‘Food Fomo’ stops half of adults from trying to lose weight

Kelly Cooper before and after her weight loss. Photo: Kelly Cooper.

More women would rather go without sex than miss a Sunday roast, research has discovered

Half of UK adults (49 per cent) say they’ve put off trying to lose weight due to “FOMO” (fear of missing out) – with missing out on favourite foods and social events fuelling this fear.

Foods people fear missing out on most are chocolate (29 per cent), takeaways (24 per cent), fish and chips (21 per cent) and fry ups (18 per cent).

More than three quarters of people say they get pleasure from eating their favourite foods (77 per cent) and two in three (64 per cent) feel passionate about the food they eat. So much so, in fact, that more women say they fear missing out on their Sunday roast (35 per cent) than going without sex (21 per cent).

But members of local Slimming World groups say that they can still lose weight and can also enjoy their favourite foods.

A survey, carried out by Censuswide, polled members of Slimming World’s 13,000 community weight loss groups and online programme.

The vast majority of members (88 per cent) say they enjoy eating food as much or more than they did before joining Slimming World and 91 per cent agree you can lose weight while enjoying your favourite food.

Of the members questioned, four in five (83 per cent) say you can enjoy social situations while losing weight.

A prime example is Kelly Cooper who is a consultant for Slimming World and runs sessions in and around Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

She started her target of losing 5 stone reaching it in 2017 and has maintained it ever since.

She said: “I love my food, I eat big portions, and everyday foods like currys, roasts and family friendly foods. I eat out weekly and have takeaways (all made healthier).

“I never miss out on food and enjoy all my favourite things. Curry, spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, chips, kebabs, pasta and I socialise and eat out weekly.
“Slimming World has helped me change the way I shop, cook and eat. I’ve made simple changes likes oil to 1kcal cooking spray, coke to Diet Coke, sugar to sweetener. I choose lean cuts of meats and use 5 per cent mince.”
The survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by the UK and Ireland’s largest weight-loss organisation Slimming World found seven in 10 (72 per cent) say food brings them joy.
Of those, 31 per cent say eating food prepared by someone else makes them feel loved, 64 per cent say it’s the taste of food which brings them joy and 41 per cent find food nostalgic as it brings back happy memories such as family traditions or routines.

Dr Amanda Avery, health and research consultant dietitian at Slimming World, says: “Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures so it’s no wonder food FOMO is a very real factor for many of us when it comes to losing weight.

“As the research shows, in many cases certain foods can have a powerful pull on us, evoking memories and emotions and rekindling flavours and pleasures experienced in the past.

“Often, finding the desire or motivation to alter deeply ingrained habits around the way we shop, cook and eat can be challenging and that’s where support can be crucial to help slimmers.”

Slimming World’s approach combines support to change your mindset around food with a flexible healthy eating plan, called “Food Optimising”,. which can be tailored to your lifestyle.

Members, who attend a weekly group or access support online, learn how to create healthy versions of their favourite foods or meals, such as roast dinners, fry ups or fish and chips, so they can lose weight without ever feeling they’re missing out.

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