OK... so I'll apologise in advance for being quite geeky but I've been trying to read as much as I can about weight loss and weight management over the last few months from a variety of sources.
And there's one thing that is indisputed whomever you ask. The fact is - to loose weight you have to consume less calories than you burn. To maintain weight, you have to consume the same calories as you burn. And to gain weight, you have to consume more calories than you burn.
There are various other theories that help you along the way - supplements including fish oil, eating before a certain time in the evening, always having breakfast, drinking plenty of water etc.
Although Slimming World does not require you count calories, it acknowledges that it works because it "naturally lowers your calorie intake". In addition, Slimming World argues that the 'free' foods are foods that are high in 'density' - they fill you up and make you less likely to eat.
Being geeky as I am, I put the last couple of days of food intake following the Slimming World plan into a website that calculates how many calories I am eating.
According to this website, most of the time I am eating a low enough amount of calories in order to loose weight. I could safely eat much lower though (I'm currently eating around 1800 calories, I could reduce safely to 1500 and loose more).
SW is working for me - by following the plan, I am naturally reducing my calorific intake. And I'm doing it in a way that doesn't feel like I'm particularly deprived given I could theoretically eat as much pasta, potatoes etc as I want. As a result, I'm loosing weight - an average of 2/3 lbs per week.
I got round to thinking about this because of Muller Lights. I eat two, three or sometimes even four of these per day - at 100 calories a pop. According to Slimming World - this is completely acceptable, a 'free' food and something that will not affect my weight loss.
But, it is impossible for it not to affect my weight loss, because I'm consuming an extra 400 (really quite unnecessary) calories per day. I binge on these not because I 'need' the food, but because I like them and they are satisfying and they fill me up a bit when I am hungry.
Really, I should be eating fruit - but following the SW plan, a Muller Light or four is completely acceptable.
Have you ever thought about this? Do you just trust in and follow the Slimming World plan to the letter and not consider your calorific intake? Or do you try to combine the two for effective weight loss?
What about the other theories affecting weight loss? Do you try and not eat after a certain time in the evening as so many advise? Do you always eat breakfast to stimulate your metabolism? Do you avoid 'free' foods that are allowed on the plan because you know they will be bad for your weight loss?
I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on this! I know many will be not interested at all in this weight loss geeky-ness - so apologies for this and please move on!
But, if you are interested, it'd be good to hear what you think.