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As this year comes to a close (finally!), lots of us are starting to think about what we want to achieve over the next 12 months. If losing weight and becoming healthier is top of your New Year’s resolutions list, having a great week-one weight loss could be the key to achieving your slimming dreams in the longer term, according to one of our largest-ever studies of Slimming World members.

Three fast facts:

  • People who lost 5lbs or more in their first week at a Slimming World group were four times more likely to lose 10% of their body weight within three months 
  • Age is no barrier to successful weight loss – 52% of those aged 55 and over lost at least 5% of their body weight within three months 
  • 46% of those with a BMI of 30 or over lost 5% of their body weight within their first three months of Food Optimising

Dr Sarah-Elizabeth Bennett, Slimming World’s Senior Research Associate, says: “Significant weight losses are often associated with ‘quick fix’ diets or restrictive, faddy plans, however we can see from our research that it is possible to see big results on the scales by following a healthy, balanced eating plan. 

There are several key factors which influence a good first week – an understanding of how to make changes that can work for you, a healthy eating plan that’s easy to live with and a realisation you’re not alone. Feeling confident that you can go and get started on your new healthy eating plan straightaway and having support throughout the week if you feel your motivation is waning are also key.

Slimming World’s expert support recognises all these things and every member who walks through the doors of our groups receives a warm welcome, an introduction to our Food Optimising eating plan and explanation of why it is so very different to other weight-loss diets, as well as an understanding of how to confidently get started and overcome past barriers to success. This new understanding, and a growing sense of determination and self-belief is cemented when members return to group the following week with a great weight loss without having felt hungry or deprived.”

Seven ways to ace your first seven days

At Slimming World, we understand that, without support, losing weight and making healthy changes to your lifestyle can be challenging – and we can help with that. Here are some simple strategies to ensure you get a great weight loss in your first week:

  • Understand how to make changes to your eating habits. Your local Consultant will explain how Food Optimising works during the new member talk on your first night in group, and help you see how you can easily fit the plan around your lifestyle..
  • Follow a healthy eating plan that’s easy to live with. Nothing is off the menu at Slimming World, and by making a few simple swaps to the way you shop and cook, you can still enjoy all your favourite foods while losing weight.
  • Start cooking from scratch. Our 7-day taster menu is packed with easy-to-make dishes that are slimming-friendly and tasty.
  • Swap takeaways for fakeaways. While a midweek curry comes loaded with fats and sugars, swapping it for a homemade fakeaway, means you can get your takeaway fix without losing sight of your slimming goals.
  • Eat less fatty and sugary foods. Slimming World members naturally reduce the amount of high-calorie foods they eat by counting them as Syns.
  • Realise you’re not alone. When you join Slimming World, you’ll receive a warm welcome, get and give support, and share in the achievements of other members, helping you to feel inspired and motivated to make changes yourself.
  • Stay to group every week. Those who attend their weekly group more regularly (at least 75% of sessions) lose 15.4lbs in their first three months and 31lbs on average over the course of a year.

Finding your success mindset

Psychologist, author and broadcaster Dr Linda Papadopoulos explains how positive results can help you achieve your goals:

“This research shows the benefit of seeing tangible results early on, giving you a psychological boost. You suddenly realise, ‘I can do this!’. Getting that immediate sense of achievement is incredibly powerful, as it shows you have the ability to change your narrative – so, if in the past you’ve felt defined by your failure to lose weight, that reality is very quickly rewritten. This all stands you in good stead for the longer term, too – you’ll inevitably face challenges and bumps in the road, but deep down you’ll know you can lose weight, because you’ve seen the results on the scales before.  

MORE ON THE BLOG: What’s your reason for slimming?

Emma’s 17st weight loss story

Emma Boyce is one Slimming World member who harnessed the power of a fantastic first week. She lost 7lbs in her first seven days and went on to lose over half her body weight. She says:

“I’d tried every single diet you could think of but, without support, nothing worked and I thought I was destined to be overweight all my life. When I went to my local Slimming World group, I felt so vulnerable walking through those doors. I sat at the back, listening, and thought, “I’ll give it a go, but it won’t work.” How wrong I was: I lost 7lbs in my first week! I felt so pleased, and yet I couldn’t quite believe it… I was still eating potatoes and pasta, but by making a few simple, healthier changes, I’d seen dramatic results. That first week gave me the confidence that I could actually do it this time. I had a big change in my mindset from that day forward.”

Emma Boyce weight loss transformation-Emma Boyce success story-slimming world blog

MORE ON THE BLOG: Read Emma’s life-changing story in full here

The health risks associated with being overweight are well known – and include an increased risk of more serious outcomes from Covid-19. Losing 5% of your body weight can have remarkable benefits for your health, such as improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and our survey shows that having a successful first week gives you the best chance of achieving a healthy weight loss in the longer term.

Join now and get your 28-day Fresh Start menu planner

If you’d love to get off to the best possible start to slimming in 2021, pick up a copy of our Fresh Start menu planner. Available to new and existing members while stocks last, it features 28 days of Food Optimising meals, plus handy hints and tips to help you achieve a smashing weight loss in your first week – and beyond!

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