There’s a club that thousands of women, and quite a lot of men are a part of. Some are out and proud about it, others are more secretive. However, all of us in that club speak a language that probably sounds bizarre to anyone not in ‘the know’: the language of the diet club!
There’s a whole new vernacular that you’ll be exposed to when you sign up to a diet club. There are words, phrases and products you never knew existed. I asked some fellow dieters for their favourites and so, here is my Diet Club Glossary!
Diet Club Phrases
It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life: This is something you will hear often, usually from the group leader. They don’t like the ‘d’ word. You are not entering into a fad, you are changing your habits forever. Be told. (Also ‘it’s not a diet, it’s a Healthy Eating Plan‘)
Food Optimising: this is what Slimming World members will be doing if they’re following the Healthy Eating Plan properly. Remember, you’re not dieting, you’re ‘food optimising’.
Syns/Points: Depending on which club you opt for, you will have to learn all about their method of measuring naughtiness. At Weightwatchers they deal in ‘Smart Points’ and Slimming World we have ‘syns’. You will be given an allowance of points or syns per day or per week and you must not exceed this at any cost. Unless you’re ‘flexi-synning’, which kind of defeats the object.
Red, Green and Extra-Easy Days: Slimming World used to have a system where you could eat unlimited meat, but controlled carbs (Red Days), or no meat and unlimited carbs (Green Days). Long-term members may still refer to this golden age. However, a few years ago, they introduced ‘Extra Easy’. It does what it says on the tin, in that you can have unlimited meat and carbs, as long as you have lots and lots of fruit and veg too. So, basically, a healthy, balanced diet (not a diet, a way of life!). And we pay actual money for them to tell us this. Bonkers!
Star Week: This is the term by which a lady’s period is referred to. Why we can’t just call it a period is anyone’s guess. Star Week is often used as an excuse for not losing weight because, hormones. “The hormones made me eat the whole cake!” Yeah, right.
Things That Happen in Class
The Raffle: At most classes, there is a weekly raffle. Sometimes tickets are sold, sometimes the ‘Slimmer of the week’ wins the raffle prize. Often, the prize is made up from items brought in by the members. This produces some amusing winnings. You will usually find fruit and veg that are hours away from not being edible. You will find packets of ‘Mug Shots’, ‘Pasta ‘n’ Sauce’ and ‘Supernoodles’ – but they’ll usually be the ones that contain ‘syns’ rather than the ‘free’ flavours. You often find chocolate, and other treats such as Dairylea Dunkers – things that are frowned upon, but some people don’t quite understand what’s acceptable and what’s not. Or they just don’t care about the winner having high-syn treats to take home and resist. Oh, and sprouts. There’s often sprouts.
Clapping: If you stay to group (and you should stay to group if you want to be successful!), you will do lots of clapping. Each member’s week will be discussed; how much have they lost – or gained, how they did that and how much they’d like to lose the next week and if there are any obstacles that will prevent that. Each member gets a clap. Even if they put on 5lbs, because at least they recognised that eating all the Chinese takeaway and drinking three fishbowl cocktails on Friday night was probably where they went wrong.
Feeling Annoyed at Other Members: There will always be at least one member who loses weight every. Single. Week. (It was actually me the first time I did it). They will swear they don’t know how they’re doing it and you will feel really annoyed. However, chances are they’re just following the plan. You know, like you’re meant to.
The Inspiring Talk: Once everyone has weighed in and we’ve been around and clapped a lot, there will be an inspiring talk from the group leader. This is the part where she will talk about resisting all the foods you are longing to eat. This will make you want them even more. It’s probable you will stop at the chippy on the way home, because there are no syns in food that you eat immediately after weighing, are there?
Weighing In – Ways To Weigh Less
Remove any loose items: jewellery, scarves, belts, shoes and even the sunglasses perched on your head. Even your normal glasses, cos you won’t want to see the numbers on the scales anyway. All these are tried and tested methods of making sure you weigh as little as possible when you step on the scales. And never, ever wear jeans or chunky jumpers.
