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. 


The programme is based on two large studies which showed that, as a result of going on a specially designed programme, people living with Type 2 diabetes who were overweight could improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and, in some cases, put their Type 2 diabetes into remission (no longer have diabetes).

Launched in Autumn 2020 the NHS is delivering a new programme which provides a low-calorie diet treatment for people who are overweight and living with Type 2 diabetes. Greater Manchester is one of 10 pilot sites in England with free places available for hundreds of residents.

What is the programme?

  • A unique one-year programme combining specialist nutrition, psychology, and physical activity
  • Supports rapid weight loss and long-term behaviour change
  • Support throughout from your Health & Wellbeing diabetes practitioner via regular contact, with online learning and supporting resources
  • Supported by GPs, practice nurses, diabetes practitioners, dietitians, clinical psychologists, and exercise specialists

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 pilot programme.
  • People aged 18-65 years
  • 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. 

Results so far

We are seeing some amazing results so far including an average weight loss of 14.3kg (over 2 stone) at the end of the first 12 weeks of low-calorie diet, and an average 7.3mmol/mol HbA1c reduction. Read Derek's story below. 


Read more participant's journeys here

How do I join the programme?

Participating GP practices across Greater Manchester are able to refer eligible patients into the programme. You may be able to join if you meet the eligibility criteria, please speak with your GP or diabetes nurse if you are interested. 

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.