Changes to the Slimming World plan

Slimming World announced today that a number of changes are going to be made to their healthy eating plan. Consultants are sharing this news starting today, but the changes do not take effect until Christmas 2018.

The highlights for the standard Extra Easy plan seem to be:

  • Everyone gets an extra Health Extra A – that’s an increase in the amount of milk or cheese you can have each day
  • A number of foods are being removed from the Healthy Extra A and B categories – most notably some soft cheeses from the HEA

Specific changes for if you’re doing an SP day are:

  • Only one Healthy Extra B from now on – the second HEB you used to get when doing SP has been removed
  • Peas and beans (all types) are no longer listed as P (Protein) foods, so if you want to eat them on an SP day then you’ll need to syn them
  • Syns for people doing an SP day have been reduced to 10!

These changes all come in as Slimming World prepares to celebrate next year the 50th anniversary since its foundation.

Healthy Extras

In addition to all the free and speed foods you can eat on Slimming World, you have additional Healthy Extras – known as your Healthy Extra A (HEA) an Health Extra B (HEB).

What is my Healthy Extra A?

Your healthy extra A is a weighed and measured portion of dairy per day. The idea is to make sure you get enough calcium in your diet.

You can choose your own healthy extra A in the form of milk or cheese, and generally the lower the fat content then the bigger portion you’re allowed.

For instance, your health extra A can be either:

  • 350ml of skimmed milk
  • 300ml of 1% fat milk
  • 250ml of semi-skimmed milk
  • 175ml of whole milk

If you go over your allocation of ‘A’ then you need to syn it. However you can also share your ‘A’ between 2 or more things. For example, you can have half a portion of skimmed milk and half a portion of cheese.

What is my Health Extra B?

Your healthy extra B is a weighed and measured portion of fibre per day.

You can choose your own healthy extra B in the form of bread, cereal, cereal bars, HiFi bars, crispbread, crackers, cooked fruit, dried fruit, or tinned fruit. The portion size will vary depending upon the fibre and nutritional content.

For the bread, you’re allowed up to 60g of any wholemeal bread or roll. In general this means you can only have one slice as your ‘B’, unless you’re using a small (400g) loaf or ‘slimmers’ bread.

Other common choices are to use your ‘B’ for 40g of porridge, or to have 2 Slimming World HiFi bars. I sometimes use my ‘B’ on 5 scanbran.

As with your ‘A’ if you go over your allocation of ‘B’ then you need to syn it. And you can also share your ‘B’ between 2 or more things.

Exceptions

If you’re doing an SP day then you’re meant to eat two health extra Bs, to ensure you get enough fibre. I assume that’s because you’re potentially losing some fibre from not eating free foods.

If you’re pregnant you are allowed two healthy extra As and two healthy extra Bs. Additional As are also recommended for breast-feeding mums.

Also when you become a Target Member, you’re advised that you can increase your A and/or B over a period of time, as long as it doesn’t impact upon your ability to maintain your weight.

What are your trigger foods?

Bread – one of my trigger foods

It’s a common problem. You’ve been on-plan all week, you’ve batch cooked loads of dinners, counted those syns, and knocked it out of the park with all that body magic!

So you deserve a treat – a bit of chocolate, a glass of wine, a slice of pizza, or a bag of chips. But before you know it, you’re laid out on the floor groaning from eating your own body weight in junk food!

You’ve fallen foul of your trigger foods, lost control, and weren’t able to stop!

Food addiction

For some it’s hard to think of food as something you can be addicted to. We all need to eat to live, but for some of us eating becomes much more than pure survival. Just looking at or thinking about certain foods triggers the reward centres of the brain – the same area that’s triggered for alcohol and drug addictions.

A release of dopamine makes you feel good, heightens your awareness of the food, and encourages the brain to want to eat it.

My trigger foods

I have a number of trigger foods that cause me to get out of control if left unchecked. Here’s my top 3:

  1. Bread
  2. Savoury snacks combining pastry and meat (sausage rolls / pies)
  3. Ice cream

The only way I can avoid binging on all of these things is to avoid them altogether, even to the extent of not having them in the house. Because I don’t want just one or two slices of bread – I want half a loaf! I don’t want one pork pie – I want the entire packet. And don’t get me started on a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, because I won’t stop!

So the way for me to keep on-track with Slimming World is to cut out these trigger foods entirely. I know that a lot of people enjoy bread for their Healthy Extra B, but I prefer to have something like Scanbran or an Aldi Harvest Morn Cereal Bar – something that I won’t binge on.

Aldi Harvest Morn Cereal Bars – one bar is 5 Syns or a Health Extra B

What are your trigger foods? How do you manage them? Let me know in the comments…