If you're overweight, making small, realistic changes to your diet and level of physical activity can help you to lose weight.
Download the NHS 12-week weight loss plan and start your weight loss journey.
The plan, which has been downloaded more than 3 million times, is designed to help you lose weight safely – and keep it off.
The keys to success:
- make realistic changes to your diet and physical activity that can become a part of your regular routine
- the best way to lose weight is to make long-term changes to diet and physical activity that result in a steady rate of weight loss
- aim to lose weight at around 0.5kg to 1kg a week (1lb to 2lb), until you achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI)
Below are some helpful tips to start your journey towards a healthy weight. Once you're on the way, there is lots of information and advice that can help you keep going in our Lose weight section.
Lots of us eat and drink more than we realise and do little physical activity. The result is often weight gain.
To lose weight, we need to change our current habits. This means eating less – even when eating a healthy, balanced diet – and getting more active.
Fad diets and exercise regimes that result in rapid weight loss are unlikely to work for long, because these kinds of lifestyle changes can't be maintained. Once you stop the regime, you're likely to return to old habits and regain weight.
You can take 6 actions today that will start your journey towards a healthy weight:
- Download the NHS weight loss plan.
- Check if you're a healthy weight with our BMI healthy weight calculator. If you need to lose a few pounds, you'll be given a daily personal calorie target.
- Take the next snack you plan to have and swap it for something healthier. Aim to do the same every day: you've adopted your first weight loss habit.
- Drinks, including alcohol, contain calories too, so try to cut down on sugary drinks.
- Find a way to fit just 1 extra walk into your day. Check out our walking tips.
- Try to have breakfast every morning. Get ideas in healthy breakfasts (for people who hate breakfast).
Do this week
There are 4 actions you can take this week:
- Plan a healthy weekly shop. Check out our 20 tips to eat well for less.
- Eating out? Read our tips on foods to avoid and healthier options in Healthier takeaways.
- If you're already walking more, try adding one more activity. For more ideas, see our fitness section.
- Identify this week's diet danger zones, so you don't derail your weight loss efforts.
- Find out your BMI
- Height and weight chart
- Hidden causes of weight gain
- 9 medical reasons for putting on weight
- How can I speed up my metabolism?
- The truth about carbs
- Understanding calories
- Very low calorie diets
- Calorie checker
- Start the NHS weight loss plan
- Sign up for email support
- How much weight do you need to lose?
- 12 tips to help you lose weight
- Non-food rewards for losing weight
- How to diet
- Start losing weight
- Top diets review
- 10 weight loss myths
- Keep weight off
- Should you lose weight fast?
- How your GP can help you lose weight
- How to lose weight in a wheelchair
- Managing weight with a learning disability
- The National Child Measurement Programme
- Overweight children aged 2 to 5
- What can I do if my child is overweight?
- What if my child is very overweight?
- Healthy-weight children: advice for parents
- Underweight adults
- Keeping your weight up in later life
- Underweight teen boys
- Underweight teen girls
- Supporting someone with an eating disorder
- Underweight children aged 2 to 5
- Underweight children aged 6 to 12
- Start losing weight
- Weight loss success stories
- 'My 12-week weight loss journey'
- 'I lost 5 stone for my 40th'
- 'I did 10 diets in 50 days'
- 'I beat middle-age spread'
- 'My gastric band surgery'
- 'I want to be a good role model'
- 'I remember being 10 and feeling fat'
This article along with others on a broad range of related subjects can also be seen on the NHS website at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/start-losing-weight/.