Red Days for Dummies – an Original Post!

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I thought I’d dedicate a post to Slimming World’s Original plan as it is so damn effective, yet those used to the Extra Easy plan are afraid to deviate and say they don’t understand it. As is my mantra, if you want to understand it – you will. I will do my best to explain it simply! Last week, I lost six and a half pounds following the Original plan; with a wee Extra Easy day on Saturday as I fancied chips! Original, also known as Red, is a great plan to follow if you want to give your weightloss a boost. However, it does take a little extra planning and time to adapt. If you really embrace it though, the rewards are handsome! Speaking of handsome, a post about Red Days also allows me to include a picture of meat enthusiast and absolute swoonfest – Adam Richman from Man v Food.

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I swear, men don’t really do it for me, but he is all kinds of sexy. Easy on the eye, and passionate about food. Unrepentantly so. My kind of guy! Not only has he reminded me that men can be attractive, but he has stoked my love of cooking. I’ve been experimenting with different cuts of meat, and I’m on my way to perfecting a syn free BBQ sauce. But more about that later.

The basic rules of Original Plan/Red Days

Free foods include:

All lean red meats
All lean poultry and pork – including bacon
Fresh fish/seafood
Eggs
Quorn mince/Quorn pieces
Vegetables*
Fruit
Some fat free yogurts (ie most Mullerlights)

These are the main foods that can be eaten freely, meaning in UNLIMITED AMOUNTS. As with Extra Easy, the proviso is that you do not add fat to these foods – during cooking or afterwards. Always trim off all visible fat prior to cooking.

* A small exception here. There are some starchy vegetables which cannot be eaten freely, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, sweetcorn and parsnips.

Next up: Healthy Extras

As you can see from above, Red Days mean meat. You are sacrificing pulses, potatoes, pasta and rice as Free Foods. But even though you are making this sacrifice, you receive a reward in the form of DOUBLE Healthy Extras! For example, you can have four Alpen Light bars instead of two. You can have two servings of Nimble bread instead on one – meaning you could have toast for breakfast and a sandwich later in the day. Or, you could have Weetabix in the morning, and a Kelloggs Fibre Plus bar with a cuppa in the evening. The same rule applies to Healthy Extra A choices (dairy products). This could mean a full 250ml of semi skimmed at breakfast, with 45g of mozzarella melted over some grilled chicken and bacon at dinner. There are lots of ways to use your extra Extras to perk up your menu throughout the day. If bread/cereals aren’t your thing, you can have MEASURED AMOUNTS of potatoes/pulses instead. For example, with your huge steak and salad, you could have a jacket potato weighing 227g. Or with your morning fry, you could add 142g of baked beans.

Admittedly, when you begin in introduce the concept of weighing items that you are used to eating in unlimited amounts, it does begin to feel restrictive. But bear in mind, this plan will more often than not accelerate your weightloss – so at least give it a go. Soon, weighing will become a natural thing.

Finally: Syns

As with Extra Easy, you are allowed between 5 – 15 syns a day.

A typical Red Day for me would go like this….

Breakfast:

A huge bowl of fruit! Raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes, banana – with a slightly frozen Mullerlight on top.

Elevenses:

Two Alpen Light bars and a big cup of coffee

Lunch:

A massive crunchy salad topped with chicken and bacon, dressed with Frylight Caesar Salad spray
A bag of Walkers French Fries if I’m feeling frisky (5 syns)

Dinner:

Steak burger topped with bacon and melted Cheddar (28g), served on a toasted brown roll with ketchup – 1 syn per level tablespoon. Or I can ditch the bread roll and have chips made from a 227g potato if I’m feeling energetic.

See? It’s doable! Summer (such as it is) is a great time to try out the Original plan, you can embrace the whole lean meats and salad thing. Having said that, a few thick slices of turkey and ham with a plate of vegetables and some gravy is a wonder to behold at any time of the year. And a Saturday brunch of a ham and cheese toastie followed by two Alpen Lights and a pot of coffee is so delightful it makes me want to cry!

That’s me done for now, I’m off to watch more Man V Food and pick up some tips on the perfect bit of beef. Feel free to insert your own dirty joke here. If any SW types decide to give Original a go for a week, let me know how you get on! Tweet me for the craic sure! You can follow me @bigfatmarathon

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