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 Five of my Slimming World Fast Forward Plan.

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

Slimming World – Tuesday 15 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
  • Five 85.2

Gutted, absolutely gutted, that is the only explanation I can give today. I got on the scales, expecting the scales to read 84.4. Following on from my 0.4 weight loss. the scales read new show 85.2 kg. Ordinarily, I would be still thrilled because I had lost weight. However, I was expecting it to be 84.4. In my mind, I put on. If you expect to lose weight and don’t lose, it’s devastating. So now I’ve got to tell my mind somehow not to worry and continue with this slimming or fast forward plan.

I know you should never weigh yourself every day. There are very few slimmers who do not weigh themselves every day. For me, I have a small ritual when I weigh. It’s got to be first thing in the morning after I’ve been to the loo, with nothing on and before I have my morning coffee.

My treats

Day 5 Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

I don’t want to say that I live for my treats. But it has to be said that I look forward to my treats. When I am Slimming World regular plan, I save all my syn for the evening, which is my danger zone. I will sit with two Hi-Fi bars, one bliss bar, three syns and a small packet of crisps, five syns or a 25g or Aldi chocolate seven syns.

However, you don’t have 15 syns to play with on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan. The plan uses a point-based system. Depending on where you are with your weight loss journey, you are allocated several units to have each day. The units range from 18 to 23. I am in 21 units. The treats are called snacks in The Fast Forward Plan. The values are only 1 or 2 units. For example

  • One sachet Cadbury Highlight Chocolate Drink – 1 unit
  • 150 ml of gravy, made from granules with water – 1 unit
  • One medium banana – 2 units
  • Two slices of wholemeal bread (400g loaf) – 2 units

I miss my treats. My syns plate is no longer filled with the lovely goodies. Instead I have one Cadbury Highlight Chocolate Drink and a packet of skips crisps. I should use the syns smarter. Therefore I don’t need to fixate on chocolate and sweeties. I have come to the conclusion that the issue with the regular Slimming World eating plan and syns is I use mine for sugar treats.

An New Breakfast

I love my new breakfast of poached egg on bread. On the regular Slimming Plan, I can use the bread as my healthy extra, and the eggs are free. The Slimming World Fast Forward Plan is a secret ploy to get you to look back at your habits of food optimising and see where you are making mistakes, with a helpful hint on how much weight you could lose if you kept to plan. I think my consultant may be very cunning.

What have I learnt about being on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan so far?

Finally, I have just figured it out! I have a sweet tooth, and I like chocolate, biscuits, and ice cream. However, they are all full of sugar. It’s all about the sugar! Somehow, I must get it in my head that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t eat chocolate. I am not missing out and not being deprived. It is a sugar addiction, just like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or drugs.

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 Two – Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

Day Two – Slimming World Fast Forward Plan

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

Slimming World Fast Forward Plan – Saturday 12 February 2022

  • Starting Weight: 86.2
  • Today’s Weight 85.8
  • Total Loss: 0.4 kg.

Yea, a weight loss.

Without having the correct groceries in the house, it wasn’t easy to decide what to have for breakfast. Additionally, I am a celiac (admittedly; I have fallen off the wagon, suffering the symptoms of gluten in my body and trying to rectify the situation), and some of the food options are gluten heavy. So today for breakfast I had two gluten-free Weetabix and not the regular Weetabix. I must make swaps.

This plan is rigid with a family, so I had to make various meals for my evening meal. I had mince, onions and tomatoes as a casserole and rice, and the family had burgers and chips. Same ingredients but cooked differently. My treat was a Cadbury light hot chocolate and a packet of skips crisp. Delicious.

Do I feel hungry?

I must be honest. Yes, I felt hungry. The cupboard with all my slimming world treats was yelling my name. It would have been so easy to get up and get the goodies. I have such a sweet tooth.

Why have I not taken a treat?

“This is going to sound awful, mean and fuelled by jealousy.”

I haven’t run to the treat box yet because of my jealousy towards another group member. I know this is mean, but it’s the truth.

There is a member in my group who has massive weight loss. The first time she was a member, she lost 10 pounds in her first week. I was thrilled for her. The following week, she lost 5 pounds and then 7 pounds. Each week, she had massive losses. There were some weeks when she put on, but you can count those on the one hand. She was slimmer of the week, slimmer of the month. You get the idea. She reached a three-stone loss in about three months and then left the club.

Two weeks ago, she re-joined the club. She had put on the weight she lost, plus two stones. I know she is sad about that, and I want to support her weight loss. In her first week, she lost 13 pounds. In her second week, she lost 3 pounds and was slimmer of the week. Please don’t get me wrong, she is a lovely lady and brings a lot of fun and laughter to the group. It’s just her success that I am jealous of, and I know it is my issue, not hers. I have been in the slimming world since December 2019 and still have 20 pounds to go. I plodded on with half a 0.2kg or 0.4kg. Finally reaching 22 kg over two years.

I told you this was selfish, but it is my truth. The treats will stay in the box, and I am staying on the Slimming World Fast Forward Plan. It’s only seven days, and this is day 2.