SLIMMING WORLD - The "INSPIRATIONAL" weight loss club
The INSPIRATIONAL weight loss club.
Are you a member?
Is it working for you?
Now, before I continue with this I just want to say that this is not a complete bashing of Slimming World. There are pros as well as cons (I’ll share both in this post) and I honestly believe there are much worse “fad” approaches to weight loss than Slimming World.
You want to lose weight. You join a slimming club. You lose weight.
In fact, you’ll find that most people who begin their weight loss journey with Slimming World for example WILL lose weight initially.
So what’s wrong with it and why would I question the choice to join?
Firstly, lets talk the initial RELATIONSHIP with food.
People are overweight due to a loss of control. The balance has been tipped. We turn to food for comfort, for stability, for enjoyment. We simply take on too much. There are numerous reasons as to why this may be the case but the fact remains.
Now you can probably see where I’m going with this but introducing “syns” or “free foods” for example will do nothing in terms of building that relationship with food once more and seeing it for it is – FOOD.
Food is energy. Food is nutrients. Food is taste. Food is fuel.
Food supports us in our day to day. Eating is something we require to do day to day. We simply do not need to start labeling it as a “syn”, or “junk”, or “free”.
Food is food. We require adjusting to our OWN unique energy balance to achieve our goals. I for one would not find counting my “syns” each week enjoyable, motivating or inspiring.
Building the honest relationship with food and seeing it for what it actually is, a fuel source, is the first step to long term, healthy, sustainable and self manageable weight loss.
Which leads me on to the second point, WEIGHT LOSS.
The complete focus with slimming clubs is weight and weight only.
We get fixated on a number. Getting a round of applause if it goes down and feel bad (or even get told we’ve been bad!) if it doesn’t, or if weight creeps up.
Weight fluctuates and can go up or down depending on your food consumption, your hydration levels, bowel movements, potential clothing, and time of the day or for women of course, the time of the month.
How can that possibly be a healthy and accurate way of tracking progress?
Yes, if you have a lot of weight to lose a scale weight can be a useful measure of progress. But what if you had a large meal shortly before a weigh in? Maybe weigh in is during your cycle?
Do you risk going in, weighing yourself, potentially tracking a weight increase only to then allow that increase to have a potential negative impact on the rest of your week?
When people say they want to lose weight, what they mean is that they want to lose excess body fat and fat loss is never (I say never, very rarely) linear.
Is there such thing as FREE FOODS when it comes to fat loss?
If a particular food has 0 calories in, then it’s free.
If not, it’s not free of course!
Now I completely get why there are “free” foods in the plan. It lifts the restriction so to speak. But lets be honest, a chicken korma (found during a quick search on the Slimming World website) isn’t a free food in that it contains calories, energy, which your body will either store or expend.
Say you stop going to Slimming World, want to lose weight and take that free food logic with you, 4 chicken kormas a day right? I don’t think that would work.
There’s no point beating around the bush, making up rules to “secure” customers. Or maybe there is if you have thousands of members?
Plus, you don’t lose weight one week or have plateaued over a period of time, then what?
Stick with the plan? Hope it works out?
Energy balance is number 1 when it comes to both losing and gaining weight as well as managing weight long term. That simple scientific fact can be ignored, but will remain and is ultimately something that any member of a any weight loss club will require to understand if they are looking to lose and successfully manage body fat.
Finally, an observation.
From my brief time spent in Slimming World, it wasn’t fun. It didn’t look like the people there were enjoying themselves. It looked like they were simply going through the motions with minimal direction or support.
Is that something that is sustainable in your life?
Now I said at the start there are pros to attending a weight loss club like Slimming World, so here they are.
I’ll start with the SOCIAL aspect of weekly weigh ins. It’s a FACT that people are more effective at working towards a goal in groups. Slimming World provides that, a regular, social get together where members can discuss and support each other going forward. That, is bloody fantastic.
There’s also the fact that for someone new or beginning a weight loss journey, attending Slimming World can provide the initial step in terms of introducing food quality, portion control and an initial habitual process to bring control to a individuals diet.
Lets not forget the success stories. For some, Slimming World has been the initial step that has then completely transformed lives long term. Some people go on to achieve great things, smash goals and hit exactly what they signed up to do. Unfortunately on the flip side, obesity continues to rise and with the sheer volume of Slimming Worlds growing members, you still have to question the methodology and support within.
So what makes working with a PERSONAL COACH different?
There’s no point me laying all of this out on the table without sharing with you why working with a coach like myself, would be any different.
Movement is a fundamental part of our lives, as a human being. Exercise is great for our body, our mental health and for our weight management. You don’t have to wait for a “right time” to exercise. You simply have to do. That’s do something you enjoy, can progress with and can sustain. Great forms of exercise include walking, running, cycling, swimming, weight training, yoga and pilates. A good coach will assess your current levels and work with you to incorporate forms of exercise that you can enjoy and can do safely and effectively to aid goals.
NUTRITION and HEALTH
Going off what I mentioned above, we’d want to address food quality, meal structure, energy levels, enjoyment, satiety and ultimately energy balance. It can be all too easy to get caught up in eating purely for a weight loss/gain goal, but health plays a vital component too. How is it you feel day to day? Are you sleeping well? Are you tired? Are you performing to a high standard? Did you feel good after eating a certain food? Did you feel bloated after eating a certain food? Are we consuming food without stress or guilt? Are we including foods you enjoy? These are all nutritional factors to consider long term.
A good coach will be up to date with their knowledge and expertise, providing clients with a no bs approach in terms of working to what’s right for them. Dated methods and “fluffing” up facts to get new members on board isn’t my style and won’t be for the honest, trust worthy and well-educated coaches out there. We’re there to provide for our clients and our clients only, in an open and honest way.
CONTINUOUS SUPPORT and EDUCATION
Support is ongoing, 24/7. You don’t have to wait until the next meet up to ask an unqualified, often inexperienced group leader questions. There is support on hand via text, email or phone as and when you need it from the people who live, breathe health and fitness, who also have the knowledge and simple processes to ensure you achieve.
Some may say, yeah but joining Slimming World is much cheaper and it is. Initially! But I’ve also had conversations with people who have been at slimming clubs months, even years and have not achieved anything. You’d then have to question if money spent elsewhere would have been proved more beneficial, when thinking long term.
Every time I bring up the topic of Slimming World or any weight loss club either online or in person, there will more than likely be a response like “yeah, but it worked for me” and I am always genuinely pleased to hear that.
But for the majority, it doesn’t work and people leave none the wiser.
Get the basics right and understand food for what it is and you can achieve any goal, long term, in a happy, manageable, non restrictive or confusing way.