Starting again… My 5 tips to getting back in the swing. 

So here I am again. Saying that I’m starting back on Slimming World. 

I have a few ideas to try and stay on track this time around. 

1. Apples. I’m going to throw a few in the van so I always have something to snack on at work. 

2. Kettle bell. I’ll guilt trip myself into staying good by getting up 15mins early to do kettle bell swings. What’s the point putting myself through that if I’m going to go off plan. 

3. Tea. Flavoured tea is usually free or very low syns. I’m going to work my way through my tea chest. 

4. Cheat Days. Cheat days are not exactly part of slimming world but on Saturday it’s s family party so I’m not going to get too hung up when I drink All The Rum. I’ll just get back on it the next day.

5. New food. I’m going to try and find a new Slimming World meal each week. This should be fun and can be better than ‘bad’ foods. 

Wish me luck! 

The last 80 weeks

It appears that it has been a little while sine my last update, over 80 weeks infact, and what a time that has been.  Since my last post in December 2012 I actually went on to lose almost 3 stone on slimming world.  At the final weigh-in before my trip to America in April/May 2013 I had gone from the 17st 2lbs that I started on down to 14st 2.5lbs.

Unfortunately since then I have put most of that back on, and here we come to the reason for starting up the blog again.

Not all bad news.

I do have some amazing news to share and a fantastic reason for wanting to get back on the wagon


Lily Charlotte Curry was born on Thursday 24th July at 4.27am.

So that is my one of my new inspirations for getting into shape and other is that our wedding is booked for July 2015.

Thats all for now.  I have a week and a half of paternity leave still to enjoy and that will be spent ‘toxing’ ready for the ‘detoxing’ to begin when I go back to work.



Zero Syns Full English And Surviving Christmas Markets

This is my 6th week at Slimming World and I have some fantastic news to share, another recipe in a zero syns full english breakfast and also some tips for surviving the Christmas Markets.

Slimming World Week 6

Last week I lost 4 lbs so I knew I would really have to try hard to if I wanted to keep up with that sort of progress.  I also had an idea that I might have been Slimmer Of The Week but as I didn’t stay around for the meeting I had to wait a week to find out.

One of the things I have decided that I will do, is turn up for my weigh-in even if I am rushed off my feet and have no time to spare.  I like to stay for the meetings but I do not let not attending a meeting get in the way of turning up just to get weighed, and that’s what I did last week.  I was going out last Monday so popped into the meeting for 5 mins while on my way out.

As I missed the meeting last week I decided to stay this time around and I was very pleased that I did.

1 stone lost award

So I already reached my first stone lost in only 6 weeks!  I also picked up Slimmer of the Week 2 weeks in a row.

Slimmer of the Week

Slimmer of the Week

Needless to say I received lots of evil looks from the rest of the group.  This was made even worse when my girlfriend, Kel, picked up Slimmer Of The Month for November.  We walked away with 4 Certificates between up and a big bag of fruit.

Surviving The Christmas Markets

Now that we are into December it is well and truly Christmas shopping time, and part of that is the Christmas Markets that seem to be held every weekend in every city centre

Birmingham City Center was host to the Frankfurt Christmas Market this weekend.  The market itself has over 180 stalls and at my best guess I would say over 100 of them are food stalls, or at least it seems that way when walking around the place and trying to avoid all the treats (half a meter of Bratwurst anyone?)  On top of all that you also have to avoid the food court in Selfridges which is no easy task.

Here are 5 tips for avoiding the treats and staying on the diet.

  • Plan Ahead – Decide before you go how good (or bad) you are going to be and stick to it.  It helps to do this at the start of the week so if you are going to be really bad then you have a week beforehand to be really good.
  • Have A Big Breakfast – Filling up at breakfast goes a long way to stop you being hungry the rest of the day. Stuff yourself on as much Super Free food as possible to stop the snacking later on.
  • Share – If you go with friends or family you can sample other people’s food instead of ordering a whole one yourself.  Kel and I shared a glass of Hot Cherry Wine rather than having one each.
  • Don’t Eat At The First Stall.  Don’t stop at the first stall you get to, work you way around the market having a look at everything before choosing the best.  This way you won’t be get food envy and order from every stall you come to.
  • The Lesser Evil. Try to pick a treat that will be less syns.  A large Bratwurst from the German Market stall in a roll with onions, ketchup and mustard will be easily be more than 30 syns (I think I’m being generous at 30!) Instead go for a small bag of roasted chestnuts (around 1 syn each, probably half a dozen in a bag) and a large beer in a traditional German Stein.  It’s still going to be high in syns but not as bad as the alternates.
Most of my tips are damage limitation.  I would never suggest you try to avoid enjoying whats on offer as tasting all the different foods is part of the christmas market fun.  You can still enjoy yourself while thinking about your diet at the same time.

Zero Syns Full English Breakfast

Zero Syns Full English Breakfast

Ok, so I admit the picture is not my breakfast!  But mine was still very tasty.

As I said in my tips, a big breakfast that really stuffs you is a great way to stop you snacking between meals and a full english, especially a Zero Syns Full English, is the best way to do it.

My recipe for a belly busting zero syns full english breakfast:

  • 3 Rashers of Lean Bacon with all fat removed.  If you are lazy you can buy the weight watchers bacon medallions to save trimming time.
  • 3 Linda McCartney Red Onion and Rosemary Sausages.  Almost all the Linda McCartney Sausages are low in syns but I think its only the red onion and rosemary ones that are zero syns.  It’s helpful that they are also quite tasty.
  • Baked Beans.  They add a bit of juice to your plate and save you needing ketchup. They are a Super Speed food so you should be eating them already.
  • Tinned Plum Tomatoes.  As with the beans they add plenty of juice and are a speed food, you could instead (or as well) have grilled fresh tomatoes
  • Eggs.  I like them scrambled as they are very quick and easy to cook in the microwave but however your serve them eggs are free.
  • Mushrooms. Fried with Frylite and a bit of Rock Salt and Black Pepper.
  • Tinned New Potatoes.  Sliced and fried with your mushrooms.
All of the above is free.  If you want to add some bread you can get 2 slices of Wholemeal Bread from a 400g loaf as a healthy ‘B’ extra. Flora buttery is 1 1/2 syns per tea-spoon and that should be plenty for both slices.  I would give the butter a miss and instead cover it with beans, tomatoes and egg.
Finish it all off with half a grapefruit and you have a huge breakfast with plenty of spare syns for the rest of the day.

Next Weeks Targets

When I started Slimming World my target was to get into the 15’s rather than being in the 17’s and I’m almost there.  To get to my first target of 15st 10lbs I need to lose another 2.5lbs and I’m determined to get these by next Monday’s meeting.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Donna Nook to see the grey seals on the beach and in the dunes. While there I picked up a sack of onions from the farmers stall in the car park.  I remember them nearly breaking my back as I put them over my shoulder and carried them back across the fields to the car.  The bag was 9kgs.  I’ve used probably 2kgs of onions and whats left in the sack weighs around the same amount as I’ve lost over the last 6 weeks.  It’s still pretty heavy.  In fact it’s so heavy that I really couldn’t imagine having to carry it around with me all day.

So my parting advice would be to pick up something that is equal to the amount of weight you have lost, even if it is only a couple of pounds you will be very surprised at how if feels to carry around with you.

Thanks for reading.

Jamie Oliver’s Slimming World Syn Free Spaghetti Bolognese

In this blog post I will be giving my recipe for a Syn Free Spaghetti Bolognese, (based on the Jamie Oliver recipe from the Ministry of Food book) giving my week 5 update and food diary and setting my targets for the coming week.

Slimming World Week 4 and 5

I’ve just got back from my week 5 weigh-in at slimming world and am supper happy to have lost another 4 lbs!

The last 2 weeks have been a little slower with me only losing a single pound each week so this time around I have been determined to try and lose more.

