Slimming World Basics: How Does it Work?

A rough guide on how Slimming World works along with my review.. see if Slimming World is for you before signing up.

So you have heard about Slimming World from you bestie, neighbour and long lost cousin Jen… You have been told you can eat a load of food and still shed those pounds you are so desperate to lose! But you think its ridiculous right? You are totally sure they have been signed up as a sales rep! Well you would be wrong… Slimming World is genuine, it’s not some crazy pyramid scheme and it’s been around for so long that they know their stuff!

This page is created to give you a rough idea of how Slimming World helps you to lose weight before you sign up. This page has not been created to take you away from joining Slimming World itself.. I am still a paid member and will always continue to do so even if I ever got to target! 

I have been food optimising with Slimming World for many years and I have had great long term success. (See here for my weight loss story)
For most followers the reason Slimming World works so well is because it does not eliminate anything from your diet. The naughty foods are kept in moderation and if the plan is followed the weight can drop off without feeling deprived or having a grumbling tummy.

Article Updated January 2024

The old school amongst us may remember the Red and Green days.. but they are long gone (even though I still know a lot of people who use that theory and still lose weight).

Many people feel they can “go it alone” using various pieces of information all over the net. That usually results in them appearing on my facebook group a few weeks later asking why they have not lost any weight. PLEASE make sure you have all of the facts and the exact plan before going forward. You could be doing something very crucial incorrectly which could result in no weight loss or even a weight gain.

How Your Basic Day Should Look

The plan is made up of 4 parts

  • Free Foods 
  • Healthy Extra A’s 
  • Healthy Extra B 
  • Syns 

Free Food

These are the foods that should make up the bulk of your diet. There are the foods of which you can eat as much as you like. No need to weigh or measure free foods, just eat until full/satisfied. Free Foods are generally naturally filling and low in fat. Think along the lines of vegetables, fruit, lean meats etc. 

Related Article: Free Foods Explained

Healthy Extras A & B

Healthy Extras should be eaten daily but must be weighed, measured and portion controlled. Going over these allowances or not counting them as Syns could result in weight gain and I have seen it happen many time.

Examples of Healthy Extras are bread, cereals, milk, cheese etc. 

Related Article: What is Healthy Extra A?

Related Article: What is Healthy Extra B?


Syns short for synergy a way of still getting in some of your favourites or naughty treats. Think Chocolate, crisps. cocktails, booze… the list is endless. Everything that is not a free food has a Syn value and can be found In the Slimming World database after signing up to the plan. 

Your Syn allowance depends on your weight and the allowance is greatly different between male and female. It is EXTREMELY important to be evaluated when signing up to Slimming World. This way you can ensure you are following the plan correctly and not overeating.  

Weekly Meetings

If you need extra support and a weekly weigh in the weekly meetings are definitely for you. They are NOT your comedy sketch type “fat meetings” they we warm, welcoming and such good fun! People make life long friends after attending the meetings and the support you receive from your consultant is valuable. 

Cost starts from just £5.95 per week which can seem steep but how much did you used to waste on takeaways?

Can I Join Online?

Absolutely! Slimming World also offers an online support option instead. Weekly meetings can seem daunting or just not for you. The online option offers support, motivation and access to everything the weekly meetings receive. I have been an online member for many years as group has never been my kind of thing and it works great!

How Much Weight Can I Lose?

Well this is really down to how hard you work and stick to the plan. 

On average I can lose 1 – 2lb per week.. this is pretty common around the Slimming World network. Always expect a bigger loss on week 1 (or sometimes week 2) and then this will drop. But this is common with any weight loss! If you stick to it you will lose weight. 

Love the sound of eating lot’s and still losing weight? Sign up to Slimming World here.

I highly recommend purchasing yourself a portion control plate to help you stick to the plan. Available here.

23 Responses

  1. Cheryl marcus says:

    Many years ago I lost a lot of weight using Slimmming World red and green days and it suited my lifestyle. Do you support this method if weight loss still and are there still books available for it please.

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      There are still a lot of people who follow this method. I don’t myself.
      I do believe eBay occasionally have the books x

  2. Mary Connell says:

    Hi just discovered your website….fantastic I love it! I still havent read my book after 3 weeks and Im vegan. Had to contact SW as there were no 7 day vegan meal plans.
    Im in menopause with a weird appetite. I like small meals and dont eat a lot of veg even as a vegan. Bread is my fav and I struggle to plan for meals.
    Im hoping this site gives me the kick up the butt I need but it would be nice to add vegan options instead of only vegetarian

  3. Sandy says:

    I keep reading different things about the extra healthy a and b! Has it changed…some say two from A and one from b, others say the other way round ???
    Many thanks

  4. Victoria says:

    Love Reading your blogs and food diary’s. Really helps me, I’ve lost 2st so far hoping to loose another 2! With your helpful website it’s alot easier ❤️ much love!

  5. Elaine Newcombe says:

    9th week at sw. Lost 12 n half pound. Getting me down a bit. Costing a lot of money the most I’ve lost in a week was 4 pound. First week. It’s bin pound n half Just want 3 off a week not happening

  6. robert says:

    im a bloke and I joined slimming world last year and lost 2 stone . sadly I put this back on as I found a lot of stuff confusing . im now back into it as I found your site so more easy to read about the plan in laymans terms . I have also printed of a lot of information that’s been helpful to me . ive now lost half a stone back 2 weeks with new confidence and your website to hand . my aim is to lose 4stone as im now at 18 stone but not rushing nothing as this time I want to embrace my weight loss with new confidence .
    many thanks and keep up the good work .

  7. Caroline says:

    Can you do the plan if you are breastfeeding? I had a baby4 months ago and in lock down seem to be carrying the weight from pregnancy and lockdown and need to do something to shift it. I did do slimming world before years ago and had great success when I kept track of everything, I’m just unsure if it would reduce my milk supply if I was to do it at this point ???‍♀️

    • Fatgirlskinny says:

      Hey 🙂 Slimming World suggest that joining the plan is fine once the baby is 6 weeks old and you are healthy. x

  8. Kim says:

    Your site is AMAZING! Thank you so much. I’ve just started back on SW and have lost 2.8lb in my first week 🙂 I love your recipes and your syn list is a god send. Thanks so much!

  9. Eunice Foundling says:

    Your site is fantastic. It pursuaded me to follow sw. I’ve not signed up yet-currently going it alone, but I probably will.
    Keep encouraging us, I’ve got 3.2 stone to loose, already down 11lb!

  10. leanne says:

    Hi, when it is the unspoken time of the month can you have extra syns or do I need to stick to 15? x

  11. gareth gordon says:

    Hi Fatgirlskinny,

    Im a 49 year old bloke who wants to loose weight. How do i get in touch with a local club, how much does it cost, can someone at the club plan my meals / give me a weekly what to eat list?


  12. Susan says:

    Hello friends
    Does anyone know if you can have warburtons batch seeded loaf 400g as healthily B please tyia

  13. Norah casey says:

    Thank you so much

  14. Stephen Paul Fellows says:

    I was with Slimming World about 3 years ago , and did quite well by losing nearly 5 stones. Then I got back into my old habits, and I have gradually put the weight back on. I am now back to my original weight of 23 stone 8 pounds. I have decided to try and lose the weight by myself, with out paying to join the Slimming World group. I am using your website, and also the free NHS Weight loss website, which I have downloaded on my smart phone.Today was my first weigh in after a week trying,and I have weighed in at 23 stone 5 pounds. I know I can do it, it just takes time and a little effort on my part. I am glad that I have found your website.

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