It was a mortifying moment in a changing room that made me realise I had to do something about my weight. I’d managed to convince myself I was still a size 16, and that the tumble dryer was shrinking all my clothes. Then I went shopping for new work skirts and couldn’t do up any of the size-20 ones – it was a real wake-up call. 

I’d been relatively slim until my mid-20s – and after that, the weight went on so gradually that I didn’t really notice it. At more than 18st, though, my size was taking a toll on my health. I had terrible acid reflux, my legs would rub together when I walked and cause painful sores, and I’d be completely exhausted and out of breath after the slightest physical exertion. I knew that my husband, Kevin, and daughter, Lauren, were worried about me, too.

In the past I’d tried some drastic ways to lose weight – shakes, soups, cutting out foods, the lot. I’d lose a bit and then put the weight straight back on as soon as I started eating normally again. This time, I wanted to make a change for good. That’s what appealed to me about Slimming World – I knew you could still eat real food, and that felt sustainable.

Even though I enjoy meeting new people, I still had the jitters about going to my first Slimming World group! Everyone was really welcoming, though, and I quickly made friends. Whenever anyone asks what my ‘secret’ to long-term weight loss is, I tell them it’s having that support around you. Even after years at target, I’m still learning about myself as a slimmer and picking up new recipes and ideas in group.

Adopting healthier habits

I’ve always enjoyed my food, but I’d fallen out of love with cooking – most of my meals came with a plastic lid and were either from the takeaway or for the microwave.

Slimming World showed me how to build better habits around food, including cooking from scratch more and eating plenty of fruit and veg. I realised I could still eat my favourite meals and enjoy lots of flavour while losing weight. For example, I absolutely love a curry – the spicier the better! So experimenting with my own Food Optimising versions really helped to keep me on track. It was a totally new way of looking at weight loss and I think that’s why it’s worked so well for me.

Getting to target

Losing weight gave me so much more energy that, for the first time ever, I felt motivated to exercise. Walking felt a lot easier after losing weight, so jogging felt like the natural next step. I joined a local running club and I started to really love how it was making me feel – energised, fit and powerful. Since then, I’ve completed three marathons – it’s quite a change from being out of puff after a walk round the supermarket!

Altogether, I lost 8st 8lbs – and I’ve maintained it since 2018. I think slimming down so steadily and gradually really helped, and exercising has definitely made it easier to stay at this weight.

Clothes shopping is a bit of a hobby now, and feeling fab in my new outfits is amazing. My health is the biggest bonus of all, though. My family don’t have to worry about me any more, and you just can’t put a price on that. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Kevin and Lauren and my Slimming World group; they’ve been my cheerleaders the whole way. I’m fitter, happier and healthier – and this time, it’s for life!

Alice’s experience is reflected in new research*. It shows that three in four people who receive support to develop healthier habits at a Slimming World group are still lighter up to three years after joining – even if they stop attending! 

Eight in 10 of those who responded to the Slimming World survey and were still attending group each week up to three years after first joining reported that their health had improved, with 93% attributing the improvement to their weight management and the lifestyle changes they’d made. What’s more, 50% of those no longer attending also reported improvements to their health up to 36 months later.

The study also found that 94% of current members and 81% of past members who responded were still cooking more meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients, up to three years on. Nearly all of the current members (98%) and 74% of those no longer attending said they were still eating more fruit and veg, too. 

Slimming World consultant dietitian Dr Amanda Avery says: ‘When people feel bombarded with so many different ways to lose weight, it can be confusing to know which approach will truly work. Our research and Alice’s story clearly show the importance of making healthy lifestyle changes if you want to lose weight and keep it off. No two slimmers are the same, so it’s the expertise and support members receive at Slimming World that helps them to understand what those changes mean for them.’

Alice’s day on a plate





Overnight oats made with fat-free natural yogurt and topped with fruit.


A supermarket meal deal, with a sandwich, crisps and a sugary drink, followed by a chocolate bar or a piece of cake.

Leftovers from a Food Optimising meal made the night before, or a home-made Healthy Extra ‘b’ wholemeal roll filled with lots of Free Food. 


An Indian takeaway or a spaghetti carbonara ready meal. 

A spicy fakeaway curry with plenty of plain boiled rice.  


Crisps, chocolate, biscuits and cake.

Slimming World Hi-fi bars or flavoured no-added-sugar fat-free yogurts.

*Published in Clinical Nutrition Open Science. 

Weight loss will vary according to your individual circumstances and how much weight you have to lose.