I like calorie counting – I think!

I like calorie counting – I think!

I like calorie counting – I think!

I’ve been a member of Slimming World since December 2018 and I have lost three stone ten pounds. I’m thrilled with the weight loss, but the weight loss has stalled in the last 18 months. This could be because I have a secret! When I lost the three stone ten pounds, I was also calorie counting. I know you shouldn’t do this on a Slimming World diet, but I couldn’t help it. It has been ingrained in my psyche. To lose weight, you have to have a calorie deficit. The philosophy of Slimming World is that you have free foods and can eat as many of those as possible. Some of those free foods are high-protein foods like meat, fish or eggs. Other foods are high-carbohydrate foods like potatoes, pasta and rice.

I know that my body doesn’t do very well with carbohydrates. For example, I put on a pound or two for the next 48 hours whenever I eat rice. It has become a habit within my household that rice will not be consumed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Because my weigh day is on a Thursday evening and I want to have a weight loss. This becomes very restrictive when you are a celiac. Although gluten-free pasta is available, it’s just not as nice as rice or potatoes. Hands up here, I would be thrilled to sit down to a bowl of white rice and salt for a meal. I love rice. I find it to be one of my comfort foods.

Calorie Counting with Slimming World

I have therefore decided that I am going to put the Slimming World diet, or I should say, healthy eating plan, to one side for a few months, sort of. Although I intend to go to my Slimming World group every week and weigh in because I like the group camaraderie. I also like the accountability of weight control and management. “My fitness pal” has already been downloaded to my mobile phone and will start calorie counting to lose weight over the next two months on my weight loss journey. I will not inform my group leader that I am doing this, as I intend to run both plans side by side, as I did previously.

I will use the Slimming World philosophy of the food I will eat. But instead of looking at the foods as free, I will weigh each item and count its calorific number. For example, suppose I will have a jacket potato, baked beans and side salad, which is all free on the Slimming World plan. In that case, I will have the potato but will weigh it for the calorie intake, and the beans and side salad. I will follow the Slimming World plan kind of. I will keep a log of what I eat and my weight over the next two months to see the difference. But I want to see if this will work.

As it stands at the moment, I only have another two stones, but I want to lose that two stones. Then I will create some low calorie, high filling and exciting meals. I want to enjoy my food again and plan meals; I will look forward to eating. For example, a Roast Chicken on a Sunday. It also has to be a plan that I will then be able to stick to long term. I understand the calorie deficit way of dieting. It has worked for me before. I know the number of calories my body needs to use daily to survive. My Basal Metabolic Rate is 2032. I can eat up to 2032 calories to maintain my current weight. Anything over that, I will put on weight. Anything less than that, I will lose weight.

Food should not be banned

I am fed up with looking at food and thinking they are naughty, bad or not on the plan. The thought of never eating some foods is driving me directly to that food. Then it’s not just a nibble or one biscuit; it’s the packet. I have absolutely no intention of going through my life like that. I will not look at a gin and tonic and think I can’t have that because I’ve used all my sins for today. Life is for living and enjoying. If I have to count or be on a diet, I cannot see the point for the rest of my life.

This makes me sound a little sad or despondent? But I’m not. I’m feeling genuinely energised. I’m looking forward to eating what I want to eat in the next two months and when. But within a calorie-counting regime. Also, knowing that I can eat anything and still lose weight. I can decide to have a fish finger sandwich with butter and tomato sauce when I want and not worry that I already had my healthy B or save my healthy B for a HIFI bar. Now I will have the opportunity to decide what I will eat and when. If I want to eat four slices of bread, I will. (Of course, Gluten-free bread is OK, but you just can’t eat that many slices).

I will keep you informed about how I’m doing, and what the result will be? When I weighed myself this morning, and I was 86.2. I have been very strict with myself and followed the Slimming World diet the last couple of days, and I have actually put on half a kilo. This is probably why I’m looking at an alternative.

