So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m cheating on Weight Watchers with SlimmingWorld as SW is the only group you can attend when pregnant. And it’s working for me (or at least my take on it is) – my pregnancy weight gain since starting in January when I was 18 weeks is just 2.5lbs. But jeezo…there are some things about it that really twist my melons. SW, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…
It is the terminology that I have an issue with here, rather than the concept that if you want to add foods to your diet that have a higher fat/sugar/calorie content then you should do so in moderation. When you struggle with your weight it is pretty much always because you have a broken relationship with food. Part of losing weight and getting healthy should be to heal that relationship…so someone tell me how that is ever going to be possible when you are being brainwashed into considering certain foods as sinful/bad/naughty on a daily basis?
On the topic of terminology…what the actual fuck? I am not a child, I don’t need something sugar coated for me. Exercise is not a dirty word, though I totally appreciate that for a lot of people who end up through the doors of SlimmingWorld it isn’t one they are comfortable with. But disguising it by giving it the My Little Pony treatment is not helpful. Activity, movement, fitness and e x e r c i s e should be part of the new healthy lifestyle people are adopting as part of their weight loss efforts, so please treat people like adults and discuss it openly.
I swithered over including this, as I’m starting to sound like a vocab fanatic. But no food is without consequence. Although bloody difficult, you could still gain weight eating just veggies if you consistently ate more calories-worth of them than you actually required. And that would be even easier to do with many foods SW class as free – pasta, rice and meat are foods which need an element of portion control that SW just doesn’t promote. And don’t even get me started on sugar-laden Muller Lights making into the “free” category…
Actually, do let me get started. How is something which is effectively a sweetie make it way on a list which basically suggests it’s on par with an apple? Someone got a nice backhander when they wangled that particular product placement…
HExB and the Hi Fi Bar
And on the issue of product placement, can we just stop and smell the bullshit surrounding SlimmingWorld’s own Hi Fi bars? You can have two of these as a “healthy extra” despite the fact that in doing so you’ll be eating half your maximum recommended daily sugar intake in one sitting. But apparently that’s equal to having just 40g of porridge oats. Ok then…
Unrealistic Weight Targets
There is a reason that “up to 2lbs per week” is often quoted as the best rate to lose weight at. You may lose more than that in the first few weeks of a change to your diet, or if you have a lot to lose, but to shed more than that on a regular basis requires you to reduce your calorie intake more. And less food takes you into deprivation territory which is not sustainable for long term success. And yet every. bloody. week I see people being encouraged to set their sights on a 4lb loss, and being commiserated with (by the group leader) for losing “just 1lb.” This is setting people up to be unhealthy, fail or both. I could literally write a whole blog post on this alone…and maybe I will.
I think this is my biggest disappointment with SlimmingWorld, and could also be a blog post of its own. For me, it is the weekly coaching and education you get from your class/group/meeting that creates success. Or at least it was with Weight Watchers…the SlimmingWorld sessions are just a drain. There never seems to be a topic focus, and regardless of whether you’ve lost or gained, everyone gets to hear how you performed at the scales. Whether you learn anything from other members or waste your evening listening to Betty having a whinge about how she put on weight is just the luck of the draw. Not really worth £4.95 a week.
So…what do I like? It’s a short list – stepping on the scales each week to keep me accountable, not having to deal with a lot of numbers as most of what I eat is “free” and um…the woman who runs my class is quite nice? Oops, not quite the positive note I hoped to end on!