Every week I receive many emails from followers asking for advice and desperate to know why they are not losing weight. Some at the end of their patience with Slimming World and about to give up on the plan altogether. 

Never fear, we have all had weeks/months without weight loss. I myself have had the same experience’s and I would like to share with you some common mistakes I regularly see in the Slimming World community and mistakes I have even made myself in the past. 

Slimming World is a plan, with rules.. and as much as some people believe rules are made to be broken, there are only so many rules you can break before you are “off plan” and gaining again. Slimming World have professional dieticians who work hard all year round to make sure that we are getting the best nutritional advice so why would we want to go against what they recommend? Also one of the things I cannot seem to get my head around is, why pay all of that money to attend a group or be a member online, only to go against what you are meant to be doing? 

Yes, I have many followers who still follow the old Red and Green days, or still don’t Syn Muller lights.. That is absolutely fine, if it works for you great! But eventually it might stop working so here are my top 10 Slimming World Fails.

1. Treat Nights

When I first joined Slimming World I would always have a Treat Night after weigh in. At first it didn’t seem to affect my weight loss but after a few months I started to see less and less on the scales and noticed I seemed to be having more and more “treats”. 

Many followers will go for a “Chippy Tea” after group.. and I am not saying it is 100% bad but I am saying it may be affecting your weight loss each week. A treat meal could end up being in the excess of 100 Syns and this is not far off most peoples weekly allowance altogether. 

The statement I often hear is “It doesn’t affect my losses..” but how do you know it doesn’t? Try a month without treat night and limit your treats to your allowed Syns only and see if your weight loss increases. 

Now I have a treat once a month.. Mr Fatgirlskinny and I will go for a meal or have a takeaway. It is something to look forward to.. but that week I will always find I lose less than the week before. 

2. Are You Removing The Fat?

A mistake I often see is people not removing the fat from their meat. Even if you are purchasing lean cuts or bacon medallions etc there is usually still some visible fat and this absolutely has to be removed. 

Also you 100% need to remove the fat before cooking too.. for example cooking a steak or a joint of pork. Remove ALL visible fat before putting in the pan or oven. 

Another tip is to drain the fat from lean mince and other meats and use kitchen roll to soak up any excess fat. Every little helps! I am very particular about making sure I remove every trace of fat! 

3. Weigh Your Healthy Extras

Healthy extras are a necessity of the plan but they have very specific weight allowances. Too often we become lazy or confident that we know what the weight “look’s like”.

Recently a friend of mine admitted she used to serve her Shredded Wheat bitesize by eye or by counting them as she has been on the plan for so long.. One morning her husband told her it looked a lot more than she usually has.. So she weighed it and it was 20g more than she should be having because the shredded wheat sizes had changed! She had been roughly counting them and whinging she wasn’t losing weight..

Always weigh them accurately with good scales because even a tiny bit more could mean you are actually having “Syns” and going over your allowance everyday.

4. Are You Checking The Syns?

Syns change constantly and something that could of been 5 Syns two years ago could now be 6 or 7.. Manufactorers change their recipes constantly and Slimming World have to keep their Syn database up to date with these. I know a lot of you go it alone at home or rely on information online. But the information you have may be incorrect.

Slimming World are often running free vouchers to join on your first week or discounts joining online. I highly recommend joining even if it just to check you are still doing everything correctly and to check the Syns of your favourite treats. Getting it wrong could mean you are consuming extra Syns per day resulting in no weight loss.

5. Too Much Sugar

One of the best things about last year for me was Slimming World giving Muller Light yogurts a Syn value.. I was elated. 

For me Muller Lights are just full of sugar and I actually know someone who was eating 10 of them a day! Yes 10! Not only was that almost 1000 extra calories a day on top of the rest of the food she was eating it was almost 140g of Sugar!!! 

I know Syns are there to be used but I do my best to limit myself to 5 Syns of sugary treats per day and try to use Syns on other things like savoury products. 

