The Cambridge Diet Review

Editor's Review: 4.1 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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The Cambridge Diet is a liquid-based diet popularized in the 1980′s in the United Kingdom, originally intended for morbidly obese patients. Based on the VLCD diet, otherwise known as the “Very Low Calorie Diet”, the Cambridge Diet combines low calorie shakes, soups, and meal replacement bars in their complete diet program. Most of the dieter’s calories are obtained through liquid supplements, and the diet is continued until the person meets his or her weight loss goal. During the weight loss period patients eat between 400 to 800 calories per day. In the United Kingdom, you need to meet with a Cambridge Diet counselor before starting the program.

The Cambridge Diet is begun with a counselor, who will determine if this is an appropriate diet for you. From there, you will need to purchase meal replacement shakes and bars, which usually range between $13.99 to around $40.00 per package. There are no free samples or money-back guarantees, but you can discontinue the program at any time. They do not say how much weight loss is expected, but patients typically report losing over 30 lbs. per month.

Ingredients

There is no ingredient information available about any products associated with The Cambridge Diet.

Product Features

The Cambridge Diet is based off the VLCD diet, which was popularized in the early 1980′s. The VLCD diet uses extreme calorie restriction combined with nutritionally-dense liquid supplements to enhance weight loss, and this method has been proven to work. Most physicians do not back the VLCD or the Cambridge Diet however, since it allows for a very small, unrealistic amount of calories per day. Patients typically consume less than 800 calories per day, and most doctors recommend consuming 1200 calories minimum for any diet.

The Cambridge Diet also claims to use the power of ketosis to speed up weight loss. It claims that by putting the body into ketosis through liquid replacements and calorie restriction, it will allow the body to burn more fat and lose weight. Ketosis occurs when the body does not receive enough calories or nutrition to function optimally. The body uses its fat stores to burn additional fat as a survival mechanism. Although ketosis does burn off additional fat, it also burns additional muscle during this process and it is generally considered unhealthy by the medical community.

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Advantages

  • You do not have to exercise while on this diet.
  • All meals and drinks are supplied pre-prepared to you.
  • They offer allergy-free drinks and bars.

Disadvantages

  • The Cambridge Diet is one of the most expensive diet programs available.
  • Its caloric intake is lower than the recommended standard — doctors consider this a very dangerous diet that brings users close to starvation.
  • You must follow a strict diet plan without any substitutions.
  • This diet is not ideal for those with heart problems or a history of eating disorders.

Conclusion

The Cambridge Diet is very risky according to doctors and medical professionals. Extreme calorie restriction is a constant source of controversy, and diets based on calories restriction have been proven to work while also easily resulting in dangerous side effects. People who embark on this diet must be in good health mentally and physically, but still need to lose excess weight. Although the cost of this diet is extremely expensive, it might be an ideal diet to discuss with your doctor, especially if you feel that your clinical obesity could lead to other health complications – Cambridge Diet counselors strongly recommend discussing this with a doctor before trying it.

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39 User Reviews about The Cambridge Diet

  • 1
    samah

    I started Cambridge diet plan last week, and after the 5th day I suffered from sever abdominal pain which was there for 24 hours and didn’t get well till I stopped Cambridge’s meals completely for 2 days. I was tired & sleepy all the time as well. Why did that happened to me ?? It supposed to be good and no one have been through such a thing. So what was that !!

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  • 2
    Breana Clyne

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

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  • 3
    Ph

    I went on the Cambridge Diet in the 1980s. I lost the weight I wanted along with hair loss and messing up me electrolytes Once you go back to a normal diet the weight comes back. My Dr said I had put my body into starvation mode so once I started eating normally my body held onto every calorie. While on the diet and off I exercised 3 to4 hours a week

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  • 4
    Caroline

    I forgot to take one of my products will it affect my weight loss. Have lost 12lbs in 4 weeks did expect to lose more. Thanks

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  • 5
    Hayley

    I have been doing the Cambridge plan for the last 13 weeks and can successfully say it works I have lost 56 lb and Keept it off !!
    It certainly not for the faint hearted and you need to want to achieve your goals but I never feel hungry on the plan and I exercise a lot !!
    If like me you plateud from previous diets than this certainly gives you the push you need totally worth the money !!

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  • 6
    Katherine

    Hi. I loved reading the reviews on the Cambridge Diet. Can one replace the shakes with soups?

