I moved to a group that suited my new working hours. Here I am at a Slimming World awards do with Michaela, my new Consultant – feeling fabulous!

June 2016

A month after getting to target, at my brother’s wedding...8st 11½lbs lighter than when I first joined Slimming World. Now, instead of hiding from the camera, I welcome it.

SARAH WEARS: p14: Jacket, Phase Eight. Top and earrings, both Dorothy Perkins. Trousers, Wallis. Shoes, New Look. Necklace and bag, both Next p17: Dress with belt, Dorothy Perkins. Shoes and bracelet, both New Look


down to the local group together – right. As the weight dropped off, I was me trailing in behind them, trying to nominated as my group’s Woman I’m such a be inconspicuous. After the of the Year, and by that November new-member talk, I sat right at different person I’d decided to become a Consultant the back and practically covered myself. While I was now running to the shy, timid my face with my hair. Soon, my own groups, I knew I still though, I realised how lovely and needed to attend as a member woman I was kind everyone was, and I started in order to stay focused – so before. I’m to come out of my shell. I changed to a different one, run happy in my As it turned out, the day I joined by a Consultant called Michaela, group – 19 September 2013 – was that fitted around my new schedule. own skin really significant to me; it would have Then, in May last year, I finally got been Gran’s birthday. When I stepped on to my target of 10st 12lbs – a loss of 8st the scales, I found to my shock that I weighed 11½lbs. When I stood on the scales, I was so 19st 9½lbs. My Consultant, Paula, reassured me overwhelmed, my legs collapsed from underneath me. that I’d never have to see that number again – Michaela picked me up off the floor and gave me the and she was right. After a week I’d lost 4lbs and tightest hug I’d ever had. We both cried with joy – she I was surprised how easy it was to follow the knew exactly how much it meant to me. Her support plan fully, rather than just eating Food Optimising had helped me get to that final point. And I can dinners. I kept my daytime meals simple, enjoying honestly say it was the happiest moment of my life. a huge bowl of fruit and yogurt for breakfast (I used Now, I’m such a different person to that shy, to skip breakfast altogether), and something easy timid woman who joined Slimming World more like a jacket potato with baked beans and salad for than three years ago. My panic attacks are a rarity lunch. Then I’d get more experimental with food in and I feel so much calmer – the change in me is the evening – and my love of cooking returned. amazing. I’ve made loads of new friends through I took over making dinner for my parents and me, group and we’re always going on nights out. Jennie cooking up generous platefuls of Slimming World and I now have fun days out shopping together and sticky five-spice gammon or pork meatballs and if I ever buy her any clothes I make sure I like them, trying out tons of different Food Optimising curries. too – so I can borrow them! The reason I trained to be a Slimming World Consultant was because I Knowledge is power was so impressed by the way Food Optimising had The thing that made the real difference this time changed my life. I love it so much that I’ve left the was going to group each week. Not only was the family business to do it full time. I get a real buzz moral support invaluable, it meant I actually really from helping other people change their lives, just understood the plan and how Healthy Extras and like my two Consultants helped me change mine. Syns worked. I picked up loads of tips from Paula Because I’m so much happier in my own skin, and the other members, and I loved taking part in I’m more fun to be around. When my brother, Tom, IMAGE Therapy. By the time the three months got married earlier this year, instead of loathing I’d given myself were up, I’d lost 1st 6½lbs and having my picture taken, I happily posed for every felt amazing. There was no way I was ditching single one of them. I was delighted to show off the Slimming World for a gastric band! new flowery dress I’d bought – and my new, slim At the start of 2014, Paula said to me: ‘This figure. I never ever want to go back to the person is going to be your year, Sarah.’ And she was so I used to be: I love the new me too much! ●

Graham’s Quark is naturally fat free and high in protein.

So it makes balancing your busy life with a healthy diet easier than ever. This spoonable soft cheese is deliciously versatile and perfect with fruit for breakfast or mixed into your favourite lunch and dinner dishes. Available in Natural (Syn-free) and Vanilla (1₁/₂ Syns per 100g). If you want a healthier, easier lifestyle, Graham’s Quark steps up to the plate every time. #GrahamsQuark

25p off Graham’s Natural Quark or Vanilla Quark. To the Consumer: This coupon entitles you to 25p off when you purchase Graham’s The Family Dairy Natural Quark or Vanilla Quark across all participating retailers. Only one voucher may be used per product purchased. Please do not attempt to redeem this coupon against any other product as refusal to accept may cause embarrassment. Offer is subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis. No similar products or cash equivalent will be provided. Valid until 30/06/2017. To the Retailer: Graham’s The Family Dairy Ltd will reimburse you to the value of 25p as detailed on this coupon, plus our specified handling fee, provided it has been accepted according to the terms of this offer. Graham’s The Family Dairy Ltd reserve the right to refuse payment against misredeemed coupons. Please submit coupons to: Graham’s Dairies (NCH), 5 Alpha Court, Corby, Northants NN17 5DP.

9 918481 500258

Spot your slimming danger zones Do you find that certain habits and situations always knock you off course? Here’s how to tame your triggers and power through to weight-loss success Words: Sally Brown



e all have them, despite our very best intentions – those moments when we find ourselves reaching for unhealthy foods and high-Syn snacks, almost without thinking. And the funny thing is, often we realise we weren’t actually hungry in the first place. Instead, we’re eating for other reasons: boredom, upset, stress, even to make other people happy. These are our trigger points and understanding them, and then putting strategies in place, can make a world of difference to your weight loss. If any of these seven eating triggers ring a bell, don’t worry. Countless Slimming World members know exactly how you feel and, using their experience, we’ve put together a guide to transforming your unhappy habits into winning weight-loss ways.



Some people lose their appetite when they feel stressed, but for many of us the opposite is true – we eat to self-soothe, and especially sugary or fatty treats. This can then leave us feeling guilty, which in turn makes us feel more stressed, and we get into a vicious circle. ‘When you’re stressed and distracted you can also be vulnerable to eating mindlessly,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s head of nutrition and research. ‘When you’re not concentrating on your food, you’re less likely to register feeling full and can end up veering off plan.’ And there’s another good reason to de-stress: research suggests that, over time, raised stress levels can encourage the body to store fat around the middle, raising the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. How to tame it The lower your ‘default’ stress levels, the better you’ll cope with challenges as they 20 SLIMMING WORLD

occur, so make time in your day for relaxation, even if it’s just a few minutes of breathing exercises (try ‘7-11 breathing’ – breathing in for a count of seven, then out for a count of 11). And if you’re prone to mindless eating, make a point of really savouring your food. ‘Sit down and take the time to focus on the tastes and textures,’ says Jacquie. ‘You’re also much more likely to feel satisfied sooner if you really register what you’re eating.’ Your secret weapon Be your own coach. ‘I ask myself, “Is it worth it?’’,’ says mum-of-four Lisa Ruffles, from Suffolk, a Slimming World target member who’s lost 5st. ‘I used to react to stress by eating cakes and biscuits in secret. Now if I ever get the urge to indulge, I talk to myself in a supportive, encouraging way, saying things like, “Having that chocolate cake might make you feel better for a few minutes, but then you’ll feel worse. Is it worth sabotaging your weight loss for?”.’


Even though we know sleep is a good thing, our busy lifestyles mean that getting enough of it can be tricky. And when you’ve had a bad night, everything can feel an extra struggle – especially making healthy food choices. Studies show that when you’re tired, you can feel hungrier. ‘It makes sense that we crave high-sugar foods thinking we’ll get an energy boost,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin. ‘But a sugar spike is then followed by an energy dip, leaving you feeling even more exhausted.’ How to tame it ‘Start the day with a slow-release energy food, like a Healthy Extra portion of porridge,’ says Jacquie. ‘And while a brisk walk may be the last thing you feel like, a bit of exercise will boost energy levels.’ In the longer term, ask yourself what you can do to get a better night’s sleep (for example, ban screens from the bedroom, cut back on caffeine or alcohol in the evening, or get more exercise). By improving your sleep, you’re improving your chances of reaching your target weight. Your secret weapon Stock up the freezer. ‘My energy levels have shot up since I started Food Optimising,’ says Lisa Ruffles. ‘There are still times when day-to-day life is exhausting, though, and the thought of cooking a meal from scratch is too much. Now, instead of ordering a takeaway, I have a stash of Slimming World frozen meals from Iceland on standby, which can be a real lifesaver.’ (You can also make ahead and freeze many of the recipes in this issue – just look for the ✱ symbol.)

success strategies

As children, many of us were patched up with a plaster and a biscuit after mishaps, so it’s no surprise that as adults, we turn to food when we feel down or upset. ‘The trouble is, food doesn’t do what it promises: solve the problem,’ says psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd ( How to tame it Keeping a food diary and writing down how you feel, too, can be a good way to understand your emotional eating

patterns, says Jessamy. ‘Then think of a way to soothe yourself that doesn’t involve food, like listening to music or going for a walk.’ Your secret weapon Swap self-sabotage for self-care. ‘I joined my Slimming World group when my mum was losing her battle with cancer,’ says Samantha Pearson. ‘People would say to me, “You shouldn’t be worrying about your weight at a time like this”, but I found that Food Optimising gave me a sense of being in control when other parts of my life were falling apart.’




Emotional upset


Hormonal upheaval

Whether it’s premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or the perimenopause, hormonal ups and downs can trigger appetite changes for lots of women. ‘When you’re feeling bloated and low, you can sometimes think, “Why bother?” when it comes to healthy eating,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin. ‘Plus, some women do feel more hungry before their period or might eat for comfort.’ Any kind of hormonal change can increase tiredness and stress, which can then impact on our food choices. How to tame it Body Magic! ‘Studies show that regular exercise is a great way to reduce the effect of some PMS and perimenopausal symptoms,’ says Jacquie, as it helps to reduce stress and improve mood. ‘Remember your body needs nurturing at this time. Choose nutritious foods that increase energy levels, like wholegrains, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and lean protein. Reducing alcohol, caffeine and salt could also help.’ Your secret weapon Crush your cravings with Speed Free Foods. ‘At that time of the month, I prefer to avoid high-Syn foods because I know I’ll eat too much of them and go off plan,’ says Samantha Pearson, from Essex, who’s lost 8st with Slimming World. ‘To stay on track and satisfy my sweet cravings, I’ll make a big batch of roasted carrot batons (I spray them with low-calorie cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes) and munch on them throughout the day. They’re sweeter than chips and they’re a Speed Free Food!’


Peer pressure


eating with abandon or making unhealthy choices. ‘Get to know what your tipping point is,’ says Jacquie. According to our research, it tends to be at around 8 units of alcohol for women (roughly two-and-a-half glasses of wine) and 10.5 units of alcohol for men (equivalent to four pints of beer). Your secret weapon Plan your drinks into your Syn allowance. ‘I find it helps me to stay in control on a night out,’ says Linda Bow. ‘Beforehand, I decide exactly how many Syns I’m going to use, what I’m going to drink and when I’m going to have it. That way I really enjoy my evening and I like what I see next time I jump on the scales!’

We’ve all done it – eaten just because we’re bored. The trouble is, while it might be a temporary distraction, before long, you’re not only bored again, you’re also cross and frustrated at yourself for going off track. ‘The danger then is to think, “I’ve blown it” and carry on,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin. How to tame it If you have a tendency to eat your way out of the blahs, don’t keep unhealthy snacks at home. ‘Willpower is a limited resource – and we have less as the day goes on,’ says Dr Jessamy Hibberd. When you’re Food Optimising, however, choice power is far from limited. Stock up on Free Foods, like veg sticks, lean deli meats and Free yogurts, and you can snack whenever you like – completely guilt-free! Your secret weapon Move a muscle, change a mood. ‘If I get a strong craving for something unhealthy, I tell myself I can have it, but only after I’ve been for a walk or to the gym,’ says Linda Bow, from Worcestershire, who put on weight through boredom eating when she retired and then went on to lose 3st. ‘I always feel so much better afterwards, and the craving disappears.’

Wine o’clock

‘There’s a reason alcohol is served as an aperitif,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin. ‘It stimulates the appetite. It can also weaken your resolve, so the more you drink, the less you think about your weight-loss goals.’ Then feeling hungover the next day means cravings for sugary, fatty foods. ‘One evening can add up to two days off plan,’ says Jacquie. A Slimming World survey found that we can consume up to 6,300 extra calories over the next 24 hours after drinking too much. How to tame it Most of us have a drinking ‘tipping point’ – when that one glass too many equals

‘Go on, you deserve it. You’ve done so well!’ Sound familiar? Friends and family can waylay you with the best of intentions, encouraging you to ‘treat yourself’, or insisting you have second helpings because they ‘made it especially for you’. And once you’ve given in, the ‘what the heck’ effect can kick in... How to tame it Get support. ‘Be honest about how much losing weight means to you and how you need the help of your friends and family,’ says Dr Jessamy Hibberd. ‘If they still try to push food on you, then it’s time to step back and ask yourself what’s really going on here. It may be that not everyone has your best interests at heart.’ Your secret weapon Don’t go out hungry. ‘I often have a bowl of Free home-made soup before a social event, because I know I make better food choices when I’m not ravenous,’ says Linda Bow. ‘If I’m going out to a restaurant, I look at the menu online in advance and decide what I’m going to have. If I know what I’m ordering from the outset, I don’t get tempted when friends encourage me to push the boat out.’


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Beef lasagne, recipe p29

Spring into slim Lose weight in a week with our deliciously filling new-season eating plan Photographs: Gareth Morgans

How it works...

Fill up on Free Foods

These are the foods you can eat in unlimited amounts…they’re the masterstroke that makes Food Optimising so simple and effective! Free Foods include lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs; cooked dried pasta, rice and couscous; beans and pulses, and most fresh or frozen fruit and veg. They’re the basis of our filling breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions, and you can snack on them freely between meals, too. Some have the extra bonus of being Speed Free Foods – the fruit and veg

that are super-low in energy density and keep you slimming beautifully. Include at least a third of a plate of Speed Free Foods at every meal, where it makes sense.

Add in your Healthy Extras

Each day, choose a portion of wholemeal bread or cereal and a portion of milk or cheese. Pick from 350ml skimmed or 250ml semiskimmed milk, or 40g reduced-fat or 30g full-fat hard cheese (to keep things easy, we’ve built your bread or cereal Healthy Extra into each day’s menu).

Choose your Syns

Make simple swaps

Can’t do without your ketchup, glass of wine, crisps or chocolate bar? Relax! We’ve also factored in life’s little pleasures – with Syns. Foods that aren’t Free have a Syn value and we recommend you treat yourself to around 10 Syns a day. You’ll find an idea on each page, or see your Food Optimising book, available from group. Remember these easy tips, too. When cooking, trim all fat off meat

and remove skin from poultry. Use low-calorie cooking spray in place of oil or butter (only brands with one calorie or less per spray are Syn-free and you’ll find them in the cooking oils aisle at the supermarket). Swap sugar for sweetener (tablets and up to 1 level tbsp sweetener are Syn-free) and pick diet soft drinks, and if you have milk in your tea or coffee, take it from your Healthy Extra allowance or count ½ Syn per dash of skimmed. That’s Food Optimising in a nutshell. > Let’s get started...


Seriously satisfying

Monday Breakfast Citrus start: put grapefruit and kiwi slices in a bowl, then pour over fat-free natural Greek-style yogurt and top with 40g Mornflake Swiss Style Classic Muesli (a Healthy Extra)

Lunch 10-minute ratatouille pasta: cook dried fusilli according to the pack instructions, then drain well. Meanwhile, fry diced courgette, red onion and aubergine in low-calorie cooking spray until softened. Tip in passata, season and stir until heated through. Stir through the fusilli and serve, or leave to cool, pack into a lunch box and reheat at work

Dinner Chicken Kiev with chunky chips (see recipe right)

Total Syns: 1½

Chicken Kiev with chunky chips EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 ✱ (chicken only)

Ready in about 1 hour 800g floury potatoes, such as Desiree or Maris Piper, peeled and cut into chunky chips Low-calorie cooking spray 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 125g plain quark ½ small pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 4 large skinless and boneless chicken breasts 1 medium egg, beaten 2 slices wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf), whizzed into breadcrumbs in a food processor Carrot batons, thin-stemmed broccoli and trimmed green beans, to serve

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Boil the chips for 4-5 minutes, then drain well. Spread on a non-stick baking tray in a single layer and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Season and set aside. 2 Place a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic with a small splash


of water for 3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. 3 Put the quark, onion and garlic, and parsley in a food processor. Season, then whizz for 1 minute, or until almost smooth. Slice a pocket into the top of each chicken breast, making sure not to cut all the way through. Spoon a quarter of the quark mixture into each pocket and seal as much as possible. 4 Brush the top of each chicken breast with egg. Sprinkle a quarter of the breadcrumbs over each and pat down, then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake the chips on the top shelf, with the chicken underneath, for 25-30 minutes, or until both are golden and the chicken is cooked through, turning the chips halfway. 5 Meanwhile, boil the carrots, broccoli and green beans until tender. Divide everything between 4 plates and top the chicken Kievs with a little freshly ground black pepper. Syns per serving: 1½

FREE FOOD SNACK Pile cooked, peeled prawns into baby gem lettuce leaves, season and squeeze over a little lemon juice SYN & WIN In the mood for something savoury? Whip open a 23g pack of Sea Salt & Vinegar flavour Ritz Bakefuls (5½ Syns, from a multipack)

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Tuesday Breakfast Sardines on toast: lightly toast 2 slices wholemeal bread from a small 400g loaf (a Healthy Extra). Pour boiling water over spinach to wilt, then drain well and divide over the toast. Top with canned sardines in tomato sauce and grill until the sardines are heated through

Lunch Spanish omelette: fry sliced onion and halved cherry tomatoes in low-calorie cooking spray until softened. Toss in drained and sliced canned new potatoes, then pour over beaten eggs and cook until almost set. Finish under the grill, then scatter over chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and season. Serve warm or cold

Dinner Steak fajita boats (see recipe right)

Total Syns: FREE

Steak fajita boats EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 50 minutes 6 large sweet potatoes 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks 1 red onion, cut into wedges Low-calorie cooking spray 1 tbsp ground coriander 2 tbsp ground cumin 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika 2 garlic cloves, crushed 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 2 courgettes, cut into bite-size chunks 300g lean beef frying steaks, visible fat removed Chopped fresh coriander leaves, to serve

1 Preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Put the sweet potatoes on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 45 minutes, or until soft, turning halfway. Line another baking tray with foil, put the peppers and onion on top, then add to the oven with the potatoes for the final 25 minutes of their cooking time, or until the vegetables are lightly charred.

2 Meanwhile, spray a large, non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-low heat. Add the spices and fry for 1 minute until fragrant, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and courgettes and fry for 10 minutes, or until soft, adding a splash of water if the vegetables begin to stick. 3 Add the roasted peppers and onion to the frying pan with the spiced vegetables. Stir, season to taste and keep warm until needed. 4 Preheat a non-stick griddle or frying pan to smoking hot. Season the steaks and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, then leave to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into thin strips. 5 Halve the sweet potatoes, then scoop out most of the centre into a bowl (keep chilled for a Free Food Snack later in the week), leaving about 1cm of flesh inside. Fill with the vegetables, then top with the steak and scatter over the coriander. Syns per serving: FREE

Wrap-free fajitas

FREE FOOD SNACK To make a beetroot dip, whizz cooked beetroot into chunks in a food processor, then add crushed garlic, chilli flakes and fat-free natural yogurt, and season. Pulse a couple more times, then dip in carrot sticks SYN & WIN For a chocolateorange dessert, put satsuma segments into a bowl, then drizzle over 1 level tbsp Sainsbury’s Chocolate Sauce (2½ Syns)

Wednesday Breakfast Good-morning muffins: fry 2 diced mushrooms in low-calorie cooking spray until golden, then stir through 1 sliced spring onion and a little diced canned lean ham (visible fat removed). Spoon into 2 muffin holes in a non-stick muffin tin, pour over 2 large seasoned beaten eggs, then bake at 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 for 20-25 minutes, or until the egg is cooked through. Eat now, or wrap in foil for an on-the-go brekkie

Lunch Tuna melt toastie: stir diced red onion through drained canned tuna in spring water. Lightly toast 2 slices wholemeal bread from a small 400g loaf (a Healthy Extra). Spoon the tuna mixture onto 1 slice, press down with the back of the spoon, then add 1 Dairylea Light Cheese slice (2½ Syns). Top with the other piece of toast and grill until the cheese is gooey

Dinner Risotto primavera (see recipe right)

Total Syns: 2½

Risotto primavera EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 V

Ready in about 45 minutes Low-calorie cooking spray 2 celery sticks, finely chopped 2 shallots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 litre vegetable stock 200g asparagus, cut into 1cm pieces 200g frozen peas 200g frozen baby broad beans, defrosted in water and podded 200g mangetout, cut into 1cm pieces 300g dried arborio rice 6 tbsp chopped fresh mixed green herbs, such as mint, parsley and dill Mixed leaf salad, to serve

1 Spray a large, deep, non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat. Add the celery and shallots and cook for 8 minutes until soft and sticky, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, put the stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the asparagus, peas, beans and mangetout, simmer for 5 minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside, keeping the stock simmering gently. 3 Add the rice to the frying pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until absorbed. Repeat, adding a ladleful at a time and stirring well between each addition, until you’ve added most of the stock and the rice is nearly cooked through but still has a little bite (this should take around 25 minutes). 4 Add the asparagus, peas, beans and mangetout and the rest of the stock, a little at a time, until the rice is cooked through. Stir in the herbs and serve with the salad.

