I think we’re all looking forward to some fun in the sun this year, however, worries about our weight can sometimes get in the way. At Slimming World, we’ll support you on your slimming journey, so you can step into summer feeling fitter, healthier and more confident!
You’ll find all the tools, motivation and inspiration you need at your nearest Slimming World group – or online if you choose to join our digital service. Our flexible Food Optimising plan has been designed to help you slim effectively through every summer event or occasion, with delicious barbecue and picnic recipes, ideas for refreshing treats, and tips on Food Optimising while you’re out and about. Together with our unique Body Magic programme, which supports you to get more active at your own pace, and expert support to tackle any challenges along the way, we can help you enjoy a slimmer summer without ever feeling hungry or restricted.
Here are five small changes you can make to get your summer off to a fantastic feel-good start…
1. Set your slimming sights high
Research shows that if you set yourself a goal, you’re more likely to achieve it – and the more ambitious the goal, the better. A study of 24,000 slimmers found that those who set an ambitious ‘dream target weight’ lost almost twice as much weight as those who aimed for a more modest amount.
You could also set ‘micro goals’ to motivate you along the way – these could be weight loss ones, such as losing 3lbs, something practical like going for lunchtime walks or adding more vegetables to your plate, or a ‘non-scale victory’ like feeling great in a new outfit or enjoying active days out with your kids. Meeting those smaller aims will give you a sense of achievement and spur you on to achieving that big weight loss dream.
2. Enjoy the great outdoors
Make the most of longer days and warmer weather and head out for some fresh-air fitness. A study from the University of Exeter shows that, compared with indoor workouts, exercising in a natural environment is associated with greater feelings of happiness and well-being, as well as increased energy levels. Outdoor exercisers also report getting greater enjoyment and satisfaction from their workouts and feel more inclined to keep their new routines up, plus you’ll be boosting your immune system and topping up your vitamin D levels.
Whether you’re a complete exercise beginner or already a keep-fit fan, there’s a whole range of activities you can enjoy outdoors, from walking the dog to family bike rides and Parkruns. And when you join Slimming World, you’ll be supported to build those healthy active habits through our Body Magic activity programme.
3. Get creative in the kitchen
With a huge online collection of more than 1,700 recipes to choose from, Slimming World members will never be short of inspiration – with lots of quick and easy recipes that even the most reluctant chefs will love. Try including healthy seasonal ingredients like courgettes, broad beans and new potatoes, or fire up the barbecue and get grilling lean meat, fish and veg.
When you join Slimming World, you can lose weight without ever feeling hungry! A study by the University of Leeds found that eating a diet based around low energy dense foods – those that contain fewer calories per gram, such as fresh fruit and veg, lean meat and poultry, pasta, rice and grains – is more effective for weight loss than traditional calorie counting. In fact, a group of slimmers who followed our Food Optimising plan (based on healthy, low energy dense foods eaten freely), lost more weight than a group on a calorie-counting diet.
4. Spritz up your summer
There’s nothing nicer than sitting outdoors on a sunny afternoon enjoying a drink with friends, yet alcohol can be a real obstacle if you’re trying to lose weight. As well as the calories in our favourite drinks, which are often higher than we realise (one large glass of wine has as many calories as a jam doughnut!), Slimming World’s research reveals that having just slightly too much to drink and reaching our ‘tipping point’ can lead us into drinking and eating far more than we intended, and as a result can hugely impact our weight.
The good news is by making small changes to your drinking habits, you can still enjoy alcohol in moderation, manage your ‘tipping point’ and lose weight. Carolyn Pallister, nutrition, research and health policy manager at Slimming World, says, “Alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks, adding soda water to wine to make a spritzer, switching to slimline mixers or choosing a low-calorie lager can all make a big difference.”
5. Spring-clean your habits
Having a routine can be a lifesaver when you’re busy – for example, you’re more likely to exercise regularly if you do it at the same time every week and having a set day for batch cooking can really help you plan for the week ahead. However, research from the University of Hertfordshire has found that when routines become overly rigid, they can make it difficult to change a habit, even if we know it’s not a helpful one. Having a spring clean of your habits can help you go after your weight loss goals with renewed focus.
Carolyn Pallister says: “At Slimming World we have a deep understanding of the psychology behind successful weight loss, and our groups are all about giving you the help and encouragement you need to build healthy new habits around food and activity. It’s so much easier to slim down when you have the support of a group of like-minded people who care about your success.”