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    Your Name

    Hi just started the cambridge plan this evening tomorrow being my first day.
    Am worried how I will feel and what to expect?
    I would like support to get through the next four weeks.
    Please help, could do with a buddy for support!!
    Have 2.5 stones to loose x

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    Your Name

    Yes you can. Replace a shake with a soup. ;)

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  • 7
    Sue

    I did Cambridge in the 80′s, lost a lot of weight and gained it all back.

    I would never do this diet again. For most of it, I did ok and the cravings were bearable, but by the third month I was sneaking in weird stuff like a single saltine cracker with a bit of mayonnaise. That’s when I knew it was just getting too weird.

    Besides the weight re-gain, another really bad thing was that the diet was so extreme that it messed up my hormones, and I ended up with a fair amount of hair on my chin and chest.

    Lastly, two years afterwards, my home got tons of little brown bugs. My exterminator friend told me they were a type of weevil, and advised me to throw all my grain products away since that was what they lived on. I did so but still had the bugs. I was so disgusted I decided to just throw all my food away. That is when I noticed pinholes on two leftover Cambridge shake cans, which, at least then, were made from cardboard. I opened them to find that they contained an entire ecosystem of weevils, and had been the source of the infestation.

    Between the regain, the bugs and the deprivation leading to food weirdness, I am very glad to be well past Cambridge. I have been eating low carb for almost 15 years now, after losing a ton of weight and find it very easy to keep off.

    I sincerely wish any dieter the very best, and hope you find your safe and reasonable path. Please don’t take chances with extreme diets like Cambrdge. Just not worth the drama. Best of luck.

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  • 8
    Shellaca

    I am on day 2 of the diet and am feeling extremely exhausted though i am motivated to carry on wth the diet as i dont feel happy wth the way i look. I am looking forward to putting on ma size 10 summer dress in 3 months time. I am currently a size 14. Anyone who wants to be my doet buddy plz reply to this msg and will send you an email. Just need someone who we can help each other reach our ultimate goal in loosing weight

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    lulu

    Shellaca,

    i would love to be your diet buddy i start on friday with the diet, i am really looking for a buddy too. email me at ithequeen63 AT YAHOO

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    Dxbdame

    Hi
    I completed 1 month on 29th april i lost 7.5 kgs or roughly 15 lbs
    In my second months week 1 feeling low and tempted but keeping it strong
    If i cheat its with egg whites
    I ve 10 kgs more to loose

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  • 9
    sara

    I’ve been on the cambridge diet for two weeks so far, the problem is I gained 3kgs instead of losing, they told me it is muscles weight, have anyone been through this before ??!

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  • 10
    MaryRafferty

    I would like info on diet products.Please email me on the products.I’m trying to loose 100lbs I’m excited hope to see if these items work.Mary Thank-you Mary

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  • 11
    Lisa

    Hi there, I’m on day 20 of the SS, and lost 6 kilos so far and was doing fine with the every now and then crave for food of course, but not giving in. However, 2 days ago I went out and forgot to bring my 3rd meal pack and just had water, so 8 hours went by until my next shake, but since then I’ve been feeling weird and my stomach burns a bit when I have my shake or soup. Anyone would know why that is? Not really sure what the max of time in between meals is. Hope someone can help. Thanks!

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  • 12
    Dee

    iam on warffirn and really need to loose 3to 4 stone can anyone tell me if i can do this diet as iam so desprate to feel happy with myself

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  • 13
    SLing

    I started for 2 days before succumbing to food on the night of the 2nd day.. But after that i got backed on and on the third day of restarting i lost 3 kilos. It was really awesome.

    Previously, i had fasted and i did lost 7 kilos but i was very tired and my sugar level increased as i only consumed Milo and lots of breath mints. So this diet is much healthier and ensures that you are inputing calories at a very low rate.

    However i would like to ask when i reached to my ideal weight, can i consume food normally without gaining too much back?? I know it’s recommended to at least have a CWP for a meal and if consumed too oily food, go on SS for a day as a detox program. So, will i gain back??

    Thanks!!

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  • 14
    me

    It kinda annoys me how everyone keeps claiming this diet is dangerous. I know many people (myself included) who have been able to get and keep off enormous amounts of weight, going from (morbidly) obese to a healthy weight and none of us have had to deal with any problems healthwise. As the diet has been around for decades and considering in some countries(like mine) counsellors urge clients to ask a GP for permission to start the diet, I really dont think its fair to scare people with these alarming reviews. This diet is, provided you commit to doing it 100%, a garantuee for losing great amounts of weight

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    elena

    I was morbidly obese and have lost 40 kg with this diet and have had no side effects. I so agree with “me” above!

