Making a difference in the NHS
In June 2017 Thinking Slimmer was delighted to be asked to conduct a weight loss project with Tameside Hospital in Manchester. One hundred hospital staff were recruited to take part in our 12-week Slimpod Gold programme, the aim of which was to change their eating habits and help them to lose weight.
To support the staff and help with their success, the restaurant provided a ‘Slimpod Special’ healthy menu choice (no sugar and low carb). This was a roaring success. The staff loved it! This is now being extended and Head Chef Simon Smith has severely reduced the unhealthy food in the restaurant.
The desserts disappeared from the restaurant menu for a trial period of three months and Simon says no one missed them. They’ve now gone for good.
Confectionery and sugary fizzy drinks have also disappeared from the restaurant for both staff and visitors.
Scroll down to see some case histories with their pictures
Healthy choices: Inside Tameside hospital restaurant
Tam Fry, Chair of the National Obesity Forum, said the initiative was “trailblazing” and should be spread across the whole of the NHS.
Karen James, Chief Exec of the hospital trust (pictured below), said: “As a result of the programme, many staff say their behaviour towards food has changed.
“Snacking has dramatically reduced, and for many it has stopped completely. They say they are sleeping better and are feeling less anxious and stress at work, which can only have a positive effect on the patients.
“My staff work very hard. Long hours and shift patterns often make it very difficult for people to make healthy choices, so they opt for the instant sweet fixes, which until now have been readily available.
“These are dedicated healthcare professionals who believe they should be role models for their patients but the food environment has been working against them.”
Slimpod/NHS project: Facts at a glance:
87% of participants lost weight while listening to the Slimpod over the 3 month project.
90% reported behavioural change and said that they had reduced snacking – most of those have lost interest in sugar completely.
The seven case studies who have agreed to talk about their experiences in public have actually lost 206 lbs between them in six months.
The weight loss project was a huge success. Staff lost weight but even more importantly they’re feeling healthier and happier.
We’d now like to extend this project and help improve the health of the 700,000 overweight and obese staff in the NHS. Watch this space!
Here are some of the success stories from Tameside. We’re very proud of each and every one of them!
My uniform’s dropped 2 sizes
Urgent Care Nurse Luan Walton, 38, said: “I’ve tried to lose weight many times but always piled it back on. Working long shifts as I do there’s a tendency to eat convenience food or wait until I get home and then pig out. My vices are bread and wine. Since Slimpod I’ve not wanted so much bread and have noticed I’m drinking less too! It’s been effortless. I’m planning my meals and now take healthier options into work with me. And I’m going to the gym after work as I find I have more energy than ever – even after a 12-hour shift! In 13 weeks since I began Slimpod I’ve lost 20 pounds, and by the end of March next year I want to be three stone lighter and I know I can do it because it’s so easy! I’ve already dropped a dress size and a half and I’m wearing a smaller uniform and soon will have to replace it with an even smaller one. My colleagues have been very supportive and even a couple of patients have commented how good I’m looking.“
Now I’m eating healthily!
Macmillan cancer nurse Stephanie Ridgway, 50, said: “Look at the size of my old uniform! My problem was cake and chocolate and lots of it. I could be giving advice to my patients about healthy eating with my pockets stuffed with chocolate bars. I wasn’t sure of Slimpod would be for me but when I lost interest in chocolate during the first few days of listening I couldn’t believe it. I was more motivated, keener to exercise and generally feeling great. My job can be stressful but very rewarding and I feel that I’m now practising what I preach. I feel really happy! I’ve lost 21lbs and now I’m a size 10 – and did it all without willpower! I feel I’ve reached my optimum weight and I know maintaining it will be easy.“
Smaller portions, no snacking
Palliative Care nurse Annemarie Thompson, 51, said: “Since I married my hubby in Antigua last year I’ve put on three stones. I work 10-hour days so I always bring food into work. Trouble is I was always snacking too – until Slimpod that is. Now I’ve cut down on my portions – I’ve done it without really thinking about it. I’ve lost 16 lbs. but just as important as the weight loss I feel more relaxed and happier in myself. I recently went for another job at the hospital – Normally I’d have got stressed and anxious, but I was relaxed – and got the job. I’m wearing clothes I thought I’d never get back in to. My hubby is happy for me and he’s even started to eat healthier and exercise more and now he’s lost a stone too. I want to lose more, and I will. There’s no way I would give this up.”
People praise my new shape
Sheila Benns, 62, Administrator for the Community Learning Disability Team, said: “Turning 60 was an important time in my life. It made me take stock of what I really wanted for myself and I wanted to feel less bloated, more motivated and I really wanted to lose weight. I volunteered for the Slimpod project not really knowing what to expect, but it couldn’t have been easier. In fact, I’m amazed at just how easy it’s been. In three months I’ve lost 24 lbs and I’ve dropped two dress sizes – I’m now a comfortable 14. I’m eating better and I have a lot more energy for my job and my grandchildren. Lots of people have complimented me on my new shape, which has boosted my self-confidence no end. Although Paul and I have been married for 26 years we’ve started having date nights – and we walk to the restaurant.”
Five sizes down in 5 months
Angela Brierley, 53, Head of the hospital’s Transformation Services, said: “My motivation to join the Slimpod trial was to get my health back on track. I was diagnosed with type 2 in 2013. a hereditary problem in the family. It was out of control and making me tired and miserable. That would make me inclined to reach for a sweet snack, which is the last thing I should have been doing. The first changes I noticed were small ones…I stopped taking the lift and started to use the stairs, I stopped snacking…I cut down on the portions…I wanted to exercise more! I didn’t originally weigh myself so I’ve done it by dress size. It’s been amazing. Over five months I’ve dropped FIVE sizes in trousers and two sizes in tops. My family and friends can’t believe the transformation. I’ve joined an exercise class every Wednesday, I’m so much happier and I have more confidence. Best of all my blood sugar levels are so low now my doctor says he will consider taking me off the medication by February. I know the weight will stay off because my lifestyle has changed.”
My snacking habit’s gone!
John Fletcher, 58, Acting Director of Quality and Governance, said: “My weight has yoyo-ed up and down over many years by as much as six stone. Safe to say I was sceptical. How could listening to something for nine minutes help you lose weight? It sounded too good to be true. I was wrong. It’s had such a dramatic effect. Three days in I couldn’t eat a full meal, which isn’t like me. My snacking habit has gone and my sweet tooth has disappeared. I’ve lost three stone so far. It’s been so easy!”
Old clothes just hang off me
Julie Nield, 52, a Booking Scheduler, said: “Three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I learned that being overweight can be a contributing factor and so I joined the Slimpod project to lose weight and reduce my chances of the cancer recurring. I got rid of my scales at home a while back so I couldn’t weigh myself, so I decided to measure any lost inches instead. To be honest I wasn’t sure it would work but it has changed my whole outlook on food. When we go out now I have two starters instead of a three-course meal as my appetite has just shrunk. I haven’t forced it. It’s happened naturally. And before I was a bit of a chocoholic. I’m talking family bags of Maltesers. Now I have a little bar of chocolate occasionally but I can take it or leave it. I’ve lost 29 cms, that’s eleven and a half inches all over – from my arms, legs, bust, waist and hips. I’ve had to buy new clothes as my old ones were hanging off me. My target is to keep going. It’s so easy. I’d be crazy not too.”