NHS Low Calorie Diet frequently asked questions

Is this programme safe to follow?

Yes, this programme is safe to follow. It is supported by research and experience. During the programme, your health and your medications will be monitored by your healthcare team. Your Diabetes Practitioner will be working closely with you, and your healthcare team, to provide support at every step.
There are strict medical criteria that you must meet in order to participate in this programme. There are some medical conditions that might mean you are not able to take part, however this is something you will be screened for before getting started. If there is any cause for concern, or any changes to your health, please update your Diabetes Practitioner or your GP as soon as possible.

What will I be eating/drinking on this plan?

During the stage 1 of the programme, you will be on a ‘Total Diet Replacement’ (also called TDR). You will consume specially designed products in the form of shakes or soups, instead of your usual meals (for breakfast, lunch and dinner). The TDR products will provide you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs whilst also causing weight loss. If you feel you need to, you can also include non-starchy vegetables at any time of the day, in any amount, during stage 1. Your drinks must be calorie free, which means no sugar containing drinks, no milk in tea or coffee and no alcohol. In the second stage of the programme, you will be gradually reintroducing balanced meals back into your diet.

Will I achieve remission from type 2 diabetes by joining this programme?

The programme is based on research. Research shows that the more weight you lose the more chance you have of achieving remission of type 2 diabetes. It is important to know that remission of type 2 diabetes may not be possible for everyone. However, even losing 5% of your weight can have health benefits including fewer medications, improved blood glucose levels and reduced risk of complications of type 2 diabetes.

Should I be taking supplements whilst on this plan?

If you have been prescribed supplements, we recommend that you follow the advice of your healthcare team. You may wish to try a supplement if you experience any side effects whilst on the programme e.g. fibre supplement for constipation.

What happens if I miss the first or second session?

The first and second sessions are important because they give you lots of information about the programme. If you miss these sessions, then you will miss a lot of information. The programme is also set out in a very specific way to support you at key points. By missing the first session you will be out of time with the rest of your group, and with the programme. If you miss the first or second session, then we recommend that you start the programme again. If you are in a group we will try and offer you another group, however because this is a pilot places are limited.

What happens if I miss sessions later on?

If you miss any session after session 2 then you reduce your chances of long-term success. These sessions are vital in helping to build healthy habits and learn new skills. If you do miss a later session then we will try and offer you another session, but if you are in a group this may not always be possible (as this is a pilot places are limited). You will continue through the programme on your schedule e.g. the clock does not stop.

Can I combine my TDR products e.g. banana and strawberry shake, or double up e.g. two soups?

Yes you can. Make sure that you have 4 TDR products per day during stage 1 of the programme.