Syns in Beer

I enjoy a nice pint or two every now and again, and as such I’ve compiled a list of syn values for different ales, beers and lagers:

Beer by strength

Under 3.5%1 pint8
3.5 to 4%1 pint9.5
4 to 6%1 pint11.5
6% and over1 pint18.5

Beer by brand

Amstel330ml bottle4
Boddingtons440ml can6.5
Budweiser330ml bottle7.5
Budweiser Light330ml bottle6
Bulmers CiderPint12.5
Carling500ml can8.5
Carling C2330ml bottle4
Carling Zest330ml bottle5
Carlsberg440ml can7
Carlsberg Export440ml can9
Carlsberg Special Brew440ml can16.5
Cobra King375ml bottle11.5
Coors Light330ml bottle5.5
Corona Extra330ml bottle7
Corona Light330ml bottle4
Deuchars IPA500ml can8.5
Fosters500ml can7.5
Greene King IPAPint11
Grolsch440ml can9.5
Heineken330ml bottle7
Hens Tooth 500ml bottle14.5
Hufi (Gluten Free)500ml can7
Kobbarberg Light Cider500ml 8.5
Kronenbourg 1664Pint10
Lech 500ml can10.5
Magners CiderPint12.5
Old Speckled Hen500ml bottle11.5
Pear CiderPint14
Peroni330ml bottle6
Ruddles County500ml bottle11.5
San Miguel330ml bottle8
Sol330ml bottle7.5
Stella Artois440ml can9
Stones Bitter440ml can7.5
Tiger330ml bottle5.5

Recommended drink

At the moment I’m drinking the Hüfi gluten free beer, which is only 140 calories (or 7 syns) for a 500ml can, which seems like a good syn-to-beer ratio! It tastes a lot better than a lot of the ‘lite’ beers that are low-syn.

Hufi Gluten Free Beer – 7 syns per can

Going it alone?

If you’re currently a Slimming World group member, and have been going for a while, you probably know the food optimising plan pretty well. And you may have considered the option of leaving the group, saving the money, and going it alone.

Similarly if you’re a lapsed or former member, and you’ve let things go for a while, you might wonder if it’s possible to start back on the Slimming World plan without re-joining a group.

Of course there’s always the online membership which still gives access to all the recipes and resources on the Slimming World website – and the monthly subscription is cheaper than going to a group.

But even without having access to the Slimming World website any more, there are loads of recipes and advice available on other sites on the internet and social media.

So can you go it alone?

The answer is going to be down to individual circumstances, and to what extent the group helped you keep a momentum with your weight loss.

If you are one of those people who most weeks weighs and leaves, and doesn’t stick around for the Image Therapy, then it might be arguable that you could just as easily weigh in at home on your own. But, of course, that requires a fair degree of self-discipline.

On the other hand if you know that your weight loss suffers when you don’t stay for Image Therapy, then it’s probably a sign that you need to keep going to a group.

The classes often provide motivation, helpful advice, and recipe ideas – and are clearly invaluable to some people. Personally, I know that if I stay for the image therapy then my weight loss the next week will be better.

What if I don’t stay for image therapy?

There’s a whole host of reasons why people don’t stay for image therapy: they’re too busy, tired or ill, have family commitments, have had a bad week, or just find the sessions torturous! And let’s face it, not every Slimming World consultant is inspirational and engaging.

And if find that you weigh and leave more often than not, and you feel you have the strength and determination to keep food optimising on your own, then maybe you can go it alone.

I’d like to hear about people’s personal experiences on this in the comments. Have you successfully followed the Slimming World plan without being a member? How did you do it? What advice would you give to others? 

Target membership

When you join Slimming World you might be asked for your Personal Achievement Target, which is your self-defined goal weight.

You can define your target as anything you like, within certain boundaries, and and also change it over time if you want.

If you achieve your Personal Achievement Target then you will qualify for Target Membership. This means you can weigh-in and attend any Slimming World group for free for the rest of your life.

You can keep your target membership, and access to all Slimming World online resources, indefinitely as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • Your weight stays within 3 lbs of your target weight (up or down)
  • You attend and weigh-in at a group at least once every 2 months

What happens if I go outside of the 3 lbs range?