FREE FOOD SNACK Thread pickled onions, rolled-up strips of cooked lean deli ham (visible fat removed) and apple chunks onto wooden skewers SYN & WIN Team your Italian-style meal with a 330ml bottle of Peroni lager for 6½ Syns

Syns per serving: FREE

Super-filling veggie supper

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Ideal for manic midweek

Thursday Breakfast Banana & custard baked oats: mix together 40g plain porridge oats (a Healthy Extra), ½ pot Müllerlight Banana & Custard yogurt, 1 beaten egg, a few drops of vanilla essence and 1 level tbsp sweetener (½ Syn) in a small ovenproof dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until browned, and serve topped with sliced banana

Lunch ‘Creamy’ mushroom jacket: prick a baking potato and microwave until soft inside. Heat drained canned sliced mushrooms in water in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir through fat-free natural fromage frais, snipped fresh chives and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Spoon over the potato to serve

Dinner Five-spice pork with stir-fried veg (see recipe right)

Total Syns: ½

Five-spice pork with stir-fried veg SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 4 Ready in about 40 minutes 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder 3 tbsp soy sauce 2 lean pork tenderloin fillets (approx 350g each), visible fat removed 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 250g thin-stemmed broccoli, halved 4 garlic cloves, crushed 5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated 1-2 red chillies, finely chopped 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced 225g can bamboo shoots, drained 225g can water chestnuts, drained 100g fresh bean sprouts 3 tbsp fish sauce Lime wedges, to serve

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Mix together the five-spice, soy sauce and some freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Lay a piece of foil just over twice the length of 1 pork fillet on a large baking tray. Place the fillet on top, then pour over half the soy sauce mixture. Turn the meat to coat, then wrap in the foil, folding

the edges to create a parcel. Repeat with the second piece of pork. Bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. 2 Meanwhile, boil the carrots and broccoli for 5 minutes, then drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Set the veg aside in a bowl. Place a non-stick wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the garlic, ginger and chillies with a small splash of the cooking water for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the carrots and broccoli to the pan, along with the red pepper, and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes (add a little more cooking water if the vegetables start to stick). Add the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and fish sauce and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes. 3 Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into thick slices. Serve the vegetables and pork in bowls with lime wedges for squeezing over.

FREE FOOD SNACK Take your leftover sweet potato from Tuesday and stir through finely chopped spring onion and red chilli. Season, shape into patties, then fry in low-calorie cooking spray on both sides until crisp SYN & WIN Strawberries and cream: layer sliced strawberries with 4 level tbsp aerosol cream (1 Syn) in a tall glass and enjoy

Syns per serving: FREE n


Fresh, zingy flavours – fast!

Friday Breakfast Seriously fruity cereal:stir 45g raisin wheats (a Healthy Extra) through Müllerlight Vanilla yogurt and pile on lots of mixed berries

Lunch Quick chicken fried rice:cook any dried long-grain rice you have in your cupboard according to the pack instructions, then drain. Fry chopped red pepper, baby corn and red onion in low-calorie cooking spray until tender. Stir through the rice and cooked skinless chicken breast pieces, then season and squeeze over a little lime juice

Dinner Falafel with herby giant couscous (see recipe right)

Total Syns: FREE

Falafel with herby giant couscous EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 V ✱ (falafel only)

Ready in about 35 minutes 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika, plus extra to serve 1½ small packs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped Low-calorie cooking spray 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 200g dried giant couscous ½ small pack fresh mint, leaves roughly chopped, reserving some to serve Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, juice of ½ 150g fat-free natural yogurt Salad of sliced iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes Pickled cabbage and chillies, to serve

1 Preheat your oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking paper. 2 Put 1 can of chickpeas, the roughly chopped onion, garlic, spices and two-thirds of the parsley in a food 28 SLIMMING WORLD

processor. Season, then whizz until smooth (occasionally scraping down the sides). Add the second can of chickpeas and whizz until the chickpeas are broken down but still chunky. Roll the mixture into 12 balls and space out on the lined baking tray. Flatten the balls into 1cm-thick discs, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes. 3 Meanwhile, put the sliced onion and white wine vinegar in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Stir and set aside. Cook the couscous according to the pack instructions (without butter or oil). Stir through the remaining parsley and the mint and lemon zest, then season. 4 Mix the yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl, sprinkle over a little smoked paprika and set aside. Divide the salad, couscous, falafels and cabbage between 4 plates. Drain the onion and scatter over the salad with some freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the yogurt. Scatter over the reserved mint and serve with the pickled chillies. Syns per serving: FREE

FREE FOOD SNACK Stash a pack of Bernard Matthews Roast Turkey Breast Pieces in the office fridge for desk breaks SYN & WIN For a fab Friday-night treat, nibble on a bar (or two!) of Ohso Strawberry Belgian Milk Chocolate (2 Syns per 8.5g bar, from a multipack)

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Beef lasagne EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4

Breakfast BLT bap: split and lightly toast a 60g wholemeal roll (a Healthy Extra). Fill with grilled back bacon rashers (visible rat removed), lettuce leaves and sliced tomato

Lunch Quorn sausage casserole: cook frozen Quorn Low-Fat Sausages according to the pack instructions. Meanwhile, fry sliced onions and peppers in low-calorie cooking spray until tender, then add passata and drained and rinsed canned butter beans. Bubble for a few minutes, then slice the sausages and add to the pan. Season and add a couple of drops of Worcestershire sauce

Dinner Beef lasagne (see recipe right)

Total Syns: 1½

Ready in about 2 hours 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 large carrot, finely chopped 1 celery stick, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, grated 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less) 2 beef stock cubes 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with basil and oregano 200g white mushrooms, sliced 260g spinach 250g plain quark 1 large egg ½ tsp garlic powder 12 dried lasagne sheets 30g Cheddar, grated Lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad, to serve

1 Place a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, carrot and celery with a splash of water for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 2 Add the beef, fry for 8 minutes, or until browned all over, then drain off any fat. Crumble in the stock cubes and mix through. Stir in the tomatoes and mushrooms, then

Go-to crowdpleaser

bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3 Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Stir the spinach into the beef sauce, in batches if necessary, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Mix together the quark, egg, garlic powder and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper until smooth. 4 Cover the base of a medium baking dish with a layer of 3 lasagne sheets. Spoon over a third of the beef sauce and top with 3 more lasagne sheets. Repeat this process twice more. Spread the quark mixture over the top layer of pasta, then bake for 30 minutes. Evenly sprinkle over the Cheddar and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. Serve a quarter of the lasagne per person with the salad. Syns per serving: 1½

FREE FOOD SNACK Scoop out the seeds and a little flesh from half a cantaloupe melon. Fill with fat-free natural Greek-style yogurt and dig in! SYN & WIN Serve your lasagne with 1 Morrisons Nu Me Garlic Bread Slice (4½ Syns, from a multipack)

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Breakfast Refried beans: dice red onion, pepper, tomato and red chilli (optional), then fry in low-calorie cooking spray until tender. Drain and rinse Free canned beans of your choice, roughly mash with a fork, then stir through the veg mixture until heated through. Top with a poached egg

Lunch Anytime burger: cook a frozen Slimming World Syn-free Beef Quarter Pounder according to the pack instructions. Meanwhile, shred white cabbage and carrot, and finely slice red onion, then stir through fat-free natural fromage frais and lime juice to taste. Fill a 60g wholemeal roll (a Healthy Extra) with lettuce, tomato and the burger, and serve with the slaw

Dinner Traditional side of salmon (see recipe right)

Total Syns: FREE

Traditional side of salmon EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 1 hour 15 minutes 800g floury potatoes, such as Desiree or Maris Piper, cut into large chunks Low-calorie cooking spray Small pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 2 shallots, sliced 800g skinless and boneless salmon loin fillet 2½ lemons, 2 sliced and juice of ½ 150g fat-free natural yogurt ½ small pack fresh dill, finely chopped, plus extra to serve Steamed spring greens and sugar snap peas, to serve

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Boil the potatoes for 5 minutes, then drain. Return to the pan, cover, then shake the pan to fluff up the edges. Tip out onto a non-stick baking tray, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and season. Roast for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, lay a piece of foil double the size of the salmon on a baking tray, then place a piece of baking paper the same size as the salmon on top of the foil. Layer the parsley and then the shallots over the paper, then carefully place the

Sunday lunch with a difference


salmon on top. Season and top with the lemon slices. Fold the foil over the salmon and fold in the edges to create a parcel. 3 When the potatoes have roasted for 45 minutes, add the salmon to the oven beneath the potatoes. Bake everything for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes away easily with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter and top with freshly ground black pepper and the extra dill. 4 In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice and dill with a little water until pourable. Serve the salmon with the potatoes, dill dressing and steamed spring greens and sugar snap peas. Syns per serving: FREE

FREE FOOD SNACK Spray a corn on the cob with low-calorie cooking spray. Griddle until slightly charred and season well SYN & WIN Celebrate your fab week with a banana split... Peel and halve a banana, and top with a 25g scoop of standard vanilla ice cream (2 Syns) and 1 level tsp Asda rainbow sprinkles (1 Syn)



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Nacho-style feast EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 2 Ready in about 1 hour 5 minutes 2 baking potatoes, cut into wedges Low-calorie cooking spray 250g lean beef mince (5% fat or less) 1 onion, sliced 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped 230g can chopped tomatoes 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp dried fajita seasoning 1 tsp paprika 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped 150g tube Primula Light Cheese Fresh jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (optional)

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Put the wedges on a non-stick baking tray in a single layer, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and season. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn, spray with a little more low-calorie cooking spray and bake for a further 25 minutes until golden. 2 Meanwhile, spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Stir-fry the mince for 10 minutes, draining off any fat. Add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until softened. Add the pepper, cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir in the canned tomatoes. Add the cumin, fajita seasoning, paprika and a little black pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the fresh tomatoes. Remove from the heat. 3 Preheat your grill to high. Tip the wedges into an ovenproof dish, spoon over the mince, then evenly squeeze over the Primula Light Cheese. Add the jalapeños, if using. Grill for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown. Divide between 2 plates to serve. Syns per serving: FREE* *Add 6 Syns if not using the Primula Light Cheese as a Healthy Extra

Yes cheese! Give in to your cravings with Primula Light Cheese – the easy-squeezy way to liven up recipes


Iasty, convenient and made from real cheese, there’s so much to love about Primula Light…and it’s not just great spread on toast! This multi-tasking marvel is the quick way to turn your recipes into cheese heaven – whether you stir it through cooked pasta for a no-fuss sauce, make mouth-watering stuffed chicken breasts, or use to coat cauliflower for a sensational side. Each serving of Primula Light Cheese contains calcium, protein

and 40 per cent less fat than original Primula, which means you can enjoy half a tube (75g) as a Healthy Extra ‘a’, or count as 6 Syns. So even indulgently cheesy dishes like our delicious Nacho-style feast (left) can be bang on plan. However you like it, Primula Light Cheese is a Syn-smart way to add that savoury flavour you’re craving. Just think outside the tube and you’re in for a cheesy treat tonight!


…Primula donates profits to charity?

Primula Light Cheese is available from Asda, and Dunnes Stores in the Republic of Ireland. For more recipe inspiration and to find out about Primula’s charitable projects, visit or follow Primula on Facebook at



9st 9lbs



meet our cover star

The megawatt smile says it all – Jennifer Ginley is loving life after losing half of her body weight. Here’s how she looks this good It was only ever one of two options: order in or eat out?

My sister, Christine, and I would bond over our indulgent takeaway dinners most nights of the week. This time, we decided on a Chinese, and pored over the menu to make our choices – dumplings, prawn toast, spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce, and salt-and-pepper-battered chicken balls. I paused. ‘Fried rice, chips or noodles?’ We both knew the answer – we’d have all three... Over the years my relationship with food grew more and more complex. Growing up, I had a big appetite:

I’d eat large portions of Mum’s tasty home cooking, clearing my plate even if I was full. Then, in my teens, I got a part-time job and could buy crisps, chocolate and takeaways with my own money. That’s when I began to notice how much bigger I was becoming. The more I ate, the more I wanted; even though I knew my weight was getting out of control. I loved food. I hated food. It was my friend and my enemy. At university, I used food to help me through my demanding law course. I’d skip breakfast, snack on

chocolate and crisps, then have a takeaway every evening. In fact, there were times when I’d get through two family-size pizzas in one night. By the time I finished uni, I’d put on 5st. I’d gone from a size 18 to a size 22-24 in four years – and when I started work, my eating habits didn’t change, so it wasn’t long before I went up another dress size. Did it bother me? Of course it did. Being naturally happy and upbeat, though, I’d joke about my size to my friends and they didn’t see the effect it was having on me. Only Mum, Christine and my boyfriend, Luke, really knew how much it was getting me down.

LEFT At my biggest, I was cheerful on the outside and making jokes about my size. On the inside I was deeply unhappy and only my family knew how I really felt BELOW Seeing this holiday photo was my trigger moment. I wanted to look as slim and healthy as the young woman sitting next to me


Jennifer Ginley, 26, is a specialist advice caseworker and Slimming World’s Miss Slinky 2017. She lives in Kirkby, Merseyside, with her mum

Height: 5ft 5ins Starting weight: 19st 4lbs Weight now: 9st 9lbs


9st 9lbs

Jennifer is a target member of Jackie Whewell’s Slimming World group in Kirkby

I’d catch sight of my reflection in the bathroom mirror and feel absolutely crushed. Luke and I had been

together since we were 15 and he always told me he loved me the way I was. I wish I could have said the same about myself. Whenever people asked us when we were getting married, I’d say it wasn’t for us. That way, Luke wouldn’t get any ideas about proposing. The truth was, I couldn’t bear the thought of being a bride while I looked and felt the way I did. Every time Mum tried to encourage me to lose weight, I’d bite her head off. She’d say: ‘If it’s getting you > SLIMMING WORLD 35

down, love, why don’t you give the chippy a miss tonight?’ She’d say similar things to Christine, but both of us were stubborn, and we’d tell Mum she had no idea how hard it was. The thing was, I had tried to lose weight so many times. Name a diet and chances are I’d done it! I’d counted calories, cut out carbohydrates and eaten nothing but vegetables. I’d shelled out on expensive exercise equipment and I’d even tried living on only beans on toast for a week. Unsurprisingly, that wasn’t a success. All the diet fads I tried seemed to be based around hard work and restriction. I couldn’t enjoy sharing

NOW My confidence has grown and grown – now, my smile is 100 per cent real THEN I was so self-conscious about my size. I’d catch sight of myself in the mirror and feel crushed

evening meals with Christine and I felt like I didn’t have a life. So I’d soon give up. Even when I joined Slimming World in 2014, I wasn’t truly ready to commit to losing weight and quickly fell back into my old habits. I’d miss group for a few weeks, then go back having to start all over again. I think at that time I was looking for a quick fix – I hadn’t found my inner motivation to make a permanent lifestyle change. Eventually, I stopped going to group completely, even though I was desperate to slim down before our family holiday to Florida. Everything changed on that holiday – and it’s all thanks to a mermaid! When I was growing up,

I loved the Disney film The Little Mermaid. So when we went to Walt Disney World, I jumped at the chance to take my three-year-old twin nieces to be photographed with the mermaid, Ariel. I’d even bought myself a sparkly frame to put my picture in. When it was my turn, I got Luke to stand next to the official photographer and take a snap with my phone. But when I looked at the picture I got a shock. I fought back tears as I saw the photo of me sitting next to this slim, healthy-looking woman. From that moment on, I was determined to lose weight.

Back home, I turned to the one plan I knew could work for me: Food Optimising. At first, I tried to do it at home as I felt too self-conscious to go back to my old Slimming World group. After a few months, though, I realised that if I was going to succeed, I needed encouragement from people who were going through exactly the same thing as me. That’s when I decided I had 36 SLIMMING WORLD

to get past my embarrassment, go back to group and really commit to my weight loss. Mum and Christine agreed to come along with me – and following the plan together was brilliant. Instead

of ordering takeaways or eating out together every night, Christine and I started taking it in turns to cook for everyone. We loved that we could eat filling, tasty meals and still lose weight. It didn’t feel like we were giving up anything. Burgers, pasta, stews, curries…we had them all! Mealtimes became a real family occasion and I’d cook for my friends, too. This time, I was totally committed and to prove it to myself, I decided I’d ‘go public’ with my weight-loss journey. I set up an Instagram account from the day

I joined group, and vowed I’d never eat anything without posting a picture of it first. Mum was sceptical when I told her I was planning to post all my snacks as well as my meals. ‘You can’t just put a picture of an apple on the internet,’ she said. ‘Yes, every crumb will be public!’ I said. Making myself accountable to the people who were following me really helped me to think about what I was eating and kept me motivated in between group sessions.

It wasn’t all plain sailing and, like most people, I found some weeks easier than others. I’d lost 5½lbs by my

first weigh-in – then in week two, my weight stayed the same. It really threw me. In fact, I was devastated. If I hadn’t been going to group, that may have been the point at which I’d have given up again. Everyone was so supportive and convinced me to carry on. So I stuck at it and lost 4½lbs the following week. Another time, after I’d put on 5½lbs on holiday, my

meet our cover star

Now I’ve found a way to stay slim, I feel free to do everything I’ve ever wanted

inspirational Consultant, Jackie, and the rest of the group encouraged me to get right back on plan… and the next week I lost everything I’d gained. I think that’s when I truly believed Food Optimising would work for me. There was no need to dwell on a tricky week; I knew exactly what to do to put things right. As I neared target, I discovered a new love: exercise.

At my biggest, I barely walked anywhere. As the weight dropped off, though, I felt so much more energetic. When I’d lost 7st, I felt confident enough to step up my Body Magic and joined a street-dance class. I loved it! Then I heard about a 6.30am boot camp and, although I wasn’t sure it would be my thing, I went along to see. After a couple of sessions I realised that as well as being fun, it set me up for the day and made me feel great – so it became a three-times-a-week habit. The old me would roll out of bed just in time to get to work. Now I was starting my days full of energy. It took me just over a year to reach my 9st 9lb target – exactly half my original body weight! And between

them, Mum and Christine have lost nearly the same

amount. We still go to group on Saturday mornings, then my sister and I do a food shop for the week ahead.

Since losing weight my confidence has soared. I used

to hide behind my friends on nights out, swathed in loose clothing that hid my tummy and arms. I had two wardrobes: one full of those unflattering outfits and another full of nicer ‘one day’ clothes I was hoping to slim into. Now I can wear whatever I want and lots of the outfits in my ‘one day’ wardrobe are too big for me! Being slimmer has even changed the way I am at work.

