Where to start?!?

Evenin' All!

Today I weighed myself for the first time in years (really! It's been about 6 years since I stepped on one!)

It was a big number. A really BIG number, which I hesitate to mention, but here I go!!!

Height = 5ft 2in

Weight=19st 7lb!!!!!

Circumference = 12 feet! (Guestamate)

So I have to try to lose weight. I have the NHS 12 week plan, but I have not had time to read it properly yet.

I have made some changes over the past few weeks

1) I now drink about 2 liters of water a day, instead of tea coffee and about a litre of coke.

2) lots of fruit (2 Apple's, banana, 1/4 melon, handful of green grapes and a nectarines today!)

3)wholemeal bread not white.

4)semi skimmed Milk not whole.

As you can guess, getting to this size means I have difficulty with healthy meals. So, it's the meals that I have difficulty with. Does anyone have any cheap healthy meal ideas I can steal? I rather like couscous, but plain couscous is very bland. What can I do to it to give it some flavour?

Any recipies/meal ideas are gratefully received!

I plan to only weigh myself every other week, to try to stop me getting down heated!

Last edited by

Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

28 Replies

  • Hi NiCherry, welcome to this great forum, I so hope you find it helpful as I have. It sounds like you have already take some very positive and brave steps and know where you are going next.

    Try grilled chicken and stir fried veg with the cous cous.

    Meanwhile if you don't yet want to know your waist measurement use some string and make a knot in it. Then put a label on it with the date. trust me you will be glad you did !!

    Best of luck

  • Love the idea of the string! I reckon I'll give that one a try. Thanks!

    Only reason I made up the circumference number is that I don't posess a measuring tape!

  • That's a great idea with the string. Have you seen those flavoured couscous packets in the supermarket? They're better than having it plain, although I think some of them may be for 2 portions rather than one, so check the portion info. Maybe have half a sachet at a time. But also you should look into sweet potatoes. A whole sweet potato baked in the oven/microwave is really filling and a good basis for a healthy meal. Great that you've already made those changes already, just keep scouting for more tips and ideas, eventually you'll be fully armed with all the info you need. Good luck getting started with the 12 week plan. Maybe try to just read week 1, print it out so it's ready to start filling in, give it a quick read through over the weekend. Then start on Monday, and away you go :)

  • I've tried Ainsley Harriots couscous range. Very tasty! Portions are for 2, but I suspect that 2 portions of that has got to be better that a portion of chips!!!

  • I completely agree - sweet potato is the unsung hero of the diet crowd I reckon!

  • As is celeriac, raw or cooked fab

  • I think of myself as a decent cook but I have never tried it - time to see if I can find some! :)

  • Make chips with it, par boil for 2 mins coat in olive oil, cumin and coriander and bake, very low cal too!

    Or mash?

  • Seen it in lidl' tesco and waitrose, it needs no butter when mashed, as has celery / potato texture

  • Hiya

    I had a chuckle at your 12 feet guestimate :) it does feel that way sometimes doesn't it?

    Congratulations on kicking the cola. That is a HUGE change to make if you were like many people who are pretty much addicted to it.

    And great to see you making those other changes - the only way to make this work properly is slow changes over time that will stick and it sounds like you are doing that. Although I used to hate hearing all that slowly slowly stuff - I wanted to drop 8 stone in the next week!! lol

    Try to get some exercise in every day - even if its 10 or 15 minutes, its really important to start to move and signal to your body that you plan for it to become more active. Little things like parking your car 100 metres from the front door or something I do at work?

    Every time I leave my desk to get a coffee or get a snack or go to the bathroom I quickly walk around the inside of my workplace. Its about 100 steps (small shop) and takes less than a minute but when you do it a couple times an hour it starts to add up.

    I am sure you will earns lots as you continue your journey here. I am a professional dieter from way back and thought I knew it all - how wrong I was :)


  • Cheers Dave1961!

