‘Radical’ NHS diet:  man loses 14 stones to reverse long-term health condition

You are currently viewing ‘Radical’ NHS diet:  man loses 14 stones to reverse long-term health condition
Dr Clare Hambling

——   By Naomi DeSouza  —-

A former type 2 diabetes patient in the UK has spoken of how he reversed his own condition by losing a whopping 14 stones through a National Health Service, NHS, dieting programme.  James Thompson lost more than 50 per cent of his body weight through the NHS soup and shake programme after failing to lose weight.

James, 33, weighed 29 stones at his heaviest and thought he would never be able to regulate his lifestyle.

James was one of thousands living with type 2 diabetes who struggled with obesity, with good quality sleep and active hobbies seemingly off the table. It was when he was at his lowest that a nurse decided to put James on a soup and shake diet, created specifically to help type 2 diabetes patients lose weight and significantly improve their health. And the transformation has been incredible, with James shedding more than half of his weight and racking up 30,000 steps every day in his mission to change his life.

“In 2021, a nurse practitioner from my GP surgery referred me to the programme as I was not tolerating my medications well. I weighed 177kg  [27 stone 8 lbs] and thought I could never lose weight” said James. James was put on the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme, described as “radical” by the health service, and rolled out to reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes.

The 12-month programme helps kickstart weight loss by providing participants with low calorie, nutritionally complete, total diet replacement products – such as soups, shakes and bars – consisting of 800 to 900 calories a day, for the first 12 weeks.

Participants like James are then clinically supported to reintroduce healthy, nutritious food into their diet to maintain weight loss; and their progress is monitored.

James explained: “I found the first few months the most challenging as I had to get used to this new way of eating. Once I got into a routine and lost weight, my mood improved. When it was time to reintroduce regular food back into my diet, I was eating more vegetables, salads and other high-fibre foods. I started to feel more energetic and bought a bike to cycle to and from work. I was managing to do more steps every day, completing approximately 30,000 steps when I could.”

And the impact on James has been physical and mental: “Now I have lost 95kg, 54% of my body weight since I started the programme and I now weigh 82kg. With a Hb1Ac (average blood glucose) of 29, my diabetes is in remission and my GP has advised me that I don’t need any diabetes treatment which is fantastic.

“I am happier, more confident in myself and my sleep quality has improved a lot. Working has become much easier and still love riding my bike – I’m now even planning long-distance bike rides. I can also go to theme parks and enjoy the rides – something I was previously told I could not do because of my weight.”

The NHS said that more than 20,000 people have been offered the programme since it was first piloted in 2020, with participants typically losing 7.2kg [over one stone] on average after one month, and an average of 13kg [over two stone] in three months.

Dr Clare Hambling, NHS National clinical director for diabetes and obesity said: “The rollout of this innovative programme across the NHS in England provides a holistic and compassionate way to help people living with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity. “Weight loss can lead to significant health benefits, including for some, remission of type 2 diabetes, and it’s important the NHS offers a wide range of services that are easy to access and tailored to those looking to manage their condition. Our NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme, sits alongside the success of our world-leading Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – which independent evaluation has shown to successfully reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than a third for people who complete the programme.


Type 2 diabetes is caused by a range of factors from genetics to where the body stores fat, with our food environment also playing a significant role. Like James Thompson from Birmingham reversed his own diabetes through “life-changing” NHS safe diet, and transformed his life, you too, dear Network  member can.

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