Diet & Nutrition

Nutritional Guidelines

At Roczen, our mission is to improve your metabolic health, support weight loss and to help you maintain these changes in the long-term. Whilst there are a range of different factors that determine our metabolic health, what we eat and the way in which we eat is arguably one of the most important.

Our nutrition guidelines have been designed by our team of doctors, dietitians, and nurses, who between them boast a wealth of expertise in the field of metabolic health, clinical practice and research.

Throughout the programme we’ll provide you with a range of resources and sessions to help educate you on the science and evidence behind our advice, however, for now we think it’s important to focus on what you need to know to get started on your Roczen journey.

Please note that this information is a guide only, and details the core Roczen principles. Your plan will be tailored to your unique medical circumstances, health goals and preferences and your clinician may have asked you to do things slightly differently to what is outlined below. Please follow your clinicians advice and, if anything isn't clear, just send them a message on the Roczen app and they will be happy to help.

The key components of the Roczen Nutrition Guidelines:

12-week ‘Reset’ period

  • During the initial phase we aim to ‘reset’ your metabolic health. In order to achieve this, the guidelines are slightly more rigorous than in the later stages of the plan. This often helps us to achieve impressive results in those first 12-weeks such as significant weight loss and improved metabolic health markers. 
  • Our members often find that this ‘reset’ approach to their diet helps to break down unhelpful habits, build healthy habits, and change the way in which they think about food.
  • It’s important to remember that ‘diets’ only work as long as you are doing them, so we’ll support you in finding a balance that doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’, and instead becomes your new way of eating. After the Reset phase, the focus therefore switches to reintegrating certain foods and supporting you to find flexibility and balance in your diet.

Intermittent Fasting/ Time-restricted eating (TRE)

  • Your clinician will likely recommend a 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol, which means fasting for 16 hours, and condensing your calorie intake to 8 hours. In practice, this means switching to 2 meals a day, eating lunch and either breakfast or dinner.  
  • Between the two meal windows, try to avoid snacking as this will cause raised blood sugar levels which we want to avoid.
  • Most people choose to miss breakfast and fast during the morning, after they have been asleep and have therefore already fasted overnight. 
  • In this scenario, we recommend breaking your fast with a balanced meal at lunchtime, and then taking your second meal approximately 6-7hrs afterwards, before going into your next fast
  • For people who do shift work or who prefer to fast at a different time of day, reach out to your mentor or clinician who will help you find a fasting window that is best suited to you. You can also find further informatio.
  • During the fasting window it’s important to drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.

Modified carbohydrate intake

  • We recommend a ‘lower’ carbohydrate diet in which we’re mindful of the types of carbohydrates we eat and the volumes that we eat them in (i.e. portions). This will help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, improve metabolic function and support weight loss.
  • During the Reset phase, it can be beneficial to cut back on starchy carbohydrates such as bread, rice, potato, yam, cassava, pasta, given the impact these carbohydrates have on blood sugar levels. This advice is particularly relevant to those who have type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.
  • We recommend choosing plant-based and whole grain sources of carbohydrates. These foods come with high fibre and protein contents, which helps slow the release of glucose.
  • During Reset we’re mindful of most fruits (other than berries) due to their impact on blood sugar levels. After the ‘Reset’ period, we’ll help you to incorporate fruit in a way that maintains healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Avoiding added sugars whenever possible will help to optimise your metabolic health, as well as reducing cravings for sweet things in the long-term
  • Please see the Roczen Food & Portion Guide for information on the types of foods we recommend and portion guidance.

Building balanced meals

  • A well balanced meal will include a variety and ratio of nutrients that satisfy our hunger for long periods, whilst also providing us with a range of beneficial nutrients.
  • A balanced meal should include protein, healthy fats and plenty of fibre.
  • See the Building Balanced Meals article for more information and examples.


  • Protein is essential in our diet, playing a central role in muscle maintenance and hormone regulation, both of which are crucial during weight loss.
  • Consuming protein with each meal will help keep you feeling fuller for longer, which again is crucial when adapting to TRE and a low carbohydrate diet.
  • Include a variety of healthy protein sources, such as lean meats, fish, lentils, beans, eggs, quinoa and dairy.

Healthy fats in moderation

  • Embrace natural, unprocessed fats such as olive oil, nuts, dairy and avocados.
  • These fats provide a wide-range of essential micronutrients and help keep us fuller for longer periods of time.