    I had a coke the other day - but I have to say that it tasted horribly sweet! Yuk! I was looking for the bubbly taste/feel, but I think next time I'll try a sparkling water instead!

    Exercise is going to be an issue for me. I am a big girl, and I don't move as easily as smaller people! Don't get me wrong - I'm not quite at the stage where exercise is walking to the fridge!, but standing or walking for more than 10 minutes will lead to lower back pain, so I plan to start doing some gentle exercises to just get my back stronger and a bit more flexible.

    Sadly the honest truth of it is that I don't WANT to exercise in public. I live in fear of the thought that people will see me and my poor efforts at exercise (compared to the efforts of 'normal size' people) and pass comment! So exercise is going to have to be limited to private efforts at home. For now. In a few weeks or months, I'll hopefully get able to do more!

    Baby steps! I must remember Baby steps!

  • I figured that would be the case which was why I mentioned even 10 or 15 minutes a day:)

    At 5'11" and having been over 23st at one stage I have some idea of what you might be going through and I totally get it. And the worst is when there starts to be things you can not do for yourself but you would never talk about them. It's so hard and it feels so far but its so worth it.

    Making yourself do things like getting up and walking round the inside of your flat or house - round the bathroom, bedroom(s), kitchen, living room - every 20 minutes sounds crazy but I do t6hat here at the shop and you know what? In 8 hours I can almost 2000 steps and I don't feel like I am exerting a lot of effort because its broken into small easy chunks.

    Please look for every tool you can and use it. I used to think determination and willpower would get me through but I finally realised I had to use whatever I could.

    You should try this podcast - I love listening to it and its fascinating. As someone who has been on a diet for nearly 40 years I smugly thought I knew everything there was to know but these guys have some REALLY interesting facts and ideas...and when you are listening to health, health, health it becomes easier to resist those cravings.


    I forgot to include my favourite ever salad recipe - Asian-style chicken salad. The prep takes the most time but you can do that in front of the tele and its delicious, fresh, low in carbs, high in protein, low in fat, filling and only 300 or so calories for a BIG portion.

    For me it ticks every box :)


  • Welcome. Look on ebay for walk at home with leslie sansone dvds with booster cables. People doing that have lost 100lbs or more. It is walking, easy to follow and build up and you do it at home!

    Any moving is good. Park a bit further from your destination. Etc

  • More on baby steps. If you are exercising from home, then got started on exercise with the NHS live well stretches and the really brilliant strength and flexibility 5 week plan. I did make it into the gym but that step took me months. I now wish I got there sooner....! 🌻🚴🏊👣💃

  • Hi. I have been on the 12 week plan about 12 weeks. So far I have lost 20kg. I am down to a a BMI of 28.I am staying on the wagon and accept this is the new way for me.

    The most important thing I think is to accept that you need to weigh every thing that you eat. I have found the hairy biker books very helpful.

    I feel it is important to eat food that you like but starting to understand the portion sizes and calorie count is very important. Plan your meals and make your shopping list when you are not hungry and try to buy lower calorie options for your normal choices. They will probably taste different but accept the changes instead of wishing it was the high calorie choices. You will soon see and feel the difference. Don't forget it has taken you years to build your lovely body and it will take time to change the inside before the outside starts to get how you would like it to be.

    Some weeks are easier than others but you are on a long journey and will get there sooner than you think.

  • Well done for making the changes you have. It's really hard when you have to acknowledge to yourself exactly how much you weigh.

    Just thing that is a number you will not see again. Have a good look around the plan and prepare yourself for the week, it really does help.

    I try to plan the weeks meals, even the snacks in advance as this stops me from going haywire.

    I don't know if you like spicy food but a harissa spice mixed couscous and veg is delicious.

    Have a good week.

  • Hi there, welcome to the weight loss journey! Well done for already making some changes, I agree about cous cous, so boring! Giant cous cous however is so much nicer and can be cooked in stock for extra flavour. Also I've found the my fitness pal app to be a great help. Good luck!

