Weight Loss NHS
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Does this sound like sensible food?


I'm barely losing weight on my current calorie target so thinking of reducing it. I've always struggled to get a balance of food groups and not just eat fatty foods all day. Does this sound sensible and balanced eating routine? I have 8 stone to lose if that affects your opinion.

Breakfast 8am 40-50g cereal with semi-skimmed milk, a piece of fruit and 200ml fruit juice. Or sometimes 2 slices bread with a protein like bacon, sausages or baked beans with fruit juice. Or sometimes a single pasty such as pain au chocolat with fruit juice.

Lunch 1pm 2 slices bread (or a roll) with some kind of cheese/meat based filling, 2 portions fruit/veg and a side such as crisps, granola bar or cocktail sausages.

Dinner 6pm 1/4 plate starchy food, 1/4 plate protein, 1/2 plate veg, small amounts of gravy, ketchup, other sauce.

Dessert - smallish portion of whatever the family are having that day.

Fruit between meals if hungry.

I'm estimating this to come out at about 1700 calories a day. Does that seem about right?

20 Replies

Check the NHS BMI calculater... then apply the range they suggest... It works!!

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I tried but I gain weight on the suggested range.

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Without knowing all your personal details, it's difficult to know, but as Minniewinny has suggested, be guided by the NHS BMI calculator, for your calorie allowance.

I suggest that you join the Daily Diary, to see what the rest of us are eating, to then see if it's something that you would be willing and able to try.

I have to admit, that there's very little on your menu that I eat and I've lost 7 stone.

I don't think you need to change the amount you're eating, unless it's to increase your calories, but I think you need to look at the types of food that you're eating.


Hi 8stonetogo

Three things worry me. First ESTIMATING and do you PORTION CONTROL ? .And no sign of EXERCISE.

Only have cereals or Toast for breakfast .No bacon , sausages.

Lunch. Sandwich or Roll with salad, chicken. not cheese and no crisp or cocktail sausages, or Granola bar.

Dinner sounds ok.

Check your BMI and Find your Cal intake. I have done the 12 week Plan and Lost 3st 5 lb.

And with exercise as well. Good Luck

Kind Regards Phil62

PS. Have treats Like crisp , Sausages and Granola bars . But not every day.


Well I don't know your calorie allowance, 8stonetogo, but odd though this may sound, most of us on this forum recognise that not all calories are equal! I would not eat a pasty or pain au chocolat or crisps either, except as a special calorie counted treat! Nor would I drink calorie laden fruit juices, I would eat the fruit instead.

You come up with an estimate of 1700 calories - how did you come to that number when your descritions are so vague? My estimate ( and after decades of calorie counting and weight watching, I am fairly confident about this) would be at least double your calculation.

If you are serious about losing weight, and it sounds as though you are, then this will involve some homework on your part. (Yes, I was a teacher in my former life 😄) Spend some time getting to grips with a calorie counting app - I use MyFitnessPal but the NHS calorie counter is very good. Invest in some good digital scales. Get used to weighing everything out, writing it down and calculating your consumption accurately.

Spend some time too looking at the Daily Diary on this forum and see what others are eating. Cook using the Change4Life recipe app with calorie counted recipes. Or invest in a cookbook like the Hairy Dieters - again all calorie counted.

Remember the words of Roosevelt- "Nothing worth having comes easy"

Ask advice on this forum. These people are amazing. And I wish you all the best! 👍


My calculations are using estimates my dietician gave me.

40g oats - 150

200ml s/s milk - 100

Fruit juice - 150

2 slices bread - 150

Spread - 50

Low-fat cheddar (match box size) - 100

Crisps - 150

2 portions fruit - 100

1/4 plate starch - 150

1/4 plate protein - 150

1/2 plate veg - 50

Cooking oil - 50

Sauces - 50

Small dessert - 300

Total - 1700 calories


Well I don't want to argue with your dietician, 8stonetogo, but you did ask "Does this sound like sensible food?"😕

I would say your dietician has given you some very rough guides. If you use the NHS calorie counter, or MyFitnessPal, you can start to be more accurate in your calorie counting. For example, your diet sheet says 2 portions fruit 100cal....Well an average apple is 80 cal, banana 110 cal, peach 50 cal, 4 large strawberries 25 cal... and so on. A slice of Warburtons Farmhouse white is 110 cal. 10g of Lurpak is 72cal.

