Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Slimming World for Vegans

Today I thought I'd talk a bit about Slimming World. It's a funny one; I've followed the diet on and off for a while (mostly off if I'm honest) and I do find that when I stick to it, it works.

It can be a little restrictive, as all diets are when you're trying to lose weight. It's also very VERY geared towards omnivores and vegetarians. A lot of the free foods are dairy, egg or meat heavy and a lot of our equivalents have 'syns' - a word I detest by the way, but it's what they basically call anything they don't class as a free food or a healthy extra. I'll explain in a minute.

I play a little fast and loose with the rules, I won't lie. There are things I don't syn and should do if I were to follow 100%. But as I still get weight loss, because I don't go mad with these things, I happily carry on.

EDIT: Ps, I have other ideas for posts about Slimming World but I don't want to make this blog about that at all. So I started a new one. If you want a vegan resource for Slimming World, come and join me HERE.

So here's how it works. 

Free Foods
You can eat as much of these as you want and are encouraged to fill up on them. They include ALL fruits and vegetables (except avocados*), pasta, noodles, potatoes, grains and rice.

Healthy Extras
You get 1 Healthy Extra A a day, which is generally dairy products or our equivalents. I usually use this for my soymilk, occasionally some cheese. You also get a b choice which is a limited amount of bread, oats, cereals, some seeds and nuts, some cereal bars and dried fruits. You don't get much of any of these though!

Ugh. A word I hate as I don't like associating food with negativity. However, it's what they call them and it's basically anything that doesn't fall into the above category. Pretty much 20 calories = 1 syn. You get 5-15 per day. 

*Avocados - I don't syn them. I know we're meant to but fuck me they are a 100 times healthier than a slab of bacon or beef and those are both free! I don't eat them that often anyway, so I'm cool with not synning them. UPDATE NOV 16 - since I restarted the plan in August, I have been synning them. I still don't eat them that often but I'm trying to deviate less.

If you're anything like me, you'll get bored easily. So I'm always looking for ideas. So this post is to give you a few ideas for lunches, for when you get bored of homemade soup or salad, although those are great options! I'm also planning a follow up post with some dinner ideas.

Rice salad (2 syns)
Easy as pie, cooked rice, some beans, some veggies.... this was actually a pack of premade veggie rice (2 syns for the whole pack) and I added some extra kidney beans and sweetcorn to it. This was a lunch that I cobbled together from stuff I could eat from the local (crap small) sainsburys. A homemade version would be free because you could leave out the oil that the packaged rice has in it.

Spaghetti or Beans on Toast (Free/1 x HExB)
Such a cop out, easy lunch (or breakfast). Here is 1 Healthy Extra B (bread) and a tin of spaghetti. Tinned spaghetti and tinned baked beans are both free. 

Pasta & Pesto (Free)
OK pesto isn't free, unless you make it yourself. This is the edamame pesto from appetite for reduction, made without the oil. The nooch in this recipe, isn't really enough to be worth synning when it's portioned out, because this recipe makes a LOT. I also added some broccoli in to cook with the pasta for the last 5 minutes or so, for this dish. A tiny sprinkling of nooch wouldn't really add any syns (it's only 0.5 for a whole tablespoon). 

Roasted Veggies & Couscous or Pasta
Another really easy one! I roasted up some butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, courgettes and asparagus, then made a quick easy sauce of some sauteed onions, garlic and some dried herbs and added a bit of tomato puree and water. Mixed in the veg and served it on top of couscous (for Simon)...

Pasta for me!

Bean Salad (Free)
 This was actually a recipe from the Slimming World Veggie Delight (I think it's called) book. It was heinous! I hated it. Probably because I used plain tinned kidney beans instead of the ones in Chili sauce that it told you to use. But either way, not a fan.  However, a salad like this (beans and veggies) with a better tasting dressing on would be a great lunch. You could add some pasta or rice to it if you wanted, to bulk it out. Keep it free by not adding any oil to the dressing.

Also, another thing I love is making some baked tofu to snack on. Tofu is free and if you don't add oil, it stays that way. I dunk it in soy sauce, rub some seasoning on and then baked it at 180C for 20 minutes, flip it and then bake for at least another 15, to get a good texture. When it comes out the oven, I usually sprinkle it with a bit more soy sauce or some salt.

I'd love to hear from other vegans who have tried slimming world - does it work for you? Do you find it restrictive? Does the constant meat and quark talk in group drive you crazehhh....?

Hope your having an awesome week.
Sal xXx


  1. I find that vegan recipes made my non-vegans are awful!

    And is it a normal thing to put canned spaghetti on toast? I've never heard about it until I was watching a British show.

    1. Not sure if it's 'normal' as such haha. But as a baked bean hater, this was always my go to. Also, my mum used to give it to me as a kid so it's kind of my comfort food now!