Slimming World has about 2000 calories per day

Interestingly, suppose you actually work out the calorie content of an average day’s slimming world eating plan. In that case, you’ll be surprised to find out that calories workout to be around 2000 per day. That has to be wrong, and therefore when you stick to plan, you don’t permanently lose weight. If you are on a Slimming World eating plan, try it. Count calories for just one week, and see the results.

I’m looking forward to calorie counting. I have my tools ready, and I will let you know the weight loss I have achieved with my new calorie counting action plan.

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten-Free Bread

On the Slimming World Fast Forward plan, I rediscovered one of my favourite breakfasts. Poached egg on toast. Ok, so I may have made one slight change. I’m not too fond of soggy toast. I don’t know why, but just the thought of it turns my stomach. My poached egg is always on bread. Typically I would add some butter to the bread, but I am trying to save syns and calories.

Eggs are a bit of a complex issue when poached. The poached egg has to be cooked just right. The white is not translucent, but the yoke is soft and runny. Having said that, the egg is the easiest part of the ingredients. The bread is a complicated component.

Why have gluten-free bread?

I am a celiac, which means my body cannot tolerate gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten is the ingredient that makes bread, biscuits, and cakes taste divine. It is also the ingredient that combines all the other ingredients together. It gives food that stretches feel. If you take one component out of a recipe, it changes the whole product and unfortunately, bread is one product that desperately needs gluten!

Gluten-free bread is very hit and miss. Bread depends on gluten for its delicious taste, its consistency and strength. Some gluten-free bread tastes like cardboard, and that is a compliment to the bread. It’s dry, tastes of nothing, and you need half a pound of butter to eat it. Not only that, the crusts are inedible, and the size of a cream cracker and will tear when spreading butter.

What is strange about a gluten-free loaf is that it seems to last forever. Regular bread will eventually go mouldy. I have yet to see a gluten-free loaf go stale. I dread to think how the manufacturer does this. Being a celiac means I indulge in bread infrequently. It is very much a treat.

I have made some homemade gluten-free bread after buying a particular bread-making machine. The ingredients are as long as your arm. However, the bread had a very short life. It tastes fantastic once it’s finished cooking. You have to eat it immediately. It doesn’t keep very well, and I found I did nothing but eat bread for the next few days. Starting with sandwiches, then toast, and finally, bread dipped in egg. Sometimes the bread would end up in the bin. It was a very dense bread, and the time and cost weren’t worth the time and effort.

Gluten bread on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

The price of gluten-free bread is also extremely expensive. One small loaf of Tesco Free From Seeded Bread (Gluten-free) has about 15 slices that cost £1.80. A comparable size loaf of standard bread costs circa £0.80. Other gluten-free bread has around eight slices and can cost £1.95. Getting a more expensive loaf doesn’t mean that it will taste any better. Gluten-free bread has become easier to find and purchase over the last few years.

Tesco Free From Seeded Bread

Tesco Free From Seeded Bread. I have found a gluten-free bread that tastes nice. It’s not real bread, but it’s the closest thing I have come across. Unlike other gluten-free bread, it is soft to the touch, especially when you give it the fresh test squeeze you do with ordinary bread, There is a little bounce back, and if it were regular fresh bread, you would probably put it back on the shelf. However, for a loaf of gluten-free bread, it’s good.

More importantly, each slice of bread is 107 calories, with is comparable to other loaves. Each slice is tiny, smaller than a small loaf. It is made with rice flour, tapioca maise and potato starch and topped with a few seeds. You can see the whole ingredients below. The slice is slightly thicker than a regular sliced loaf, which is pleasantly surprising. Tesco suggests that the bread will be good for four days once opened. I have kept mine for longer with no adverse effects and no change in softness or taste.

This bread also makes delicious sandwiches. I added some coleslaw as the bread needed a little liquid. The butter must be soft as the bread will tear if too hard. If you are going to have toast, you won’t notice any difference in any style of bread. Once you have some jam or marmalade on, you think it was regular bread. Indeed, my friends have never noticed any difference when they have a slice, which is excellent praise certainly. Eating gluten-free bread is much lighter than traditional bread, and you are never left with that heavy feeling after eating.

