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Food Opt

imising D


d n a y h t l A hea

satisfying eatin

g plan

Food Optimising is Slimming World’s healthy eating plan. Based on the principles of energy density and satiety, Food Optimising empowers members to make healthier food choices, satisfy their appetites and lose weight, without calorie counting or obsessive weighing and measuring.


The concept of Free Foods promotes consumption of plenty of low energy dense and highly satiating foods, eg poultry, fish, lean meat, pasta, grains, vegetables and fruit, which can be eaten without restriction. Members are encouraged to use these foods to satisfy their appetite while reducing overall energy intake. With Free Foods members don’t have to monitor every mouthful, so compliance is easy to establish and sustain.

2. The synergy between Free Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns makes Food Optimising effective and easy to live with long term. Syns are the way members can enjoy the foods that many diets ban, without a shred of guilt! Counting Syns helps members naturally limit consumption of saturated fats, alcohol and sugar, ie those foods with a high energy density.


Healthy Extras help provide a good overall balance of nutrients in addition to those obtained from Free Foods, with particular emphasis on calcium and fibre-rich foods, eg milk, cheese, cereals and wholemeal bread.

d n i h e b cience

The s

Slimming World

’s Food Optimis

Research has shown that the nature and composition of the foods we eat, dietary macro nutrients and energy density, impact on our sense of satisfaction and fullness (satiety)7. Encouraging a higher intake of more satiating foods will limit energy intake and result in weight loss. Slimming World has been actively involved in this field of research and, along with the Scottish Office, sponsored research conducted by Professor James Stubbs at the Rowett Research Institute. There is now a robust evidence base which shows that foods higher in protein and carbohydrates are far more satiating than foods rich in fat. Research also shows that people feel full due to the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories they take in. Choosing low energy dense foods can increase the volume of food eaten, while reducing energy intake, and thus satisfy appetite10.Since it’s inception over 45 years ago, Food Optimising has always successfully embraced the scientific principles of appetite regulation and energy density in a practical way to regulate energy intake, allowing members to eat unlimited amounts of highly satisfying foods, which will naturally help limit calorie intake without the chore of counting or feeling deprived.


e c i o h c e n Make o from ‘A’

s a r t x E ealthy


‘A’ choices

‘A’ choices are dairy foods that are high in calcium. Maintaining a high intake of calcium when you’re slimming is important for good health and may aid your weight loss too.



Enjoy milk on its own, in hot drink or on cereal

Use cheese in sandwiches, on jacket potatoes or on pasta. Whole, grated, sliced, melted or grilled.

350ml 250ml 175ml 250ml 200ml 130ml 350ml 250ml 250ml

skimmed milk semi-skimmed milk whole milk semi-skimmed goats’ milk whole goats’ milk sheeps’ milk unsweetened calcium sweetened milk calcium enriched cream

25g 25g 25g 25g 25g 25g 42g 42g 42g 42g

Cheddar Double Gloucester Emmental Gouda Parmesan Red Leicester Feta Mozzarella Reduced fat Cheddar Reduced fat Cheshire

Chose these Healthy Extras when you have time to eat, but not to measure. 2 x 25g Dairylea Light Cheese slices 5 x 17.5g Dairylea Light triangles 3 x 17.5g Dairylea Original triangles 6 x 17.5g The Laughing Cow Light triangles 2 Mini Babybel Emmental cheese 2 Mini Babybel Light Cheddar cheese 3 Mini Babybel Light cheese 2 Mini Babybel Original cheese

Grab & go


s a r t x E ealthy ‘B’ choices

‘A’ choices are foods that are high in fibre or contain important nutritions for a healthy balanced diet.


Cereal bars

26g Alpen High Fibre 28g Jordans Muesli Natural 42g Kellogg’s All-Bran 26g Kellogg’s All-Bran and 1 Ryvita 28g Kellogg’s Bran Flakes Sultana Bran and 1 Ryvita

1 Hi-Fi Bar, any variety 2 Alpen Light Cereal bars, any variety 1 Kellogg’s Fibre Plus Cereal Bar, any variety

28g Kellogg’s Frosted/Raisin Wheats and 1 Ryvita 28g Kellogg’s Fruit ‘n’ Fibre and 1 Cat/Scan Bran 28g Nestle Bite size Shredded Wheat 28g Nestle Fruitful Shredded Wheat and 1 Ryvita Original/Sesame 28g Nestle Honey Nut Shredded Wheat and 1 Ryvita Dark Rye 28g Nestle Honey Nut Shredded Wheat and 1 Ryvita Wholegrain Crakerbread 28g Nestle Shreddies and 1 Ryvita

You can replace any branded breakfast cereal with a supermarket ow brand of the same cereal. Cereals not listed as a Healthy Extra will have a Syn value. See Syn Value book for further information.