    2. That makes sense. It is uncommon for Americans to eat beans on toast. I feel like fi they do that is because their parents or British or they are vegans and picked up the habit. We need our food pre-mashes or thinly sliced to be on bread. XD

    3. It's very normal - and lovely!!

    4. Yes, I dont like it but it's popular in England as is baked beans on toast.

  2. I need to get back on SW, it's the only diet that ever worked for me but I stopped years ago (pre-vegan). Gained so much since :(
    I always hated quark too, and those scan bran crackers which are rank! I'm guessing alpro soy isn't free, are things like violife ok to have as a healthy extra?

    1. To be honest, I do follow loosely because some of the restrictions just don't work for vegans! Violife, no not really but as we get enough calcium generally through all the veg, I do occasionally have it as my HEB. No soy yogurts are free which annoys me and some are higher than others even though the nutritional info is almost identical. I syn all soy yogurt as 0.5 for 1/2 a cup.

      I also don't syn avocados or the fruit or veg in smoothies, even though I know I'm meant to!

      If you're on facebook, there's a slimming world vegan group. Some are more rebellious like me and some follow to the letter. :)

    2. Hi, I just subbed upon this thread whilst searching about violife.
      Do you happen to know how many syns are in violife products?
      I've been eating quite a bit of their spread and hard cheese as I have finally found a 'cheese' product that is edible lol.

    3. Yes unfortunately it's not a healthy extra as no calcium. So you go by the 20 calories = 1 syn rules. I know the slices are 3 syns each if that helps. X

  3. WOW soooooooo glad I found you. Keep up the excellent work with your photos of vegan food. Am struggling on SW. I had a op a few months ago an since then dnt like (WAIT FOR IT) chocolate, chicken & most fish. So you could say am a accidental VEGAN. Your Wonderful Wit cheered up my vegan journey.

  4. I've only recently turned vegan (from
    veggie) and I joined slimming world last week, I'm still trying to get my head around how it works properly and this has been really helpful for recipe ideas because I've been struggling to come up with stuff! There are some quinoa pots I found in Tesco by Dee's, they are completely free on SW & vegan which are handy to take to work for lunch or grab on the go! X

  5. I find slimming world to be kind of difficult as a vegan. It really limits what we can have.

    1. i have managed to lose 2 and a half stone in 16 weeks on s.w as a vegan. i make a lot of veg curry and bean salsa, overnight porridge or something on toast. i enjoy lots of s.p days as i like the 2 b choices

  6. Hey, nice to find another vegan slimming world person lol

    Thought I'd share a few meals that I make and love.

    Fry up is one of my favs! I have 2 onion linda mccartney sausages (free) small tin of baked beans, then in a pan I fry (in fry light, mushrooms, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, spinach and sliced courghette. Add some gerkins at the end too ad I love them. So tasty mmm!

    Omg I make the most amazingly tasty cream pasta! I fry onions, add mushroom, spinach and peas (any veg you like really) then I blend unsweetened almond milk with silkened tofu and some garlic paste pour it over the veg I've fried then add pasta, mmmm. Lol

    Breakfast is usually fruit, 2 weetabix with fruit, or jaffa cake alpen bar with fruit. And a cup of tea!

    1. Im a newish vegan wanna be, these recipes have helped alot. I have to lose loads of weight so thanks for this. Munch munch

  7. Hi there everyone: So glad to have found you. Just transitioning from veggie (most of my life) to Vegan. Thanks for the ideas. I lost weight when vegetarians were "allowed" two A's and two "B" choices so I'm going to give that a go. Yes I too am finding the Quark and meat ideas driving me insane...a Vegan mince shepherd's pie is my Go-to at the moment. And big pot of Chilli so I can have Chilli on jacket potato the next day!

  8. Quick question: does anyone know how many syns in nature & moi vegan cheese?? I know that violife is 2.5 per 25g but nature & moi is lower in calories! Anyone know??

    1. I'd email slimming world to check but til then go by 1 syn per 20 calories.

  9. Hi there,
    I followed slimming world on and off for years and had success when I followed it properly but I found it really restrictive as an Omni so feel like I would really struggle as a vegan. I had hoped that vegans might get more healthy extras but that doesn't seem to be the case, which is a shame. Still, I'm going to give it a go as I really need to lose 3 stone and this could be a good starting point! Thanks for the blog.

  10. Hi, Does anyone have any Slimming World Vegan Cake recipes they can share with me?

  11. Hey!
    So I’ve been following weight watchers, and they’ve yet again changed the plan to make it flexible for omnivores, but more restrictive on vegans. :’(
    I’m considering switching to slimming world with the hope it’ll be different/easier for me.
    Any advice? ❤️

    1. That sucks 😕

      Honestly I quit slimming world for good a while ago as it just doesn’t work for me. There are a few good groups on Facebook though for vegan slimming worlders that helped me a lot when was on the plan xx

  12. Just discovered this site.. .THANK God! Always loved SW as a way to lose weight but now trying desperately to be vegan and struggling to lose all the weight I've now piled on since coming off the plan. Will definitely follow some of this advice...thanks!

  13. Hi. Are there any vegan cheeses that are hxa? X

    1. I don’t do it anymore but not as far as I know, no.


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