Slimming World: A Simple Guide to How It Works

Updated on 
5 September, 2023

The Slimming World Plan: A Simple Guide to Losing Weight

If you've decided to join the Slimming World to finally shift some of those extra pounds or to simply move towards a healthier lifestyle, the diet can seem overwhelming to people who don't know much about the plan. 

Our Ultimate Guide To The Slimming World Plan - Everything You Need To Know!

The Slimming World's basics are syns, healthy extras and free foods, the idea is that you can have a flexible approach to dieting and still lose weight, having treats in moderation and eating as much as you want of healthy low calorie foods. 

To help you learn more about how the Slimming World plan works, we've put together a guide with everything you need to know below for your weight loss journey!

What Are The Basic Rules Of The Slimming World Plan? 

To begin our ultimate guide to the Slimming World plan, let's start with the basics as to how this plan works, and the main three rules that Slimming World stands by to help its users live a healthier life. 

  1. No hunger - Thanks to the way the food optimising is designed in the Slimming World, you can eat as much free food as you want on the diet which means you will never go hungry. Options such as the Healthy extra B on the Slimming World plan also make sure you're getting a decent amount of fibre on the plan. 
  2. Magical movement - Slimming World has created something called body magic, this basically encourages people on the weight loss programme to move their body in a fun way which can support weight loss. For example, this could be walking or gardening. 
  3. Lots of support - One of the best parts about the Slimming World weight loss programme is that they provide lots of support. You get your own consultant and a chance to join Slimming World groups in person and online to motivate you each week to reach your dream weight.

What Does Food Optimising Mean On The Slimming World Plan? 

As we mentioned briefly above, the Slimming World plan bases its diet around food optimising to help its users lose weight through a balanced diet. 

Due to the way food is optimised on this Slimming World plan, you do not have to restrict or calorie count, allowing you to eat what you want and as much as you want depending on the type of food. 

We've gone into further detail about this optimisation below. 

Free Foods

Let's start with free foods, free foods on Slimming World plans are a stroke of genius when it comes to food optimising on the plan.

They are a group of food which allow you to eat as much as you want while still losing weight. You do not have to weigh any of these foods.

Some free foods to name are; fat-free dairy, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat and eggs, you can check out our bigger list of free foods here.

Healthy Extra's 

Next up are the healthy extras as part of the food optimising plan. The healthy extras on the Slimming World plan ensure users are getting a balance of nutrients which they might have otherwise skipped to avoid adding syns into their diet. 

You will be given two healthy extra A's on the plan for your protein and calcium allowance as well as one healthy extra B which is to support your fibre intake, we've put together a list of healthy extra B foods here.

What Does Food Optimising Mean On The Slimming World Plan? 


Although syns might sound like a bad thing, on the food optimising plan they are actually a good thing since they allow you to eat what you want within moderation. 

You are given around 15 syns on the Slimming World plan which allows you to eat all your naughty treats up to a certain amount. Over this allowance, you are at risk of gaining weight or stalling your weight loss. 

To track the syns in foods, you are given a Slimming World food search syn calculator when you join the plan, however, you can also use a syn calculator, which roughly equals one syn to 20 calories. We have linked our own syn calculator here.

The Main Benefits To Join The Slimming World Plan

Now we know how food optimising works on the Slimming World plan, we can move on to the benefits of joining the Slimming World plan to reach your dream weight. 

  • It keeps you accountable - Slimming World has a huge community, and checking in with your consultant will keep you accountable and make sure you are on the right track with your progress, you can also read real-life success stories for when you feel de-motivated.
  • You make friends - By joining the Slimming World group you can meet other members and make friends, especially if you join the groups in person, this can help to motivate you.
  • It teaches you a healthy lifestyle - Food Optimising's teaches you a healthy lifestyle, allowing you to eat the volume of food you desire and consume treats in moderation. This teaches you a balanced lifestyle and allows you to avoid guilt when you indulge in the occasional cake or takeaway. 
  • You can still eat out - By using a syns calculator, you can still eat out and enjoy the food you haven't cooked without ruining your weight loss, this plan allows you to have a huge variety of foods in moderation while losing body weight.
  • Try new recipes - Slimming World has an extensive range of free food recipes to check out, even healthy alternatives to your traditional family meals like spaghetti carbonara (we've listed our top recipes here), this allows you to enjoy cooking and make exciting family meals.

