Based on experience, slimming clubs really help give you the accountability of your eating habits every single week:
Are you eating right?
Are you eating the right portions of food?
Are you not derailed from the diet plan?
It is never a bad thing to be part of a family whose members support each other and check each other out if they are still on the right track as far as following their diet plans are concerned.
Some even go beyond online support and meet on a regular basis to check on each other.
Most importantly, these groups give you a bit of a structure to eat healthier and that is great and I love that.
Everyone needs to start somewhere and if joining one of this clubs is one way to gear you towards the right fitness and health direction, then get with it, by all means.
What are these popular weight-loss clubs in the UK and what are they advocating for?
Let’s talk about the most popular ones: Slimming World and Weight Watchers.
Each one has its own approach to how people looking to lose weight should do it.
People who have been trying to lose weight and haven’t gotten anywhere tend to ask for help from these groups.
Having someone to guide you and teach you the ropes is a great way to put you on the right track. However, we have heard so many bad feedbacks about these two groups.
Let us try and break down and dissect how these groups claim to help people achieve their weight-loss goals.
With Slimming World, you are supposedly allowed to eat anything without cutting down your portions. Slimming World also does not promote calorie counting.
For devout health buffs this might seem like an insane idea but there are actually people who swear by this. And while they claim that it has worked wonders in their weight-loss journey, many others are just left confused.
Slimming World gives its members, a list of ‘free food’ which means they can eat these food as much as they want. No limit. No guilt.
These include fruits and vegetables, which are not restricted. Their diet plan also allow you to eat carbs like pasta and rice. Unlimited amounts of it. How awesome
is that, right?
The catch is, a third of every meal should contain high-fibre, low-sugar and low-fat fruits and vegetables. Slimming World also does not allow you to eat too much fat.
While you can eat almost anything, there are food that is considered Syns, or synergy. They are restricted and you are only allowed a certain portion of Syns daily. Fatty food and treats like wine and chocolates are considered Syns.
They also sell food products, which they claim work well with their diet program.
But this popular weight loss program recently got embroiled in controversy after a popular product that they sell, the low-fat sausages, were actually almost 10 times worse than what they originally claimed they were. Fad diets, really!
They were also criticised for a yogurt brand they were pushing as a free food list item but was actually high in sugar content. It has been scrapped from their list.
It also suddenly changed their diet programs in late 2018 leaving many dieters outraged, especially since they have reclassified some food which were supposedly good to well, food that should be restricted.
Now, the problem a lot of people have with Slimming World is the group’s inability to educate their students and members about nutrition. How this kinds of program works on weight-loss and how it affects their overall fitness goal.
Many claim there is lack of education as handlers do not explain so much how this works.
The good thing about Slimming World, however, is that it has a strong member base of 900,000 dieters. This means they will have a good support system that will help each other reach their goals.
You may have heard about smart points. This is from the Weight Watchers diet program, which have been gaining successes from different individuals including celebrities.
There are group meetings, weigh-in, support in person and online and it provides you a flexible diet and exercise plan as well.
Despite being flexible, the program requires you to track your food intake and encourages you to eat smart and eat healthy.
You are encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables and meat but you can also allow yourself a treat once in a while. So dieting doesn’t seem like such a heavy chore.
The program does not limit the food that you need to eat but track them and count the Smart Points from them. Portion control is the name of the game. This point system makes you more aware of what you eat and if you are eating right.
They also offer nutritional education so you would understand what you are getting yourself into.
Most importantly, you are encouraged to exercise.
The biggest cons in joining this weight loss group is the cost it takes.
Sometimes, it may feel a little invasive to some as it might feel like there is a need to share you weight loss journey. Sharing could sometimes make you compare your progress against the other members and if it isn’t working for you as well as it is for others, then you would be discouraged.
While some feel that Weight Watchers work as it focuses on calories, sugar intake and fat, there is a huge window that it could not work because of how flexible it is. You will feel like you can just eat anything.
Also, SmartPoints counting, that is way too technical for me to discuss here.
Although they all mean well, these weight loss groups, sometimes, give you a false sense of what healthy is. For instance, not thinking about the calories you have consumed is a load of bull.
It is basic: Calories in, calories out is one way of knowing if you will be losing weight.
I mean no offense but, as someone who has been in this business, I believe people trying to lose weight must be guided well towards a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. That these weight-loss clubs should encourage their patrons to adopt to a long-term, healthy habits.
Here are the things that slimming clubs make you believe:
That you are not calorie-counting, because you really aren’t per se. What they do is put you on super low-fat diet. As we all know fat contains higher calories.
You will be placed in a protein and carb diet. Naturally, your weight will drop dramatically in the first few weeks.
But denying your bodies any amount of fat will ultimately be not helpful.
Firstly, fats are nutrients in food that the body uses to help build cell membranes, nerve tissue and hormones. The body uses fat as fuel. And you need fuel to go about your daily tasks.
It is the unused fat that are being stored in the body that causes you to gain weight.
So if your body is devoid of fat, you will lose the essential fatty acids that will help keep your body healthy and that would make sure that your body continues to burn fat over a long period of time.
3. They make you feel that weight gain or not dropping any weight is taboo.
These slimming clubs want you to lose weight so much because that will be plus points for them. Any weight gained will then make you feel bad about yourselves. No matter what kind of motivation you get.
We all know that weight loss is not the only measure that you are on the right track, health-wise. Getting skinny does not always equate to being healthy. That is what these group fail to tell you.
There are many ways to track your progress because the weighing scales aren’t the only means that can help you track your fitness journey.
Some other indicators that help you determine if there is an improvement to your bodies. Read here:
4. They make you feel that this is a long-term program. They are only part of this community as long as you pay the membership fee. It still all depends on the individual if they want to keep at it for long, with or without the membership.
But please remember that while joining weight loss groups can help motivate a person, it still all depends on your own personal will.
Each weight-loss program has good points and there are also bad feedbacks. Do your research before investing heavily on it.
It is also important that should you try out any of these diets, make sure that you are well-informed before making a decision. Will it fit your budget? Will it fit your lifestyle? Because if it is only going to wipe your saving clean, think if it is even worth it.
But if you do allow us to say, exercise daily, eat the right food, watch what you eat, love yourself and make friends with people who have the same goals as you. You do not need an expensive membership to do that.
I’m going to be brutal now (Sorry, Weightloss leaders)
I have spent nearly 10 years educating and coaching clients (Spending £££’s on my education) on nutrition.
Weightloss leaders pay £2k for a franchise license and are “Weight Loss Experts” with no qualifications.
Also, when you first embarked on your weightloss journey did you envision on looking like the group leader ?
Food for thought ….