All you CAN eat

The thing I love most about Slimming World is that the whole focus is on what you can eat, not what you can’t.

In fact, technically there are no ‘can’t eat’ foods. It’s about making informed choices and knowing that if you pick the thing that has many, many Syns in it, you probably won’t lose weight.

At this point I’m going to pause to apologise to anyone reading this who is not, and has never been, a member of Slimming World. I am sorry if it sometimes sounds like I’m talking in code. However, when I set up this blog I made a promise that I would never take responsibility for anyone’s weight loss journey but my own.

It is not for me to tell you all about the Slimming World plan and how to follow it. That job belongs to the wonderful consultants of Slimming World like lovely Emma who runs my local group. I do not, under any circumstances, want to put her out of job.

However, my aim is to share my recipes and experiences to help those who are muddling their way through the plan like me. Or those who are considering joining Slimming World. Or, of course, those who are after new recipes or just want to see what I’m up to.

Anyway, back to the point.

One topic that comes up a lot in group, both in person and on Facebook, is eating out. Can we? Should we? Where can we go? What should we order? Any recommendations?

Well, this, my dear friends, is my ‘Top 10’ guide to eating out and staying on plan.

Of course, if you’re a Slimming World member you can find many more eating out guides on the website in the ‘useful features’ section. But here are some of my personal favourites 🙂

Please bear in mind that I’m a definite meat-eater and currently reside in Sheffield, previously based in Leeds. Whilst some of these restaurants are chains, if there isn’t one near you or you’re a vegetarian, well… sorry about that.

  1. Bill’s – what I love most about this restaurant is how wonderfully flexible they are. I am, undoubtably, a pain in the preverbial when I eat out nowadays. But the lovely waitress at our local Bill’s in Sheffield told me that my request was actually pretty easy compared to some she gets! I ordered the steak, egg and chips. But I asked for the steak to be grilled without any extra oil, the eggs to be poached rather than fried and for the chips to be replaced with a mixed salad. Oh, and please hold the dressing. It was delicious! Minimal Syns, if any.
  2. Tropeiro – Highly recommended by my consultant, Tropeiro is an on-plan all you can eat buffet. Lashings of grilled meats served to your table and plenty of fresh salads, rice and veggies to go with it. Of course there are things to avoid if you want to be 100% on plan, like creamy coleslaw and sausages, but you knew that right? I normally count 6 Syns for oil brushed onto some of the meats, plus any non-free food from the salad bar.
  3. Fazenda – This really should come number one on the list in terms of being one of my favourite restaurants ever. However, it was easy to put it here and describe it simply as ‘a bit like Tropeiro. But better.’ Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Syns as above – approx 6 for oil plus any non-free salad bar items.
  4. Coal – Firesticks all the way my friend! I went to Coal for lunch just this weekend, and again they are very accommodating. I asked for one prawn and one chicken firestick (skewers), but without the chorizo. It comes with lots of lovely veggies (onion, peppers, courgette, tomato) and rice. My friend and I also had a side salad between us just for extra speed food. Just a couple of Syns for a small amount of oil.
  5. Café Rouge – If you can put your blinkers on and avoid looking at the amazing croques and baguettes the people around you are eating, the Café Rouge salads are actually pretty good. What I love is that the salad comes completely undressed, but you’re provided with a range of dressings to add yourself – putting you completely in control. Top tip: if you want to really minimise the Syns just ask for balsamic vinegar. Syns vary depending on the salad, but I counted a couple for oil ‘just in case’ as it doesn’t specify how some of the veggies e.g. roasted onion and butternut squash were cooked. That said, no oil residue on plate = bonus.
  6. Aagrah – a curry house that uses Frylight instead of Ghee, hurrah! check out the ‘Aagrah Grilled’ section of the menu. Grilled meats, veggies stir-fried in Frylight (remember to remind them when ordering just in case), with sauce served on the side. I ordered Shai Murgh Tandoori with boiled rice and mixed salad (no dressing please). Top tip: if you ask nicely they’ll provide you with plain yogurt rather than Raita (which is often high in Syns due to added sugar). I counted approx 8 Syns for oil (as even though the veggies are cooked in Frylight, the meat is pre-marinated) and non-fat free plain yogurt.
  7. Gaucho -Nothing wrong with good steak and salad. And not much else to say about that! (Other than if you’re a Sheffielder, also check out La Vaca for the same reason). Providing you’re asking for no extra oil on steaks and salads without dressings, I’d say minimal Syns if any. Otherwise adjust accordingly.
  8. Handmade Burger Co. – the chicken ‘burger’ is actually just a lovely whole grilled chicken breast, and with ‘bunless burger’ option, it’s served on top of a big mixed salad, with optional coleslaw on the side. Plus with lots of speedy toppings like grilled mushrooms and peppers, and free sides like corn on the cob, you can feel properly stuffed with minimal Syns. Just a couple of Syns for any oil plus extra for non-free toppings (or if you eat the coleslaw or have salad dressing).
  9. Zeugma / Zeugma Iki (Sheffield only) – a bit of a Sheffield institution, Zeugma is good for beautiful grilled meats served with rice and salad. Plus, in my experience, your other half will be very, very happy with this option. I usually count approx 2-6 Syns for oil, depending on what I’ve ordered.
  10. Rowsha (Sheffield only) – similar to Zeugma but local to Crookes / Walkley (for all my fellow Slimming World Crookes members). Gorgeous grilled meats, rice and salads. And they do take away / delivery too! Syns as above.

Disclaimer: Please remember to check Syns on the Slimming World website or app where you can, or at least use it to estimate them for things you suspect might be cooked in oil etc. I’d hate to accidentally sabotage your weight loss this week because of something I forgot to mention, or because things vary between different chain restaurants!

That’s it folks! Enjoy your next meal out on plan. And if you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them 🙂

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