The Cambridge Diet Review

So what is the Cambridge Diet, and how do you follow it? The Cambridge Diet is a program that offers pre-packaged meals and drinks to obtain a low calorie diet without having to worry about cooking. In total, it is a six step program you can follow with a consultant that ranges from 600 calories all the way up to 1,500, depending on your goals. This program does offer personal consultation, so if this is something you are interested in, it is offered. They are based out of the United Kingdom, and according to the Sun times, “The Cambridge diet was developed by Dr. Alan Howard at Cambridge University in the 1970s, and was launched as a commercial product in the US in 1980 followed by the UK in 1984.” [1] 

Company Contact Information: 

Cambridge Weight Plan Ltd 

Clare House, 

Hunters Road, 

Corby, Northants, NN17 5JE 

Telephone: +44 (0)1536 403344 

Fax: +44 (0)1536 202396 

Email: [email protected] 

The Different Steps 

Step 1: The Sole Source 

The reason why it is called the sole source is simply due to the fact that the dieter’s only source of nutrition is from Cambridge Weight Loss products only.  

“Step 1A: 

3 Cambridge Weight Plan products. 

2.25 liters /4 pints of fluids over the course of the day* 

Women whose height is under 5’8” will have three Cambridge Weight Plan products per day. Women who are 5’8” and above will have four, as will all men. 

Step 1B: 

4 Cambridge Weight Plan products. 

2.25 liters /4 pints of fluids over the course of the day* 

* You can include tea and coffee, herbal and fruit teas.” [2] 

Step 2: This is the stage where you will mix Cambridge products with everyday foods. Three Cambridge meals are in the daily allowance, a regular 200 calories meal, and four pints of fluids over the course of 1 day.  

Step 3: This is similar to step 2 where you are allowed regular food with the packaged products.  

According to the site: 

  • “2 Cambridge Weight Plan products. 
  • 150kcal breakfast. 
  • A salad lunch of green salad leaves such as rocket, spinach, lettuce, watercress, cucumber, radishes or celery. 
  • 400kcal dinner. 
  • 200ml skimmed milk (or a suitable dairy alternative, please ask your Consultant if you need suggestions). 
  • At least 2.25 liters/4 pints of fluids over the course of the day*”  

Step 4: This is similar to steps 2+3 where you are allowed regular food with the packaged products.  

According to the site: 

  • 2 Cambridge Weight Plan products. 
  • 200kcal breakfast. 
  • A salad lunch of green salad leaves such as rocket, spinach, lettuce, watercress, cucumber, radishes or celery. 
  • 400kcal dinner. 
  • 100kcal bonus. 
  • 300ml skimmed milk (or a suitable dairy alternative, please ask your Consultant if you need suggestions). 
  • At least 2.25 liters/4 pints of fluids over the course of the day* 

Step 5: This is similar to steps 2+3+4 where you are allowed regular food with the packaged products.  

According to the site: 

  • “1 Cambridge Weight Plan product. 
  • A 200kcal breakfast. 
  • A 400kcal lunch. 
  • A 500kcal dinner. 
  • 100kcal bonus. 
  • 300ml skimmed milk or 250g of low-fat yoghurt (or a suitable dairy alternative, please ask your Consultant if you need suggestions). 
  • At least 2.25 liters/4 pints of fluids over the course of the day*” 

Step 6: This is the maintenance phase where you will be eating one Cambridge product per day to maintain the weight you just lost.   

The Cambridge Diet Claims 

The company claims they have been successfully helping people lose weight for over 30 years. They also claim that their weight loss program is very flexible, and it allows people the freedom to choose what they want to eat. The price point varies depending on which program you decide to follow, and they range from 48 British Pounds all the way up to 72 British pounds per week. If you do not want to do the math that is equivalent to $62.00 all the way up to $93.00 per week. As you can already tell, this is getting expensive, and quickly! 

The Plans 

The Cambridge Weight Plan: 48 British Pounds (per week). This includes 3 Cambridge packaged meals per day for one week and one consultation with your counselor.  

The Lighter Life: 72 British Pounds (per week). This includes 4 Cambridge packaged meals per day for one week, and 1 telephone group session. 

Slim-Fast: 68 British pounds (per week). This includes 3 snacks, 2 products, and 1 meal each day for one week. 

Diet Chef: 61 British pounds (per week). This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack for 4 weeks.  