My job at Citizens Advice can be very demanding. I used to find it difficult to listen to people properly as I was so self-conscious. I regularly presented cases to judges at tribunals and it had got to the point where the only thing I had to wear was a size-26, washed-out black skirt. In my smart new clothes and feeling good about myself, all my focus is on my job. I feel so positive about the future. Losing weight was

always top of my mental to-do list – I felt I had to tackle that before I could think about doing anything > SLIMMING WORLD 37

JENNIFER WEARS: p34: Dress, Lipsy. Shoes, Lisa Kay. Earrings, Claudia Bradby. Bracelets, Dower & Hall. Belt, Gerry Weber p36 and 37: Dress, Chi Chi London. Earrings, Dower & Hall Above: Dress, Chi Chi London. Earrings, Claudia Bradby. Ring, Dyrberg/Kern

Being on the cover of Slimming World magazine is my dream come true. During my weight-loss journey, I’d

visualise myself at target. Me, slim and happy…on the cover of the magazine, inspiring other slimmers with my success. I even superimposed a photo of my face onto a magazine cover and stuck it on my bedroom wall, to keep me focused. I always loved reading other people’s stories – it’s hard to believe I’m now the one sharing mine. And just after the photoshoot, I found out I had been made Slimming World’s Miss Slinky, which was amazing. Since then, I’ve had surgery to remove some loose skin on my tummy, which has given me an extra boost of confidence. I feel like I’m a butterfly, emerging from my cocoon. If I can do this, what other dreams can I make come true? ● 38 SLIMMING WORLD

Jennifer’s day on a plate Before


●● Breakfast Nothing

●● Breakfast Porridge made

●● Snacks Bag of crisps,

chocolate bar and a muffin, all bought on the way into work, and sugary coffees ●● Lunch Sausages, chips and

gravy from the chip shop, plus more chocolate bars ●● Dinner Large takeaway pizza

and full-sugar fizzy drinks

with 40g plain oats and Alpro Chocolate Soya Milk (both Healthy Extras), topped with fresh fruit and ground cinnamon ●● Snacks Apple, orange and

packet of low-Syn crisps

●● Lunch Tuna crunch pasta:

wholemeal pasta, tuna, diced pepper, diced red onion and Free salad dressing ●● Dinner Pizza omelette: beaten

eggs fried in low-calorie cooking spray topped with tomato purée, onion, peppers, dried oregano and 70g reduced-fat mozzarella (6 Syns or a Healthy Extra). Served with baked sweet potato chips


else. Now I’ve found a way to slim, and to stay slim, I feel free to do everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m looking forward to developing my career and my dance skills, seeing more of the world...and being a bride (yes, Luke proposed!). I also want to go back to Florida and have my photo taken with Ariel again. That glittery frame’s ready and waiting in my bedroom drawer.

Graham’s Quark is naturally fat free and high in protein.

So it makes balancing your busy life with a healthy diet easier than ever. This spoonable soft cheese is deliciously versatile and perfect with fruit for breakfast or mixed into your favourite lunch and dinner dishes. Available in Natural (Syn free) and Vanilla (11/2 Syns per 100g). If you want a healthier, easier lifestyle, Graham’s Quark steps up to the plate every time. #GrahamsQuark

reader competition

Win a spa break …at Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa in Dorset

worth £1,300

Relax and recharge with an indulgent two-night break at the four-star Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, with views of the picturesque Mudeford Quay and near the historic town of Christchurch. Our lucky winner and their three guests can explore the beautiful Dorset coastline, and enjoy delicious local food at the Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant with its dining terrace overlooking the harbour. Add a little pampering at the Grade II listed hotel’s spa and this is the perfect place for letting everyday worries drift away.


● Two nights’ accommodation for four

Save up to 33 per cent on a stay at Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa

For more information about Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, visit The prize must be taken by 27 October 2017 and restrictions apply. The competition is open to UK and RoI residents aged 18 or over; guests must be aged 16 or over.

Take a one-night break by 31 May 2017 and pay £215 for two people sharing a standard double/twin Inland View room. Offer includes full English or continental breakfast and three-course dinner (up to the value of £30 per person) in the Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant, a 40-minute spa treatment each from a specified selection and unlimited use of the spa and leisure facilities. Offer available Sunday to Thursday only, subject to availability, and restrictions apply. Offer open to adults aged 18 or over and guest must be 16 or over. To book, call 01202 483 434 and quote Slimming World.

PRIZE DETAILS people sharing two double/twin Harbour View rooms ● Full English or continental breakfast each morning and three-course dinner each evening (up to the value of £30 per person) in the Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant ● A 40-minute spa treatment each from a choice of ESPA Express Facial, Hot Stone Massage or Harbour Spa Manicure ● Unlimited use of the spa and leisure facilities, including indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym

For full offer terms and conditions, see p125.

No purchase necessary. For full competition terms and conditions, see p125.



For your chance to win, answer the following question: Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa holds how many stars?

Address Postcode

Then complete the following sentence in no more than 15 words: I’d love to win a break at Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa because…

Email Daytime tel

Send your competition entry form to Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa Competiton, Slimming World magazine, Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW, to arrive no later than 30 March 2017. DATA PROTECTION By entering this competition, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the data controller for the purpose of the administration of this competition. Data controller: Slimming World magazine, Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW. The winner’s name and county will be published in the Aug/Sept 2017 issue of Slimming World magazine.



e m i t h lunc Quick, versatile and delicious – what could be more comforting than a hearty bowl of soup? Whether you need a speedy lunch or you’re serving up a dinner party starter, our Slimming World soups have been lovingly created using healthy, flavoursome ingredients. Choose from Pea & Mint, Spicy Lentil, Smoky Tomato, Bean & Chorizo-style Sausage, Sweetcorn Chowder and Mushroom – all completely Free when you’re Food Optimising. Available in Iceland stores nationwide now priced from just £1.50/€2

The full Slimming World range may not be available in smaller Iceland stores. Please check with your local store for more details.


The new peanut butter creation everyone’s talking about... Meet Peanut Hottie - more than just a peanut butter hot drink. TM


AVA I L A B L E AT. . .

Discover some amazing recipes at twitter@PeanutHottie peanut_hottie_official

look, cook, eat

Delicious new recipes to boost your kitchen confidence and your weight loss


Food to fall in love with

Look out for these symbols on our recipes: V Suitable for vegetarians Suitable for vegans ✱ Suitable for freezing for up to 1 month n Extra Easy SP recipe When using low-calorie cooking spray in our recipes, choose brands with one calorie or less per spray as they’re Syn-free. See page 4 for a complete list of recipes and Syn values.

Raspberry & cherry jellies, recipe p80


From curry and doner kebab to fish and chips, we’ve Food Optimised the nation’s fast-food faves (yes, really!) Photographs: Gareth Morgans

menu makeover

Fish & chips with tartare sauce, p49


Ultimate chicken tikka masala The UK’s most popular curry gets a mouth-watering makeover EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 ✱ (curry only)

Ready in about 1 hour, plus marinating 700g skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces Juice of 1 lemon 200g fat-free natural yogurt 3 tbsp tikka curry powder ¼ tsp crushed cardamom seeds (lightly crush the whole cardamom pods to extract the seeds) Low-calorie cooking spray 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, crushed 4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated 1-2 tbsp medium curry powder 6 tbsp tomato purée 200g passata 200g fat-free natural fromage frais Chopped fresh coriander leaves, to serve Lime halves, to serve

For the pilau rice: 275g dried basmati rice, rinsed in cold water and drained ½ tsp turmeric 2 tbsp pilau rice seasoning

For the kachumber salad: ½ cucumber, diced 4 tomatoes, diced 1 small red onion, diced Lemon juice, to taste

1 Put the chicken in a large, non-metallic mixing bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, yogurt, tikka curry powder and cardamom seeds and season. Pour over the chicken, toss to coat well, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or overnight if you can. 2 Spray a wide, non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and medium curry powder and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and passata. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring often. 3 Meanwhile, preheat your grill to medium-high. Divide the chicken pieces between 8 metal skewers and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Grill for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through and lightly charred at the edges. 4 While the chicken is cooking, put the rice, turmeric and pilau rice seasoning in a medium saucepan. Add 600ml water and bring to the boil. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 8-10 minutes. 5 Mix together the kachumber ingredients with a pinch of salt, then set aside. Carefully remove the chicken from the skewers, then stir into the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the fromage frais. Fluff up the rice with a fork. Divide the rice and tikka masala between 4 bowls and sprinkle with the coriander. Serve with the kachumber and lime halves. Syns per serving: FREE


menu makeover

Fish & chips with tartare sauce No need to pop out for this chippy classic – stay at home and enjoy EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 45 minutes 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chips Low-calorie cooking spray 4 thick skinless and boneless cod loin fillets 1 large egg, separated 2 slices wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf), whizzed into breadcrumbs in a food processor Frozen peas, to serve 8 tbsp passata mixed with 4 tbsp tomato purée, to serve

For the tartare sauce: 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed 4 tbsp drained and roughly chopped jarred gherkins 1 small red onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill 2 level tbsp extra-light mayonnaise 200g fat-free natural fromage frais 1 tbsp finely grated unwaxed lemon zest

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Boil the chips for 3-4 minutes, then drain well. Spread on a non-stick baking tray in a single layer and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Season and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. 2 Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper and place the fish on top. 3 Whisk the egg white in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. Whisk the egg yolk in a separate bowl and gently fold into the egg white. Season, stir gently to mix, then spoon the ‘batter’ onto the tops of the fish. Scatter a quarter of the breadcrumbs evenly over each fillet and bake alongside the chips for 10-12 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and lightly browned. 4 Boil the peas, then drain. Mix together the tartare sauce ingredients and season. Serve 1 fish fillet and a quarter of the tartare sauce per person with the chips, peas and ‘ketchup’. Syns per serving: 2

COOK’S NOTE Fancy an extra chip-shop touch? Swap the frozen peas for canned mushy peas; they’re both Free


Four seasons cauliflower pizza Super low-Syn and a choice of toppings equals pizza paradise EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 1 hour 600g cauliflower florets, finely grated 2 large eggs, lightly beaten Low-calorie cooking spray 8 tbsp passata with basil 4 tbsp tomato purée 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced 3 cherry tomatoes, sliced ½ yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced 1 frozen Slimming World Syn-free Pork Sausage, defrosted and crumbled 1 tsp fennel seeds 60g cooked Asda or Sainsbury’s BBQ Chicken Slices 3 baby chestnut mushrooms, sliced 60g canned lean ham, visible fat removed, cubed 70g bag wild rocket 10g fresh Parmesan shavings 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Burgers with mustard ‘mayo’ & sweet potato chips

2 Put the grated cauliflower in a large microwavable bowl, cover with cling film and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes, or until softened. Leave to cool, then mix in the eggs until well combined and season well. Pat into a round 10in pizza base on the prepared baking tray. Spray lightly with low-calorie cooking spray and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and just set.

There’s stacks of flavour in our better-than-the-high-street burger EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 ✱ (burgers only)

Ready in about 50 minutes 4 sweet potatoes, cut into thick chips Low-calorie cooking spray 2 large onions, cut into 1cm-thick slices, rings separated

For the burgers: 4 spring onions, very finely chopped 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less) 2 tsp dried mixed herbs 2 tsp dried steak seasoning 1 tsp mustard powder 2 tbsp fat-free natural fromage frais 4 x 60g wholemeal rolls, halved 2 little gem lettuces, shredded 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. For the burgers, put the spring onions, mince, dried herbs and steak seasoning in a bowl, and season. Mix with your hands until well combined, then shape into 4 burgers. Stir together the mustard and fromage frais, and season. Put the burgers and ‘mayo’ in the fridge. 2 Meanwhile, spread the chips in a single layer on a baking tray lined 50 SLIMMING WORLD

with baking paper. Spray with low-calorie cooking spray, season and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until soft and golden. 3 While the chips are cooking, place a non-stick griddle or frying pan over a high heat. When hot, season the onion rings, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until tender. Remove from the pan and keep warm. 4 Spray the burgers with low-calorie cooking spray and add to the hot pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 5 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper. Fill each roll with little gem lettuce, tomato, cucumber and a burger topped with the mustard ‘mayo’. Serve with the onion rings and sweet potato chips. Syns per serving: FREE* *Add 6 Syns if not using the wholemeal roll as a Healthy Extra

MAKE IT VEGGIE Swap the sausage, chicken and ham for your favourite veggie pizza toppings (a great opportunity to use up any leftover veg in the fridge) and use a vegetarian alternative to Parmesan

3 Mix the passata with the tomato purée and garlic and spread over the pizza base. Scatter the red onion, cherry tomatoes and yellow pepper over one quarter of the pizza base. Scatter the sausage and fennel seeds over another quarter, the chicken and mushrooms over the third quarter and the canned ham over the remaining quarter. 4 Season, spray lightly with low-calorie cooking spray and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly charred at the edges. Top with a handful of rocket and evenly scatter over the Parmesan. Slice the pizza into the 4 different-flavour pieces and serve a quarter per person with the remaining rocket dressed with the balsamic vinegar. Syns per serving: ½

menu makeover



menu makeover

Chicken with BBQ beans, sweetcorn, slaw & fries

Southern-style chicken and sides for just 3 Syns – yee-haw! EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 ✱ (chicken only)

Ready in about 1 hour 30 minutes 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into fries 2 sweetcorn cobs, halved 2 x 390g cans Barbecue Heinz Beanz

For the slaw: 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated ¼ red cabbage, finely shredded ¼ white cabbage, finely shredded Juice of 1 lemon 3 tbsp fat-free natural fromage frais

For the chicken: 8 tbsp tomato purée 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika 2 tsp garlic salt 1 tsp ground ginger 2 large egg whites 6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs 6 chicken drumsticks, skins removed 4 slices wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf), whizzed into breadcrumbs in a food processor Low-calorie cooking spray

1 Preheat your oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Mix all the slaw ingredients in a bowl. Season and chill. 2 For the chicken, mix together the tomato purée, paprika, garlic salt and ginger in a large bowl and season well. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the tomato mixture.

Lamb doner kebab

Our take on the post-night-out favourite is Free and speedy! EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4

3 Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture, then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 4 Meanwhile, boil the fries for 2-3 minutes, then drain well. Spread on a non-stick baking tray in a single layer and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Season and add to the oven. Cook the chicken and chips for 15 minutes, or until golden. 5 Place a non-stick griddle pan over a high heat. When hot, spray the sweetcorn with low-calorie cooking spray and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning often. Heat the beans. Serve 3 pieces of chicken per person with the fries, slaw, sweetcorn and beans. Syns per serving: 3

✱ (lamb kebabs only)

Ready in about 30 minutes

COOK’S NOTE Sumac is a spice often used in Middle Eastern dishes. It adds a tangy, fruity taste and is available from major supermarkets

8 lean lamb leg steaks, visible fat removed, roughly chopped 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp sumac (see note) 250g fat-free natural Greek-style yogurt 1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely grated Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus wedges to serve 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 red onion, thinly sliced 1 small iceberg lettuce, shredded 4 tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced 1 cucumber, thinly sliced 8 pickled green chilli peppers from a jar, to serve

1 Preheat your grill to high. Put the lamb in a food processor with the cumin, cinnamon, sumac and 1 tbsp

yogurt. Add the carrot and lemon zest and whizz until well blended (you’ll need to scrape down the bowl a couple of times). Season, divide into 8 portions, then shape each into a long sausage around a metal skewer. 2 Grill for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, mix together the lemon juice, remaining yogurt and garlic, and season to taste. 3 Mix together the red onion, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and divide between 4 plates. Top each with 2 sliced lamb kebabs and serve with the yogurt dressing, lemon wedges and chillies. Syns per serving: FREE

MAKE IT n Leave out the yogurt dressing to make this recipe SP


Duck ‘pancakes’ Just four simple steps to your own Chinese restaurant-style duck... EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 ✱ (duck only)

Ready in about 1 hour 2 level tbsp hoisin sauce 8 tbsp oyster sauce 2 tbsp tomato purée 2 tbsp light soy sauce 4 skinless and boneless duck breast fillets, visible fat removed, cut into very thin strips 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder 6 spring onions, finely shredded 1 cucumber, halved, deseeded and cut into matchsticks Pak choi, steamed, to serve

For the ‘pancakes’: 10 large eggs, beaten Low-calorie cooking spray

1 In a bowl, mix together the hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, tomato purée and soy sauce, then set aside.

An easy midweek dinner packed with weight-loss-loving Speed Free Food SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 4 Ready in about 30 minutes Low-calorie cooking spray 4 garlic cloves, crushed 2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder 300g pack mixed Speed Free stir-fry vegetables 225g can water chestnuts, drained Bunch of spring onions, sliced diagonally 30g fresh bean sprouts, rinsed 300g ready-prepared butternut squash noodles 450g cooked, peeled jumbo king prawns 5 tbsp oyster sauce 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 Spray a large, non-stick frying pan or wok with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, five-spice, mixed veg and water chestnuts, and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes. 54 SLIMMING WORLD

2 Stir in the remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further 4-5 minutes, or until piping hot. Remove from the heat and serve in bowls. Syns per serving: FREE n

MAKE IT VEGAN Replace the oyster sauce with 1 tbsp light soy sauce. Cut a 349g pack of firm tofu into bite-size pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. After step 1, while the stir-fry vegetables are cooking, spray a non-stick wok or frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, then drain on kitchen paper. Continue with step 2 and return the tofu to the pan for the final minute of cooking to heat through – this will still be Free and SP

3 Toss the duck in the five-spice powder and season. Spray a large, non-stick frying pan or wok with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Stir-fry the duck for 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through. Add 4 tbsp of the hoisin sauce mixture and cook for a further minute to coat the duck slices with the sauce. 4 Arrange the duck, spring onions and cucumber in separate serving dishes. Spread each ‘pancake’ with an eighth of the remaining hoisin sauce mixture, then divide over the duck. Top with spring onions and cucumber, roll up and serve 2 per person with the steamed pak choi. Syns per serving: 1


Prawn & butternut-squash noodle chow mein

2 For the ‘pancakes’, beat the eggs in a measuring jug and season. Spray a 15cm, non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. When hot, pour in an eighth of the batter and swirl to cover the base. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned underneath. Flip over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on baking paper. Repeat to make 7 more, sliding baking paper in between each one. Keep warm in a low oven.

menu makeover


become a Slimming World Consultant – a uniquely rewarding role Being a Slimming World Consultant offers: An excellent income and flexible hours that fit around family life. On average, Consultants earn between £100 and £400 ( 200 and 600) for working 10 to 20 flexible hours a week*. Encouragement, help and support, along with expert training at the Slimming World Academy, as you continue your journey with us and transform the lives of people in your community.


S at limm t, Lis ing W a o an , Ca rld C the d on Ge su ri ne ne, C ltants vie aro – ve le

If you’re a successful member on your way to target and you’d love to share with others the support, motivation and success you’ve experienced as a member, we’d love to hear from you. *Consultants invest in a Slimming World franchise. Quoted earnings are commission levels based on group size. Call Penny today on 0344 892 0434 (01 656 9600 from ROI) or email:

As well as being inspirational, warm, caring and compassionate, our Consultants all have another thing in common: they’ve been there – they’ve experienced the problems of being overweight, the joys of seeing the pounds disappear and their life transform. Now they’re dedicated to helping others achieve the same amazing success!

scan this, or visit for more information about the exciting opportunities available with Slimming World

fresh start

Overnight porridge oats

Wake up to a super-filling brekkie you’ve prepared the night before SUPER SIMPLE   Makes 4 Ready in about 5 minutes, plus overnight soaking

BASIC RECIPE: put 160g plain whole rolled porridge oats into a large bowl and add 800g fat-free natural yogurt mixed with 340ml water. Stir together, then cover and chill overnight. In the morning, stir, then divide between 4 bowls or glasses and top with your favourite chopped Speed Free fruit. Serve a family or eat one straight away and chill the rest for up to a week. You can also take inspiration from our easy flavour ideas below.

