Chips and wine are back.
After years of depriving ourselves of delicious, wholesome carbs and weekly pleasures of the foodie kind, the latest diet trend is a blast from the past in more than one way.
Slimming World is trending and a new generation of slimmers are showing up at groups all over Ireland.
Founded in 1969, Slimming World has been helping people eradicate their muffin tops for years but lately every second person we meet is counting ‘syns’ and sharing ‘syn free’ recipes on Pinterest.
So, why is this retro weight loss group back in vogue?
Well, it might have something to do with their down-to-earth approach. They seem to understand that woman can not live on protein alone; we need a little pinot grigio in the mix, and a bowl of taco fries wouldn’t go amiss either.
Their ethos? A little of what you enjoy does you good (and helps you stay on the straight and narrow 80 percent of the time).
The weekly group meet-ups are pointedly friendly and fun. The atmosphere is light and everyone has a good laugh while chatting about their progress and sharing tips and recipes.
The food plan famously champions chips (homemade, spritzed with Frylight instead of oil and baked in the oven) as a regular side and there’s no recording calories.
Even Aldi is getting in on the action, filling their chilled shelves with tubs of Quark (the Slimming World magic ingredient for fans of creamy dishes and desserts) and a ‘SlimFree’ range of frozen ready meals that Slimming World is reportedly rather peeved about.
The idea is simple and there are four steps:
1. Choose the majority of your food from the Slimming World Free Foods List (there’s some surprising options here – hello PASTA – and you can eat as much as you like).
2. Choose one item from the Healthy Extras ‘A’ list (this is mostly made up of high calcium foods such as cheese and milk).
3. Choose one item from the Healthy Extras ‘B’ list (high fibre foods such as cereals and wholemeal breads).
4. Add in between five and 15 ‘Syns’ (shorthand for synergy but effectively these are high calorie treats).
Fancy giving it a bash? You can try a seven-day menu for free here, but much of the magic lies in the weekly group meetings so it’s well worth signing up.
Hit your target weight and they’ll even give you free lifetime membership… this really could be the end of the fad diet.