Will I Lose Weight On The Slimming World Plan? 

Many people want to know the average weight loss a diet plan has among members before they decide to join, it should be noted however that weight loss can change according to different individuals, their metabolism and body types. 

Saying this, however, as long as you follow the food optimisation on the Slimming World plan you will lose weight, your progress might be quicker or slower, and some people might need more or less syns according to their starting weight.

How Much Does The Slimming World Plan Cost To Join? 

The Slimming World plan operates according to a monthly subscription service, to join the initial plan and get all the information and tools you need it costs £10, however on top of this to join the meetings and get the rest of the services you will need to pay a weekly fee of around £5. 

This makes the Slimming World affordable for most people and most importantly, the plan teaches you to live a balanced lifestyle which you can carry into the future. 

Is The Slimming World Online? 

The Slimming World plan is both available online and in person, in person can help you to be more accountable, but if you don't have time to attend the weekly meetings in person then the digital version of this plan can also be useful. 

With the Slimming World app, you can have access to important tools like the syn calculator search tool and weight loss eating plans recipes!

Tips For Losing Weight On The Slimming World Plan 

If you have just joined the Slimming World plan and want the best results to reach your weight loss dreams, we recommend following these tips below to ensure success. 

  • Do fakeaways instead of takeaways - Fancy a McDonalds, make your own burger at home! Slimming World has lots of healthy fakeaway recipes as alternatives to stop you from spending syns.
  • Stop the spreads - Spreads like butter can add a lot of syns to your meal if you are not careful, stick to low-fat spreads if you have to or light cream cheese.
  • Eat regular meals - Avoid skipping meals like breakfast, this could make you reach for an unhealthy snack mid-morning or overeat at lunch if you are not careful.
  • Trim the fat - Trimming the fat off your meat whether chicken or beef keeps it lean and syn free.
  • Exercise regularly - Yes, we know, exercise isn't a favourite activity for many of us, but this could be something you enjoy like cycling or swimming, find what works for you, and remember to go for a walk every day.
  • Drink lots of water - Staying hydrated is key to weight loss, it stops fake hunger and flushes all the toxins out of your body.
  • Batch cook - Batch cooking SW-friendly meals is a lifesaver on the slimming world plan, this makes sure you have a healthy meal prepared for the next day without any time needed and prevents you from grabbing unhealthy meals when you are unprepared.
  • Weigh yourself once a month - Weighing yourself once a month or weekly is advised on the Slimming World plan, avoid weighing yourself every day, this is because external factors such as water retention and hormones can easily add a few pounds, therefore aren't a true reflection of your weight loss.
Tips For Losing Weight On The Slimming World Plan 

Final Words 

Overall, the Slimming World plan is a flexible dieting plan which has weight loss success thanks to its food optimisation, allowing you to eat what you want within moderation, unlike the typical diet which avoids 'bad foods such as chocolate, faddy diets like this often lead to users quitting. 

Thanks to the way the Slimming World works, users do not feel hungry or deprived on the plan which can help them to stick with their weight loss regime for longer and teaches them a healthy lifestyle of balance, even if they go over their syns.


Jennifer is a certified nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Master's in Nutrition from Cambridge. With over 10 years experience, she shares healthy recipes and science-backed slimming tips on SheCooksSheEats to help people reach their wellness goals. Jennifer stays up-to-date by regularly attending conferences and continuing her nutrition education. She aims to provide research-backed advice to inspire balanced, happy living.
View Bio

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

crossmenuarrow-leftarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram