Apart from the first few days it hasn't really been that difficult. I did notice I had very little energy at stages in the second week and think this was due to the reduction in carbohydrates. When I say carbs I mean bread at lunchtime particularly.
I had asked what SW's take on sourdough bread, but had to do a bit of research myself to get the answer. SW assume (probably rightly) that the vast majority of people eat white sliced pan (with added hydrogenated fat) or homemade brown bread with refined white flour, which they do. So I was advised as it was bread it should be "synned".
I did a bit of research myself and from what I can gather if you make your own sourdough using flours such as spelt, rye, kamut, the glycaemic index is as low as wholewheat pasta and so could be also considered a free food. Even using conventional wheat flour it still has a lower GI due to the presence of lactic acid.
Pasta is made from durum wheat, which is a less refined variety of wheat and has a higher protein and gluten content. Slimming World allows you to eat pasta as a "free food" because of it's higher glycaemic index. But, if you do a bit of digging into this you get very varying information. Basically what I can glean is that the less refined the pasta is the better. Also the thicker it is (penne as opposed to spaghetti) and the less it is cooked, al dente as the Italians eat it, is the way to go. I think using wholewheat pasta would be a better choice.
I also am not convinced that white rice should be "free". White rice is really, really refined. I have switched to using brown rice completely.
I have used nuts, almonds in particular when I was wavering and feeling particularly hungry. I saw a programme on Channel 4 (I think) that proved that although nuts contain a lot of (good) fats the method of calculating the calories may be inaccurate, so they contain 20% less than originally calculated at least. And also we are incapable of digesting and metabolising all of the fat.
I have not trimmed every scrap of fat off my meat. Actually this would be impossible as my own pork is quite fatty. I am still using rape seed oil and pork lard for frying albeit a lot less than before. I am still making roast potatoes or oven chips using pork lard. I use butter sparingly as well.
The biggest thing I have given up is sugar. The only sugar I use is a good big teaspoon full of muscovado on my porridge. I still haven't managed to find out how many "syns" muscovado sugar has but I know it's less than refined sugar. I'm working on it.
For breakfast I measure out two tablespoons of organic porridge oats. I used to use four. I add blackberries picked and frozen last September. I add a half a dessertspoon of ground flax seed and a teaspoon of mixed seeds and muscovado sugar. Sometimes I slice a banana into it if I'm feeling hungry. I use a smaller amount of full fat organic milk. SW says the seeds, and any more than 175ml of the milk must be "synned". I don't bother. I figure I'd rather eat something good for me and lose weight slower.
Lunch, a bowl of homemade soup using my own stock (I don't "syn" this either) and a couple of boiled eggs.
Dinner, I find I'm eating more vegetarian as I can use lots of beans, lentils and even vegetables to fill up on.
In the evening, which was when I used to get longings for sugary stuff, I now eat a big bowl of fruit with a few dollops of Glenisk full fat organic Greek style yoghurt. I really don't buy this "syn-free" Mueller light with lots of sugar replacing the fat.
As I said before the bulk of SW's advise is sound. But the main reason I am doing it is for the discipline of having to weigh in. It sure puts manners on me at the weekend when I'm tempted to open a bottle of wine. I am still having a couple of glasses for a weekend treat. A couple is fine, it's when I finish the bottle that all willpower goes out the window and the fridge gets raided for cheese and crackers.
I also read here that alcohol is not as fattening as once claimed. I discovered accidentally before that a couple of glasses of red did nothing to hinder my weight loss. I thought it was just me but maybe not.
I just have to keep this routine up now and not give up as I have every time before going back to my old habits.
For optimum weight loss and for health benefits cut out sugar and all wheat flour even wholewheat completely would be my advise. Switch to spelt which has not been bred to become nothing but an empty refined carbohydrate source.