So do you see what I mean? It soon adds up to much more than you think! Trust me, I'm not a novice at this weight loss game. And I do want to help you. I hope I don't just sound like a bossy know-it-all! Listen to some of those on here who have lost several stone. They will say the same.

Again, I wish you all the best. You can do this! 👍


My BMI calculator result says I should be having between 2278-2929 calories per day. I know I'm obese, but that sounds ridiculous to me. Right now, I'm only eating around 1,700-1,800 calories, sometimes it's even lower than that.

I'm not going to lose weight by eating what they're suggesting to me...

Your diet seems perfectly healthy to me. To keep track of the calories I'm consuming, I'm using a calorie counting app called FitnessPal. It also factors in exercise to calculate your caloric deficit.

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I think you and 8stonetogo need to read these, DiDiZia :)



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I've heard of starvation mode before, but I don't feel as though I'm eating significantly more than what I usually eat. I highly doubt I ate over 3,000 caloires per day like they seem to be suggesting.

I'll try to eat 2,000 calories, but that'll be very difficult for me. My stomach feels smaller, I've been throwing away food when I'm full up. There also isn't an abundance of healthy food in my house, as I have no conrol over what my mother decides to buy.

Oh well, I'll throw some extra mackerel into my dinner.

I've been having two meals a day, I've kind of lost my appitite. Maybe I'll start having lunch again.


There seems to be a lot of meat and processed foods in your diet. These can have a lot of hidden nasties which could be hindering your progress and preventing you from getting the correct nutrients. Looking at cronometer, your pain au chocolate and orange juice is coming out to a minimum of 400 calories. There is also almost no nutrients what so ever. Juice can have as much sugar as soft drink, and sugar not burned off will be stored in your fat cells. I agree with the other posters, you need to be looking at the calories rather than guessing. I would also recommend looking at Cronometer as it gives you a break down of your nutrients and vitamins intake. Try to have as much green on the board as possible.


Just to add context I will NOT be calorie counting. I have a history of eating disorders and this will not end well. I have an estimated calorie plan using the method my dietician taught me to estimate portions and calories. I know pain au chocolat don't have much nutrition but if I restrict my food intale down tp "clean" foods I will relapse for sure. Lean meat is good, my dietician suggested eating at least two portions per day and yes, that included sausages. Also low-fat cheese was recommended as a good source of dairy by my dietician and the NHS so I don't understand why everyone is so anti eating cheese or sausages ...

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I understand people are trying to help but some of this advice seems far too restrictive and almost characteristic of an eating disorder ... I'm worried there are a lot of people on here with a history of eating disorders and some of this advice is very black amd white - e.g. don't eat cheese sandwiches, don't eat crisps and I'm worried about the effect it might have. This advice has already sent me into a panic attack.


Very sorry, 8stonetogo, just read this. You can ignore what I said earlier. But can I just say, you did come on here asking for advice, and helpful folk that we are, we thought we were giving you good advice. You didn't say you had a history of eating disorders. I am sorry you have suffered like this, it must be awful. I think in that case this might not be the right forum for you, as most of us here follow regimes which restrict calorie intake in some way or other. Again, I wish you luck for the future.


I know, sorry. I should have mentioned eating disorders earlier. I was hoping people would OK what I was eating and I would go and get on with it. I didn't expect the feedback I got and it threw me as for me that is an exceptionally healthy eating pattern. I've eaten two pastries every day for breakfast this week so to then be told even one pastry sometimes is too much is a bit of a shock and I've found it quite demoralising. This issue is there isn't much support for people recovering from eating disorders and so this forum is the best help I have. I need a long term dietician and therapist to help me, but with the current mental health system that isn't going to happen :(

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G'day my lovely,

I'm sorry you've had to deal with eating disorders. I've not experienced it so it's not right for me to comment on it. For what it's worth, I have depression and anxiety disorder and I know my own struggles. It's not easy. You need to take each day as it comes. Perhaps the answer for you is not to panic or worry Over the whole days food, but just deal with one piece of food at a time. Perhaps instead of snacking on fruit between meals, you can have leafy green veg such as spinach and kale (leafy greens will give you a huge vitamin hit and are virtually calorie free so well worth adding on a daily basis) and choosing different veg to go with it each day such as carrots, peppers, mushrooms, celery etc. It may not be as sweet an option but it will lower your calories and vary your diet. Maybe change your breakfast to porridge or overnight oats with blueberries and Apple with an orange on the side instead of fruit juice. Or replacing sausages and bacon which are very processed meats to whole, unprocessed cuts (and I am a vegan so I'm struggling with that bit of advice, however I want you to give yourself a more whole foods diet without making too many changes to your routine. If your anything like me, my routines are carefully planned and big changes can really throw me).

The most important thing to remember is that regardless of whether you count calories or not, you shouldn't be hungry. If you are, reach for vegetables in as much of a variety as you can. Sometimes the problem is not how low the calories are but how little change there is to the variety being consumed.

None of us are dieticians so we can't advise you on what you SHOULD do and your dietician has seen you and advised you based on your circumstances so you should first and foremost look at the advice you've been given. But if you ever want to chat, there is always someone here. Your not alone.


Hi 8stonetogo I think you have a lot of carbohydrates in there might want to think about more protein and healthy fats.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are really not good for us. Have a look at the Daily Diary thread you will get loads of ideas about food choices.

I would also check the BMI calculator and check your calorie range.

Good luck, keep coming on the forum and joining in the conversations. There are so many inspirational folk on here, everyone will encourage you.



I found this forum which might perhaps be helpful to you, 8stonetogo.

healthunlocked.com/healthye... Or possibly this one, which doesn't focus on calories, just healthy eating.


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hi 8stonetogo .. everyone one on here has an opinion on what a good diet looks like and you asked for feedback on your normal food intake.

i started 6mths ago at 19st and have almost lost 2stone.. i know its slow but i now eat a lot more than i used to. im trying to undo all the years of yoyo dieting and fasting etc and its taking time for my body to adjust to know that im not starving it anymore.

I dont calorie count myself but dont miss any meals now.. i do try to stick to a low carb diet. When i looked at your diet straight away i thought that is a lot of carbs but if your using wholemeal bread for your sandwiches then that is ok.. i would stay away from white bread & pastry's if you can.

i eat bacon & egg for breakfast regulary, i dont eat too many sausages but if they are good quality and not full of crap then that is fine to eat as well.

I think a bag of crisps as a treat is fine but wouldnt have 1 every day as there is no nutritional value in them.. could you maybe have a salad on the side instead ? i also love cheese/cream/milk and eat them all the time without weighing or calorie counting so maybe swap your pudding for some strawberries & cream instead.

This is just my personal opinion on what is working for me but you got to find what works for you and stick with it for a month or 2 ... if it doesnt work then try something else.

Good luck x


Hi 8stonetogo. I don't have much knowledge of the plans that your other contributors are on, or food combining or anything like that. What I can offer you is how I have lost 2 stone in 4 months this year. I have arthritis, and needed to lose some weight prior to a knee replacement later this year. So I have used a Weight Watchers plan -- I don't go to meetings, just use the knowledge that my wife has through doing it before.

The great thing about WW is that you are not restricted to any food groups, and you don't specifically have to limit fats or carbs. All foods are available to you, but every food has a "points" value and you have a daily ration of points. Things that are high in fat and sugars have a high value, but there are many foods that have very small or even no points value; it's your choice how you structure your day/week. If you want to eat fish and chips or a take-away you can, as long as you balance that with other no or low point nosh, which are often fruit and vegetables. Tonight we had baked chicken breast with roast potatoes and three other veg, followed by strawberries and ice-cream, and are able to easily assimilate that into our diet plan.

I'll gladly expand on the plan if you like.

I understand how demoralising it can be to try to limit your intake when the rest of the family are tucking in to all the lovely food that you really want to eat; try to get your family to eat broadly similar food to you so you don't feel you're left out on your own.

Try taking smaller bites, and chewing your food for longer. The longer the nice taste stays round your taste buds the longer your pleasure will be ... once you swallow, it's gone! Take longer over your plateful and your stomach will seem to tell you sooner that it's had enough.

Exercise is important too; I don't mean going to the gym, or jogging. A daily half-hour walk is good, or a family outing to go swimming. Or even (perish the thought!) a bit of extra housework!

I wish you all the best with your efforts.


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