Gluten-Free bread means free from everything

One of the sad things about being gluten-free is that the manufacturer seems to lump all things free together, so it is also wheat free and milk free. It does, however, contain eggs. You can freeze this bread but will have to wait two hours before using it. I have had no luck with freezing bread, as it always seems to taste stale.

Ingredients – taken from Tesco website

I have listed the ingredients for the bread, which will make it easier for you to decide to try it. There are a lot of items included in the bread. You can see this in the list below.

INGREDIENTS: Water, Rice Flour, Mixed Seeds (10%) [Sunflower, Linseed, Poppy, Millet], Tapioca Starch, Maize Starch, Potato Starch, Bamboo Fibre, Rapeseed Oil, Dried Egg White, Psyllium Husk Powder, Yeast, Humectant (Vegetable Glycerol), Stabilisers (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, Xanthan Gum), Sugar, Salt, Preservatives (Calcium Propionate, Potassium Sorbate), Apple Extract.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I like this bread. I have, in fact, purchased four loaves since finding them on the shelves in Tesco. On a score out of 10 for this bread, I would give it an 8. It’s one of the best tasting bread celiacs can eat, and it is a reasonable price. You can eat the bread without butter (but some liquid will need to be added, coleslaw or a runny egg). It is worth trying to see what you think. Would love to hear your feedback.

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This is day Six of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

This is day Six of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Starting weight on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan: 86.2

Days on the Fast Forward plan

  • One 86.2
  • Two 85.8
  • Three 85.4
  • Four 84.8
  • Five 85.2
  • Six 84.8

Struggling today

I am struggling to stay on the Plan today, as the food selection is limited. Even though I’m eating healthy, the meals feel monotonous, and with yesterday’s gain, I do not see the results I want. I am tempted to give up, but I only have tomorrow left. However, after finishing the Fast Forward, I am now looking to spice up my “food optimising” and make it more exciting.

Slimming World Fast Forward Plan day 6

While the food selection is limited, I have to remind myself that the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan is meant to re-start my weight loss. After finishing the plan, I know I can add more variety to my diet. There are plenty of healthy and delicious recipes available. I have been a member for a long time and have ALL the recipe books. I know that adding in these recipes will make my diet more exciting, but I will also lose weight at the same time. As I mentioned above, I won’t give up on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan – but use it as a fresh starting point to help me reach my ultimate weight loss goals.

Day 6 of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

As you can see, I am feeling a little despondent today. The weight has come down again. The plan is hard work. I look at the family’s food and feel a little envious. However, I also hear that Bliss bar yelling at me in the cupboard. I know I need to lose weight, but it should be easier than this. The sad bit is that it will be a lifelong battle once I get to my target weight. But I will keep going – I know this is worth it!

It seems so sad that I have to keep watching what I eat so that I won’t put on so much weight. The real question is, why is the way we look so important? Why are we judged on our physical appearance? Our outward appearance shouldn’t be as important as the person we are inside. When I weighed more, people thought I was stupid. As I was losing weight, that attitude changed.

In conclusion, I know that one of the most important things I can find is a healthy and sustainable diet for weight loss. The Plan may be restrictive with food selection, but this is only meant to be a temporary measure. Once I have finished the the next two days, I will add more variety to my diet. This will mean that the plan I follow should not be too restrictive, as this will make it challenging to stick to in the long run. Roll on tomorrow and weigh in.

I am looking forward to going back to the more extensive selection of “Food Optimising”. I never thought I would miss it.

This is day Four of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

This is day Four of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

Slimming World Fast Forward Plan – Monday 14 February 2022

Starting weight on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan: 86.2

Days

  • One 86.2
  • Two 85.8
  • Three 85.4
  • Four 84.8

Total loss: 1.4 kg. – Yea, another weight loss.

This is day four of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

I have found a fantastic breakfast on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan. I missed the option when I first glanced at the book the first time.

