Before you make any changes to your diet please speak to your healthcare team particularly if you are taking medication for your diabetes. 

What is a Low Calorie Diet?

A low-calorie diet (LCD) is defined as a diet with a calorie intake of up to 900 calories or less a day. The recommended calorie intake for adults is around 2,000kcal per day for active women and 2,500kcal for active men. Research suggests that people who are overweight with type 2 diabetes who follow a low calorie diet can lose weight and potentially put their diabetes into remission. 

Background to the programme

The Diabetes UK-funded DiRECT trial saw almost half of those who went on a low-calorie diet achieve remission after one year. A quarter of participants achieved a 15kg or more weight loss, and of these, 86% put their Type 2 diabetes into remission. Following on from the success of the DiRECT study NHS England have begun a larger scale pilot programme called the NHS Low calorie Diet programme which is being run in 10 pilot sites across England. 

The programme provides a low-calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes helping them to improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medications and even achieve remission. We are delighted that Greater Manchester has been chosen as one of ten national pilot sites.

What does the programme entail?

Eligible participants will be offered low calorie, total diet replacement (TDR) products including soups and shakes consisting of up to 900 calories a day for up to 12 weeks.

Alongside this, participants will receive support for 12 months including help to re-introduce food after the initial 12-week period. Our approach in Greater Manchester is through group based sessions which will initially be offered online to comply with social distancing guidelines but may move to face-to-face in the future. The programme and TDR products are free of charge to participants.

Who is eligible for the programme?

People living with Type 2 diabetes who have been diagnosed with the condition in the last six years will be considered for the pilots. Individuals must also meet other eligibility criteria to be referred to the service to ensure the programme is right for them. You can find more information about the programme here and a full list of eligibility criteria here on page 2. 

How do I join the programme?

We are starting to roll out the programme across Greater Manchester from January 2021, so your GP might not be able to make a referral just yet.

We will update this page with further details on areas as they start the roll out of the programme, in the meantime, you might want to have a look at our website or discuss with your GP or practice nurse. If you have any further questions you can email the team at

Tracking your Progress

Registering for Diabetes My Way will allow you to track your progress on your weight loss journey, you will be able to see your weight, BMI and waist measurement, click here to register.