If you are a regular reader you will have noticed that I have not been blogging much recently. That is because I am on a big health kick since Christmas. This is why I took part in a really interesting hangout on weight loss withAlexis Boo from the weight loss program Ideal Weight a few weeks ago. We also got to try a delicious Chocolate truffle bar, which I couldn’t believe was a weight loss product as it was so tasty.

After the hangout I still had some about Ideal Weight so I set up a Q&A with Alexis. I thought you might be equally interested in the answers so I’m sharing them here.

Ideal Weight

How is Ideal weight different from other weight loss programs?

Carrying extra weight can be an emotional burden as well as a physical one, and at Ideal Weight we understand that finding a balance in life around food is more than a just a diet or food choices. It’s crucial for a client to understand what causes them to over-eat and be able to identify when it happens so they can make different future choices for themselves.

Ideal Weight addresses the causes of weight-gain with face-to-face group (or telephone) coaching and enables clients to explore the psychological and emotional reasons behind their over-eating.

Our mantra is “Get it off and keep it off.”

When clients believe they have freedom around food and can separate emotional hunger from their physical hunger they’re able to recognise their own specific responses to situations. Clients can then find it easier to choose healthy foods, appropriate portion sizes and avoid over-eating.

We believe clients can have more success with a weight-loss plan when there is flexibility built in to support them in their daily lives so the food plans are simple to follow.

There are many competitors in the weight-loss industry. Some have been around a while, others will come and go. Mostly they have complicated or expensive systems for the food part of a diet and may not address the underlying causes for weight-gain either. At Ideal Weight our focus is as much on the ‘what happened to cause the over-eating’ as to the ‘what to eat’.

What do you personally find hard about maintaining a healthy weight?

For me personally it’s about breaking old habits and remembering the new habits I have formed. It’s really important to always keep my goal in mind and remember what it was like when I was overweight. I have lost 6 ½ stone in 20 months and I have to work hard to maintain my weight. I exercise and I am careful with my portion sizes. Sometimes however, I forget and I still think I “want” to eat cake or chocolate. I do still allow myself to have those types of food, but I have to really be aware when I am eating it that I don’t end up eating a whole family size bar. Eating consciously is very difficult, but really important in maintaining a healthy weight. What I mean by that is, why am I eating this, what is this food “doing” for me and how much am I eating!

What would be an average monthly cost for someone using Ideal weight if they were hoping to lose 2 pounds a week?

Each person pays £44 per month for the coaching and then the cost of the Nutrition packs will depend on which plan they are following. The monthly cost of our plans are as follows:

4 Plan from £49 per week (21 nutrition packs)
3 Plan from £36.75 per week (14 nutrition packs)
2 Plan from £24.50 per week (7 nutrition packs)

The rate of weight loss would really depend on how much weight someone has to lose in the first instance. It is very difficult to predict rate of weight loss or guarantee weight loss. For example someone following our 3 plan who is 6 stone over weight is likely to lose weight at a faster rate than someone on our 2 plan who is 1 stone overweight.

What is the biggest factor in someone successfully losing weight?

It’s about setting goals and being focussed on why you want to lose weight. In order to successfully lose weight you have to develop High Frustration Tolerance (ie – learn how to resist the cravings) and most importantly learn strategies for dealing with difficult situations which might throw you off track – such as social occasions. However, at Ideal Weight, we believe that it’s keeping the weight off which is the trickiest part.

Which is your favourite product in the Ideal Weight range?

Without a doubt it has to be the chocolate truffle bar. I usually have a chocolate truffle bar every day around 11am with a cup of coffee. I also take them out with me when I am going for a long run or bike ride to use as a nutritious energy boost.

What exercise would you recommend if someone is following an Ideal Weight plan?

It really depends on what the activity the person has been doing previously. If they’re unused to exercising, starting a strenuous exercise programme as they start the Ideal Weight Plan is not advisable. If they’re already following a vigorous exercise programme they can continue to exercise, but slow down for the first couple of weeks of their plan. It can take a couple of weeks for their body to get used to their new regime, so it’s important to listen to their body. If they feel as though they’re adapting well to their new eating plan they can begin to exercise more strenuously.

Taking regular exercise is an excellent habit to get into once you start to lose weight. But if they’re new to exercising they need to seek the advice of your GP, or staff at the local gym, and don’t overdo it. Walking and swimming are excellent ways to exercise, but it’s advisable start slowly and not to overdo it.

How does the mentoring contribute to the plan?

At Ideal Weight, we understand why people gain weight, so we work with them to alter the way they think by supporting through proven coaching techniques to create a new relationship with food. We work hand in hand with our clients using tested and effective methods provided by a network of highly trained and personable coaches, to enable clients to find and maintain their ‘ideal weight’.
We understand the challenge of keeping the weight off needs continued effort and commitment. Returning to old eating habits will result in the old weight coming back and ongoing successful weight-management requires a long-term change to eating behaviours; Ideal Weight offers long-term support for clients.
In general, 90% of people who lose weight regain the weight they have lost within a year. At Ideal Weight, we want to help our clients have the best possible chance of losing the weight and keeping it off and this is where our coaching sessions are key.

Research has shown that those who lose weight with support are much more likely to be successful. Whilst this is an important factor to consider, the quality of the support is crucial. At Ideal Weight we pride ourselves on our fantastic support and that support is our coaching.

We use Cognitive Behavioural Coaching techniques as the core of our approach. We’ve also incorporated some useful thinking from Transactional Analysis, Neuro Linguistic Programming and other models into the coaching sessions. We’re committed to continuously develop and create effective ways to work with our clients.

Ideal Weight

Tell us about an Ideal Weight success story?

A good success story to share with you is the following:

Name: Joanna Shaw
Total Loss:1 stone9 lbs

Jo’s story is below in her own words:

After having my baby, I struggled to get my pre-baby figure back. I was keen to get back to my pre-baby weight and fit into my normal clothes again, but I didn’t really know how to go about losing the weight or where to start.

Having heard of the great success some friends had following an Ideal Weight plan, I thought it was definitely worth a try, and as it came so highly recommended, I called up to speak to my local coach. After meeting my coach and discussing how to move forward with my weight loss, she recommended that I follow the 3 Plan as it best suited my lifestyle, easily fitting around my work and family life.

Not having much time in my hectic schedule meant the meal options were perfect for me – quick and easy! I’ve not tried other diets before, but I found this plan very easy to follow as it doesn’t restrict or hinder me in any way. The coaching session were really useful and ensure that I kept motivated and focussed both during my weight loss journey and for when I started maintaining.

The sessions allowed me to talk to other group members on the plan, get advice and keep motivated by sharing stories and tips with one another. My coach offers great insight and it’s been interesting to learn about portion control and boundaries. I leave my coaching session each week feeling more positive and confident that I can keep the weight off.

I would definitely recommend Ideal Weight to anyone who want to lose weight and receive fantastic support along the way.

What is the best thing about Ideal Weight?

I have struggled with my weight my whole adult life. I have successfully lost a significant amount of weight 4 times, only to put it back on. I believe the best thing about Ideal Weight is that we understand that losing weight isn’t the hard part…it’s actually keeping it off that’s the trickiest bit.

So many weight-loss companies show you how to lose weight…but they don’t focus on the importance of maintaining your weight from the off-set, so quite often, you find that when you get to your new weight, you’ve learnt nothing about how to handle and control food on a daily basis. So what happens? You go back to your old way of eating and slowly pile it all back on and you’re right back where you started, feeling frustrated and annoyed and ready to start the whole dieting cycle all over again.

That’s where our Coach’s come in. They are at the heart of what we do, qualified in CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you help yourself and change your relationship with food… so that when you lose weight, you learn the skills to keep it off… for good.