After a year of on-off half-hearted ‘dieting’, whilst gaining weight, I finally decided that I had to commit to a weight loss plan to kick start healthy eating and weight loss.
I am a huge believer that weight loss in theory is simple. If you eat less calories than your body needs, then your body has to burn excess fat to continue to operate as normal. Its much, much harder in practise, isnt it!?!
I don’t believe in supplements, shakes or fad diets, as I believe that to stay at your goal weight you need a plan that’s sustainable and that creates healthy habits. My go-to choices were Slimming World and Weight Watchers.
I hadn’t tried Slimming World, but lot of my friends and family are following the Slimming World plan and have had fantastic results. All fruit and vegetables are free, most meat and seafood is free, as well as pasta and rice. You also to choose a small portion or carbs (bread or cereal) and dairy (milk, cheese) to eat syn-free each day. All other food must be counted and you have around 15 syns a day to use.
I did find slimming world easier to work with my young family, there are lots of family friendly meals that fit really well with the plan.
My first week on Slimming World
Except Slimming World didn’t work out great for me, and I managed to gain weight in my first week!
The honest truth is, I am greedy (there, I said it!). I like that comfortable full feeling, and a diet that says I can eat as much pasta / meat as I want, clearly wasn’t going to work for me, because I took that a little too literally! I overcompensated the portion sizes because I knew I would be restricting myself in other areas.
I struggled with feeling like some foods were off limits too (due to the amount of syns) I couldn’t find a content balance.
I should have really stuck at it a little longer, and lowered my portion sizes. I know for thousands of people Slimming World does work incredibly well, but after a week of trying and gaining, I was really disheartened.
I decided to go back to weight watchers. I lost over 3 stone in 2011 with weight watchers and found it really easy to follow. Except its changed, I followed the ‘Pro Points’ plan, and now its changed over to ‘Smart Points’. I had already paid my subscription for 3 months (going through Quidco, to earn cash back), so decided to suck-it-up and give it a go. (Which is much easier when money has been handed over, and you don’t want to waste it!)
The main different as far is that they have altered the way that food is calculated. Sugary/fatty foods are now a higher point value, and the ‘good’ stuff has lowered slightly. I also earn more daily points (30 Smart Points, up from 26 Pro Points) but less weekly points (35 Smart Points, down from 49 Pro Points). Also they don’t recommend that you eat exercise points any more, but you can if you want.
Weight Watchers have a new smartphone app, which includes a bar code scanner. It makes tracking food and calculating point values much easier than before. They also have their own community called ‘connect’ where you can follow other weight loss journeys and find ideas and inspiration from other members.
My only niggle so far is that I haven’t found anywhere to track measurements, and I loved that part of the old website. I also find that I am cooking slightly different meals for myself, rather than eating the same as my family on Weight Watchers.
The first week on Weight Watchers
In my first week on Weight Watchers (over Easter = lots of Easter eggs, birthday meals, ice-creams and picnics, a dieters nightmare!) I dutifully logged every morsel, and managed to go over my points by a whopping 66 points and STILL lost 3.5lb.
I think that weight watchers have the balance for Smart Points slightly wrong. I think its still possible to lose weight when you do go over your points, although I will be trying my best not to!
I think weight watchers offers me a little more control. Most veg, except potatoes, parsnip, peas and sweetcorn are free. That means I can fill my boots with the free veg and my chance of putting on weight is slim (unlike me!)
Weight Watchers’s is harder to stay on plan than previously, but it works.
I found that last time I could save a few points for a small treat on a evening, but with the new system I find myself using most of my points on my meals. Its definitely pushing me to leaner healthier options, and I feel much healthier and I have more energy with the changes. I am finding it really hard to manage without the extra sweet treats.
The before photographs
I usually am the photographer and behind the camera, but I want to be part of the photos going forward. If you look at the photos on my computer, you wouldn’t know I exist!
I was shocked (and a little embarrassed) at how big I look in these photographs. But the change has to start with me. Every photo from now onwards, I should look slightly smaller, I can’t wait!
I think the thing to remember is that different things work for different people. I need to control my portions, and I enjoy a little more freedom so Weight Watchers wins in my case. If you have good portion control and you dislike weighing and measuring then Slimming World a perfect option. Both plans offer good choices for a sustainable, healthy attitude towards food.
Which diet worked for you? Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear!