Synful Thoughts

Synful Thoughts

Just occasionally Slimming World surprises me. Today I found that I had lost 5.5lbs since last week. That is the most I have lost in one week in over a year. Naomi lost 2 lbs which is a good loss for her. I always hope for a loss but that was more than I could have dreamed would happen. Here is how I did it. Here is the simple and yet elusive, magical solution that you are looking for…


All I can say is that both Naomi and I food optimised 100% this week and apart from a small scone (5.25 Syns), we didn’t cheat in any way at all. Our breakfasts were either porridge or overnight oats. I made a batch of chilli con carne which gave us 3 main meals with loads of fresh veg and Actifry chips. Our other dinners were chicken and leek risotto and a sausage and bacon fry up. For lunch we had Chick Pea Dahl Loaf or cold meat with loads of salad and fresh fruit. We also had no wine from Sunday until Saturday. Truly, not a drop for 5½ days.

This does leave us with a little dilemma. If it was the lack of wine that made us lose weight, then how happy are we to give it up for the sake of losing weight? This needs some serious consideration. We are not sure about our long-term plans but for this week we will eat and drink in a similar fashion to last week and see if we can repeat the feat.

In addition to eating well I walked 113,732 steps and won the Fitbit Workweek Hustle. For the whole 7 days I walked 70miles according to my tracker. This level of walking would have been unthinkable for me a year ago.

Synful Thoughts

One of the most frequently asked questions by anyone who is doing Slimming World is ‘How many Syns in that?’ There is a sense of desperation in the question as we all seek to find the ‘magic combination’. It is hardly surprising when you consider what Syns represent. For some it simply means ‘I must have chocolate’. For others, it means ‘I need wine’. Everyone has their own choice of favourite Syn food.

I might tell you my Syn of choice in this post, I might not. Thinking about it!

The Flexibility of Slimming World Syns

I must state up front that having Syns available to me is a mixed blessing. This is mainly because it adds a degree of flexibility and choice that is not truly available in any other diet I have tried. I find that having too much choice is not easy. I can follow strict rules when it comes to crazy diets, no problem. Who can remember having bad breath equal to that of a Mongolian Yak when doing the Atkins diet? Or the sheer unadulterated, rampant hunger of the meal replacement diets?

Because the rules were easy to understand I could follow them, even though at the time, common sense was screaming out to me that I was living in complete folly with my food. The Slimming World Syns confuse my brain because I can have ‘anything’. This goes against a lifetime of programming with regards to controlling my weight. After all, a diet where you can eat almost anything can’t be a proper diet. There is no way it is going to work. Is there?

So many doubts. Really, so many! On the weeks I put weight on, I prove to myself that I am right to doubt the Syns idea. Then on weeks I lose weight, I affirm my belief that my Syns are helping me. Now I have been on this eating system for over a year, my confidence is more assured. But I wish Mandy-Lace would specify and dispense to me exactly what I can have each day. Tell me, tell me, tell me…

It is not to be so.

Men’s Syns

I must plan and select what I have for my Syns each day. And men can have more Syns than women. It’s so unfair! If I didn’t have so many Syns to think about then I could concentrate better on my free foods and speed foods. Instead, I keep getting distracted by checking to see if I have had my Syns. At the end of the day I do a check and sometimes discover to my horror that I have not had any Syns – all day! This is all very difficult. I have heard many women in group express their envy of the Syns count we men are permitted. Trust me, it is a double-edged sword. I can’t however hear voices of sympathy from any ladies right now. Tell me what you think in the comment box below.

Just occasionally I have a day of food sanity and realise that I have had very few Syns on a day. I sit at my local pub and enjoy a long cool beer (my Syn of choice – there I told you!) on one of my walks. On the sane days, I simply enjoy it without any recrimination. But most days they cause much inner confusion along with earnest discussion and calculation with my nearest and dearest.

Clever Syns

I have noticed a number of times that Bert uses his Syns in a different way to most people. He adds favourite ingredients to his meals to enhance them. I checked on the Facebook group and Mandy-Lace confirmed that adding 2 Syns of sunflower oil to a meal leaves it at 2 Syns value. Another example would be to add cornflower to a recipe to thicken a casserole or curry. These ideas are in contrast to most people who are searching for the super snack that is totally delicious, filling and yet low in Syn value.

Adding chocolate sauce to any fruit to get that chocolate feeling

Here is my ‘alternative’ list of 10 Gobsmacking Slimming World Syns

Sunflower Oil 1 level tsp – 2 Syns. Whenever the recipe says ‘Frylight’ you could use normal oil instead. A teaspoon of oil goes a long way in a non-stick pan.

Cornflower 2 level tbsp – 2 Syns. To make almost any savoury sauce thick and creamy.

Butter – 25grams of butter added to a shepherd’s pie mash would only be 9 Syns for the whole dish. Across 4 servings the Syn value is just over 2. Just sayin’.

Blackcurrant Jam – 1 tablespoon added to Naomi’s morning porridge is only 2 Syns.

Golden Syrup – 1 tablespoon added to my morning porridge is only 2.5 Syns

Glass of Cognac – 35ml added to my diet coke is 4 Syns. Or just enjoy it with a cube of ice. Or I just slowly sip it from a large brandy glass, sitting on the patio in the sunshine, with my eyes closed, dreaming of the Maldives.

25g Stilton Cheese – The proper stuff, not low fat weird cheese. Chop small and sprinkle over three sesame seed Ryvita (HexB) with free salad veg. The flavour of the cheese is so strong that you feel as though you are eating loads of cheese. – 5 Syns.

Sainsbury’s Chocolate Sauce – 1 tablespoon drizzled over any fruit or HexA yoghurt you choose. 2.5 Syns.

25g Chorizo slices put into lots of possible dishes. Slimming World Pizza, omelettes, egg muffins, chick pea dahl loaf. A small portion really spices up the plainest of food. 3 Syns

Birra Moretti 1 pint draught – 9.5 Syns of pure nectar. I only have this if I have ‘earned it’ with a good long walk. They serve Birra Moretti at the Stag and Hounds in Binfield and I always take a good half hour to slowly imbibe it before walking home. It has medicinal qualities that nothing else can give…

Published by Ken Jones

This website is all about my Slimming World diet. I started the diet in February 2016. I kept a detailed diary of what happened in my first year. This has now been published as a book called 'The World Of Slimming'

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1 Comment

  1. Really enjoy reading this and as for syns, wine is my downfall so I just don’t have it anymore!!! I enjoy using syns for sauces to add to fruit or make savoury sauce etc

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