* Disclaimer - all information on this post is based on my own opinions and experience *
Now we've got that cleared up...
SlimmingWorld or WeightWatchers? That is usually the main question on every slimmers lips at the beginning of their weight loss journey. I have been a member of both parties in the last 5 years, and here are my experiences with both.
I joined SlimmingWorld with my mum at the beginning of 2012. I was at my heaviest weight and had just come out of a long term relationship, so naturally I wanted a revenge body (that never quite happened!). I joined my local class and from what I can recall it was for an hour on a Tuesday evening.
We decided on SlimmingWorld because of the timing of the class to begin with, but the idea of eating unlimited carbs also was a big seller for me - being a Carbie and all that.
Back then, and please remember this was 5 years ago, the class was £6.95 a week and that included your weigh in and a motivational group 'chat' with the leader and the other members of the class afterwards.
Personally, I think the success of all weight loss groups lays heavily on the leader. Our SW rep was not really what I was striving towards in all honesty. She was a larger lady, and whilst I'm all about body positivity, she openly admitted that she had put lots of weight back on since getting to goal. Which, you know, fair enough. But I couldn't take her preaching seriously because of that.
On to the plan itself.... I believe there is a Red/Green day plan you can follow, but my mum and I followed the 'extra easy' plan. This consisted of super-free and free food; fruit and vegetables mostly (but not all! Remember to check!) Healthy extra A (dairy) Healthy extra B (bread, cereal bars etc) and Syns (all the bad food!). Chicken and lean meats were included in free food - so you could cook a spaghetti bolognaise with 5%lean mince or Quorn mince and have this as a 'free' meal! All sounds fab and was pretty simple to follow. However....
Well, the weight melted off me!! I lost two stone and two dress sizes in two months. Super quick. Absolutely. Made. Up.
But. As soon as I came off plan I piled the weight that I had lost back on and more. I think the fact that the 'free' food was not portion controlled has a psychological affect on a foodie and you just go for it. Which was wrong. But I bloody enjoyed it.
Let's fast forward 5 years and I now am loosely following a combo of slimming world and eating healthy. I love the slimming world frozen meals you can buy from Iceland; they are reasonably priced and very tasty compared to other brands of frozen meals. Not forgetting the fact that it's all low in fat and sugar and so easy to prepare - just throw it in the microwave and you're good to go. I believe this is a recent thing from SlimmingWorld, so bravo.
You can follow my instagram @vikkileatracker where I post a lot of my meals that I freshly prepare and also find in Iceland.
What about WeightWatchers?
Good old WeightWatchers.
A lot of my extended family have been very successful whilst following WeightWatchers. I have been to two weight watchers classes, one in 2014 and one in 2015. I got married in February 2016 so I wanted to lose weight for our wedding day.
The class I joined was on a Friday morning which worked well for me because I could use Friday night as 'treat' night and then get back on the band wagon come Saturday (usually Sunday - who am I kidding, sometimes even Monday!) This was the worst thing for me in the end, because I'd spend Monday - Friday getting off the weight I had put on over the weekend. Oops.
My leader here was lovely and a real inspiration; she had lost something like 10stone and had kept it off. She looked fab.
The plan itself is now based on Smart points. However when I was losing weight it was pro points. Each food type and portion was allocated a certain amount of points and you could keep track of the points you were eating each day on a handy app. Your daily allowance was calculated based on your weight and height. It was all very easy to follow. The only downside I found was weighing things to get the points allowance. No unlimited carbs here!
Again, I lost two stone. I lost two dress sizes and was happy. To this day I have put a small amount of weight back on to my lowest just before the wedding but, WeightWatchers has educated me on portion sizes if nothing else.
There are loads and loads of diets out there, and believe me I've tried them all! Slimfast, juicing, smoothies, 5:2 the list is endless.
What I find works best for me is to be happy; I joined the gym in the December before I got married and that has helped me lose inches but not necessarily any weight. But I'm happy with that. Be true to yourself and if you fancy a chippy on a Friday then have it! It's all about balance. If you beat yourself up over it then you will not get any results. I am by no means a hot sexy instagram model but I am comfortable in my clothes. If I choose to lose anymore weight then it will be because I want to, not because society says I should!
In conclusion to this post, SlimmingWorld, WeightWatchers and all the other diets have good and bad aspects, so do what feels right for you.
Let me know in a comment what your experiences are of the above, if any!
- Vikki Lea x