If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that every Wednesday I’ll tweet about my impending weigh in at Slimming World, praying that this week I’ll be the biggest loser. After years of going back and forth, joining then never to be seen again as I popped another Mini Egg into my chops, I finally bit the bullet (it didn’t taste that nice) and rejoined a local group in February.
I’ll be honest, the first couple of weeks I didn’t fully commit myself. I didn’t take it seriously, and continued to eat naughty bits that I shouldn’t have, all the while thinking…”I will definitely start a fresh tomorrow.” For those that are unfamiliar with Slimming World, it’s a healthy eating plan (I refused to say diet, because it’s not) in which you cook from fresh, eat lots of fruit and veg, you don’t count calories and you eat until you are full. You can still eat all the things you want, you just have to make healthy adjustments – so if you fancy KFC, you make crispy coated chicken strips with homemade chips, no oil. And trust me, that recipe is so delicious you’ll never have to go see Colonel Sanders again.
My weight loss journey went a little like this in the beginning: -6lbs, maintain, +3.5lbs, -0.5lbs. I mean, so in four weeks I’d manage to lose a whopping grand total of…wait for it…3lbs. This was going to take a while I could see.
Then I gave myself a shake and decided to get my butt into gear. That same week I decided to give up sugar for Lent. It enable me to spend my daily 15 Syn’s (the one thing I dislike about the Slimming World plan is the word Syn because eating food, regardless of what it is, isn’t a “syn”) on other things like condiments or save them completely. Before I would be following the plan but still eating 7 cheesecakes, 4 Curly Wurly’s and 15 packets of Skittles, all the while wondering why the hell I wasn’t losing weight. Must be my metabolism right?
After that, my weight started to drop and in 5 weeks I’ve lost 16.5lbs – that’s 1 stone 2.5lbs. Whoopie doo! I genuinely feel like I’m in the zone now, and even though I’ve got another 31.5lbs to go until I hit target, I know I can do it.
So with that said, I know a couple of readers have recently joined Slimming World too so I wanted to share my Top Ten Tips on starting.
1. Stay To Group
Even if it’s just the first few weeks, I strongly advise staying to group and learning more about the plan, listening to other stories like yours. I’ll admit, it’s daunting at first, especially as I hate talking in front of a crowd, but it’s such a friendly atmosphere and believe me, everyone is feeling the same as you.
2. Search For #Hashtag Inspiration
Slimming World has such an amazing community on Instagram so try searching for hashtags such as #swuk, #slimmingworld, #extraeasy, #onplan, #slimmingworldmafia and #slimmingworldfamily for meal inspiration and low Syn treats.
3. Try To Cook What You Love
When I first started my journey I felt like I needed to cook meals that were deemed “healthy” despite not really liking what ended up on my plate. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I decided to make healthy alternatives to my favourite meals instead. All it took was a little Googling, asking at group etc and I’ve made homemade burgers, my own tomato sauce, KFC style chicken, meatball sub, chicken tikka masala – basically everything that I love and I’ve still lost weight.
4. But Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New
I’ve discovered an absolute love of cooking since join Slimming World, and try to cook something new at least one a week. Last week it was a low syn giant Yorkshire pudding with Oxo roasties. Absolutely delicious and totally on plan. And of course, filled with vegetables.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan
The key to success is to plan your week out ahead of you, especially as you’ll be cooking a lot of things from fresh. It’s so much easier to know what you’re eating each day so you’re prepared instead of finding yourself in a situation where you’re hunting for something suitable and end up falling of the wagon spectacularly in McDonalds with a Big Mac meal, milkshake and chicken nuggets *happened to a friend of mine. Take some time on a Sunday, or even straight after group and plan out your week ahead. Then go shopping and stock up with everything you need to make sure you have a great loss.
6. Break Your Goal Down
I knew I had 3 stone 6lbs to lose but to think of it like 48lbs was overwhelming. So instead, I think of its as 7 mini targets of 7lbs a time. I’ve already hit two of my targets and well on my way to my third. Plus, I have a chalkboard on my desk at work to show how many pounds have gone so far, and how many I have left to go which really motivates me.
7. Be Inspired By Others
I have so many screen shots on my phone of Slimming World success stories that I reflect back on if I’m struggling. Just seeing that someone has been able to lose the same amount of weight you want to can give you a reality check, reminding you why you started on your journey in the first place. Instagram, again, is a great way to find before and after pictures – or #TransformationTuesday if you like.
8. Track Your Progress
By tracking your progress in the Slimming World app, you’ll be able to see how close you are to target, how your weight is coming down week by week or how well you’ve done to get to this point if you have a week where you fall off kilter slightly. If you feel better taking your measurements then do that every week, so even when the scales say you’ve not lost due to exercising, for example, you can see in other ways your body is changing.
9. Write Everything Down
Writing a food diary at the beginning really helped me to focus where I was going wrong, what my downfalls were and what time of day I was susceptible to stuffing my face. Evenings were my weak spot, so now I fill my time with other things to keep busy. Having my #AprilBloggingChallenge certainly helps and I’m currently starting a little top secret side project (which I launch in May) which is taking up a lot of my time at the moment, watching webinars, brainstorming, learning how to build my email list etc. Who has time to snack when you’re too busy taking over the world.
10. Celebrate The Small Losses
My final point has to be celebrate the loses, however small. I love to shout about my Slimming World achievements across social media because regular readers know how much it means to me to get back to my happy place again. I haven’t been my target weight for over five years now. Hell I haven’t been the weight I am now for over a year. So to see it finally in sight, I would truly recommend Slimming World to anyone looking to make a change to their life.
If you have any questions about Slimming World, or how I’m doing, then please either leave a comment below or just tweet me at @Victoria_aptno4 and I’ll get straight back to you. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have a great weekend guys.