The Newcastle Low Calorie Diet

Newcastle Upon Tyne


You’ve likely arrived using a link from your GP practice. 

This page introduces the Newcastle Low Calorie Diet Programme and helps you understand whether you’re eligible and it’s the right programme for you now. 

If you decide it is, then contact your practice about a referral. Places are limited so please don’t delay.

The Newcastle Low Calorie Diet

The Newcastle Low Calorie Diet

Collaborative Newcastle (the Council and Clinical Commissioning Group) is delivering a new 12-month low calorie diet treatment for people living with Type 2 diabetes who are above a healthy weight. Delivered by Momenta, it’s based on the DiRECT study which showed this approach could help people lose weight, improve their diabetes control, reduce diabetes-related medication and even achieve remission.

On average participants lose 10-15% of their starting weight.

The programme is completely free but you can only participate if you’re referred by your GP practice.

Some groups are being delivered virtually and some in-person in local venues.

What is the programme?

Regular group support sessions for 10-15 people are at the heart of the 12-month programme. The 21 sessions start weekly, before moving to fortnightly and then monthly. Led by our trained Coaches and based on our expert-developed programme, these sessions give you knowledge, skills and support throughout the programme.  In-person sessions are at local venues and virtual groups are held on Zoom.

The programme has three phases. To start with you’ll follow a low calorie diet for 12 weeks (your choice of soups, shakes, bars etc. totalling 8-900 calories per day). Half of you will have four of these products per day.  The other half will have three products and one small vegetable meal. Then you’ll gradually replace these with ‘real food’ meals over six weeks. Finally you’ll receive ongoing support for the last 8 months to help you maintain or build on your weight loss.


If you attend the group sessions you’ll be given all your total diet replacement products and a range of high-quality resources including Workbooks, a Lifestyle logbook, online recipe book and 12 months’ premium access to the EXi physical activity – all free of charge.  You can order from one of the widest ranges of total diet replacement products available and they’ll be delivered directly to your home or work as you prefer.

Throughout the programme you’ll continue to be supported by your GP practice – for example if your medicines need to be changed.

Participant case studies

Some participants have shared their stories – you might find their experiences help you explain the programme to your patients – or they might just make you smile…

Juliet, Birmingham & Solihull

Juliet, Birmingham & Solihull

Juliet took part in our NHS Birmingham Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme. Juliet started on 120.9kg and finished…
Waqas, Birmingham & Solihull

Waqas, Birmingham & Solihull

Waqas has lost 21% of his starting weight
Faraza, Birmingham & Solihull

Faraza, Birmingham & Solihull

Faraza has lost 19% of her starting weight

You must meet ALL these criteria:

You must be registered with a GP practice in Newcastle and meet all the inclusion but none of the exclusion criteria shown below.

  • Aged 18-65 inclusive
  • Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the last 6 years
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 27 (or 25 if you are of South Asian or Black African or Black Caribbean ethnicity)
  • Attended your monitoring and diabetes review, including retinal screening, if you've been offered it
  • Have an HbA1c (blood glucose) level of:
    • 43-87mmol/mol if on diabetes medications
    • 48-87mmol/mol if NOT on diabetes medications


If you're unsure about any of these please ask your GP practice.

These criteria have been set out by NHS England's Expert Advisory Group.

Unfortunately this is NOT the right service for you if you:

  • Are prescribed insulin
  • Are currently breastfeeding
  • Are pregnant - or planning to be in the next 6 months 
  • Have had bariatric surgery (unless it's been reversed) 
  • Have one or more of: Active cancer; heart attack or stroke in last 6 months; severe heart failure; severe kidney disease; active liver disease (not including NAFLD); active substance use disorder; active eating disorder; porphyria; or known proliferative retinopathy that has not been treated (unless newly diagnosed and not yet offered)
  • Have been assessed by a healthcare professional that you are not able to safely participate in the programme.   


If you're unsure about any of these please ask your GP practice.

Is the programme right for me now?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Newcastle Low Calorie Diet Programme and deciding whether it’s the right approach for you now we encourage you to complete the self-assessment questionnaire below.

This kind of programme is not for everyone with Type 2 diabetes. It’s important to think carefully about whether it’s the right type of support and the right time for you. Answering these questions should help you think about this.

You can download and save or print the questionnaire as you might find it helpful to discuss your responses with your health care provider. This can help you make a joint decision about whether this is the right approach for your diabetes management at this time – and consider what other options may be helpful.

You can tick the boxes on the downloaded copy but not on this online image and this website does not store any responses. To fill it out you need to print or download it. You don’t need to share your responses with anyone if you don’t want to.

What do I do next?

If you think that the Newcastle Low Calorie Diet is the right programme for you now please contact your GP or diabetes nurse to confirm your eligibility and arrange a referral appointment including, if appropriate, guidance on which medications to adjust on the day you start the total diet replacement products.

Places are limited so it’s best not to delay.

If you’re interested but not sure yet, or have any questions you’d like to ask about the programme itself and what you can expect, please contact the Momenta Adviser team. You can call us on  0330 056 2457 (0330 numbers are normally included in mobile minute bundles), send us a note using our contact form or email us at

All GP practices in Newcastle have made aware of the programme and how to  to refer. However, if your GP does not know how to refer to the service please ask them to contact Ali Barnes at NUTH for details. Alternatively you can just contact us at on and send us your GP / nurse and practice name so we can help them.

There’s some more detailed information below for further reading.

Thank you very much.

What can I expect when I ask for a referral?

When you make an appointment with your GP practice they’ll refer you to the service and let you know whether you need to adjust any medications on the day that you start the total diet replacement products (the day after the second group session). They’ll fill out a Referral and Medications Adjustment Form and send this to Momenta by secure email – they’ll also give you a copy of the Medications Adjustment Form (MAF). It’s very important that you keep this as, for safety reasons, you can’t start if you don’t recall this discussion and are comfortable with the adjustments.

When Momenta receive the referral form they’ll check it’s complete.  If it isn’t they’ll contact your practice for any missing information. When they have the complete form they’ll contact you and arrange an Individual Assessment to confirm eligibility, ask you some additional details and answer any questions you might have about the programme or process.

Momenta’s Adviser will then give you a choice of upcoming programmes (start date, time, location/virtual) and book you onto the one you prefer. We organise programmes on different days of the week and at different times including evenings to make it as easy as possible for people to attend.

Programme phases and sessions

This shows the session titles and which week they happen on.  It also highlights which resources you get when.

What is Type 2 diabetes remission?

Remission in people with Type 2 diabetes means that your blood sugar levels are no longer in the range for diabetes, without needing to take any diabetes medication.

Research tells us that remission is most likely to be achievable closer to your diagnosis – and is strongly linked to weight loss.

Some people call this reversing Type 2 diabetes, but we prefer the term remission because your Type 2 diabetes can come back.

There’s no guarantee you will reach remission as the research so far suggests that it isn’t possible for everyone. But there are many other benefits to losing extra weight – if you stick to the programme you can expect to lose 10% of your starting weight or more.

This programme uses a selection of total diet replacement products.