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Diet Classes - A Simple Guide!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

One of the things that we agreed was nice about our little blog was that we have ambassadors for all the major diet classes out there - or at least, the big 3: Weight Watchers, Slimming World and Rosemary Conley.

If you're thinking of starting a diet class, it's a great way to lose weight. Reporting in to someone every week can really make a difference to whether or not you resist that extra biscuit! But if you're overwhelmed by choice and struggling to choose, we've put together this handy guide...

Weight Watchers by Gemma
I’ve been to Weight Watchers before and it really worked for me but unfortunately I moved away to university and existed on a diet of alcohol and cheese toasties for three years. I’m back home now and decided to go back to my local class and try to and undo all the bad effects of student living.

There is a weigh-in at the beginning of each class and then the class leader gives a little talk about a different aspect of weight loss. You are given a tracker sheet every week to write down what you are eating and a booklet with recipes and tips in.

There is chance to talk to the group about any recipes you enjoyed in the previous week or something you have been doing that boosted your loss. My leader always helps me to reflect on my good and bad weeks and isolates problems that are holding me back from achieving my goals.

Weight Watchers is based on ‘The Four Pillars’ approach which basically means a combination of healthy eating, activity, small changes in behaviour and group support lead to weight loss. To do this you are given a ProPoints budget for the day which is based on your gender, age, weight and height. On top of this you are given a weekly allowance to use when you like. You can either enjoy slightly larger portions each day or you can blow it all on a night out with friends which is what I usually do.
The WW plan is not based on counting calories, you count points. You can easily find out what points values all your favourite foods contain by either working it out with the easy points calculating card or you can look them up on the website. The website is a great resource, it has lots of recipes, a place to keep a food diary, you can track your weight loss and chat to other WW members on the message board.

I'm not sure how much the class is if you pay weekly but I paid £12.95 for my first month and it rises to £19.99 per month. If you want any more information about the class leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Slimming World by Guest Blogger Helen
I started Slimming World on January 19th 2010. Within 11 months I'd lost almost 5 and a half stone. Slimming World has completely changed my life and I can't imagine not following the plan now.

The format of the group is similar to Weight Watchers in that it starts with a weigh in and then there is what's called 'Image Therapy'. Basically it's a big chat where the Consultant asks each member how their week has been and whether they've discovered any good recipes, etc. At first I was slightly put off by the cheesiness of it (everyone gets a clap, whether they've lost, maintained or gained) but now I actually really enjoy it. My Consultant never reads out the gains and is incredibly supportive and congratulatory when you've had a good week. You get awards in the form of stickers for each half stone lost, for when you've lost 10% of your body weight and for various other things.

Slimming World doesn't offer as many food products as other diet plans but there are cereal bars and lots of books to buy at my group. There are three meal plans and they're all incredibly non restrictive. If you do a green day then you can eat as many carbs as you like. Yes, as much pasta, rice and potatoes as you can handle. If you're on a red day then you can eat as much protein as you like. MEAT, basically. And if you do an Extra Easy day then you can eat both carbs and meat but 1/3 of everything you eat has to be what's called a superfree food (fruit and vegetables, bsaically). With each plan you get a certain number of Healthy As (cheese and milk) and Healthy Bs (cereal, crispbreads, dried fruit, etc) and those are the only things that have to be weighed and measured. You really can eat SO MUCH. My friends are constantly amazed at the amount I actually eat. Every naughty food (chocolate, crisps, etc) has a syn value and you're allowed to have between 5 and 15 syns a day. Just as an example, a large glass of white wine is about 8.5 syns!

The Slimming World website is also a really good resource and there's a facility for inputting your weight each week. It's really motivational watching the line go down towards your target!

Slimming World costs about £4.85 a week but they also offer 6 and 12 week countdowns, With a 6 week countdown you pay just under £25 (so you get one week free) and with the 12 week countdown you pay just under £50 (so you get two weeks free). Oh, and one of the best things.... when you get to target you get to go for free (providing you stay within your target range)!

Rosemary Conley by Sarah V
I started Rosemary Conley because my mum was doing it. It's a little different to the other two classes because not only does it include a weigh-in and a motivational talk, it also includes a 45 minute exercise class. There are various to choose from - aerobics, salsacise, and they've just started doing Zumba. I imagine all classes are different, but the age group at my local one is definitely quite mature. However, I like this - it means the exercises are easy to follow (and you can go up or down a level, depending on what suits you) and you don't feel embarrassed being surrounded by scary women in lycra thongs! Also, if you mess up the exercise, it's just funny - because everyone does it. The weigh-in is private between yourself and the instructor, and she only reads out the weight losses - never the gains. There are also loads of DVDs available - they're a little cheesy, but I find them much more bearable than the ones presented by ex-soap stars and ex-Big Brother contestants!

The diet plan is fairly simple. It focuses on eating low-GI food, sticking to foods that are under 5% fat (look for how much fat is in 100g) and gives you a guide to how many calories you should be eating at each meal, plus allocations for snacks and milk. There are also branded meals, soups and cereal bars available. Rosemary (yep, she's a real lady - she's like 60 so probably bionic) even has her own range of cheese! There's also a magazine which is fab - full of low fat recipes.It's really easy to follow as you don't have to worry about converting your food into points etc. Also you're encouraged to have a little of what you fancy - I find that if I'm good all week and have one bad day, I'll normally still do okay. But after you've been dieting for a while, your concept of a 'bad day' totally changes - it's rare for me to pick up one chocolate bar and 'one for luck' now!

You can find out more at the Rosemary Conley website. Classes are around £6.50 per week (monthly subscription services are also available) or you can also follow the plan online.

Hope that helps! Any questions, just give us a shout!


  1. i really like the idea of a weight-loss class combined with an exercise class..maybe i will build up the courage to go. My BMI etc isn't bad, but i'm not happy with the way i look and the size i am, so think that i should go as i would benefit from the motivation, but have always been concerned that they won't understand that i'm not happy with myself. That makes no sense. :S sorry.

  2. thank you for this post.
    i just decided to join weight watchers online. and so i did last night. i am SO excited and curios how this turns out and i really hope i can get rid of some weight and learn a lot about healthy food and living.
    keep this blog up, please! i really love it!

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