Studies show that embarking on your weight loss journey alongside other slimmers brings more success than going it alone – sharing the ups and downs, having cheerleaders who are on your side, ad sharing advice and tips.
And not only that – recent research revealed that people who are supported to lose weight in a group increase their mental toughness – developing more control, embracing challenges and growing in confidence – more than those who choose to lose weight on their own – and go on to lose more weight than those who don’t have the support of a Slimming World group.
Karen Fay, a brand new Slimming World consultant from Morecambe, attests to this as she has lost 8.5 stone while enjoying the support of her local Slimming World group.
The turning point for Karen came when she went to Blackpool and had to get off a ride because the safety strap wouldn’t fit.
A year later and more than three stone lighter she was able to fit on the very same ride!
“I joined my local Slimming World group and I was so surprised at how generous the Food Optimising Plan was," she said. "I didn’t feel hungry and I was able to fit it in to my family life so meal preparation was so easy.
"I also loved my group. I made so many friends and we all just supported and encouraged each other every week. I learnt such a lot too, so many good recipes and tips. I could never have done this without their support.”
After losing six stone, Karen then discovered a love of running.
“At first it wasn’t easy” she said. “I felt like I was dying!”
Losing weight meant that Karen was able to take part in the Couch to 5K programme with the encouragement of a friend. The programme builds up your running time in small increments until you can run for a full 45 minutes non-stop.
Karen then progressed to park runs and she recently reached her personal best of 29 minutes!
“I could never have accomplished this weighing over eight stone heavier” Karen said. “I’ve even completed in a few Sprint Triathlons too.
"I love being active and even during the lockdowns I was able to go out each day for a run with my daughter and it was so vital for my own mental health and wellbeing”.
Now activity has become part of Karen’s daily lifestyle which helps her maintain her fabulous weight loss.
It’s no secret than many people find losing weight far easier than keeping it off long-term. To avoid becoming trapped in a yo-yo diet cycle, it’s important to approach weight loss as a permanent change to your lifestyle – and focus on devel9oping new healthy habits that are sustainable for life, as well as getting support to make these changes.
Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World's head of research, said: “A group support approach is tried and tested – research shows that the more groups Slimming World members attend, the more successful they are.
"Based on their weight-loss over a year, the top 10,000 slimmers who attended their weekly weight loss group regularly lost 30 per cent of their body weight – around five stone each.
"In our groups, members are equipped with all the tolls they need to stay slim for life, so that they can be confident that the changes they’re making are sustainable forever”.
Karen is so thrilled with her own success that she has recently launched her own groups at Bare Methodist Church in Morecambe on Wednesdays, 9:30am, 5:30pm and 7:30pm.
To find out more about Slimming World and how to join your local group, go online here.