Peach Melba

Peel and slice 300g fresh peach, chopping a few slices into smaller pieces. Stir through the basic recipe ingredients (above) the night before, cover and chill overnight. The next morning, divide the mixture between 4 bowls or glasses, then top with fresh raspberries, extra chopped or sliced fresh peach, and dollops of fat-free natural fromage frais. Syns per serving: FREE*


*Add 7 Syns if not using the porridge oats as a Healthy Extra

Carrot cake

Grate 1 small, peeled carrot (reserving some for the topping) and dice 1 ripe pear. Stir through the basic recipe ingredients (above) with 1 level tsp sweetener the night before, cover and chill overnight. The next morning, divide the mixture between 4 bowls or glasses. Mix 100g fat-free natural fromage frais with 100g plain quark and 2 level tsp sweetener. Divide over the oats. Scatter over the reserved carrot, extra diced ripe pear and a little ground cinnamon. Syns per serving: FREE* *Add 7 Syns if not using the porridge oats as a Healthy Extra


Dice 1 banana and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir through the basic recipe ingredients (above) the night before, cover and chill overnight. The next morning, divide the mixture between 4 bowls or glasses, then top with fresh blueberries, extra chopped banana and a little ground cinnamon. Syns per serving: FREE* *Add 7 Syns if not using the porridge oats as a Healthy Extra

Hot apple pie

Stir 1 tsp mixed spice through the basic recipe ingredients (above) the night before, cover and chill overnight. The next morning, microwave the oat mixture in a heatproof bowl on high for 1 minute to warm through, then divide between 4 bowls or glasses. Top with Müllerlight Vanilla yogurt, finely diced and sliced red eating apple and a little mixed spice. Syns per serving: FREE* *Add 7 Syns if not using the porridge oats as a Healthy Extra


Irısh feast The first in our collection of meals for special occasions is an impressive St Patrick’s Day menu for six Photograph: Ant Duncan


Colcannon parsnip cakes with bacon MAIN

Guinness-braised steak with crunchy green slaw & chips DESSERT

Irish coffee & chocolate pots

Colcannon parsnip cakes with bacon EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 6 Ready in about 40 minutes, plus chilling

Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Peel and chop 500g parsnips and 200g floury potatoes. Boil for 10 minutes, or until really soft, then add 200g diced savoy cabbage from a whole cabbage (reserving the rest for the main) and 3 sliced spring onions. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain, return to the pan and cook for 5 minutes more. Roughly mash together with 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp mustard powder and seasoning. Shape into 6 cakes and chill for 15 minutes. Lay 12 smoked bacon medallions (visible fat removed) on a non-stick baking tray. Spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a mediumhigh heat. Brown the cakes on each side, then add to the bacon tray and bake everything for 15 minutes. Top each cake with 2 bacon slices and snipped cress. Whisk 150g fat-free natural fromage frais with 1 tbsp cider vinegar and enough water to make it drizzly, then pour over the bacon. Add ground black pepper and serve with salad leaves. Syns per serving: FREE



Guinness-braised steak with crunchy green slaw & chips EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 6 Ready in about 4 hours 30 minutes

Preheat your oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Brown 6 lean beef stewing steaks (visible fat removed) on both sides in batches. Lay them in a deep baking dish to fit snugly. Add 1 chopped onion and a mug of water to the frying pan and fry until soft. Add 300ml water, 200ml Guinness, 2 beef stock cubes, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring to the boil, then pour over the steaks and cover tightly with a double layer of foil. Bake for 2 hours. Peel and cut 6 carrots into chunks, stir through the beef, re-cover and cook for a further 1-2 hours, or until everything is tender. Meanwhile, shred the remaining savoy cabbage from the starter into a large bowl. Add 2 matchsticked green apples, 3 sliced spring onions and a bunch of snipped fresh chives. Whisk together 1 level tsp creamed hot horseradish, 2 tbsp fat-free vinaigrette and the juice of 1 lemon and stir through the slaw. Discard the thyme sprigs from the braised steak and scatter with finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Divide the steak and slaw between 6 plates and serve with Slimming World chips (see p24 for recipe). If you want to make the Guinness-braised steak ahead, it reheats perfectly in the oven in 20 minutes alongside the chips. Syns per serving: 1


Irish coffee & chocolate pots EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 6 Ready in about 15 minutes, plus chilling

Soak 3 sheets gelatine in cold water. Put 4 tsp instant coffee granules in a large mug with 2 x 11g sachets Cadbury Highlights hot chocolate. Stir in 200ml boiling water until the coffee and chocolate have dissolved, then quickly squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and stir into the coffee mixture until dissolved. Tip into a large mixing bowl with 2 tsp Irish whisky, 250g fat-free natural fromage frais and 100g pot Müllerlight Chocolate Fix Milk Chocolate and whisk everything together. Beat 3 large egg whites* until they form stiff peaks, then fold these through the chocolate mixture. Divide between 6 glasses and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight if you can. Just before serving, top with dollops of fat-free natural fromage frais, crushed instant coffee granules and whole coffee beans. Syns per serving: 1½ *Pregnant women, the elderly, babies, toddlers and those who are already unwell are advised not to eat raw or partially cooked eggs

‘Rachel’s support made all the difference’

Heather Gibson, 53, is a registered nurse and lives in Ince Blundell, Merseyside, with her husband, Mark. She has two daughters, Emma, 26, and Rachel, 24. Heather is 5ft 7ins tall and weighs 10st 5lbs, having lost 5st at Carol Wylie’s Slimming World group in Formby, Merseyside

Heather Gibson (right), with her daughter Rachel

‘It had become a bit of a routine – I’d go on about how fed up I was with my weight, and my husband, Mark, and daughters, Emma and Rachel, would tell me not to worry and that I was absolutely fine. I suppose, deep down, I was after reassurance that they loved me as I was, and they did. The problem was, I didn’t like myself very much. It had got to the stage where I hadn’t gone out for a year because the only clothes I had that fitted were leggings and baggy tops, and I couldn’t bear to go shopping and try on outfits surrounded by all those dressing-room mirrors... One day, I was on a break at the clinic where I work as a nurse, sitting in my scrubs feeling big and uncomfortable, when I began my usual refrain: “I’m not happy like this,” I told the other nurses. “I really wish I could lose some weight.” Subconsciously, I was probably expecting they’d talk me out of it, just as my family always had. Then one of them said, “A few of us have joined Slimming World. Why don’t you try it?”. It was a light-bulb moment. I realised I’d had enough of feeling negative about my figure. “Yes,” I said, “why not?”. And I knew I was going to give it my all. The group that suited me best was early on a Saturday and it soon became my “me” time. Everyone was full of great ideas and very encouraging, and I received lots of support from my fantastic Consultant, Carol. Back at home, I stocked up on healthy ingredients and started trying out new recipes. I realised that if Mark and I fancied steak and chips one evening, I could Food Optimise it by cooking lean steak with Slimming World chips and lots of veg. By Christmas 2015, just three months after joining, I’d lost more than 2st and people had started >

‘Sharing recipes helped us slim’ Heather and her daughter Rachel have lost more than 6st between them. Here are some of the dishes they enjoyed cooking together along the way... Photographs: Will Heap


girls’ night in

‘I tend to cook pasta when it’s just me and the girls, and this bake is ideal for that – we can chat while it’s in the oven!’ Heather

Sausage & bean pasta bake EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 2 Ready in about 1 hour 150g dried short pasta shapes, such as penne or fusilli Low-calorie cooking spray 4 frozen Slimming World Syn-free Pork Sausages, defrosted and each chopped into 3-4 chunks 6 spring onions, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and diced 400g can red kidney beans in chilli sauce 2 tbsp tomato purée 100g plain quark 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve Pinch of dried chilli flakes, to serve (optional) Mixed-leaf salad, to serve

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, then drain and set aside. 2 Spray a large, non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Stir-fry the sausages for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the onions, garlic and peppers and stir-fry for a further 6-8 minutes. 3 Stir in the beans and tomato purée, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked pasta. Season, stir and transfer to a medium baking dish. 4 Whisk together the quark and eggs and season. Spoon over the pasta mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Scatter over the parsley and chilli flakes, if you like, and serve with the mixed-leaf salad. Syns per serving: FREE


complimenting me on how I looked. My daughter Rachel had recently had a baby and wanted to lose some weight, so I suggested she come along to Carol’s group with me. It worked out really well for both of us – having that extra support and sharing food ideas. And my other daughter, Emma, who lives at home, would help out by choosing recipes from the Slimming World cookbooks that we could all eat together. Because I loved the food, it didn’t feel like a diet and I knew I could keep it up long term. I’m 5st lighter now and I’ve gone from wearing the secondbiggest size scrubs at work to the smallest ones. Clothes shopping has become fun again, which is just as well, as I had to get rid of all my old size-16 outfits and start filling my wardrobe with size 12s. Eating satisfying, healthy meals has made me slim, happy and confident – and there’s no way I’m giving that up!’

‘If Mum could do it, then so could I!’

Rachel Gibson, 24, is a beauty therapist. She lives in Formby, Merseyside, with her partner, Nik, and their 18-month-old son, Harrison. Rachel is 5ft 6ins tall and weighs 9st 7lbs, having lost 1st 2lbs at Carol Wylie’s Slimming World group in Formby ‘I could see a real difference in Mum. She wasn’t just slimmer, she seemed happier, and that got me thinking... Since having my little boy, Harrison, I hadn’t been able to shift the baby pounds. None of my favourite clothes fitted any more and my heart sank if I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Yet how could I slim when I had a six-month-old to look after? Then I saw how quickly eating fresh, healthy meals had become a habit for Mum and thought maybe Slimming World could work for me. I was nervous about going to group, even with Mum by my side, so I was relieved to find that everyone was really friendly. After listening to the new-member talk, I realised I’d be able to follow Food Optimising – there was so much I could eat! And my worries about juggling losing weight and looking after Harrison soon faded: most of the recipes were quick and simple to make, and it turned out I could bring Harrison along to group with me – in fact, babies and buggies were more than welcome. Slimming World felt like the perfect fit and the weight really started to come off. Mum and I share lots of recipe ideas and we’ll text each other about what we’ve had for tea, or, if we’re both off work at the same time, we’ll make lunch together. It’s been lovely having her support. I feel so much better now I’m at target – I’m more confident in myself and Nik comments on how much happier I am, too. I’m so pleased Mum inspired me to change my lifestyle.’ ● 64 SLIMMING WORLD

‘We’re always swapping recipe ideas, and if we’re ever off work on the same day, Rachel will come over and we’ll make ourselves a Free or low-Syn lunch’ Heather

girls’ night in

Veggie pad thai SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 2 V

Ready in about 20 minutes 100g dried rice noodles Low-calorie cooking spray 250g white cabbage, shredded 2 garlic cloves, sliced 100g mangetout 100g frozen soya or podded broad beans 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 level tbsp tamarind paste 2 level tsp smooth peanut butter 1 medium egg, lightly beaten 4 spring onions, sliced Fresh coriander sprigs, to serve Lime wedges, to serve

1 Soak the rice noodles according to the pack instructions.

Herby vegetable quiche SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 2 V ✱

Ready in about 1 hour

2 Meanwhile, spray a large, non-stick wok or frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Stir-fry the cabbage, garlic, mangetout and beans for 2-3 minutes. 3 Whisk the soy sauce, tamarind paste and peanut butter together with 2 tbsp water. Add to the veg and stir-fry for a few more minutes until tender but still crunchy. Scrape everything into a bowl.

Low-calorie cooking spray 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 courgette, coarsely grated 100g cherry tomatoes, halved 1 tbsp each of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and chives, plus extra to serve 100g roasted red peppers in brine from a jar, drained and roughly chopped 150g fat-free natural cottage cheese 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten Rocket and spring onion salad, to serve

4 Return the wok to the heat and tip in the cooked noodles and the egg. Toss until the noodles are coated with cooked egg. Return the veg to the pan and add the spring onions. Divide between 2 bowls, scatter over the coriander and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/gas 6. Lightly spray an ovenproof 18cm flan or pie dish with low-calorie cooking spray.

‘We used to eat a lot of Chinese takeaways – now we make our own low-Syn noodle dishes instead. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to get a really tasty flavour’

2 Spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Stir-fry the onion, garlic, courgette and tomatoes for 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the herbs and peppers, then mix together the cottage cheese and eggs and pour in. Season and spoon into the flan or pie dish. 3 Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Scatter over the extra herbs and serve with the salad.

Syns per serving: 2


Syns per serving: FREE n


girls’ night in

‘During the week, I’ll choose fresh fruit for dessert, then make a more luxurious pudding like this cheesecake at the weekend’

Banoffee cheesecake EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 6 Ready in about 40 minutes, plus chilling 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white 3 level tsp sweetener 6 light digestive biscuits, finely crushed 3 sheets leaf gelatine 3 x 175g pots Müllerlight Toffee yogurt 100g plain quark 2 ripe bananas, sliced when ready to serve ½ level tsp cocoa powder, to decorate

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line the base and sides of an 18cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper. 2 Whisk the egg and egg white with 2 tsp of the sweetener in a large bowl until well combined, then add the crushed biscuits. Stir to combine well and spoon into the tin, pressing down firmly to make a smooth 66 SLIMMING WORLD

base. Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm, then allow to cool completely. 3 Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 10-12 minutes, or until softened. Pour 75ml boiling water into a bowl. Squeeze out the water from the softened gelatine and add the gelatine to the hot water. Stir to dissolve, then leave to cool. 4 Put the cooled gelatine mixture in a food processor with the yogurt, quark and remaining sweetener. Whizz until smooth, then pour over the cooled biscuit base. Freeze for 20 minutes, then cover and chill overnight, or until set. 5 Remove the cheesecake from the tin, peel off the paper and place on a serving plate. Arrange the banana slices on top, evenly dust over the cocoa powder and slice into 6. Syns per serving: 3



p62 and above: Top and skirt, both Next. Shoes, Faith at ASOS. Earrings, Accessorize

p62 and above: Dress, Next. Shoes, New Look. Necklace, Dorothy Perkins

p64 and 65: Top, Topshop. Trousers and earrings, both ASOS. Watch, Fossil

p63, 64, 65 and above left: Top, Luisa Cerano. Trousers, Boden. Necklace, Dorothy Perkins




Steak frites with Béarnaise sauce We start our around-the-world tour with a French café classic EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 40 minutes

2 Meanwhile, put the shallots, peppercorns, 1 tbsp tarragon, 1 tbsp parsley and the vinegar and stock in a small saucepan, and stir together. Bring to the boil, then allow the liquid to reduce by a third (this should take about 6-8 minutes). Strain into a heatproof bowl, discarding what’s left in the sieve, and leave to cool slightly. 3 Once cooled, whisk in the mayo and fromage frais. Season with a little salt, then stir in the capers and remaining herbs. Set aside.

4 Season the steaks and spray lightly with low-calorie cooking spray. Preheat a non-stick griddle or frying pan until smoking hot, then cook the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side for rare, 4-5 minutes on each side for medium, or 6-7 minutes on each side for well done. 5 While the steaks are cooking, boil the spinach for 2-3 minutes, or until wilted, then drain well and season. 6 Dry the steaks on kitchen paper before transferring to plates. Serve with the spinach, frites and a quarter of the Béarnaise sauce per person. Syns per serving: ½ l NEXT ISSUE: Greece


600g large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into fries Low-calorie cooking spray 2 shallots, finely diced 10 peppercorns 4 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves 4 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 150ml vegetable stock 2 level tbsp extra-light mayonnaise 100g fat-free natural fromage frais 4 tbsp drained and rinsed chopped capers 4 lean beef fillet steaks, visible fat removed 500g baby spinach

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Boil the fries for 1-2 minutes, then drain well. Spread on a non-stick baking tray in a single layer and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Season and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.


Harissa-spiced turkey couscous SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 4 ✱

Ready in about 25 minutes 4 tbsp fat-free natural yogurt 1 large garlic clove, crushed 2 tsp harissa powder 1 tsp paprika Juice of 1 small lemon, plus wedges to serve 700g turkey breast steaks, cut into wide strips 200g plain dried couscous 2 small preserved lemons in brine from a jar Low-calorie cooking spray ½ small pack fresh mint leaves, shredded ½ small pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 2 roasted red peppers in brine from a jar, drained and cut into thin strips 225g cherry tomatoes (red or yellow), quartered 2 small red onions, halved and thinly sliced 25g rocket leaves

1 Put the yogurt, garlic, harissa powder, paprika, 1 tbsp lemon juice and ½ tsp salt into a bowl. Mix together, then add the turkey strips and stir to coat well. Set aside. 2 Put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and pour over 250ml boiling water. Cover with cling film and set aside. 3 Meanwhile, quarter the preserved lemons, remove the flesh and discard. Finely chop the pith and peel. Set aside. 4 Spray a large, non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. When hot, add half of the turkey strips, placing them side by side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the turkey. 5 Meanwhile, fluff up the couscous with a fork. Stir in the lemon peel, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, onions and the remaining lemon juice. 6 Halve the turkey strips diagonally and stir into the couscous along with the rocket. Season to taste and serve with the lemon wedges. Syns per serving: FREE

COOK’S NOTE If you’ve got leftovers, they’re great eaten cold for lunch


Feel Free! Three tasty dishes without a single Syn between them – and they’re all on the table in half an hour or less Photographs: Kate Whitaker

cook the book

Chickpea curry with spinach & eggs SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 4 V

Ready in about 25 minutes

Bucatini all’amatriciana SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 4 Ready in about 30 minutes Low-calorie cooking spray 250g smoked dry-cured back bacon rashers, visible fat removed, chopped into small pieces 1 medium onion, finely chopped ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes 2 x 400g cans whole plum tomatoes 2 tbsp tomato purée 500g dried bucatini pasta (or use spaghetti or linguine) Small pack fresh basil leaves, shredded

Low-calorie cooking spray 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tbsp black mustard seeds 4 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp turmeric ½ tsp cayenne pepper 4 large garlic cloves, crushed 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed Juice of 1 small lemon 500g baby leaf spinach 4 large eggs* Chopped fresh coriander, to serve

1 Spray a large, deep, lidded non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat. Add the seeds, spices, garlic, chilli and 100ml boiling water and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring.

2 Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice, 200ml boiling water and salt to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until reduced and thickened. 3 Add half the spinach to the pan, cover and cook until it has wilted, then repeat with the remaining spinach (the spinach will release water and loosen the mixture nicely). 4 Uncover, stir well, then make dips in the mixture and crack in the eggs. Season lightly, re-cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your liking. Scatter over the coriander to serve. Syns per serving: FREE n *Pregnant women, the elderly, babies and toddlers, and the already unwell are advised not to eat raw or partially cooked eggs

MAKE IT VEGAN Simply leave out the eggs to make this recipe vegan


1 Spray a non-stick lidded frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the bacon and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. 2 Add the onion, chilli and 3 tbsp water to the pan, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes. 3 Uncover the pan and gently crush the canned tomatoes into the pan (if you don’t mind getting your hands messy, using them will give the best results – you want chunky tomato in the finished sauce). Stir in the tomato purée and simmer for 15 minutes, or until reduced to a good sauce consistency. 4 Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. Drain well and return to the hot pan. 5 Season the sauce to taste, pour it over the bucatini along with the bacon and toss together well. Scatter over the basil and serve with a large mixed-leaf salad.

IF YOU LIKE THESE RECIPES... ...and want the complete collection, pick up Slimming World’s Free & Easy, packed with 60 quick Free meals! You’ll get a free copy when you buy a 12-week Countdown course or 12-week gift voucher until 25 February. Or it’s on general sale in Slimming World groups from 26 February, price £4.95 (€7.95).

Syns per serving: FREE



Clever stuff Take five ingredients, add a bottle of Frylight and enjoy a totally delicious Free or low-Syn dinner – success!


here’s a very good reason why so many slimmers love Frylight, the smart cooking spray. This simple addition to your shopping basket helps you to roast, fry, grill, bake and more – and that’s where an ingenious bit of maths comes in. Why? Because for every tablespoon of regular cooking oil you replace with Frylight, you save a whole 6 Syns! Just a few sprays of Frylight helps you transform your fresh ingredients into more than the sum of their parts. Potatoes become crispy chips, onions turn soft and golden, and home-made burgers sizzle to perfection – without adding a single Syn. Try it for yourself in these two weeknight-easy recipes (right) and discover the difference Frylight can make to the way you cook every day. Now that is a smart move.

+ + + + Mustard pork with parsnip mash & apple sauce EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 35 minutes

●● Frylight is available from most major supermarkets.

For more information, visit


650g parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks 250g savoy cabbage, finely shredded 8 pork medallions, visible fat removed Frylight Rapeseed Oil 2 tsp mustard powder 400ml chicken stock 2 dessert apples (such as Braeburn), peeled, cored and diced

1 Boil the parsnips for 15 minutes, and the cabbage for 5 minutes, in separate saucepans until tender, then drain, reserving the cooking water from the parsnips. Keep both warm until needed. 2 Meanwhile, place a lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Spray the pork with Frylight and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Sprinkle over 1½ tsp mustard powder, then add the stock and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover and simmer

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Minted courgette & potato tortilla EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 V

Ready in about 45 minutes 450g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced Frylight Extra Virgin Olive Oil 450g courgettes, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped ½ small pack fresh mint leaves, chopped, reserving some to serve 6 medium eggs, beaten Freshly ground mixed peppercorns Mixed-leaf salad, to serve

+ +

1 Boil the potatoes for 3-5 minutes, or until just tender, then drain well. 2 Spray a large, ovenproof frying pan with Frylight and place over a medium-low heat. Stir-fry the courgettes for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Increase the heat to medium, add the potatoes and garlic and fry for a further 5-10 minutes until the potatoes begin to turn golden, turning the vegetables occasionally.

3 Preheat your grill to medium. Stir the mint into the eggs, then season and beat in 2 tbsp water. Add the eggs to the frying pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the eggs are almost set and the underside is golden. 4 Place the frying pan under the grill and cook for a further 5 minutes until the egg is cooked through. Leave to stand for 1-2 minutes, then season with salt and the ground peppercorns and scatter over the reserved mint. Slice into wedges and serve with a mixed-leaf salad, if you like. Syns per serving: FREE

+ + for 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. 3 For the apple sauce, put the apples in a saucepan with the remaining mustard powder and 6 tbsp water. Cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Mash until smooth.


