Diary of a Dieter
I have tried a lot of diets in my time, and two of them that have recently been in the press are Weight Watchers and Slimming World. I am going to tell you a bit about what I think from my experiences of both.
I joined Weight Watchers around two years ago after a really bad experience when I was going on a night out for my friend’s birthday. Absolutely none of my dresses fitted me, none of them would zip up the back and I felt really uncomfortable in what used to be my best going out dresses. I cried my eyes out and I eventually ended up borrowing one of my mum’s dresses as she is a size bigger than me. Fortunately I still found the confidence to go out that night even though I felt so upset and conscious over my weight gain. After this I was recommended Weight Watchers and I joined along with my mum – we were both determined to lose weight! The first class I attended I had a big shock because I realised how much weight I had put on.
The plan seemed fairly simple using the points system. I was allocated 29 points per day and this seemed fine. I started the diet and found myself living on pitta breads and low fat cottage cheese, salads and vegetables. I wanted to lose weight fast and was therefore strict with myself and extremely careful to not go over the points I was allocated. Just as I wanted, the weight came off. In 2 weeks I had lost 7lbs and after 5 weeks I had lost 14lbs (1 stone). I was so happy and I was finally starting to fit into my old clothes. I found Weight Watchers quite expensive as it was £5 per week, so I quit the classes and decided to take on the diet myself without the help of the classes because I knew how to do it. I found it very hard to keep track of how many points I had during the day. This had a negative effect on me as I always wanted to eat foods with no points or very low points so I knew I hadn’t gone over and this really wasn’t a very healthy attitude. When I quit I had the freedom of not tracking points anymore so I started eating more and eventually the weight crept back on – not a lot, but enough for me to notice. I decided to join the gym instead of rejoining Weight Watchers again and I managed to keep the weight off by exercising and eating relatively healthy.
It came to September 2012 and I had an operation which meant I could not do any exercise for 8 weeks. Before this I had been exercising at least twice a week so I really felt the effects of not being able to do any. It made me sluggish and I turned to comfort food. When I was able to exercise again I started going to a local Zumba class, but I found it really hard to get back into exercise as I had become so unfit and I was also still eating unhealthy foods. I wanted to start a diet but it didn’t make sense to start a few weeks before Christmas because I was obviously going to pig out over the holiday season! So after Christmas I decided to join Slimming World.
I am still currently with Slimming World and I am really impressed with my weight loss. I am loosing a healthy 1lb – 2lb per week and I am really enjoying the plan. You don’t have to keep track on points and you can eat what you like (in moderation obviously). You have super free foods (vegetables, fruit etc) free foods (potatoes, pasta, meat, fish etc) and then you have an A choice, a B choice and your sins (I think you can guess what the sins are: chocolate, crisps, etc). I won’t go into it too much because if you want to join Slimming World you’re better off getting an explanation of the plan from one of the consultants. My consultant is amazing; she can’t do enough to help you. I have her mobile number in case I need her and she is always available to speak to in group. She also set up a private group on Facebook for all her slimmers so we can support each other when we’re not in class and we share lots of recipes with each other!
All in all I personally have had a better experience whilst on Slimming World. I am not as obsessed with what I am eating, I don’t get worried about having to track points and I know that I can have a treat without worrying. Don’t get me wrong, Weight Watchers did help me lose weight and the plan is suitable for some people, it just wasn’t for me. With Slimming World I don’t feel like I am on a diet, I feel like I have changed my lifestyle, the way I eat and it’s changed my way of thinking about food!
What I have learned is that fad diets don’t work. A sensible combination of healthy eating and exercise is the only way to keep the weight off, while keeping you healthy and fit and happy also!
By Natasha Kirby, Marketing Assistant