For a vast amount of my life, I was a slimming world groupie. I could still give you a new members talk off the top of my head and explain to you about healthy extras, red (then original) and green days, syns, free food, super free food, speed symbols, flexible syns, the works.

After R was born I lost two stone with slimming world (I am 4lbs above that lowest weight now), and then after H I also got to a similar weight. I strongly believed in the system of eating as much as you like of “healthy food”. However, about a year ago I gave it up. I had been losing the same four pounds for several months. I had a week where I’d followed the plan to a tee and I gained, I think, 3lbs that week. I was really upset and spent the meeting fighting back the tears because I felt like it was just a lost cause. If I followed the plan and didn’t only not lose weight but gained it, I’d had enough. 

I may be repeating myself, if so, I apologise.

The point is, I’ve moved over to calorie counting, a system I’d resisted all my life. The differences being:

  1. The technology now makes it easier to actually count calories
  2. It’s my choice to try and follow this method.

The types of food I’m eating aren’t that different from SW, but what is very different is my portion sizes. As an example, tonight for supper I made myself a jacket potato, but when I weighed it, it took me over my calories. So I cut a bit off and it was still plenty. On slimming world I’d have had an even bigger potato, twice the amount of cottage cheese, maybe some baked beans too. Followed by some fruit. Here’s an example breakfast from before. Porridge, full fat milk, banana, Sharon fruit, Greek yoghurt. All healthy sw foods but alt 500 kcal more than I eat now. In one meal. That’s not including the other meals and free snacks. And what about this lunch, super healthy salad but the quantity of couscous, fruit, seeds is huge and I know that because it is on my big size plate.

Slimming world has its strengths. It teaches about what foods should comprise a healthy diet, but if you tell me I can eat until I’m full, then I can eat enormous quantities! It also takes the guilt out of eating, which is huge for those of us who have struggled with weight long term. But I need more structure to actually lose weight.

I hope I don’t need to measure everything I’m eating forever, but at the moment it is giving me the guidance I need and the flexibility to eat the foods I want to eat, but just in healthy amounts.

There’s no one right diet for everyone, and at different stages in life different systems will work even for the same person. This is my experience, what’s yours?

Breakfast-porridge with almond milk

Morning – yoghurts, seeds

Lunch – salad, sweet potato and chicken

Snacks – salted caramel nakd bits, prunes, corn thin
Supper – jacket potato with cottage cheese and pickles, orange

Just before bed I did the next day of the 30 day challenge app – 40 jumping jacks, 50 squats (which started hurting my knee, not good), 20 wall push ups, 90s straight arm plank, which I split into two 45s planks.

Total food 1628 kcal exercise 70 kcal.