Successful start for Sam as virtual weight-loss support proves effective in lockdown

Once at risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, Sam Long, 52, from Biggin Hill in Greater London, says she has improved her health drastically after losing over 2st in four months - an amazing 12% of her body weight!

“My weight-loss journey began when I was diagnosed with borderline diabetes in October 2020.  

“I work as a rehabilitation assistant and I’m constantly on my feet. At my heaviest I weighed 16st 13.5lbs, it impacted my job and so many other aspects of my life too – from struggling to find clothes that I liked to fit, to not being able to do simple everyday tasks without feeling out of breath like climbing the stairs. I was in denial about my weight for a long time, but at my biggest I wasn’t even able to cross my legs. I was on a slippery slope to gaining more and more weight and I didn’t really see a way out. 

“At a routine check-up, my doctor told me I was at very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and that my weight was seriously impacting my health. This was the shock I needed, and so when a friend told me about the Public Health England (PHE) Better Health offer for discounted Slimming World membership I didn’t look back.  

 “The welcome I received from fellow members and my Consultant Sophie at my local group was incredible. We share recipes and ideas for getting active, and it’s useful to get advice and support from other members and hear about their experiences, too. I’ve really learned about what motivates me and what has the potential to trip me up and send me off course with my weight loss, which has helped me to plan better for those occasions. Although this year has been undoubtedly tough for everyone, the motivation I get from the group - which I attended in-person for the first two months but moved to virtual due to restrictions in December – has helped me stay on track. Checking in with them every week is a real lifeline and, as we’ve supported one another through the challenges of lockdown, we’re closer than ever before. 

“I love following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan and have swapped takeaways for homemade chilli and rice, Slimming World curries and stir-fries. I love food and its never once felt like I was on ‘a diet’. I eat more now than I ever did – even during lockdown I’ve been able to make whatever is in the supermarket or my store cupboard fit. 

Sam Long
Since joining Slimming World I’ve become more active too. I love swimming, but with the pools closed due to the pandemic, I’ve taken up running. I started off slowly as I felt nervous, now with the encouragement from Sophie and my group, I’m already running 5k distances.
Sam Long

“Thanks to the changes I’ve made my health has improved dramatically, and I’ve reduced my risk of developing type 2 diabetes. I’ve lost 2st 2.5lbs already and I’ve dropped two dress sizes. My uniform is much more comfortable, my feet don’t hurt nearly as much and I’m happy to say I can now cross my legs with ease. My friends and family have all commented on my weight loss, and I cannot wait for lockdown to be over so I can get glammed-up with them and go out feeling fabulous.  

“I am still on my weight-loss journey, but thanks to the support of my Consultant and group, I have the confidence in myself now, where I struggled before, to change my lifestyle for good. I’ve got my life back and I couldn’t be happier!” 

Sam’s success, having lost a clinically significant 12% of her body weight already, is just one of many, as recent data from Slimming World has shown people who signed up for weight-management support during the pandemic have lost an average of 7.4lbs (3.3kg) or 3.5% of their body weight in six weeks after joining a Slimming World weight-loss group. 

Researchers at Slimming World evaluated data from a sample of 1,9351 members who joined a Slimming World group between 12th October and 17th November 2020 after taking advantage of the discounted membership offer provided by Slimming World as part of its involvement in Public Health England’s Better Health campaign. The campaign aims to encourage millions of adults to kick start their health and reduce their risk of serious illness, including Covid-19.  

More than one in four (27%) members lost 5% of their body weight or more in the six weeks, which is classed as a clinically significant weight loss and can bring health benefits such as less joint pain, improved mobility, less breathlessness, better sleep, reduced blood pressure and improved management of conditions like type 2 diabetes. 

Due to its success in helping people, Slimming World is thrilled to announce its continued partnership with the Better Health campaign by offering exclusive membership discounts for Slimming World group and online membership for people looking to discover new healthy habits and lifelong weight-loss success. 

The group offer can be used to access Slimming World groups in-person or virtually. Within groups, members receive behaviour change guidance to form new healthier eating habits, boost motivation to become more active and, with the shared support of fellow members, remain motivated and focused on their weight-loss goals. During Covid-19 restrictions, Slimming World Consultants who would normally run real-life groups have adapted their support, and members log on at the same time each week via video conferencing, submit their weight on the Slimming World website and benefit from the same friendship, motivation and inspiration as in traditional in-person groups. They also continue to receive access to Slimming World’s members-only website, app and social media support. 

Group offer: Commit to a six-week Countdown course before 28th May 2021 and get free Slimming World membership, plus six weeks for the price of five. Contact a local Consultant to book your place in group, and find the voucher to take along here.  

Online offer: For the online-only service, Slimming World Online, get £15/€20 off membership. If you’re not yet a Slimming World member, click here and enter the discount code PHE2021 to take up the offer. 


About Slimming World 

Slimming World was founded by Margaret Miles-Bramwell OBE in Derbyshire in 1969 and has become the UK and Ireland’s leading weight loss organisation with more people choosing to attend a Slimming World group each week than any other weight loss programme. We support hundreds of thousands of people, both in our groups and online, to lose weight and to adopt new habits to stay slim for life.  

Over the years our founding principles haven’t changed:  

  • Our unique programme is based on a powerfully motivating support system called IMAGE (Individual Motivation and Group Experience) Therapy. Underpinned by a deep understanding of the psychology of overweight people, and incorporating the most effective sustainable behaviour change techniques, IMAGE Therapy is designed to inspire and motivate slimmers to make positive changes and to develop new, healthier habits around food and activity 

  • Food Optimising is our healthy eating plan, based on the liberating concept of Free Food. We encourage our members to fill up on those foods that are naturally lower in energy density (calories per gram) and also highly satisfying while limiting foods that are highest in fat and sugar and are less satisfying, so they lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived and without having to weigh, measure or count everything they eat 

  • Our activity programme, Body Magic, encourages members to become more active, more often in ways that they enjoy, until regular physical activity becomes an intrinsic part of daily routine.  

Above all, at the heart of everything we do, lies our passion for treating every member with genuine care, empathy and respect. 

We’re proud to work with the NHS, Public Health England, The Royal College of Midwives and others to help shape the future of weight management in the UK. 

For more information about Slimming World’s approach visit slimmingworld.co.uk. Follow Slimming World on Twitter at www.twitter.com/slimmingworld or become a Slimming World fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/slimmingworld 

For the Press Office visit our newsroom or email public.relations@slimmingworld.co.uk 


About the Better Health campaign  

Public Health England’s Better Health campaign provides a wide range of free NHS tools and advice to support healthier habits, including suggestions on how to increase physical activity, make healthier food choices, lose weight, improve mental health and quit smoking. Better Health is also working in partnership with a number of weight management and physical activity partners, including Slimming World, who are providing both free and exclusive discounted offers. To find out more about the campaign visit www.nhs.uk/better-health/