JACKIES ULTIMATE EATING OUT GUIDE YOUR GUIDE TO EAT OUT AND LOSE WEIGHT!! Can you really socialise and slim? Can you eat out at your favourite restaurants and still lose weight? Can you still tuck into a hearty portion at the pub without seeing a gain at the scales the following week? When you’re Food Optimising – yes you can! Because Food Optimising is based around normal, everyday foods – the kind of foods you’ll see on every menu – eating out can be a breeze! Becoming aware of what to look out for on your menu – the good and the not so good – is your first step to making a great choice every time! BE PREPARED!! If you're going to a pub or restaurant for a meal, it can be helpful to ring ahead or look online for a copy of the menu. Making healthy choices is much easier when you know what lies ahead! Eating Free and Superfree Food throughout the day and/or saving your daily Syns for the meal can open up many more choices from the menu. And if you you just can’t resist the bread basket, knowing you have your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice left means you don’t have to – just go for a wholemeal roll! READ BETWEEN THE LINES... Knowing the menu lingo can help you steer towards the healthier options – and away from the high-Syn meals: Menu items described as grilled, steamed, griddled, roasted, baked or boiled are often healthier choices. Watch out for items described as deep-fried or battered, pan-fried, breaded, creamy, Alfredo, au gratin and those that come with creamy or cheesy sauces – they tend to be oily and packed with Syns Other high-Syn menu items include mayonnaise style dishes like prawn cocktail, pastry dishes including quiches, pies and traditional puddings, oily side orders like garlic bread, onion rings and breaded mushrooms. If you really can’t live without onion rings when you go out, check Syns Online so you can enjoy them safe in the knowledge you’re Food Optimising! MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR CHOICES...NOT THE CHEF! Don't let the restaurant scupper your slimming. Ask for vegetables without butter and with sauces on the side. That way you choose how much to enjoy. Many restaurants or pubs serve the main course with a choice of potatoes – chips, new potatoes, mash or jacket. If they don't ask you which you want, it's up to you to tell them! And if your meal doesn’t have the option of a healthy side, like a jacket potato, boiled spuds or rice, just ask – most places will happily oblige! If you get caught out and your Sunday roast arrives with boiled and roast potatoes, ask one of your friends to swap their new potatoes for your oily roasted ones… or count 4 Syns per roastie! EATING OUT PUB GRUB Pub grub is easy for Food Optimisers, whether you nibble at the Nag’s Head or feast at the Fox and Hounds! Steaks, fish, jacket potatoes and salads are guaranteed to be available and American, Mexican and Italian influences are on many menus. There are lots of ways to save Syns with other dishes too. A great way to plan for a pre-arranged pub meal is to see if the pub has a website with the menu on. If your pub trip is impromptu there are always fail-safe Food Optimising favourites. take a look at these Wheatsheaf wonders... Starters: Prawns (without batter) are fab for an Original or Extra Easy day, ask for the cocktail sauce on the side so you choose how much to use (1 level tbsp thousand island sauce is 2½ Syns). Huge slices of melon, a refreshing start to a meal, are Free on Green, Original and Extra Easy. For a meaty main course choose the Original or Extra Easy plan. Lean steak, gammon, roast chicken (with the skin removed) and bakedsalmon are great choices. Enjoy with salad, new or jacket potatoes (Healthy Extras on Original) or with lots of Free vegetable accompaniments like carrots and broccoli. If you prefer a veggie dish, go Green and pile up the salads and rice. There are plenty of veggie dishes on today’s pub menus. Because tomato sauces are lower in Syns than the creamy sauce varieties, go for roasted vegetable pasta (around 3 Syns*), vegetable lasagne (7 Syns*) or vegetable chilli (3½ Syns*). *Per average serving Watch out for… items such as pies and Ploughman’s: deceptively high in Syns. An average steak pie is 25 Syns and a Ploughman’s with a plate of French bread, butter, pickle, a huge wedge of cheese and pork pie means you could be tucking into 60 Syns or more! Also keep an eye on sneaky side dishes like chips, deep- fried mushrooms and onion rings. THE CHIPPY CHIPS AVERAGE PORTION 17 ½ SYNS EASY & GREEN/ 27 SYNS ORIGINAL FISH IN BATTER SMALL- 10 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL/ 15 SYNS GREEN MEDIUM- 15 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL/ 22 SYNS GREEN LARGE- 19 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 28 SYNS GREEN REMEMBER IF YOU TAKE THE BATTER OFF THE FISH IS FREE ON EASY AND ORIGINAL! CURRY SAUCE PER PORTION- 6 SYNS ALL CHOICES FISH CAKE- 7 SYNS EASY & GREEN/ 8 ½ SYNS ORIGINAL GRAVEY AVERAGE PORTION- 7 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES MEAT PIE- 20 SYNSORIGINAL MUSHY PEAS FREE ON EASY & GREEN SAUSAGE SMALL- 5 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL LARGE 10 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL MEAT PUDDING- 18 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL SYN FREE IDEA FISH BATTER REMOVED TEAMED WITH MUSHY PEAS AND A PILE OF SW CHIPS AT HOME!! REMEMBER THOUGH A LIGHTLY BATTERED FISH IN NOT THE SAME AS REMOVING THE BATTER, IT STILL HAS SAME SYNS AS BATTERED FISH! EATING OUT HARVESTER RESTURANT Eating out is always on the menu for us Food Optimisers – as every food fits in with our taste-packed plan. We’ve taken a look at popular eateries in the UK to see which dishes on the menu fit perfectly into a Food Optimising day – helping you maximise the healthy choices and stay on track with your weight loss. Harvester is a top choice for Food Optimisers thanks to the abundant healthy options on the menu – not forgetting that famous salad cart! They’ve included calorie information on the menu; however with your Food Optimising know-how you’ll be able to pack your plate with Free Food without needing a calculator! After all, unlike calorie-counting, Food Optimising takes into account the nutritional make-up of food and how satisfying a food is to our appetite. Main meal marvels There are delicious dishes galore on the grill menu. Any meat/fish that has all visible fat or skin trimmed off is fabulously Free for Food Optimisers, however you’ll just need to count a Syn or two for any oil that may have been used on the grill pan. Take your pick from: Flame-grilled chicken breast (keep it Free by removing the skin) Rump/sirloin/rib eye/fillet steak Lamb steak Gammon steak Flame-grilled salmon steak Grilled sea bass fillets Max up the Free Food by choosing super side orders like: jacket potato pilau rice baby potatoes – ask for them with no butter (or butter on the side) so you control the Syns corn on the cob – again ask for no butter roasted flat mushrooms Add the finishing touches to your meal (and make it a real Extra Easy plate) by choosing Superfree food from the salad cart: lettuce tomatoes red and green peppers onions cucumber beetroot grated carrot Free Food favourites sweetcorn cous cous Low Syn options chickpea salad pasta salad Watch out for: Sometimes opting for salad isn’t as healthy as it sounds – look out for these salad saboteurs: Croutons- because they’re toasted in oil and not very satisfying to our appetite, they’re an easy way to add Syns without realising it. Bacon bits– although lean, grilled bacon is a Free Food, these bacon bits are made from soya and are 4 Syns per level tbsp. Coleslaw/potato salad– these creamy condiments are on average 2½ Syns per 28g – a very small portion – so the Syns can quickly mount up in just one or two spoons. Crispy onions– if you fancy an oniony addition to your salad, the fresh onions are the best Food Optimising option as these crispy onions are deep-fried in oil. Dressings – Creamy dressings can quickly add Syns to your salad. At Harvester dressings include Italian, blue cheese, thousand island, sour cream & chive, honey & mustard and French, with Syn values ranging from 2-3½ Syns per tablespoon! Fat free vinaigrette is a fabulously Free dressing if you’re looking to pep up your peppers! Saucy secrets At Harvester there are lots of saucy additions available to go with your grill. A side of piri piri sauce is only 1 Syn per level tbsp, tomato salsa is ½ Syn per level tbsp, the chilli, ginger & spring onion sauce and the country gravy are also lower Syn options. Watch out for: Creamy dressings like peppercorn, Diane, asparagus & cream cheese and buttery garlic sauce. Sticky marinades and glazes, such as Jack Daniels sauce and the Harvester barbecue glaze are usually higher in Syns as they contain lots of sugar. Menu menaces Unfortunately there are limited healthy options on the starter menu. Be aware of items described as ‘breaded’, ‘battered’, covered in sauce or loaded with cheese – generally very high in Syns and not a great option unless you’ve decided to have a flexible Syns day. The best options are the salad cart or fresh melon with berries. The same goes for the Earlybird menu – because you don’t choose the accompaniments, unlike the main grill menu, the Syns stack up on dishes like fish & chips, burger & chips, fried chicken, scampi and sausage & mash. The best Food Optimising option on this menu is the chicken breast served with jacket potato and peas – but for lots more choice, the grill menu really is the tastiest option. EATING OUT AMERICAN STYLE !! America is always a popular holiday destination, whether meeting Mickey Mouse is your thing or you prefer the bright lights of Vegas. Our guide to Food Optimising in the USA will give you the know-how to stay in control while still having a rootin’ tootin time! Fortunately, America is also the country where the customer is king and waiters take great pride in service, so you should have no difficulty in having meals served exactly the way you want – and there’s no language barrier! Depending on where you go in the USA you’ll find regional cuisine, such as Tex-Mex in the south or Creole around New Orleans. But national chains with standardised menus are everywhere too, many of which feature low-fat dishes. starter sense Salads are popular starters in all kinds of American restaurants and are usually filling. The plainest may be a ‘garden salad’ featuring the freshest produce, including fruit. Beware of American classics like Caesar and Waldorf salads which have very creamy dressings. On Original days, look for crab, prawns, seafood, cold meats or barbecue dishes like chicken wings or chilli ribs. As when eating out in the UK, the high-Syn starters will be those that are deep fried or made with lots of mayonnaise. Free – or almost Free – Feasts! Americais home to ‘surf and turf’ – seafood and steak – which are perfect for Extra Easy or Original days. Go for grilled chicken, fresh salmon or tuna served with a salad or steamed vegetables and a jacket potato (taken as a Healthy Extra on Original), and pile your plate high for very few Syns. Ask for sauces to be served on the side, so that you can control how much you have, and go for lean cuts such as fillet or sirloin. Plain burgers with salad can be low-Syn too, and roast or broiled joints of beef or ham are on many menus. America has far more seafood and fish restaurants than we have in the UK, specialising in crab, lobster, clams and all kinds of shrimps and prawns. As all these are Free Food on Extra Easy and Original days if cooked plainly, you can make the most of all the fresh produce on offer: just check how they are served before ordering. You should have no problem finding jacket potatoes, pasta or rice dishes with vegetable-based sauces, and omelettes in all kinds of restaurants – or if you don’t see what you’d like on the menu, ask for it! There are lots of Italian restaurants for pasta specialities, and Tex-Mex dishes like vegetable chilli with plain rice can be filling choices. Watch out for dishes very high in Syns because they’re cooked with a lot of melted cheese or in creamy sauces. Main course salads such as country ham, roast salmon or grilled chicken (taken as Healthy Extras on Green) are likely to be generous, tasty and filling. good puds Look out for virtually fat-free frozen yogurt and sorbets, which can be light and refreshing if you’ve eaten a big main course. Fresh fruit, especially tropical varieties like pawpaw, pineapple and mango, are Free and abundant! not so angelic afters Classic American desserts like cheesecake and apple pie are very high in Syns: the US also brought us ‘Death by Chocolate’! Watch out for special low-fat desserts on the menu - they may not necessarily be low in Syns. top tip Thankfully, when visiting the States, we don’t have a language barrier to cross (although some may disagree). Feel free to ask for sauces on the side, veggies without butter or meat grilled not fried. EATING OUT AMERICAN DINERS Bulging burgers, deep-fried dishes and piled-high portions are the familiar menu items at American-themed restaurants. Diner disaster? Not for Food Optimisers! Juicy steaks, succulent seafood and huge tasty salads are just some of the fantastically Free options! With these delicious slimming-friendly options you’ll be guaranteed to ‘have a nice day!’ Diner delights For Food Optimising-friendly dining, do as the Americans do and be assertive – ask for sauces on the side and specify what you’d like to eat. Your slimming campaign will go like an American dream! For a Green starter, sink your teeth into Free corn on the cob - ask for butter on the side so you can add the amount you want – even better, enjoy it with salt and pepper and save the buttery Syns! On Original, tiger prawns are fabulously Free (when not in batter). Another appetiser option is a visit to the salad bar where you can choose lots of Superfree salad vegetables. On Extra Easy take your pick of any of the above! Tuck into a big juicy steak for your main course on Extra Easy or Original. Leaner steaks include fillet and sirloin but American favourites such as rib-eye and T-bone are also Free when the fat is removed. Other meaty mains include chicken (take off the skin to make it Free) and roast or broiled joints of beef or ham. Tuck into grilled fish, such as salmon and tuna steak, or enjoy succulent seafood like crab, lobster, shrimps and prawns – if cooked without batter, loads of oil or creamy sauces these can be a very low-Syn or even Free menu option. Add a baked potato on the side – Free on Extra Easy and Green or as a Healthy Extra on Original. With lots of Italian influences on American menus there are always plenty of pasta choices for an Extra Easy or Green day. Pasta served with tomato and vegetable sauces are a great option. There are also heaps of generous salads on offer. House salads and chef salads tend to have basic ingredients of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and pepper, which are all fabulously Free. Grilled chicken and bacon are optional additions – Free on Extra Easy or taken as Healthy Extras on Green. Watch out for sneaky Syns from croutons and oily, cheesy or creamy dressings. Watch out for… Creamy high-Syn dressings and dips like sour cream (1 level tbsp is 2½ Syns), blue cheese (1 level tbsp is 3½ Syns), Thousand island (1 level tbsp is 2½ Syns), Caesar (1 level tbsp is 3½ Syns) and standard vinaigrette (3 Syns per tbsp). Opt for barbecue sauce (1 level tbsp is ½ Syn) or fat-free vinaigrette (Free). Chicken wings are less angelic than you might think at around 7 Syns for 3 wings. Finger-lickin’ ribs are also a stickin’ point – an average serving of barbecue spare ribs is 8½ Syns on Extra Easy and Original. When you order a baked potato, be wary of the description ‘loaded’ which usually means it comes with sour cream, cheese, butter or all three! McDONALDS SYN VALUES ALL SYNS ARE CORRECT AS OF NOVEMEMBER 2011 SYNS VALUES ARE FOR ALL CHOICES UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE SANDWICHES BIG MAC - 24 ½ SYNS ON ALL CHOICES QUARTER POUNDER WITH CHEESE - 24 ½ SYNS ON ALL CHOICES FILLET O FISH - 17 ½ SYNS ON ALL CHOICES McCHICKEN SANDWICHES - 19 ½ SYNS ON ALL CHOICES CHICKEN McNUGGETS X4= 6 ON EASY & ORIGINAL/ 8 ½ ON GREEN X6= 9 ON EASY & ORIGINAL / 15 ON GREEN X9= 13 ON EASY & ORIGINAL/ 19 ½ ON GREEN CHICKEN LEGEND WITH COOL MAYO- 27 ½ SYNS CHICKEN LEGEND WITH SPICY TOMATO SALSA=- 26 SYNS CHICKEN SELECTS X3= 12 ½ ON EASY & ORIGINAL / 18 ½ ON GREEN X5= 20 ½ ON EAY & ORIGINAL / 30 ½ ON GREEN HAMBURGER- 12 ½ SYNS CHEESEBURGER – 15 SYNS DOUBEL CHEESEBURGER- 22 SYNS MAYO CHICKEN – 16 SYNS FISH FINGERS X3= 6 ½ ON EASY & ORIGINAL/ 10 ON GREEN SALADS GRILLED CHICKEN & BACON SALAD- 1 ½ ON EASY & ORIGINAL/ 6 ON GREEN CRISPY CHICKEN SALAD – 8 ON EASY & ORIGINAL/14 ON GREEN GARDEN SIDE SALAD FREE ON ALL CHOICES DELI CHOICES GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD WRAP- 18 ½ SYNS SWEET CHILLI CRISPY CHICKEN WRAP- 23 ½ SYNS SPICY VEGETABLE WRAP- 22 ½ SYNS CRISPY CHICKEN & BACON WRAP- 25 SYNS GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH – 30 SYNS SPICY VEGETABLE SANDWICH – 27 ½ SYNS CRISPY CHICKEN & BACON SANDWICH- 32 SYNS FRIES SMALL= 8 ½ ON EASY & GREEN/ 12ON ORIGINAL MEDIUM = 11 ½ ON EASY & GREEN / 16 ½ ON ORIGINAL LARGE= 16 ½ ON EASY & GREEN/ 23 ON ORIGINAL MILKSHAKES BANANA SMALL- 11 ½ /MEDIUM- 21/LARGE- 27 ½ CHOCOLATE SMALL- 11/MEDIUM- 21/LARGE- 26 ½ STRAWBERRY-SMALL- 11/MEDIUM – 21/LARGE- 27 VANILLA SMALL- 11 /MEDIUM- 21/LARGE – 27 DRINKS ORANGE JUICE – 6 SYNS FRUIT SHOOT NO ADDED SUGAR - ½ SYN REGULAR LATTE- 7 SYNS REGUKAR CAPPUCINO- 4 ½ SYNS DESSERTS CHOCOLATE BROWNIES- 19 ½ SYNS BLUEBERRY MUFFIN – 15 SYNS DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MUFFIN- 26 SYNS SUGAR DONUT- 10 SYNS HOT APPLE PIE- 12 SYNS STRAWBERRY SUNDAE – 15 SYNS TOFFEE SUNDAE- 17 ½ SYNS ICE CREAM CONE- 7 ½ WITH FLAKE- 10 SYNS McFLURRY DAIRY MILK- 17 SYNS CRUNCHIE- 16 ½ SYNS CHOCOLATE- 20 SYNS SMARTIES- 16 ½ SYNS RASPBERRY – 18 ½ SYNS DRINKS ORANGE JUICE – 6 SYNS FRUIT SHOOT NO ADDED SUGAR - ½ SYN REGULAR LATTE- 7 SYNS REGUKAR CAPPUCINO- 4 ½ SYNS MILKSHAKES BANANA SMALL- 11 ½ /MEDIUM- 21/LARGE- 27 ½ CHOCOLATE SMALL- 11/MEDIUM- 21/LARGE- 26 ½ STRAWBERRY-SMALL- 11/MEDIUM – 21/LARGE- 27 VANILLA SMALL- 11 /MEDIUM- 21/LARGE – 27 BREAKFAST BREAKFAST WRAP WITH BROWN SAUCE- 29 ½ SYNS BACON ROLL WITH KETCUP/BROWN SAUCE- 17 SYNS BACON & EGG MUFFIN- 17 ½ SYNS SAUSAGE & EGG MUFFIN- 21 SYNS DOUBLE SAUSAGE & EGG MUFFIN- 28 SYNS DOUBLE BACON & EGG MUFFIN- 21 ½ SYNS BACON, EGG & CHEESE BAGEL- 23 SYNS SAUSAGE , EGG & CHEESE BAGEL- 27 SYNS BIG BREAKFAST- 31 SYNS PANCAKES & SYRUP- 21 SYNS PANCAKES WITH SAUSAGE & SYRUP- 31 SYNS OATSO SIMPLE WITHOUT MILK- 10 SYNS- MILK IS EXTRA HASH BROWN EACH- 4 ON EASY & GREEN/ 6 ½ ON ORIGINAL CONDIMENTS & SAUCES PER PORTION( small) KETCHUP- 1 ½ SYNS BBQ – 2 ½ SYNS SWEET CURRY- 6 ½ SYNS SWEET & SOUR – 2 ½ SYNS SMOKY BBQ- 4 ½ SYNS SOUR CREAM & CHIVE- 8 ½ SYNS BALSAMIC DRESSING- 1 SYN BUTTER 9 g- 3 ½ SYNS FLORA- 3 SYNS PHILIDELPHIA LIGHT – 2 ½ SYNS JAM- 2 ½ SYNS PANCAKE SYRUP- 9 ½ SYNS KENTUCY FRIED CHICKEN SYN VALUE CORRECT AS OF NOVEMEBER 2011 SYNS WILL BE FOR EASY & ORIGINAL UNLESS STATED CHICKEN CRISPY STRIPS EACH- 3 SYNS CHICKEN WITHOUT DRESSING PER SERVING- 6 SYNS CHICKEN DRUMSTICK EACH- 5 ½ SYNS HOT WINGS EACH- 4 ½ SYNS CHICKEN RIBS – EACH 6 ½ SYNS CHICKEN THIGHS EACH- 8 ½ SYNS POPCORN CHICKEN REGULAR- 12 ½ SYNS POPCORN CHICKEN LARGE- 20 ½ SYNS BBQ ROLLER- 12 SYNs BURGERS BLAZIN HOT MINI FILLET BURGER- 12 ½ SYNS BRAZER BURGER- 21 ½ SYNS FILLET BURGER- 20 ½ SYNS TOWER BURGER- 29 SYNS MINI FILET BURGER- KIDS- 12 SYNS ZINGER BURGER- 25 SYNS ZINGER TOWER BURGER- 33 ½ SYNS KENTUCKY JACK BURGER-28 ½ SYNS BIG DADDY BURGER- 33 ½ SYNS SALADS ORIGINAL RECIPE SALAD- 12 ½ SYNS BRAZER SALAD – SYN FREE ZINGER SALAD – 9 SYNS SNACK BOXES- THIS IS FRIES WITH THE CHICKNE – PRETTY HIGH SYNS!! ORIGINAL RECIPE CHICIKEN – 30 ½ SYNS MINI BREASTS FILLET- 24 ½ SYNS HOT WINGS- 29 ½ SYNS POPCORN CHICKEN- 32 SYNS SIDES FRIES REGULAR- 11 ½ EASY & GREEN/15 ½ ORIGINAL LARGE- 14 EASY & GREEN/20 ½ ORIGINAL BEANS- SYN FREE ON EASY & GREEN COLESLAW REGULAR- 5 ½ SYNS LARGE- 11 ½ SYNS GRAVEY REGULAR- 4 SYNS LARGE – 10 SYNS CORN ON TH COBB WITH BUTTER- 1 ½ SYNS EASY & GREEN DRINKS KRUSHENS MALTEASER- 15 ½ SYNS OREO- 18 ½ SYNS STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE- 15 ½ SYNS AVALANCE DESSERT- 8 ½ SYNS BURGER KING SYN VALUES CORRECT AS OF NOVEMEBER 2011 SYNS ARE FOR ALL CHOICES UNLESS STATED BURGERS ANGUS -27 ½ SYNS WHOPPER – 31 ½ SYNS WHOPPER WITH CHEESE- 36 SYNS DOUBLE WHOPPER- 44 SYNS DOUBLE WHOPPER WITH CHEESE- 48 SYNS WHOPPER JUNIOR- 17 SYNS JUNIOR WHOPPER WITH CHEESE- 19 ½ SYNS HAMBURGER- 14 SYNS CHEESEBURGER- 16 SYNS DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER- 23 SYNS BACON DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER- 23 ½ SYNS XL BACON DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER- 48 SYNS SMOKED BACON & CHEDDAR DOUBLE ANGUS- 45 ½ SYNS DOUBLE ANGUS- 42 ½ SYNS VEGGIE , FISH & CHICKEN VEGGIE BEAN BURGER – 29 ½ SYNS VEGGIE BURGER KIDS- 14 ½ SYNS VEGGIE WRAP- 23 SYNS OCEAN CATCH- 24 ½ SYNS CHICKEN ROYALE- 30 ½ SYNS CHICKEN ROYALE WITH CHEESE- 34 ½ SYNS SWEET CHILLI CHICKEN ROYALE- 27 ½ SYNS CHICKEN TENDERCRISP- 31 SYNS CHICKEN CAESAR TENDERCRISP- 31 ½ SYNS SWEET CHILLI CHICKEN WRAP- 15 SYNS CAESAR CHICKEN WRAP – 17 SYNS CHICKEN NUGGETS X 6 - 13 ON EASY & ORIGINAL CHICKEN NUGGETS X 9- 19 ½ SYNS BREADED CHICKEN STRIPS- 9 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL CHARGILLED CHICKEN STRIPS ( KIDS) -SYN FREE EASY & ORIGINAL CHARGRILLED MINI BURGER- 11 ½ SYNS CHICKEN BITES- 5 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL CHICKEN WINGS PER SERVING- 6 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL PIRI PIRI CHICKEN BAGUETTE – 17 SYNS SWEET CHILLI CHICKEN BAGUETTE- 25 ½ SYNS SALADS LA GARDEN SALAD- NO DRESSING- FREE ON ALL CHOICES FLAME GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD – 5 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL SIDES KETCHUP SACHET- ½ SYN MAYONNAISE SACHET- 4 SYNS SWEET CHILLI SAUCE DIP POT- 5 SYNS BBQ SAUCE DIP POT- 2 ½ SYNS FRENCH DRESSING SACHET- ½ SYN HONEY & MUSTARD DRESSING SACHET- 1 ½ SYNS SIDES FRIES SMALL- 7 ½ SYNSEASY & GREEN/ 10 ½SYNS ORIGINAL REGULAR-11 ½ SYNS EASY & GREEN / 16 ½ SYNS ORIGINAL LARGE-14 SYNS EASY & GREEN/ 20 SYNS ORIGINL SUPER-- 17 SYNS EASY & GREEN& 24 ½ SYNS ORIGINAL ONION RINGS REGULAR-23SYNS LARGE-35 SYNS SUPER – 46 SYNS BREAKFAST SYNS – SYNS VALUE ALL CHOICES BACON BUTTY – 19 SYNS BACON BUTTY WITH EITHER KETCHUP / BROWN SAUCE – 19 ½ SYNS BACON & EGG ROLL- 16 ½ SYNS BACON & EGG BUTTY WITH KETCHUP/BROWN SAUCE- 24 SYNS EGG & CHEESE BUTTY- 22 SYNS EGG & CHEESE BUTTY WITH KETCHUP/BROWN SAUCE – 24 ½ SYNS SAUSAGE BUTTY- 15 ½ SYNS ADDING KETCHUP/BROWN SAUCE? ADD ½ SYN SAUSAGE & EGG BREAKFAST ROLL- 22 SYNS SAUSAGE , EGG & CHEESE BUTTY- 22 ½ SYNS ADDING KETCHUP/BROWN SAUCE? ADD ½ SYN BREAKFAST ROLL- 29 SYNS BIG BEEFY WITH KETCHUP/BROWN SAUCE- 36 ½ SYNS 6 MINI PANCAKES WITH MAPLE SYRUP PER SERVING- 13 ½ SYNS HASHBROWNS REGULAR- 7 ½ EASY & GREEN/10 ½ ORIGINAL HASHBROWNS LARGE- 11 ½ EASY & GREEN / 16 ORIGINAL COFFEE SHOPS Coffee shops have never been more in demand. Over recent years, grabbing a latte on your way to work or relaxing in a coffee bar after shopping has become a part of everyday life. However, the little extras can turn a simple Free coffee into high-Syn surprise so we’ve put our coffee-shop know-how into action to help you ensure Starbucks won’t sabotage your slimming and Costa won’t cost you Syns! Coffee shop shockers The Syns in lattes and cappuccinos can really mount up when whole milk is used rather than skimmed/semi skimmed. A Starbucks Grande Latte containing whole milk is an unexpected 12 Syns! Mochas, which are a blend of coffee, chocolate and steamed milk topped with whipped cream, contain between 8 and 19 Syns, depending on the size of the cup and sort of milk used. Adding syrup (eg caramel) or whipped cream to drinks also sends the Syns soaring – 2½ to 5 Syns per serving for cream and around 3-5 Syns per syrup serving! Sugar- free syrup is a Syn-free option. Hot chocolate is 19 Syns on average (and up to a whopping 25+ Syns for a Grande with whole milk) and that’s even before you’ve started adding whipped cream and marshmallows! If you need a hot chocolate fix, a better choice is classic hot chocolate (short) made with skimmed milk. Asking for it without cream totals it up at 5 Syns. Beware of the healthy-sounding spicy chai tea – it’s often ready sweetened and can have as many as 18 Syns! Smoothies and frappuccinos made with fruit sound deceptively like a healthier choice – in fact a grande mango passion fruit frappuccino is actually a less-than- thirstquenching 9½ Syns! Delicious drinks – the Food Optimising way The great news is that the menu offers plenty of choice for Free or minimal Syns. Basic coffee and tea are fabulously Free at Slimming World and a number of other drinks make brilliant beverages for Food Optimisers: Freshly brewed coffee, Americano and espresso are all prepared without milk so it’s up to you how much you’d like to add – meaning they’re all low in Syns or Free! If you add milk count the milk as part of your Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice, or ½ Syn per splash to keep beautifully on track with Food Optimising. Another good choice for slimmers is cappuccino – made with skimmed milk. Serving sizes and ingredients vary between coffee shops but an average small cappuccino works out at between 1½ to 3 Syns. (Keep tabs of any Syns for a chocolate sprinkling or sugar). Latte, made with coffee and skimmed milk is also a lower-Syn choice at 5-6½ Syns on average for a medium cup. Fruit teas (made with a teabag) are a top choice for a refreshment break – they’re packed with flavour and fabulously Free! If you want something refreshingly different ‘tall’ coffee, mocha or caramel frappuccinos made with skimmed milk and ‘no whip’ measure up at 4-5 Syns… saving you around 10 Syns compared with the creamy varieties! Asking for skimmed (skinny) milk and by swapping sugar for sweetener can reduce the Syns massively – especially if you’re enjoying your medium skinny latte as your Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice and reducing the Syns by 6! Size matters! A common theme in coffee shops is the curious descriptions of cup sizes! Learn the lingo for small/medium/large so you can order the size (and Syns) you really want Tall = Small Grande = Medium Venti = Large Regular = Small Primo = Small Medio = Medium Massimo = Large STARBUCKS SYN VALUES CAKES & BISCUITS ETC SYNS ARE EACH ALL BUTTER CROISSANT- 14 SYNS ALMOND BISCOTTI- 8 ½ SYNS ALMOND CROISSANT- 23 ½ SYNS APPLE & CINNAMON MUFFIN- 20 ½ SYNS APPLE & SULTANA CAKE LOW FAT- 8 ½ SYNS APRICOT & OAT SLICE- 14 SYNS BLUEBERRY MUFFIN- 22 ½ SYNS BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE PER SLICE- 24 SYNS BERRY SCONE -22 SYNS BUTTERMILK PANCAKES PER SERVING- 11 ½ SYNS CARROT CAKE- 29 SYNS CHOCOLATE CARAMEL SHORTBREAD- 18 SYNS CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT LOAF CAKE PER SLICE – 23 ½ SYNS CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE- 20 SYNS CHOCOLATE CORNFLAKE SQUARE- 14 ½ SYNS CHOCOLATE MUFFIN WITH BELGIAN CHOC SAUCE CENTRE- 22 ½ SYNS CHOCOLATE VELVET CAKE- 26 ½ SYNS DOUGHNUT CAKE-22 ½ SYNS FAIRTRADE CHOCOLATE CHUNK SHORTBREAD- 25 ½ SYNS GINGER SNAP BISCUIT- 6 ½ SYNS GRANOLA BAR- 17 ½ SYNS SKINNY STEM GINGER ICED MUFFIN- 20 SYNS MINI SALTED PECAN BARS – 12 ½ SYNS LEMON LOAF PER SLICE- 22 ½ SYNS SKINNY LEMON & POPPYSEED ICED MUFFIN – 21 ½ SYNS SKINNY PEACCH & RASPBERRY MUFFIN- 17 SYNS MARSHMELLOW SWIZZLE CAKE - 7 SYNS MINI WHITE CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY CAKE- 13 ½ SYNS PAIN AU CHOCOLATE- 15 SYNS PAIN AU RAISIN- 21 ½ SYNS RISE AND SHINE MUFFIN- 21 ½ SYNS ROCKY ROAD CAKE – 18 ½ SYNS SAVOURY CHEESE PASTRY TWIST- 18 ½ SYNS BREAKFAST ITEMS PANNINI'S ALL DAY BREAKFAST PANNINI- 17 ½ SYNS CHEESE & MARMITE PANNINI- 16 SYNS CHICKEN & GREEN PESTO PANNINI-17 ½ SYNS CHICKEN PASTRAMI PANINNI- 20 ½ SYNS CROQUE MONSIEUR HAM & CHEESE PANNINI- 20 ½ SYNS FALAFEL PANNINI- 19 SYNS ITALIAN MOZZARELLA & SLOW ROASTED TOMATO PANNINI- 21 SYNS ROASTED CHICKEN & TOMATO PANNINI- 16 SYNS STEAK & CHEESE PANNINI- 21 SYNS TUNA MELT & MATURE CHEDDAR CHEESE PANNINI- 23 SYNS BACON BUTTY- 19 SYNS SAUSAGE BUTTY – 24 SYNS CHEESE & MUSHROOM CROISSANT- 21 1.2 SYNS HAM & CHEESE CROISSANT- 19 SYNS LUXURY FRUIT BREAD PER SLICE – 24 ½ SYNS PERFECT PORRIGE FULL FAT MILK & DRIED FRUIT- 17 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK & DRIED FRUIT- 16 SYNS SKIMMED MILK & DRIED FRUIT- 14 ½ SYNS SOYA MILK & DRIED FRUIT- 15 ½ SYNS SANDWICHES BLT- 24 ½ SYNS FREE RANGE EGG MAYO- 18 ½ SYNS MATURE CHEDDAR & PICKLE- 24 SYNS ROASTED CHICKEN WITH HERB MAYO- 16 SYNS TOASTED CLUB- 27 SYNS GLUTEN FREE CHICKEN & PESTO MAYO- 21 ½ SYNS TUNA LIVE WELL- 15 ½ SYNS ROASTED CHICKEN & SALSA WRAP-18 SYNS SALADS CHICKEN & RED PESTO PASTA SALAD- 8 ½ EASY & GREEN 12 ½ ORIGINAL FRUIT SALAD CHILLED – 3 ½ SYNS TOMATO & MOZZARELLA PASTA SALAD-4 ½ EASY & GREEN /9 ORIGINAL TUNA & POTATOE SALAD-81/2 EASY & GREEN/ 9 ORIGINAL DRINKS I HAVE ONLY LISTED THE DRINKS USING SEMI AND SKIMMED MILK CLASSIC HOT CHOCOLATE WITH WHIPPED CREAM SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT - 9 SYNS TALL-13 SYNS GRANDE-16 SYNS VENTI- 20 SYNS SAME AGAIN BUT USING SKIMMED MILK SHORT- 8 SYNS TALL- 11 SYNS GRANDE- 14 SYNS VENTI- 17 SYNS SIGNATURE HOT CHOCOLATE WITH WHIPPED CREAM SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT-12 SYNS TALL-21 SYNS GRANDE- 27 SYNS VENTI-33 ½ SYNS SAME AGAIN SKIMMED MILK SHORT-13 ½ SYNS TALL- 19 ½ SYNS GRANDE- 25 ½ SYNS VENTI-31 SYNS GINGERBREAD LATTE WHIPPED CREAM NON FAT MILK SHORTBREAD-8 SYNS TALL- 11 SYNS GRANDE-13 ½ SYNS VENTI -16 ½ SYNS ESPRESSO CON PANNA PER SERVING SOLO- 1 ½ SYNS DOUBLE- 2 SYNS ESPRESSO MACCHIATO PER SERVING SINGLE – ½ SYN DOUBLE – 1 SYN ICE CAFE AMERICANO TALL- ½ GRANDE – 1 CAPPUCCINO SKIMMED MILK SHORT- 2 ½ SYNS TALL- 3 SYNS GRANDE- 4 SYNS VENTI- 5 ½ SYN SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT- 4 SYNS TALL- 4 ½ SYNS GRANDE -6 SYNS VENTI – 8 SYNS CAFE MISTO SKIMMED MILK SHORT- 2 ½ SYNS TALL-3 SYNS GRANDE – 3 ½ SYNS VENTI- 4 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 2 ½ SYNS TALL- 4 SYNS GRANDE -5 ½ SYNS VENTI- 6 SYNS CAFE LATTE SKIMMED MILK SHORT -3 ½ SYNS TALL- 5 SYNS GRANDE – 6 ½ SYNS VENTI-8 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 5 SYNS TALL -7 ½ SYNS GRANDE -9 ½ SYNS VENTI- 12 SYNS CAFE MOCHA WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 8 SYNS TALL -11 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 14 ½ SYNS VENTI- 17 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 9 SYNS TALL- 13 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 16 ½ SYNS VENTI- 20 ½ SYNS WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 11 ½ SYNS TALL – 16 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 21 ½ SYNS VENTI-26 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 12 ½ SYNS TALL – 18 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 23 ½ SYNS VENTI-29 SYNS HAZELNUT MOCHA WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK SHORT -10 SYNS TALL- 14 SYNS GRANDE – 18 SYNS VENTI- 21 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 11 SYNS TALL- 15 ½ SYNS GRANDE -20 SYNS VENTI – 24 ½ SYNS PEPPERMINT MOCHA WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 10 ½ SYNS TALL- 15 SYNS GRANDE -18 ½ SYNS VENTI- 22 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 11 ½ SYNS TALL-16 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 21 SYNS VENTI- 26 SYNS CHAI TEA LATTE SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 5 SYNS TALL-7 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 10 SYNS VENTI- 13 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK SHORT – 6 SYNS TALL- 9 SYNS GRANDE – 12 SYNS VENTI- 15 SYNS ICED CAFE LATTE SKIMMED MILK TALL – 3 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 4 ½ SYNS VENTI- 5 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL – 5 SYNS GRANDE -6 ½ SYNS VENTI-7 SYNS ICED COFFEE MOCHA WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK TALL- 10 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 14 ½ SYNS VENTI -15 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL – 11 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 16 SYNS VENTI- 17 SYNS ICED CARAMEL MACCHITO SKIMMED MILK TALL- 7 SYNS GRANDE – 9 ½ SYNS VENTI- 11 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL – 8 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 11 ½ SYNS VENTI- 13 SYNS ICED CHAI TEA LATTE SKIMMED MILK TALL – 7 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 10 ½ SYNS VENTI- 12 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL- 9 SYNS GRANDE – 12 SYNS VENTI- 14 SYNS ICED VANILLA LATTE SKIMMED MILK TALL -6 SYNS GRANDE – 8 SYNS VENTI- 9 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL- 7 SYNS GRANDE -9 ½ SYNS VENTI- 11 SYNS ICED HAZELNUT MOCHA SKIMMED MILK TALL- 16 SYNS GRANDE – 21 ½ SYNS VENTI- 28 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL- 17 SYNS GRANDE – 22 ½ SYNS VENTI- 30 SYNS FRAPPUCCINO COFFEE TALL-9 SYNS GRANDE – 12 SYNS VENTI- 14 SYNS MOCHA FRAPPUCCINOS WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK TALL- 12 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 17 ½ SYNS VENTI- 20 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL- 13 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 18 SYNS VENTI- 21 ½ SYNS CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO WITH WHIPPED CREAM TALL – 15 SYNS GRANDE – 19 SYNS VENTI- 21 ½ SYNS LIGHT CARAMEL NO WHIP TALL- 5 SYNS GRANDE – 6 ½ SYNS VENTI- 8 ½ SYNS STRAWBERRIES & CREAM FRAPPUCCINO WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK TALL- 15 SYNS GRANDE – 19 SYNS VENTI- 21 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL16 SYNS GRANDE – 20 SYNS VENTI- 22 ½ SYNS CARAMEL CREAM FRAPPUCCINOS WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK TALL- 12 SYNS GRANDE – 16 SYNS VENTI- 18 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL- 13 SYNS GRANDE – 17 SYNS VENTI- 19 ½ SYNS CHOCOLATE CREAM FRAPPUCCINO WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK TALL- 11 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 15 ½ SYNS VENTI- 18 SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL 12 SYNS GRANDE – 17 SYNS VENTI- 19 ½ SYNS VANILLA CREAM FRAPPUCCINO WITH WHIPPED CREAM SKIMMED MILK TALL- 11 SYNS GRANDE – 15 ½ SYNS VENTI- 17 ½ SYNS SEMI SKIMMED MILK TALL- 11 ½ SYNS GRANDE – 16 ½ SYNS VENTI- 17 ½ SYNS EATING OUT CARIBBEAN You probably won’t find a more exciting assortment of flavours on your plate than in Caribbean cookery. Exotic vegetables and tropical fruit make the dishes of the Caribbean brilliant choices for Food Optimisers. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the Caribbean dining experience – browse the colourful menu and you’ll have ‘no problem’ finding a slimming-friendly dish! Restaurant revelations With a chilled out, informal atmosphere, Caribbean dining is like popping round to a friend’s house! With generous portions too, it’s an altogether fab place for Food Optimisers! Start your meal on Green with callaloo soup, a deliciously spicy soup packed with callaloo (spinach leaves), plantains, yam, okra and chillies. Some restaurants make callaloo soup with coconut milk which pushes the Syns up slightly but overall it’s one of the healthier choices, packed with Free vegetables. Grilled spicy shrimp is a good Original option and there are often meaty soups on the menu, like beef or mutton, which are lower Syn choices as they’re water-based rather than creamy. On Extra Easy choose either! For main course there are heaps of healthy options for an Extra Easy or Original day, especially if you like it hot! The national dish of Jamaica is ackee and saltfish which is salted cod with the tropical fruit ackee, peppers, onions and thyme - all Free Foods. As in all restaurant meals, oil added during cooking can send Syns soaring. Asking for your ackee and saltfish to be grilled rather than fried keeps the Syns low. Another fabulous fish choice is red snapper, a tropical fried fish often served with spices, pepper and onions. A classic Caribbean dish is jerk chicken - a terrific menu choice as the chicken is marinated with hot spices and then char-grilled, which keeps the Syns low. On Extra Easy or Green, try traditional rice and peas – various beans such as black-eyed beans and kidney beans are mixed with rice and coconut cream. The only Syns are from the coconut cream, which is quite low at 2½ Syns per level tbsp. Another low in Syns option is Caribbean vegetable stew - a tasty way to try some less run-of-the-mill vegetables such as yam, okra, plantain, sweet potato and cho-cho. For dessert tuck into mouth-watering tropical fruits on offer such as guava, mango, passion fruit, papaya and pineapple. WATCH OUT FOR... Fried side orders such as dumplings and deep-fried plantain. Also, meat or vegetable patties are a less healthy choice as they’re encased in pastry and deep-fried in Caribbean cookery. EATING OUT NANDO'S Nando’s is most famous for its flame-grilled peri-peri chicken – flavoured to your liking – with a selection of your favourite tasty side-dishes. Can it spice up your slimming campaign? We’ve taken a look at Nando’s’ mouth-watering menu to give you the heads up on the healthier options for Food Optimisers, along with hints and tips to steer clear of sneaky hidden Syns! Starter shocks! Unfortunately there are limited healthy options on the ‘appeteasers’ menu. Pre-dinner nibbles such as houmous, olives in an oily dressing, peri-peri nuts and red pepper dip are generally very high in Syns and are very easy to keeping digging into while you’re waiting for your main course. Portuguese flame-grilled chicken The menu at Nando’s is bursting with flame-grilled chicken and spicy foods that’ll tantalise your tastebuds. Although lean chicken is a fabulously Free Food, the marinade on Nando’s chicken, and because it’s served in its skin, means that by enjoying your peri-peri chicken as it comes, you’ll also be eating an unexpected number of Syns. By removing all the skin, you’ll make your chicken lower in Syns while still enjoying the fiery flavours. Estimate a few Syns for the marinade and oil that may have been used on the grill pan, and take your pick from: Flame-grilled butterfly chicken breast A whole flame-grilled chicken! Quarter chicken leg and thigh Quarter chicken breast and leg Watch out for: Wraps, burgers and pittas are served with yogurt mayonnaise or chilli jam (3-5 Syns per level tbsp), and the bread and sides add even more! 3 chicken wings don’t give you much meat for your 7 Syns! The veggie and beanie burgers might seem like healthy veggie options but they both contain hidden extras like soya, cheese and seeds – before you’ve even added your bread you’re looking at 10-12 Syns for the patties alone. While lean steak with all fat removed is a Free Food, the Prego steak is served in a roll. If you can bear to part with the bread enjoy this juicy steak for a handful of Syns to keep track of the peri-peri marinade and oil. Sizzling side-dishes The side dishes at Nando’s are almost as famous as its chicken and there are some lower-Syns options to choose from: Corn on the cob – estimate a couple of Syns for any oil it’s been brushed with Mixed leaf salad – by asking for any dressings on the side, you can ensure your salad’s FreeSpicy rice – 2½ Syns per regular serving Watch out for: Macho peas – what might look like Free Food is mixed with oil, so if you’re choosing this side dish stay on track by counting a reasonable 3 Syns for the regular portion and less palatable 6½ Syns for the large Ratatouille – even though it’s filled with Free roasted vegetables the tomato sauce is quite oily! Chips – they’re the only thing on the menu that are deep-fried and are 13 Syns per regular serving. Add 1-2 more Syns if you enjoy them sprinkled with per-peri salt. Coleslaw – this creamy condiment is on average 12 Syns per regular portion. Garlic bread – averaging 7 Syns per slice (and with two slices per serving) it’s an easy way to add Syns. Creamy mash and sweet potato mash – both these sides dishes contain Free Foods as their main ingredient but because they’re mixed with cream and butter (which lets it all slide down without you noticing!), the Syn value is sent soaring - as much as 6-8 Syns per large spoonful! Salad options The salads at Nando’s are served without chicken, however by bulking out your salad with a skinless chicken breast (counting a few Syns for the marinade) you’ll be creating one of the healthier options on the menu! The mixed leaf salad is Free and bursting with Superfree foods like mixed salad leaves, mixed peppers and tomatoes. Ask for any dressing on the side to stay in control of how much you enjoy. Watch out for: The couscous salad contains lots of Free Foods like chickpeas, peppers, mixed leaves and savoury couscous – as well as the olives, there’s a lot of hidden oil in here. Caesar salad – the croutons, grated cheese and Caesar dressing all add up! Mediterranean salad – while this salad is bursting with Free Foods, it’s topped with feta cheese and splashed with a lemon and oil based dressing. Request your salad without dressing and count the feta as your Healthy Extra to reduce the Syns. Let’s get saucy At Nando’s there are lots of saucy additions available to go with your meal. While perinaise is 5 Syns per level tbsp and chilli jam is 3 Syns per level tbsp, the peri-peri sauces are only ½ Syn per level tbsp so they’re a better option for adding flavour to your plate. With a day of enjoying stacks of Free Food under your belt, and saving your Healthy Extras and Syns for the evening, it is possible to enjoy your meal at Nando’s and stay on track… but your choices are limited (and we haven’t included any drinks or desserts yet!). EATING OUT MEXICAN Mexican food is well known it’s spicy kick that’ll get you reaching for the water jug quicker than Speedy Gonzales! Most of the dishes served in restaurants today are quite different to those found in Mexico itself. The familiar ‘Mexican’ recipes we see are more often a blend of Southern American food (Texan) and Mexican, hence the name ‘Tex-Mex.’ Nachos, tacos, chilli con carne and fajitas are all Tex-Mex inventions. restaurant meals: a Mexican wave for... ‘Mixed grill’ style meals eg charcoal-grilled beef steak, pork ribs and chicken breast. Terms like ‘grilled’ and ‘char-grilled’ are good options to look out for as it usually means the meat has not been fried or encased in batter. If this isn’t on the menu, fajitas (griddled spiced chicken or steak with peppers and onions, are usually available. The spicy meat and vegetables are usually sizzling and ready to be wrapped in tortilla wraps (average each, 6 Syns). If you’re being extra careful with your Syns you could always give the wraps a miss and enjoy your filling with salsa (average portion 3 Syns) or rice (Free on Green if meat is taken as a Healthy Extra). Vegetable enchiladas - made by wrapping soft tortillas around a filling of chilli, with either meat or vegetables, and then garnished with a tomato-based sauce and cheese. Oil is still used in the process of making these (to soften the tortilla) and an average vegetable enchilada (245g serving) is 14 Syns on all choices. However, accompanied by a huge crispy salad to fill you up, or heaps of boiled rice, this dish makes a good restaurant choice. Watch out for meat- filled enchiladas that are slightly higher in Syns (average 275g serving chicken enchiladas 22 Syns). Chilli con carne - you can’t beat chilli made in a Mexican restaurant with its full-of-flavour, melt-in-the-mouth qualities! An average portion (400g serving) is 8½ Syns on Extra Easy and Green and 10 Syns on Original. Vegetable Chilli is a great choice with only 3½ Syns per serving on Extra Easy and Green and 12½ Syns on Original. Add piles of boiled rice for Free! watch out for... Deep-fried dishes and accompaniments such as sour cream and cheese that send the Syns soaring. Chicken Chimichangas are a staggering 37½ Syns for an average portion! The main ingredients in guacamole (avocado, onion, garlic, lime and tomato) make it seem like a healthy choice; however an average avocado alone is 13½ Syns! SYNS BEEF BURRUTOS 400g- 37 SYNS ALL CHOICES CHICKEN CHIMICHANGAS 370g – 37 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES CHICKEN QUESIDILLAS 210g – 33 SYNS ALL CHOICES CHILLI CON CARNE 400g – 8 ½ EAY & GREEN/ 10 ORIGINAL ENCHILDAS BEEF 250g- 17 SYNS ALL CHOICES CHEESE N BEAN 275g – 20 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES CHICKEN 275g – 22 SYNS ALL CHOICES VEGETABLE 245g- 14 SYNS ALL CHOICES FAJITAS BEEF/STEAK 275g- 26 SYNS ALL CHOICES CHICKEN 315g- 25 SYNS ALL CHOICES VEGETBLE 475g – 36 SYNS ALL CHOICES GUACOMOLE PER SERVING – 10 SYNS ALL CHOICES LOADED SKINS WITH SOURED CREAM DIP 150g- 10 ½ EASY & GREEN / 15 ½ ORIGINAL NACHOS AND SAUCE PER SERVING- 25 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES SALSA SIDE DISH PER SERVING- 3 SYNS ALL COICES SOUR CREAM SIDE DISH PER SERVING- 10 SYNS ALL CHOICES TORTILLA CHIPS & GAUCAMOLE PER SERVING- 25 SYNS ALL CHOICES TORTILLA CHIPS & SALSA PER SERVING- 18 SYNS ALL CHOICES VEGETABLE CHILLI 380g – 3 ½ EASY & GREEN / 12 ½ ORIGINAL RICE SYN FREE EAY & GREEN/ 20 ORIGINAL EATING OUT FRANCE The French love their food with an unrivalled passion (with the exception of us Food Optimisers, of course!) But is it possible to be a gastronomique for a couple of weeks without regretting it the next time we venture onto the scales? Of course it is! With a little Food Optimising know-how, French food doesn’t need to be a disaster area for slimmers. You will be able to find plenty of tasty choices based on fish, meat, fruit and vegetables that will help to keep you on track during the day so you can enjoy a glass or two of the local red wine later! Starter sense - say: 'oui, oui!' Depending on where you’re staying in France, you’ll find a huge variety of fresh and usually local produce being served in restaurants. Look out for vegetables in season such as asperges (asparagus) or artichauts (artichokes), a salade de tomates (tomato salad), crudités (raw vegetable sticks) or clear soups such as consommé – all great choices. If you’re staying near the coast, you’ll be overwhelmed by the incredible seafood on offer including huîtres (oysters), coquilles (scallops) and langoustines (Dublin bay prawns). Cooked lean meats such as Bayonne ham are also very popular and, like the seafood, can be enjoyed for Free on Extra Easy and Original, and as a Healthy Extra on Green. Watch out for... Traditional French pâté - made with rich ingredients such as fois gras (fattened liver) and port - plus the bread to spead it on, it's a sure-fire way of adding lots of Syns! Main course - great choices for Green and Extra Easy Meat-free Cassoulet (bean stew) is a tasty option. Fettuccini is popular on French menus and usually comes with a tomato-based sauce which is a healthier choice. To accompany main courses, in-season vegetables such as asparagus, courgettes, shallots, tomatoes and peppers roasted with herbs and garlic are fantastic for filling up. Mixed leaf salads with bacon and crumbled Roquefort (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice on Green) are good choices - ask for dressing on the side to save Syns. Many French menus, especially in the south, have Italian influences so you should find pasta (pâtes) with vegetable or tomato sauces. Thanks to the North African influence, couscous with roasted veg is popular too. Omelettes are nearly always on the menu, and because they’re always made from scratch it’s easy to ask for no oil, a little cheese or your choice of vegetables to be included. It’s also worth watching our for ‘salades composés’ (main course salads) like Niçoise (with tuna taken as a Healthy Extra on Green). Mediterranean dishes like ratatouille, or tomates provençales (stuffed tomatoes) make filling main courses too, served with rice or pasta. Pommes vapeur (steamed potatoes) with an omelette aux fines herbes (herb omelette) and salad makes a substantial café lunch. Main course - filling Original and Extra Easy options Make a bee-line for lean meat dishes such as bifteck (grilled steak), poulet roti (roast chicken), coté d’agneau (lamb cutlets) and roti de porc (roast pork). The cuts of steak in French restaurants are tender and tasty without the creamy sauce, or there’s sometimes steak coated in crushed peppercorns available. If you’re brave enough, steak tartare (raw steak often marinated in balsamic vinegar) is another lower-Syn option. If you like game, go for choices such as caille (quail), lapin (rabbit) or lapareau (hare). Tuck into platters of traditionally dry-cured meats for Free, but watch out for re-formed meats such as salami that aren’t as lean. Coq au vin (chicken cooked in wine) is one of the healthier options available. Although it will still contain some Syns, the broth is made using stock and wine rather than butter and cream. Succulent seafood usually available on menus includes scallops, mussels, salmon, halibut or sea bass. These are great choices if they’re described as ‘roasted’, ‘steamed’ or ‘grilled.’ Watch out for... ‘Wine’ or ‘mushroom’ sauces which can be pseudonyms for ‘creamy’ and packed with Syns. And if you see ‘sautéed with’ on the menu, it usually means it’s cooked in butter. Traditional French dishes such as dauphinoise potatoes can be 20+ Syns on Green and thanks to the creamy, buttery sauce steak au poivre can also be sky-high in Syns. If you simply can't resist it, ask for the sauce on the side, so you're in control of how much sauce you enjoy... and not the chef! Pudding perfection! If you can't say no the dessert menu, salade de fruits (fruit salad) or other fresh fruit in season (like peaches, apricots and plums which are at their best in France in summer) are excellent ways to end a meal. Sorbet's an even more popular dessert in France than in the UK and will adorn many a menu. It’s not quite Free but at around 5 Syns for an average portion it’s a good way to end a meal. Watch out for... If you’re tempted by chocolate mousse, crème brulée, cheese platter or tarte aux citrons (lemon tart) (after all, you're only human!) go for choice power and decide: are you going to be angelic and go for the fruit salad instead; could you bear to share a portion and enjoy your pud for half the Syns... or will you decide to have a flexible Syns day (you are on holiday!) - decide on an upper limit for your day, keep counting, and get back to Food Optimising 100% the very next day. The choice is yours! EATING OUT GREECE Whether you choose the English restaurants for a home-from-home holiday or go all out with traditional Greek fare, you should find plenty of fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables to help you stay on track throughout your Greek getaway! Greece is famous for olives and olive oil; it’s a huge part of Greek culture. Olive oil is one of the staples of the Greek diet and it’s used copiously in many dishes. We’ve picked out some of the less oily dishes to help you eat, enjoy and slim during your Greek Island adventure. Starter sense Is it right to visit Greece and not enjoy a Greek salad? If you want to taste the real thing, ask for Saláta horátiki (Greek salad, with cucumber, olives and feta cheese). It makes a filling first course and is an ideal starter for an Extra Easy, Green or Original day. Count your feta and olives as Healthy Extras or Syns. Asking for no oil (horis iádhi) will reduce the Syns considerably. If there’s seafood on the menu it will be Free or almost Free on an Extra Easy or Original day – once again, look out for excess oil. If it’s not too hot for soup, avogolémono, a clear soup made with chicken, rice and lemon, is usually a good choice – keep track of the Syns in the chicken or rice, depending on the type of day you’re having. The most popular Greek starter is meze, a selection of snacks to share. Stay on track withtzatziki (yogurt and cucumber dip), marinated calamari, dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice), and keftédes (meatballs), which are lower Syn choices. Meze such as taramasalata (cod’s roe dip), deep fried haloumi cheese and pitta bread are at the opposite end of the spectrum, so might want to avoided or enjoyed occasionally. Bread is also very popular in Greece and you could well find a nice tempting basket full of rustic bread with a bowl of olive oil to dip it in – as delicious as it looks, it’s worth remembering that the olive oil is 6 Syns per tablespoon and the bread 3 Syns per 1oz/28g – that way you can decide whether to enjoy as part of your daily allowance, have a flexible day or give it a miss! Great for Green Many Food Optimisers choose to follow Extra Easy and Original days in Greece as low-Syn Green choices are not so easy to find. Look out for large salads, steamed potatoes or skordaliá (garlic mashed potato) with kotópoulo sti soúvla (grilled chicken) or fish as a Healthy Extra, or look for peppers or tomatoes stuffed with rice and spices – although these may be cooked in oil. In the more popular Greek resorts there is likely to be more choice. In any restaurant, whether you’re on holiday or not, if the starters take your fancy more than the main course, order two or three and give the main course a miss! Extra Easy and Original options If you love meat, fish and barbecues, you’ll love Greek food. You should be able to find lamb, chicken, beef and pork with vegetable or salad accompaniments: you’re often expected to put on your own salad dressing, which is ideal. For the healthier options, look for meats cooked sti soúvla (barbecued), vrasto (boiled) or psitó (roasted). Stifado is a slow- cooked, spicy meat stew, while souvláki is meat cooked on the grill or spit-roasted. You should also find plenty of fish on menus, from seafood platters to swordfish steaks, whole fish baked in foil or grilled, or psaria plaki kai gavros plaki (baked fish with tomatoes and garlic). Baked dishes such as pastitsio (macaroni casserole) and moussaka (aubergines, mince and tomato with creamy sauce) are incredibly tempting and very delicious. Typically they contain a lot of oil, which is worth bearing in mind if you are trying to stick to a set number of Syns – maybe you could persuade a friend or partner to choose it, and pinch a spoonful of theirs! EATING OUT ITALIAN Traditional Italian food is perfect for a Food Optimiser – piles of pasta, tender cuts of meat and tasty tomato dishes filled with Speed Food Mediterranean vegetables! Food Optimising means there are loads of tasty options so you can still have a pisa the action! an Italian feast... A great Italian starter is antipasto - a selection of meats such as Parma ham (½ Syn per 28g on Extra Easy and Original), olives (7 olives are 1 Syn), mozzarella (42g is a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice), with accompanying vegetables such as artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes (28g is 1½ Syns) or salad leaves. Watch out for olive oil-soaked items. Minestrone soup is another tasty and filling starter at 6½ Syns on Extra Easy, Original and Green for an average portion. Pasta dishes are fantastic options for an Extra Easy or Green day. Any ‘al Pomodoro’ pasta has a tomato and basil sauce (typical Syns per portion 3½ Syns) – a healthier option than the creamy sauces such as carbonara (average tagliatelle carbonara portion is 12½ Syns on Extra Easy and Green and 15 Syns on Original). An average portion of vegetable cannelloni is 9½ Syns on Extra Easy and Green and 17 Syns on Original, or spaghetti Bolognese is another fab option at 7½ Syns on Extra Easy and Green and only 10 Syns on Original. There are tons of meaty options in Italian restaurants too. With pork, steak and veal escalopes on the menu (Free when not in breadcrumbs) and tasty vegetables such as courgettes, tomatoes and peppers, you can easily pile your plate high for Free! Chicken dishes are popular too; try Chicken Cacciatore (average portion 8½ Syns on Extra Easy and Original, 28½ Syns on Green) or chicken wrapped in Parma ham (½ Syn per 28g on Extra Easy and Original if not in a sauce). watch out for... Delicious Italian breads such as ciabatta and focaccia contain up to 4 Syns per 28g, and an average garlic baguette is a whopping 31 Syns! Get your bread fix with breadsticks at 1 Syn each. Also watch out for high-Syn pizzas, creamy sauces and cheese-filled pasta. SYNS FOR SOME ITALIAN MEALS CANNELLONI 390g SERVING BEEF- 12 ½ SYNS EASY & GREEN/ 16 ORIGINAL SPINACH & RICOTTA- 101/2 EASY& GREEN/ 16 ORIGINAL VEGETABLE- 9 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 17 ORIGINAL CHICKEN CACCIATORE- 8 ½ SYNS EAY & ORIGINAL/ 28 ½ GREEN LASAGNE- BEEF- 370g -12 1../2 EASY & GREEN/14 ORIGINAL SEAFOOD 295g 9 EAY & ORIGINAL/10 GREEN VEGETABLE 355g – 7 EAY & GREEN/ 14 ½ ORIGINAL MACARONI CHEESE 360G- 12 ½ EAY & GREEN / 24 ORIGINAL MOZZARELLA & TOMATO SALAD – 14 SYNS ALL CHOICES RAVOILI BEEF 400g- 7 EAY & GREEN/ 20 ORIGINAL FOUR CHEESE 320g 8 EAY & GREEN/ 18 ORIGINAL MUSHROOM/VEGETABLE 340g – 9 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 18 ORIGINAL SOUP- MINSTONE- 6 ½ PER SERVING ALL CHOICES SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE 360g – 7 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 10 ORIGINAL SPAGHETTI MARINARA 400g – 11 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 14 ORIGINAL STUFFED PEPPERS 280g- 10 ½ ALL CHOICES TAGLIATELLE CARBONARA 400g- 12 ½ EAY & GREEN/ 14 ORIGINAL DESSERTS CASSATA ALLA SICILIAN PER SERVING – 30 SYNS GELATI PER SERVING- 14 SYNS GRANITA PER SERVING- 5 SYNS TIRAMISU PER SERVING- 20 SYNS ZABAGLIONE PER SERVING- 10 SYNS EATING OUT SPAIN / TAPAS With freshly caught seafood and plump locally grown vegetables adorning many restaurants' specials board, it's easy to see that the Spanish share our love of food! No need for the Spanish inquisition though, from tapas to tortillas and paella to pollo there are loads of healthy, delicious Food Optimising options on every menu. Oil awareness Spanish cuisine is well-known for its oil-dressed dishes. There are many health benefits to olive oil, thanks to its antioxidant properties. You’ll find olive oil in your Healthy Extra lists for this reason, but the recommendation is to have only one or two tablespoons per day, because of its fattening properties. Our recommendation, as always, is not to ban it from your table but instead, keep aware of any oil that slips into dishes. It’s not possible to give accurate Syn counts for restaurant dishes as they vary so much. Instead, we’ve given general recommendations below for the most Food Optimising-friendly holiday dishes… Starter sense Tapas are the traditional Spanish snacks also served as starters; small plates with just a taster of the dish, so most people order a selection and share (if you want a larger portion ask for a ‘racion’.) Look for dishes like: boquerones en vinagre (baby anchovy fillets in vinegar) pincho morunos (marinated pork kebabs) ensalada de marisco (seafood salad with prawns, mussels, squid and clams) pulpo gallego (grilled, spicy octopus) Langostinos a la plancha (Grilled tiger prawns, with lemon and sea salt) Brochetas de pollo (Skewers of chicken breast and pepper, marinated in paprika) Pisto Manchego (tomato, onion and courgette mix) Habas Verdes (Green beans and onion in chicken stock) Boquerones en Vinagre (small marinated anchovies in garlic & vinegar) slices of tortilla (omelette) pimentos del piquillo (fire roasted sweet red peppers) revuelto de esparragos (sautéed asparagus with eggs) Pisto manchego (Slow-roasted mixed peppers, onion, courgette and aubergine, in a tomato sauce) Patatas bravas (Potatoes in a spicy sauce) Ensalada de Tomates (tomato salad) Enjoy the fabulous local olives too (8 olives are 1 Syn Other low-Syn starters include chilled gazpacho soup and cocido andaluz, a "hot-pot" made of chick- peas and different vegetables – both great on Extra Easy and Green. On Extra Easy and Original days, look out for grilled sardines or jamon serrano (dry-cured ham) and rabo de toro, a ragout of bull's tail! As in all Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is a key ingredient. If you’re trying to keep the Syns low use choice power and go for meat or fish and vegetable dishes that are grilled or baked without oil. Great veggie options Salads often come with oil and vinegar to dress your self. Vegetables or potatoes might be served hervido (boiled) or al vapor (steamed), and tomatoes or peppers stuffed with rice (relleno) can be filling choices. Look for pasta or rice ‘encebollado’ (in tomato or onion sauce) and for samfaina, a mixture of cooked Mediterranean vegetables. If you’re a fan of seafood, watch out for calamari salad (calamari can be enjoyed as a Healthy Extra on Green) which is often served with toasted ciabatta (3½ Syns per 28g / 1oz) as an appetiser or light meal. Escalivada, a vegetable salad, is also a good option and can be enjoyed hot or cold – enjoy with a Healthy Extra portion of barbecued fish for a terrific taverna treat! Although Spanish menus feature lots of meat and fish dishes, there are plenty of veggie options too. Vegetable dishes such as arroz a la cubana (rice with tomato sauce and a fried egg), tortilla espanola (omelette with potatoes) or tortilla a la paisana (with mixed vegetables), are delicious, but may be oily. Because many of the local restaurants will cook from scratch, ask for your meal ‘sin aceite’ or without oil to keep the Syns at a minimum. If you’re planning to tuck into a bowl of paella enjoy the mussels and prawns as a Healthy Extra choice on Green, or go for paella vegetariana (vegetarian paella). It may still be quite an oily, high- Syn meal, so don’t forget about flexible Syns or sharing with a friend! Meaty options If you enjoy steak, chicken, fish and seafood you’ll love eating out in Spain. Look for dishes that are cooked al horno (in the oven), asado con espetón (spit roasted) or a la parrilla (barbecued), rather than a la romana (battered and deep fried) or empanado (breaded and deep fried). Specialities include: pollo al chilindrón (chicken with tomatoes and garlic) cordero asado (roast lamb) caldereta de langosta (lobster stew with peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic) zarzuela de pescados (fish stew) lenguado a la plancha (grilled Dover sole) Have these with ensalada (salad) or verduras (vegetables) for a delicious and filling meal. EATING OUT JAPENESE Japanese food is one of the healthiest choices for dining out (hard to believe from the country that gave us sumo wrestling!) With Free Food such as seafood, lean meat, rice and noodles in abundance it’s heaven for a Food Optimiser! What’s more, the sauces and marinades used to flavour the dishes are often Food Optimising-friendly too! Feast your eyes on these Japanese jewels… Sushi - probably the most famous Japanese dish. With so many varieties of sushi there’s one to suit every taste - yes really! Nigiri sushi is raw fish and sticky rice (rice in sweetened rice vinegar) wrapped in seaweed. Choosing fish as a Healthy Extra choice makes this a delicious dish for a Green day. Not your cup of saki? No problem! Vegetarian varieties of sushi (with beansprouts, peppers, mushrooms and spring onions) are also great for Green. The