New research into more than 1 million Slimming World members shows that the more weight members lose in their first week, the more likely they are to do well on their weight-loss journey in the longer-term.
The research by Slimming World revealed:
- People who lost 2 kg or more in their first week of attending a Slimming World group were four times more likely to lose 10% of their body weight within three months
- Almost twice as many men (45%) as women (21%) lost at least 2 kg in their first week
- Age is no barrier to successful weight loss, with half (52%) of those aged 55 and over losing at least 5% of their body weight in three months
- Almost half (46%) of those with a BMI of 30 or over lost 5% of their body weight within their first three months of following a healthy eating plan
- People who attend a weekly slimming club regularly (at least 75% of sessions) lose more weight achieving:
- 7.7% weight loss 7.0 kg in their first three months and
- 14% weight loss or 14 kg on average over the course of a year
The research, which examined one of the largest-ever datasets of slimming club members in the UK and Ireland*, found that those who lost more weight in their first seven days after joining a weight-loss group went on to lose more over three months.
The findings suggest that losing more weight in the first week of a weight-loss journey is a strong predictor of how successful a member will be in the longer-term. Data analysis shows that those who lost 2 kg or more in their first seven days were four times more likely to lose 10% of their body weight within three months and that men are twice as likely to see these higher weight losses in their first week. The findings also show people aged 55 and over were the most successful at losing weight over a longer period, with just over half (52%) losing at least 5% of their body weight in three months.
According to the data, the average person joining a weight-loss group has a BMI of 33kg/m2, putting them at increased risk of weight-related health problems including more serious outcomes from Covid-19. The research showed almost half (46%) of those with a BMI of 30 or over lost 5% of their body weight within their first three months of following a healthy eating plan. This level of weight loss is considered clinically significant and can lead to health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Dr Sarah-Elizabeth Bennett, Slimming World’s Senior Research Associate, says: “Many factors influence whether or not a person achieves their weight-loss goals. This data shows us that one of the biggest predictors of success is a strong weight loss in the first week as those who lost 2 kg or more in their first seven days were four times more likely to go on to lose 10% of their body weight within three months. 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 motivating results on the scales by following a healthy, balanced eating plan. At Slimming World, we know many new members are astonished by the results in their first week as they can’t believe they’ve been able to lose so much weight by making simple, easy changes to how they shop, cook and eat, while still enjoying a satisfying, healthy and varied diet."
Other research has shown the health-related behaviour changes members make within their first few weeks, including having less takeaways, cooking from scratch more frequently and eating fatty and sugary foods significantly less often than before joining**.
The audit of 1.1 million members also showed the value of losing weight as part of a group, with those who attend their weekly slimming club more regularly (at least 75% of sessions) losing more weight, achieving 7.7% weight loss (7.0 kg) in their first three months and 14% weight loss or 14.0 kg on average over the course of a year. Many lose a lot more – based on their weight loss over a year, the top 10,000 members attend an average of 45 sessions in 12 months losing 30% of their body weight which equates to around 31 kg each.
*Data relates to 1.1 million Slimming World members who first joined group between January and December 2016. The research followed their progress for 12 months through to December 2017.
**Slimming World’s Health and Wellbeing survey is an on-going research project. Reported findings are from an evaluation of 545 members polled in November 2019 and February 2020 examining health-related behaviour changes made within a few weeks of joining and 3-months later.