How Slimming World Works | A Pinch Of Advice

Whether you’re a seasoned pro at Slimming World, or a newbie on week one of Food Optimising, it’s always good to know how Slimming World works.

Here’s our easy step-by-step guide on how the Slimming World Food Optimising plan works, and the amazing things that can be achieved.

The Extra Easy Plan – How Slimming World Works

The vast majority of people following Slimming World will follow the Extra Easy plan. It’s made up of three principles to follow, these are Free and Speed Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns (I’ll expand on these later)

Followed by millions of people across the globe, the Slimming World Extra Easy plan has been created by absolute experts in their fields of food, nutrition and science, so you know it’s a plan you can trust.

Key to how Slimming World works is the need not to count everything you eat. This means you can enjoy many foods as much as you like, and choose your portion size. Great if you like massive portions of food!

It’s made up of three principles to follow, these are Free and Speed Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns.

It’s these three principles working together that makes the Food Optimising plan effective and easier to stick to long term than say a calorie counting.

Let’s get started with the main principles of the Slimming World Extra Easy plan!

Free Foods – How Slimming World Works

Free Foods are what make up the bulk of your food when following the Slimming World plan.

Free Foods work on the principle that they are low energy dense and highly satiating, which in layman’s terms means they will fill you up, and more importantly keep you feeling full for longer.

This is why you’re able to eat as many Free Foods as you like!

New Slimming World Shopping Essentials 10:11:17

If you’re stuck for ideas of how to use Free Foods to their full potential, check our our Slimming World Shopping Essentials, it’s updated every week and massively popular over on our Facebook group!

Free Foods include all the staple foods, including fruits, vegetables, meat and fish.

There are also a wide variety of dairy foods, pulses and grains, and meat replacement products that are classed as Free Foods.

In your Slimming World Food Optimising book, all the free foods are listed in an easy to follow format. It also states whether they are rich in protein, fibre and calcium to ensure you’re including all the necessary nutrients into your meals.

A wide variety of seasonings and spices are also classed as Free Foods, meaning you’re able to inject a heap of flavour into whatever you’re cooking.

Many hot and cold drinks are also included in the Free Food section of the Slimming World Food Optimising book, ensuring that you’re able to keep your fluid levels up without having to stick to boring, flavourless offerings.

Speed Foods – How Slimming World Works

Including Speed Foods into your mealtimes is one of the most important aspects of following the Slimming World Extra Easy plan.

These are fruits and vegetables that are even lower in calorie than regular Free Foods, but still have that all important filling power, and can aid your healthy weight loss even further!

Including Speed Foods into your mealtimes is one of the most important aspects of following the Slimming World Extra Easy plan.

We’ve got a Slimming World Speed Food List that’s so easy to follow, and can really help you remember what foods are classed as Speed Foods when you haven’t got your Food Optimising book to hand.

Slimming World Speed Food ListThose who have been on the Slimming World Extra Easy plan will know only too well that you should try and fill a plate of food with 1/3 of Speed Foods to ensure that you’re Food Optimising 100%, all week long.

Healthy Extras – How Slimming World Works

Healthy Extras on the Slimming World Extra Easy plan give you the opportunity to have your daily allowances of important nutrients, such as calcium and high fibre foods.

Using your healthy extras does involve some measurement, but it couldn’t be simpler.

Healthy Extras are split into A choices and B choices. Your Healthy Extra A choice (Usually referred to as HEA) includes calcium rich foods, your cheese and milk choices.

Your Healthy Extra B choice (Usually referred to as HEB) takes care of the high fibre foods you need as part of a healthy eating plan.

Using your healthy extras does involve some measurement, but it couldn’t be simpler.

This includes breads, cereals, dried and cooked fruits, soups and seeds. Both of your Healthy Extra choices can be used in a wide variety of ways to suit your eating and drinking habits.

The Slimming World Extra Easy plan allows you to have a reasonable amount of these foods as a Free Food option, so long as you measure them and not go over this allowance in a day.

Syns – How Slimming World Works

There are many foods and drinks that carry a Syn value on the Slimming World Food Optimising plan.

