Someone I met recently runs a Slimming World group, and she was complaining that the vast majority of her group keep coming every week, paying their £5, but don’t lose any weight.

She finds it frustrating that on the whole people are not making any long lasting changes. She said things like:

  • “they still eat chocolate everyday and expect to lose weight”
  • “they don’t do any exercise from one week to another”

I asked her – does Slimming World work? She said that it would if people just stuck to the diet!

This particular Slimming World leader is slim, and finds it relatively easy to maintain her very nice figure. It was obvious to me she had a ‘slim mindset’. The other thing that was obvious to me is that she didn’t understand why people just couldn’t get on and follow the plan, and lose weight. To her it’s all quite straight forward.

Does Slimming World Work?

Quite coincidently that same day, a patient came to see me. She’s trying, pretty unsuccessfully, to lose weight. She’s doing Slimming World, and has done on and off for years. I took the opportunity to ask a couple of questions.

First of all I asked – does slimming world work? She said she thought it did, if you stuck to the diet…

I asked her what her outcome is, what’s her goal? Why is she going to Slimming World?

Before I tell you her answer, imagine she is going to a car showroom because she needs a new car. The salesman came up to her and asked her what she wanted, and she said – “a car please”.

Think about this. How far is she going get here? The salesman can’t help her until she gives him a clue -what kind of a car does she want, what’s her budget? There are a lot of details to fill in here before she can move forward and get a new car.

So I asked my patient why she was going to Slimming World. Her answer was “too lose weight”. This is exactly the same as “I’d like a car please”. It means nothing!

This is her first big mistake, and a huge failing of Slimming World by not helping her identify it. Without having this nailed down it is very difficult to make progress.

You have to know what you want, before you can ever make any real progress to get it. After speaking with my patient, and getting her to think about it, she identified what she really wanted. She summed it up in this sentence:

I’m size 10 and I fit perfectly into my old faithful jeans. I feel slim and gorgeous, and confident and happy when I go out with my friends. 

This creates an image in her head (which makes her feel happy). Creating an image like this communicates what she wants with her subconscious mind. It gives the most powerful part of her mind specific instructions about what she wants. It will therefore start to help her achieve her goal. This help shows itself by her being more able to choose healthier things, and feel good about that (rather than feeling deprived).

Without doing this bit, deciding on your outcome and then communicating that with your subconscious, you end up relying on will power. That’s what most people are doing at Slimming World, and that’s why most people make little progress.

There were several other massive problems I uncovered with my patient and her experience with Slimming World, and I’ll share one more of those with you next week.

If you’ve done Slimming World, what were your experiences?

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Have an Uber Health week

Dr Julie