6. Not Everybody Has A Big Loss Their First Week!

9 times out of 10 the reason I see people giving up after their first week is because they didn’t have a big loss! Not everyone loses 10lb in their first week so don’t give up after 7 days if it isn’t working for you! Your big loss will come!

7. Free Foods Does Not Mean Unlimited Foods

The theory of “Free Foods” as always annoyed Mr Fatgirlskinny as he believes it encourages people to over eat and forget that food still has calories! You could NOT eat 30 chicken breasts, 10 tins of baked beans, plates and plates of Slimming World Chips and 300 Carrots a day along with all of your Syns and still lose weight. (Good luck fitting it all in and yes I know that is a bit of an exaggeration). 

Free foods should still be eaten with caution and try to teach yourself portion control or your eating habits will never change. Always fill your plate with Speed vegetables before carbs and only eat until you are full. Do not force yourself to overeat plates and plates of pasta if you do not feel hungry. Free doesn’t mean Calorie Free.

8. Are You Bored?

Boredom leads to cheating and cheating leads to gaining. I know we don’t all have time to create lavish meals every night but please do try to seek out new recipes and try new things. 

Every week I ask Mr Fatgirlskinny what he would like to eat if he could eat anything he wanted.. and then I do my best to find a Slimming World friendly alternative to this! Also we try to cook together so that we are also spending time together. 

Don’t forget to change your snacks too.. don’t eat the same thing every week because that is when the plan will become a chore.

9. Write Everything Down

If you don’t have access to the Slimming World planner App make sure you get yourself a Food Diary. Write down every single thing you eat because it is so easy to forget!!

In fact I even did it myself last week.. I started creating a meal using cheese thinking it would be my 2nd Healthy extra of the day but totally forgot we had cheese on our Baked potatoes at lunch time! I ended up having to Syn it.. but I could of so easily ended the day over my Syn allowance!

10. Are You Eating Enough?

It may sound silly but are you actually eating enough? Only having 1 or 2 Syns or no even no Syns will not make you lose more weight. Syns are there to be used! Also skipping Healthy Extra’s are wrong too.. this will not help you to lose weight. As I mentioned before the plan is there to be followed. Skipping Syns and Healthy Extras can result in no weight loss.

Please remember that these are suggestions from me and I have many years of experience with SW. What works for me may not work for others. But if you are finding your weight loss has hit a wall please feel free to try these suggestions! You may be pleasantly surprised 🙂

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57 Responses

  1. Toni Dinnes says:

    thanks for sharing this info

  2. Jules says:

    So great advice there, thank you for that!

  3. Great post! Me and the wife usually have a treat night once a month, but that’s our ritual. We know if we gain that particular week it could be do to that, but it’s not every week. Also worth checking how many syns you’re allowed. You’re allowed different amounts depending on what you weigh.

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Agreed.. people need to make sure they are on the correct Syns allowance.. Mrfatgirlskinny is allowed a lot more syns that me but he never gets close to using them. But he does make sure he uses a small amount a day 🙂

  4. Susan Baker says:

    Thanks lovely thst makes so much sense. I ahe not had my Healthy extras twice thjs week and not used enough syns. Its made me think about what I am doing. Love your blog !

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hey Susan thanks for the kind comments 🙂 Change things up next week and make sure every single day you are having all of your Healthy extras and make sure to have at least 5 syns a day.. see if things change xx

  5. lynn says:

    Hi just wanted to say that I agree with you on the Muller lights yogurts , I could never understand how they could be free , there are a lot of things about the way slimming world syn things for me , I love M&S meals especially the balanced for you ones which are fresh there low in calories , full of veg lean meat and very tasty yet slimming world give them high syn value , I still have them but use my sunshine on them , I would rather do that than buy meals which are classed as free but are tasteless ,

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Lynn I am a firm believer that certain products are heavily synned because they want you to eat their own products.. I am sure if you compared the nutritional values against a SW meal there would be the same or even less calories in it. But we will never know 🙂

  6. Julia Douglas says:

    Great article! I am with you on the Muller Light – not only sugar loaded but expensive, too! One a day is great but 10? Who can afford to keep that up?!

