David Thompson, 43, from South Shields, has revealed how changing his food helped him lose seven stone and how others can follow in his footsteps.
Slimming World says its researchers uncovered a key factor which explains why some people find it harder to maintain a healthy weight than others.
They say some of us struggle because we have a ‘low satiety response’ – meaning that we find it harder to satisfy our appetite.
David is one of the many people struggling with this problem.
He said: “I’ve struggled with my weight most of my adult life and have tried many ways to lose weight but always found them impossible to sustain when I had to count (calories) or restrict certain foods. I’ve always had a ‘good’ appetite and would pretty much eat anything without every really feeling full.”
David’s diet mainly consisted of convenience foods, often grabbing sandwiches for lunch and takeaways on evenings for quickness, not realising what those foods were doing to his body.
He had lost weight before but struggled to maintain it during lockdown and decided to rejoin Slimming World in 2021 with consultant Sharon Snaith.
David said by making better food choices, he has been able to transform his life.
He said: “It’s flexible, it’s suitable for everyone and I love that I get to eat unlimited amounts of certain foods freely, things like meat, rice, potatoes, and vegetables. People think eating healthy is bland, and all salad and veg, it’s not.”
He has been able to make some of his favourite meals healthier, such as Sunday dinner using less fat and oil when cooking. He has also added a side of vegetables to meals such as chilli con carne to satisfy appetite.
“I love a Sunday roast including Yorkshire puddings, which I now just adapt to have less fat/oil and flour in them,” he said.
"But my absolutely favourite meal is chilli con carne packed full of 5% mince, onions, peppers, mushrooms, passata and plenty of chilli.
"My secret to the perfect chilli is to add the rice to the chilli pot – don’t cook it separately, it’s a game changer."
He added: “My favourite way to cook veg is a quick stir fry, you can’t beat tenderstem broccoli, baby sweetcorn and half a bag of kale quickly stir fried with low-calorie spray, garlic and chilli.
"When you put it together, it’s a big plateful of food, but I feel naturally satisfied after eating it and I’ve learned just how many calories I’ve actually cut out, without having to count a single one.”
The research shows that choosing certain types of food – foods lower in energy density (or calories per gram) – can help people with a low satiety response feel more in control of their appetite – and protect them from the risk of over-consuming calories, making it easier to lose weight.
David added: “Walking in the door of Slimming World was the best decision I’ve made. I’d say to anyone just do it, don’t fear it, don’t be scared.”