What makes the Habitual programmes different to other health and weight loss plans?

Joining a health and weight loss programme can go a long way in helping you find success but with so many on offer, how do you know which one to choose? Here, we help you figure out your options by weighing up the different approaches and explaining how the Habitual programme offers an altogether unique experience.
Annabel Nicholson
min read
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Quick summary

  • A health and weight loss journey is unique to you so its important to find an approach that suits your lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
  • Health and weight loss programmes provide structure, introduce you to others on the same journey, and have been shown to help you successfully achieve your targets.
  • There are many different programmes available to choose from including those that are app-based, those that just provide meal replacements, and those centred around group meetings.
  • The Habitual programmes include successful elements of numerous approaches to create a full 360, holistic approach.

With app-based programmes and meal replacement products joining the longer-serving weight loss approach of group meetings, there’s an almost overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to starting a health and weight loss journey. 

The most important thing to remember is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to health, well-being, and weight loss. What makes you feel better might not be the same as someone else, which is why finding a programme that suits you and your lifestyle is one of the most important considerations when making your decision. Joining a programme that doesn’t complement your lifestyle and preferences will be hard to follow, making any success you have difficult to maintain in the future.

Here, we help you figure out your options by weighing up the different approaches and explaining how the Habitual programme offers an altogether unique experience. 

Why join a programme for health and weight loss?

Before we get started, we wanted to explore why joining a programme to reach your health and weight loss goals is something worth considering in the first place. 

It’s all very well being told to ‘eat less and exercise more’ but, as we all know, the reality is very different. Changing habits of a lifetime requires hard work, willpower, and a real commitment to change, all the while navigating the surprises of everyday life. While it can be motivating to make changes to your diet and lifestyle at first, there’s a reason why so many of us find it hard to stick to a plan through willpower alone. We’re all human and needing a little extra support is nothing to be ashamed of—in fact, it’s one of the best ways to successfully reach your health goal.

Health and weight loss programmes provide structure, which can be especially helpful if you’re feeling out of control with your habits and don’t know where, or how, to start. They also provide the opportunity to join others on the same journey, of which there are plenty of known benefits. Scientific studies have reported greater weight loss in groups working towards the same goal, highlighting the idea that our environment, such as the groups we are a part of, impacts our beliefs and therefore, habits. New behaviours that might seem strange at first can start to feel normal as we take on the behaviours of the groups and communities we’re in.[1-3]

With so much information readily available online, it's easy to get overwhelmed by conflicting advice when trying to piece together your own plan. When looking for a programme to follow, take time to investigate its background—is there sound scientific evidence backing the approach, and does the programme explain why and how it works? Keep an eye out for plans that make bold claims and grand promises without any backing—chances are, these are too good to be true and are best avoided to make sure you partner with a programme that puts your health first.

Different approaches to health and weight loss

For the purpose of this article, we’ve divided different health and weight loss programmes into three categories—those that centre around in-person group meetings, plans that are app-based, and those that just supply meal replacements. Every approach has its pros and cons, which is why we say that it's so important to think about your lifestyle and the programme that compliments it the most. 

We’ve then compared each of these approaches to the Habitual approach:

Our goal at Habitual is to make better health achievable for everyone, which is why our programmes have taken the successful elements of other health and weight management tools to create a full 360, holistic approach. We understand that it's not just about physical health, the numbers on the scale, or your life at that exact moment. To us, it’s about helping you feel supported mentally and physically on this journey of positive change to prepare you for a future of better health.

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What to expect from the Habitual approach to health and weight loss

The journey to better health is different for everyone, which is why we offer three different programmes that vary in price, flexibility, and simpliity, so that you can choose the one that works best for you.

Based on scientific evidence for weight loss and disease reversal,[4-6] each programme combines a 12-week 800kcal/day diet with expert behaviour change to help you make lasting changes to your physical, mental, and nutritional, health. It’s this investment in your future that sets us apart from many other programmes —we’re not about quick wins. Instead, we help you build a healthy, sustainable future. 

