June 9, 2023

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After trying and failing to lose weight on his own, 35-year-old Joe Thompson from Essex knew he had to do something about his lifestyle. The turning point came when he was left “mortified” by having to get his suit altered for his friend’s wedding where he was the best man, so he decided to wave goodbye to his old lifestyle of eating takeaways every night and feeling self-conscious about how he looked once and for all.
But how did he accomplish his weight loss goals? He credits his success to his new diet plan, his developed understanding of food in general and finding a like-minded community.
New research conducted by Slimming World shows that since the pandemic people are less socially connected to others, with 38 percent of UK adults admitting this lack of social connection is also contributing to their weight problems.
Joe tipped the scales at 19st 9lbs, and his size had begun to cause him health problems.
He was suffering from crippling anxiety, was put on medication for chronic gout and could “barely walk” due to the pain.
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But after joining Slimming World in 2021, he managed to lose more than five stone and has transformed his appearance and life.
Joe said of his journey: “I’d been trying and failing to lose weight by calorie counting or cutting out carbs on my own for a long time.
“Although I know I’d have seemed confident at the time, especially professionally as I work from home in recruitment and my screen persona was always positive, in a way I felt quite isolated and inside I was nervous and felt people were judging me.”
He admitted he was “fearful” of joining at first but was left stunned when he found out the meal plans still allowed him to eat his favourite foods.
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“I couldn’t believe I could eat foods like meat and chicken, rice, pasta, fruit and veg freely on the plan, without needing to count, weigh or measure them,” he recalled.
“Then I started listening to everyone else in the group and I realised I wasn’t alone. There’s something about being in a space together like that, where we all feel safe enough to talk about our habits and temptations, which is a great connecting factor.
“After trying to prove the eating plan wrong that first week and eating as much pasta as I could, I was amazed when I lost 11lbs.”
He revealed he noticed a huge difference in himself now he has shed the weight and agreed that being a part of a community that positively supports one another is “important” when it comes to success.
READ MORE: Michael Mosley weight loss: Remove three foods to stay slimJoe tipped the scales at 19st 9lbsJoe revealed he's noticed a huge difference in himself now he's shed the weight“The reaction from the rest of the group was so lovely. Losing weight suddenly felt doable and I wanted to do well for the group as much as I did for me,” he said.
“Losing 5st has improved my health and made me respect myself more.
“I eat in a way which fuels my body now and gives me more energy. I make extra time for long walks and I cook from scratch a lot more.
“I used to snore heavily before losing weight and now apparently it’s eerily quiet when I’m sleeping.”
He added: “If I think back to how I used to eat before joining Slimming World, it was all highly processed food and takeaways.
“Now I’m never hungry and I make healthy versions of the food I ate before like a full English with bacon medallions and scrambled eggs using a low-fat cooking spray.
“I love the Slimming World fakeaways, particularly the curries which I make from scratch, I love the chicken tikka.
“I’m always busy so I make full use of the Slimming World food range at Iceland and add extra vegetables.”
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