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Begin the slim!

Chunky meatball minestrone stew

How it works…

Fill up on Free Foods

These are the foods you can eat in unlimited amounts…they’re the masterstroke that makes Food Optimising so simple and effective! Free Foods include lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs; cooked dried pasta, rice and couscous; beans and pulses, and most fresh or frozen fruit and veg. They’re the basis of our filling breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions, and you can snack on them freely between meals, too. Some have the extra bonus of being Speed Free Foods – the fruit and veg that are super-low in energy density and keep you slimming beautifully. Include at least a third of a plate of Speed Free Foods at every meal, where it makes sense.

Add in your Healthy Extras

Each day, choose a portion of wholemeal bread or cereal and a portion of milk or cheese. Pick from 350ml skimmed or 250ml semiskimmed milk, or 40g reduced-fat or 30g full-fat hard cheese (to keep things easy, we’ve built your bread or cereal Healthy Extra into each day’s menu).

Choose your Syns

Can’t do without your ketchup, glass of wine, crisps or chocolate bar? Relax! We’ve also factored in life’s little pleasures – with Syns. Foods that aren’t Free have a Syn value and we recommend you treat yourself to around 10 Syns a day. You’ll find an idea on each page, or see your Food Optimising book, available from group.

Make simple swaps Remember these few easy tips, too. When cooking, trim all fat off meat and remove skin from poultry. Use low-calorie cooking spray in place of oil or butter (only brands with one calorie or less per spray are Syn-free – you’ll find them in the cooking oils aisle at the supermarket). Swap sugar for sweetener and pick diet soft drinks, and if you take milk in your tea or coffee, deduct it from your Healthy Extra allowance or count ½ Syn per dash of skimmed.

That’s Food Optimising in a nutshell. Let’s get started…



Busy-morning brekkie: Pour fat-free natural Greek-style yogurt over 2 Weetabix (a Healthy Extra). Chop up your favourite Speed Free fruit and scatter over the top


Leftovers bubble & squeak: Boil potatoes until tender, then drain and mash with any Free chopped leftover cooked veg. Stir through cubed canned lean ham, season, then shape into patties and bake in the oven until golden brown. Serve with grilled halved tomatoes


Mushroom egg fried rice

(see recipe below)

Total Syns for the day: FREE

Mushroom egg fried rice


Serves 4


Ready in about 20 minutes

Low-calorie cooking spray

2 large eggs, beaten

4 large portobello mushrooms

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

250g white mushrooms, sliced

2 red peppers, deseeded and diced

1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced, white and green parts separated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp grated fresh root ginger

2 tbsp light soy sauce

250g dried rice (whichever type you have in your cupboard), freshly boiled

1 Preheat your oven to 220°C/ fan 200°C/gas 7. Spray a medium non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Add the egg and swirl the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook until set, then tip out onto a chopping board. Slice into thin ribbons and set aside.

2 Put the portobello mushrooms on a non-stick baking tray, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and sprinkle over the five-spice powder. Roast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until tender and juicy.

3 Meanwhile, spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Cook the white mushrooms, peppers, spring onion whites, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

4 Add the soy sauce and cooked rice to the pan and stir-fry until piping hot. Stir through the egg ribbons and spring-onion greens, then divide between bowls and top each with a roasted portobello mushroom.

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About Slimming World

Get your new-year weight loss off to a flying start with the January/February issue of Slimming World magazine Featuring amazing real-life transformations, fab and filling recipes, and tips and advice to help make 2017 your slimmest, fittest, happiest year yet. We’ve got 40+ pages of hearty, tempting dishes that will slim you down and fill you up, from crowd-pleasing family favourites to vibrant Tex Mex. There are even some scrumptious hot puddings on the menu, too. Revolutionise the way you approach slimming with our brilliant success strategies; find out how to wave goodbye to self-critical thoughts and negative talk and become your own cheerleader. And if in the past your weight-loss resolutions have lasted no longer than the turkey leftovers, discover how to make them really stick. The issue is packed with real-life stories of slimming success to inspire you, including cover star Steph, two sizes smaller, and 10 more Slimming World members who between them have lost an amazing 56st. Plus: a fab and filling seven-day menu plan; fun new ways to energise your new year; and our zen-sational guide to the ultimate home spa. Relax, read and rejuvenate your 2017…