  7. Gerlinde Walch says:

    Sound advice you get into a SW habit and think it is fine, thanks for hints!

  8. Lorraine Milczarek says:

    Writing down is a great bit of advice I really need to follow this especially your A and B section and definitely how many sins you have !

  9. Denise says:

    Brilliant read thanks for sharing, stopped for a breather whilst manically cleaning my house and so glad I did. Just about to return to SW but my loss has always been so slow then I get discouraged. What you have written reinforces a lot x

  10. Kay Richardson says:

    I know exactly where your coming from. I got away with after weigh in treats for a while but soon caught up with me. I must admit I still have the occasional Muller light though and syn it, suppose it’s my guilty pleasure!! Love reading your blog !

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hiya Kay 🙂 there is absolutely nothing wrong with the odd Mullerlight.. hey I even use them in cooking sometimes but the amount some people were eating a day and calling them “free food” lol I am just glad that SW took note and made them have a Syn value so that it might make some stop and take note x

      • Gosha says:

        Hi,what a great article!! I’m on SW for 2years pkus,but lately I find I just don’t loose anything! Yes I know where I’m going wrong!! But for some reason I can’t stop myself. I cook all SW meals,have SW bfast,but when it comes to chocolate I just can’t help it 🙁 can u please explain to me the healthy a&b as I never understood them. X

  11. Linda McCAIG says:

    Thank you. All so very true.

  12. Anne says:

    I want to lose 20lbs but because I am within the bmi healthy zone I’m not allowed to join SW online. I live in France where there aren’t any groups. So how do I find out how many syns I’m allowed? I was going to aim for 5 a day.

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      If SW recommend you not following the plan I would suggest the same thing hun. 20lb is a lot of weight to lose for someone who is in a healthy BMI.

      • Anne says:

        I’m 5ft 4″ and weighing in at 133lbs whereas I always used to weigh 112lbs and be a size 10/12. Now i am a size 14, so I’m not skinny! Even my doctor says that I could do with losing weight… Loving your posts btw, super recipes!

        • Fatgirlskinny says:

          Okay that is fair enough 🙂 Your allowance would be 15 Syns a day so make sure you use them all or at least 10 x

          • Anne says:

            You are a star! Thank you! I was going to go near starvation but having read this article I will take your advice of having 10-15 syns. Merci bien!

  13. Thanks for the article did not eat my Syns last week and gained 1/2 not sure ?

  14. Gillian Evans says:

    I love all your advice so thank you for taking the time to remind us of these important facts. I am going it alone as I only have about 1/2 stone to loose……I’m not sure SW would let me join..I’m at the point of making sure I don’t get to having to loose a stone, then more!!!! I do find the best thing is ro write down everything i eat in a day.

    • Bear says:

      You will be able to join, regardless of how much you want to lose (unless you are underweight already)
      I only have a stone to lose but am finding the groups fantastically supportive!

  15. Debbie Johns says:

    Great post dearie. Inspiring too. Going to pass it onto my daughter as she’s just rejoined our local group. Hugs xx

  16. Joanne says:

    Hi I’m wondering if to start SW – I’ve tried WW in the past (7 years ago) and lost 15 pounds but it doesn’t work for me now.

    Is SW easy to follow please? I’m 5ft 4” and weigh about 12 stone but not sure how many Syns I would be allowed either?

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      I hugely favour SW over WW.. 🙂 It is easy too follow. Try joining group or grabbing the latest magazine for more info.

  17. Elaine says:

    Lost 2 stone with sw but cannot afford to go to classes anymore have started to put weight on is there anything I can do at home to help get rid of the weight I have gained

  18. Elda says:

    Awesome, thank you so much for sharing. The information is so true… you get used to it that sometimes we forget the detail.