accompanying pickles - Japanese cucumber and aubergine, are practically, if not totally Free! Noodles – soba noodles (thin egg noodles) and udon noodles (thick, white egg-free noodles) are popular menu items enjoyed hot in a broth, cold with a dipping sauce, or with meat, fish or vegetables – ideal for Extra Easy! So for a Green day count the meat/fish as a Healthy Extra, or for an Original meal, count the noodles as Syns. (A medium portion, 100g, is around 6 Syns). Teppanyaki – This type of cooking is a very entertaining experience - in some restaurants the food is cooked right in front of you on a ‘teppan’ griddle - fast- paced and flamboyant! The meat, fish and noodles cooked on the teppan griddle are very low in Syns thanks to little oil being used. Fresh salmon, scallops, monkfish, tuna, chicken and beef are all teppanyaki favourites, making it a fab Extra Easy and Original dish. An advantage of having your meal cooked in front of you is that you can specify what to include, which keeps the meal low in Syns or Free! Miso soup– fermented soya beans with wakame seaweed, tofu and mushrooms is a great starter for an Extra Easy or Green day, at around 2½ Syns. Watch out for... ...any item that’s deep-fried like tempura (vegetables/seafood encased in light batter), spring rolls and deep-fried tofu. EATING OUT CHINESE Basic traditional Chinese ingredients such as rice, noodles, beansprouts, mushrooms, chicken, prawns and beef are all fantastic Free Foods! It’s a fabulous start to a Food Optimising feast, so no need to avoid the little Oriental palace in your neck of the woods! With only minor tweaks to your take-away a low-Syn Chinese feast is guaranteed! out on the China-town... BBQ SPARE RIBS 160g - SERVING 8 ½ ON EASY & ORIGINAL/17 ½ GREEN BEEF CHOW MEIN- 8 ½ SYNS EASY & GREEN/ 13 ½ ORIGINAL BEEF IN BLACKBEAN SAUCE- 5 SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL / 16 ½ GREEN BEEF WITH MUSHROOMS- 4 ½ SYNS EASY & ORIGINAL/ 19 ½ GREEN BEEF WITH PEPPERS/ONION/WATER CHESTNUTS -12 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 14 GREEN CHICKEN & CASHEW NUTS- 8 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 18 GREEN CHICKEN & MUSHROON- 5 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 11 GREEN CHICKEN CHOP SUEY- 5 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 9 ORIGINAL CHICKEN CHOW MEIN- 7 EASY & GREEN/ 11 ½ ORIGNAL CHICKEN IN BLACKBEAN SAUCE- 5 EASY & ORIGINAL/14 GREEN CHICKEN IN OYSTER SAUCE- 4 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 15 GREEN CRISPY DUCK 125g- 10 ½ EASY & ORIGNAL/ 20 ½ GREEN GINGER & GARLIC PRAWNS WITH NOODLES- 5 EASY & GREEN/ 14 ½ ORIGINAL NOODLES- PLAIN BOILED NOT FRIED- FREE ON EASY & GREEN/ 15 ORIGINAL PEKING DUCK WITH PANCAKES 375g SERVING- 30 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 52 ½ GREEN PRAWN TOASTS 2 PIECES- 7 SYNS ON ALL CHOICES PRAWNS IN BATTER WITH SWEET CHILLI SAUCE- 19 EASY & ORIGINAL//22 ½ GREEN RICE- FRIED- 4 EASY & GREEN/ 21 ½ ORIGINAL RICE -BOILED FREE EASY & GREEN/ 20 ½ ORIGINAL SOUP- CHICKEN & SWEETCORN- 7 ½ ALL CHOICES SOUP- CRAB & SWEETCORN- 6 ½ ALL CHOICES HOT & SOUR- 5 ALL CHOICES WON TON- 13 ALL CHOICES SPECIAL FRIED RICE – 9 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 17 ORIGINAL STIR FRIED MIX VEGGIES- 6 ½ ALL CHOICES SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN- 8 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 17 GREEN SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN IN BATTER- 17 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 25 ½ GREEN SWEET & SOUR PORK- 15 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 23 ½ GREEN SWEET & SOUR PRAWNS – 9 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 12 GREEN *Per average take-away serving IF YOU FIND YOUR FAVOURITE NOW HERE, LOOK FOR A DISH THAT IS SIMILAR AND COUNT THAT SYN VALUE ALWAYS WORTH ASKING YOUR LOCAL CHINESE HOW THEY COOK THE MEALS , YOU MAY FIND DUE TO HOW THEY COOK IT , SOME MAY BE LOWER THAN STATED ! EATING OUT THAI Thai food is a popular eating out choice thanks to its tasty fusion of spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavours. With delicious dishes such as creamy green curry, deep fried fishcakes and saucy satay, is it really possible to Food Optimise and have more than a taste of Thai? Yes Yes Yes! We’ve got tons of tips, recipes and suggestions to show you how. restaurant revelations... Eating in a Thai restaurant is an experience in itself with attentive waiters and ornately decorated food. Get your tongue Thai’d with these tasty dishes! Food Optimising-friendly options include: Starters orders– avoid deep fried, pastry-packaged spring rolls and samosas, go for broths such as Poh taek (mixed seafood soup) - a fantastic Extra Easy and Original choice. Som Tum (spicy vegetable salad) is hot stuff for an Extra Easy or Green choice. Main event– green or red curry are the most well-known Thai dishes, (with those names you’d think they’d be Food Optimising-friendly!) However, the dishes are made with rich Syn-filled sauces. Healthier menu items include fish and meat that are described as steamed or grilled. These include Hor neung mok pla (hot & sour steamed fish) this tastes and looks pretty impressive – packaged in a banana leaf! Pat gaprao gai (minced chicken with chillies and lime leaves) is another of the healthier Extra Easy and Original options. Although it’s a stir-fry dish, it’s made up of Free basic ingredients and there’s no creamy sauce. For an Extra Easy or Green choice, pad thai jay is a veggie version of the classic stir fried noodle dish (although the Syns in the oil will need to be taken into account). Khao Suey (Thai fragrant rice) is delicately flavoured steamed rice and gorgeous for an Extra Easy or Green day. Watch out for... many Thai dishes take their flavours from coconut milk, peanut oil and carefully blended curry pastes. These are the high-Syn dishes to avoid or enjoy occasionally using Flexible Syns. EATING OUT INDIAN Creamy curries, rich rice dishes and non-stop poppadoms – a night in an Indian restaurant can amount to staggeringly high Syns! (And that’s not including the lager to help it down!) But it’s not all bad news for your baltis; there are loads of tikka-tastic ways to enjoy a Food Optimising feast, Indian-style! The basis for most curries is ghee (clarified butter); the addition of oil and cream is why the Syns start soaring. Indian dining doesn’t have to be a Syn slip-up however. Great options include dishes that come minus the creamy sauce, eg tandoori chicken (marinated in spices and yogurt) and rice dishes such as biryani (meat/vegetables mixed with rice). TANDOORI TIPS BEEF MADRAS- 11 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 24 GREEN BOMBAY POTATOES- 7 EASY & GREEN/ 16 ORIGINAL CHAPATI EACH- 7 ½ ALL CHOICES CHICKEN BHUNA- 11 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 22 GREEN CHICKEN BIRYANI- 12 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 18 ORIGINAL CHICKEN CURRY- 11 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 23 ½ GREEN CHICKEN DHANSAK- 6 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 18 ½ GREEN CHICKEN JALFREZI- 8 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 18 ½ GREEN CHICKEN KASHMIRI- 9 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 21 ½ GREEN CHICKEN KORMA- 16 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 30 GREEN CHICKEN MAKHANI – 16 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 30 GREEN CHICKEN PASANDRA- 20 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 33 ½ GREEN CHICKEN SAAG- 11 EASY & ORIGINAL/23 GREEN CHICKEN TANDOORI- 9 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 21GREEN CHICKEN TIKKA BALTI -11 ½ EASY& ORIGINAL/ 25 ½ GREEN CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA- 14 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 26 ½ GREEN CHICKEN VINDALOO- 8 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 20 GREEN CHICK PEA DAHL- 5 EASY & GREEN/ 27 ORIGINAL CUCUMBER RAITA 1 LEVEL TBSP- 1 SYN GOBI ALOO SAAG- 11 EASY & GREEN/ 14 ½ ORIGINAL LAMB BHUNA- 12 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 29 GREEN LAMB BIRYANI- 20 ½ ALL CHOICES LAMB PASANDRA- 21 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 39 GREEN LAMB ROGAN JOSH- 6 ½ EASY & ORIGINAL/ 23 ½ GREEN LIME PICKLE 1 LEVEL TBSP- 1 ½ SYNS MANGO CHUTNEY- 1 L;EVEL TBSP- 2 SYNS NAAN BREAD PESHWARI- 25 ½ SYNS EACH PLAIN 20 SYNS EACH ONION BHAJI EACH- 8 ½ ALL CHOICES ONION SAMBAL 1 LEVEL TBSP- ½ SYN PARATHA EACH- 12 SYNS ALL CHOICES POPPADOMS EACH – 4 SYNS ALL CHOICES PRAWN BHUNA – 10 EASY & ORIGINAL/ 17 ½ GREEN PRAWN BIRYANI- 15 EASY & GREEN /22 1.2 ORIGINAL PICE- PILAU- 2 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 14 ORIGINAL RICE – BOILED – FREE EASY & GREEN/ 20 ORIGINAL SAMOSAS 2 SMALL MEAT- 12 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES SAMOSAS 2 SMALL VEGGIE- 7 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES VEGETABLE BIRYANI- 11 ½ EASY & GREEN/ 21 ORIGINAL VEGETABLE CURRY- 9 EASY & GREEN/ 12 ½ ORIGINAL VEGETBALE JALFREZI- 7 ½ SYNS ALL CHOICES VEGETABLE KORMA- 15 EAY & GREEN/ 19 ORIGINAL IF YOU CANNOT FIND YOU FAVOUTITE LOOK FOR ONE WHICH IS SIMILAR AND COUNT THAT SYN MEMBER TOP TIP!! “Whenever I go for an Indian I ask for my meal to be ghee-free. No-one has ever said it can’t be done and it tastes just as good!” While these are some of the lower Syn Indian options, to enjoy a real slap-up Food Optimising feast, fill up on heaps of salad as an accompaniment to your dishes. On Extra Easy and Green enjoy mountains of rice - whilst an average portion of pilau rice is 2½ Syns on Green, you can enjoy piles of boiled basmati rice for Free! Watch out for... high-Syn starters such as vegetable samosas (2 small ones are 7½ Syns) and onion bhajis (8½ Syns each). EATING OUT SUBWAY You’ll find Subway sandwich shops on most high streets and with a little know-how, you can still enjoy the unique Subway flavours making the most of Free Foods like chicken, ham, turkey, steak, beef and piles of fresh salad. At Slimming World you really can have your sub – and eat it! Our superb Subway guide will glide you through a Free Food frenzy and give you the pointers you need to make the very healthiest Food Optimising choices, along with hints and tips to avoid those sneaky hidden Syns here and at other sandwich shops – it’s easy when you have the know how! Getting started… One of the great things about Food Optimising is that bread isn’t ‘banned’ (as it is with some diets). Wholemeal bread sadly isn’t on the Subway menu, however if you want to enjoy a sub sandwich the 6-inch wheat or Italian are the better options for 9 Syns each. ASK JACKIE REGARDING THE BREAD CHOICES! Italian cheese and herbs, hearty Italian, honey oat and wraps come in at between 10-12 Syns. If you’d prefer to save your Syns and enjoy a fab Free lunch – opt for a ‘bread-free sub’…a huge salad bowl selection. Combo time… Subway has a selection of signature subs, or you can simply make up your own and knowing how this works with Food Optimising makes choosing a filling, delicious sub or salad easy peasy! Great choices include: beef, chicken breast, steak, ham and turkey breast – all fab Free fillings and you can choose as many as you want! The tuna is mixed with light mayonnaise, so estimate three or four Syns if you’re tempted. Watch out for: Meatballs, pepperoni and salami – because they’re processed they tend to contain hidden extras, so they can be unexpectedly high in Syns. Chicken breast fillet in breadcrumbs and chicken tikka both contain extra Syns because of their coatings. Bacon will bump up the Syn value because Subway uses streaky/fatty bacon and this contains Syns. The veggie pattie, although contains Free Foods like carrots, sweetcorn and red peppers has hidden extras – count 7-8 Syns for just the pattie. At Subway there’s always the option to have cheese with your combo – count two slices as an extra 4-6 Syns – or choose to have yours without. Select your salad… Wow – with all this salad to choose from, it’s a Food Optimiser’s dream! Lettuce, cucumber, red onion, green peppers, pickles, jalapeños and tomatoes – ask the sandwich artist to pile it high, it’s all Free! Count ½ Syn if you enjoy a sprinkle of olives on your sub or salad Let’s get saucy… Sauces in general are where a Free Food salad can quickly become packed with Syns. In Subway, you’re in charge so you can have as much or as little dressing as you like. Count one or two Syns for sweet onion, honey mustard, hot chilli and BBQ sauce on your salad or sub. And keep track of three to five Syns for creamy sauces such as light mayonnaise, Chipotle Southwest sauce and ranch dressing. Watch out for…breakfast subs At Subway the breakfast subs on offer could blow your Syns for the day before you’ve even made it past the mid- morning rush! All breakfast subs are served in a 6-inch sub sandwich (9-12 Syns), the bacon isn’t lean (6 Syns) and the sausage isn’t Syn-free! (another 6 Syns – at least! SUBWAY SYN VALUES I HAVE TRIED TO INCLUDE ALL THE SUBWAYS SANDWICHES THESE SYNS WERE TAKEN OFF SLIMMING WORLD WEBSITE NOVMBER 2011 OFFICALLY YOU CANNOT USE WHEAT BREAD FOR YOUR HEALTHY EXTRA B CHOICE SYNS ARE FOR 6 INCE SANDWICHES NOT THE FOOTLONG!!! ALSO THE SYNS ARE MORE OR LESS THE SAME WHICH EVER BREAD YOU CHOOSE I HAVE CHOOSE WHITE SYNS ARE SAME FOR ALL CHOICES LOW FAT 6 “ SUBS BEEF- 13 ½ SYNS CHICKEN TERIYAKI & SWEET ONION- 17 SYNS HAM- 12 ½ SYNS ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST – 14 ½ SYNS SUBWAY CLUB- 14 ½ SYNS TURKEY BREAST & HAM- 13 SYNS TURKET BREAST – 12 ½ SYNS VEGGIE DELITE- 10 OTHER SUBS MINI SUB- BEEF- 9 SYNS MINI SUB HAM- 8 MINI SUB TUNA & CHEESE- 12 ½ SYNS CHICKEN & BACON RANCH WITH CHEESE- 24 SYNS HAM & CHEESE- 16 ½ SYN ITALIAN BLT & CHEESE- 21 SYNS MEATBALL MARINARA & CHEESE- 25 ½ SYNS ROAST BEEF- 14 ½ SYNS SPICY ITALIAN – 22 ½ SYNS STEAK & CHEESE- 16 ½ SYNS SUBWAY CHEESE MELT- 17 ½ SYNS TUNA & CHEESE- 20 VEGGIE PATTY- 20 ½ SYNS CHICKEN TEMPTATION- 22 ½ SYNS CHICKEN TIKKA – 18 ½ SYNS SAG PANEER- 23 SYNS SALADS THE BRILL THING ABOUT SUBWAY SALADS ARE THAT YOU CONTROL WHATS GOES ON IT!! FILLIT FULL OF FREE MEATS- CHICKN, BEEF,TURKEY BREAST AN FILL IT WITH YOUR FAVOURITE VEGGIES!! FOR A SYN FREE LUNCH! WRAPS CHICKEN & BACON RANCH- 18 ½ SYNS CHICKEN TERIYAKI WITH SWEET ONION- 14 SYNS TUNA & CHEESE- 20 ½ SYNS TUNA – 15 ½ SYNS TURKEY & BACON WITH CHIPOTLE SAUCE MELT- 19 SYNS TURKEY BREAST & BACON MELT- 19 SYNS BREAKFAST SUBS 6 “ BACON- 13 SYNS BACON EGG & CHEESE- 21 ½ SYNS EGG & CHEESE- 17 ½ SYNS SAUSAGE EGG & CHEESE- 26 ½ SYNS SAUSAGE- 17 ½ SYNS CREATE YOU OWN SUB BREADS 6” HEARTY ITALIAN- 9 ½ SYNS HONEY OAT- 11 SYNS ITALIAN HERBS AND CHEESE- 11 SYNS ITALIAN- 9 SYNS WHEAT-9 SYNS WRAP- 16 ½ SYNS AGAIN PICK FREE MEATS AND VEGGIES THE ADD THE EXTRAS! PER SERVING RANCH DRESSING- 2 SYNS CHIPOTLE SOUTH WEST SAUCE- 4 ½ SYNS HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE- 1 ½ SYNS SWEET ONION SAUCE- 2 SYNS LIGHT MAYONNAISE- 3 SYNS EXTRA CHEESE PER SERVING- 2 SYNS EXTRA MONTERY CHEDDAR PER SERVING – 3 SYNS EXTRA BACON PER SERVING- 2 SYNS COOKIES AND CAKES CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE- 10 ½ SYNS RAINBOW COOKIE- 11 SYNS DOUBLE CHOC CHIP COOKIE- 11 SYNS OATMEAL RASIN COOKIE- 10 ½ SYNS WHIT CHIP MACADAMIA NUT COOKIE- 11 SYNS CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUT- 12 SYNS SUGERED DOUGHNUT- 10 ½ SYNS BLUEBERRY MUFFIN- 17 ½ SYNS CHOCOLATE CHUNK MUFFIN- 19 ½ SYNS DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN- 19 ½ SYNS SOUPS PER SERVING BEEF GOULASH- 10 SYNS CARROT & CORIANDER- 4 SYNS COUNTRY CHICKEN & VEGETABLE- 8 ½ SYNS CREAM OF CHICKEN – 8 SYNS CREAM OF MUSHROOM- 8 SYNS HIGHLAND VEGETABLE-3 ½ SYNS LEEK & POTATO-6 SYNS LENTIL & BACON- 9 SYNS MINESTONE- 4 SYNS RED PEPPER & TOMATO- 5 SYNS THAI STYLE VEGETABLE- 4 ½ SYNS TOMATO- 5 SYNS WILD MUSHROOM- 5 SYNS PIZZA SHOP SYN VALUES I HAVE USED THE SYNS FROM PIZZA HUT TAKEAWAY