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Weight Loss NHS
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Hi everyone, been to see the nurse regarding weight loss today & found it quite unhelpful

Apart from fortnightly weigh ins I don't honestly think I'll get much support from her (I found this page & the 12 week guide by myself, no direction from her). The only thing she said was cut down on bread & considering I only have 2 slices per day for a sandwich at lunchtime I don't think bread is my biggest problem. I've downloaded the nhs losing weight 12 week guide so I'm going to work through that & see how I go. I've tried Sliming World & put half a stone on, weight watchers I lost 4lbs in 12 weeks & numerous other diets that havent worked so this feels like my last chance. I'm not whinging, just thought the nurse would have been more helpful, given me some info to take away maybe. Has anyone else had the same thing when visiting their nurse or gp about losing weight

17 Replies

Hi Claremont15, Sorry to hear you had an unhelpful experience with your nurse. My own experience with my GP wasn't great either - the only comment he had when I brought up my weight as an issue was to recommended I join a commercial programme (eg Weight watchers) for the peer-support. He was well intentioned but wasn't able to give me any substantive advice on losing weight. I wondered if it's because I'm not considered high risk and therefore not really on his radar yet: I'm overweight rather than obese.

Having said that, I've read other threads on this forum in which people mention good experiences - here are a 3 threads that mention GP referrals to services:




Perhaps you could mention those services to your GP/nurse and see if they are available for you too? And keep using this site, the 12 week plan is fairly straightforward and the forums can be really helpful. Good luck!


Hi Claremont15

I had exactly the same from my nurse when I went. But they did give me a free 12 weeks subscription to Weight Watchers. I've been going since October last year and have now lost 21 pounds. Slow and steady is my motto as I am not very active. I cant exercise on my own and needs some one to come with me to make it not so boring. My friend's dog has just had puppies so I am going to get one of those so I can take it for lots of walks.


I think it's really important to get a handle on how many calories you are actually consuming try downloading my fitness pal,3500 calorie deficit needed to lose a pound (roughly) This site is full of tips and ideas. I had lost a stone when I joined here and managed to lose 3.5 total and have maintained by keeping my eye on the ball (scales) Good Luck!


Hi Claremont 15

After being nearly 30 years overweight and trying various diets, which made me loose a bit of weight and then I gained again, I am since 10 weeks on the NHS plan and lost 10% of my body weight. I am in the green now. Some people say they lost weight without feeling hungry. That was not the case with me. In between I was hungry, which was not always nice, or I wanted to use food in stressful situations, which I think is the problem I have to address now. Anyway it was not easy, but determination helps. Being lighter I feel so much better and certainly was worth the effort. My blood pressure is now only raised, and not high anymore.

I started of with a food diary and counting every calorie, now I still look up if I do not know how many calories some foods have, but I more often try to stick to small portions and hope I will do so in future more or less automatically. For me the route was based on religiously sticking to my recommended intake of calories and doing more exercise, to prevent loosing muscle and not fat. Good luck.


I'm another one who had "issues" with the weight loss nurse. She used to keep moaning about how hard she found it to keep weight ON. Not really what I wanted to hear. She had no clue about what it was like to struggle to keep eating under control. I no longer go to her.

I too use My Fitness Pal and have currently lost 30lbs since feb using it. I joined the "walk 100 miles in May" group and that is keeping me on track for my exercise.



I don't think any of those health professionals are clued up about weight loss! Don't get me started...

Did the nurse you talked to mention any other carbs, apart from bread? There's a lot of research coming out now which says that sugar is the big baddie. Not fat, as we've been led to believe over the last few decades, but sugar, which is in almost everything.

Without knowing what else you eat, apart from your lunchtime sandwich, it's impossible to comment in any sensible way.

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Sorry the nurse wasn't that helpful. I think the NHS guide is pretty good and I hope you find it helpful to get some support and advice from this forum as well. There are weekly weigh ins and many on here are more than happy to give our perspectives on what has worked for us!

