Get off to the best possible start on the NHS weight loss plan with these 12 diet and exercise tips.

1. Do not skip breakfast Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.

2. Eat regular meals Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.

3. Eat plenty of fruit and veg Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.

4. Get more active Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone.

5. Drink plenty of water People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.

6. Eat high fibre foods Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants

7. Read food labels Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie 

8. Use a smaller plate Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry

9. Do not ban foods Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There's no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat

10. Do not stock junk food To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks

11. Cut down on alcohol A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.

12. Plan your meals Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.