If you are a Target Member and your weight varies by more than 3 lbs (up or down) from your Personal Achievement Target weight then you will start to be charged again for coming to group, and normal membership and attendance terms will also apply. However, once you get back to within 3 lbs of your target you regain your target membership.

Can I change my Personal Achievement Target?

If you reach your target and then decide you want to lose more weight, then your can amend your Personal Achievement Target – as long as it is by a minimum of 7 lbs below your previous target.

Slimming World doesn't want you to set unhealthily-low targets, so your consultant will not let you set a Personal Achievement Target that would give you a BMI of below 20 – which is defined as the lowest safe weight goal for slimmers.

Also if you drop by 4 lbs or more below this lowest safe target then you will be given four weeks to return to your target range before your membership is cancelled.

Starting over again

It’s pretty much 6 months to the day since I last went to a Slimming World class. I can’t even remember the exact reasons why we stopped going. Either way, it no longer seems important. The only important thing is that we’re starting over again!

Last time we did Slimming World I lost a total of 5 stone, so I know the plan works. That’s the only reason we’re going back.

It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. And some people may say it’s insane to be going back to Slimming World – for the 3rd time now – when all that happens is that I lose weight, eventually lose focus, leave, and then put most if not all of it back on again. But what’s the alternative? Not going back at all? If I did that then I would just continue to gain weight, and no good will ever come from that!

So I’m starting over, again. I’m going to a new Slimming World group tomorrow morning, and I’m going to go back on plan. I may not ever reach my ideal weight – but if I give up entirely then I’m probably going to end up in an early grave! Sorry for the bluntness there, but it’s true.

But let’s not dwell on negativity. We’re drawing a line here over the past and looking firmly to the future. A future of healthy eating and hopefully a more healthy body!

What is image therapy?

If you’re new to class, you’ve probably heard people talking about “image therapy” but you might not be sure exactly what it is.

The word “IMAGE” in a Slimming World context is actually an acronym which stands for Individual Motivation And Group Experience. It’s when the consultant, after making any announcements or giving a brief talk on something, goes round all the people in class to ask them about their week.

This is an opportunity for members to reflect upon their progress (or lack thereof), and to ask any questions they have about the Slimming World plan, or to seek inspiration from the consultant or class members.

What do people talk about?

I’ve heard lots of things discussed during IMAGE therapy, including recipe ideas and plans to deal with difficult upcoming events (such as weddings and dinners out). The consultant will often aim to head off any negative emotions, and instead try to focus members on practical steps that might turn their situation around.

It can also be tempting for members to turn their ‘go’ at speaking into a confessional session!

Do I have to take part?

No. You can decide, without stating any justification, that you don’t want to speak in front of the class. You can either opt out permanently by talking to your consultant in private, or you can opt out for just a week at a time if you just don’t feel like talking that day. And don’t worry about not speaking. Most people will not even notice you kept quiet, and those who do notice will understand why you might not want to join in – after all, we’ve all been there!

Will the consultant announce my weight?

The consultant will never tell anyone in class was you weight is, or what it was in the past. They will often highlight what you have lost that week, or in total since joining. For instance, they may say “Richard has lost 2 lbs this week, and a total of 1 st 7 lbs since starting 12 weeks ago!” When these losses are announced, it’s normally class etiquette to clap to congratulate the member.  The consultant will probably gloss over if you maintained or put on weight; instead focusing on only your total loss to date.

What are mini targets?

Your consultant may ask you if you want to set a mini target for the week ahead, which might be a weight loss target or a body magic goal. They will record the target on their tablet, and may mention it back to you the next week – but they will never criticise if you fail to make it. Some people don’t like to set mini targets as they feel they are setting themselves up for failure – but others like to use them as a motivational tool, and to help them keep focus for the week ahead. As with all things, it’s your decision about whether you want to join in.

Do I have to stay for IMAGE therapy?

No. There are plenty of people who come, get weighed, and go. We all lead busy lives, and we all understand that we don’t always have the time to stay for group. However, having said that, it’s almost always beneficial to stay for class and for the IMAGE therapy sessions if you can. The interaction with other members, and the individual support you will receive, can make all the difference in terms of motivation for the coming week.

I’ve had weeks where the last thing I wanted to do was sit in the group and admit what a terrible week / day I was having – but forced myself to stay, and then came out the end with a completely different outlook, and all fired up for the week ahead.