  19. Sammy says:

    Wow. Loved this. I never really thought about all of the little things I do that make such a big difference. I think one of my worse habits is over indulging on free foods and I was one that would eat 5 mullers a day ? also I always have toast and lots of butter after weigh in. I’m depressed cos im fat but fat cos im depressed. I’m going to be more aware of what I’m doing now thanks to you xx

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      I am glad you enjoyed the post Sammy 🙂 We all do little things we shouldn’t that stop our weight loss. I don’t even keep butter in the house now so theres no temptation.. I am Lucky that my husband doesn’t like it anyway 🙂 good luck xx

  20. Sue says:

    Thank you for this. Am just coming to the end of my fourth week. Last week I lost half a pound & have to admit was disappointed & it resulted in a “treat day”. You’ve made me feel more focused :o)

    With regard to Muller Lights, as Iceland have been giving them away with 3 slimming meals, I’ve been using them to make the Healthy Oats for breakfast The vanilla custard one is delicious with oats & fruit & still only one syn.

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      There is nothing wrong with having the odd Mullerlight.. it was the excess some people were eating them to. I myself have the odd one and use them for some recipes.. With your healthy oats.. try using syn free plain fat free greek style yogurt and frozen berries.. its delicious and far less sugar x

  21. Jane says:

    Great article thank you x

  22. Helen says:

    Just to say I started on the SW plan on Tuesday and loving the info from your site, my problem is I don’t do sweet treats, i just don’t like them, is it ok to eat more fruit even though the sugar levels are high?
    So far I have only used 2-3 syns per day as struggling with what else to eat, I hate chocolate, cake and biscuits. I have never bought pre-prepared food, as i have always cooked from scratch….

    Some tips or pointers would be really helpful.
    Also my nearest SW group is over an hours drive!!!!

    Thank you,

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hi Helen

      No one is forcing you to eat your syns.. if you prefer eating free foods that is fine. I would definitely limit the sugar including fruit. If you werent following Slimming world what food would be a treat for you?

  23. Elizabeth Phillip says:

    Hi, I’ve sent you an email but will comment on here too… Yes I have treat days where I just binge ?…. I do enjoy it then limit my syns to 5 a day give or take….
    Anybody do this.??
    My problem is though that I seem to just be maintaining .. Its been like it for a month now
    Help and advice please

  24. Morine Barnes says:

    I Morine Barnes is 13st 6.2lbs. I got 4st 6.2lbs FAT to lose. Either WW & Gym or SW & Zumba. Which one would suit me.

  25. Lynn Goetze says:

    I’m with you on that, SW say that no food is forbidden yet refuse to Syn Aldi or Asda equivalents, I no longer buy SW meals out of principle, the majority are too spicy and expensive for me anyway, I rarely eat ready meals anyway as I love cooking. I struggle yet I weigh & syn everything, no treat nights ever, no cheats either, I syned 15jellybeans this week & gained half pound! I’m eating approx 1050 Cals per day and exercise regularly, I lose for 2weeks then maintain then gain, this seems to be my pattern, I’m 1st 11lb down which has taken 8 months, many diet diary’s, (fine) consultations with GP (fine) sas logs (didn’t help) nobody can work out why, I’m not giving up but I’m getting p’d off!

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hi Lynn

      Feel free to use the contact form on the website to send me an email direct. Include a few days of your food diary and ill see if i can suggest any changes 🙂 I have worked with quite a few people and changed their gains into losses with a few little tweaks 🙂

  26. Dawn says:

    Hi I joined SW 3 weeks ago . Week one I gained 1. Week lost 1.5 and I’m in week 3 now .. so essentially .5 loss in 2 weeks ?… my leader says my diary is fantastic and couldn’t suggest any changes .. so this week I’ve dropped off the gym to see what difference it makes .. any help appreciated .. ps I don’t eat anything processed and cook all from scratch .. even make my own baked beans .. so hard to keep going . I need to lose at least 2 stone … Dawn ..