Go to the loo: It’s common to see a queue outside the ladies in the hall or community centre where the meeting is taking place. Everyone goes for a wee before weigh in because that extra volume could make for a bad week. And, of course, everyone prays to the Poo Gods and hopes they can manage a big one before leaving home.Everyone prays to the Poo Gods and hopes they can manage a big one before leaving home. Click To Tweet
Don’t eat or drink: I used to rock up at my evening meeting with my stomach screaming at me to feed it as I hadn’t eaten since lunch. No way was I going to eat before weigh in! I’d walk in and see ladies helping themselves to cups of tea. Nooooo! Not before you weigh! Or else what was the point of the pre-weigh wee?
Weird Foods You’ll Only Ever Hear About At Group
Scan Bran: Slimming World fans will know about Scan Bran and its multitude of uses. It resembles cardboard and tastes rather like it too. Think ‘cheap Ryvita’ and you’re some way there. Scan Bran can be eaten as-is, with a topping such as ‘Slimming World Salmon Mousse’ or made into ‘cake’.
Couscous Cake: Speaking of cake, what do you do when you need to eat cake but flour is full of syns? Use couscous, of course! Obviously. Although called ‘cake’, couscous cake is really just a solid lump of couscous and does not resemble a cake at all. Don’t fall for it.
Quark: No, it’s not the noise a tropical bird makes! Quark is, in fact, a ‘free’ soft cheese and a Slimming World multitasker. It can be added to all sorts of meals to enhance creaminess, and I even use it in my ‘Slimming World Eaton Mess’ dessert. It does not taste cheesy.
Lasagna Crisps: Need a crisp fix but don’t want to spend your syns on a packet of Walkers? Use lasagna sheets instead! Yes, really. People actually boil, cut, season and then bake sheets of pasta to eat as ‘free’ crisps. I think I’d rather use the syns on the real thing.
Pasta Pizza: Continuing the theme of substitution, experienced dieters will know that when that pizza craving hits, but a Domino’s is way too synful, you can make a pizza using pasta as the base! Just mix cooked spaghetti with beaten eggs, bake for 15 minutes, then add your chosen toppings. Bake again, et voila! A dish to make my Italian ancestors turn in their graves.
Cauliflower Pizza: You can probably guess how this goes by now. Here is an actual Slimming World recipe which encourages you to substitute pizza dough for healthier cauliflower. Bet you can’t spot the difference…!
Frozen Grapes: Dieters know that freezing fruit makes it more of a treat. Or just colder and harder to eat. One person even took some to the cinema with her, much to the amusement of friends. That’s dedication for you.
Frozen Curly Wurlies: I’ve no idea why we don’t freeze other types of chocolate, but frozen Curly Wurlies are delish, taking ages to eat and so prolonging that chocolatey high for longer, for only 3 syns for a treat-size bar!
Frozen Yoghurt ‘Ice Cream’: Yep, another frozen ‘treat’ that really is more effort than its’s worth. If you’ve got time to keep stirring and freezing some Mullerlight yoghurts, then go for it. Meanwhile, I’m over here getting a life and enjoying a Solero for just 5 syns!
Low-Syn Alcohol: If you really must drink whilst Food Optimising (and who wouldn’t?!), there are varieties of alcohol in the shops that come up as low in syns. They’re also low in actual alcohol and taste a bit crap, so I probably wouldn’t bother.
Low-Syn Sausages: Another low-syn substitution that is near impossible to come by a decent one. There seems to be a perpetual hunt for a decent, tasty, yet low-calorie, low-fat banger that doesn’t cost the earth. It’s like the Holy Grail of slimming food. And as for Quorn sausages? Don’t even go there!
So, there we have it. If you’re thinking of joining a diet club, you now know you’re signing up to eat weird stuff, spend half an hour a week clapping and getting to know the ladies’ (or gents’!) in the local community centre well!
With huge thanks to the following fabulous bloggers for their input: