A STUDY led by Slimming World has revealed that a weekly shot of support is the best dose for weight loss that lasts for the long term.
Three in four respondents who went to a weekly slimming club were lighter up to three years after joining, even if they had stopped attending.
That’s according to a study published in Clinical Nutrition Open Science, the peer-reviewed open-access official journal of ESPEN – The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.
It’s been led by weight-loss organisation Slimming World, with the research suggesting the key to losing weight and staying slim is getting support to build lasting healthy habits into your daily routine.
In total, 356 adults responded to the survey. Eight in 10 of those who were still attending a slimming club up to three years after first joining reported their health had improved, with 93 per cent attributing the improvement to their weight management and lifestyle changes.
Half of respondents no longer attending also reported improvements to their health up to three years later.
Nearly all current members surveyed, 98 per cent, said they were eating more fruit and vegetables and had switched to lower fat or fat-free dairy products since joining. Around three quarters, 74 per cent, of those no longer attending had made these same lifestyle changes.
Some 94 per cent of current members and 81 per cent of past members said they were still cooking more meals from scratch using fresh ingredients three years on.
Respondents also ate fewer takeaways, with only one in 10 current members and less than a quarter of past members eating takeaways at least once a week, compared to almost half doing so before they joined.
Around half of current members, 48 per cent, and a third of those no longer attending, 32 per cent, had reduced their alcohol intake.
Overall, 74 per cent of current members and 49 per cent of past members in the study reported that their whole household had made positive changes to what they ate and around a third of their families had become more active.
As part of the study, the weight of both current and past members was measured two-and-a-half to three years after joining – with all respondents, on average, weighing seven per cent less than when they joined Slimming World.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says losing and keeping off five per cent of your weight can have significant benefits, such as reducing the risk of developing diabetes or lowering blood pressure.
Dr Amanda Avery, Slimming World’s Health and Research Consultant Dietitian, said: “At a time when people can feel bombarded with so many different ways to lose weight, it can be confusing to know which approach will truly work for you.
“This research shows anyone who is trying to lose weight and keep it off, how important it is to make healthy lifestyle changes.
“As no two slimmers are the same, it’s the expertise and support members receive at their local Slimming World group which helps them to understand what those changes mean for them.”
Slimming World has a number of groups across Tameside who meet regularly. Find your nearest one at https://www.slimmingworld.co.uk