Hot tip

Fibre food are among the most powerful appetite satisfiers. Fibre can also help protect against many diseases and keeps your digestive system healthy.

e c i o h c e n Make o from ‘B’

t u o b a l Al Syns

You know how powerful it is when things work together and the result is greater than the sum of their parts? That’s synergy. That’s why after Free Foods and Healthy Extras, Syns are the third element that makes Food Optimising the most generous, most effective plan ever. How do Syns work? It’s the wonderful mix of freewheeling plus just enough structure and control that makes Food Optimising so easy and effective in the long term. Syns provide the control Foods with a Syn value are those foods which would most certainly affect our weight loss if we didn’t control them. The synergy between Free Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns makes Food Optimising effective and easy to live with. Syns are also the way you can enjoy the foods that many diets ban, without a shred of guilt. All foods that aren’t Free have a Syn value. Counting the Syns you use each day helps you balance your diet for the optimum weight loss, and maximum enjoyment. A listing of the Syn values can be found in the Syn book.

How to use the Syns section Foods in the Syns section have an orange, a red and a green number next to them. To check the Syns on each choice, look at the orange value for Extra Easy, the red value for Original and the green value for Green. Syn values listed here are averages for everyday foods. Syn values for some brands will differ, but using our averages wont affect your weight loss.

ns y S r u o y Chose

enjoy 5 to 15 Sy ns a day

Add two slices of wholemeal toast from a 400g loaf (Healthy Extra ‘A’).

Star t you r day right

t s a f k Brea


Grabbing breakfast on the go, or missing it completely in the mad morning rush, is a common feature of today’s hectic lifestyles. After all, why waste precious time sitting down to a good healthy meal, when you can just munch on a breakfast bar on the way to work? The answer is simple - eating breakfast on the go, or skipping it altogether, means missing out on vital nutrients. It could also mean you’re spending more money on your morning sustenance than you realise, and setting yourself up

for mid-morning sugar cravings and possible weight gain. Despite all this, nearly a third of adults admit they struggle to find time to eat breakfast at home, according to new research by the Breakfast Cereal Information Service (BCIS). Breakfasts don’t have to be repetitive and boring, and if you don’t fancy cereal, there are plenty of other healthy options to choose from. “There are loads of other healthy breakfasts you can go for, there’s porridge, toast and nut butter,

boiled or scrambled egg and toast, and even leftovers from the night before, like boiled rice in a stir fry,” says Clark. Even cooked breakfasts can be made in a healthy way, scrambling or poaching eggs instead of frying them, grilling mushrooms and tomatoes, which are a great source of the antioxidant compound lycopene, which helps protect against prostate cancer. You can also add baked beans for soluble fibre, and wholemeal toast.

This recipe is Free if you count the skimmed milk as part of your day’s Healthy Extra ‘A’ choice.

Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating.

oy j n e d n a Eat

the extra easy way

h c n u L


We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with red and processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people. Eating more fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at

home, and reducing your fat and sugar intake, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.

While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.

You don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.

A world of r u o v a fl


Drink plenty of water.

r e n n Di

When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives.


Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body. For most

of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner, but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by

deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you’re still hungry, fill up with extra vegetables.

t r e s s De


What if you could have ice cream, pie or cookies every day and still lose weight? If dessert is your dieting downfall, then this is the plan for you. On the Dessert Lover’s Diet you could lose up to five pounds in a month. When you’re trying to watch what you eat, you might automatically think that sweets are bad―strictly forbidden. But eating a little dessert every day can actually be helpful. You won’t feel deprived, and since you can have something sweet tomorrow, you’ll be less tempted to eat too

much dessert today. Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality. Instead of being either perfect or off the rails, aim for a realistic balance. Making room for treats while still eating healthfully overall makes a whole lot more sense than yoyoing between strict dieting and overindulging. Cutting processed foods and refined sugars out of your diet is arguably the most important dietary change you can make to improve health and lose weight. But will one slice of birthday cake inevitably tighten your pants and cut your life

short? The answer, of course, will be different for everyone. Competitive athletes have higher physical demands for maintaining ideal health than, say, a scientist. And I’m not a fan of watering down my favorite foods, especially desserts, with “healthier” ingredients. But there are a few general guidelines that can help the majority of us live a little without constantly fighting the battle of the bulge.

f l e s r u o Tr e a t y

without the gu ilt

These chocolate soufflĂŠ are only 5 Syns each.

Top with a dollop of ice cream for a dazzling dessert.

ry r e B d e Mix


e wesom t h e s e a b e r r ie s h it w mer n way it h s u m n a t iv e m e r ic a e t h e A k e s . S e r v e d w a t a s t y a lt e r in h s d a e n c k a n a a e m p is y y R a is , t h e n d fr u it fl u ff y a m y fr o m a g e fr a e r c . and the day start to

Serves 8 Syns per serving 5 3½ Prep time 30 minutes Cooking time Less than 30 minutes

To cook 150g plain flour 1 tbsp sweetener Salt 4 large eggs 100ml skimmed milk 1 tbsp grated orange zest 1 tsp vanilla essence Low calorie cooking spray

To serve 400g fresh mixed berries 1 tbsp sweetener Icing sugar, to dust Fat free fromage frais

Method 1. Place the berries in a bowl with the sweetener and toss to mix well. Leave to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. 2. To make the pancakes, sift the flour into a bowl with the sweetener and a pinch of salt. Mix in the eggs, milk, orange zest and vanilla essence and whisk until smooth. 3. Spray a small frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Pour one-eighth of the batter into the pan to coat the bottom, tilting and swirling the pan to spread the batter. 4. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned at the base then carefully flip over and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan, fold into quarters and keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes. 5. Serve the pancakes with the berries. They’re delicious lightly dusted with icing sugar (1 Syn per level teaspoon) and served with a spoonful of fromage frais and a sprig of mint.


s a u q S t tternu



ch or fo r lu n p e r fe c t h a s li c e o f is p u o w it th s h a v e it ly s m o o li c io u s ld e v e n T h is d e a s k . Yo u c o u u r H e x B . fl o t o fi ll a a l b r e a d a s y e m le o h w

Serves 4 Syns per serving Free Free Prep time 30 minutes Cooking time Less than 30 minutes

To cook Low calorie cooking spray 1 onion 1 medium butternut squash 1 small potato 2 garlic cloves Salt and ground pepper 900ml vegetable stock

To serve Thyme sprigs

Method 1. Spray a large pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat, add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes 2. Add the butternut squash and potato and cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat. Add the garlic and season to taste. Pour in the stock and simmer for 25 minutes. 3. Using a hand-blender or food processor, blend until smooth and serve sprinkled with thyme sprigs

Decorate with thyme sprigs and cinnamon sticks.

rk o Y w e assic N


Bacon cheesebu


not so why al in fa t , e h m a ig h e e o ft e n Yo u c a n m a k e k . rger ar e ? u e w b iv e y t h a a t n f w Ta k e -a e a lt h ie r a lt e r r a n y n ig h t o h burge ’ r try our e p p ‘w h o o f t h is

Serves 1 Syns per serving 11 5 Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 15 minutes

To cook 250g of lean minced beef 2 tbsp of chopped shallots 1 tbsp of Worcester sauce 1 garlic clove Salt and pepper 4 bacon rations

To serve 1 500g wholemeal bun Lettuce leaves Tomato slices Red onion slices 2 Dairylea Light cheese Mustard Gherkin (optional)

Method 1. Preheat the grill until very hot. Meanwhile, place the beef, shallots, Worcester sauce and garlic on a bowl and mix thoroughly using your fingers. Season well and divide in half. Shape each piece into a flat burger and place on the grill pan with the bacon. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until burger are cooked to your liking and bacon is crisp. 2. Remove and keep warm. 3. To serve put one half of the bread roll on a plate and place a lettuce leaf, a tomato slice and 2 grilled rashers on it. Top with a burger and a slice of cheese, and place the other half of the roll on top. Serve immediately with mustard (1 syn per 1 tbsp) and gherkins, if desired.

For an Extra Easy SP day fill at least half of your plate with a delicious Speed salad, of your choice.

This recipe is not suitable for home freezing.

io h c a t s i olate p



eamy e d ly c r is w ic k in g y o u c a n h t h it aven w Syn per serv e in h e Yo u ’l l b A n d a t o n ly ½ t h ir d s !) r . d e s s e r t v e s e c o n d s (o a e a s il y h

Serves 4 Syns per serving 3 ½ Prep time 10 minutes Cooking time Over 60 minutes

To cook 100g pot of quark skimmed milk soft cheese 500g pot fat free natural fromage frais 1 tbsp artificial sweetener 1 sachet Cadbury Highlights Ground cinnamon

To serve Ground cinnamon Pistachio nuts

Method 1. Place the quark in a bowl with 400g fromage frais, the sweetener and Cadbury Highlights. Mix well, divide between four glasses and chill until needed. 2. Top each mousse with a spoonful of fromage frais and a dusting of ground cinnamon. Serve decorated with cinnamon and pistachio if you like.

y c i p s d Hot an


sco, g a l fr e e r t a in in c k e t t n e r l d is h fo d e li c io u s ja a a n id e a T h is is u t u s in g it a s o h o w a b ll in g . fi potato

Serves 4 Syns per serving 2 ½ Prep time 20 minutes Cooking time Less than minutes


To cook 1 large carrot 110g each red and white cabbage 110g radishes 110g fat free natural yoghurt 1 tbsp horseradish sauce

To serve 3 tbsp freshly chopped chives Salt and black pepper

Method 1. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot, finely shred the red and white cabbage and thinly slice the radishes. Place all the vegetables into a bowl and mix. 2. Blend the yogurt, horseradish sauce, chives and seasoning, add to the bowl and mix. 3. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to develop.

Nice as a side dish in the summer at a BBQ.

Profile for Sydney Moore

Slimming World  

Slimming World