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Tips to help you lose weight

There are lots of ways you can lose weight, from making small changes to what you eat and drink to finding more support.

If you're overweight, losing weight will give you more energy and help to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


Find out if you're a healthy weight

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement that works out if you're a healthy weight for your height.

You'll need your height and weight to calculate your BMI.

Use the BMI healthy weight calculator

Things you can do to lose weight

You do not have to do everything at once, try one thing at a time and find what works for you.


  • get active for 150 minutes a week – you can break this up into shorter sessions

  • aim to get your 5 A Day – 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit or vegetables count as 1 portion

  • aim to lose 1 to 2lbs, or 0.5 to 1kg, a week

  • read food labels – products with more green colour coding than amber and red are often a healthier option

  • swap sugary drinks for water – if you do not like the taste, add slices of lemon or lime for flavour

  • cut down on food that's high in sugar and fat – start by swapping sugary cereal for wholegrain alternatives

  • share your weight loss plan with someone you trust – they can help motivate you when you have a bad day


  • do not lose weight suddenly with diets

  • do not stock unhealthy food – popcorn, fruit and rice cakes can be healthier alternatives

  • do not skip meals – you might end up snacking more because you feel hungry

  • do not finish your plate if you're full – you can save leftover food for the next day

Further information

Download a free 12 week weight loss plan

Start moving more and eating healthier with the free NHS Weight Loss Plan or sign-up for a weight loss support group.

Visit the NHS Better Health website

Access over 100 healthy recipes

Filter by ingredient or time and find a new favourite for the whole family.

Visit the NHS Healthier Families website

Free NHS exercise videos

Follow an instructor-led workout from the comfort of your own home. Choose from dance, yoga and more.

NHS Fitness Studio

5 A Day

Find out why you should get 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and what a portion size look like.

5 A Day: what counts?


Self-refer for help with your weight

If you need help managing your weight, you might be able to refer yourself directly to services that can help you, without seeing a GP.

To find out if there are any services in your area:

  • ask the reception staff at your GP surgery
  • check your GP surgery’s website
  • contact your integrated care board (ICB) – find your local ICB
  • search online for NHS weight management services near you

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Page last reviewed: 17 March 2023
Next review due: 17 March 2026