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hi Dawn

      A loss is still a loss but it does sound like theres something not quite right… you should have definitely had a bigger loss by now.

      Drop me your food diary via my contact form and I can take a look and maybe notice something or make a suggestion.


  27. Loraine says:

    Hi, I have been on SW for just over a year and have lost 2 stone 10lbs, although my journey has been very up and down. We lost our consultant several months ago and had to wait about 4 months for a new permanent one, in that time loads of members left and weight losses were very poor.
    We now have a lovely consultant and things seemed to be looking up, but recently I have been struggling again, I gave up alcohol, one of my big weaknesses, for October for charity. I expected better weight losses, but the first week I lost 1lb then last week 2lbs, which I was happy with. This week I thought I would try extra hard, I only had 10 syns a day, did 2 hours body magic every day, weighed measured and counted absolutely everything and only lost 1lb.
    I still have 2 stone 4lbs to go to my first target and then want to lose at least 2 more stones, so I’m not even close to my target weight yet. The thought of another two years before I get to target is making me feel like I will never get there as I never seem to have the big losses of others in the group.
    Although people keep telling me how well I have done, I feel like a failure when others have lost 2 or 3 stones in just a few months and are reaching target and I still have so far to go and tiny losses.
    I often only lose 1/2 lb or maintain and I don’t know why this is, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hi Loraine, Check out my other article too

      You are welcome to send me a copy of your weekly food diary via my contact form. I can see if I can make any suggestions.. but just remember slowly but surely wins the race 😉 You will get there one day. Even when you get there what will change? You will have to maintain that weight and still keep eating in the same way or you will gain it all again 🙂 Yes you will be thinner but its not like you can get to you ultimate weight and then go back to eating everything in sight? Just enjoy your life and take any loss you can get xx

  28. Anna says:

    hi, I started slimming world two weeks ago and the first week I did lose some weight but i found this week that not only did i not loose any weight i also gained 0.1 kg, i know its not much but i was just wondering if that’s normal for people starting.
    i have been sticking to it as well, i don’t go over my amount of sins and i only eat free food so i don’t really understand why i put on weight instead of losing it.

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      hi Anna
      Feel free to send me a message via my contact form and send me your food diary for a few days. I can look over it and check you are doing everything okay xx

  29. Marian says:

    Hey Sammy,
    Well done for taking control of the situation. Whatever shape your body is, it is still your “home”, so try to make peace with it (it is hard, I KNOW). Be thankful for all the things it allows you to do, and then look after it and try to start loving it (at least a bit, then a lot). Treat yourself with the patience and love you would treat your best friend. Best of luck in your weight loss journey. Don’t give up!

  30. Lisa Dimbylow says:

    Great article! I find I never lose when I’m due my period or even mid-cycle – it’s so frustrating! Any tips?

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      I wish I did but I am exactly the same. I have learned to just give in to the cravings and not worry about it too much 🙂

  31. Dennis Magee says:

    My wife has been losing on slimming world and has not changed her diet since starting. She has joined the gym doing at least 3 class a week for the past two weeks and is now gaining on the scales how can this be ?

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Either gaining muscle or she’s not realising she is actually eating more because of increased appetite after exercise 🙂

  32. I want to lose weight 1/2 stone please

  33. D. says:

    Thank you! I didn’t eat syns in my first week and gained 1 1/2 llbs and it was really demotivating. I’ll have to see for week 2.

  34. Nikki says:

    THANK YOU 😊 Your article has now become my Bible of Slimming World. I have very recently joined (30/03/22) and have received lots of information from people on what to do and what not to do. But reading this has given me a breath of fresh air and the determination not to sack off because I didn’t lose on my first week. SW is all new to me and look forward to post on Instagram 🙂x

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