4 Mash the parsnips with 4-6 tbsp of the reserved cooking water and season. Divide the pork, mash, cabbage and apple sauce between 4 plates and drizzle over the stock mixture from the pan to serve. Syns per serving: 1½


Food news Shop yourself slimmer with these savvy low-Syn finds and speedy meal ideas

VA-VA-VOOM VEG! Make meals extra special with a show-off vegetable side... l Tesco Rainbow Vegetable

Couscous with carrot, cauliflower and beetroot is Speed Free Food. The 300g chilled pack costs £1. l Tesco Finest Bubble & Squeak

Crush is given a twist with kale and pancetta. It’s 2½ Syns per half pack and the 350g chilled pack costs £2.60.

Lunch for one... SPICY BEAN JACKETS

This quick and tasty veggie filler takes baked potato and beans to a new level Microwave 1 large, pricked baking potato until soft. Preheat your grill to high. Halve the potato and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a 5mm-thick shell. Spray the skins with low-calorie cooking spray and grill, cut-side up, until crisp and golden. In a saucepan, mix ½ drained 410g can mixed beans in water, 5 tbsp canned chopped tomatoes with chilli, and ¼ tsp ground cumin. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Spoon into the skins, sprinkle over 1 level tbsp reduced-fat mature Cheddar and a thinly sliced spring onion and grill until the cheese has just melted. Syns per serving: 2½

l Another easy way to add colour

to your plate, Sainsbury’s Beetroot & British Potato Mash comes with a hint of horseradish. It’s 1½ Syns per 400g chilled pack and costs £1.50.

What’s new

Simmering meat over a low heat for hours makes it super-succulent, and Sainsbury’s has done the work for you with its Slow Cooked... range. 2 British Lamb Shanks with Mixed Beans, Thyme & Redcurrant Jelly is 1½ Syns for half a 787g chilled pack and costs £8. British Beef in a Rich Pale Ale Gravy is 2½ Syns per 275g serving and the 550g chilled pack costs £5.


Ring the changes by grilling and slicing Aldi Ashfield Farm Chilli, Lime & Coriander Chicken Breasts as a zingy salad topper. It’s 1½ Syns per breast and a 290g chilled pack costs £2.49.

Enjoy a low-Syn fish supper on any night of the week. Tesco 2 Fish in Sauce Lemon & Dill Salmon Fillets is 2½ Syns per half pack and the 340g frozen pack costs £3.

trolley talk


Clever kitchen tool

Is there anything this eye-catching gadget can’t do to fresh fruit? From opening an orange without you breaking a nail to neatly taking the skin off a kiwi, the Paracity fruit salad cutter has it covered. It has 10 tools to peel, cut, prepare and serve up all your favourite Free and Speed fruits and costs £16.99 from

Deli-licious! TAKE A MOMENT These plant-based puds are ideal for those who can’t tolerate dairy – or just for a sweet treat with a difference. Alpro Dessert Moments come in three flavours: Almond Vanilla and Hazelnut Chocolate are 4½ Syns per 125g pot, and Coconut is 5 Syns per 125g pot. All cost £2 for a chilled four-pack from Tesco.

Ideal for snacking, as part of an oriental-style platter, or sliced into salads and sandwiches, Morrisons Ready to Eat Chinese Chicken Mini Fillets are great to have to hand in your fridge. They’re Free and the 200g chilled pack costs £3.

Fresh and full of flavour, Slimming World’s exciting new range of Free Food chilled deli-style salads has just landed at an Iceland near you. And whether you’re looking for a no-fuss lunch on the run, or serving them as part of a filling Food Optimising meal, they’re the perfect standby when time is tight. Choose from three tasty varieties: Tuna Pasta Salad and Thai Noodle Salad cost £1.75 for a 300g and 275g chilled pack respectively, and Potato Salad costs £1.50 for a 300g chilled pack.

Easy-peasy meat free! Quorn Gluten Free Quarter Pounders are 2½ Syns per burger and a 227g frozen two-pack costs £2.49 from Morrisons, Ocado and Waitrose.

Steak night! Iceland Luxury Gaucho Rump Steak with Smoked Garlic and Herb Butter, plus a generous pile of Speed veg is a winning dinner for one. It’s 3 Syns per 227g chilled pack and costs £4.

Make it easy with Morrisons Bolognese Meal Kit – a Free combo of prepared carrot, onion and pepper with a blend of spices for a speedier spag Bol. The 400g chilled pack costs £1.


trolley talk

Advert Syn values Find the Syn values of all advertised products here Bannisters’ Farm Ready Baked Potatoes, 1 Syn per potato (without butter) Beanies The Flavour Co flavoured instant coffee, all varieties, Free Bravura Foods Peanut Hottie, Peanut Butter Flavour Hot Drink and Peanut Butter & Chocolate Flavour Hot Drink, both 4 Syns per 20g serving

Berry good idea!

Filippo Berio, Mild & Light Olive Oil Spray and Virgin Olive Oil Spray, both ½ Syn for 7 sprays


Sainsbury’s Alcohol Free Sparkling Aromatised Wine is great for designated drivers and Food Optimisers! It’s 1½ Syns per 125ml, compared with 5 Syns for the same amount of cava or prosecco, and the 75cl bottle costs £2.50. Cheers!

Frozen berries are such a handy staple, it’s always worth having a bag or three on ice! Defrost and you can use them just like fresh fruit – ideal as a breakfast topping or scattered over fat-free natural yogurt for a super-easy pud. Dole Blueberries, Raspberries and Triple Berry frozen fruit packs are Free and the 350g pouches cost £2.27 from Morrisons.


Heck, Chicken Italia sausages, 1 Syn for two Hi-fi Light Salted Caramel, from Slimming World groups, 2 bars count as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ or 3 Syns per bar Kettle Bites Maple Barbecue Wholegrain Waves, 4½ Syns per 22g pack

Müllerlight Chocolate Fix, Milk Chocolate, 5 Syns per 100g pot Müllerlight Greek Style, Luscious Lemon, 500g pot, Free

Planning to have an SP day, or just want to find new ways with Speed Free Foods? These pasta-inspired veg are a novel way to give a new look to Italian recipes. Tesco Butternut Squash Fusilli is £1.50 for a chilled 250g pack, while Carrot & Swede Gnocchi is £1.50 for a chilled 400g pack.

If you’re a cereal fan, try one of these two new options for your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice: 40g of Quaker Oats No Added Sugar Oat Muesli with Nuts & Seeds, which costs £2.69 for a 650g pack from Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, or 45g of Aldi Harvest Morn Cherry Fruit Wheats at £1.79 for a 500g box.

Happy Eggs, Free

Lurpak Spreadable Lightest, 1 Syn per 1 level tsp


Healthy Extra update

Graham’s Quark, Natural, Free; Vanilla, 1½ Syns per 100g

Slimming World soups, from Iceland: Mushroom, Pea & Mint, Smoky Tomato, Bean & Chorizo-style Sausage, Spicy Lentil and Sweetcorn Chowder, all Free The Laughing Cow Extra Light, 6 triangles count as a Healthy Extra ‘a’ or 1 Syn per triangle Werther’s Original Sugar Free Butter Candies, ½ Syn per candy

A new treat for cheese fans – 45g of Cathedral City Garlic & Herb Spreadable counts as a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice. Made with mature Cheddar, a 125g tub costs £1.50 from Ocado and Tesco.

Perfect if you’re unable to have cow’s milk, or if you fancy giving your breakfast a makeover, 500ml of new Waitrose Coconut Drink Original counts as a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice. A 1-litre carton costs £1.49.


A bit of fizz

Frylight, all varieties, Free

6 triangles are a Healthy Extra ‘a’ or just 1 Syn per triangle

Made with


Fall head over heels for these gorgeous, heart-themed puds – perfect for sharing with the special ones in your life Photographs: Maja Smend

Raspberry & cherry jellies, recipe p80


sweet hearts

Peach & raspberry kisses, recipe p80


Chocolate & orange cheesecake

A no-bake dessert starring a dream flavour combo SUPER SIMPLE

Serves 10 Ready in about 30 minutes, plus chilling

Raspberry & cherry jellies

Luscious layers bursting with fruity flavours...there’s a lot to love!

Peach & raspberry kisses

Mini meringues with a sweet surprise inside – and plenty to go round



Serves 4 Ready in about 30 minutes, plus chilling

Makes 25

11.5g sachet Hartley’s Raspberry Sugar Free Jelly crystals 100g fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries, plus extra to decorate 12g sachet powdered gelatine 175g pot Müllerlight Cherry yogurt

4 large egg whites 120g caster sugar 1 level tsp cream of tartar 100g plain quark 100g peach slices in natural juice, drained and finely diced 30g fresh raspberries, crushed 1 level tsp icing sugar

1 Put the jelly crystals in a measuring jug. Add 150ml boiling water and 100ml cold water, stirring until dissolved. Allow to cool. 2 Divide the raspberries between 4 deep, individual heart-shaped or round ramekins in a single layer. Divide the cooled jelly mixture over the top, just covering the raspberries. Cover with cling film and freeze for 15-20 minutes, or until just starting to set. 3 Meanwhile, put 100ml boiling water in a measuring jug. Add the gelatine, stir until dissolved and leave to cool. Whisk in the yogurt and divide the mixture between the ramekins. Chill for 6-8 hours, or until firmly set. 4 When ready to serve, dip the ramekins into warm water for a few seconds, then carefully turn out onto small serving plates. Serve immediately with the extra raspberries. Syns per serving: ½

GIVE IT A TWIST Switch the raspberry and cherry theme for all-out strawberry! Use a sachet of Hartley’s Strawberry Sugar Free Jelly crystals, fresh strawberries and a pot of Müllerlight Strawberry yogurt



Ready in about 1 hour, plus cooling

1 Preheat your oven to 110°C/fan 90°C/gas ¼. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper. 2 Put the egg whites in a large, clean glass bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk on a medium speed until they form stiff peaks. Increase the speed to high and add the sugar a spoonful at a time, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Whisk in the cream of tartar. 3 Fit a large piping bag with a fluted nozzle and fill with the meringue. Pipe 50 x 2-3cm mini heart shapes onto the baking trays, leaving space between each one. 4 Bake for 40 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Mix the quark with the peaches and raspberries and use a little of the mixture to sandwich 2 meringues together. Repeat to make 25 kisses. Evenly dust over the icing sugar and serve. Syns per kiss: 1

12 reduced-fat digestive biscuits, finely crushed 50g Flora Light, melted 11.5g sachet Hartley’s Orange Sugar Free Jelly crystals 12g sachet powdered gelatine 3 x 175g pots Müllerlight Vanilla yogurt 300g plain quark Finely grated zest of 1 orange 2 level tbsp sweetener 25g dark or milk chocolate, finely grated

sweet hearts 1 Add the biscuits to the melted spread and stir well. Spoon into the base of a 20cm round, springform cake tin and press down with the back of the spoon to give a smooth base. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. 2 Meanwhile, put the jelly crystals in a measuring jug. Add 200ml boiling

water and the gelatine, and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool. 3 Using an electric hand whisk, beat the yogurts, quark, orange zest and sweetener together in a large bowl. Add the cooled jelly mixture and blend until smooth. Pour evenly over the biscuit base. Chill for 6-8 hours, or until set.

4 When ready to serve, run a palette knife around the edge of the cheesecake, carefully remove from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. To decorate, place a heart stencil on the top in the centre and scatter the chocolate over it. Remove the stencil and slice into 10 to serve. Syns per serving: 5½


Passion fruit & mango panna cottas Win hearts with our melt-in-the-mouth tropical desserts EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 Ready in about 15 minutes, plus chilling 1 medium ripe mango, peeled and stoned 200ml skimmed milk 1½ level tbsp sweetener 1 tbsp powdered gelatine 175g pot Mßllerlight Vanilla yogurt 4 passion fruit, halved

1 Cut 1 or 2 large, thin slices of mango and set aside for decorating. Finely dice the rest of the flesh and divide between 4 individual ramekins or dariole moulds. Cover with cling film and put in the freezer. 2 Meanwhile, put the milk and sweetener in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the 82 SLIMMING WORLD

heat and add the gelatine, stirring until dissolved. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in the yogurt. 3 Remove the ramekins from the freezer and divide the yogurt mixture between them. Chill for 3-4 hours, or until just set. When ready to serve, dip the ramekins into warm water for a few seconds and carefully turn out onto small serving plates. 4 To decorate, cut 4 small hearts out of the reserved mango slices and put 1 on the top of each panna cotta. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the passion fruit and spoon over and around each dessert to serve. Syns per serving: 1

sweet hearts

‘Low in Syns and still so good... What’s not to love?’ Pancakes with mixed berries

Light, fluffy, fruity…these pancakes aren’t just for Shrove Tuesday EVERYDAY EASY

Serves 4 V

Ready in about 30 minutes 1 large ripe banana, peeled 2 medium eggs, beaten 2 level tbsp self-raising flour Low-calorie cooking spray 200g fresh or frozen mixed berries (defrosted if frozen), to serve 100g fat-free natural fromage frais, to serve Ground cinnamon, to decorate

1 Mash the banana in a bowl with a fork until smooth, then stir in the eggs and the flour.

3 Serve 3 pancakes per person with the berries and fromage frais, and dust over the cinnamon.

2 Spray a small, non-stick, heartshaped frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Pour a 12th of the pancake mixture into the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until the base is golden brown. Flip over the pancake and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Keep warm while you make 11 more pancakes.

Syns per serving: 2½

COOK’S NOTE We used a heart-shaped egg frying pan from Or you could use a small, non-stick frying pan and pour the mixture inside a greased heart-shaped cutter (about 9cm x 8cm), cook until just set, then carefully remove the cutter


sweet hearts

Strawberry puff-pastry tartlets

A pretty assembly pudding with just four ingredients – great when you don’t have much time


Ready in about 30 minutes 100g ready-rolled light puff pastry 8 tsp fat-free natural fromage frais 8 small fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced ½ level tsp icing sugar


1 Preheat your oven to 220°C/ fan 200°C/gas 7. Cut out 4 hearts (measuring 8cm x 8cm) from the pastry – you can make a template from card or use a heart-shaped cutter. Using a sharp knife, score a ¼cm border around the edges, being careful not to cut through the pastry. 2 Line a baking tray with baking paper and put the pastry hearts on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until risen and golden. Leave to cool and

then press down the centres to create heart-shaped nests. 3 Spoon the fromage frais into each tartlet, top with the strawberries and evenly dust over the icing sugar. Syns per serving: 4½

GIVE IT A TWIST Swap the fromage frais for fat-free natural Greek-style yogurt mixed with a drop or two of vanilla essence, and use any fresh fruit you fancy!



Serves 4

Only available in Slimming World groups. £1.95/€3 for six bars. To find your nearest group, search online for Slimming World.


A gorgeously gooey cereal bar with a smooth salted caramel centre, topped with creamy fudge pieces



Are you man enough?


Hairdresser Kurtis is

10 st 7lbs lighter WEIGHTLOSS WINS

10 proven ways you can help your health

‘We lost 14st 9½lbs’

The couple that slims together... p96


How positive self-talk can boost your slimdown

I’m no longer scared of the mirror Hairstylist Kurtis Bissett was constantly confronted by his 29st 9lb reflection at work. Now 10½st lighter, he finally likes what he sees – and how he feels


queezing myself down into the seat of the look their best when I felt unhappy with my own Terminator fairground ride, I glanced at appearance. The more moody and negative my sister, Gemma, with an excited grin. I became, the more I noticed colleagues and friends There were 15 of us sitting in a line, waiting reacting differently to me. Looking back, I know for the safety bar to descend and the ride to I can’t have been much fun to be around. burst into life and spin us skyward. After a while, the Still burning with shame from my experience operator came over to me and said, apologetically: at the fair, I was starting to realise I was the only one ‘I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to get off the who could stop this kind of thing from happening ride; you’re too heavy for it.’ again. As always, I confided in my sister. ‘I have I felt my cheeks burn as his words hit me like to do something about my weight,’ I told Gemma. a slap in the face. I stood up and, with my head down ‘I feel like if I don’t do something now, I might be to avoid making eye contact with anyone, shuffled missing my last chance.’ It sounds like a dramatic off. It’s pretty hard not to be seen when you’re statement, but I knew it was true – I was in crisis. 6ft 8ins tall and 29st 9lbs and, at that moment, all And, as spring of 2015 arrived, I made the decision I wanted was to become invisible. to join Slimming World. That humiliation was just a public version of the daily indignities I faced. At almost 30st, it was a huge Taking the plunge effort to lever myself up from the sofa, inch by inch, Having worked in a hair salon in my home city of and it would sometimes take a couple of minutes. Swansea for several years, the idea of being in a If I wanted to get down on the floor for any reason, group that contained mostly women didn’t faze me. say to wrap a present, I’d need help to get back on my I was still nervous on the first night, though – I was feet. At the age of 24, I had high blood pressure and scared I would somehow let myself down. I needn’t joint pain – the sort of health issues you might have worried. My Consultant, Amanda, was really expect to find in a middle-aged man. And with Type welcoming and everyone there was just so positive. 2 diabetes running in both sides of my family, I knew I had a surge of optimism as I heard all about Food I was putting myself at high risk of developing it, too. Optimising. I went home and got stuck into cooking For as long as I could remember, my weight healthy versions of my favourites, such as Slimming had yo-yoed, and from the age of 19 World spaghetti Bolognese. I never onwards it increased at an alarming once felt hungry, so I doubted rate. I lived on takeaways and would I’d see much of a change on the often have four large meals a day. scales… I was amazed when I went Kurtis Bissett, 25, I used food as a comfort and a back the next week to find I’d lost is a hairstylist and distraction from the turmoil I felt 19lbs! As everyone at group began Slimming World Consultant. inside as I started to question my to clap, I felt on top of the world. He lives in Swansea with sexuality. Deep down I think I knew As the weeks progressed, I’d his partner, Gary I was gay, but I didn’t have the visualise the feeling of stepping Height: 6ft 8ins self-confidence to do anything off those scales to a round of about it. The irony was that the applause and it helped me to stay Starting weight: 29st 9lbs more I comfort ate, the further motivated. Then, not long into my Weight now: 19st 2lbs away from my true self I became. Slimming World journey, I faced the My work as a hairstylist was also first real challenge in the form of WEIGHT LOST: becoming a nightmare. Spending up my birthday. In the past, it would to 12 hours a day on my feet when have involved a night of endless I was so heavy left me completely food and drinks, followed by a day Kurtis lost weight at Amanda Faulkner’s group in Swansea, where exhausted – every night I’d get home of fried food to help me through the he now runs his own group and collapse straight into bed. Plus subsequent hangover. This time, it was difficult to help other people I stayed in control. I used my Syns

10st 7lbs




total turnaround

KURTIS WEARS: p87: Jacket, Jacamo. Top, Zara. Jeans, River Island. Pocket square, stylist’s own. Belt and watch, Kurtis’s own Right: Jacket with pocket square, Jacamo. T-shirts, H&M. Jeans, River Island. Shoes, Walktall. Bracelet, Storm. Socks and watch, Kurtis’s own

As the weight came off, I became a nicer person. Moody and negative became happy and hopeful

to have a great time, and couldn’t quite believe it when the scales showed a loss. That’s when I realised that, if I could do it in my birthday week, I could do it every week. It was a revelation to me, and I felt happy and hopeful. And the weight kept coming off. Salon customers who only came in once a month or so were thrilled at the change in me, and their delighted surprise when they saw me made me feel better and bolder than I ever had before. As my closest friend, Louise, also pointed out: ‘You’ve become a nicer person.’ I had to admit she was right. The happier I felt in myself, the more I wanted to make other people feel good, and I realised my mood was lifting. It was such a buzz to start getting rid of the XXXL T-shirts I’d bought from specialist websites and to go shopping on the high street for the first time in years. I’ll never forget the feeling when I walked into Topman and bought a pair of jeans off the rack. I began exercising, too. I took it slowly to begin with, building up until I was going to the gym four or five times a week – something that would have seemed impossible for the old me who struggled to get up from the sofa. I can’t imagine life without the gym now, or my regular 5km runs. With my growing self-esteem, I started to go out more and to mix with new friends who encouraged me to accept who I really was. Before, I would have totally cringed if anyone asked me whether I was gay or straight – now, the answer to that question had become crystal clear. When I felt ready to look for a relationship, I signed up to a dating website. I was putting myself out there, which I would never have had the guts to do before. Then, a year ago, I met Gary online. I was pretty nervous before our first date, even though I looked and felt like a completely different person to the tortured, insecure man I’d once been. We’ve been together ever since – and he’s helped me to realise and accept who I truly am. Since losing 10st 7lbs I’m healthier and more content than I’ve ever been. I’ve become a Slimming World Consultant, too, running my own group in Swansea. I’m now helping other people to change their future, which is incredibly rewarding. At last, I have taken control of my life and become the person I feel I was always meant to be. ● SLIMMING WORLD 89

Break through the BUT... If every time you’re geared up for slimming down, a reason not to crops up, read on – we’ve got some tried-and-tested strategies for you Words: Jon Axworthy Illustration: A. Richard Allen


ou really want to lose weight and now is the perfect time… Can you sense there’s a ‘but’ coming? The reality is that, for a little word, ‘but’ can do a lot of damage: putting psychological obstacles in the way, cancelling out your best intentions, and demotivating you before you’ve even started. Here’s how to get your weight loss off to the best possible start – no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’.

