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I weighed over 18st when I joined Slimming World in January 2021. I’d been struggling to even climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, I was sweating all the time and I suffered with aches and pains in all my joints. I took a long hard look at myself and knew I needed to make a change – I just wasn’t sure how. So when a colleague at the prison where I worked mentioned that I could save money on a Slimming World membership with the Public Health England Better Health offer, I jumped at the chance.  

Claim your Better Health offer voucher here

I’d joined a local Slimming World group before, back in 2017, and I managed to lose 2st. But then I moved house and stopped going to group. I struggled without the weekly support and didn’t stick to the changes I’d made. Before long, I’d piled the weight back on.  

Knowing I’d had success with Slimming World before gave me the confidence to give it another go. Walking into group is like walking into a room full of friends and we all support each other and share tips to help us get through the tougher weeks.  

The biggest difference my Slimming World group has made is that it’s helped me to break free from the habits that were holding me back. After listening to the group’s Consultant, Kim, and the other members, I’ve made some simple changes that I can stick to for good. 

Leon McInnes Slimming World transformation

Leon’s simple swaps 

Then: I’d think nothing of polishing off half a box of breakfast cereal – and if there was a bit left in several boxes, I’d chuck it all in the same bowl and mix it up. 
Now: I can still enjoy my cereal but now I always measure it out, and I’ve swapped full-fat milk for semi-skimmed. 

Then: Dinner was always ready meals, Pot Noodles or a takeaway. 
Now: I’m planning and cooking my meals. I use recipes from the Slimming World cookbooks and I especially love making seafood and pasta dishes. I’ve started making fakeaways, too. 

Then: If I ate out, I’d always size-up to make my meals bigger.  
Now: I take advantage of the slimming-friendly options on the menu, like a healthy chicken curry packed with veg and served with plain boiled rice and salad. 

Then: I did zero activity before I joined Slimming World, and struggled to walk upstairs. 
Now: I walk for at least 40 minutes a day, my breathing is better and my aches and pains are gone! 

Looking back, I can see that the lifestyle I chose before I joined Slimming World was the result of my mood at the time. I’d experienced some life-changing events, including serious illness and a death in the family. A sudden change in job and having to move away from the Isle of Wight to Somerset caused my mental health to suffer and I started to take antidepressants. I’d lost interest in looking after myself properly and was using food as a comfort. 

I’ve lost 3st 7lbs since January, and my weight is currently 15st 6½lbs. Thanks to the support I get from my Slimming World group, I’ve turned my life around – there’s definitely no going back! 

Leon’s daily menu

Breakfast: Large bowls of cereal or breakfasts from fast food restaurants 
Lunch: Large mixed grill followed by a big dessert, or Pot Noodles 
Dinner:  A takeaway, usually a pizza, burger and fries or a Chinese or Indian 
Snacks:  Cereal, chocolate, crisps and ice cream 

Breakfast:  A measured potion of cereal, with semi-skimmed milk and fruit 
Lunch: A healthy curry or diet cola chicken with plain boiled rice or salad (no dressing). Or a big ham, chicken or turkey salad. 
Dinner: Home-cooked Slimming World recipes served with flavoured rice, salads and vegetables. Low fat Greek yogurt with fruit for dessert. 
Snacks:  Fruit, or carrot and celery sticks with a low-fat dip or fat-free yogurt. 

Join Slimming World for better health 

Leon’s weight loss success backs up our findings that people who joined a Slimming World group through the Better Health campaign lost an average of 7lbs in just six weeks 

Public Health England (PHE) launched its Better Health campaign to encourage adults to lose excess weight, eat more healthily and get active, after a survey revealed that 41% of adults in England had put on weight since the first lockdown in March 2020. 

This confirms Slimming World’s own research, which found that people snacked more, exercised less and experienced increased anxiety or stress during the first lockdown. However, the Slimming World members surveyed continued to lose weight during this time, exercised more and reported higher overall wellbeing compared to the general population. 

Slimming World is working in partnership with PHE’s Better Health campaign to support the country to enjoy a healthier way of life. With over 50 years’ experience helping people to make lasting changes that lead to lifelong weight loss success, you’ll find a world of support in your nearest Slimming World group.  

Find more information on our exclusive Better Health Slimming World offer – and claim your moneysaving voucher – here. 

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