This is in place to ensure that you’re able to enjoy some edible delights without feeling guilty about it, or risking your weight loss.

You may wonder why they’re called Syns, it’s short for Synergy.

The Slimming World plan relies on the synergy of Free Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns to ensure a healthy weight loss.

A Guide to Slimming World Abbreviations

Ever wondered what all the Slimming World abbreviations stand for?! Check out our Guide to Slimming World Abbreviations!

Syns exist to ensure that you’re able to enjoy some edible delights without feeling guilty about it, or risking your weight loss.

Everyone who follows the Slimming World Extra Easy plan is allowed to use 5-15 Syns a day, which is more than enough to satisfy your cravings for anything a little bit devious, but without jeopardising your weight loss.

The best thing about utilising your Syns is that nothing is off limits!

Almost every food that isn’t a Free Food has a Syn value, which can be found in your Slimming World Food Optimising book. Syn values can also be found on the Slimming World website, where you can log in and use Syns Online.

If you’re struggling to find a Syn value for a particular item, then getting in touch with Slimming World on their Syns Hotline couldn’t be simpler.

Body Magic – How Slimming World Works

Some could accuse Body Magic being a less important element of the Slimming World plan, but it couldn’t be any more important!

How To Do Slimming World Body Magic Well (Ish) - A Pinch Of Advice | Slimming World

Body Magic makes it possible for you to lose the weight whilst following the Slimming World Extra Easy plan and tone your body and build up muscle at the same time.

It’s a fantastic way of introducing exercise to your life.

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You can check out our guides on How To Do Body Magic Well (Ish) and How To Get Rid Of Bingo Wings with a little bit of a helping hand from our fitness mate Tony.

Joining Slimming World – How Slimming World Works

There’s two options to become a member of Slimming World. You can join one of the thousands of Slimming World groups up and down the country, or follow the plan online using Slimming World Online.

A top tip is to look out for joining vouchers that are often available in those women’s magazines often found in dentist waiting rooms.

Some can even offer the chance of joining for free!

what to expect at a slimming world group pinch of nom

Read our guide on What To Expect At A Slimming World Group to give you a brilliant insight into the ins and outs of joining a Slimming World Group!

Both options allow you to access the Slimming World way of life, which includes all the amazing support on offer from consultants, members and easy access to online support 24/7 with LifeLine Online.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll be sure to get all the support you need to be able to follow the Slimming World plan and open your eyes to Food Optimising.

Interested in Slimming World? Give it a go!

You’ve got nothing to lose….apart from those few extra lbs of course!

Head over to the Slimming World website to find your nearest group (there’s plenty to choose from!) or if you can’t get to a group then take a look at Slimming World online.

Need some extra help & motivation on your Slimming World journey?

Come join our Facebook group! We have over 300,000 members, who want to help you! You wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun would you?

facebook - Syn Free Roasted Garlic and Beetroot Soup | Slimming World

You might just find the inspiration you need from our awesome members. If you’ve joined already why not invite any friends that may find it helpful?

Order Our 6 Month Food Planner Now!


We are super excited to have released a 6 month food planner that works perfectly alongside our recipe book.

Our 6 month planner features 26 recipes – which are not available anywhere else. We have all the details on our Planner page.

Order Our Cookbook Now!

We’ve been squirrelling away doing squirelly things behind the scenes and can finally announce that our very first cookbook is available NOW!!

Pinch Of Nom Cookbook - preorder

The book features 100 recipes – around 80 of them BRAND NEW and not available anywhere else. Full colour photographs, hardback, a quality book that will stand up to frequent use!

Each recipe has been taste tested by twenty members of the Pinch of Nom community to ensure that they are amazing. Check out our cookbook page for more information!

    1. Hi Jayne
      Glad you’re enjoying the blog! The HEA/HEB lists change frequently. Slimming World updates all the time adding new products or removing the ones that are discontinued or if recipes have changed and we’d rather not publish inaccurate lists. The most accurate info is always on the SW website.

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Slimming World Recipes
A blog started by 2 chefs on their Slimming World journey, evolving into an epic adventure shared by many!