Weight loss tips: The Great British Weight Off

August 5, 2014 - Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Medical Advice, Nutrition, Research, Weight loss tips

GB-WEIGHT-OFF-logowebWant to lose weight but not sure how to go about it? As part of our Great British Weight Off campaign, LighterLife’s experts Rob Rona and Kelly Johnston answered your questions about how to shed those pounds.

Forget the Bake Off, for us it’s all about helping you get that weight off! Here at LighterLife we’ve been helping people across Britain to achieve their weight loss goals for over 20 years. So, in our live web chat we let you ask the questions and our experts were on hand with the answers. Here’s what they said…

Julie: Do I need to get a doctor’s consent before starting LighterLife?
Kelly: No you don’t. To join LighterLife Total or Lite, you must complete a wellness profile. However, if you’ve been prescribed certain medications, we’ll refer you to your GP practice. There are also certain medical conditions that will exclude you from joining LighterLife. You’ll find out more about this at your appointment.

Kim: What are the Foodpacks made of? How can they be healthy with so few calories?
Kelly: The Foodpacks contain physiologically suitable amounts of a whole range of nutrients for effective, safe weight loss. There is 50g of high quality protein, plenty of fibre, essential fats and 100% RDA of all the vitamins and minerals. These combined with the extra energy your store as body fat are enough to keep you healthy as you burn fat and lose weight.

The Foodpacks are more than safe, they are packed full of nutrition and in fact, having four of them a day provides you with a lot more in the way of good nutrition than the average person consumes daily in the UK (minus the calories).

Jen: Do I have to do the groups?
Rob: Attending your group regularly is a vital part of your LighterLife programme, along with the personal development work you’ll carry out while you’re there. It will help you get to grips with the real reasons behind your own weight gain, as there’s often so much more to it than simply eating too much and not moving enough, together with loads of support from the other people in your group. It’s what will really help you keep the weight off in the long-term. So yes, if you’re on Total or Lite you are expected to attend each week, but remember that groups are small with no more than 12 people in the room, they’re separate for men and women, they’re 100% confidential and it’s up to you how much you share in the group session.

Sara: Is LighterLife medically monitored? How do I know it’s not a fad?
Kelly: Our programmes are in line with NICE guidelines as described in CG43 (obesity management) and because the daily energy intake is greater than 600kcal, there is no need for medical monitoring for healthy individuals who don’t need GP support to join our programme. Of course, if you are able to join the programme under medical supervision due to certain conditions, medical monitoring is an ongoing requirement.

Tamsyn: Can I still exercise on Lighterlife? I like swimming but I wasn’t  sure if it’s allowed?
Kelly: An active lifestyle is really important for your health. Simply choose something you enjoy and do it regularly, such as walking, swimming (your preferred choice), going to the gym or an exercise class. If you’re already enjoying an active lifestyle and are quite fit, just take it steady at first. If you’re new to it, please speak to your GP, particularly if you have any medical conditions that could be affected by physical activity.

Donna-Marie: I’ve just had a baby 10 weeks ago and want to lose weight. Can I do LighterLife?
Kelly: Congratulations! You should wait for at least three months after giving birth before embarking on our weight loss plans, but there’s no reason why you can’t contact a Counsellor now and make an appointment for then.

Danni: I’m quite shy; do you have to talk in the groups?
Rob: There’s no expectation for people to talk in the group sessions, everyone’s experience is different. Participating in the group activities doesn’t necessarily mean talking. People often find that they feel comfortable in the group and get lots of support from sharing their experiences with others. However, it’s completely up to you.

Joey: I love sandwiches, but bread is the bane of any diet. Do you have suggestions for an alternative so I can still enjoy my BLTs?
Kelly: I like sandwiches too – but you’re right, it can be very easy to over consume bread, which doesn’t help weight loss. As part of a weight management plan, I often advise replacing bread with large lettuce leaves (romaine or iceberg), placing the filling inside and then consuming it as a wrap instead. You can have a couple of these instead of one sandwich, since you are saving so many calories on bread and they can be delicious with the right fillings.

Phil: Do you have any tips for people joining LighterLife’s Total programme to encourage motivation?
Rob: The best advice I can give is to talk to your group as people usually find all the support and motivation is waiting for them in their group. However, a quick tip is that it’s well worth picturing the goal your hoping to achieve – the motivation behind your reason for losing weight – picture yourself achieving that and imagine how it feels.

Was this helpful? If you’d like more information about joining LighterLife, visit or call us on 0800 2 988 988.

Kelly Johnston is our Head of Nutrition and Research and holds a Senior Visiting Research Fellow appointment at the Centre for Obesity Research in Epidemiology. Kelly also has a comprehensive knowledge base and awareness of key trends in nutrition and functional ingredients and is the go-to person at Lighterlife for all food and nutrition based regulatory affairs.

Rob Rona heads up the development of the LighterLife’s weight-management programmes and products – so anything you need to know about the programme, he’s your man!