‘I’d like to be healthier… BUT I love curries, kebabs and booze too much’ Ah, man-food and beer: as much a part of the male DNA as the inability to see a DIY job through to completion. It’s not our fault, of course – whether it’s the curry blowout or the pre-match burger, it’s so…darn…tasty (and goes so well with alcohol!). There is a way to fill up without filling out, though. ‘When I’m eating out I try to avoid saucy dishes,’ says target member Craig Fleming, from Glasgow, who lost over 5st. ‘I’ll have a sizzling chicken tikka with boiled rice and ask for the masala sauce on the side so I’m in control of how much I eat.’ And Craig has found he doesn’t need a takeaway menu to enjoy his favourite bites at home. ‘Loads of the recipes in the Slimming World’s Fakeaways book are so easy and quick to make – the Chicken chow mein is a particular favourite,’ he says. ‘We now have a well-stocked spice rack and always keep frozen veg in the freezer ready 90 SLIMMING WORLD

to throw into a curry. I certainly don’t feel like I’m missing out. In fact, I’m enjoying my food more than ever.’ Booze needn’t turn into a deal-breaker, either. ‘I work in a social industry and it’s common to go for a drink after work,’ says Craig, a production manager for a theatre company. ‘Rather than say, “I can’t drink”, I just make different choices. I have a pint of lager, then move on to spirits with diet mixers to keep the Syns down.’

‘I’d like to join Slimming World… BUT I’m a bloke!’ You know what these groups are like, right? They’re full of women, so you’re bound to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. However, have you ever actually asked someone who goes to group what it’s like behind closed doors? While it’s true that women generally populate Slimming World groups, around 60,000 men also attend – and that number is growing. ‘Walking into group for the first time was a bit scary,’ admits Matt Boothman, from Ottershaw, who lost 4st 12lbs. ‘So I was relieved to find there were a couple of other blokes there. It made me think it was something that could work for me after all.’ In the unlikely event that you do find you’re the only man in your group, you’ll still get a warm welcome and tailored support. ‘I was the only man who stayed for IMAGE Therapy at first and I did feel self-conscious,’ says Matt. ‘The atmosphere was so friendly and encouraging, though, and the advice I received was so useful, that my anxieties soon disappeared. I enjoyed it even more the following week when I weighed in with a 7lb loss – everyone was very impressed!’

‘I’m worried my weight is affecting my health… BUT I’m too busy to do anything about it’ Whether it’s behind a desk, at the wheel, or making the kids’ packed lunches, we have so many demands on our time it’s easy to let the things that aren’t shouting loudest, like losing weight, slip. Having a hectic life doesn’t have to spell disaster for your slimdown, though. ‘For me, it was about being prepared to deal with my eating triggers,’ says Craig. ‘It’s when I’m busy and stressed that I head for the chocolate and crisps, so I always make sure I have fresh fruit, Free yogurts, and Hi-fi Light bars from group – 3 Syns each or count two as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ – to hand.’ (Find out how to tackle your own triggers on page 20.)

‘I’d like to lose weight… BUT we’re all big in our family’ If you’re from an XXL kind of family, it’s not inevitable that you’ll follow suit. ‘There’s a lot of talk about your size being in your genes,’ says Matt. ‘My family had always

mindset makeover

activity I’ve incorporated into my day that have really worked. I like to walk – whether it’s with my dog, to the local shops or the two miles into the city centre. And when Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2014, they launched a city bike-hire scheme. I’ve used it loads for getting around. Every bit counts!’

‘I’ve tried to lose weight in the past… BUT I’ve always put it back on’

been big, so I assumed it was my destiny. In fact, once you know which foods to eat and how best to cook them, you can take control of your weight.’ And when Food Optimising – filling up on satisfying Free Foods, swapping oil for low-calorie cooking spray and enjoying treats using Syns – starts to show results, there’s a cascade effect: ‘When my family saw me slimming down without depriving myself, they took an interest, too,’ says Matt. His wife, mum, dad, brother and sister-inlaw all joined group with great results. You can Food Optimise pretty much anything, including family meals and puds. ‘So you can have sociable meals with loved ones and all lose weight,’ adds Slimming World nutritionist Alexandra Clark.

‘I’ve thought about joining a gym… BUT I’m too self-conscious’ While you’re unlikely to lose weight through exercise alone, if you’re Food Optimising, getting more active can help speed things up. So far, so good… Sweating it out on a

cross trainer in front of a room full of people isn’t every bloke’s idea of fun, though. There was a time (yes, we’re looking at you, the 80s) when gyms were seen as the only way a man could get fit. Not any more. ‘I’m definitely not a gym person,’ says Craig. ‘For me, it’s all the little bits of

When we blokes are trying to achieve something – whether it’s erecting flat-pack furniture or re-paving the front drive – we take pride in the struggle. No pain, no gain. And when it comes to shifting stubborn pounds, that usually means turning to a crash diet. However, as nutritionist Alexandra Clark reveals, that’s not the best approach when it comes to long-term weight loss. ‘We know feeling hungry or deprived is one of the biggest barriers to getting to target and staying there,’ she says. ‘With Food Optimising, you have the freedom to fill up on delicious Free Foods, which means you can satisfy your appetite while staying in control – allowing you to reach and maintain a healthy weight.’ ‘I love the fact that it’s just a series of small, achievable changes that are easily slotted into everyday life,’ explains Craig. ‘Now I don’t think twice about using low-calorie cooking spray instead of oil, or eating plenty of fruit and veg.’ Alexandra agrees: ‘Swap temporary crash diets and quick-but-fleeting weight losses for lots of small lifestyle changes that are achievable and sustainable, and not only can you lose weight, you’ll be set up to keep it off forever.’

AIM HIGH! If you have a lot of weight to lose, getting to where you want to be can feel so far off that setting yourself an initial ‘mini’ target seems more achievable. While this works for some, a recent study of Slimming World members by the University of Nottingham showed that the more ambitious a member’s target, the more weight they lost. Those who set a relatively modest target

of losing less than 10 per cent of their body weight typically achieved an average loss of 11 per cent. However, members with higher targets (more than 26.5 per cent of their body weight) lost almost twice as much weight overall – an average of 19 per cent of their body weight in 12 months. ‘Setting an ambitious weight-loss goal from the beginning can be really motivating – as it’s your

genuine dream, you’ll be more committed to achieving it,’ says Amanda Avery, Slimming World’s consultant dietitian in weight management and University of Nottingham assistant professor in nutrition and dietetics. So don’t be shy when setting your target – with the support of your Slimming World group, you really can ‘shoot for the moon’!


health check

10 weight-loss wins From getting better in the bedroom to reducing your cancer risk, here are the surprising ways that losing pounds can mean big gains for your health Words: Lee Rodwell


e know that slimming down can help us look and feel our confident best – and there’s a whole lot of other stuff going on under the bonnet to make those victories on the scales even sweeter. If you’re eating well, staying active and on your way to achieving a healthy weight, you’re less likely to develop a wide range of health conditions, leaving you free to enjoy a happier, more energised and potentially even longer life. Here’s our rundown of the brilliant benefits you could look forward to as you get slimmer.

1 Lower blood pressure

‘As your weight increases, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body,’ says British Heart Foundation heart health dietitian Tracy Parker. ‘Losing weight reduces strain on the heart and is one of the many lifestyle changes (along with increasing your activity and cutting down on salt and alcohol) that can help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.’ > SLIMMING WORLD 93

health check

Carrying too much weight puts excess strain on your joints, particularly knees and hips. This increases the risk of osteoarthritis and makes symptoms worse if you already have it. However, according to Dr Tom Margham, GP and Arthritis Research UK spokesperson, ‘Achieving a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing the disease, relieves existing symptoms and helps to prevent further deterioration. Even modest weight loss will lead to improvements in symptoms – and weight loss combined with exercise is more effective than exercise or weight loss alone.’

3 Reduced risk of cancer

‘Research has shown that, if you’re overweight, even smaller losses can help reduce your risk of many serious illnesses, including certain cancers,’ says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s head of nutrition and research. According to Cancer Research UK, being overweight has now been linked to 13 different types of cancer. The risk of bowel cancer, for example, is a third higher in people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more compared with those at a healthy weight. What greater reason do you need to start on your journey to a healthier, happier you?

5 A better night’s sleep

Studies have shown that people who lose even a little weight often sleep better – something that was borne out by a Slimming World member survey last year: over a third of members said that since losing weight, their sleep had improved. And the more weight they lost, the greater the improvements they reported in their shut-eye. There are other night-time benefits, too. Since being overweight also makes it more likely that you’ll snore, slimming down will make it less likely that you’ll be woken by a dig in the ribs! Snoring can sometimes indicate a more serious condition called sleep apnoea, where the walls in the throat relax while you sleep, temporarily interrupting your breathing. Being male, being 40+, being overweight and having a collar size greater than 17ins (43cms) are all risk factors for developing sleep apnoea – and while you can’t do much about your age or sex, you can take the first step in reaching a healthier weight by joining a Slimming World group.

Just a small weight loss can ease pressure from your lungs and help you breathe more easily – especially if you have asthma

4 Safeguarding your sight Research suggests that being overweight can put you at more risk of developing eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (ADM) and cataracts. There is also evidence to show that eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables may help to keep your eyes as healthy as they can be. So losing weight by Food Optimising is a great way to look after your sight. 94 SLIMMING WORLD

6 Improved sex life

Talking of night-time activities – for men, being overweight is linked with sexual-performance problems and a loss of libido. ‘Back in the 70s, American sexologists Masters and Johnson pointed out that men who were obese were much more likely to have erectile dysfunction or impotence,’ says sexual health expert Dr David Delvin. ‘They found that weight reduction enabled overweight men to get erections more easily.’ Need we say more?

risk of Type 2 7 Reduced diabetes

A study suggests for every kilogram (2.2lbs) of excess weight you lose, your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can drop by about 15 per cent. Douglas Twenefour, deputy head of care at Diabetes UK, says: ‘Staying a healthy weight is the most effective way of preventing Type 2 diabetes, and it becomes even more important if you have other risk factors such as a family history of the condition.’

8 Happier feet

When you’re carrying excess weight you change your centre of gravity – and that can affect the way you walk, according to Matthew Fitzpatrick, consultant podiatrist at the College of Podiatry. ‘If you’re carrying extra weight around your stomach – as men often do – you tend to lean further back,’ he explains. ‘So when you put your foot down to walk, the stabilising muscles that stop you rolling your ankles have to work much harder.’ Reducing your weight means reducing the load your feet have to support.

9 Breathing more easily

‘Being even slightly overweight can have an impact on breathing,’ says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s in-house GP. ‘You use more energy to carry the extra weight and your lungs have less room to expand, which reduces your body’s ability to cope with activity.’ Just a small weight loss can gently ease pressure from your lungs and help you breathe more easily – especially if you have asthma.

10 More get up and go

A review of 36 research studies has shown that when people lose weight, they often report an increase in their self-esteem, an improvement in body image and a decrease in depressive symptoms. They generally feel better about themselves and their appearance, and have more of a zest for life. What’s not to like?


2 Fewer aches and pains

Losing weight can help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke

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‘We did it – together!’ Andrew and Paula Butler lost a fantastic 14st 9½lbs between them. Here the power couple share the ups and downs of their journey to success Andrew: I remember the moment we both knew that something had to change with our weight. We’d booked a dream holiday to Dubai and we were so excited...until the moment we boarded the plane and Paula couldn’t get her seat belt done up. She just looked at me in sheer panic and said: ‘I can’t fasten it. We’ll have to get off. I’m not asking for a seat-belt extender.’ I had no idea what to do. Paula: You should have seen Andrew’s face when I said I was getting off the plane – he went white with horror. We can laugh now. At the time, though, I was utterly mortified. I had to push in my stomach to clasp the belt together. And, even worse, I had to lift up my tummy so the air stewardess could look underneath and check it was fastened. Andrew: I could see how upset Paula was, and I felt powerless to help. We’d paid a small fortune for the holiday and had been looking forward to it all year, and suddenly the excitement had gone. Paula: Although we did have a great holiday, it kept playing on my mind. Before then, we’d both known that we were big, but it just wasn’t something we’d discussed. Now, though, we both realised that our weight was stopping us from doing the things we wanted to do. Andrew: It wasn’t surprising we’d got bigger together over the years – we were eating lots of fatty foods. On nights we were both working late, one of us would pick up kebabs or a huge pizza on the way home. Or if we went out for dinner, we’d get home and round off our meal with chocolate bars and packets of crisps. Paula: I’d go to bed with stomach cramps and Andrew’s snoring was so loud by then, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. As we headed back to the UK, I told Andrew we were joining Slimming World. There was no way I was going on another aeroplane until I’d lost weight. I knew all about Slimming World from my sister, Diane – she’d joined in April that year and was doing really well. Andrew: She’d even cooked us some Food Optimising recipes – including a delicious chicken tikka masala. I remember being amazed that something healthy could taste so nice. So when 96 SLIMMING WORLD

Paula mentioned it, I didn’t mind the idea of the eating plan, but I really wasn’t sure about going to group. Paula: He soon changed his tune after our first night, when Sue, our Consultant, welcomed us in. Andrew: I did. For a start, there were other men there, which I was relieved about, though I don’t think it would have mattered if there hadn’t been. I was completely blown away by the level of support and warmth. From the minute we walked in, we were made to feel so at home and no one judged us. It’s a shame the scales weren’t so kind. I found out I was 22st 13lbs. Paula: I wasn’t far behind at 20st 11½lbs. Seeing those numbers on the scales was a surprise to both of us. At least we knew we’d come to the right place to do something about it. Andrew: Discovering how heavy we were was actually motivating. Straight away we swapped our rounds of heavily buttered toast, chunky cheese sandwiches, pizzas and kebabs for fruit and yogurt, jacket potatoes and salad, and healthy, filling dinners like Slimming World chilli – and it paid off. I lost 9½lbs in my first week… Paula: ...and I lost 4lbs. We’d eaten so much, too. Not once did we feel hungry – yet we were still losing weight week after week. Andrew: The big difference was the choices we were making. We’d ditched the chocolate bars and multipacks of crisps and were eating things that actually filled us up. We could still have a Cadbury Freddo or Curly Wurly using our Syns if we fancied a chocolate hit. Plus, with all the support our Consultant, Sue, and the group were giving us, we were never short of tasty food ideas. I honestly

Paula’s sister, Diane (above left), was our slimming inspiration. After she passed away, we wanted to smash our weight loss for her

winning team


Andrew Butler, 38, and his wife, Paula, 44, are Slimming World’s Couple of the Year 2016. Andrew is a machine feeder for an engineering firm, and Paula is studying holistic massage and pain therapy. They live in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire



Height: 6ft 4ins Starting weight: 22st 13lbs Weight now: 15st 4lbs

Height: 6ft Starting weight: 20st 11½lbs Weight now: 13st 11lbs



7st 9lbs

7st ½lb

Andrew and Paula are members of Sue Chiappori’s Slimming World group in Huddersfield

“ ”

We were blown away by the level of support and warmth at group. We felt at home and no one judged us

didn’t feel like I was missing out. I don’t think either of us could have stuck to it if we had. Paula: No, definitely not. I also think if we’d had to stop eating out, we’d have soon given up. Andrew: Absolutely. We went out for a big pub meal every week – we’d choose lean steak and go for veg or salad instead of chips (we could still get our fill of Slimming World chips at home). And my sister-in-law, Diane, was great at helping us plan really delicious meals at home. She was always suggesting recipes and even making extra portions of her favourites for us to try out. We were her willing guinea pigs! Paula: When I went shopping, she said I could call her at all hours and she’d tell me the Syn value of any food. I’d be phoning her from the supermarket at 10pm and asking her which yogurt to get – until I realised I could easily find out myself using the Slimming World app. Andrew: Diane really looked out for us. She’d remind us to have lots of ready-to-eat Free Food in the fridge in case we got hungry. So we’d keep cooked skinless chicken legs or a big bowl of prepared fruit on hand to snack on. And having lost 4½st in eight months, Diane was proof the plan worked, so she was our inspiration, too. Paula: She was so happy with her new shape, and she had everything to look forward to. Then, suddenly, she got very ill. It started with her toes going white, then within days she was in hospital and a week later, she’d been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. It was a terrible shock for the whole family. Andrew: Even then, after that awful diagnosis, Diane insisted on knowing that we were still sticking to plan and offering us tips from her hospital bed. She was amazing; always thinking about other people. Paula: She was. Diane had been there for me ever since we’d lost our parents years earlier. She was my big sister and my protector. When she passed away > SLIMMING WORLD 97

winning team

“ ”

seven weeks after her diagnosis, I felt completely lost. That was the moment I considered giving up Slimming World. Now that Diane was gone, it made me think, what was it all for? She hardly got to enjoy being slim herself, after doing so well. The thing was, Diane and I had both tried other weight-loss groups and diets in the past. Slimming World had been the first thing that really worked for her, so I realised that she would want me to succeed, too. Andrew: That’s when Paula said, ‘We’re going to smash this journey for Diane’. And that’s what we did. We carried on, and it was as if we were doing it for her. Paula: We were doing it in her memory. So when Andrew got to target in July 2015, we couldn’t help thinking how proud she would have been. He looked amazing after losing more than 7st, and I was benefiting from his weight loss, too – he wasn’t waking me up with his snoring any more! As much as I was absolutely delighted for him, though, I’ll admit I was a bit miffed that he got there first. Andrew: Yes, she didn’t make any secret of being envious! I remember her scowling at me because I was having an extra piece of toast from my increased Healthy Extras now I was maintaining. When we mentioned it to Sue, she reminded Paula it wasn’t a race, it was a lifestyle change. And she was brilliant – really supportive just when Paula needed it most. Paula: I understood what she was saying, but I was struggling to find my motivation when I still missed Diane so much. Then, when I decided to have my hair cut off in Diane’s memory – to donate to the Little Princess Trust, a charity for children suffering with hair loss due to cancer treatment – it seemed to help me focus again. It reminded me how much Diane cared about us, and wanted us to be slim and healthy. That felt like a turning point for me. Suddenly, I was a whole new woman – I was already so much slimmer than I used to be, and I’d just lost 22ins of my hair! Andrew: Now nobody recognised Paula. Once, we were out shopping and an old friend kept giving her sideways glances before tentatively approaching me to check it was Paula and not another woman. Paula: Then I got there – in January 2016, I reached my target weight. As if that didn’t feel amazing enough, just two months later, with Andrew having lost another half a stone after resetting his target, we were crowned Slimming World’s Couple of the Year! Andrew: What a day that was. It’s hard to say what’s been the best thing about losing weight. It’s changed both of us for the better in so many ways. For a start, I have much more energy. My walk to work used to take 45 minutes; now it takes 15. And I don’t have to order all my clothes from special websites now my waist is 12ins smaller! Paula: I’d dropped five dress sizes, so you can imagine how fantastic it felt to be trying on skinny 98 SLIMMING WORLD

jeans and fashionable tops for the first time in years. It wasn’t just how I looked that made me feel better, either – my health had improved dramatically. I wasn’t gasping for air like before and I could even run upstairs without needing my inhalers. And I could enjoy a bath without my thighs sticking to the sides. Andrew: The bed suddenly seemed massive, too, as we’d both shrunk so much I needed to reach across to put my arms around her. Paula: A real moment for me was going on holiday to Benidorm, and getting on the plane without worrying I might need a seat-belt extender. In fact, I had to tighten the belt as it was too loose! Andrew: Paula couldn’t wait to show me. I thought she was going to announce it to the whole plane! When we look back, we realise just how much our lives have improved. We used to think we didn’t mind being big and that eating unhealthy foods was how we enjoyed ourselves together. Now our horizons as a couple have really opened up. We’re looking forward to trying out some water sports this summer. I want to learn to jet ski – something I’d have never dared to contemplate before. We made it to target together, and we’re revelling in planning all sorts of adventures as a slimmer, healthier couple. Bring it on. ●

What a year! Andrew on winning Couple of the Year 2016... ‘Finding out we’d won was incredible. We’d started this journey together, and now we were being recognised for what we’d helped each other achieve. Here we are (right) with Slimming World founder, Margaret MilesBramwell, and our Consultant, Sue, and (above) getting our award from Stephen Mulhern at the Slimming World Awards ceremony last November.’


