Weight Loss NHS

Weekly meal plan

I am trying to finally finish a weekly meal plan but trying to get the portion sizes right gives me a headache. I have a "Low-fat Diet Sheet" from Patient.co.uk and a booklet i was given by my doctor called So you want to lose weight....for good by the British Heart Foundation.

I thought the hardest part would be giving up Fizzy Drinks and Chocolate but it looks like it's going to be giving up Protein.

Can anyone help me or give me any suggestions? Is there anything i should have more or less of because of my Hyperthyroidism. I tried researching it online but end up more confused.

Also, I was told to try the 1,800kcal plan that's in the booklet but on the BMI calculator it says 1,400kcal...wish should i follow?



13 Replies

Thank you i'll have a read.

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Hi Nikki, well done on planning your meals for the week. It's not an easy job when you first start. I'm also pleased to see that fizzy drinks and chocolate are not going to be a real problem. You've done very well already :)

I can't comment on the protein contents of your meal plan because I'm not aware of your protein intake levels.

Portion size will yield the best results and it's really important to keep these under control. It's a pain for a month or so, but you soon learn a few tricks on the way which make it easier.

If you have specific problems with portions, simply post the questions to the forum, that's what everyone is here for.

This is a link to a post where I was experiencing problems with portioning cooked rice. It's quite light reading, but I hope it gives you the confidence to post your own questions.


Best of luck



I can't even remember the amount of times i've tried to start dieting. i always give up the Chocolate and fizzy drinks first/straight away so i know i can do it if i try (maybe my brain is partly trained to it now haha) although i am finding it harder to replace the fizzy drinks as the NAS flavoured water i used to have tastes horrible to me now. I just need to find an alternative other than water and i'm sure i could do that long term. I do still have the days where i really crave chocolate and tend to eat a whole 200g bar in one or over the period of an hour or two but when i don't crave it i don't miss it.

For the Protein i was just going off the booklet i got from my doctor which is 2 portions a day. when you think that includes, Meat, Eggs, Fish etc that's almost impossible for me. i'm really gonna struggle with it. I love my meat and salad's aren't the same without eggs.

I gave up with my weekly plan last night as it was getting on my nerves :) may give it another go today. i know the meals i want and what to have with them but it's just the portion sizes and getting used to it.

I might put it on here later and see what people think.if i need to add anything or change anything etc...


I may get some flack for suggesting this, but here goes anyway and if anyone wants to give their opinion, please do, as I'm not a dietitian.

The guide to how much protein you should have, is just that, it's a guide. I would work with the calories more than the protein. I don't know what you're calorie allowance is, you should have an upper and lower calorie allowance. I would aim for the lower of the two.

So lets say you're allowance is 1400 for arguments sake.

I would sit down and say I will have 200 cal for breakfast 200 cal for lunch and 800 for dinner, leaving 200 cal for snacks. That's how I may consider spending my calories.

So the daily menu may be:

Breakfast 2 x slices of toast 200cal

Lunch salad bowl from Tesco with some added ham, tuna or feta.200 cal

Dinner Chicken stir fry with noodles at around 800 cal

Leaving 200 cal left for snacks should you get hungry.

Keep a record of your daily intake as this will build up into your very own diet and recipe book.

Monitor how you get on, don't go too hungry you must eat.

If it transpires you need more calories a day, then have them but try not to go over your upper limit allowance for the day.

It's important to go for foods that sate you're hunger the most. This will likely be whole meal un processed foods and fruit and vegetables. A lot of people prefer porridge in the morning, because it's slow release energy and keeps you going longer.

Keep away from any pre processed foods for the time being and watch out for low fat products, they often have more sugar.

These are just ideas and not instructions and you can manipulate or pick and choose whatever suits you the most.

That's a start anyway

I hope it's of some help. :)

PS My recent posts healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh...




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Thank you Tewson,

That was a lot easier to understand than my booklet.

On the BMI calculator i have put in the same information but have two different daily intake rates.

It currently says between 1854-2384 but the first time i did it, it had just over 1400 and i can't remember what the upper limit was.

Which reading would you go off of if it was you? my Doctor has said to me to try the 1800 calorie one listed in the book or the 1500 if i wanted but i've listed all my meals and a lot of them aren't very calorific so i was thinking the 1400?


