Weight loss plan features
- promotes safe and sustainable weight loss
- learn to make healthier food choices
- get support from our online community
- a weekly progress chart
- exercise plans to help you lose weight
- learn skills to prevent weight regain
The plan is designed to help you lose weight at a safe rate of 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) each week by sticking to a daily calorie allowance.
For most men, this means sticking to a calorie limit of no more than 1,900kcal a day, and 1,400kcal for most women.
If you find it hard sticking to the calorie limit, use our BMI calculatorto get your own personal weight loss calorie allowance.
If you go over your limit one day, don’t worry: it simply means you’ll have to reduce your calorie intake on the following days.
For example, if you’re a woman and you have 1,700kcal on Tuesday, that’s 300kcal more than your daily calorie allowance of 1,400kcal.
To stay on track, you’d need to cut out an extra 300kcal from your remaining calorie intake over the rest of the week.
The calorie allowance is based on NICE guidance, which states that to lose weight, the average person should reduce their daily calorie intake by 600kcal.
The guide is delivered through 12 weekly information packs full of diet, healthy eating and physical activity advice, including weekly challenges.
Each information guide contains a food and activity chart to help you record your calories, exercise and weight loss so you can see how well you’re doing at a glance.
Print the chart out and stick it somewhere you can see it, such as the fridge or a kitchen cupboard, and update it at the end of each day.
In addition to a healthier diet, regular physical activity is an important component of your weight loss journey.
Not only will it help you burn extra calories, but it will also keep you motivated and improve your general health and wellbeing.
As you work through the weeks, you’ll get lots of ideas and structured programmes to help you get active, from easy ways to gradually build activity into your day, to the popular Couch to 5K, 5K+ and Strength and Flex podcasts.
The links below provide the tools and knowledge you’ll need from day one on the plan. Before you download Week 1, it’s worth taking a look so you can:
- try our free calorie checker
- work out how much weight you need to lose
- learn how to count calories on the plan
- download our Easy Meals app from our iTunes and Google Play
- line up some non-food rewards to celebrate your progress along the way
- check out our 12 weight loss tips
- find out how other people have lost weight on the plan
- sign up for weight loss email support
Is this plan for me?
This guide is intended for use by healthy adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 and over. Find out if you need to lose weight using the BMI healthy weight calculator.
It is not suitable for children and young people or pregnant women. If you have a medical condition, you should consult your GP before starting.
It’s a good idea to seek the advice of a health professional before starting on any weight loss programme.
1. Don’t skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast won’t help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry. Check out five healthy breakfasts.
2. Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar. Find out more about eating heathily.
3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals. Read up on getting your 5 A Day.
4. Get more active
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing numerous health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can’t cut through diet alone. Find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine.
5. Drink plenty of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
6. Eat high-fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you to feel full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
7. Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan. Find out more about reading food labels.
8. Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
9. Don’t ban foods
Don’t ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
10. Don’t stock junk food
To avoid temptation, try to not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
11. Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain. Find out more about the calories in alcohol.
12. Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
The NHS Choices weight loss guide has been developed under the supervision and advice of specialist dietitians from the British Dietetic Association, which represents registered dietitians in the UK. Thanks to dietitians at DOM UK (Dietitians in Obesity Management), a specialist group of the British Dietetic Association.