How Free Foods are leading to Food Anarchy – The Muller Light Scandal

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Muller Light has been a bad little boy.

There it was sitting nicely at the front of the class,
low calorie apple for the Slimming World teacher 
a proper teachers slimming pet

Loved by the frequenters of the World of Slimming
because of it’s zero guilt, zero syn status.

It was in effect the get out of diet free card 
for thousands of dieters going mad
because they can’t eat a mashed banana
and that their beloved blueberries 
now have magically gained extra calories.

So what happened to Muller Light?

Why did it fall from grace?

If you follow anyone fitness/nutrition related
then you’ll have no doubt seen the memes or infographics
showing that the calories in Muller Light have not changed.

“So why oh why” they cry 
“have Slimming World dropped it”

Some will extoll the sheer stupidness of having Syns
moreover Zero Syn items that are free to eat at will.

Of course they are right

Having any food on a diet that is 
‘eat as much as you want’
is a bit silly.

Even veg to a degree can be overeaten.

Veg calories are really low but some have higher levels.
Peas and Sweetcorn for example, 
can be easily eaten in volume quickly.

If this happens multiple times in the day,
you’ve got potential for overeating of calories.

Which is why I restrict some veg on Target Lean
to certain amounts that would provide ample servings
but not allow overeating.

Now think about pasta, a calorifically dense food
per 100g dry weight you’ve got 300 calories easy.

Now tell someone dieting they can eat ‘as much pasta as they want’

Think that’s a recipe for success?

Most likely no.

Slimming World say that they allow free pasta 
as if the person follows the plate dividing rule
then what’s left will be only a small amount of pasta.

However you’ve told that person they can eat
as much as they want.  They won’t see it as a limit

They will suit up and dive in

Face first

So with this in mind it’s easy to see why
Slimming World decided that a Muller Light was zero syns.

They just expected people to have one or 2 a day.
A light snack to accompany their veg
and mountain of free pasta.

So the calorie load would be low.


like a banana as they have the same calories (89ish)

I allow 100 calories worth of sauces on Target Lean.

So I get that reason totally.

What what actually happened?

Were people reserved and sensible?

No mate.

They went out and bought Muller Light by the crate

They then went through a small dairy farm’s worth
of yoghurt per day to offset their hunger.

Because 1 yoghurt is never enough.
Especially if you are hungry and want something sweet

Suddenly Margaret from Admin is turning up to work
with cool bags full of yoghurts.

Telling everyone it’s ok cos it’s zero syns

Everyone’s happy

Including Asda as they are raking it in.

So now Slimming World has had to admit defeat.

Attaching 1 syn to each yoghurt.

Suddenly everyone has problems

Margaret needs to find another diet hack.
SW is getting flak from every fitpro in the UK.
Asda is having a flash sale on Muller Lights.

The underlying reason behind this?

Slimming World don’t understand people’s mindset on diets

People on restrictive diets are in survival mode mentally.
They can’t have food they like or as much as they want.
So they look for ‘hacks’ to get them through the pain.

Anything they can eat in abundance to curb their hunger
So give them an out, a sweet and tasty yoghurt.
Then they go into a Walking Dead frenzy
If you’re holding one, the last one in the shop…

Then you’re in trouble sunshine
You might not make it out alive.

Ironically, by setting it as 1 syn,
by recognising that it has significant calories,
people will become self regulating.

They will set an allowance for a yoghurt a day

Because people like order and limits

They like knowing ‘how much’ they can have.

Don’t believe me?

Sit down and eat popcorn in a cinema.

Im not really a popcorn fan

But I’ll much through a massive tub of it in a film.
Pretty much only stopping when I can’t fit any more in.

No limit has been set.  

Ever sat down with a tub of Pringles and only eaten a few?

Not likely

Once you pop you can’t stop.

Research on binge eating shows that installing ‘break cues’,
visible signs to stop eating, 
such as red pringles in the pack
or smaller packs of popcorn, 
notify people to stop eating.

People like limits

Remove the limits and you have food anarchy

Plus a lot of dieters gaining weight.

Which is why Target Lean sets limits suited to the client

I’ve been a binge eater, I know the issues

Give me an Easter Egg I’ll demolish it all

I once stole all my daughters easter eggs 
and ate them all in under 20 minutes.
I was dieting for a competition
I broke, the eggs were there

But I knew that the eggs carried a calorie load
So the next few days I restricted my food
and increased my cardio and activity

I won the show a week later.

If I’d been told those eggs were ‘free’
I would have got on stage a fat mess
No food is ‘free’, everyone has to pay the piper.

For Muller and Slimming World it’s time for them to pay.

Now it’s time for the Slimming World clients to find a new hack

because Slimming World doesn’t educate their customers on calories

They just TELL them to eat things.
So the customers never understand
WHY they are doing certain things

There’s no empowerment or education, no change.

If you never explain WHY
then the same situation will repeat

eventually Slimming World will have no zero syn foods
and maybe no customers.

Although that’s not likely

There’s always some gimmick people will fall for

Because humans want a quick fix.
It’s in our nature.


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