  • My favourite food switch is courgettI instead of spaghetti (or mixed with spaghetti)

    Basically buy a julienne peeler (with serrated edge) for a few quid. Run it down the length of a courgette, turn the courgette when you get to the pips.

    I usually dry fry onion and garlic then toss in the courgette. ( You can use a LITTLE oil but if you invest in a ceramic saute pan you don't need any ) It cooks really quickly so don't over cook, leave it with a bit of a bite, rather than let it get soggy. You can toss in a small can of chopped tomatoes and herbs if you like.

    You can serve with grilled fish or chicken or even cook the courgettI separately but add turkey mince to the onion/sauce mix. Makes a yummy filling low carb meal.

    I still cooked spaghetti for my husband at first, then 50:50 courgetti and spaghetti. Now we both prefer mainly courgetti.

    I should add that I have never really liked courgette before I discovered this way to cook it.

    (Some people like fancy spiralisers but they take space and cost more than a simple julienne peeler)

  • Hi Nicherry, lovely to meet you. This, as you can see already, is an amazing supportive forum. Keep posting and enjoy the support from these wonderful people who really do care about you and your health. A suggestion, if you get a blender and buy very low cal leafy veg...cook with the spicies that you enjoy and then whizz....finally add a can of sweet corn or chick peas...leave whole, you'll be amazed at how much you can make for very few cals. It's a good stand by for when you want to eat but feel that you shouldn't. Because it's thick, it will fill you up too.

    If you check your BMI on the NHS website, you will have a higher calorie daily allowance. I had a BMI Of 34 and started this plan with 1600.

    Finally, this does work. Good luck.

  • Have protein to keep you full. 2 eggs for breakfast, tuns or salmon for lunch on cracker, Vegas fruit and more protein at night. Wishing you well.

  • Wow, thank you all for such a warm welcome!

    I have a long journey ahead of me, but I think I might just make it!

    It's my mind set that seems to be changing. I'm not eliminating anything from my diet, so far, but the choices I make are changing. For example, I had a bar of chocolate today. A month ago I would have reached fir the really big bar on offer.....but I chose the standard size. I found it tasted overly sweet, and I can't say that I really really enjoyed it!

    I'll be trying the various ideas for couscous, and keep you all posted!!!

    Thank you all again for such a warm welcome!!

  • I don't think there is anything wrong with drinking tea, so long as you don't add sugar and use skimmed milk. Its the litre of coke which was the problem. Rather than switch to semi-skimmed milk why not change to skimmed milk? Fruit does contain lots of sugar even though it is in fructose form, so its better to concentrate on eating vegetables rather than fruit. At my heaviest I was over 15 1/2 stone and am now 12 1/2 stone, mainly just by eating healthily plus walking.

  • It may seem silly, but I'm taking baby steps at the moment - too many big changes could just knock me of course, so I've moved from full fat milk to semi skimmed. In a few weeks or maybe a month, I'll switch to skimmed.

    I'm eating quite a bit more fruit now, in place of chocolate and biscuits. Probably a lot of natural sugar, but again - baby steps! The natural sugar has to be better than the refined in my snacks!!!

  • Welcome, embrace the power of eggs and protein, the fillers!

    Google filling cheap recipes, masses to choose from, depending on your likes/dislikes, sometimes I cook myself a cooked breakfast all grilled for dinner with toast, so quick and easy!

    Also eat lots of celery and carrots, healthy snacks

  • Once the weather starts to turn colder, have a go at making different soups. They are very filling and can be a good way of increasing your veg intake.

    Don't cut your fat intake too low, as we need fat to make hormones and carry vitamins and minerals around our bodies.

  • That's what I was thinking! A good well seasoned chunky veg soup is lovely!

  • Personally I never do ups filling enough, I always need protein, better on solid foods rather than liquids

You may also like...