Scottish Slimmers is a weight loss program that was founded in 1980 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The program promotes a plan of positive eating that aims to change its practitioners' attitudes toward food and health rather than resorting to short-term fad diet plans. The Scottish Slimmers system promotes gradual weight loss through a balanced and healthy diet that consists of what the system calls "check" and "no check" foods. Scottish Slimmers also focuses on the client maintaining a certain weight after he or she reaches the initial target.
One of the things that distinguishes Scottish Slimmers from many other weight loss programs is that it aims to change attitudes toward food rather than offering a strict dietary plan. The creators of the system insist that they do not believe that being slim is necessary for everyone to live a happy life, but that the system exists for those who choose to pursue being slim. It also claims that its practitioners will lose weight at a healthy rate — usually 1.5 to 2 pounds (0.7 to 0.9 kg) per week.
The concept of positive eating that is at the system's core teaches practitioners to learn about healthy eating practices. The goal is to alter the client's natural eating habits rather than offering an unusual and/or unhealthy diet that accomplishes only short-term weight loss. The Scottish Slimmers system attempts to create lifestyle changes that will result in long-term weight loss and offers strategies for keeping weight off once the client reaches the initial target weight.
One of the key concepts of the Scottish Slimmers class is the distinction between "check" and "no check" foods. "No check" foods are foods whose caloric values and whose fat content is so low that a client can eat as much of them as he or she desires during any given day. These "no check" foods include a wide variety of vegetables as well as several additives that a dieter can add to his or her meal to increase the flavor in a healthy way. "Check" foods are foods that have higher caloric and fat contents and thus require the dieter to limit their intake. The system does not deny the dieter these foods but places limits on how much of them the dieter can consume in a day.
In order to help its practitioners achieve their goals, the Scottish Slimmers system offers a variety of services. Weight-loss classes are the foundation of the system, and Scottish Slimmers has a network of more than 800 classes per week. At-home services are available, and there is a Scottish Slimmers website that contains extensive resources as well. There also are a number of cookbooks that include recipes for "no check" and "low check" meals.