  • Two small slices of wholemeal bread (400g loaf), toasted,
  • Topped with two poached eggs.

There had to be one swap, gluten-free bread, and I didn’t toast the bread. I’m not too fond of soggy toast. But it is filling and keeps me going until lunchtime.

Today is looking much better than the weekend. For lunch, I had a salad followed by a Muller Light yoghurt. One of my favourite yoghurts, and it’s gluten-free. I am at work, so I don’t have a lot of free time to think about what I am not eating. Time vanishes when at work. Our evening meal will be a second helping of roast chicken. Me cutting back on the amount of chicken means we get two roasts. How wonderful!

I am thrilled that I am now 84.8 kg. I am certainly on target to get that 3 kg loss I want. When I was getting dressed this morning, I took one of my favourite dresses out of the cupboard and tried it on. Last week I couldn’t do the button up over my chest. Today I could do the buttons up. Yes, there was a little gap, but I could wear it if I used a safety pin. I am not going to, as I don’t want to have that kind of aid. My summer wardrobe may be a lot bigger than last year.

A Leap of Faith

I gave away all my sizes 48/50 (the UK sizes 20/22) clothes. It was so nice to hand them over to someone who needed them. It was, however, one of the most complex decisions I have had to make. You always have in the back of your head. What if I need them again? Once they are gone, I can’t get to them. I hope that this will mean that I will never have to buy that size again. Your old clothes are like a warm cosy blanket you can snuggle in and hide your weight. You know they are too big to look awful, but it’s what you are used to wearing and having learned to hide.

I do have a suit I would love to wear. I repurchased it in 1992; it is a size 44 (UK size 16) that was always snug. I can get the skirt over my hips but can’t quite do the buttons up. Every step helps.

Day One on Slimming World Fast Forward

Day One on Slimming World Fast Forward

Starting weight: 86.2

Day One 86.2 – Friday 11 February 2022

Yesterday’s Slimming World weigh-in was not good.  In fact, it was a disaster. For the last 18 months, I have stayed around the same weight.  Putting on a pound here, losing a pound, gaining half a pound.  It is driving me mad.  Besides that, the fee has increased to £5.95, and it seems I am just throwing away money.  I can’t seem to get a break. 

I’m confident that I am following the plan correctly, but the figures are not showing on the scales. My consultant recommended I try the “Slimming World Fast Forward Plan” and give that a go for a week and see what happens.  I have agreed and will write about my experiences here. I couldn’t find much after doing some research. By all accounts, it is a deep, dark secret. Don’t know why, as it seems to be a slimmed-down version of the normal plan but weighing and measuring your food items.  The plan is more restrictive in food selection. However, who hasn’t been on the slim fast diet, the 5:2 diet, all of which restrict foods.  I thought I would give this “Slimming World Fast Forward Plan” a shot and see what happens.

Day one on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

My first obstacle was breakfast. I am a small business owner, and I network with other businesses. That means that I get up very early and join other businesses for breakfast. This consists of bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast and lots of tea and coffee. On the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan, the full English is out.  Today I sat with a bowl of cornflakes and some fruit. This is not my go-to breakfast. However, it’s on the plan. I am trying very hard not to be resentful of their full English breakfast, but there is resentment! Sometimes I hate being on a diet.

I followed with a lunch of jacket potato, baked beans and a salad. What I wanted was fish and chips, but as I keep reminding myself, a size 14 pair of jeans is just around the corner.  Not only that, I can then tuck my shirt into my jeans instead of hanging it outside. A big win for a slimmer.

Is the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan easy? How was day one?

The simple answer is yes and no. Yes, because it takes away a lot of decision making on food away. There is a limited selection of items to eat. There is no substitute. You select your choice and that’s it. You have to weigh your portions, which differ from the regular Slimming World Plan. Very simple and easy to follow.

No, it’s difficult as the food choice portions are small. I think that if you counted calories; you consume about 1000 per day. The Fast Forward Plan is for slimmer’s who need a quick win. Which at the moment is me!