This has been created as a 12 week step-by-step programme and we recommend that you use it as a weekly programme. If it suits you better, it's possible to dip in and out of the weeks in any order and over any time period you wish.
We suggest that you take 30 to 40 minutes on each week’s materials, giving yourself time to think about the content and the activities we suggest. You could read each week all at once or take it section by section over the weeks.
You shouldn't follow this programme if you're under 18 years of age, pregnant or in a healthy weight range.
What we cover each week
Each week is made up of a number of sections covering different topics. Many of these have links to further information and activities.
You will also:
- find tips from people who have gone through a similar weight management journey
- be asked to undertake weekly tasks, like completing a lifestyle diary, checking food labels or planning your meals for the week
Calculate your BMI
This programme has been designed for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above, who want to be a healthier weight.
Use our BMI calculator to find out if this programme is right for you.
Consider if this is the right time for you
People try to lose weight for various reasons, such as:
- health benefits
- getting ready for a holiday
- a special occasion like a wedding
- to feel better
Only you can decide your reasons for wanting to lose weight and for following this programme.
Consider if this is the right time for you before you start. Do you have space in your day to think about and plan what changes need to be made and can you commit to making them?
It can be helpful to ask yourself 2 questions, where 1 is of little or no importance and 10 being very important, which will enable you to decide if this is the right time for you to engage in this programme:
- On a scale of 1-10 how important is it for me to manage my weight? If it is of importance then this programme will support you
- On a scale of 1-10 how confident am I that I can manage my weight? If you aren't confident this programme will support you
If it isn't of great importance to you, then now might not be the time, as it would appear there are other things in your life that are currently more important to you. You can come back to this at a more appropriate time for you.
Eating well and staying active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is important for both our physical and mental wellbeing. It's important that we do this while following the Government's physical distancing guidelines.
Read our diet and healthy weight and physical activity advice to help you during the outbreak.
Losing a small amount of weight (about 5-10% of your body weight) and/or maintaining your weight can result in benefits including improved night’s sleep, generally feeling better about yourself, reduced risk of health conditions including Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. Read our guide for more information on the causes and treatment of obesity.
Type 2 diabetes
People with a BMI of 25 and over (23 or over for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups) are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Many people have type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes without realising.
Knowing your current risk of developing type 2 diabetes can help you prevent this happening by focusing on what changes you need to make. We suggest that you look at your risk by using the Diabetes UK’s Know your risk tool.
Changing behaviour is a challenge but it's possible. Some people make changes to their eating and physical activity levels but don't lose weight. That's okay, as it's the first step in making a difference to your health.
For the vast majority of people, changes need to be made to their current food and drink intake as well as increasing their physical activity levels. This programme isn't about going on a diet that you start and then stop. It's about helping you to review your current lifestyle and make healthier behaviour choices that can then become your daily habits.
Current habits can be changed and by practicing new behaviours these can become part of our daily routine. These routines then become our new habits.
If you feel this weight management programme is for you please move on to week 1.
Well done on taking your first step.