On the site they say nothing about a refund if you are unhappy with how the products taste, but they do give a FAQ section, which answers really general and almost brainless questions. When looking at their site map, they do not offer services in the United States as of right now. A big question was whether or not you could exercise while on the Cambridge diet, and the answer is yes, but it is not required. You might not have the energy to exercise with the empty nutrients you will be receiving.  According to Huffington Post, “Exercise is something that is not advised while on step one because the body is taking time to adjust to the reduced calorie intake. CWP advises visiting your GP before embarking on the diet.” [3]  

The Cambridge Diet Ingredients 

Because there are many different food products to analyze from pastas, to soups, bars, shakes, and desserts, I will analyze a few products and their ingredient lists. Many people wonder if the Cambridge diet is good for them or not with the packaged foods. Take a look at the ingredients below.  

Macaroni and Cheese: Macaroni Pasta (durum wheat semolina), skimmed milk powder, milk protein, cheese powder, milk powder, onion powder, yeast extract, dried glucose syrup, salt, garlic powder, non-hydrogenated palm oil powder, silicon dioxide, black pepper. I will stop here, but there are about 100 more ingredients to this dish. It already does not look like a recipe for weight loss. [4] 

Vanilla Shake: Skimmed milk powder, maltodextrin, soya flour, soya protein isolate, Inulin, soya lecithin, conjugated linoleic acid powder, linoleic acid, sodium caseinate milk, antioxidants, xanthan gum, potassium chloride. I will not continue past this ingredient, but there are around 50 more to include. [5] 

Chocolate Chewy Bar: Right on the front it says this bar is covered in milk chocolate, which we know is not great for weight loss. Milk protein, milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, whey protein powder milk), emulsifier, soya lecithin, glucose syrup, glycerine, oligofructose, sunflower oil, reduced fat cocoa powder, potassium, and thickener. There are many more ingredients but will stop here. [6] 

 As you can see with many of these food products you are required to eat daily, they are loaded with sugar from glucose syrup, fake powders, and cheap proteins that will not give you better health overall. This type of eating is just not sustainable for the long term. The foods are rather disappointing when it comes to how healthy they really are after looking at the ingredient lists on just a few products.   

The Science Behind (or Lack Thereof) The Cambridge Diet 

Just because the Cambridge plan has a prestigious college in its name does not make it healthier or more accredited than other plans out there. Nowhere on the website does it show how they were able to get their ingredients to their weight loss products. The only thing they tell the customer is, “During the 1970s, Dr. Howard worked with Dr. Ian McLean-Baird, of the West Middlesex Hospital, to develop what they regarded as the “perfect diet”. Supported by a lectureship from Downing College, Cambridge, and various grants, the pair set up a research project at the West Middlesex Hospital. Their aim was to create a formula food with excellent weight loss properties, but no undesirable side effects.” [7] 

Word On The Street About The Cambridge Diet

There were a few sporadic Cambridge Diet reviews overall. The big cause for concern with people was the fact that the meals were pre-packaged. Many times those meals are not the best and they are not the most edible to people. On the flip side, they are convenient, so you have to weigh out what is most important to you! The company says that some common side effects are bad breath, insomnia, tiredness, and nausea. These are not pleasant, but the bad breath might just be a side effect of the quality of food you are forced to eat each day. The low calorie diet, paired with packaged foods that are not filled with nutrients, and the high price of the program is not a recipe for success by any means. 

One customer from the metro said, “At first I loved the ease – I avoided that moment where you’re shopping and before you know it you’ve bought crisps or chocolate, or the mental strength needed to have one cheese and cracker and then stop, or to keep going back for seconds at the table. With the Cambridge plan, I just didn’t eat anything at all. I just drank my drinks and lost weight. However, Dani says after 6 months on the diet she was craving solid food and during summer, going to barbecues where people just grazed on delicious grilled food all day was unbearable.” [8 

The Bottom Line: Is The Cambridge Diet Worth A Try? 

Risky. Because you are eating such a small amount of calories each day, and those calories are not filled with the best tasting or most nutritious ingredients, this is a risky plan to try. It is also not available to everyone, so there is that isolation too. If you are a ‘Cambridger’, you are spending a lot of money each week on packaged foods, and the shakes that have not been said to taste the best. This is simply not a sustainable diet program to follow, and it is definitely not an affordable one either. While some have seen weight loss with the program, others found it to be expensive and not realistic if they were to go out for social hour.  

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*Individual results will vary.

Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice. Aways consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements.

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