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Our members are amazed to find out that they can eat more than ever and still slim down – and it’s all thanks to the science and psychology of Free Food!

What is Slimming World Free Food?

Free Food is one of the three simple steps that make up Slimming World’s generous, flexible eating plan – Food Optimising.

Free Foods are those foods that are lower in calories for their weight (low energy dense foods) that help fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied for longer. This means you can eat them freely – no weighing, no counting, no measuring – and still lose weight beautifully.

Slimming World Diet cola chicken

Free Food means never feeling hungry, guilty or deprived, so we’re less likely to want to rebel by reaching for those high-fat, high-sugar foods which can so easily derail our best intentions.

As long as they’re cooked without fat or oil, you can enjoy hundreds of delicious Slimming World Free Foods with absolutely no limits. Some of them might surprise you! Before coming to Slimming World, many slimmers are told to avoid carbs – yet carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and pasta have fantastic filling power, as well as being low in energy density, which is why they’re on our Free Food list.

More on the blog: Discover your 5 favourite Free Food recipes


Slimming World Free Foods include:

  • lean meat (and meat replacements)
  • fish
  • eggs
  • rice
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • beans and lentils
  • vegetables
  • fruit

Whether you love family feasts, fuss-free dinners or vegetarian and vegan recipes, Free Foods can be used in endless meals, so you’ll never run out of ideas for tasty dishes which will help you lose weight. 

More for members: Slimming World members have access to an online collection of more than 2,000 recipes, including more than 900 that are completely Free


What are Slimming World Speed Foods?

Slimming World Speed Free Foods are Free Foods that are super-low in calories per gram. To help you zoom towards your target weight, fill at least a third of your plate with Speed Free Foods at mealtimes and make them your first choice if you’re hungry between meals.

When you join Slimming World, you’ll find Speed Free Foods listed in the Food Optimising book that you’ll receive in your new member pack. You can also look out for the ‘S’ symbol when using the Food Search tool on the website and app.

What about foods that aren’t Free? 

No food’s off the menu at Slimming World! Anything that hasn’t been designated a Slimming World Free Food will either be a Healthy Extra (for essential nutrients) or will have a Syn value (to help you tighten up on those foods that pose the biggest risk to your weight loss). The three elements of Food Optimising work together perfectly to help ensure that you lose weight without ever feeling deprived or restricted.

More on the blog: Find out more about the science behind Food Optimising, including Free Food, Healthy Extras and Syns, here


Slimming World’s Special Advisor on the Science of Weight Management, Dr Jacquie Lavin, explains how Slimming World Free Foods work…

“Food Optimising has always been based on science: not just the physiological science of weight loss but also the psychology – how we think about (and our emotional reactions to) food, our weight and the process of losing weight.

To lose weight, we need to consume fewer calories than we use. This creates an energy deficit and the body then starts to use its energy reserves, most of which are stored as body fat. At Slimming World, we want to help people lose weight and to maintain this weight loss in the long term.

Our approach – encouraging members to eat an unlimited amount of low energy dense, filling Free Foods – has been shown to be a highly effective way to lose weight while still feeling satisfied. A study led by the University of Leeds and published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating low energy dense foods (based on Food Optimising) left participants feeling less hungry and more full, while consuming fewer calories. 

The study also compared people following traditional calorie-counting, portion-controlled diets with slimmers following Food Optimising. The Food Optimising group reported feeling more in control of their food choices and more motivated to continue losing weight – and lost nearly twice as much weight over 14 weeks.”

So, that’s a taster of the science and psychology behind Slimming World Free Foods. It’s the (not-so) secret ingredient that makes Food Optimising the most generous, liberating, flexible and effective way to lose weight. 

If you’d love to discover more about how you can enjoy the foods you love, make your own choices with powerful personalised support and create new habits that will help you reach your dream weight and stay there for life, find out more about Slimming World here.

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