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Slimming club costs compared

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If you want to lose pounds from your hips but not from your purse then a slimming club could be the answer. We check out the best deals.

Healthy eating and living

When it comes to New Year resolutions, losing weight tops many people's list.

Why? Well, improved health is the obvious reason but also to save money - and not just on food.

For example, did you know insurers take your weight, or rather, your body mass index (BMI) into account when calculating life insurance premiums.

The higher your BMI the more you could end up paying for life cover.

Of course, the obvious answer to weight loss is to eat less and exercise more. But though it's easy to begin diet and fitness regimes, sticking to them can be another matter.

That's where slimming clubs come in. They offer a variety of benefits, from advice on nutrition, recipes, exercise sessions, and of course, the support of being part of a group.

Different strokes, different folks

"When it comes to losing weight, different methods work for different people," says consultant dietician Sian Porter.

"Some slimmers prefer to go it alone, whilst others really benefit from the group dynamic and having a counsellor or group leader.

"And there are clinical studies to show that dieting support can be very motivational.

"Then of course the act of handing over money to join a club can keep slimmers on track as well as they don't want to have wasted their cash."

Shop around

The three main slimming clubs with local meetings across the country are Weight Watchers, Slimming World and Rosemary Conley.

All have their fans, so it's worth asking around family and friends for recommendations.

Comparing the different clubs in terms of price can be tricky because their pricing structures make it difficult to compare like-with-like.

This is firstly because their services differ and secondly because they offer many - often confusing – special discount deals. 

But broadly speaking, joining a slimming club will cost you around £5 or £6 a week.

So if your goal is to lose two stone - 28lb - at the rate of 2lb a week, that’s 14 weeks.

At the higher slimming club weekly fee of £6 a week, this weight loss plan would cost you £84 in total.

Extra costs

But do be aware aware of the extra costs involved such as group leaders offering recipe books, exercise DVDs, magazines, special foods and other items for sale.

Either budget for this or be prepared to pass on such additional extras if you can't afford it.
 
The best strategy is to spend time researching each club to see which appeals most and call or email with if you've got specific queries.

And don’t forget to factor in the cost of travelling to the meeting.

The ideal solution is to choose one within walking or cycling distance – and this will help you burn calories too!

Current deals

At the time of publication, this is what the three main clubs are offering and charging:

Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness

Rosemary Conley has a £10 joining fee but click to link to access a free membership voucher. Meetings cost between £5.95 and £6.70. It varies because each group leader is allowed to set their own price.

Benefits

  • Guidance from a group leader

  • Group support and encouragement

  • 45 minute exercise to music session

Slimming World

The standard joining fee is £10, and meetings cost £4.95, so this is currently the cheapest of all the three slimming clubs surveyed, not taking special offers into consideration.

However, Slimming World is currently offering half-price membership, meaning new members pay just £9.95 in their first week.

Benefits

  • Guidance from a leader who has lost weight with Slimming World

  • Group support and encouragement 

  • Access to the Slimming World members website which has tools to let you track your weight loss and recipes is included

Slimming World also offer an online-only membership with a three-tiered fee starting at £59.95 and rising to £79.95 for three months' online access.

Online-only benefits

  • Access to 1,200 recipes allowing you to create your own daily menus

  • Set your own weight-loss target

  • Interactive activity programme, challenges, tracker and awards

Weight Watchers

Weightwatchers currently offer two payment plans. The pay-as-you-go weekly plan allows you to join for free and your first weekly meeting is free. The meeting price thereafter is £6.25. The monthly pass payment plan costs £21.45 a month, although a special offer brings the price down to £16.95 for your first month.

Pay weekly benefits

  • Guidance from a leader who has lost weight with Weight Watchers

  • Group support and encouragement

  • Free weekly magazine Your Week

Additional monthly pass benefits

  • Access to online tools for tracking your food allowance

  • Mobile app for tracking on your phone

  • Access to a database of recipes

Weight Watchers online only membership is free to join and costs £28.95 for a three month plan.

Online-only benefits

  • Access to Weight Watchers ProPoints plan

  • Personalised tips and strategies tailored to you

  • Access to an online community with forums offering support and advice from Weight Watchers members and leaders

A different tack

If you're willing to forgo the group experience and try something completely free first, check out the Myfitnesspal website.

This allows users to keep track of their diet and exercise goals free of charge.

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