Tag Archives: NHS weight loss programme

NHS 12 Week Review

I am a little behind with reviewing this… I am almost at the end of the C25K which I started after I finished the 12 weeks of the NHS weight loss programme

I don’t really have a lot to say about it. It’s basic premise is move more and eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, some fruit and not too much saturated fat or over processed carbs.

It, like a lot of such programmes, majors on a healthy way of life rather than a fixed “diet”. Change the way you live for weight loss and keeping the weight off… with 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week.

It didn’t work for me because on the food side of things I was mostly there already. There were no quick wins for me such as cutting out junk food or fizzy drinks.

It wasn’t until after I finished the 12 weeks and moved on to something else which placed more emphasis on the exercise and made me focus on counting calories and portion control that my size started to reduce.

I’m not saying this is a bad programme. The advice, same as the advice in the Diet Doctors (which I tried the year before), is sensible and will in most people lead to weight loss and fitness. It’s just that those of us who are already following this advice won’t see any quick results and at the start of a programme you need some sort of reduction to keep the momentum going.

Yes. Diets don’t work, the only way you keep weight off for good is a regime such as this… but you need a kick start to make you feel that it is actually worth adopting a healthy life style.

The C25K leaves me aching and in mild pain most days… but I can see results and therefore I keep going with it!  This didn’t and to be honest all I felt was deprived of some of the things that make the winter bearable such as carbohydrates especially cheese, mashed potato and pasta…


NHS 12 Week Plan – the halfway mark

I think it is safe to say that the first 6 weeks of the NHS plan did not go well. After a good start I went on holiday and then ended up starting again… not that it helped

The main thrust of the NHS 12 week programme is move more, eat less.  That’s ok I can do that… no problem

So how do they suggest I eat less?

  • Watch calories
  • Learn about calories in food
  • Portion control
  • Eat more veg
  • Make sure you have breakfast
  • Embrace healthy ways of cooking
  • Fill up with fibre
  • Porridge
  • Eat soup
  • Avoid alcohol and calorie laden drinks

The problem is that I have been doing all that for some time already so continuing doing it is unlikely to make a major difference. The difficult bits for me are the avoiding alcohol and the eating more veg… and possibly the portion control….so there the bits I need to tackle going forward

On portion control  both myself and the Man are children of parents who were children during the war or just after. My parents and his were taught to eat what was in front of you and it was hell to pay if you didn’t. They brought us up the same way. The problem is that there wasn’t a lot of food to put on your plate during the war but there is now.  Eating everything on your plate is a problem when food is not in scarce supply.

We took a long hard look at the food on our plate. Although we are not serving massive portions or going up for seconds we agreed there was room for some portion reduction.

Alcohol.  I am not sure I could cut this out. You see I like the taste of wine. I like the occasional glass with a meal and loosing weight by cutting out wine is not sustainable if I go straight back to drinking wine when the weight has gone. So greater control on when and how often I consume alcohol. 2 G&T’s and a half bottle of wine a week puts me under the recommended units for a week

Eat more vegetables. This is the real tough one unless I start eating them with my breakfast porridge. My evening meal is not a solo affair and there are a limited number of vegetables the Man and the Boy will eat…I guess I can switch to a vegetarian lunch?

Move more

This didn’t start well. I am one of those people who won’t exercise unless I am told to. I need to be ordered to undertake a specific task on a specific day then I won’t do it

I need goals not vague “you have to do 30 minutes a day of your choice”

It didn’t help that their main suggestions involved apps which didn’t like the age of my phone. Things improved by week 5 when I joined the Gym and signed myself up with the Barre Fit programme as these were definite dates in my diary… I had to turn up

The other suggestion was to build more exercise in your life by finding opportunities to move more like getting off a stop earlier on the bus. Whereas I had been doing this quite a lot in the summer, parking my car away from the office and using the toilet on the 3rd floor instead of the ground floor the descent of the gloomy autumn weather found me parking in the car park more and more.

End result – start weight  12 stone 1

At half way point 11 stone 13

So 2lbs lost… not great but it’s still a reduction


Week 1 Day 1 the retake

Today is weigh in day for the NHS programme. I clock in at 12 stone which is not good as it puts me back at the start of my Thin Club declaration from 3 weeks ago.  However I do get to claim a 31.5 inch waist… maybe the exercise and dieting is having some effect and the weight gain is muscle… however it scores a 44 inch below the belly button across my fat belt.

Measuring the fat belt is not easy with a tape measure… normally I just stand in the bath room, grab the flab between my two hands and exclaim “where the hell did that come from…”

I decide to start  Week 1 again as I didn’t really pay much attention to the 5 a day and failed miserably on the resistance exercises… to start me off  I deliberately forget my lunch

Forgetting my lunch is a planned weight loss technique… stick with me on this…

I think my failure to lose weight last week despite the cycling was because I have stopped parking my car a mile away from work (It’s been raining… I’m a wimp!).  I had been clocking up almost 10,000 steps simply walking between work and car together with a walk at lunchtime.

So lunch had to be foraged for. It wasn’t cheap but it started me off on the right footing… a Prêt super bowl salad and a portion of mango which not only ticked the fibre fruit and veg boxes but gave me 2,500 steps… sadly that will be the total for the day as rain means I am in the car park again with only a 30 second walk between car and desk

However with the Man back I have someone to “babysit” (the Boy is 10 and cannot be left alone in the house for another 4 years yet… and to be honest I am not sure I would trust the Boy in any event, he is bright but lacks awareness of “risk”)

The ride this evening felt good and left my glowing with self righteous thoughts… when I stopped lying on the floor and moaning that is. If you are not here for the cycling then you may want to skip ahead to Wednesday when there is a review. This week unfortunately will be quite heavy on the bike stuff as I am trying to fit four short rides in before the end of the week.

I don’t know about you but it is rare that I come back from holiday lighter than when I left… I am a bit worried about the forthcoming holiday that all the good I have done so far will be undone.

Saturday…wine and a duck

I probably should explain what I am doing here…

At the start of the week I decided to commit myself to the NHS 12 week plan which is based on a combination of diet (calories reduction by about 600 calories a day) and exercise of 150 minutes per week.

My problem isn’t really the food side. The food side I can do easily. The exercise though causes me difficulties. I need something that forces me to get out there. I need a set of instructions

Previously I’ve followed the the Matt Roberts Fat Loss programme. It works for me. It got me down to 11 stone from I think 13 stone. I am not quite sure what my starting weight was as I used a weighing machine at Marylebone Station and I can’t guarantee that the Boy wasn’t teasing me at the time by standing on the scales behind me.

This is what 11 stone looks like. Still big. But happy and active and most of all not wobbling when I dance… except where you’d expect it !

My Mum calls the Matt Roberts programme the Boot Camp. It isn’t. It is still down to your choice to do it or not but it is an organised structure of exercise. The problem with the Matt Roberts programme for me is Week 2 Day 1… which involves running… I can’t run… I would like to fix that… but I am not ready yet.

The NHS programme is a warm up… its slightly structured… it requires cardio exercise 5 times a week and 2 of “resistance…  Admittedly I’ve not managed that at all this week and I’ve only so far fitted in 60 minutes exercise.

Also I’m going to get a bad mark on the chart for the calories today as I’m having dinner with my parents…again… there will be wine… but better there is roast duck 🙂