I frequently get flyers through my door featuring delicious looking meals and astonishing weight loss transformations. Its no wonder a weekly meeting at your local village hall looks like it could the answer to your dieting prayers.
Then this story is published in the Daily Mail that flies in the face of all those ‘success stories’.
It appears that even the most ‘successful’ dieters; the ones that lost the most weight and win ‘slimmer of the year’ titles are hiding something that the clubs will never put on their posters and flyers:
Yep you read that right. While initial weight loss was substantial and impressive, many people who lose weight via slimming clubs never keep the weight off.
(Read this too – Can You Eat Unlimited Calorie Free Food?)
Richard Samber, former finance director of Weight Watchers, said if a person cannot maintain the weight loss then they will keep returning to the company.
“It’s successful because the other 84% have to come back and do it again. That’s where your business comes from”.
Dr Jacquie Lavin, head of nutrition at Slimming World, echos this, stating that their company has 400,000 “regularly attending members”.
Now don’t get me wrong consistency and compliance are essentials to success, in all areas of life not just weight loss.
But after a certain point, you have to be asking, surely the person must have lost the weight by now and learned how to eat better?
The thing is, these clubs are built on failure, not success. The before and after pictures don’t show the whole story, as the article clearly demonstrates.
They also make their methods unnecessarily complicated, meaning you learn ‘their’ way rather than becoming more educated around nutrition.
You count Point or Syns rather than calories, have Green or Red days, swap regular food for prepackaged meals, snacks and shakes, and swap your usual bolognese for their ‘special’ recipe.
Many slimming clubs also collaborate with household brands to promote each other and boost sales. This isn’t to say the foods members are encouraged to eat are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but it demonstrates how diet clubs are there to make money first and foremost.
I understand, after all I’m a business owner too. But it would go against my integrity to tell people anything other than the absolute truth when it comes to their health and how to improve it. In fact I tell my members I don’t want them staying with me forever – my goal is to educate, motivate and empower them to be able to stay healthy for the rest of their life without me looking over their shoulder.