Since I started Slimming World I have not been trying all that hard at the weekends.  During the week I have been trying to eat as few syns as possible so I can have whatever I want on a saturday night, within reason of course.  I will have a nice dinner out and maybe lunch out on Sunday too and a few beers.  Throughout weeks 1-3 this was enough for me to lose a decent amount still but when I lost only 1 pound 2 weeks in a row I decided to try and keep my syns down at the weekend too.

Over the weekend just gone I went out to the Nottingham Christmas Market and was very tempted by all the treats on offer but managed to resist.  On Sunday I went to another Christmas Market at Chatsworth House again managing to resist the home made snacks and chocolates.

I still had an awesome weekend and didn’t stray off the diet.

Food Diary

I’m not going to do a full Food Diary this week, instead just picking a few of the highlights.

  • Breakfast – Almost every day have been porridge. Yes its boring but its quick and easy, is quite filing and I like it.  At the weekend I have something different, this week it was poached eggs on brown bread and half a grapefruit.
  • Lunch – At work is always difficult but this week a couple of days I had a few boiled potatoes that I cooked a batch of at the start of the week, with a load of tin slices ham, Tomatoes and mixed salad.  Later in the week I made up some king prawns and pasta in A Thousand Island Dressing.  I also throw in a few seafood sticks.  Every day I take 2 apple and a banana.  Mainly because it make me laugh!
  • Evening meals – I have been eating something different every night.  Carbonara is a good quick and easy meal that is low in Syns and very tasty.  I also have fish at least once a week.  On Saturday night I have a Steak Dinner. Kel picked up 2 huge steaks while shopping and we had them with the Slimming World chips and a side salad. On sunday night we had family over for dinner.  We made our Syn free Spaghetti Bolognese.  It went down very well and the family never knew it was diet food instead of the Jamie Oliver version!
  • Drinks – I have been trying to drink as few calories/syns as possible.  I’ve convinced myself that anything I drink that takes up my syns is depriving me of wine at the weekend.  So to that end I have picked up a few different flavoured Coffees and Teas. I drink both of them black and without sugar, instead enjoying the flavours of the different coffee beans or fruit teas.  I’ve also stopped drinking diet coke and other fizzy drinks, instead just sticking to water.

Jamie Oliver’s Syn Free Spaghetti Bolognese

Before starting with Slimming World I used to use the Jamie Oliver recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese.  This recipe appeared in the Ministry of Food book and since starting my diet I have changed it a little so it is Syn Free.

This is the Jamie Oliver Recipie:

• 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford
• 2 medium onions
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• olive oil
• 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
• 500g good-quality minced beef, pork, or (even better!) a mixture of the two
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a small bunch of fresh basil
• 100g Parmesan cheese
• 400-500g dried spaghetti or penne

And this is what I changed it to.  Its syn free on the easy plan if you stick to this recipe.

• 3 rashers of lean back bacon with all visible fat removed.
• 1 Onion
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• Fry Lite
• 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
• 500g good-quality 5% Fat minced beef
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Puree
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• A couple of splashes of Worchester Sauce
• 2 OXO cubes (one fryed with the mince, one after.
• a small bunch of fresh basil
• 100g Parmesan cheese
• 400-500g dried spaghetti or penne

Its really simple to cook.  Chop up the bacon fry it in some Fry Lite with all the herbs until it’s lightly browned (or until the bacon smell makes your mouth water!) then throw in the veg until thats got a bit of colour too. Next is the minced beef, fry it off until browned then add everything else. leave it to cook through and your done.

Its great with any kind of pasta or spaghetti, the parmesan goes on top.

It tastes as good as the ‘full fat’ version and is totally free!

This recipe makes enough so we can have a good sized meal for 2 and still have enough left overs to have on Jacket Potatoes the following day.

To save a little time you can use easy garlic at 1 syn per teaspoon and a couple of table spoons of Ketchup instead of some of the puree.  Thats probably 3 -4 syns total spread across 4 servings.

Next Weeks Targets

I am now 2lbs away from losing a stone, and 5lbs away from dropping into the next Stone bracket (Its been years since my weight was 15 something rather than 16 something) and that was my original target.

My target for next week is a repeat performance and another 4lbs, It would be nice to lose 5 and get into the 15’s but I’m not going to break my next trying to do it.  I think that one of the reasons I’m doing so well is due to the fact that it doesn’t feel like a diet.

Slimming World week 2 and 3

Slimming World Weeks 2 and 3

I’m 3 weeks into my blog and I’ve already failed with the updates! Luckily I have done well at Slimming World and have already picked up my first award for losing lost half a stone.  I had mixed feeling this week as I only lost a single pound, but it was enough to reach the half stone.  The previous week I lost 3.5 pounds so going down to 1 was a bit disappointing.

I think the reason for losing less was down to the fact that we had a party and while I ate well I drank quite a lot.  Funnily enough the party was before my week 2 weigh in, but it seems that it didn’t catch up to me until week 3.

Online Food Diary

I’ve been looking for a good way of logging my food dairy online. I’m not a fan of the Slimming World Online service. The app is too time consuming to use and because it takes so long I have not been using it.

The next best tool I have found is Evernote. This lets me edit from my phone, iPad or computer and is really easy to just dump text into, but I have not yet found a way to lay it out in a good way to post to the blog.

These last couple of weeks I’ve been getting into a good routine with eating at work and average day looks like this:

  • Breakfast – Oastso Simple.  Take 3 mins in the microwave. Cup of earl Grey tea, black.  I also take Earl Grey teabags to work and a jar of coffee.  Not having milk or sugar in my drinks helps keep down the number of Syns i’m using per day.
  • Lunch – At the start of the week I make a large bowl of pasta and use a sauce that is very few points and split it into portions to take to work each day. Thin sliced smoked ham and some salad, 2 apples a Banana and a Shape fat free yoghurt.
  • Dinner – I have stopped eating pre made curry/bolognase/pasta sauces.  Instead making our own.  The Slimming World book of Sauces is really good for this.  Smoked Salmon, Rice and a homemade tomato based sauce.

Next Weeks Target

Next week i’m going to try harder to lose more than 1lb. I’m aiming to go for a walk in the evening at least 4 times.  I’ve found it easy to cut back on eating fast food and snacking but I am yet to get in a routine with regular exercise

Thanks for reading this weeks post, I’ll do my best to keep up to date in future,

Catch you next week.



First Week at Slimming World

My first week at Slimming World is over and I’m typing this post at my Slimming World meeting while my fellow club members are filing in. I have a feeling that this might be a regular occurrence.

I was unsure how well I had done in my first week, as despite me sticking to the plan all week, eating well at work, having a good breakfast and evening meal each day, I have also eaten out 4 times!

I’ve started a separate Food Diary section where you can check out what I’ve been eating and as you can see from week 1 I’ve not been good.

So it was with some trepidation that I stepped on the scales tonight but I was delighted to find that I have lost 2.5lbs.

If I can lose that from just cutting out the crap that I normally eat during a day it makes me think I will not get fed up of the diet and should still be able to enjoy a night off each week, especially if I can save up my Syns over the rest of the week.

As I said above I have been trying to eat better at work.  One of the habits I’m trying to shake off is eating a lot of bread. On a average week I could easily eat 50 slices of bread and while it sounds like a huge amount when you break it down its easily to explain away. I would have a couple of slices for breakfast, 4 slices as sandwiches for lunch and a couple with dinner at night and it soon mounts up.

The first thing I have done is to change what I have for breakfast and lunch on a work day. This week I’ve been having Oats So Simple for breakfast.  I should really have fruit with that too but I’ll try to get around to that later.  For lunch this week I had a old takeaway curry box full of salad and another with thin sliced ham and potatoes.

I’ve eaten better this week that I have when not on a diet and I’m looking forwards to seeing what I can lose next week.

Ben Vs The World Introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog!

My name is Ben Curry and this will be the home of all my ramblings and musings about my day to day life, and more importantly, it will help me stay mativated to achiev my weight loss targets.

I signed up for slimming world last week (Monday 22nd October 2012) and didn’t really know what to expect, but having been on the diet for a week now I have found its pretty easy to follow and I hope I have already lost a bit of weight!

So why did I start Slimming World?