MENU FROM SYNS ONLINE SYNS FOR EASY UNLESS STATED STARTERS GARLIC BREAD ¼ SLICE- 12 ½ SYNS GARLIC BREAD WITH CHEESE PER ¼ SLICE- 15 ½ SYNS GARLIC MUSHROOMS NO DIP- 2 SYSN EACH ONION RINGS 100g SERVING- 14 SYNS CHICKEN NUGGET EACH- 1 ½ SYNS CHICKEN WINGS PER SERING OF 3- 7 SYNS SPARE RIBS PER 100g SERVING – 9 ½ SYNS PIZZA THESE SYNS ARE PER SLICE OF PIZZA LARGE SIZED CUT INTO 10 SLICES REMEMBER SYNS ARE FOR SLICE NOT THE WHOLE PIZZA! LARGE CHEESEY BITES PIZZA...QUITE HIGH IN SYNS BBQ STEAK- 14 ½ SYNS BEEF SIZZLER – 14 SYNS CHICKEN SIZZLER- 13 ½ SYNS CHICKEN SUPREME- 13 ½ SYNS FARMHOUSE- 13 SYNS HAWAIIAIN- 13 SYNS MAGRGHERITA- 14 SYNS MEAT FEAST- 16 SYNS MEAT MACHINE- 17 SYNS PEPPERONI FEAST- 15 SYNS STEAK SUPREME- 13 ½ SYNS SUPER SUPREME- 16 ½ SYNS SUPREME- 14 ½ SYNS VEGGIE SIZZLER- 13 SYNS VEGGIE SUPREME- 14 SYNS LARGE ITALIAN PIZZA STILL HIGH BUT BETTER OPTION THAN THE CHEESEY BITES ONE! BBQ STEAK- 9 SYNS BEEF SIZZLER- 8 SYNS CHICKEN SIZZLER-8 SYNS CHICKEN SUPREME- 8 SYNS FARMHOUSE- 8 SYNS HAWAIIAIN- 8 SYNS MARGHERITA- 8 ½ SYNS MEAT FEAST- 10 ½ SYNS MEAT MACHINE- 11 ½ SYNS PEPPERONI FEAST – 10 ½ SYNS STEAK SUPREME- 8 SYNS SUPER SUPRME- 10 SYNS SUPREME- 9 ½ SYNS VEGGIE SUPREME- 7 ½ SYNS VEGGIE SIZZLER- 7 ½ SYNS KEBABS DONNER KEBAB MEAT AND PITTA SMALL- 15 ½ SYNS LARGE- 20 SYNS LAMB /CHICKEN /TANDOORI KEBABS – 3 SYNS EACH- NOT BAD!!! PITTA BREAD- 7 ½ SYNS NAAN BREAD 23 SYNS We’re Having A buffet! OK….First DON’T panic! You can still lose weight AND go to a Buffet! It’s all about choices. We don’t expect you to rely on will-power alone, but use choice power. YOU decide what you want to change in order to still enjoy yourself and still find those pounds slipping away as well. Tips. I was once advised to eat before you go, sounds like going against the grain when you have a free buffet, but it’s your choice. You can do whatever is best for you; resist the urge to follow the crowd. Be the one who succeeds. It’s really about planning what to do before you go, and if you’re actually making the buffet, then you’re in complete charge! Checking out the following syns of the most popular buffet foods may help you decide whether to eat before, or save some syns, or even go flexi. Buffet Favourites Pork Pies, mini 10 syns each Potato salad, 100g 9 syns Coleslaw, 100g 5 ½ syns Egg Mayo sandwiches, a standard pack 18 ½ syns Bread roll & butter, 113g 16 ½ syns Coronation Chicken, 1 tbsp 2 ½ syns Vol Au Vents 5 each Pasta Dish, 28g 2 ½ to 8 syns Quiche, 28g 3 ½ syns Scotch Eggs 14 syns each Spring Rolls 5 ½ syns each Doritos, 28g 6 ½ syns Dips, cheese & chive, 1 tbsp 4 syns Sausage rolls, small 5 syns each Cheesecake, 28g 4 ½ syns Fudge cake, average portion About 35 syns! Pavlova, 28g 5 syns Planning your own Buffet? Syn free Coleslaw - Shred white cabbage & carrots, thinly slice red or white onion, add 2 tbsp Fat free Natural yogurt. (Or extra light Mayo 15g, ½ syn) Syn Free Coronation chicken – Frylight some chicken pieces, allow to cool, add 2 tbsp mild curry powder to a vanilla Muller light. Add cooled chicken….Delicious! Low Syn Scotch Eggs – (½ syn each half) Use 1 Morrisons eat smart sausage to one boiled egg, remove skin, and wrap around shelled egg. Roll in ¼ scan Bran. Make in eights. Low Syn Tuna Pasta Salad – 2 ½ syns all of it! Cook a small bag of pasta shapes, drain & cool. Add a chopped red onion, Sweetcorn & I tin of Tuna flakes. Add 75g of Hellman’s Extra Light Mayo (2 ½ syns).Season with salt & pepper. Use any meat, fish or veg as well…. Syn Free Slimming World Quiche – 1 tub smart price cottage cheese to 1 egg. Add any fillings. Cooked free Batchelors Pasta, veg, chicken, bacon, etc. Bake 30 mins, med oven. Cheese & chive Dip – (3 syns) Blend a tub of Syn Free chive cottage cheese with 2 Dairylea light Triangles (3 syns). Try different flavour cottage cheeses with fresh herbs. Salad – Lots & lots of syn free salad, try Fat free vinaigrette dressing on the side! Meat & Fish – Smoked, poached & tinned salmon. Sliced ham, turkey, chicken etc. Low Option Sandwiches – Use small wholemeal & white Baps (Asda 57g approx.), & Very Low fat spread. Lots of syn free fillings. Egg mayo? (15g VLF Mayo =1/2 syn) Potato Salad – 2 ½ syns all of it! Boil 250g new potatoes, cool. Add 75g mayo & chopped fresh chives. Crisps? - Try, including quavers, French fries & light varieties instead Desserts? – Check out www.slimmingworld.com for loads of recipe ideas. Also more Buffet choices on website, just login, and off you go! ENJOY YOUR BITS ON THE SIDE if you fancy a ‘bit on the side’ – like ketchup on your bacon sandwich, or real mayo on your tuna and sweetcorn jacket – you can! We’ve created an at-a-glance guide to some of our favourite ‘bits on the side’ below, along with some nifty swaps to help you save Syns along the way… All day long Dash of milk – ½ Syn per dash of semi-skimmed milk 1 level tsp sugar – 1 Syn *Swap to sweetener and enjoy for Free Fruit cordial (250ml made up) – 2½ Syns *Swap for sugar free varieties for a Free drink Breakfast accompaniments 1 level tbsp butter – 5½ Syns *Swap for reduced fat butter and save 1½ Syns 1 level tbsp margarine/spread – 5½ Syns *Swap for reduced fat marg and save 2½ Syns 1 level tbsp jam – 2 Syns *Swap for reduced sugar jam and save ½ Syn 1 level tbsp honey – 2½ Syns 1 level tbsp marmalade – 1½ Syns *Swap for reduced sugar and save ½ Syn 1 level tbsp peanut butter – 4½ Syns *Swap for Marmite for a Free toast topper! 1 level tbsp tomato ketchup – 1 Syn 1 level tbsp brown sauce – 1 Syn Small (142ml) glass of orange juice – 2½ Syns (or enjoy a couple of oranges for Free!) Lunchtime additions 1 level tbsp mayo – 5 Syns *Swap for extra light mayo and save 4½ Syns! 1 level tbsp salad cream - 2½ Syns *Swap for reduced calorie salad cream and save 1 Syn! 1 level tbsp sweet pickle – 1 Syn 1 level tbsp coleslaw - 1½ Syns *Swap for reduced fat coleslaw and save ½ Syn 1 level tbsp vinaigrette dressing - 3 Syns *Swap for fat free vinaigrette for a Free salad dressing! Watch out for those sneaky Syns: An average multi-pack bag of crisps is around 7½ Syns. A sprinkle of Cheddar cheese (around 28g) is 6 Syns. Swap to reduced fat cheddar and enjoy 42g of cheese for 6 Syns or count it as your Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice A generous drizzle of olive oil on your salad could cost 6+ Syns. *Swap for lemon juice or balsamic vinegar for Free or count olive oil as your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice. Dinner trimmings 4 level tbsp gravy (made with granules, no fat added) – 1 Syn 1 level tbsp apple sauce – 1 Syn 1 level tbsp mint sauce – 1 Syn *Swap for no added sugar mint sauce to make it Free! 1 level tbsp cranberry sauce – 1 Syn 1 level tbsp redcurrant jelly – 2 Syns 1 level tbsp horseradish sauce – 1 Syn 1 level tbsp mustard – ½ Syn 1 level tbsp olive oil - 6 Syns per tbsp *Count it as your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice, or use Fry Light spray for Free 1 small Yorkshire pud (average 30g) – 3-4½ Syns DAY TRIP SURVIVAL A day at the zoo? A trip to a theme park? Whatever you’re up to on your days out we’ve got loads of top tips and ideas to help you enjoy a fabulous trip and stay on track towards your slimming goal! Whether you’re visiting a castle or cave, travelling by car or coach we’ve got the trip tips to ensure a fun- packed day! Be prepared! Do as the scouts do – preparation is the key to successful Food Optimising! By packing some snack essentials for when hunger strikes, you’ll always ‘be prepared’! Healthy Extra cereal bars, whole fruit, bagged chopped fruit and grapes are marvels for munching during long car journeys. Ryvita Minis are a savoury snack saviour – a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice or a fab 5 Syns. With a super-cool cool bag there’s a whole host of transportable snacks on offer: yogurts, Babybel or Dairylea cheese triangles, cold meat, Free quiche – they’ll all keep hunger at bay! Member Brian Semple lost an amazing 15st 2lbs whilst spending a lot of his time on the road. He puts his success down to planning. I travel a lot with work and from the start I was determined my weight loss wouldn’t be scuppered. Instead I use a large holdall as a portable larder and pack a chopping board, knives, plates and essentials like fruit, so I never go hungry! And when I get near my destination, I stop at a supermarket and buy cold meats and salad. Pit stops If you’re on a long car journey you’ll probably need to ‘re-fuel’ along the way – and there are lots of options for filling up, the healthy way. Motorway service stations needn’t be a minefield. Self-service food courts often have a healthier range of meals like jacket potatoes, salads and tomato-based pasta dishes on offer. Many service stations have a Marks & Spencer 'Simply food' or large newspaper shops that stock healthier snacks like fruit and yogurt. Country pubs usually have a range of Food Optimising-friendly dishes – steaks, fish, jacket potatoes and salads are all top options. Asking for butter/dressings on the side means that you can add the amount you want - keeping you in control of your Syns, and not the chef! White knuckle knowledge Food Optimising at a theme park doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster ride! All it takes is a bit of awareness about healthy food choices. Jacket potato stands, barbecued meat stalls or grilled ribs and chicken kiosks all feature healthier choices. Take care with your toppings… they can contain hidden Syns! If in doubt, ask for a pot of sauce on the side so you decide how much to dip! Taking along a picnic means saving money and Syns. Food Optimising salads, sandwiches, chicken legs, Free quiche and boiled eggs are all perfect picnic items. Most theme parks provide locker facilities so there’s no need to haul a picnic bag round for the dayWatch out for… Hot dog in roll with onions, ketchup & mustard = 21 Syns! Ice cream, eg Cornetto classic = 11½ Syns! Deep-fried donuts = 15 Syns! Cheeseburger = 15½ Syns! Time for tea If you’re visiting a stately home or castle you’re likely to find traditional tea rooms and snack bars. Menu items are often freshly-prepared – giving you the opportunity to specify what you’d like on your plate! Healthier choices include salads, jacket potatoes or Free Food-filled sandwiches made with wholemeal bread (taken as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice). Watch out for filled baguettes and Ploughman’s salads – a surprising way to add Syns. A plate of French bread, butter, pickle, a wedge of cheese and a sliver of pork pie means you could be tucking into 60 Syns or more!Taking along your own flask means you can slurp your favourite warming snack while enjoying the gardens! Healthy Extra soup, homemade chilli, spaghetti in tomato sauce or savoury rice all make delicious flask foods. It’s one day out of your Food Optimising week Above all, enjoy yourself and… if you do succumb to a slice of cake, a burger or a baguette (or even all three), remember that tomorrow’s a brand new day. By getting back on track and Food Optimising 100% for the rest of that week, you’ll be maximizing your chance of enjoying a positive result at the scales next week! FREE QUICHE RECIPE peppers, diced onions, chopped courgettes, diced baby sweetcorn, sliced asparagus, sliced lengthways mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, sliced 3 eggs 150g fat free natural cottage cheese 1. Prepare whatever Superfree veggies take your fancy… we’ve used peppers, onions, courgettes, baby sweetcorn, asparagus, mushrooms and tomatoes. You can dry-fry them until soft or leave them raw for extra crunch. 2. Mix together the 3 eggs, 150g fat-free natural cottage cheese and some chopped parsley. 3. Lay the chopped vegetables out in an oven-proof flan dish then pour the cottage cheese mix over. 4. Pop in the oven at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5 for around 30 minutes, or until the quiche is set and golden brown. Tip: Serve the quiche in wedges with Free Slimming World chips on an Extra Easy or Green day, or piles of salad - ideal for lunchboxes! As this recipe contains all Free Food, you can eat as much as you like MOVIE MUNCHIE With an eye-popping array of sweet and savoury snacks available (in bucket-size packaging!) it can be hard to mix movies with healthy munchies. But fear not - Food Optimising means there’ll always be a happy ending to your cinema visit! We’ve got all the tips and tactics for surviving the cinema experience! We’ve reviewed the most popular cinema snacks to see whether they’re a Hollywood blockbuster or total turkeys... Pup fiction Slush puppies, the luminous iced drinks made famous in the seventies are a slurping 2 Syns per 100ml so are a good option for icy refreshment. The slushy drinks are usually served in cups that are roughly 284ml, so it works out at around 5 Syns. If you fancy a cool drink that’s totally Free, opt for a diet Coke! Reservoir (hot) dogs This simple sausage-in-a bun-snack is unfortunately not the best bite for a slimmer. An average hot dog, in a bread roll with a dollop of ketchup or mustard is a whopping 17 Syns – so you don’t get much snack for your Syns! Making your own hot dogs for a home-based movie marathon will save you loads of Syns! Grilling Low Syn sausages such as Asda Reduced Fat Pork Sausages 50% Less fat (1 Syn each on EE and Original, 4½ Syns each on Green) and sandwiching them between a Healthy Extra wholemeal roll means the additional Syns to count are for your splodge of ketchup (1 Syn per level tablespoon) or mustard (½ Syn per teaspoon)! Add piles of dry-fried onions for Free! Ice (s)cream Even though the ushers of yesteryear aren’t around to serve ice-cream during the interval, there are still plenty of ice cream options at the cinema! Unfortunately these aren’t usually that low in Syns – a typical mini ice cream tub such as Haagen-Dazs Belgian Chocolate is a frosty 16 Syns each! For a low-Syn option, look for the scoop stand. At just 5½ Syns for a scoop of delicious ice cream (4 Syns for the reduced fat variety) it’s a great accompaniment to a good film! A lower Syn option is to slurp on a sorbet – at around 3 Syns per scoop these are refreshing – in taste and Syns! Another great option is an iced lolly such as Walls orange Calippo – at only 5 Syns it’s certainly a cool choice! Snatch(os) Nachos are definitely a favourite cinema snack (despite the fact they’re hard to eat quietly when the opening credits begin!). The good news is jalapeno peppers are Free! The salsa is a better option than the melted cheese dip (½ Syn per tbsp compared with 2½ Syns), but the nachos remain high in Syns (7 Syns per 28g). For a savoury snack that’s less high in Syns, a 17g packet of Walker’s Quavers makes a great alternative to Nachos at 4½ Syns. Better still, creating your own smorgasbord of Free snacks such as ham, pickles and your Healthy Extra choices of nuts and cheese makes a yummy pre-cinema snack! Chocolat The huge grab-size bags of chocolate in cinemas are often costly - in money and Syns! A cinema size 200g bag of Galaxy Minstrels is a whopping 50½ Syns, M&Ms are 48½ Syns for a 200g bag and Maltesers are 38 Syns for a 150g bag! It’s often difficult to ‘only eat a few’ from these huge packets, when becoming engrossed in the film’s plot makes hand-to-mouth action very easy! Stay in control of your Syns by taking along a ‘normal’ sized packet of chocolate treats – 42g packet of Minstrels is a tastier 10½ Syns, a 21.5g bag of Maltesers is a fab 5½ Syns and M&Ms in a 20g packet are only 5 Syns! Sweetie home Alabama The sweets at the pick and mix stand are generally around the same Syn value – jellies, fruit gums, liquorice allsorts and pastilles are 1 Syn each. Fruit salads and Blackjacks are slightly lower in Syns at ½ Syn each. A packet of sugar free sweets such as Sweet ‘n low summer fruitsworks out at 1 Syn for 3 sweets. A much sweeter option Syn-wise is to take along your