The NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme is a free programme to help people with Type 2 diabetes reduce their medications, lose weight, improve their health and potentially put their Type 2 diabetes into remission.

How does the programme work?

The programme is provided by Oviva, which works with the NHS to deliver healthcare services.  You will have an initial assessment with your personal Diabetes Specialist Dietitian who will support you over the next 12 months to follow the programme:

  1. For the first 12 weeks you will follow a Low Calorie Diet consisting of diet replacement shakes, soups or bars – called total diet replacement (TDR) products. This stage is designed to reduce your weight quickly and in doing so reduce your blood glucose levels, helping your diabetes in both the short and long term
  2. Stage two is food reintroduction where you will slowly reintroduce food back into your diet in a healthy, sustainable way, and start to build healthier habits with the help of your dietitian over 4 weeks
  3. The final stage is all about sustaining these new healthy choices and making your habits stick long term with one-to-one support from your dietitian for the remainder of the year

How is the programme delivered?

The programme is delivered digitally with all appointments happening over phone or video calls, or via secure app messaging. You will be paired with your own Diabetes Specialist Dietitian who will support you throughout the programme. Your dietitian will provide expert one-to-one healthcare wherever you need it, with tailored support through every stage of the programme.

How do I sign up?

Check the eligibility criteria below and talk to your GP or nurse if you are interested in taking part. They will refer you to the programme if it’s appropriate.

Will I be eligible for the programme?

To ensure your safety, participants have to meet the following inclusion criteria:

  • Aged 18 to 65 years
  • Minimum BMI of 27kg/m2 adjusted to 25kg/m2 or higher in people of ethnic minorities, excluding white minorities
  • Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the last 6 years
  • HbA1c eligibility, most recent value, which must be within 12 months:
    • If on diabetes medication, HbA1c 43 – 87 mmol/mol
    • If not on diabetes medications, HbA1c 48 – 87 mmol/mol
    • In all cases, HbA1c must be 87 mmol/mol or lower
  • Have attended for monitoring and diabetes review when this was last offered, including retinal screening, and commit to continue attending reviews, even if remission is achieved

There are some instances where you may not be eligible for a referral. Your GP or nurse will be able to advise.

Who is Oviva?

Oviva is a leading UK digital behaviour change company, delivering programmes for obesity and Type 2 diabetes support and prevention.

Oviva supports people to make sustainable changes to their health and lifestyle through one-to-one personalised coaching and unique digital tools; an NHS approved app and online Learn portal with an evidence-based curriculum developed by clinical experts.


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