800kcal programmes are used by some of the most famous diabetes reversal and weight loss trials in the world

Dr Ian Braithwaite, Habitual’s CEO and co-founder

How you eat your daily 800 calories is up to you. Enjoy four of our nutritionally-complete soups, shakes, and porridges, cook your own low-calorie meals, or combine the two! What’s more, you can easily switch, pause, or cancel your plan anytime. 

Why 800kcals?

Consuming around 800 calories per day for 3 months to stimulate fast, safe, and effective weight loss. A scientifically-approved method, this weight loss can be enough to send type 2 diabetes into remission.[4-6] “Compared to slow weight loss programmes, research has shown that fast weight loss is more effective, easier, and doesn’t lead to faster weight regain,” explains Dr Ian Braithwaite, Habitual’s CEO and co-founder. “800kcal programmes are the nutritional approach used by some of the biggest and most famous diabetes reversal and weight loss trials in the world.”

A low-calorie diet gets the weight off, behaviour change keeps it that way

While the weight loss that results from your time on 800kcal will be significant (approximately 15% of your body weight!), it’s the behaviour change that will make the biggest difference to your life by keeping the weight off and helping you build new, healthier habits.  

Don’t be intimated by the phrase ‘behaviour change’—we promise it's not as extreme as it sounds! We’ve worked with behaviour change science expert Dr Silja Voolma to produce a series of app-based lessons that, over the course of 16 weeks, guide you towards making positive changes to your habits. 

Each day consists of a short (think 10 minutes) lesson and exercise to make you think about one thing—your reasons for change, the habits you want to break and build, a time you experienced a health win, what you’re excited about for the future, we cover a lot. The daily lessons are designed to equip you with the confidence to build the future you want.

In addition to the daily lessons, our app includes features that are all designed to help you find success on your journey:

  • Daily tracking of your sleep, mood, exercise levels, and weight to give you a holistic view of your health and progress.
  • An in-app journal for you to document your thoughts, wins, and tough times to keep a written record of your journey.
  • A growing selection of low-calorie recipes that you can add to your meal plan before hitting the shops with an automatically-generated shopping list.
  • Direct, private contact with our Patient Care team anytime you have questions, concerns, or want to share your success (we love celebrating with you!)! 

It’s your journey

Whichever programme you choose (Habitual or otherwise) remember, this is your journey and you deserve for it to be a success. Committing to making a change is the first step and don’t underestimate just how big that decision is! Take your time, do your research, and if you have any questions about the Habitual programmes feel free to get in touch at hello@tryhabitual.com. We’re always happy to help.


[1] Borek, A.J., Abraham, C. (2018). How do small groups promote behaviour change? An integrative conceptual review of explanatory mechanisms. Appl Psychol Health Well-Being 10(1):30-61. Accessible here.

[2] Renjilian, D.A., Perri, M.G., Nezu, A.M., et al. (2001). Individual versus group therapy for obesity: effects of matching participants to their preferences. J Consult Clin Psychol 69(4):717-721. Accessible here

[3] Huff, C. (2004). Teaming up to drop pounds. Monitor on Psychology 35(1):56. Accessible here.

[4] Lean, M.E.J., Leslie, W.S., Barnes, A.C., et al. (2018). Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial. Lancet 391(10120):541-551.  Accessible here.

[4] Morris, E., Aveyard, P., Dyson, P., et al. (2019). A food-based, low-energy, low-carbohydrate diet for people with type 2 diabetes in primary care: A randomized controlled feasibility trial. Diabetes Obes Metab 22(4):512-520.  Accessible here.

[5] Taylor, R., Ramachandran, A., Yancy Jr., W.S., Forouhi, N.G. (2021). Nutritional basis of type 2 diabetes remission. BMJ 374:n1449. Accessible here.

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