Lately, I’ve had a few private messages sent to me, and blog comments left, about Slimming World. I don’t follow SW anymore, but I did for ten months, and so I’m always happy to reply to comments and messages because Slimming World did a lot for me. But after a while, I realised that as far as a long-term plan was concerned, it wasn’t for me. So I thought I’d talk about why I stopped following Slimming World.
I would like to say firstly though that Slimming World was great at the start, and I’m grateful. Not as an organisation per se, I went to group, and hated everything about it – consequently, it didn’t work, I took time out, and then decided to do it on my own. But it made me really look at what I was eating and helped me break some bad habits. I began to track my ‘syns’, the amount of ‘treats’ you’re allowed every day, and by writing everything down, I felt more in control of my diet. I started to understand that eating a lot of carbs, although ‘allowed’, did me no favours because I just felt bloated all the time, so began reducing them, which I’ve stuck to. And I started to eat more ‘free’ foods – bulking my dinners out with vegetables wherever I could. So for ten months, it became a way of life and I lost nearly three stones.
And then I started to take exercise seriously.
My weight then plateaued for the next three months and I realised something had to change. It seems to me that perhaps Slimming World isn’t particularly conducive to people who want to do a lot of exercise. Yes, they advocate ‘Body Magic’ whatever the f**k that is, but I was going to Spin classes, weight training and building muscle, and Slimming World clearly didn’t work anymore. At least not for me.
Also, it was bloody expensive! I was spending an absolute fortune and on the one hand, I wasn’t buying takeaways anymore and so didn’t really resent spending that extra money on groceries, but my world became a whirlwind of constant top-up grocery shops during the week, finding extra money to pay for it, thinking about food all the time, and stressing about my weekly weigh-in, because the scales just weren’t moving. I got tired of the syn/tweak police telling me off for not synning a mashed banana. I couldn’t face another Muller Light yoghurt! It all just got a bit much.
I decided to download the My Fitness Pal app and go back to basics. I found that eating a fair bit of protein, especially at breakfast time, meant I never felt/feel hungry, I continued to eat fewer carbs because #bloating and, very importantly for me, I always allowed myself to eat something considered ‘naughty’, if my calories allowed it. And talking of calories, how did I know how many I could have?
Trial and error really. I worked out my BMR, my base metabolic rate, ie. the amount of calories I need just to survive, and then reduced that by 20%, which gave me around 1700 I think. What I found out was that wasn’t enough, especially with all the exercise I was doing, and I didn’t lose much weight at all. So I played around with that figure and came to an amount of 1900 calories per day, which seems to suit me. Some days I’m over (ie. every weekend), and some days I’m under (when I’m stressed), but it balances itself out.
I don’t eat huge quantities of something because it’s classed as ‘free’ because I just don’t think that’s very good for you. My digestion is a lot more … ahem, regular, because I don’t know about you, but SW really did mess with that … ahem, area. I don’t have to weigh food anymore because My Fitness Pal has taught me how many calories is in each amount of food I regularly eat and I can gauge that by eye now and, last but not least, I just don’t think about food that much anymore. I feel so much more relaxed, which is great for my mental health, which, in turn, is great for my body.
PIN ME FOR LATER!
As you will have seen from my weekly healthy lifestyle updates, I yo-yo sometimes, but that’s predominantly because of the stresses of life, and overall, I lose weight most weeks. Since stopping Slimming World, and exercising 4-5 times a week, I’ve lost another 18lbs and will continue. The more weight I lose, I suspect the more I’ll have to lower my calorie allowance, but I still have a lot of weight to lose, so I just take each week as it comes.
Slimming World did me a massive favour and I do still eat some of the SW recipes – especially Slimming World Roast Potatoes and Slimming World Pulled Pork – but it’s not for me anymore. Have you done Slimming World and then decided it wasn’t for you long-term? I’d love to hear from you.