I have been a Slimming Worlder for many years (you wouldn't think it with all the cake recipes, believe me it takes a lot of willpower to run Coeliac Sanctuary and do Slimming World) and I see a lot of people struggling to follow the plan as a Coeliac, so I have a few tips.
This is a blog I have been thinking about doing for a while. I have followed Slimming World for many years, I first did the plan back in the days of red and green days when my Mum did it, probably 15 years ago, I lost some weight but I was a very fussy eater and found it hard.
I got over my food phobias though eventually and when I saw my university graduation photo I decided I needed to really do something about my weight, the extra weight was causing other issues which would end up detrimental to my health if I carried on as I was, so I joined Slimming World Online, long gone were the red and green days and instead Extra Easy was the new meal plan. I did the plan for 4 years and lost 6 stone.
It was during this time on Slimming World I also fell ill and was diagnosed Coeliac, I found it hard sticking to the plan after that, I just couldn't get my head around the changes I needed to make to my diet let alone figure how to do while losing weight, I never reached my target weight, though I wasn't far off, only half a stone or so.
I fell ill again though shortly after and gained most of the weight I lost back, I decided to drag my Mum along to a Slimming World group this time and I have been at that group for about 18 months now and lost 3 stone so far.
Sometimes getting your head around the plan and being gluten free can take a little time to figure out so I thought I would do a blog of tips and ideas for those on or who wish to try the plan. Once you get your head in the game it is really quite easy and full of loads of healthy food but you are still allowed a treat which is what I love about it.
I am not going to include syn values of anything, you can find out those for yourself!
All these tips are ones I follow regularly and always find useful even now!
1. Frylight is a staple on Slimming World, all varieties are gluten free as are all home brand versions.
2. We get a tad more leeway on Healthy Extra B's. When I started there was very limited choice on official Healthy Extra B choices, there is a rule still in place that for Coeliacs you can use 60g of ANY gluten free wholemeal or multigrain bread or 40g corn or rice based cereal. These alternatives possibly don't contain a high amount of fibre like the official Healthy Extras but if you are struggling you can use them instead, just be aware that they hold less nutritional benefit and if you notice them affecting your weight loss then try and stick to official Healthy Extras which contain much more fibre.
3. Stock cubes are used in so many recipes, OXO tend to be the staple but these aren't gluten free however Knorr ones are definitely gluten free and work perfectly fine.
4. All the fruit and vegetables on the plan are gluten free of course, and since you are suppose to eat more of these than anything else you can easily fill a lot of your plate with naturally gluten free foods and avoid a lot of products that contain gluten.
5. Pasta, all varieties are free this includes gluten free pasta in any form, so stock up on any type of pasta you like including pastas such as green pea pasta and red lentil pasta.
6. Cereals always seem cause a bit of confusion, there are a fair few official Healthy Extra choices which are popular, Mesa Sunrise and Doves Fibre Flakes are good choices. Despite being high fibre Nutribrex aren't an official Healthy Extra but do appear on their "alternative" list of options with the 60g of bread/40g cereal, so you can still use them just be vigilant in case they affect your losses.
7. Many gluten free synnable items are high in sugar making them high calorie too. Same as anyone else following Slimming World, anything that isn't classed as Speed or Free is synnable, whether these are treats or the likes of oven chips an sausages (which are synned but also have a free food allowance). Anything that doesn't have a free food allowance can usually be worked out using a 1 syn per 20 calorie rule. Ok, this isn't an official rule but for anything with a free food allowance it generally works. If you want some ideas of treats: -Chocolate
- curly wurlys and fudges, funsize crunchies, milky way magic stars and heroes are good choices.Crisps
- Pom bears are your best choice or sea brooks if you don't mind using slightly more syns.Cake
- Mrs Crimbles macaroons and madeleines, Jam Tarts aren't too atrocious and neither are Mr Kipling Gluten Free Slices, depends how many syns you are willing to use really!
8. Sausages there are so many choices but finding ones that are gluten free and Slimming World Friendly can be a challenge. The best I have found that are low syn are Marks and Spencer Skinny Pork Sausages, Asda Light and Lean or Heck Chicken Sausages or Super Slim Pork Sausages. All are really low syn and gluten free!
9. It's not often a Slimming World recipe requires flour but when it does its usually pretty straight forward enough, just switch to gluten free flour. However if it is being used to thicken a sauce, I tend to switch to cornflour as I find it thickens better.
10. If you are dairy intolerant, like my Mum who also does Slimming World, many dairy free alternatives have been added to the Healthy Extra A lists so you don't have to skip it, and it's not just nut milks either now, there are also dairy free cheeses on there which are high enough calcium to qualify as Healthy Extras. These are fairly new additions though so make sure you check the Healthy Extra list.
11. Hifi bars, we don't get much choice, to be honest there isn't much choice of any cereal bars for Healthy Extras, most gluten free ones are far to high syns and too low in fibre. However Slimming World are trying to have one gluten free hifi bar available, at the moment it is fruit and nut. Some Coeliacs have found they react to them though, they do contain gluten free oats so if you can't tolerate those that could be the issue but there is also an ingredient called Oligofructose Syrup, which is the first ingredient so the one with the highest quantity and this can cause stomach ache in some people. Another option for a gluten free cereal bar is Perkier Goji and Cranberry bar, the only Perkier bar that is an official Healthy Extra.
12. Slimming World ready meals. Unfortunately many Coeliacs had reactions to the ready meals, when asked Iceland and Slimming World HQ confirmed all the meals are a may contain when it comes to gluten so the ones that appear to be safe are actually a may contain. Legally though, may contain warnings don't have to be stated so they are perfectly allowed not to state it, it was only when some Coeliacs sought to find out why they reacted that they said they were all a may contain. So eat at your own risk with the ready meals, I for one don't eat them because I reacted to the only one I have tried.
I hope these tips help with your Slimming World journey, I was proud this week to be awarded Miss Slinky 2018 at my group, it was so nice to think that I inspire so many people in my group with how I continue on plan regardless of what issues I am facing either personal or when I am trying to create recipes that are certainly not Slimming World friendly for Coeliac Sanctuary.
If you need some ideas of Slimming World recipes, all the recipes that are Slimming World friendly are labelled as such in my recipe list
. There are a fair few of them, both sweet and savoury, so why not have a go at some of my gorgeously gluten free and Slimming World friendly recipes!