Slimming World is the UK’s largest weight loss company, with over half a million group meetings and over 2000 leaders who are trained consultants. It began in 1969 in Derbyshire when Margaret Miles-Bramwell decided to start a group to enable women to lose weight more effectively. By the 1980’s there were 700 Slimming World groups across the UK, and it has continued to grow in popularity.
The Slimming World Theory
Alike to other weight loss programs, Slimming World looks at diet, lifestyle and exercise, and offers practical advice on how to manage all three on a day to day basis. There are four dietary eating plans to choose from, group sessions to offer support as well as giving you practical advice and shared experiences from others who are also trying to lose weight. There is also a focus on exercise, with gentle forms encouraged to start with, gradually building up to a regular regime. A steady weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week is the ideal.
Slimming World Group Meetings
The Slimming World group meetings usually last for about an hour. During this time the previous week is discussed with any problems or revelations noted and shared amongst the group. There is advice given, for example recipes are shared and ways to cope are discussed. The group sessions are important to the individuals taking part as it enables them to fall back on support from other people if falling behind, offers them a chance to voice concerns or questions and allows them to pick up practical hints and tips that they might not necessarily have considered.
As well as the group meetings members can also log on to the website ‘Lifeline Online’ for additional information and support.
Slimming World for Teenagers
Slimming World is the only weight loss group that has come up with a program for teenagers looking to lose weight. The approach that they use is called ‘Free2Go’, and looks at how to substitute high fat foods with healthier alternatives. This service is offered free to those who are accompanied by a parent or guardian, and is now becoming popular with the NHS, with overweight children in this age group being referred by their PCTs for a 12 week program.
Slimming World Diet
The diet is the main part of Slimming Worlds approach. The term used to describe the diet advocated by Slimming World is that of ‘Food Optimising’. It looks at the energy different foods give, and encourages a diet high in slow burning foods, with low energy and high nutrition. There is a list of ‘free’ foods, which can be eaten to any degree, these include rice, pasta, vegetables, fruit, fish and poultry meat. On top of this they add a daily quota of extras such as milk, cereals and cheese. High energy foods with large numbers of calories, for example wine, chocolate or crisps are referred to as ‘syns’, and only a given number can be consumed within a day.
There are 3 basic diets that Slimming World use, and you can choose yours with the help of your consultant.
- ‘Extra Easy Plan’. Free foods include nearly all fruit and veg, as well as fish, lean meat, eggs, wholemeal pastas, potatoes and beans. Extras are bread, cereal, cheese and milk.
- ‘Original Plan’. Free foods are most fruit and vegtables, fish, lean meat and eggs. The extras include cereals, milk, cheese and carbohydrates.
- ‘Green Plan’. Generally speaking this diet is best for vegetarians. The free foods are the same as the two previous not including the meats, and the extras include nuts and seeds and additional protein.
Over the course of a week you are encouraged to eat body original and green foods, mixing up the extras and generally looking to advance the number of low energy foods eaten whilst curbing high energy ‘syns’ consumed.
Slimming World Exercise
Exercise in encouraged by Sliming World as a way to increase your weight loss and to get fit. They refer to this as the ‘Body Magic’ program, and try to encourage members to integrate exercise into their everyday lives. For example using stairs rather than lifts or escalators, walking to the next bus stop or cycling to work. As members take part in more exercise they get rewarded through Body Magic awards. The highest of these is platinum, which is given when the member integrates 30 minutes of exercise into their regime, five times a week.
Slimming World Online
If you can’t attend meetings, or simply don’t want to, then you can follow Slimming Worlds program online through the BodyOptimise website. Here you join for a fee, and are given access to all of the recipes, practical information and exercise advice that Slimming World advocates. Using the website you can chart your progress and can ask experts for help if you are struggling. You also get free magazines and books to help you lose weight.
Advantages Slimming World
- Young people can take part in the Slimming World program
- It is suitable for those with diabetes
- There is a lot of support both through the group and online
- You can eat as much of certain foods as you like, so ought not to feel hungry
- You can still enjoy your favourite foods but at a reduced rate
- There are many products to help you through the program
- Pregnant women can still attend Slimming World with the consent of their midwife
- You can get in touch with your consultant whenever you like
Results with Slimming World
Slimming World encourages a healthy, steady weight loss of 1-2lbs per week. You won’t be weighed in, but your weight loss will be discussed with your consultant. According to Slimming World over 5 million people have lost weight through Slimming World over the last 40 years, and currently each week the sessions have around 300,000 members attending. It’s UK’s most popular slimming/weight loss group.
Cost of Slimming World
Online Costs – There are 3 different tiers of membership online, bronze, silver a gold. A bronze membership gets you the basic online package, access to the website and consultants, costing you £59.95. Silver membership contains all of this as well as free magazines, this costs £64.95 and a gold membership contains the online bundle, magazines and two helpful Slimming World books, at a price of £79.95.
To join Slimming World groups it costs £10 to become a member, and then £4.95 per session. There are all sorts of discounts available online, including discounts for groups of 5 joining at the same time and for families.
As well as membership you can buy Slimming World products once you become a member.
Slimming World Products
Slimming World magazine was launched in the late 1990’s and features all sorts of information and members stories. It is the UK’s most popular slimming magazine and with a subscription cost of £15. Slimming World also has a range of recipe books and food directories that can be bought if a member, as well as high fibre cereal bars, only available at a group session.
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