Weight Loss Groups, Do They Really Work
It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. Having joined a group 3 times it’s something I personally feel I have the knowledge to report on.
Clubs like slimming world and weightwatchers have brilliant success rates,
and why not. They’re a great support network for the ill-informed to lose weight and learn healthier ways to live.
It’s a well known fact that having a gym buddy or a diet buddy can benefit you when losing weight and sticking to diets, and that’s pretty much what these groups provide. They are your diet buddy. Every week, when you step on those scales, there’s always someone there with a shoulder to cry on or a congratulatory cheer. Obviously, that’s why people go back week after week.
Going to group I saw some fantastic success stories and the sheer determination in some people to achieve the goals they had set themselves. These people were amazing. But, I’m not one of those people. I don’t have a big slimming world success story, a tale of how my life was happier and more fulfilled from restriction. Because? It wasn’t. Restriction doesn’t work for me. As much as these groups tell you there’s no restriction, the restrictive mentality is enforced.
Bye Bye Nut Bars
Following a low fat diet isn’t always that good for you. Low fat yogurts, Low fat cheese, Low fat everything is how these weight loss groups work, yet they tell you there’s no restrictions?
My body, as does everyone’s body, requires fat, an important macronutrient, which one should not be ignoring. Be it a handful of nuts or a spoonful of coconut oil, these “fatty” foods are demonised by slimming clubs, allowed, but strictly monitored.
The effect of restricting fat foods in my diet led me to crave fatty foods more than ever before and lead me into a dangerous cycle of binge eating.
Oh So You’re On A Diet Now?
It doesn’t help calling it a diet. There’s a very good reason why these classes tend to steer away from the term “diet”. Telling someone to go on a diet and not think about unhealthy food is like telling someone to not think about a purple elephant.
As soon as I think about “dieting” my body goes into shock and storage mode. I literally become a squirrel, loading up on all the bad food I can before the dreaded diet begins. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how a word as simple as dieting can reflect such a bad relationship with food.
So It’s Ok To Have A Diet Of Salmon and Sugar?
Nutrition wise these groups have their good and their bad points. Encouraging a low fat diet unfortunately increases the likelihood of having a high sugar diet. Almost all low fat foods have replaced the fat macronutrient with sugar, it basically means “hey we’ve removed all the good healthy natural fat and replaced it with processed sweeteners and refined sugars” so you know, enjoy those bad teeth.
However, it’s not all bad. Slimming groups did teach me the importance of fruit and veg at every meal and how energy dense and nutritiously beneficial they are.
Which is awful, really, when you think it took getting to an obese/overweight state to realise how I should have been eating all my life, maybe the real issue here is with education?
But anyway, now I know, Even without following a weight loss plan, the importance of filling at least ⅓ of my plate with fruit or veg and making them a staple part of my diet.
There’s A Whole, Healthy World Out There
Weight loss classes opened my eyes to the health and fitness world. It’s given me a deep interest in nutrition and wellness. In fact, If I didn’t follow everyone on Instagram with an “sw” or “healthy” in their name, then I probably would have never heard of fitbit and I’m sure my fitbit is probably my most treasured possession.
My Obsessive Personality
There’s a fine line between watching what you eat and obsessing. When I joined a slimming group I became obsessed with what I ate, how regularly my bowel moved, the weight on the scales, what I wore to weigh in, that extra glass of wine I had at the weekend.
I don’t want to be that person. I want to be happy in my own skin, happy with what I eat and not feel guilty about the extra glass
bottle of wine. It’s unhealthy to obsess and weight loss classes made me.
I’m not saying it’s the same for everyone, but for me, they’re just no good. I control my food and my life, not the other way round.
But like I said, it’s not for me to decide if they will work for you. These groups have their positives and their negatives and I know many people who have successfully lost and sustained their slimming club weight loss.
Joining a slimming club is a great way to enjoy meeting likeminded people who are always offering social support.
Unlike fad diets like Juice Plus and Herbalife, these groups have been around for years. This probably wouldn’t be the case if they weren’t successful. If you’re like me, you’ll discover It’s a great insight into the world of nutrition and healthy living.
So Do They Work?
Yes! Yes! Yes! But not for everyone….
Let me know if you’ve tried weight loss groups and if you feel you have benefited. Would love to get a varied view on this subject.. Comment in the box below