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Start losing weight

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In this article

Use the panel above to download the NHS 12-week weight loss plan and start your weight loss journey.

The plan, which has been downloaded more than 3 million times, is designed to help you lose weight safely – and keep it off.

The keys to success:

  • Make realistic changes to your diet and physical activity that can become a part of your regular routine.
  • The best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes to diet and physical activity that result in a steady rate of weight loss.
  • Aim to lose weight at around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb), until you achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI).

Below are some helpful tips to start your journey towards a healthy weight.

Lots of us eat and drink more than we realise and do little physical activity. The result is often weight gain.

To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. This means eating less – even when eating a healthy, balanced diet – and getting more active.

Drastic fad diets and exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can't be maintained. Once you stop the regime, you're likely to return to old habits and regain weight.

Do today

You can take six actions today that will start your journey towards a healthy weight:

  1. Download the NHS Choices weight loss plan.
  2. Check if you're a healthy weight with our BMI healthy weight calculator. If you need to lose a few pounds, you'll be given a daily personal calorie target.
  3. Take the next snack you plan to have and swap it for something healthier. Aim to do the same every day: you've adopted your first weight loss habit. Try these 100-calorie snacks.
  4. Drinks, including alcohol, contain calories too, so try to cut down on sugary drinks.
  5. Find a way to fit just one extra walk into your day. Check out our walking tips.
  6. Try to have breakfast every morning. Get ideas in healthy breakfasts (for people who hate breakfast).

Do this week

There are four actions you can take this week:

  • Plan a healthy weekly shop. Check out healthy recipes and 20 tips to eat well for less.
  • Eating out? Read our tips on healthy eating out and healthier takeaways.
  • If you're already walking more, try adding one more activity.
  • Identify this week's diet danger zones, so you don't derail your weight loss efforts.
Content supplied byNHS
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