Weight Loss NHS
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I have just started on the weight loss plan this week and need some help with portion controll.

Stopped smoking 5 months ago and the weight has just piled on. Find it really difficult to avoid treats as have 2 school aged children and end up delving in. Also, I am used to large portions so need some help with that and looking for any healthy recipes for the whole family.

16 Replies

For what it's worth, the way I approach it is 30g of porridge (weighed), 40g of dry pasta or rice (always weighed - not guessed). I limit myself to two slices of bread a day (and actually the dog eats some of that as toast in the morning) and two 'lite' digestive biscuits a day (again the dog helps me out with those).

Chocolate bars I've chucked out of my food intake, but I do grate a tad of chocolate on top of fruit with fat-free yoghurt.

I don't do fizzy drinks anymore, nor cakes. I eat a lot more veg, especially green veg, and more fish adn more fruit.. If I eat bacon - it's got the fat trimmed off. If I eat chicken, it's without the skin (usually), If I fry, I use a squirt of that low calorie spray stuff.

As for the treats .... well you can probably accept that smoking is something that some people do - but you don't do. Make it the same for the treats, eh? Hell, the kids need more energy than you do - they'll burn it off in the playground, etc.

I used to be awful for the KitKat / Snickers / Crunchie or whatever with a cup of tea sat at the desk in the office. I just don't do that any more. Me? I just don't 'do' chocky bars!

And I don't do it because I've still got plenty of weight to lose and I'm fed up with carting it around with me and the negative effects it has on my health and wellbeing.

And I feel so much better since I started this regime.

Good luck.


Thanks for the sound advice. Having been on yo yo diets most of my adult life the time has come to finally shed the pounds and keep them off! If I could stop smoking then there's no reason why I can't shed the excess weight. Just need to keep thinking positive.


Absolutely! If you can summon the will-power and self-discipline to give cigarettes the elbow ...

It's about re-training yourself into new and better habits around your eating and your activity/exercise habits.. If you've not read around the NHS live well lose weight pages, I'd advise you to do so. Lot's of very good and totally free information there including the free 12 week plan. And lot's fo interesting views and discussions on these blogs too.


I had already looked at the NHS fit for life pages and had dowloaded the 12 week plan and meal recipes. Tried out the cottage pie on the family last night and they loved it! The shopping lists included also mean I only buy what I need instead of overbuying and ending up tossing some in the bin! Saving money too and means the whole family are eating healthily.


I know about treats. Got two very skinny kids who need any extra fat poss. Hence lots of treats. Why not keep the kids treats in a box and include somes healthier options. Have some healthy treats in a seperate box just for you.


Good idea! I have managed to stay away from the kids sweets so far and just snacking on fresh fruit.


Here's some tips that have worked for me:

Make "healthy" snacks as easy to grab as the bikkies and crisps ..eg have chopped carrots and apples in the fridge.

The smaller your plate the bigger your portion of food looks

Make time to enjoy your food. Try to eat only when you are sitting down and not doing anything else. Actually pause to focus on what your mouthful of food feels and tastes like.

Play games with your "healthy" food ... ever tried a blind tasting of several different varieties of apple or grape ... can you tell red pepper from green or yellow ...can you tell the difference between different kinds of salad leaves.

Eat slower so your body has a chance to register what you've eaten. Try putting your cutlery down between mouthfuls or (less extreem) dont prepare the next mouthful until you have completely finished the previous one.

Fill up on veggies ..particularly green ones.

Hope some of these help


Some good tips there! Blind tasting sounds like fun. Portion size is my biggest problem but seem to be managing it this week!


Definitely get some of those diet food weighing scales that do small quantities (down to 1g) and weigh everything - to start with, at least. I found that my normal portions of rice, pasta, etc were horrendous in terms of calories and modified my portions to be smaller as part of a calorie counted diet. I realise that even now I still underestimate portion sizes when working out my calorie intake - but the scales have really helped. Breakfast cereal is full of carbs and sugar and I was horrified when I realised how many calories are in them. Even toast or bread and jam / peanut butter / Marmite is less calories! I have porridge most days now, measured with a standard 50g scoop. Treats are ok from time to time but need balancing with added activity!

All the very best with your weight loss, we all want you to succeed!


Got a new set of digital scales and have started weighing foods. See what you mean with the portion sizes! I have been eating way over my calorie allowance but have been making a concious effort with my portion sizes compared to what I used to eat which has helped. Eating plenty of fresh fruit as snacks rather than biscuits etc. I have lost 5.5lbs so far in the first two weeks. Weigh in tomorrow!


Good job you! A food scale is really important to have, as otherwise we tend to overestimate depending on how hungry we are.



Congratulations on losing 51/2 pounds - that's brilliant

to lose 1 lb of fat you have to reduce your calories over the week by 3500, that's 500 per day. You can either do that by not eating as much so 2000 calories for a man and 1500 calories for a woman or do exercise that burns up 500 calories a day.

So if you can't reduce your food quantity try and increase your exercise. This can be as simple as doing more walking, or gardening, housework, dancing. It doesn't always have to be at a gym (where it costs)

Or do a combination of the two; reduce your portion size (like you are doing) and be more active

Good luck


Thanks Nutritioncoach

Seem to be doing okay. I've really started to watch the calories and note down everything I eat and drink. With regards to exercise I haven't embarked on that yet as going in for shoulder surgery in the next few weeks and unable to do cardio exercises at the moment. Been doing a bit of walking though which is better than nothing. Weigh in tomorrow so hope the scales are kind!


I'm sure if you are watching your portion size, reducing your consumption of high fat, salt and sugar foods you will be well on the way to your target weight.

Good luck.


Use a smaller plate. Eat slowly so your brain can recognise the 'full'signal - people eat too much because they eat too fast. Weigh everything - get some accurate kitchen scales. Record everything - use an app like My Fitness Pal. It's free and will help you set your daily calorie allowance and it has a food diary and a huge data base so most of the work is done for you. Exercise more, even if it's just walking.

Sounds easy doesn't it? It takes a lot of will power and self discipline but you've already used these two things to stop smoking so you know you have these in abundance. Harness them again to lose weight. You go, girl!!!!


Well done!! I stopped smoking 20 years ago and only this year started to address the weight problem that resulted.

I agree with everything the others said and its a great opportunity to get the whole family eating healthily, albeit with more calories than you.

I have a problem cooking for one in the sense that rice especially is very difficult to cook properly in a small quantity. At least if you know what your cooked portion is you can cook it with everyone elses.


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