The thing that really helped us stick to the plan was that we never felt like we were missing out

Since 1953, the same Astral formula has been used by all kinds of women for all kinds of things. There’s just been a tweak to the packaging. A ST R A L - CR EA M. CO.U K

make the best career decision of your life Slimming World is the UK’s most advanced weight management organisation, helping members lose weight every week in our 16,000 groups. The company has experienced consistent growth of approximately 20% per year for the past five years, taking the brand to a clear leadership position in the UK and Ireland. Key to this success are our dedicated District Managers, working around the UK and Ireland to support the teams in their care to achieve their goals. Our District Managers are dynamic, hard-working and empowering – they embody the company’s caring, performance-orientated culture. As a member past or present, you’ll already love Slimming World’s approach. As a District Manager, you’ll have the chance to shape our future.

We’d love to hear from you if you are: already a senior manager with a proven track record in leading field-based or multi-site teams committed to delivering outstanding quality of service an organised, strategic thinker with an eye for detail and a strong people focus inspired by the chance to help people lose weight and change their lives

In return, you’ll receive a reward package which includes:

basic salary: £50,000 pa (plus London variation allowances)/€62,000 pa (ROI). Together with quarterly bonuses you’ll potentially earn averages of £94,500/€139,000 pa (based on actual earnings 2016)

company car and expenses

a range of benefits including Bupa health insurance and Simplyhealth cashback scheme

In 2015, Slimming World became the first weight management organisation to achieve a Gold Investors in People award, recognising the highest standards of people development and leadership.

Vanessa was an HR manager when she joined Slimming World as a member in 2014. She went on to lose just over two stones, and stepped into a permanent role as a District Manager in Hampshire, where she supports a team of seven managers, 108 Slimming World Consultants and over 62,000 members to achieve their dreams. “My job at Slimming World is the first time I’ve truly been able to combine a fulfilling,

challenging management role with genuinely helping people to transform their lives. I love the variety and the flexibility of the District Manager role. Whether I’m running training sessions for my team, visiting local groups and supporting our Consultants to develop their service, recruiting new people to the team, or whizzing up to our Derbyshire Head Office for meetings, every day is different. It’s hard work, but there’s nothing more satisfying than having the opportunity to help a member to achieve their weight loss dreams, or to support one of our Consultants to develop their exciting new business.” For more information and to apply, visit

Fantastic subscription offer for you

Great reasons to subscribe to Slimming World magazine BONUS GIFT! Judge Solar Photovoltaic kitchen scale The first 50 readers to subscribe will receive a convenient and energy efficient Solar Photovoltaic scale from Judge Cookware, RRP £55. Ideal for weighing your Healthy Extras and Syn-counted ingredients, this precise digital scale has a capacity of 5kg/11lb, with a wipe-clean weighing platform and no need for expensive batteries. Plus, the scale can switch to measuring liquids, so you can weigh your Healthy Extra breakfast cereal, then measure out the milk to go with it at the touch of a button. For stockists, call 0117 940 0000, or visit judge


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Expert advice and brilliant feel-good buys to fast-track you to fabulous

In bloom

From dusky rose to French lavender, these wearable eye colours are a pretty way to give yourself a springtime boost Clockwise from top: Burberry Eye Colour Cream in Nude Gold, £25; Mac Eye Shadow in Jest, £13; Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow in Superstar Sparkle, £4.49; Miss Sporty Studio Colour Mono Eyeshadow Matte in Sentimental, £1.99; shades one and two from Revlon Colorstay 16 Hour Eye Shadow quad in Seductive, £8.99; shades two and four from Revlon Photoready Primer, Shadow + Sparkle palette in Watercolours, £8.99; shade four from Revlon Colorstay 16 Hour Eye Shadow quad in Seductive, £8.99; define, shadow and prime shades from Bourjois Paris Smoky Stories quad in Mauve Again, £7.99; Mac Eye Shadow in Idol Eyes, £13. Centre: Miss Sporty Studio Colour Mono Eyeshadow in Sense, £1.99



f the seaso rum o n’s t c e r a c e o p l w o s ur t best n a r c his ou you sp b ,s

Wi th bu y

ht rig g rin


r a e i h n t

Think pink

If you haven’t embraced the trainer trend yet, now’s the time... Not just for wearing with sporty gear, they’re also ideal for dressing down smarter pieces like a shirt-dress. Trainers, £28, sizes 3-10, Evans

Kaleidoscope cool

When it comes to accessories, this season bigger is better. A pair of oversized chandelier earrings is an easy way to dip your toe into the rainbow trend. Earrings, £12.50, Marks & Spencer

Hello sunshine

Add instant cheer to your outfit with a flash of yellow. Bright shades like this can be tricky to carry off head-to-toe – a bag is the suits-anyone way to get the look. Bag, £40, House of Fraser

Orange zest

A slightly more daring way to add colour – and nothing works an hourglass figure better than a pencil skirt. The ideal style hits your knee, and skims without clinging to minimise rather than add inches to your hips. Paired with a fitted top, it’ll nip you in at the waist, too! Skirt, £49.50, up to size 22, Twiggy at Marks & Spencer

Elegant electric blue

Slip on this top with jeans and heels. The cut means it won’t cling and the sleeves are just right for covering upper arms. Top, £28, up to size 22, Dorothy Perkins


bright ideas

Add a colour pop

This stylish graphic necklace looks fab with a simple, round-neck tee and is fun without being overpowering – great if you’re just starting to introduce colour into your wardrobe. Necklace, £24, Oliver Bonas

Go for green

Flattering V-neck? Check. Sleeves? Check. Gorgeous colour? Check. This might just be the perfect spring dress! Wear with opaques and boots until the weather warms up, then team with sandals. Dress, £39, up to size 22, M&Co

Flattering fuchsia Get the right cut and you can go as bright as you like, without adding inches. This vibrant jacket’s fitted waist and single-breasted style make it super-slimming.

Jacket, £65, up to size 20, Julien Macdonald at Debenhams


Pretty in pastel

Colour doesn’t have to be super-bright to bring freshness to your look. The shirt-dress is back in a big way and with its floaty fabric and waist-enhancing belt, this one’s a winner. Dress, £25, up to size 32, Simply Be

Red-hot buy

Red is big for spring and surprisingly flattering if you get the right shade. Pick a true red like this lacetrimmed top over orange tones – the deep colour will help disguise any less-than-smooth areas. Top, £16, up to size 24, Bonmarché


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Yes, you can quit

kick the habit

...and lose weight

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Here’s how to ditch the ciggies while keeping your slimming on track Words: Rhiannon Evans


ould you love to give up smoking, yet worry it might spell disaster for your weight-loss dreams? You’re not alone. A Slimming World survey found that 95 per cent of smokers had heard that quitting meant they’d gain weight, and more than half (51 per cent) said that fear of putting on pounds had delayed their attempts to give up. In fact, those taking part in the survey were so worried about their waistlines that they delayed quitting for seven and a half years on average – that’s more than 41,000 extra cigarettes for someone who smokes 15 a day. A study based on the difference in life expectancy between male smokers and non-smokers, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), estimated that each cigarette shortens life by an average of 11 minutes. This makes these extra cigarettes the equivalent of knocking almost a whole year (314 days) off your life. The risks surrounding smoking are well known. It’s the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK. It increases the risk of lung cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease, as well as numerous cancers in other parts of the body. ‘Smoking dramatically reduces both quality of life and life expectancy,’ says Sarah Williams from charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), ‘so giving up is the best possible thing you can do for your health.’

Hand in hand

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between quitting and losing weight (the next best thing you can do for your

health). As Slimming World’s head of nutrition and research, Dr Jacquie Lavin, explains, the two can go hand in hand. ‘It’s true that, without support, giving up smoking and managing your weight at the same time can be challenging,’ says Jacquie. ‘Your appetite and sense of taste come back – and you can be so used to having something in your hand that you’re tempted to reach for food instead of a cigarette. There are many simple steps you can take when giving up smoking to prevent you gaining weight, though – and Slimming World can help you to stop and slim.’ On a practical level, Food Optimising is the perfect eating plan for tackling the challenges quitting smoking can bring. ‘Our survey found that the thought of gaining weight through eating more is a major worry for smokers who might otherwise quit,’ explains Jacquie. ‘If you replace

cigarettes with eating sugary and fatty snacks, it will increase your calorie intake. Choose foods that satisfy your appetite for fewer calories, though – like fruit and veg, pasta, rice, potatoes, fish and lean meat – and you can avoid feeling hungry while you lose weight.’ Use Free snacks, such as vegetable sticks and low-Syn dips, and fresh fruit, to keep your fingers occupied in between meals. ‘Peeling fruit like a satsuma, for example, is great because it takes time and you eat it segment by segment – keeping your hands busy,’ explains Jacquie. With your taste buds improving just 48 hours after you stop smoking, a world of flavours could open up to you!

Double whammy

The great thing about Slimming World is the support you get in group – and Jacquie says that can be as helpful for quitting smoking as it is for losing weight. ‘There’s likely to be lots of other people >

Crush the habit and use Free Food snacks to keep your hands (and mind) busy


kick the habit

Better health starts as soon as you stop! After 20 minutes…

After 24 hours…

After 3 days…

After 2-12 weeks…

After 3-9 months…

After 12 months…

After 10 years…

After 15 years…

your pulse returns to normal

your lungs start to clear

your breathing is easier and you have more energy

your circulation improves

coughing and wheezing reduces

your excess risk of a heart attack reduces by half, compared with that of a smoker

your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker

your heart attack risk is the same as someone who has never smoked


‘I quit smoking and slimmed down – and I’ve never felt better!’ Natalie Farrington, 36, is an internal recruitment officer and lives in Masham, North Yorkshire, with her husband, James. She’s 5ft 2ins and has lost 5st 11lbs at Sarah Jardin’s group in Masham. ‘I was a size 10 when I met my husband, James, in 2000. We had a great time going out for meals and visiting bars and clubs – the down side was the effect it had on my waistline. When we moved in together in 2002, I’d gone up to a size 14 and, despite trying every fad diet under the sun, that upward trend continued until I reached a size 20. I was also a heavy smoker and my health was suffering. I struggled to walk upstairs, was constantly out of breath and kept James awake at night with my snoring. My granddad had died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and I was terrified I might go the same way. I joined Slimming World in January 2016 and, determined to turn my health around in every respect, I quit smoking seven days later. Focusing on losing weight was actually a useful distraction. I made sure I had lots of Free

snacks to hand, like fruit, pots of fat-free natural yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and low-Syn treats like Hi-fi Light bars (3 Syns each, from my Slimming World group). And in the evenings, I kept my hands busy by knitting, cooking and painting my nails. I planned in plenty of Body Magic, too. Before, my idea of exercise was driving my dog, Bear, to a field and watching him run around. Now, I started taking him for proper walks. At first, I was so unfit I thought I was going to cough up a lung just crossing the road! Gradually though, our walks got longer and faster. I started going to

yoga once a week as well, which I loved – the breathing techniques helped to build up my lung strength. As the weight came off and my lungs cleared, I decided to try out every fitness class I could! I tried pole dancing (came away with too many bruises), spinning (definitely not for me…), and swimming, which I really did enjoy, and still do. I’ve discovered a love of exercise, I’m 5st 11lbs lighter and I’ve quit smoking – for good. I’ve achieved everything I set out to and more and I feel healthier than ever!’

●● National No Smoking Day is 8 March 2017. For more information, visit ●● The following websites offer help and advice on how to quit smoking: Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) at, British Heart Foundation at and


who are going through the same thing, or who’ve managed to quit smoking and stay on track, and they can give you loads of tips,’ she says. Many members join Slimming World first and then make the decision to give up smoking as well. ‘When you’re Food Optimising and seeing positive results on the scales, that feeling of being in control is hugely empowering,’ says Jacquie. ‘Lots of our members say that having successfully made one positive behaviour change gives them the confidence and determination to tackle another one.’ Body Magic can help you keep your no-smoking resolve, too. ‘If you’re missing smoking and feeling a bit irritable, then getting out and doing some activity is a great idea,’ says Jacquie. ‘It can help take your mind off the nicotine cravings, and produces mood-boosting endorphins that can help if you’re feeling down.’ Plus, when you quit smoking your lung function improves, making it feel easier to be active. From the moment you stop smoking, you’ll start to see and feel the benefits. Within just 20 minutes your pulse will return to normal, and after 24 hours your lungs will start to clear as carbon monoxide and nicotine leave your body. After 72 hours, you’ll find breathing easier and your energy levels will increase, so before long you’ll be running around after the kids without getting out of breath! And within a month, you’ll probably start to notice your skin and hair improving, too. Sarah Williams, from ASH, says the most astonishing health benefits are the ones you don’t see because they’re going on inside your body. Within just a year of stopping smoking, your excess risk of having a heart attack reduces by half; after 10 years your risk of lung cancer decreases by about a half, and after 15 years cigarette-free your heart-attack risk will have dropped to the same level as someone who has never smoked at all. It really is never too late to stop! ●


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ction for charity lifechangingevents

Falling in love with fitness Self-confessed exercise avoider Kirsty Walker couldn’t imagine enjoying getting active… until she discovered Body Magic


hings had started so well. I’d joined a gym, signed up to pay monthly and felt sure my life was going to transform. Then, after I’d gone just a handful of times, I started finding reasons to get out of it. I was too busy, too tired or not in the mood. I’d sheepishly hurry past the gym entrance on the way home from work, promising myself I’d go next week. If I was honest, though, I’d rather be anywhere but inside that gym. The irony was that my reason for joining the gym was the very thing holding me back: my weight. The pounds had crept on in my teenage years and by the time I hit 20 I was over 14st. I was very unfit and got tired after a couple of minutes of exercise. My joints ached, I felt hot and sweaty, and I hated the thought that other gym-goers might be judging my size-18 figure. Then, one evening in November 2007, I was at home when I felt a crushing pain in my chest. I doubled over, struggling to breathe. My parents hurriedly called an ambulance and I was rushed to hospital. The doctors first reassured us that it wasn’t a heart attack and then told us it was a pericardial effusion – a build-up of fluid around the heart. I was admitted to hospital and had a litre and a half of fluid drained off my chest. Tests later revealed that I had lupus: a condition


causing my immune system to attack the healthy tissue in my body. This was the reason for the inflammation and pain in my joints, and it had the potential to damage my organs – my lung capacity had already dropped to 56 per cent. In hospital, I was given steroids to counteract my symptoms. Unfortunately, they also increased my appetite and I gained a stone in two weeks. By the time I was discharged, I was 15st 6lbs – my heaviest yet. When the specialist explained that excess weight could worsen my condition by increasing stress on my joints and organs, I was determined to lose weight. I didn’t realise then that exercise alone isn’t the most efficient way to do it, and decided I’d start by getting more active; after all, I still had my gym membership. Once again, though, my good intentions never got off the ground. Although check-ups over the next few months showed that my lungs were gradually recovering, my symptoms made it almost impossible for me to exercise. Just climbing stairs left me panting, so how could I even contemplate a gym workout? Time drifted by with me spending all day at my desk before coming home and sitting on the sofa. In 2012, I moved in with my fiancé, John, and we quickly fell into a routine of takeaways and microwave meals. Every so often I’d embark on a crash diet – never finding anything I could actually sustain. Even when we got our shih-tzu, Harri, a year after moving in together, I was too tired to walk him. At a check-up in January 2016, I sensed the specialist’s disappointment as I stepped on the scales, and my cheeks burned as I read 15st 6½lbs. I was actually half a pound heavier than when I’d been discharged from hospital nine years earlier.

A fresh start

My friend Ruth had recently lost 3st with Slimming World, and when I told her I couldn’t face being this size any longer, she suggested I join, too. I agreed and, just a week after my check-up, I went to group for the first time. I did feel nervous about walking into a roomful of strangers, so it was a great relief to find that everyone was really supportive. After my years of yo-yo dieting, Food Optimising was like a breath of fresh air. I loved all the food I was eating, and not having to weigh and measure everything. I’d have yogurt with lots of fresh fruit for breakfast and a jacket potato with salad or chicken with roasted vegetables for lunch. John and I cut >

taking shape NOW I get such a buzz from working out. The gym is my happy place – it’s where I enjoy my ‘me’ time THEN I thought I had to work out every day to get fitter, which made it feel like a chore. I hadn’t yet realised I could go at my own pace


Kirsty Walker, 31, is a marketing manager. She lives in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, with her fiancé, John

Height: 5ft 6ins Starting weight: 15st 6½lbs Weight now: 9st 4lbs


6st 2½lbs

Kirsty is a member of Tiffany Moloney’s Slimming World group in Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Being fitter and stronger hasn’t just improved the way I look, it’s altered my whole state of mind. I’m full of positivity out the takeaways and instead cooked recipes like Slimming World chicken jalfrezi. I’d snack on apples and, for a sweet treat, I’d end the day with two Rocky Road Hi-fi Light bars – they’re 3 Syns each and I get them at my Slimming World group. I seemed to be eating loads, so I was amazed when I lost 1st 1½lbs in my first six weeks. The weight continued to come off slowly but steadily, and by June I’d lost 4st and was wearing a size 14 for the first time since I was 14! I was thrilled to have a waist at last and I decided I wanted to tone up a bit by adding in some exercise. At group, I’d heard about Slimming World’s activity programme, Body Magic. It wasn’t about pushing yourself to run marathons – unless you really wanted to, of course. It was about taking small steps to increase your activity levels. It sounded perfect for me, so I decided to give it a try. Despite having avoided the gym for so long, I realised that, unknowingly, I’d already been fitting Body Magic into my life. I’d started taking Harri for 30-minute walks before and after work – watching him happily scamper along in the evenings always put a huge smile on my face. The lighter I got, the less breathless I felt, and the daily walks had gradually got longer and longer. Inspired by some of the other members at group who were really getting into fitness, I decided to take the plunge and return to the gym. Feeling self-conscious, I wondered if I’d remember how to use the machines. I spent 10 minutes working my legs and arms on the cross trainer, hoping no one would notice how sweaty I was getting. But, of course, nobody was paying me any attention. They were doing their own thing. I soon felt more at

Although I had the best intentions, I’d tell myself I was too busy or too tired to work out


ease and was surprised to find my joints weren’t aching as much as I’d expected. This time, I realised something really important. It didn’t matter that I’d only managed 10 minutes. It was fine to build up at my own pace. I started going to the gym twice a week, each time doing 20 minutes on the cross trainer followed by 20 minutes’ walking on the treadmill. My energy levels were increasing every time and soon I felt ready for the next step. I booked an assessment with the gym’s personal trainer, Julia, and she told me all about HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training, which involves doing short bursts of intense exercises such as squats and push-ups. She showed me all sorts of kit I could use, too, like kettlebells – and swinging them backwards and forwards, copying her motion, I could feel the muscles in my shoulders, back, hips and legs working. This time, instead of aching or wanting to give up, I felt exhilarated and powerful. Me, who’d always hated the gym!

