Free Foods are essential to Slimming World's weight loss plan and are the star of the Food Optimising mantra. Free Foods are a wide array of foods that can be consumed every day as a part of your diet without scrutinizing the numbers. Slimming World specifies these as 'foods you can eat without weighing, counting, or measuring'. You don't have to constantly calculate your calorie intake.
The biggest advantage of consuming Free Foods is that they fill you up. Your digestive system breaks down these foods gradually keeping you full. The hunger between meals is one of the main patterns that lead to unhealthy weight gain. You would grab anything that you would find around you - crackers, chips, doughnuts, etc. That's when everything goes for a toss. Having a heavy meal of Free Foods ensure you don't binge on the villains of the diet world.
Here is a list of some Free Foods recommended by Slimming World:
Almost every fruit qualifies to be a Free Food. It has been long known that fruits have several health benefits but, given the varying quantities of natural sugar, it is always wise to eat in balanced portions. While natural sugar (fructose) isn't harmful like added sugar (sucrose), consuming it daily can stress our system.
Note down some of the Free Fruits to include in your weight-loss plan.
|Tangerines (medium size)||47 calories 53 cals/100g|
|Berries (1 cup)||85 calories 57 cals/100g|
|Oranges (medium size)||62 calories 47 cals/100g|
|Apples (medium size)||95 calories 52 cals/100g|
|Nectarines (medium size)||63 calories 44 cals/100g|
|Grapes (1 cup)||62 calories 67 cals/100g|
|Bananas (1 medium)||105 calories 89 cals/100g|
|Pineapples (1 cup)||82 calories 50 cals/100g|
|Satsuma (1 medium)||45 calories 53 cals/100g|
|Melons (1 cup)||61 calories 36 cals/100g|
This may be a bit exaggerating but vegetables have no downsides. You can consume a carrot or a bunch of spinach every day with absolutely no side-effects.
Here is a comprehensive list of Free Vegetables that should be a part of a weight-loss plan:
|Onions (medium)||44 calories 40 cals/100g|
|Beansprouts (1 cup)||31 calories 30 cals/100g|
|Cauliflower (1 head medium)||146 calories 25 cals/100g|
|Broccoli (medium)||50 calories 34 cals/100g|
|Cabbage (1 cup)||17 calories 25 cals/100g|
|Carrots (medium)||25 calories 41 cals/100g|
|Cucumber (medium)||30 calories 15 cals/100g|
|Green Beans (1 cup)||31 calories 31 cals/100g|
|Potatoes (medium)||163 calories 77 cals/100g|
|Garlic (1 clove)||4 calories 149 cals/100g|
|Leeks (1 cup)||54 calories 61 cals/100g|
|Spinach (1 cup)||41 calories 24 cals/100g|
|Spring Greens (1 cup)||65 calories 40 cals/100g|
|Sweetcorn (1 ear, medium)||88 calories 86 cals/100g|
|Tomatoes (medium)||22 calories 18 cals/100g|
|Lettuce (1 cup)||5 calories 15 cals/100g|
Fish is known to be the best type of meat when you are on a weight-loss plan. It has low-fat and high protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamin D and B2. However, certain ways of preparing fish - like frying it in oil - can counter its nutrition contents and disqualify it from being a Free Food. The healthiest way to prepare fish is to steam or grill it. Slimming World suggests eating 2 portions of white fish and 1 portion of oily fish a week.
|Anchovies (3oz)||111 calories 131 cals/100g|
|Cod (3oz)||70 calories 82 cals/100g|
|Catfish (3oz)||122 calories 143 cals/100g|
|Carp (3oz)||108 calories 127 cals/100g|
|Cod (3oz)||70 calories 82 cals/100g|
|Flounder||60 calories 70 cals/100g|
|Grouper (3oz)||80 calories 95 cals/100g|
|Mackerel (3oz)||259 calories 305 cals/100g|
|Rainbow trout (3oz)||101 calories 119 cals/100g|
|Salmon (3oz)||177 calories 208 cals/100g|
|Snapper (3oz)||85 calories 100 cals/100g|
|Tuna (3oz)||122 calories 144 cals/100g|
Commitment to a diet plan is most challenging for meat lovers. Red meat - beef, lamb, and mutton - are high in fats and can counter every weight loss effort. The best option is to select lean meats - that is meat without fat.