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    Anonymous

    I agree with me. I’ve been on Cambridge diet for 4 months and lost 4 half stone. I’m 47 and have been super obese for 25 years!! Stick to the rules especially the drinking of water. I’ve done every diet invented but the Cambridge has been the easiest for me and I’ve suffered no side effects and feel GREAT!!! it’s not about if the diet is right it’s about is your head in the right place and are you motivated enough to succeed!

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  • 15
    gia

    I am on day 2. Side effects are headache and hunger. I will stick with this 100% otherwise it is not worth it. Will keep updating on progress.

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  • 16
    annmarie

    Hello. Iam hopefully starting the plan this week. Iam just waiting on the consultant gettin back 2 me. I hop I can do this.

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  • 17
    julia

    i have attempted the diet so many time but there is some thing different about it this time i have been having 2 porridge.I only like the original one and i find it holds me better.I have also been having a bar a day
    I have loads of water now and also black tea before bed.My wedding is in july and i want to lose 4 stone if i can for now.Nothing tastes as good as success xxx

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  • 18
    debbie

    im starting cambridge tomorro and need to lose roughly 4stone does any1 know how long this will take roughly?

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    Anonymous

    I lost 3 stone in 1 wk feel fantastic

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  • 19
    ema

    im on day 10 n i was in ketsis last wk n lost weight this week i have eaten a few chips n put on a lb, does anyone no can u still loose weight if ur not in ketosis n could i get bk into ketosis if i dnt snack no more?.

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    leelee

    hi ema the weight you put on after eating is water due to you eating carbs get straight back to the diet and if you do choose to eat try eating protein rich food ie eggs meat etc

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  • 20
    Annette

    Hi ,I am on week two of this diet and it is going very well.I have lost 11 lbs in the first week .There is no point going on this diet if you do not stick to the rules 100%.When the weight has come off then you will need a maintenance plan to guide you back into normal food again .

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  • 21
    marina

    i started the Cambridge diet but on the week ends i might eat something more and then start it again on monday is that ok or it doesnt help with the weight loss?

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    Dawn

    Hi Marina. I started the diet 4 weeks ago and on the second week I went away for a weekend and although I did not over indulge i put all of the weight back on that i had lost 5 days prior to going away. I have since stuck rigidly to the diet even though at times I feel very weak. I have tried to allow my self a treat on a weekend such as a small wine but just that one treat seems to put 2lb back on. I don’t quite understand why and it may not be the same for everone but that’s what happens to me, frustratingly!

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  • 22
    joanne

    Thanks Kim, I am on third day now of ss im not finding it to difficult just when im making kids packed lunchs haha, You have done so well with your weight loss and 12lb wont be too long! well i hope im as successful as you. x

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  • 23
    joanne29

    Hi could someone please please help i am starting the ss diet on monday i know i will be able to stick to it but my concern is im going away with my family in august all-inclusive and i want to eat and drink because thats what part of your hols are! so is it possible to have a break for a fortnight and not put 3months of weight loss back on, i wont suddenly bloat up in those two weeks or wouuld i?

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    kim

    Hi Joanne, i’m 10 weeks into the cambridge diet i have done ss for 8 weeks and am now introducing food, ive had a weekend off the diet around week 6 and ate fairly normally, i still lost 2lb that week but found that i was full very quickly and got indegestion. I also found it quite hard to stick to ss afterwards. Iv’e lost 30lb now and 24 inches in total and still have 12lb to go, its slowed down alot now which is a bit frustrating but im still determined.

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  • 24
    ann dorkin

    i am seventy eight yrars of age do you rcommend it

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  • 25
    Lily

    I am on day three of sole source and I feel a little sick, nausea, running stomach and tiredness. I did not experience such sympthoms the first time i tried the diet.

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    gemma

    hiya lily these are all side effects of the diet they will dissappear in a few days its carb withdrawel. your body is haveing one last chance to get you to eat cabs before it goes into keytosis. stick with it itll all be worth it in the end, i promise…

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    louise

    i feel the same lily which is making it harder for me to do but its my wedding in two weeks and i want to look good which is making it a little easier for me to do just remember your going to look even better than what you do now afterwards just think of that dress etc what you want to fit in and summer is on its way good luck.

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    Hannah

    i am on day two of the diet and i am really struggling. I am super hungry today and everyone at work is eating smelly food around me but i am just thinking of the end result…

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    Hannah

    I am on day two of the diet and i am really struggling as i am so hungry…. but i am thinking of the end result. I find the soup and shakes fill me up the most but would also like to try the porridge.

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