The Cambridge Diet is a highly structured, extreme weight loss plan that involves regularly consuming low-calorie soups, shakes and snacks.
The program is made up of four phases which include a preparation stage, a weight loss stage, a stabilisation stage and long-term weight management. The low-calorie foods are designed to fulfill all of a person’s daily nutritional needs, whilst meeting strict calorie guidelines. The diet achieves results more quickly than the average calorie-controlled diet and dieters tend to lose weight quickly (up to one stone in a month). The diets range in calorie content from 600 to 1500 plus calories per day.
The diet works in a similar way to the ketogenic diet and forces the body to switch from carbohydrate metabolism to fat metabolism. Followers of the diet include anyone looking to lose weight, whether they are obese or simply wanting to shift an excess half stone. Dieters have ongoing access to one-to-one support from a consultant and a “weight plan wheel” is available as a guide for them to follow.
The concept was developed in 1970 by Alan Howard from Cambridge University. It was launched commercially in the US in 1980 and in the UK in 1984.
The advantages and disadvantages of following this diet are described below.