I’m often asked why I started Slimming World, and I think I’ve covered that a few times on the blog. You know, what was the lightbulb moment that made me think that now was finally the time to take losing weight seriously. But recently, I’ve also been asked how to start Slimming World, so I thought I’d cover that too.
I have a few top tips for you if you’re thinking of starting the plan, but of course, everyone’s different, so find what works for you. But I reckon these tips will help:
And by focus I mean Get Your Head In The Game. There is no point doing this if you’re not ready, and by ready, I mean as ready as you can ever be. Take it seriously. Be brave. Take the leap. Understand why you want to lose weight and keep your focus throughout as much as you can. Losing weight is in the mind as much as it is in the body. Something just clicked for me when I started and one of the reasons is because I see this as changing my lifestyle forever, I’m not on a diet. Try and think in the same way and your head will start to believe that this is how life will be from now on.
Two days before I started Slimming World, and don’t forget I don’t go to class, I researched recipes, what foods to buy, wrote a shopping list and joined relevant SW Facebook groups. I read up on the syns of certain foods, how the plan worked and what things to cook in the first week. I had joined SW last November, a month before I did it ‘properly’ on my own, so I had access to the literature, so whether you’re following the plan at home on your own like me, or going to class, do your research.
One thing you’ll find with Slimming World is that you will shop ALL THE TIME. There’ll be the main shop, then several in-between top-up shops during the week. It’s a good job I live a 2 minute walk from Tesco – I’m there all the time! But you’ll find you’ll need to buy extra fresh fruit and veg during the week because you eat an awful lot on this plan. Yes, it can get expensive, but think of it this way …. the money you’d normally spend on junk food, you’re now spending on healthy stuff, so it all evens itself out in the end. Also, if you are on a budget, batch cook meals and freeze them – saves on time and money. Win/win. Not that I ever do it mind you, but do as I say, not as I do!
4. DO NOT DEPRIVE YOURSELF
This is a big one (pardon the pun) for me. Whenever I feel like I’m not allowed something, I want it. And I want it BAD. I’ll self-sabotage just to prove a point that no-one will tell me what to do. Which is pretty ridiculous isn’t it? But hopefully you’ll know what I mean. So think about what your ‘treat’ of choice is, whether it’s sweet or savoury, and put your treat allowance (your syns) towards it, so you can always have what you want, it’ll just be in a smaller quantity. And what you’ll find is that knowing you can have something will mean you won’t ever feel deprived and then find yourself cheating.
5. NEW RECIPES
For the first four months or so, I made sure I tried out a new recipe every week, so I would encourage you to do the same. And dust off the slow cooker if you have one, that’ll make life so much easier! Keep things interesting, get the family involved by cooking SW friendly recipes for everyone so you don’t have to cook separate meals, and you may, just may, find yourself enjoying cooking. And if you enjoy it, losing weight won’t feel like a chore. I used to try out different types of cakes (Chocolate Cake, Weetabix Cake/Fruit Loaf, Baked Cheesecake,) and the boys loved it! In fact, it’s probably time I found another recipe to try out so I’ve bought the SW magazine this month and I’ll see what’s in there. Keep things as interesting as you can and you won’t get bored.
6. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN
Write everything down, and I mean everything. Everything that passes your lips, jot down in a notebook or in Notes on your iPhone. Do this until it becomes second nature knowing how many syns are in each food item you eat. It can feel like a bit of a pain to start with, but equally, it’s good to look back at your meal plan for the day, at the end of every day, to see how well you’ve done, where you may have gone off-plan slightly, and how many syns you’ve ‘spent.’ Six months on, and I don’t do it anymore, but it was invaluable at the beginning.
Find or create a support network because it will be super important. Talk to your family before you start about how serious you’re taking this, whether it’s the first or 21st time you’ve tried to lose weight, and hopefully they’ll get on board. I’m single, so don’t have the support of a partner at home, but my kids are encouraging, as is my best friend, and whenever I’ve posted in a Facebook group, everyone has been really nice. Also, I have this blog of course, which not only keeps me accountable each week, but has become an incredible source of support for me, and, hopefully a source of encouragement for other women. Find your ‘tribe’ of like-minded people and support each other.
(FEEL FREE TO PIN THESE TOP TIPS)
So they’re my top 7 tips for starting Slimming World. I’m no expert, and the weight comes off slowly for me now, but most of these tips still apply now as they did on Day 1. And I’m losing weight most weeks, so something is obviously working. And the only other thing I can say is good luck. Losing weight can be incredibly hard, I promise you, I know how hard, but if you follow these tips it will set you up for the road ahead. Think marathon, not sprint. And I don’t mean the nutty chocolate bar!