Slimming World is one of the most popular diets in Britain with over 1.3 million members. Many people follow the Slimming World Diet that aren’t members as well, myself included.

There’s no counting calories, no cutting out food groups and no limit on how much you can eat, so how does it work…

Slimming World

How The Slimming World Diet Works

The Slimming World diet is split into 5 food types. This doesn’t restrict you to 5 different food groups, instead, any food, drink or treat will fit into one of these categories.

Free Foods

Free foods are the main part of your plan and should make up most of your meals. As these are free they don’t count towards your Syn count (I talk more about Syns further down), you can eat as much as you like until you are full. This means there’s no weighing or measuring involved for these foods.

Free foods include rice, pasta, seafood, lean meats or meat alternatives such as Quorn pieces, vegetables and most fruits.

Check out my list of Free Foods here.

Speed Foods

Speed foods also fall into the free foods category so you can fill up on these as well. These are the majority of fruit and Vegetables. Speed foods are low in calories but fill you up, which helps you to lose weight faster.

Not only can you use them to increase your portion sizes but you can snack on these throughout the day to remove food cravings or hunger.

There are fruit and veg however that aren’t Speed Foods such as bananas. They’re still a Free Food but don’t count towards speeding up your weight loss as much as other fruits.

Check out my list of Speed Foods here.

Healthy Extra A


It used to be that you could only have one Healthy Extra A each day but as of the start of 2019, this has now been upped to two. It was changed to increase your calcium intake and add more nutrients to your diet.

Healthy Extra A’s are dairy products such as milk and cheese, or alternatives such as almond milk for vegetarians, vegans, people with intolerances or for anyone who generally doesn’t like dairy.

It is a great way to add some variety to your meal or add some flavour. I usually have a 250ml glass of semi-skimmed milk in the morning and 30g of cheddar cheese on my evening meal.

Check out my list of Healthy Extra A’s here.

Healthy Extra B

Healthy Extra B is where you get your fibre intake. You’re allowed one portion a day from this wheat-based food option such as bread or cereal. However, there are gluten-free alternatives.

Healthy Extra B is ideal for breakfast or for a sandwich at lunchtime. I prefer to have two medium slices of wholemeal toast for breakfast.

Check out my list of Healthy Extra B’s here.


Hartley 10 Cal Jelly

The Slimming World Diet allows you 15 Syns a day. These can be used to add extras to meals, snack on treats or even save them up for alcohol at the end of a long day.

Slimming World Calculate Syns based on a food‘s calories and how filling they are. If you’re a member, Syn values can be found on their website. If you’re not a member or your treat isn’t on their database you can work it out as 1 Syn equals 20 calories.

There is also a lot of information online from websites, forums and facebook groups. Someone may have already asked the same question you have.

Check out this list of low Syn treats to get the most out of all 15 Syns.

Extra Easy SP Slimming World Plan

As well as Slimming Worlds main plan there is also the Extra Easy SP plan which is a more restrictive version.

What Is The Extra Easy SP Plan

The Slimming World Extra Easy SP plan is designed to boost your weight loss. It’s not meant to be followed as an everyday plan, it’s used to help increase your weight loss and is centred around speed foods and proteins (SP).

The point of this plan is to fill your plates with half speed foods and half proteins. Trying to keep this balance right will reduce hunger and cravings.

Differences Between Plans

This plan is different as instead of being able to eat any free foods, you can only eat them if they are a speed food or protein. These are all the foods marked with an S or P in the slimming world book or online.

This means no pasta, potatoes, rice etc. There are also fruits such as bananas that aren’t speed foods so you need to be careful when choosing what you eat.

Healthy Extra A and B stay the same on this plan.

Each day you will have 10 Syns, which is less than normal. You can still enjoy your treats while boosting your weight loss. You just need to be more mindful of what you use your Syns on.

When Should I Do The Extra Easy SP Plan

You can choose to do this plan whenever you like or not at all, there is no requirement to ever do this plan unless you want the extra boost.

It’s ideal to do the Extra Easy Sp plan if your weight loss has slowed or stopped. If you have a big event coming up like a wedding, it can also be a great way to get those extra losses beforehand.

It’s not advised to do this plan for more than a week, but you don’t need to do it for a full week. You can choose to do it for just one day every now and again. If you don’t want to do it all day you can also do it with just the occasional meal.

How To join Slimming World

There are two ways to sign up to Slimming World. You can join a local group for a weekly fee. This allows you to go to weigh-ins every week and talk to a consultant. If it suits you better you can also sign up online. This means you weigh your self but get access to all the information you need online. Plus, you’ll get any help you need from their live chat support.

Both options will enable you to have first-hand access to updates, recipe databases and Syn calculators.

Your Slimming World Experience

Do you have any slimming world experience or success stories? Let me know in the comments below.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Naomi

    I never heard of this diet before but it’s very interesting. I really enjoyed how you explained it. You made it very simple and easy to understand.

    1. Luke

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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