exercise v food query


I was informed by the NHS consultant today that I can exercise as much as I want in a day as long as I follow the weight management NHS portion program and don't lose more than 1-2 lbs in a week? I am not losing more than 1-2 lb in a week but am concerned that I have been told by an expert that I can do as much exercise as I want but eat so little ( currently exercise high intensity 2.5 hours a day (2000cal), calorie intake 1000). What do you guys think?


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22 Replies

  • What are you worried will happen if you do lots of exercise?

  • Also 1000 calories sounds far too low. Is that what the consultant recommended?

  • I am worried that my body will not be able to function properly if I exercise too much. I enjoy it and am in training for a marathon. The consultant stated that as long as I eat a balanced plate, which i do ( minus the meat) and follow the portions allocated than I can increase my exercise. e.g Breakfast 200 calories, 400 for lunch, 400 dinner. I only drink water in the day.

    She also stated that as long as I don't lose more than 1-2 lbs a week than there is no problem in increasing exercise.

    I am concerned as it does not sound right advice.

  • I think your calorie intake is very low and I would also be dubious receiving the advice you've had. The NHS BMI calculator is a good guide to find out how many calories to stick to while trying to lose weight nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyw...

    You would need to enter your activity levels at the highest level to get an accurate result (which is only 'moderate', probably much less than what you're doing). I'm guessing unless you are very very tiny, that the recommended calorie intake for 1-2lb/week weight loss will be much higher than 1000cals.

  • thanks - the consultant didn't mention calorie intake she just focused on making sure I have a balanced plate and just focused on making sure I do not lose more than the recommended weight lose ( 1-2 lbs).

    she is the expert, i feel disappointed that the expert is suggesting this. :( Also she said that I was obese and I should exercise more ( 10 stone, 4 ft 11)

    The website you mention 1500 cals - thanks for you help.

  • As she has not suggested limiting your calorie intake then I think her advice is sound. Each a balanced healthy meals adjusting your portion size to ensure you lose weight at 1-2lbs per week.

  • I would doubt you are actually obese, I'm only just above the overweight category into the obese one and I'm an inch shorter and 9 lb heavier than you. I wouldn't know specifically what your nutrition should be for marathon training, but I'm able to lose weight slowly on 1500 calories, I do walk a fair bit, but nothing like your levels of activity. Try the 1500 cals and see what the scales say, your energy levels are also important if you want to achieve your marathon so it's better to lose the weight at a careful steady rate. As long as you're eating a generally well balanced diet and sticking to your calorie limit small variations day to day shouldnt matter. Good luck ⭐️

  • thanks - the lady weighed me in kg and did the conversion to stone and lbs (i was later informed that the NHS now work in KG only) and then measured my height and told me i had a BMI of 32. I knew something was wrong, but she was the expert so didn't do anything about it. until i did the conversion and asked a friend to measure me, both were different. I just couldn't get out of my head that a professional had informed me I was obese... :( she is the expert.

  • However the program outlines how many portions of each food catergory you are suppose to eat a day e.g if I drink more than 2/3 of a pint of skimmed milk a day than you are over your portion allowance for milk and diary food. I have read that milk is good for muscle recovery and is the best thing to drink after exercise. so i just drink water after my 2/3 of a pint of a skimmed milk :(

  • Bananas are also good for muscle recovery. Also, depending on your feelings about supplements, look at high5 zero tablets, which are good for replenishing minerals after exercise.

  • i do eat balanced healthy meals and I follow the portion size recommendations - when i convert to calories it works out to be 400 per meal and 200 for breakfast - i don't snack

  • You said minus the meat. What do you substitute the meat with?

  • I was going to comment on this too. I just googled around to see what the advice is for veggies and found this. Seems pretty comprehensive. On page 1 there's a table which relates portions to calorie limits depending on whether you're vegan or not, and on the 4th page it gives example portion sizes for each element that should be included for veggies, i.e. what would need to be included instead of meat. vegetariannutrition.org/foo...

  • That's good information. If the meat isn't being substituted then it explains the low calorie count.

  • fab - this is great advice - since starting the weight management program I used quorn instead of meat but not every day so the website is very useful. Also I didn't realise the power of the banana!

    Much appreciated

  • And the power of this forum! Hopefully the dietician's advice combined with the BMI calculator and some good veggie nutrition advice all start to make sense now. I think you will be combining milk and bananas to make post HiiT recovery banana milkshakes now :)

  • the forum has been very useful - thanks to you all. I have decided to use the online BMI calculator, as it gives you a daily calorie intake, the different websites and will use the well balanced plate. But I will not be taken any more advice from the weight management consultant as weight can be very emotional linked and being told I was obese when you look at me I am clearly not. I am aware that I am overweight for my height and I think now I am on the right path to deal with this.

  • The consultant would have categorised you as obese because of your BMI, even though strangely it sounds like it wasn't actually in the obese range. But BMI is often described as being a bit of a blunt tool, we have to fine tune it according to our different situations. Lots of athlete websites talk about how BMI isn't all that relevant for bodies with high muscle content. It can be better to look at measurements rather than weight, e.g. make sure your waist is less than half your height, things like that.

  • As Einstein said;

    “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

    In very simple terms;

    Our energy = food

    Other forms = exercise, fat, normal physiological processes.

    So it's energy in, energy out. If we want to lose weight we either need to eat less, move more, or both.

    Having said that, there are some rare medical causes for gaining weight (see below). If you don't have any of these but you are gaining weight or not losing it despite calorie restriction then you must be working out one side of your "energy in energy out equation" incorrectly.

    Medical causes of weight gain;


    As for BMI, make sure they got your height right, it can make a big difference if your measurement made you taller than you actually are.


    underweight = under 18.5,

    normal weight: 18.5 to 25

    overweight: 25 to 30

    obese: over 30

    I remember being really pee'd off when I was told I was overweight. It had built up gradually and I'd got used to it and thought I was a normal weight. But it's not difficult for your BMI to creep over 25.

  • Thank you all for your comments.

    i have just recieved an email from the NHS weight managment program that I follow and I have been told that not to attend any more sessions they are not able to support me as I am a veggie and I exercise. I can't understand why they told me last week that I am obese, when I wear size 10 clothes, don't drink alcohol/ fizz or eat any choc/ sweets etc. I asked them for advice/support but they won't give it to me ... :(

  • I really recommend looking at the NHS 12 week plan. I also started at the upper end of overweight, just below obese. I'm also active too and a vegetarian although I sometimes eat fish. I was drinking alcohol but have cut down now. I felt frustrated that I felt I was being healthy but had still put on so much weight. But I found the 12 week plan very easy to follow, and along with the support on here I got my weight down. So you can still do it without the weight management programme you were attending, just follow the online plan instead :)

  • If they measured your weight (10 st) and height (4ft 11 inches) correctly then your BMI is 28.2, so you're not obese. Worth double checking.

    What is the NHS weight management program you're on? What do they do at the sessions you attend? The reason they've given for not being able to support you sounds very odd. It may be worth asking them to explain this further. Neither exercising nor being vegetarian should stop you from getting support!

    Having said that you can get lots of support from this forum and the 12 week program will tell you what you need to know.

    Good luck!

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