The winning formula

Mixing Body Magic with Food Optimising was really working for me. Not only was I losing weight, my arms were becoming more toned, my thighs were firmer and my tummy loads trimmer. My posture was also improving because my back muscles were stronger. And what was really strange was how different I was feeling about those gym sessions. Every time I hit a new milestone – such as being able to run for 20 minutes solid without having to stop – the sense of achievement was incredible. Now I looked forward to my gym time. I reached my target of 9st 6lbs in October last year and it wasn’t just my changing figure I was loving. I was also noticing the longer-term benefits of being slimmer. I had more energy, my skin was clearer and my joint pain had subsided, which meant I was sleeping better, too. I also started jogging with John. I was amazed I could run three miles in 30 minutes alongside him; the result of slowly building up my distances in the gym. It’s just a shame we weren’t able to take Harri – his little legs couldn’t keep up with us! Everyone I know has been stunned by how quickly I’ve turned my life, and my health, around. Although I’ll never be free of lupus, losing more than 6st has meant I’m better equipped to deal with my symptoms, and being so much fitter and stronger is a huge help, too. I haven’t just improved the way I look, I’ve altered my whole state of mind. I’m full of positivity and so grateful for the chance to live a healthier, happier life. John and I are going to get married next summer and I can’t wait to exchange vows wearing a size-8 wedding dress. We have so much to look forward to and feel excited about now. I never want to waste another day! ●

taking shape


Kirsty’s top activity tips


●● Be realistic. It’s

important not to pressure yourself to go too hard too soon. You don’t have to go to the gym every day to build up your fitness. For me, it just started with walking my dog, Harri, more. 
 ●● It’s easy to fit in

more exercise simply by making small tweaks. Walking an extra five minutes a day is a great start. ●● Energise your daily

routine. I found I was getting active at home without even realising. Gardening, vacuuming and cleaning all count

as Body Magic if you do them vigorously. ●● Fitness doesn’t

need to be expensive. Walking doesn’t cost a penny and you can do all kinds of exercises at home, like sit-ups, press-ups and simple yoga moves – if you’re not sure where to start, try a workout DVD.

p113 (left), above right and left: Hoodie, sports bra, vest and leggings, all Sweaty Betty. Watch, Ice. Trainers, Zakti p113 (right): Top, Zakti. Vest, Pink by Victoria’s Secret. Jeans, Gap. Trainers, Hotter Above left: Top, Layers London at TK Maxx. Leggings, Zakti. Trainers, Nike

●● Be brave. If you

feel intimidated by the idea of going to a gym or fitness class for the first time, I promise you it’s worth it! Everyone is there for the same reason and they won’t be judging you, they’ll be focusing on their own goals.


Letting go of guilt

Turn down the volume of the harsh voice telling you that you’re useless. Turn up the volume of the understanding someone who really cares and can forgive, says Margaret-Miles Bramwell


his is a slimming magazine and you’re reading it for delicious new recipe ideas. You also want to be inspired by slimmers who have tried everything there is to try and who finally found the answer with Food Optimising, and for the latest health and fitness advice. You’ll find all these things – and more – within these pages. But for those of you whose weight has been – and still is – a major factor in spoiling a large part of your life, you need more. You need to understand why each journey to slimness that you embark upon, a journey that starts out so full of hope, ends in despair. It’s a huge subject and couldn’t be covered in one issue, but you need to start by understanding about guilt, and the need to forgive yourself. Without forgiveness, the same patterns that have led you unerringly to each slimming disaster will simply repeat themselves, no matter how generous and easy Food Optimising is, no matter how many recipe ideas you read. Nothing changes if nothing changes… Learning to forgive yourself and shed the burden of guilt (and excess weight) is a change that you need to – and can – make right now. This is a subject that few people truly understand. Many psychologists, who 116 SLIMMING WORLD

understand the theory, appear to be unable to relate it to reality when it comes to weight/body/food issues. For 46 years I’ve studied these issues, and I’ve been privileged to talk to and to help thousands of overweight people. Perhaps most importantly, since childhood I too have suffered these problems. I can assure you that I’m one of the few who understand. One of the key things I have learned is that forgiveness is paramount to your success.

In denial

Guilt is one of our biggest self-sabotage techniques. When we feel guilty, we are in pain. So much so that sometimes we can go into denial. We deceive ourselves, in fact. We convince ourselves that we’ve been ‘good’, but those damned scales still say we haven’t lost weight – we’ve put it on! Because we are so convinced, we, in turn, become convincing. Those who might have been able to help may

be deceived, too. And when this happens, they become unable to help us. When we don’t lose weight, we can become angry – with ourselves, our parents, our Consultant, God, anybody! Or we become passive and defeated and don’t have the energy to make the effort. Or we pretend we don’t care, it’s all a big joke. Whichever way, we give strong, hidden messages to people who could help us through this to ‘back off’ and ‘leave me alone’. We don’t follow the eating plans, don’t count Syns properly, we don’t bother to exercise, and we have a long list of excuses as to why it isn’t our fault. We don’t stay for the real help in IMAGE Therapy, we just weigh and go. Things deteriorate even further, we start to regain weight we have lost, and finally we stop coming to group. When we feel guilty, we dislike or even despise ourselves. The conversation we have in our heads goes something like this: ‘You idiot. You’re so weak. You’re hopeless. Useless.’ It’s as though we are two people;

Learning to forgive yourself and shed the burden of guilt is a change that you need to – and can – make right now

mindset makeover

one is like a severe and over-critical parent – harsh, cruel and judgmental – while the other is childlike, vulnerable and believing. The sneaky part is that we often have this conversation without realising it. It happens subconsciously – outside our awareness. The subconscious mind is not like the conscious one. With our conscious mind, we are able to reason, use logic and sort fact from fiction. Compared with that, our subconscious is a pretty simple affair. It doesn’t have the same reasoning and logical powers. It accepts and stores messages about us, true or false, that we may have mistakenly believed at the time to be fact. Yet it is very, very powerful.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

This power can be harnessed in a positive way (many of the techniques used in IMAGE Therapy help you to tap into your subconscious) or it can be a destructive force in our lives. If we tell ourselves often enough (or others tell us) that we are useless, weak, stupid and so on, we actually start to believe it at this deeper, powerful level, in our subconscious. These messages may have been formed early in our lives, before our character was fully developed. And they can become a kind of script for the way we play out our lives. Without knowing it, we tend to be selective about the things we hear, and only remember those things which reinforce these early negative messages. So, when we start to tackle the difficult problem of changing some wellestablished habits, for example eating in a different way, we may already believe we are destined to fail, and this belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Guilt about past failures only serves to reinforce this destructive self-belief. Your self-esteem is diminished, the confidence you have in your ability to succeed as a slimmer is battered. This pain is real. It may not be a physical pain but it’s no less debilitating. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? The good news, though, is you can change. You may not be able to change other people’s minds but you can change your own! And therein lies your power. Let’s talk about those past failures. Do you believe it was all your fault? Do you > SLIMMING WORLD 117

mindset makeover

Stop blaming yourself for past failures. Let your sense of humour work its magic. Take yourself more lightly and the task in hand more seriously

The diet trap

At some point, for all of us, the first serious attempt to lose weight is made. We embark on our first-ever diet. By this stage in our lives we have been bombarded with information and advice – often confusing, contradictory and inaccurate. The most common advice is: ‘If you want to lose weight, you simply must eat less.’ This is often supported by ‘Calories count – so count calories!’. It’s nearly right – but ‘nearly right’ ends up sending us so awfully wrong. So we go ‘on’ a diet. For days, weeks or even months. And life becomes a miserable existence. We’re hungry! Permanently 118 SLIMMING WORLD

hungry. We do, however, feel martyred and good about our iron will for as long as we can survive the torture. If you don’t have issues around food in childhood, you’ll certainly get them now. The hunger, the deprivation, the torment! And then we stop. We go ‘off’ the diet. Bliss! But, horror of horrors, the weight goes back on. Who in their right mind is going to put themselves through that nightmare scenario again? Someone desperate, that’s who. Because what often happens is that we then put on more weight than we lost and reach a size we’ve never experienced before. Pure fear then drives us to start the vicious cycle all over again. No wonder some permanently give up the battle. They’re sick of the guilt of repeated failure and appalled by how big they think the sacrifice has to be in order to lose weight. Food Optimising is so generous and effective a system, that many people feel they’ve found a miracle when they discover Slimming World. That alone can be enough for some. But others, whose journey to success will take longer, or whose negative messages

Set yourself free No normal healthy person enjoys suffering. Instead of criticising yourself for deciding not to suffer any longer, congratulate yourself on being normal and healthy. When you make a mistake, when you’re not as perfect as you’d hoped, instead of telling yourself that you’ve ruined everything, that you’ve ‘blown it’, say to yourself, ‘How fascinating! I wonder what chain of events

about themselves are stronger, can still relive the old scenarios. Many people still put themselves under pressure without realising it. They are afraid of flexible Syns, afraid to do anything they believe will slow down their weight loss, in fact terrified of the things that will mean long-term success. The scenario varies, but the process is the same. You must find a way to stop the misery – and the best way to do that is to break the cycle and to forgive yourself… ●

Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE, HonMUniv, FRSA, is Slimming World’s founder and chair

led me to stop counting my Syns?’ (or whatever your heinous crime has been). If you can work on understanding that, you can give yourself advance warning and protect yourself better in the future. Begin the healing process that is so deserved and so necessary by forgiving yourself. It wasn’t your fault. You did all this to yourself outside your awareness. You didn’t know this was what you were

doing. You can now stop blaming yourself for those past failures. Tomorrow is a new day. Let it be the start of your new life without all this guilt and pain. Let your sense of humour work its magic. Take yourself more lightly and the task in hand more seriously. Let the success come. Allow yourself to imagine, to revel in the pure, unadulterated joy of achievement and the ecstasy of success.


believe that it’s because you are weak, stupid, useless? Read on... In our society today, rich by world standards, it’s the easiest thing for someone to become overweight. Imagine a child raised in a loving family. This child is given food by its parents, sometimes inappropriately, when the child is not actually hungry for food. In other words, those kind, well-meaning parents mistakenly believe that more food is required when the baby or child is hungry for a hug, or is simply thirsty. This mistake happens many times until the child believes it is food that is required to satisfy the need it feels. Or the child is given sweets, chocolate, crisps – all things the parents have come to believe are treats – naughty but nice! If the child then becomes overweight, this same concerned family starts to withhold food and ‘treats’. Sheer torment begins. Food becomes an issue, a battleground. Maybe you’ve had a weight problem since childhood. Maybe you can no longer read your needs correctly. Or perhaps you reached adulthood as a slim person. But as you became older and your lifestyle changed, you became slightly less active. You started to eat out more, and eat more convenience foods. You didn’t even realise you were taking in far more calories than you used to, yet using up fewer. At first the change in your weight may have been hardly noticeable. By the age of 35 or 40, the effects had become clearly visible.

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Editor-in-Chief Elise Wells EditorSara Ward


Creative Director Lynn Hayes Deputy EditorSarah Davison Publisher Emma Wild

   A 020 3372 3000

Chief Sub EditorLouisa Barrett Associate Editor (Copy) Zoë Handley Sub EditorsJacqui Hawkins, Laura Heappey Junior Sub EditorCharlotte McIntyre


Art DirectorJulian Barrett Senior Art EditorVicky Burdon Senior Designer/Digital Art SpecialistAnna Rick Senior DesignerJoanne Gultig Acting Senior Art EditorMandeep Kalsi Acting Senior Designer Becky Thurston Features EditorRachel Callen Food EditorPaula Johnson Editorial AssistantMatthew Burton Advertising and Group Promotion Sales Manager Julian Oiller Production/Digital Co-ordinatorsBekki Gent, Alice Henrick Circulation ManagerTim Harris With thanks this issue to Jill Hope, Clare Lee, Gregg Mallender, Johanna Mather, Natasha Seal-Jones and Graeme Simpson EDITORIAL PANEL Slimming World Practice Caryl Richards Nutrition Jacquie Lavin PhD RNutr; Jenny Barber MSc ANutr (Public Health); Alexandra Clark MSc ANutr; Carolyn Pallister BSc RD; Amanda Avery BSc RD SLIMMING WORLD ADVISORY PANEL Dr William Bird MBE MBBS MRCGP DRCOG; Prof Judy Buttriss PhD RPHNutr DipDiet; Ken Fox PhD FPEA; Andrew Hill PhD CPsychol; Prof Mike Kelly PhD Hon FRCP FRCPE FFPH; Jennifer Percival RGN RM RHV FETC DipCouns MANAGING DIRECTOR Jan Boxshall CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Caryl Richards SLIMMING WORLD FOUNDER AND CHAIR Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE, HonMUniv, FRSA Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW Editorial: 01773 546 071 Advertising: 01773 546 312/07770 807 760 Group Distribution: 0344 892 0436 Newsstand Distribution: 01202 586 848 Subscriptions: 0800 131 3150 Publicity: 01773 546 039 Group Enquiries:0344 897 8000


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   C 020 8880 1211 Claudia Bradby

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    D 0844 561 6161 Dorothy Perkins

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Syns Enquiry Hotline:09068 518 518†


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0344 736 9000

Hotter We welcome letters, unsolicited manuscripts and photos, which should be sent with a stamped addressed envelope on the understanding that we cannot be held responsible for their safe custody or return. The Editor reserves the right to modify or shorten any material submitted. In submitting any such letters, unsolicited manuscripts and photographs or other contributions, the contributor gives Slimming World and Slimming World magazine the express right to publish the contribution in any way that it sees fit and appropriate. The views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Slimming World or Slimming World magazine. All information and prices are correct at time of going to press. All rights reserved and reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden. Readers responding to advertisements or offers in Slimming World magazine should be aware that they are contracting with the advertiser, which is responsible for the contract. When branded products are mentioned in editorial or advertisement promotions, this should not be taken to imply endorsement of these products by Slimming World or Slimming World magazine.

Luisa Cerano


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At Selfridges

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Heather Gibson and her daughter Rachel have lost over 6st between them


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live happy! with

Slimming World Online Every day, our friendly and supportive groups help thousands of people reach their dream weight. If you can’t get to a group, you can still enjoy our super-effective weight loss plan with Slimming World Online. Our unique online programme offers: 1,500 tasty recipes – breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and snacks that fill you up and slim you down a smart way to keep track of your food and activity, and plan your week’s meals access to hundreds of articles for hints, tips and support when you need them most clever support tools, tailored to you, to keep you on track through the trickiest situations

clusive reader offer ex an h t i w e lin on us in Jo We’re offering readers a three-month Gold membership for the price of Silver! For £64.95 you’ll receive: a saving of £35 on the standard price – it works out around 72p a day a one-year subscription to Slimming World magazine new member books – Food Optimising and Body Magic

To take advantage of this special off er… choo se the Gold m embership package th en use the code SWMAG1 30 when y ou get to the paym ent page. This offer is available u ntil 31st March 2017

Photography: Toby Scott

a weekly weigh-in in the privacy of your own home, and the chance to celebrate your success with awards galore!

1,500 ta recipes on sty make at hline to ome! a world of slimming support at your fingertips

Registered charity number: 292506

the small print

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa reader offer (p41) 1. Offer valid up to and including 31 May 2017, Sunday to Thursday only, subject to availability and excluding bank holiday Sundays. Call 01202 483 434 and quote Slimming World when booking to receive your discount of up to 33 per cent. Offer is non-refundable and non-transferable. Cancellations and amendments are not permitted. 2. Offer includes one night’s accommodation based on two people sharing a standard double/twin Inland View room; a full English or continental breakfast (including tea, coffee and fruit juice) and a three-course dinner (up to the value of £30 per person; drinks not included) in the Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant; a 40-minute spa treatment per person from a choice of ESPA Express Facial, Hot Stone Back Massage or Harbour Spa Manicure, and unlimited use of the hotel’s spa and leisure facilities, including indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym. All subject to availability. Dinner and spa treatments must be reserved at time of booking break. 3. Offer open to adults aged 18 or over; guest must be aged 16 or over. The offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or discount. Full prepayment will be taken at time of booking. Offer applies to new bookings only.

Congratulations to our October 2016 issue competition winners! Sidmouth Harbour Hotel competition Julie Ehrhart, Dorset Forest Holidays competition Mrs L Holgate, West Yorkshire

Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa competition (p41) 1. Send your entry to Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa Competition, Slimming World magazine, Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW. The closing date is 30 March 2017. 2. Only one entry per person. No purchase necessary. For a copy of the entry form, send an SAE to Entry Form, Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa Competition at the Slimming World magazine address above, to arrive no later than 16 March 2017. 3. The competition is open to all UK and RoI residents aged 18 or over, except employees of Slimming World, Miles-Bramwell Ltd, Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, or anyone professionally connected with this promotion (this does not include Slimming World Consultants and Team Developers). 4. No bulk or third-party entries will be accepted. Responsibility not accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post. Proof of posting not accepted as proof of delivery. 5. The competition will be judged by a panel that includes one independent member. The winner is the entrant who answers the question correctly and, in the opinion of the judging panel, completes the sentence in the most apt and original way. He/she will receive a stay for four people (guests must be 16 or over) comprising: two nights’ accommodation for four people sharing two double/twin Harbour View rooms; a full English or continental breakfast each morning (including tea, coffee and fruit juice) and a three-course dinner (up to the value of £30 per person; drinks not included) on both evenings in the Upper Deck Bar & Restaurant; a 40-minute spa treatment per person from a choice of ESPA Express Facial, Hot Stone Back Massage or Harbour Spa Manicure, and unlimited use of the hotel’s spa and leisure facilities, including indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym, all subject to availability. Additional meals, drinks, travel to and from the hotel and any other expenses are not included. Dinner and spa treatments must be reserved at time of booking break. The prize must be taken by 27 October 2017 and is subject to availability. The prize cannot be taken 19-20 May 2017, 4-5 August 2017 and 18-20 August 2017, and on bank holidays. 6. No correspondence will be entered into and the judging panel’s decision is final. The winner will be notified in writing by 27 April 2017. If Slimming World cannot contact the winner or the winner fails to claim the prize by 25 May 2017, the winner will forfeit the prize and the panel may select another winner. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. The prize value is correct at time of going to press. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or any existing bookings. 7. By entering, the winner agrees to take part in publicity relating to the competition and consents to their name and county being published. The winner’s name and county will be published in the Aug/Sept 2017 issue of Slimming World magazine. 8. Slimming World is not responsible for: (i) any loss, damage or liability to entrants in relation to their entering the competition or accepting the prize; (ii) any failure by the winner to comply with Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa’s terms or instructions; (iii) any delay or failure due to an event outside Slimming World’s reasonable control; (iv) any costs associated with the prize; (v) any terms or decisions of Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa in relation to the fulfilment of the prize. 9. The promoter is Slimming World. Promoter’s address: Slimming World magazine, Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW. The prize provider is Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, 95 Mudeford, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 3NT. 10. The laws of England and Wales apply to this competition.

Don’t miss the next issue of

SlimmingWorld On sale 30 March

(earlier to members of Slimming World groups)


time to shine

tell us your story



ready for your close-up? ✔ Do you feel great, look amazing and want to inspire other slimmers? ✔ Do you read the success stories in this magazine and think, ‘That could be me!’? Well, maybe it could! ✔ If you’ve achieved your target weight with Slimming World and still attend your group, we’d love to hear from you. Send us your pictures and story and you could be the star of our next photoshoot ★ Visit, click on the magazine and download our guide to the info we’d like from you ★ Email your words and good-quality before and after photos to ★ Alternatively, you can post your story and pictures to Success Stories, Slimming World magazine, Clover Nook Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4SW We aim to return all photos, but can’t guarantee it, so please make copies of your precious pictures. We’ll let you know we’ve received your info safely and if your story is chosen we’ll be in touch soon!

Rasha Saberi from Greater London has lost 3st 4lbs. After waving goodbye to her baby weight, this model mum is slim, confident and in control...


fancy that!

Curried Scotch eggs Our new series of must-try recipes kicks off with this spicy take on a British finger-food fave EVERYDAY EASY

Makes 4 Ready in about 45 minutes 4 medium eggs Low-calorie cooking spray Baby gherkins and fat-free natural fromage frais mixed with curry powder to taste, to serve

For the sausage mixture: 10 frozen Slimming World Syn-free Pork Sausages, defrosted, skins removed and roughly chopped 4 slices wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf), whizzed into crumbs in a food processor 1 tbsp medium curry powder 1 tsp each of grated fresh root ginger and garlic 1 red chilli, finely chopped 2 tbsp each of finely chopped fresh coriander and mint

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Drain, cool in a bowl of cold water, then peel. 2 For the sausage mixture, put all the ingredients in a food processor. Whizz until well combined, then divide the mixture into 4 equal balls. Flatten out one of the balls into a 1-2cm thick circle. Place a peeled egg in the middle, then wrap the meat around it to enclose it completely. Repeat with the other 3 eggs.

breadcrumbs on a wide plate. Dip each ball into the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. 4 Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spray the Scotch eggs with low-calorie cooking spray and transfer to the tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Leave to cool completely. Serve 1 per person with the gherkins and spiced fromage frais. Syns per serving: FREE* *Add 6 Syns if not using the wholemeal bread as a Healthy Extra

3 For the coating, put the beaten egg in a wide, shallow bowl and the

For the coating: 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten 4 slices wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf), whizzed into crumbs in a food processor

MAKE IT VEGGIE Simply swap the pork sausages for 10 frozen Quorn Low-Fat Sausages – Syns stay the same



Cracking idea!











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Slimming World - March/April 2017