Healthy Extra choice of dried apricots to dip into as the film begins! Never been butterkist The resounding favourite cinema treat is good old popcorn – whether it’s the salty or the sweet kind that tickles your tastebuds! Even though un-popped corn (maize) is a Free grain, once popped and turned into a snack it’s not Free anymore. This is because it becomes very easy to over-consume and you take in a lot of energy in a non-filling, unsatisfying way (which can easily affect your weight loss when you eat it in unlimited quantities). Just 28g popcorn, popped in fat is 8½ Syns – that’s without the added sugar or salt! A bag of ready-made toffee popcorn such as Butterkist toffee popcorn is slightly lower in Syns at 5½ Syns per 28g; however you could tuck into a whole 30g bag of Savoury Salted Snack-a-Jacks for 6 Syns – providing that popcorn crunch for fewer Syns! SURVIVING THE NIGHT SHIFT Whatever hours you’re working, we’ve come up with lots of delicious meal and snack suggestions that’ll brighten up your shift, keep you satisfied, give you an amazing weight loss... and make your colleagues wish they had your packed lunch box! Load your lunchbox Whether you want something hot or cold, there are lots of ways to load up your lunchbox. Keeping cool… Pack a sumptuous, satisfying salad… throw together some cold, cooked meat, boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs, halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber chunks and chopped gherkins and pickled onions. Leftovers from dinner are a great way to give your lunchbox a bit of added oomph! Leftover pasta, rice, couscous, potatoes, cold cuts of meat – they’re tasty and comforting hot or cold. Make a bulging sandwich with two slices of wholemeal bread, filled with layers of chicken, bacon, Cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce. It’s Free on Original and Extra Easy – using Healthy Extras for your bread and cheese. Whenever you have a spare half an hour make a quick Free quiche using Free fillings such as lean bacon or ham, sliced potatoes or sweet potatoes and whatever Superfree vegetables you’ve got in your fridge. Pour over beaten eggs, fat free cottage cheese and herbs, and bake as a normal quiche. It’s great hot or cold and it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days (if it lasts that long!) Heating up… If you’ve got access to a microwave, then the possibilities are practically endless. Whether you bake it at home and warm it up, or microwave it at work, a jacket potato provides plenty of mealtime inspiration. Enjoy with your favourite Free filling like tuna, prawns, fat free cottage cheese and baked beans. Many of our successful members tell us that they cook extra-large pans of food, then freeze portions for a busy day… or to take to work for a speedy meal. Soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods and great for filling you up. For a quick and easy meal, or if you haven’t got the time to cook at home, there are many soups that can be enjoyed as your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice. Our warming favourites include: o Baxter’s chunky smoked bacon and three bean (208g) o New Covent Garden minestrone fresh soup (300g) o Heinz classic chicken and barley broth (400g) No matter what time of day or night it is, the glowing vending machine and charity sweet box can provide more temptation that we can bear! Knowing the Syns of the treats that tempt you the most means you can make a decision – do I want to use 10 Syns on a chocolate bar right now? If the answer’s yes, go ahead and keep count. If you’d rather save your Syns for later, being prepared with a handy drawer of Free snacks means that you can still have a midnight feast! How about these Free Food options: Chopped vegetables like carrot, celery, peppers and cucumber Fresh fruit Hardboiled eggs Crab sticks Lean ham, chicken, turkey or beef Mullerlights Mugshots If you've got your Healthy Extras left, tuck into one of these super snacks... Cheese and crackers – 4 Ryvita Original/Dark Rye/Sesame (Healthy Extra 'b' choice) topped with 6 Laughing Cow Light Triangles (Healthy Extra 'a' choice) Three Babybel lights (Healthy Extra 'a' choice) Two Ryvita fruit crunch (Healthy Extra 'b' choice) Bag Ryvita minis (Healthy Extra 'b' choice) If you fancy a sweet treat with a cuppa mid-shift then these low Syn lovelies are just the ticket. Cadbury Curly Wurly, 15g 3½ Syns Milky Way Magic Stars, 12g 3½ Syns Maltesers, 21.5g 5½ Syns And if you’ve got a savoury snack urge then these are great. Salt and vinegar, cheese or barbeque flavour Jumbo Snack a Jacks, 2 Syns Quavers, 17g bag 4½ Syns Thai Sweet Chilli Velvet Crunch, 20g 4 Syns PACK THE PERFECT PICNIC!! The traditional British picnic conjures up an image of great food, lush green grass, wild flowers, and possibly a hint of romance! Well we can't promise the latter three, but we have some fantastic ideas for tasty, quick, easy, and best of all low-Syn picnic food. the picnic sandwich For a perfect picnic sandwich try these tasty Free fillings: Grilled sweet pepper with 42g mozzarella (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) served on a bed of salad greens and basil (Free on Extra Easy, Green and Original) Crisp lean bacon, thick slices of firm fresh tomato and plenty of watercress for a deliciously peppery BLT (Free on Extra Easy and Original, count bacon as Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice (85g) or 6 Syns on Green) Pickled beetroot, sliced salad onions, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and shredded carrot make up a super salad sarnie that's completely Free on both choices. For extra oomph, include sliced boiled eggs! For more scrumptious sandwich suggestions, feast your eyes on our feature. the meaty picnic Pack up your hamper with these goodies, and get out into the great outdoors… Cold skinless roast chicken- Free on Extra Easy and Original Fresh pineapple cubeswrapped in lean ham slices - Free on Extra Easy and Original Sliced ham, turkey, chicken, beef- Free on Extra Easy and Original Chilled kebabs- skewer cherry tomatoes, rolled up ham/turkey, cubes of cucumber, inches of celery, squares of pepper and basil leaves to make a delicious lunch box treat that's Free on Extra Easy and Original Low-Syn Scotch eggs– shape sausage meat from Marks & Spencer Count On Us pork sausages (½ Syn each ) around a hard-boiled egg, making sure that the egg is covered. Crush a Scan Bran with a rolling pin. Roll the covered egg in the crumbs until evenly coated. Bake in a pre- heated oven at 180ºC for about 25 minutes. Use the Scan Bran as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice or count 1 Syn per crispbread used. the veggie picnic Grab your picnic blanket, along with these tasty ideas… Potato salad- made with boiled salad or new potatoes and fat free fromage frais. Flavour with garlic or fresh herbs for a fresh and Free salad on Extra Easy and Green. Pasta/rice/couscous salad- made with 100% Free Food. Try mixed beans, sweetcorn, celery, raw mushroom, pepper, cherry tomatoes, radish, spring onion, and flavour with Syn-free vinaigrette, fat free natural yogurt or fromage frais for a Free extravaganza on Extra Easy and Green. Broccoli quiche- made with a roasted red pepper base, lots of eggs, fat free natural cottage cheese, broccoli florets and seasoning. Cook at about 160ºC until golden brown. Free on Extras Easy, Green and Original. perfect picnic puddings You can't beat a punnet of strawberries. Did you know that many people eat strawberries with vinegar or black pepper? Apparently, it enhances their flavour (and it's Free) - try it! Fruit kebab - skewer lychees, kiwi, pineapple, physalis, kumquats and grapes for a fruit salad on a stick - Free on both choices. Keep it simple, and take a whole melon. Nibbling on a huge slice will be wonderfully refreshing before or after your sandwich! Syn-free snacks Instead of sweets, why not take broad beans or peas still in their pods (both Free on Extra Easy and Green) or unshelled boiled eggs (Free on Extra Easy, Green and Original). Shelling them will take more time than opening a sweet wrapper, and the centre is Free! Take a selection of raw vegetables cut into sticks to nibble on. You could make a variety of Free dips out of fat free natural yogurt, fromage frais or cottage cheese, flavoured with finely chopped garlic, paprika, chopped fresh pineapple or your favourite herbs. Hints & tips Invest in a cool bag and freezer packs to keep your picnic fresh Take along a football or badminton racquets for a Body Magic boost between courses! Avoid melted, sticky chocolate by packing chocolate flavour Snack-a-Jacks and topping them with slices of banana when you get there. Get into the spirit of British picnics and take your brolly! Packed with mouthwatering ideas for laid-back summer picnics, sizzling barbecues and family entertaining, our gorgeous Simply Summer book is guaranteed to give you a taste of sunshine - whatever the season. SURVING THE SEASIDE Deckchairs, sandcastles, paddling in the sea and… all that lovely food! Even with the enticing smell of fish and chips wafting by, the ice cream stalls around every corner and sweetshop treats aplenty, isn’t it great to know that a trip to the seaside doesn’t have to sabotage your slimming! turn a seaside shock into sun-kissed success Whether you’re day-tripping, camping or staying at a B&B, being in the know about the good food choices available – as well as the high-Syn shockers – is a great place to start when deciding how to handle your holiday! Take a look at the Extra Easy options below to feel confident in your seaside slimming. the seaside shocker B&B’s finest Full English breakfast - sausages, bacon, eggs, fried bread, beans (32+ Syns) 99 ice cream (13 Syns) Hot dog lunch with ketchup and onions (21 Syns) Deep fried doughnut coated in sugar (15 Syns) Fish and chip supper (39½ Syns) Total – a whopping 123 Syns! seaside satisfaction B&B or self-catered breakfast of lean grilled bacon, poached mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and poached eggs with 1 slice of wholemeal toast. (Free plus a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) Fab ice lolly (4½ Syns) Visit the Jacket potato van for a potato topped with baked beans and no butter. (Free! Asking for it without butter saves you 3½ Syns per pat.) Visit the fresh fish stall for a pot of mussels, whelks, winkles or cockles (Free!) Pick up a pint of prawns if you’re feeling peckish (Free!) End the day with a fish supper (remove the batter for Free fish – and save 17 Syns!) with mushy peas (Free!). Or visit a seafood restaurant for grilled fresh fish, new potatoes and steamed vegetables – or even surf and turf – it can all be done for Free! Total – a saintly 4½Syns! With Food Optimising there are tons of ways to make seaside grub good for you, we’re here to help with our seaside solutions… breakfast before the beach Starting the day off with a good hearty breakfast in a B&B is easy; all it takes is a few tweaks to the regular menu! A full English breakfast of egg, lean bacon, sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms is a good choice for an Extra Easy or Original day (everything is Free with the exception of the sausage - 1 thick sausage is 5½ Syns, 1 thin is 4 Syns). Asking for your breakfast to be grilled rather than fried and choosing poached or scrambled egg combats hidden Syns. For a Green or veggie choice, poached egg, mushrooms, baked beans and tomatoes are all great choices, and all Free. Most B&Bs have a choice of cereals – Weetabix, Branflakes, Shredded Wheat and Ready Brek can all be enjoyed as Healthy Extra ‘b’ choices. Tuck into two medium slices of wholemeal toast for only 2½ Syns (as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) spread on a 20g packet of marmalade or strawberry jam for only 2½ Syns, or swap these for a thick layer of totally Free Marmite! snacks among the sandcastles The point of going to the seaside is to have fun, and the last thing we want when everyone else is enjoying a tasty bite to eat, is to be missing out. The good news is some of the traditional seaside snacks are lusciously low in Syns! Savour your Syns by swapping deep-fried doughnuts and hotdogs for these seaside snacks: Pot of whelks/clams/winkles – Free on Original and Extra Easy Crabsticks or jellied eels – Free on Original and Extra Easy Potted shrimp – Free on Original and Extra Easy Mini Milk ice cream – 1½ Syns Stick of candy floss – 3 Syns Fruit Pastil ice lolly – 3 Syns Fab lolly – 4½ Syns Small stick of rock (32g) – 6 Syns By packing Food Optimising snacks where you can, you'll always have a nibble at hand to keep hunger at bay until lunchtime! Fresh fruit, Free yogurts, Hi-fi bars and Ryvita Minis all make great options. FOOD ON THE MOVE Whether it’s a sandwich on the run, lunch in a hurry or a speedy snack you’re after, we’ve got the tips and ideas for saving Syns (and time!) when you’re on the move!Sandwich shops A sandwich on the go doesn’t have to be a massive-Syn, mayonnaise-loaded minefield! Because there are so many Free Foods to choose from there are heaps of Food Optimising ways to ‘sandwich in’ a slimming snack! Automatically reduce the Syns in pre-packed sandwiches by choosing wholemeal bread as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice (deducting 6 Syns from the sandwich). Check that it is wholemeal – watch out for those delicious granary and wholegrains. On Extra Easy and Original, choose fillings like chicken, beef, ham, tuna or prawns with salad - all Free Food. Keep track of mayo, cheese, dressing or butter. On all choices go for sliced egg, salad or houmous (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice). In made-to-order sandwich shops you can specify exactly what you’d like, without having the added pickle/mayonnaise that accompanies ready-made ones. Ask for extra delicious Free fillings. Also, there are usually salad boxes available which is a fab option if you don’t want to use your Healthy Extra choice on bread. Barmy sarnies: Be wary of baguettes and speciality breads – even wholemeal baguettes can be a staggering 21½ Syns. Also, watch out for ‘healthy’ versions of pre-packed sandwiches – often still high in Syns. Speedy snacks Pasta salads in a vinaigrette or tomato-based dressing are healthier options for an Extra Easy and Green day, as are couscous or rice and bean salads. Watch out for Syns that slip in from cheese, olive oil or mayonnaise. On Extra Easy and Original, grab ready-cooked marinated chicken pieces or chicken drumsticks with the skin taken off. Seafood sticks are a fab Free filler, or a packet of wafer-thin honey roast ham makes a great on-the-go snack. A carton of very low fat cottage cheese with chives makes a nourishing nibble, or try a very low fat flavoured variety such as pineapple, tuna and sweetcorn or prawn (these are all usually Free or very low-Syn). A packet of Ryvita Minis (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) goes great with them! Sushi makes a very low-Syn snack on Extra Easy and Green, especially the vegetarian varieties (on average 1 Syn per pack). Many stores have ready-prepared bags of baby carrots or other veg just ready for you to crunch into. If you’re near a greengrocer you can’t beat a good old piece of fruit to keep you going – all fresh fruit is Free! Hot stuff! It’s a Saturday afternoon, you’re shopping in town and your tummy starts to rumble… with fast food outlets galore, is there a Food Optimising option around? You bet! Most fast food restaurants these days have salads on the menu; many come with grilled chicken that works out around 5½ Syns per serving. Dressings usually come in a separate pot so you can stay in control of Syns. If you want a lot more meal for your Syns the best place to visit is the jacket potato van – unlimited baked beans or tuna (Free on Extra Easy, or a Healthy Extra 'b' on