When you’ve tried other weight loss programmes in the past it can be difficult to believe that something new will work when all the other ones have failed, however blogger, Natalie, found that Slimming World was a great choice for her as it fitted in with her lifestyle. Now, after eight months she is on her way to achieving her goals ensuring she stays within her Syns while still keeping meals exciting. I sat down with Natalie to find out why she chose Slimming World and why it is so sustainable for her
There are so many weight loss plans available, what attracted you to Slimming World?
Slimming World is about living a healthy lifestyle and being able to maintain it, so weight loss isn’t really rapid and then you plateau or put it all back on if you come off plan, it’s a steady weight loss and a realistic healthy lifestyle that doesn’t need to cost the earth. Almost any meal can be adapted to Slimming World simply by swapping out a few ingredients, so it’s a very easy weight loss programme to follow that won’t see you making a different meal for everyone in the family.
This isn’t the first time you’ve used Slimming World, why didn’t you decide to try a different plan?
I have tried lots of plans, including Weight Watchers and Slim Fast shakes, but they’ve all been quick fixes that gave me good results in a few weeks but I couldn’t maintain the weight loss, as realistically you can’t live on those diets forever. You get hungry if nothing else! I’ve never really stopped leading the Slimming World lifestyle, trying to make the right food choices and cooking meals loaded with vegetables, but sometimes, like this year, I just needed to get right back on track and review changes to the plan, start writing out food diaries again, planning my meals and getting new inspiration from the website. It’s easy, tasty and you’re not often hungry, so I wouldn’t consider trying any other weight loss programme now.
How have you found the Slimming World programme differs to the last time you used it?
There have been a few changes, such as you used to be able to have two healthy extra B choices, things like bread and cereals, and now that’s only one, but otherwise it’s the same. I’ve found it just as easy to follow, though I must admit I do struggle not having the two B choices, as I used to be able to have my cereal in the morning and a sandwich at lunch without using any Syns up, now I use around six Syns on breakfast or lunch which can leave me a bit short for dinner, but I’ve got into the flow of things now and am managing it well.
As a vegetarian you must have to think of innovative meals as meat features heavily in a lot of weight loss programmes, where do you get your inspiration from?
Luckily on Slimming World there is a Green meal plan for vegetarians, so there’s a lot of inspiration for meals in the books and on the website. Luckily, as most Quorn is ‘free’ or very low in Syn value, I can have meals like Quorn bolognese, chilli, even Quorn curry, and it not be too high in Syns, so I can have more of it or save my Syns for treats. I have a monthly subscription to Olive Magazine too which has fantastic meals in that I can easily substitute meat and fish for more vegetables or Quorn, and can replace things like cream in a sauce for Elmea single cream light, and it becomes a very tasty Slimming World dish. I can take almost any recipe now and replace the meat or fish with something vegetarian without a problem, so I find inspiration in almost every recipe and cookbook.
Did you find it difficult to fit Slimming World into your lifestyle?
No, not at all. It’s so easy to follow and after a week or two you don’t need to look at the books anymore as it just becomes second nature. It’s quite a simple premise and there’s no weighing out or calorie counting. It’s just normal life with healthy, tasty food, and you lose weight – what’s not to like!
What tips would you give to someone thinking of using Slimming World?
- Do it!
- Plan your meals one week at a time until you get into the swing of things.
- Keep a food diary, as it can be easy to slip up and eat something that’s a Syn. Writing it down will also help you and your group leader check you’re doing things right and staying on track.
- Browse the Slimming World website for recipes and give them a go. There are some really good ideas on there and lots of dessert and treat recipes that are delicious, especially for those with a sweet tooth like me, yet you can have them without the guilt.
Do you think that Slimming World is a sustainable life long plan?
I do. It’s simple healthy eating that you don’t need to do a lot of meal prep for, or weighing out, so no matter how busy you are it’s still feasible to follow. You can even eat out, just save your Syns or make the right choices, such as swapping chips for a jacket potato. The fact that you’re never hungry on the diet – as there are lots of ‘free’ foods you can snack on – also makes it much more realistic to follow. You never really feel deprived or like you’re missing out, which is where lots of people go wrong on fad diets.
How do you stay on track?
I try to really mix up what I eat. I look at magazines, online and in cookbooks for new recipe ideas a few times a month and come up with new dishes to try. It keeps it exciting and helps me stay focused. Though I do still go off plan every now and then, but if I do I try to pull it back with having low Syn or ‘free’ lunches and dinners.
What is your ultimate goal?
Ultimately I want to get down to a size 10, but realistically I just want to be happy in my own skin. When I have a really healthy, focused week on plan, it makes me feel good, so more of that and I’ll be right on track.
Would you like to be featured in WOW Wednesday (watching our waistline) and share your journey of to date with My Boyfriend|Gym just like Natalie did? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a little bit about your weight loss, fitness or health journey and a before and after (or during) photo. We feature one inspirational person a week, and it could easily be you!