Why I don't support weight loss groups


This #FactFriday I am fired up! Weight loss groups like #WeightWatchers and #SlimmingWorld are still really popular but are not healthy or health promoting.

Here's why:

The core of their programmes is weight, not health. They are not "lifestyle changes", they are diets. You don't lack willpower, they lack efficacy.

You are deemed good or bad, depending on whether you lost or gained weight this week, even if it is only 1lb. This weight focus generally makes people hyper conscious of their weight and members often weigh themselves every day. The problem with that is our weight fluctuates all the time. Our body keeps our weight pretty stable (if we let it!), but a few pounds in difference is completely normal. Daily and weekly weight differences of a few pounds can generally be attributed to water weight. Changes in water weight are particularly noticeable in women. Throughout our monthly cycle our weight appears to go up and down, usually peaking during PMS, but its just water. Small changes in weight are NOT fat.

They teach their members arbitrary food rules, rather than providing nutrition education. Why? Because then you have to keep buying their programmes. books and products to keep up-to-date on foods that are "allowed" and recipes you can have. If they taught you about nutrition and had a programme that worked, you would only be a one time customer. Most of these diet rules are pretty meaningless and impossible to follow in the long-term. There are lots of rules that make no sense to me- how is an avocado "worse" than a chocolate bar according to Slimming World? Sure, avo may have more kcals, but it is full of nutrients! (That does not mean that either are bad/good, just using as an example of rule silliness!)

Logging food/calories/points/syns leads to preoccupation with food. This is very well documented in the literature. What's more, deprivation also leads to preoccupation with food, so weight loss groups provide a double whammy of food preoccupation!! Tracking everything you eat is NOT healthy and all to often is the cause of obsessive and disordered eating. It is estimated that 1 in 4 "occasional dieters" will develop a full blown eating disorder.

And finally, there is NO EVIDENCE that these programmes work in the long-term. If you would like to read more about the evidence for/against dieting, check out my blog here.

As I mentioned in this week's #MondayMoan, we are spending TRILLIONS on pointless "wellness". These groups come in at about a tener per week- you can actually join my 10-week course (with a registered nutritionist) for less than that!

If you are fed up of the dieting cycle and are open to an alternative way of approaching nutrition and health, get in touch.

Prefer video? Watch me chat here:

Lots of love,

Little O x

#dietplan #nutrition #littleonutrition #nutritionadvice #nutritionist #heath #healthy #healthyliving #healthateverysize #healthyeating #healthadvice #weightwatchers #slimmingworld #weight #weightloss

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