Green and Original) with no butter of course, fill you up and don’t use any Syns! Going for a black coffee, tea, diet Coke or low-cal fruit drink to stave off the hunger until you get home for a quick Free snack of ham, chicken or fruit helps you avoid Syns. Pop in to a supermarket to buy some sliced ham or cooked chicken. Sipping your Syns Watch out for high-Syn lattes and creamy cappuccinos from trendy coffee bars – a regular cappuccino (12fl oz/340ml) made with whole milk contains around 7 Syns. Whole milk lattes are even more at around 11½ Syns for a regular cup and mocha topped with whipped cream, ranges between 11 and 21 Syns! Adding syrups sends the Syns sky high! Asking for skimmed (skinny) milk (counting it as part of your Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and swapping sugar for Free sweetener helps to save Syns. OPTIMISE YOUR DRINKS! Food Optimising, as we know, doesn’t mean cutting out the fun from life! Our top tipples guide means your drinks cabinet will be brimming with booze that’s low in Syns! Alcopop alternatives Every bar nowadays has a barrage of brightly coloured bottles, tempting us with their exotic sounding names! Check out our alcopop alternatives - cutting out the sugary Syns but not the alcohol content! A bottle of WKD Vodka Blue at a whopping 13½ Syns can easily be made low in Syns. Sugar Free Red Bull and a 25ml shot of vodka at just 2½ Syns will give you wings! Smirnoff Ice at a huge 9 Syns a bottle can be reduced to 2½ Syns by mixing vodka and diet lemonade – don’t forget a twist of lemon and lime for extra flavour! Bacardi Breezer has the lowest Syn alcopop options with their Diet Lemon flavour at 5 Syns a bottle and Diet Orange at 4 Syns a bottle. Wine and dine Is it me or are wine glasses getting bigger? When confronted with a goldfish bowl sized glass it can be hard not to sink a load of Syns! 125ml of any dry white wine is just 4 Syns! Make your wine go further with a spritzer – topping it up with fizzy water adds no Syns - just sparkle! Red wine is 4½ Syns for a 125ml glass Spirits, in general are reasonably low in Syns - a 25ml shot is roughly the size of a small egg cup. Bacardi, Brandy, Gin, Vodka and Whisky are all 2½ Syns for a 25ml shot – add slimline tonic water, diet coke or sugar free cordial for a Free mixer! A relaxing glass of port is 4 Syns per 50ml; Croft Original Sherry is 3½ Syns, or you could enjoy one of the many oriental dishes containing sherry as an ingredient such as our tasty Chinese Chicken. For an after dinner liqueur, a 25ml glass of Tia Maria is 3½ Syns, whilst 25ml of Cointreau or Drambuie can be enjoyed for 4 Syns or made into a delicious after dinner coffee! A beery good time There’s nothing like a cold glass of beer on a hot summer’s day, but with bottled lager containing up to 8½ Syns and beer up to 9½ Syns it can be easy to sip quite a few Syns! Making your lager or beer into shandy, with sugar free lemonade means your pints will last you that little bit longer. An alcohol free lager is only 3 Syns for 284ml, meaning you can enjoy the taste of lager but cut down on Syns (and a hangover!) Brilliant beverages – alcohol free! It’s not all sugar-free orange squash and Diet Coke! You can make non-alcoholic drinks just as exciting as their all-singing, all-dancing cocktail cousins! Sugar free apple and lime cordial mixed with 250ml of no added sugar cranberry juice, crushed ice and soda water equals a zingy sensation on your tongue for only ½ Syn! For something different, 284ml of Ginger Ale is only 3 Syns. Mixing this into a jug with sugar free lemonade and diced fruit makes this into a summery punch! Iced coffee, made simply by blending instant coffee, milk and sweetener, then chilling in the fridge is totally Free (milk used as a Healthy Extra ‘a’) and is fantastically refreshing! RAISE YOUR GLASS WITHOUT RAISING YOUR WEIGHT ! As you know at Slimming World no food or drink is banned and we positively encourage you to have a daily quota of “bits on the side” or as we call them, Syns. By including your drinks within your normal 5-15 Syns daily it is easy to naturally stay within the recommended intake levels. Isn’t it terrific to know that we can raise a glass without raising our weight? Syn values at a glance - what's your poison? Bacardi [35ml] 4 Syns Bacardi Breezer, Pineapple [275ml bottle] 7½ Syns Bacardi Breezer, Orange [275ml bottle] 7½ Syns Bailey's Irish Cream [35ml] 4½ Syns Beck's [275ml bottle] 5 Syns Bitter (John Smith's) [440ml can] 7 Syns Brandy [35ml] 4 Syns Budweiser [300ml bottle] 6 Syns Champagne [¼pt/142ml] 5½ Syns Drambuie [35ml] 6 Syns Gin [35ml] 4½ Syns Guinness Original [440ml can] 8 Syns Martini Bianco [50ml] 3½ Syns Port [50ml] 4 Syns Scrumpy Jack [440ml can] 10 Syns Sherry (Croft Original) [50ml] 3½ Syns Tia Maria [35ml] 4½ Syns Vodka [35ml] 4 Syns Whisky [35ml] 4 Syns Wine - Dry white [175ml] 6 Syns Wine - Red [175ml] 6 Syns Wine - Sweet white [175ml] 8 Syns Top tips for tantalising tipples Add soda water to your wine or spirits to make a long spritzer. Drink Free fizzy mineral water or a carbonated diet drink between glasses of alcohol - these generally take longer to drink than still drinks, and they're also more filling! A slimmer's best bet is a single shot of spirit [35ml measure] with a low calorie mixer, e.g. gin and Slimline tonic [4 Syns] or Bacardi and Diet Coke [4 Syns]. Other good choices include shandy made from lager or bitter with diet lemonade [approx 4 Syns per half pint]; dry white wine spritzer with low calorie fizzy water [6½ Syns for 175ml wine] or Campari [35ml] with diet lemonade [4½ Syns]. Sorry Del Boy, drinks to avoid are the creamy ones (Bailey’s, advocaat, pina colada), and cocktails for which you can’t easily work out the Syn content. Alcopops have the same amount of alcohol as beer, but usually much more sugar which bumps up their calorie content and Syn value. Branded spirit and fruit juice combinations (e.g. Bacardi Breezers) may seem healthy, but each bottle usually provides more than a standard measure of spirit and the fruit juice has as many calories as a full sugar soft drink! WEEKENDS, SOCAILISING, SHOPPING, SUNDAY ROAST AND SLIMMING!!! After a long and hard week at work the weekends are certainly to be enjoyed and slimming shouldn't spoil that. Whether your weekend's full of shopping, socialising or staying in, these tips should help you eliminate your weekend worries and achieve that fabulous weight loss that you so deserve next week. Shopping Spending Saturday in town can be a real minefield for us slimmers. Surrounded by fast food joints and needing something quick and hassle-free can mean that we sometimes scupper our slimming campaign faster than a shopaholic in a shoe sale! If shopping is one of your danger areas, take along some of our tips next time you’re in town... Don’t walk past the jacket potato van, pause to have a look at the menu. On a Green or Extra Easy day choose a huge jacket with baked beans. Ask for your spud without butter and the whole thing is completely Free! For a ready-made snack on the go, Marks & Spencer or Boots often have healthier options. Go for salad pots (without dressing or croutons to make it low-Syn), sushi packs, or sandwiches made from wholemeal bread. (Deduct 6 Syns from the sandwich by taking the bread as your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice). Free fillings like ham, chicken or tuna without the mayonnaise will keep the Syns low. If you’ve got time before your shopping trip take a look on Syns Online for the healthiest snack options so you’ll be prepared when hunger strikes! Fast Food doesn’t have to be high in Syns. If you’re dragged into a burger bar (kicking and screaming – we know!) relinquish your Burger King Whopper (30½ Syns) for Chicken fillet strips (3 pieces are 6 Syns on Original/Extra Easy) and an LA Garden Salad with no dressing (Free). Swap your McDonald’s Big Mac (25 Syns) for a grilled chicken McSalad without Caesar dressing & croutons (2 Syns on Original/Extra Easy, 8 Syns on Green). Going out with friends for food If you're going to a pub or restaurant for a meal, it can be helpful to ring ahead (or go online) for a copy of the menu – choosing Food Optimising-friendly options in advance can make it easier to resist temptation. Decide whether you’re going to stick to Food Optimising as usual, making the most of Free Food options or whether you’re going to have a flexible Syns day (working out an upper limit on your Syn allowance for this). Don't let the restaurant scupper your slimming. Ask for vegetables without butter and sauces on the side. That way you're in control - not the chef! Eating lots of Free Food during the day and saving your daily Healthy Extras and Syns for the meal could open up many more choices from the menu. Many restaurants or pubs will serve a main course with a choice of potatoes - chips, new potatoes, mash or jacket. If they don't ask you which you want, let them know... the customer is always right! Going out with friends for drinks Add soda water to your wine or spirits to make a long spritzer. Drink fizzy mineral water or a carbonated diet drink between glasses of alcohol - these generally take longer to drink than still drinks, and they're also more filling! A slimmer's best bet is a single shot of spirit (25ml measure) with a low calorie mixer, eg gin and Slimline tonic (2½ Syns) or Bacardi and Diet Coke (2½ Syns). Other good choices include dry white wine spritzer with sparkling water (4 Syns for 125ml wine) or Tia Maria on ice (3½ Syns per 25ml). Staying in: entertaining at home Staying in is the new going out, you know and if you're planning a dinner party, here are a few ideas for a terrific Food Optimising menu. Your friends won't know you (and they!) are slimming! Staying in: Sunday dinner Whether or not it’s a Sunday, the roast dinner was made for Food Optimisers – it’s packed with loads of lovely Free Food, and even with all the trimmings, it's easy to enjoy for just a few Syns! (So you've got plenty left for a glass of wine to go with it!) The Original Sunday roast (4 Syns each, plus a healthy Extra 'b' choice) Fill your plate with loads of lean roast beef/pork/chicken/turkey/salmon/Quorn fillet… the choice is yours! Pile on the broccoli, carrots, green beans and any other Free vegetable that you fancy. Choose boiled potatoes or a jacket potato from the Healthy Extra 'b' list. 1 small Yorkshire pud counts as 3 Syns. 4 tbsp gravy (no added fat) counts as 1 Syn. The Green Sunday roast (4 Syns each, plus a healthy Extra 'b' choice) Pile your plate with loads of boiled, mashed and/or dry roast potatoes and parsnips. Don’t scrimp on the broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, green beans and any other Free vegetable that you fancy! Choose a measured portion of lean roast beef/pork/chicken/turkey/salmon as a Healthy Extra 'b' choice - or Quorn fillets for Free. 1 small Yorkshire pud counts as 3 Syns. 4 tbsp gravy (no added fat) counts as 1 Syn. The Extra Easy Sunday roast (4 Syns each) Fill your plate with loads of lean roast beef/pork/chicken/turkey/salmon/Quorn fillet… the choice is yours! Pile on the broccoli, carrots, green beans and any other Free vegetable that you fancy. Add boiled, mashed and/or dry roast potatoes and parsnips. 1 small Yorkshire pud counts as 3 Syns. 4 tbsp gravy (no added fat) counts as 1 Syn. FLEXIBLE SYNS Many people put themselves under appalling pressure without even realising it. The scenario can vary tremendously in content but the process is the same. The scenario is all too familiar and goes something like this: There we are, bounding along, being incredibly 'good', losing weight well, when along comes temptation and we let that iron control slip - just a little. We're so disappointed that we tell ourselves we've spoiled everything, we've 'blown' it. We continue to 'blow' it [might as well, now we've ruined our perfect run] for days or even weeks. Result - significant weight gain, significant damage to our self-esteem, significant reinforcement of our belief that we're useless at this slimming game. At Slimming World, we have a wonderful eating plan, it's called Food Optimising. You can eat loads of food and lose weight. There's a list as long as your arm of what we call Free Food - different foods that you can eat freely to satisfy your appetite. Then we ask you to eat some more food, called Healthy Extras, to ensure a good nutritional balance. Then, on top of all that, there's what we humorously call Syns - foods often banned on diets because they're quite fattening. Between 10 and 15 Syns is about the recommended amount a day for someone who's two to three stones overweight [you can have more if you have more to lose]. This helps you lose weight at a good and sensible rate, say a couple of pounds a week. In other words, it's a way of eating that can be adopted quite naturally as a way to eat for life. It's a way of eating that you can feel so comfortable with that it's no hardship to adopt it for good. It's a way of eating that slim people do as a matter of course and they've never even tried Food Optimising! Flexible friends The point I'm making is that it's a super way of losing weight and keeping it off. However, there are times when those usual Syns just aren't enough. Certainly, you could eat out or go to a party and stick rigidly to your Syns, but you may find yourself feeling just a touch deprived, like a martyr. And that's when trouble can start. So what's the alternative? Flexibility! Slim people overeat occasionally and don't worry about it. They carry on with their normal routine as soon as they're able. Or they adjust what they eat beforehand. Or they compensate afterwards. Slimmers can do the same - and it works. Most slimmers are happy with the idea of cutting down beforehand or compensating afterwards. Maybe that's because they can see the logic of it, or because they feel they must 'pay' or suffer for their pleasures. But at Slimming World we don't believe in suffering! We take flexibility much further: we believe that sometimes flexibility means doubling or even trebling your Syns for the day - without paying! Ask a dedicated slimmer to be really flexible - to have maybe 30 Syns for a day, without compensating before or after - and you'll often see a look of shock and disbelief. But trust me, the most common reason for failure I've found has been lack of flexibility. Over-rigid adherence to any slimming plan has been the ultimate cause of many a slimmer's downfall. That's when 'diet' becomes a four-letter word. That's when that weight that you swore you would never regain comes creeping back. Remember the scenario I described earlier? Now imagine, when you've 'blown' it, how many extra Syns (or calories) you actually ate. You probably have no idea because you stopped counting. And you stopped counting the next day, and the next... We're now talking hundreds of extra calories (or Syns) - hundreds! That's when the real weight loss damage is done, not by just allowing yourself a bit of extra leeway - say an extra 20 Syns or so - but by giving up for a week or a month or a year. We often see people who take the fast route, the motorway to slimming success, and end up so exhausted at the end of their journey that they relapse. Those who take the scenic route still reach their destination, maybe a little later, but they've had a much more pleasant journey and are in great spirits to continue. So, be kind to the most important person you know - you. Every now and then, ease the pressure on yourself. How much and how often? You decide. Try it out. Give yourself an extra allowance when you need it most, negotiate an upper limit with yourself - even if it's just a stressful day - and you'll also be giving yourself a real chance of success, for life. Just keep counting - and stick to your upper limit - you can count on it!
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