  • High-fibre foods help to maintain a healthy gut and also keep us fuller for longer.
  • Non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains such as quinoa and berries and great sources of fibre that can be included in your diet when on the Roczen programme.

Avoiding ultra-processed foods (UPF)

  • Aim to use whole food, raw ingredients when preparing food and minimise the use of highly-processed ingredients.
  • When struggling for time, meal planning, batch-cooking and the use of quick and easy foods such as frozen vegetables, tinned lentils, eggs can be a great option.
  • Read labels carefully for unwanted ingredients, whilst identifying hidden sugars using terms like fructose, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • See our article on ‘Ultra Processed Foods’ for more information on the type of foods to be wary of and consume in moderation.

Hydration, caffeine & alcohol

  • Aim to consume at least 2-2.5L of water per day. This will help to manage hunger levels, and avoid unpleasant symptoms when fasting.
  • Avoid drinks with added sugars and sweeteners, as these can cause insulin spikes and also lead to more cravings.
  • Aim to avoid alcohol during the reset period as this not only raises blood sugar but also tends to negatively impact our motivation to make healthy choices.
  • Alcohol is also high in calories and without any nutritional benefit, which can again impact progress during the reset period.
  • Caffeinated hot drinks are ok to consume during Reset, but we recommend taking these without milk, unless you’re having them in your meal windows. If you are sensitive to the effect of caffeine, it’s recommended to take caffeinated drinks well before bedtime to reduce the impact it has on your sleep.

Frequently asked questions:

What about portion sizes?

We’ve produced some further guidance on portion sizes to help you when getting started. Your group mentor also will help you transition to this way of eating. Our collection of recipes which have been designed around our nutrition guidelines are another great place to find inspiration and understand what appropriate portions sizes are.

What are the recommended eating windows?

Lots of people choose to fast during the morning, which extends their overnight fast. This would mean taking the first meal at lunch, and the second around dinner time. Here’s an example of how this might look in practice:

  • 20:00: Begin fasting window (water only and black tea or coffee only)
  • 12:00-14:00: Chicken breast, quinoa, tenderstem broccoli + blueberries and nuts to finish..
  • 18:00- 20:00: 2-3 egg omelette vegetable omelette topped with cheese + strawberries & Greek yoghurt to finish
  • 20:00: Begin the next fasting window (water only and black tea or coffee only)

What are the potential side-effects and challenges?

Whilst your body gets used to fasting and reduced carbohydrates, it’s common to experience hunger pangs, irritability, headaches and dizziness. You may also experience some constipation as your gut adapts to a new way of eating. Here are some tips to help manage these side effects.

  • Stay well hydrated with water and be mindful of how much caffeine you consume - aim for less than 2 cups a day.
  • Make sure your meals are well-balanced and filling, protein, healthy fats and plenty of non-starchy vegetables are key to managing hunger.
  • Drinking plenty of water will help avoid headaches, maintain healthy bowel movements and prevent constipation.
  • Inform your clinician if you have any concerns about your symptoms, or if they fail to improve after the first week.

How quickly can I expect to see results?

There are many factors that impact our ability to lose weight and improve health, some that are in our control (i.e. diet, habits, sleep, exercise) and some that aren’t (i.e. genetics, medical conditions, hormones). Remember that being on the programme and turning up each day is progress in itself! That said, we know that you are here to achieve your goals and make progress, so here are some tips to get started:

  • Set realistic goals and expectations to start with - it’s better to keep hitting small targets and then set more goals as opposed to setting unrealistic and overwhelming targets that set you up to fail. 
  • In the first 12 weeks, a realistic expectation could be weight loss of around 5-10% of your starting weight, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Remember that your mentor and clinician can support you in setting realistic targets.
  • If you’re not seeing any changes on the scales, check in on what you’re eating and drinking. Are there any patterns in foods or behaviours that may not align with the guidelines, or that may be hindering your progress?
  • Are you getting enough sleep and waking up feeling rested? If not, this could be impacting your ability to make and maintain the necessary changes.
  • Reflect on non-scale progress markers, such as your waist circumference and how clothes fit, energy levels and how you feel generally.
  • Be patient and kind with yourself - sometimes progress doesn’t surface but this doesn’t mean that your efforts aren’t improving your metabolic health. Trusting the science and maintaining consistency will eventually lead to better health and progress.

August 31, 2023
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