It's best to start off at the recommended amoun of 1800 calories, which is pretty generous I'd say. The likelihood that you will eat exactly 1800 cals per day is zero. It's only a guide.

As your weight reduces, then so will your calorie allowance. To overdue the dieting from the offset can cause an early relapse into old habits, because it's less sustainable.

The change is for life and we're very much hoping it will be a long life :) Therefore, taking things at a more gentle rate will not adversely affect the end result over time.

To go in dieting too heavily, is unsustainable and may make you feel like a failure and give up. We don't want that to happen. So it's small steps forward and no going back :)

You will be celebrating along with the rest of us before you know it :)

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I followed the NHS plan with 1400 calories. I think the number of calories depends how much calories you use in the first place. the idea is to lose more calories than you eat. I also do have one square of dark chocolate now and again. 70%cocoa. I find my chocolat craving has gone.

Check any low fat, store bought products, for the sugar content and be wise about it. Try to give up or to reduce alcohol, soft drinks, juices, smoothies and chocolate 👿, ice cream ......

There is probably a reason why your medical experts suggested 1800 calories so maybe discuss your options with them.

Doing the NHS program changed my life and I have gone from an obnoxious fat person wearing dark tent shape clothes to a slim fit happy colourful smiling stylish individual

Good luck, you will get there👗

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Hi nhs2015,

Thank you! That's great about your weight loss!

It feels never-ending to me right now. I know it will be worth it in the end but it's just the getting started. if i'm struggling with a meal plan what's the rest of it going to be like!?! :)

What things did you do to help you?


Nikki, so many things...... Example : 1) removing all the junk food including biscuits from around the house. 2) Planning: Planning our meals in advance and having all and only the correct ingredients in the house. 3) staying away from shopping centre and going there just for our planned meals ingredients. 4) checking recipes from the NHS website. Making a list of all my own favourite recipes with calories count. Making an alphabetic list of our used ingredients with calories count. I can refer to the list when I do my nightly adding up. 5) having a spot in the house (study) where I keep a file and printout of anything relating to this journey including fitness. 6) reading each night each week NHS 12 week write up comprehensively, every day. 7) still treating myself now and again (in moderation). 8) starting C25K running program and having a go at Strenght and Flex. 9) music : using music to dance around the house while cleaning.....

Example of basic Meal plan :

fish / veges or salad

home made hamburgers / veges or salad

grilled chicken breast / vegetable or salad

curried chicken / coucous / veges.

Lamb roast / veges / 1 small potato.

2 sausages / salad

Lots of vegetable soups.

I make a soya and sweet chilli sauce with the fish. I buy specific yummies sausages. Our hamburgers have mince, onion, garlic, tomato paste, chilli chutney, mustard, egg. I use vegetables as my main food (two portions). I only have a potato once a week, or pasta or coucous. Rice every two weeks. All those in very small portion.

Cauliflower rice with curry or satay chicken is also a good one. Delicious actually. . NHS have a great apricot and banana loaf which I make as muffins. We still use those as snacks now and again.

I cut up carrot and celery sticks to have as snacks during the day. I keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge. NHS has a lot of ideas for snacks and recipes. Just look through their website. It has oodles of information.

So planning is the key and makes the job easy.

Oh well, enough for the day. Going to bed now.


Thank you. I'll use some of them for my planning too :)


You could perhaps try the "hand" measurement for approximate portion sizes.

Calories are only ever approximate, you could try the higher number and see how you get on.



Thanks again Penel


Hi Nikki, I don't know if this will help. In our house with 2 overweight men and 1 overweight woman, we tend to aim for the following protein servings. I've put it into grams but if you work in ounces, say that 30g are an ounce, will be near enough.

2 eggs, 2 rashers or medallions of bacon, 2 sausages, 100-150g of lean raw meat, 30-60g of cooked meat (ie for sandwiches), 60-100g raw fish, half a can of tuna etc, 105g or third of a can of baked beans or other pulses, 150ml milk, yogurt, 20-40g cheese, 50-100g tofu or other vegetarian protein.

If we are really hungry, we just have another portion often of a different protein, so instead of 2 eggs for breakfast, I would have 2 eggs and 2 medallions, with 1 slice of toast and loads of mushrooms and tomatoes. The guys would maybe add baked beans and a sausage as well. Hope that helps.


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