It is all so predictable. January is inevitably a busy time for weight loss groups across the UK as overweight Brits join the queue ready to be weighed in. There's no doubt the benefits can be great but I have some serious concerns. Whilst I am not completely anti group, I feel that people need to be much more aware of the potential disappointment given that I see many clients who have tried a group only to find they were disappointed.
Millers Top 10 Concerns
1. Beware of a possible patronising tone as you listen to some group leaders asking if you have been good or bad this week. As they talk to you as a five year old you may just want to walk out. What's more, look out because it may well be that cliques have formed and your nose is pushed out especially if you lose more weight than other members.
2. As a lot of the conversation at a weight loss group is about food, you may find yourself becoming so obsessed with what you are eating that you cave in quickly and go on a food fest.
3. Watch out for those group members who love to tell you how difficult it is to lose weight. If there's too many of them around, you may end up calling in at the chip shop on the way home out of sheer desperation.
4. Are you really wanting to sit around whilst people receive applause for losing a pound in weight? Frankly they could have gone to the toilet and lost that before they arrived at the group.
5. If you want a certificate, a gold star, or go home with this week's prize because you have lost some weight then fine. Frankly for me it would feel like a return to infant school.
6. Don't be surprised if your leader is fat. It can happen so check this out first if you are seriously looking to be lead and inspired by a role model. And if their tone is mumsy it's less likely in my opinion that they will give you any tough love.
7. Many people are overweight because of psychological problems. Experience tells me that emotional eating is the main one. Check out your group leader has the talent and time to support you as some may not.
8. There are so many different slimming groups, many of which may be invented independently by those who claim to be experts. Check out their credentials.
9. The boredom factor can sometimes kick in and before you know it the same old talk about food is spouted week after week. Of course not all are like that but be warned.
10. Venues are important for slimming groups. Check yours is not in a local venue that is in urgent need or refurbishment and central heating.
Don't get me wrong, there are some groups out there that do a great job. However some may be a den of depression.