Slimming clubs are great. Having a regular support group of like-minded people who are all in the same boat can be enormously encouraging when things seem dire and progress all too painfully slow.
Slimming clubs and group fall into two main categories - the commercial franchises, and the informal locally run community groups.
Both have their benefits. Whilst the commercially-run franchises exist to make money, primarily by getting you to buy into their brand and purchase their products, they are tried and tested in the marketplace. There is a good reason why the long-running groups are still going - they get good results. so whilst there may be a cost element, they are worth considering. The leaders of such groups tend to be trained - by the franchise - and experienced, so these type of groups can tend to have a professional feel to them.
But there is something worth considering. A group is only as good as the people who attend them, so if you find one group isn't for you, it is worth visiting another within the same organisation to compare.
The independent community groups, usually meeting at the local community centre, can be quite different. Often run by one person, or a small committee, they operate without financial incentive and have much more of a social orientation to them.
Something you may like to consider is starting your own group. Put an advert in the local free paper, in the local library or on the community centre. Arrange weekly meetings, where people can meet for a chat, support, reassurance and laughter. Structure the meetings so that they have some kind of organisation, to prevent them from falling into a moaning session, or end up dominated by one individual.
But remember this. Social groups tend to create conformity to the group norm. If people are meeting because what they have in common is that they are overweight, what happens when a person starts losing weight? Do they get ejected from the group, are they no longer "one if us"?
So the emphasis must be on group support towards change, not conformity if the group is to be effective in the ideal of supporting weight loss and personal change.
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