I agree with margrete that health professionals are sometimes a bit clueless about what to recommend for weight loss. My parents are both retired GPs and I had to explain to them that potatoes and bread are OK to eat while losing weight, as long as you make sure your portion size is under control. They would have advised cutting out bread completely! A GP at my local practice also seemed surprised when I said that I had lost weight by controlling my diet and exercising more. (Like she expected I had done some special program or diet or something)

Dietitians are most likely better informed and if you can get referred to a proper weight management service then I understand that they can offer a lot of help. If you try to go it alone, then just focus on working out how many calories a day you currently eat and then try to reduce that intake so that you lose weight.


Hey, chin up, and keep going.

I have been dieting from the age of 30 when I found that I was putting on about 8lbs per year. The more I dieted, the more weight I seemed to put on.

I have to be honest and say that even I think my current diet is somewhat extreme and I had to check with my doctor that he was happy for me to be on it. But I now eat HUGE amounts of fruit and veg.

It is working for me but I know it is not for everyone, lol, one of them being my wife.

It will work for you once you find the right one you are happy and enjoy doing.

Keep it up, just remember forward ever, backward never, LOL.


Have you been tested for Thýroid issues? I too did Weight watchers and discovered that I lost nothing... even with working out at the gym! No one believed me that I wasn't scoffing cakes and chips every day as nothing was working. Turned out I had an underactive Thyroid. Shame it took till I was nearly 30 to diagnose it!

It's a simple blood test- so def get one done if you have not had one already.

Good luck!


Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm going to stick to the 12 week plan & fingers crossed it works & although I feel let down by my nurse I'm going to go fortnightly to get weighed as this may just been the incentive I need. Kiwifruit 1 I haven't been tested for thyroid but if I may ask about that when I go back, she never even took my blood pressure never mind blood tests. I'm not a big eater anyway & she said my diet was fine & also my exercise, I walk between 5 & 6k every week day with my dog & on weekends walk her with the family but not as far. I had a hysterectomy about 7years ago & was on HRT for 5 years until a doctor took me off it nearly 2 years ago saying I'd been on it too long, it's since I was taken off HRT that my weight has increased & increased so it may be my hormones that are hindering me to a certain extent (although I'm sure theyre not totally to blame). Thank you again everyone & good luck to you all xx


I think you are probably right, that your hormones have contributed to your difficulty in losing weight.

The remedy as I see it would be to eat adequate amounts of natural protein foods with the accompanying fat. That will help keep your insulin levels lower, allowing you to utilise fat for fuel, instead of storing it.

To balance your diet you will need vegetables to provide water soluble vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

Even yoghurt, which is a low-Gi food, causes spikes in insulin, so be mindful of what you eat and how it may affect your hormones too.

Trying to understand your nurse, she may have been generalising. Bread often is a primary stimulant of insulin. She may have meant to match your carbs in general to your activity levels, to try to balance your hormones; you never know, she may even have been listening to you ;-)


Thank you Concerned. I'll admit I was very disheartened after talking to the nurse but I'm feeling more positive now. Despite her advice about staying away from skinny family members & friends until I felt better about my weight & size, which I thought was wrong considering how supportive they all are regardless of their weight or size, we got together & talked about helping me stay on the diet wagon. Their response was fab, in fact theyre going to do couch to 5K with me & have decided after every stone I lose we'll go to a spa for the day. There's an incentive for me!!! :-) xx

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Dear Claremont15,

National Health 'Services'????

