As you know, I’ve been vegan for around two and half years now. So, of course, when I started looking into joining Slimming World my first question was “Can vegans do Slimming World?”. There is very little point in paying for a diet plan that I can’t follow fully or would get fed up with tweaking.
I found a couple of blogs, after a lot of searching, with a few mention of vegans following the Slimming World plan. I decided to go along to my first meeting and make a decision from there.
The first meeting I went to felt a bit nerve wracking. I do get anxiety from time to time and, for me, a room full of strangers is a definite trigger. The group leader was very friendly though and soon put me at ease. She ran through the new members talk with me, whilst others were being weighed. One of the first things I said to her was “I’m vegan, can vegans do Slimming World?!”. She assured me that yes, Food Optimising works well for vegans and I should expect the same weight loss as everyone else.
What Changes To Vegans Need To Make To The Slimming World Plan?
New Slimming World members get a pack of booklets, explaining everything: Food Optimising, Syn Values, Body Magic, etc. I was really pleased to see that the kinds of things I eat were included. I had imagined that it would be awkward to include soya milk, dairy-free cheese, tofu, meat substitutes, etc. but it’s not at all as they’re all in the books.
Having vegan food and drinks included in the information I was given boosted my confidence and determination straight away. If I’d had to mess about working out how my vegan foods fit in, I probably would have gotten fed up pretty quickly.
The Only Vegan In The Group
I’m the only vegan in my Slimming World group. But then, I had a feeling that would be the case. To be honest, it can make me feel a bit awkward and excluded at times. After weigh in, there’s what they call IMAGE Therapy which is basically a chat about losses, gains and talking about the week ahead. I don’t join in with the conversation very often, because everyone else doesn’t eat what I eat. I’ve got no interest in the recipes they’re swapping, and they’re definitely not interested in what I eat. I find this a weird contrast to everyone’s obsession with including enough Speed Foods in their meals, which are essentially fruits and vegetables.
At my first meeting, the group leader sat me next to a long-time member. She wasn’t massively chatty, which was fine, but then when I was introduced to the group as being vegan, she literally turned to me and said “Well we can’t be friends. My husband’s a butcher.” She’s not spoken to me since! So yeah…!
Weight Loss on Slimming World As A Vegan
So what you really want to know is whether I’ve lost any weight. I have and it’s been slow and steady. A lot of people expect a bigger lose in their first week, but I didn’t because it wasn’t a huge change to my diet. In my first week I lost 1.5lbs and the second week 4lbs. Since then I’ve lost between 0.5lbs and 2lbs each week. My total weight loss at the moment is 1 stone 2.5lbs which I’m really happy with.
My weight loss has been slow and steady and I do attribute that to not making any drastic changes. Being vegan I was already eating fruit and vegetables, and not eating lots of sweet things like biscuits or chocolate. What has made the difference for me is making a few small changes. I’ve cut down on bread, made sure I’m eating more vegetables and I’m not snacking every night in front of the television. I’m hoping that because the changes I’ve made are fairly small, they’ll become habit. Hopefully then it’ll all be stuff I don’t need to think about once I’ve reached my target weight.
Speaking of target weight, you set your own target on Slimming World. I’ve got 13lbs to go until I hit mine, although when I get closer to it, I’ll see how I feel. I might make it a little lower, which I’ve already done once.
So, if you’re vegan and wondering whether Slimming World might be right for you, it could be! It is possible to be vegan and do Slimming World effectively.