Fresh meat is always better than store-bought frozen meats but there is really no difference in calorie values. If you're buying frozen meats, make sure you avoid the ready-to-eat packs like pizzas, burgers, and meatballs.
Here are a few examples:
|Bacon Medallions (1 serving)||194 calories 194 cals/100g|
|Chicken without skin and fat (1 cup)||231 calories 165 cals/100g|
|5% less fat mince (1 serving)||116 calories 136 cals/100g|
|Ham (1 cup)||203 calories 145 cals/100g|
|Tofu (1 cup)||190 calories 76 cals/100g|
|Quorn (mince or meat pieces)||79 calories 104 cals/100g|
You can substitute meat with tofu, Quorn mince, or Quorn meat pieces. They all qualify as Free Foods.
An egg salad is a perfect lunch. Eggs are extremely high in protein and calcium, although they are usually avoided by people who have abnormal cholesterol levels or suffer allergies. Eggs keep you full for long, are low in calories, and high in proteins.
The healthiest way to consume eggs is to boil them. Frying them in fat is definitely a big NO for a weight loss plan.
|Egg, raw (medium)||63 calories 143 cals/100g|
Dairy products are complicated. They have essential nutrients but are high in fats. Studies on the effects of dairy products on weight loss have been conflicting with different results. Thanks to the fat-free industry, we have an easier option - fat-free dairy. However, removing all the fat from any dairy product leaves little or no taste. So the food industry threw in flavors and added sugar. It's quite possible that while dodging calories, you might have fallen to unhealthy quantities of sugar. The next time you buy fat-free yogurt or milk, check the sugar quantities on the label.
Some examples of dairy products recommended by Slimming World are:
|Fat-free Cottage Cheese (1 serving)||80 calories 71 cals/100g|
|Fat-free Yogurt (avoid flavored ones) (1 cup)||137 calories 56 cals/100g|
|Fat-free Natural Fromage Frais (1 serving)||50 calories 50 cals/100g|
|Fat-free milk (1 cup)||86 calories 37 cals/100g|
|Quark (1 cup)||173 calories 73 cals/100g|
White rice is known to contribute to weight gain and obesity. However, rice fans can opt for brown rice which is high in fiber and minerals. Brown rice helps in weight loss and minimize the risks of weight gain.
Similarly, refined pasta is high in calories and don't keep you full. Whole-grain pasta or wheat pasta which is lower in calories and high in fiber content.
Noodles are known to have low calories qualifying it as a Free Food.
Whether you are on a Slimming World diet or not, you should include pulses and grains. Pulses like lentils are the primary sources of proteins, especially for vegetarians. They contain all the essential fibers, vitamins, and minerals your body needs. Pulses and grains qualify as Free Foods in the Slimming World diet since it has extremely fewer calories and keeps you full for a long duration.
|Bulgur Wheat (1 cup)||479 calories 342 cals/100g|
|Farro (1 cup)||337 calories 337 cals/100g|
|Whole Grain couscous (1 serving)||600 calories 357 cals/100g|
|Quinoa (1 cup)||626 calories 368 cals/100g|
|Millet (1 cup)||756 calories 378 cals/100g|
|Steel Cut Oats (1 cup)||680 calories 386 cals/100g|
|Buckwheat (1 cup)||583 calories 343 cals/100g|
|Pearl Barley (1 cup)||704 calories 352 cals/100g|
Slimming World's concept of Free Foods plays a crucial role in ending the myth of 'limited quantity' in a weight loss diet. A weight loss regime that says that certain foods can be eaten irrespective of their quantity is certainly motivating for foodies. After all, one doesn't need to starve to lose weight.