NHS Weight Loss Plan: What to Expect on the 12 Week Plan – Women's Health UK

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Free to download and easy to use
Heard of the NHS weight loss plan? It’s the national roll out of a 12-week guide to losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way and will, hopefully, make the nation more resilient to COVID-19. At least, that’s what the government hopes.
Free to access, this plan requires no previous exercise or diet experience, just the commitment to keep going, even when it feels tough. We believe in you, we just need you to believe in yourself!

The NHS weight loss plan is a 12-week guide to help people lose weight for good. Part of the government’s push to tackle rising obesity levels and get people up and moving, the plan will help you keep track of your exercise, diet and weight loss. You can choose between an app or printable, downloadable PDFs.
The free to download NHS Weight Loss Plan app is available for iPhone and Android.
Yep, 100% free. The app is designed to make sustainable weight loss accessible for all, which means you won’t need to pay a penny to track your progress and learn new healthy habits.

From learning to make healthier food choices, to tracking your activity and progress as well as exercise plans to help lose weight, there are a number of features of the NHS weight loss plan designed to help you on your 12-week journey.
The plan is simple to follow and is designed to ‘help you lose weight a safe rate of 0.5kg to 1kg (1lb to 2lb) each week by sticking to a daily calorie allowance.’

Broken down into weeks and days, there are certain targets to hit. Daily you’ll be asked to record your total calorie intake, amount of minutes you’ve exercised and whether you’ve eaten five portions of fruit and veg over the course of the day.

Guideline daily calorie amounts vary but the NHS’ guidelines state that women should consume 1400 kcal a day and men, 1900 kcal per day.
Weekly, you’ll weigh in twice – once at the beginning of the week and once at the end. You’ll also be asked to record your waist measurement with a tape measure.

The app makes life slightly easier, in that it prompts you to record all the information in a simple way.
Firstly, you’ll be asked to pick an answer that reflects why you want to lose weight. From ‘I want to feel fitter and healthier’ to ‘I’ve been advised to lose weight’, ‘I’ve been diagnosed with a health condition’, ‘I have a special occasion to go to’, or another reason you can write in, the plan says that ‘thinking about your personal goals can help you be more successful’.
Whilst going to a special occasion doesn’t seem like the most sustainable reason for trying to get to a healthy weight, whatever gets you started is great. Just remember, long term goals will keep you going for the long term and not just for wearing a big hat in a church.
Next up, you’ll calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). This will determine if your weight is in a healthy range based on your height, weight, age, ethnicity, and activity levels.
Research has shown that those with a BMI of 30 or over are doubly at risk of being hospitalised with coronavirus, hence the push to get the nation eating better and moving more. From this calculation the app will work out how many calories you should be consuming per day and suggest a healthy weight range for you to aim for.

But, before we get carried away with our BMI calculations, it is important to note that this measurement of health is an area of great contention between experts. Because it doesn’t take lean muscle mass or body fat into account, someone who’s shorter with more muscle (which is more dense than fat) could wrongly be diagnosed as being obese or having an unhealthy body mass index.
So, whilst BMI can be used as a guide remember there are other ways to measure health too – investing in smart scales to check your body fat percentage or booking an appointment with a specialist could help you get a clearer picture.
Each day you’ll be prompted to fill in your ‘diary’ – this contains questions related to the food you’ve eaten, amount of fruit and vegetables you’ve consumed and if you’ve done any exercise and how long for. It’s clean and simple to use and helps keep constant track of how you’re going.

If you’re at a loss as to what types of exercise you should do (and how long for) the NHS guidelines for adults aged 19-64 suggest that you should:
There’s also a ‘discover’ section of the app packed full with articles on healthy eating, exercise, alcohol consumption, tips for success and maintaining your healthy weight loss.

And, once you’ve scoured all the info available on the app, check out other fitness apps that can help you count calories, log your activity or help look after your sleep hygiene.
The third section of the app is reserved for tracking your progress on a chart generated by the app. Your weekly weight and waist measurements are kept here to help make seeing your journey as a whole easier than ever.
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