I went to my surgery some weeks ago and inquired aboutasked for an appointment with a nurse re weight loss assistance. I didn't even get to see a nurse: the receptionist said they had weekly sessions but that I needed to register first. I wanted to do that there and then (which seemed the most efficient way) ... BUT told me to call a specific phone nr to ask for 'option 2' (she didn't even say what or who I would be calling - and I wasn't alert enought to ask); she just said they would give me a registration nr and only THEN I would be able to go back to my surgery and get further assistance... Given that I suffer from ME and FMS, this whole inquiry exercise was extremely tiring for me (also extremely uncomfortable and painful having to stand up in front of a glass reception 'pigeon hole', first queuing and then during the conversation). After FINALLY having gathered the courage to take that HUGE step to the surgery, I was heavily [ litterally ;) haha ... ] disappointed. Back home, I was exhausted after that: it took all out of me for that day.

It then took me another couple of days before I managed to call the nr: it turned ou to be an NHS 'New Start Pgm' [or sth like that]. When I asked for 'option 2', the lady asked what it was for; when I said 'weight mgt', she said that the lady I needed for that was busy on another line and she took my nr saying I would be called back... Haha, <<famous last words>>: I did not hear from them since... (and this must have been end of March -isch) ... and have not had the 'energy+courage' to call them back [might put it back on my to do list though, never know...].

I find it so frustrating that these 'services' are being promoted in such a promising way and then seem to block you in each of your (fragile) steps ... And judging by the Posts on this (and other) websites, I'm not the only one; I'll just try to find some sonsolation in that to stop me from getting another 'frustration attack' (cause it doesn't help anyway. does it).I've found that a mindful pause and a smile is definitely far more uesful, ;-).

Maybe the 'NHS' abbreviation has always been misunderstood and the 'S' never really stood for 'Services'?? Maybe it was - or has turned into- something like 'System' or 'Structure' or 'Status-Quo', or even 'Sacrifice' or - judging by some on line posts/blogs - even 'Sabotage',... ??? The (current) 'truth' is out there: does anybody know??


its useless going to a nutritinonalist or a nurse they are way out of touch in the end diets dont work the only thing i found worked for me was to cut down on carbs

many people crave carbs and it seems once you start eating them you want more its like cigarettes an addiction and in autumn with winter coming on i get carb cravings even for crisps which i actually dont like

once i realised i was a carb addict it was easier to deal with it and help myself.. i have lost four stone and though i am loosing very slowly now perhaps only an ounce or two a week its still going down taken two years mweight loss is slow anything else and you put it back on again

Their is no instant answer instant pills and instant diets unfortunatly find out what triggers your overeating and find a way to deal with it

if its stress or carbs or slow metabalism (which is rare ) then find out how to deal with it yourself and that way your more likely to lose weight the only person you can rely on for help in the end is yourself you have to find out why you eat and then deal with it one way to help is to find a course on positive thinking or cognitive behaviour therapy which helps your mind to fight the fat smile


I have been to the nurse, more life, slimming world, weight watchers and still can not lose the weight, i have type 2 diabetes i qualify for a gastric bypass but the hospital will not do it they said lets leave it another year and see how much weight she can lose its been 2 yrs and ive lost under a stone. It's effecting my health in a big way, i have restricted air ways disease, L4 L5 Bulging disc, knee ligament problems which am waiting for my 2nd operation done, i have to have it under a spinal block as they say its not safe to knock me out again my heart rate went through the roof. i suffer with my bp, Bipola disorder, anxiety depression, sores , server migraines, and i sleep walk throw things round the bedroom punch, kick my husband in my sleep. An still i can't get help with my weight. I hate having my photo taken because i'm so over weight now, my diet is good, i can not do to much exercise due to the back and knee pain


Sorry to hear about your problems.

Perhaps this link may be of help to you, although you don't need the amount of protein they suggest.


Dr Briffa has some useful information about diabetes.


Hope you can find some relief.


I have had a similar experience with my gp . When he weighed me and told me I was overweight, I asked for weight loss advise. His advise: whatever you put on your plate, just throw a third of it away. That was seriously it. Really unhelpful.

2 years later I had managed to lose weight through a local free community service and when I told him about it he said that people weren't interested in making healthy lifestyle changes so the service was a waste of time. Trying to understand this mentality is extremely difficult and frustrating.


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