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Cambridge Diet

Cambridge Diet Review: Does it Work?

A liquid diet that may be too calorie restrictive for long-term success.

Top Rated Diets of 2017
What is it?

The Cambridge Diet is a weight loss program offering pre-packed meals, counseling, and low calorie meal suggestions. It’s considered a VLCD, which means it’s a very low calorie diet.

One can select between 415 to 1500 calories depending on one’s weight loss goals, gender, and tolerance. Consultants are offered not just to guide, but to recommend what calorie limit one should follow. There have been numerous diets observed by our experts, and the highest rated one has been  the 18Shake Diet. It offers a diet pill and meal replacement shakes that aim to reduce appetite for hours, all while providing fat burning effects with its all natural ingredients. More information about the 18Shake Diet can be seen in the link here.

Do You Know the Best Diets of 2018?

Cambridge DietIngredients and Side Effects

Here are some noteworthy ingredients added to their prepackaged foods:

Skimmed Milk Powder


Guar Gum

Refined Fractionated Palm Oil

Acesulfame K




Dried Glucose Syrup

Silicon Dioxide



Guar Gum:Fiber extract taken from the guar plant. It’s used as a general thickener in processed foods, as well as a laxative.  It can promote side effects that include:

         • Diarrhea, gas, and loose stools.

         • Indigestion, nausea, and stomach pains.

Acesulfame K: Artificial sweetener around 200 times sweeter than standard sugar. A study by PLOS One found that:

“Long-Term Artificial Sweetener Acesulfame Potassium Alters Neurometabolic Functions”

This study showed that in mice there was an effect on insulin and leptin levels.  The same study added:

“chronic use… could affect cognitive functions, potentially via altering neuro-metabolic functions”

It also has shown the potential for other side effects according to a review by the Oxford Journals:

“long-dated function on the adult’s sweet preference”

This study was conducted on mice that were given their mother’s breast milk or amniotic fluid in birth, and their preference for sweets changed.

Sucralose: Artificialsweetener that can be around 1,000 times much sweeter than sugar. It has been used controversially since some studies have shown it to be potentially dangerous. One such study was performed by Duke University and it revealed:

“numerous adverse effects”

“reduction in beneficial fecal microflora, increased fecal pH, and enhancedexpression levels of P-gp”

This means the body considers it a toxin, and it reduces healthy bacteria which helps support the immune system according to this clinical study.

Carrageenan: Thickener and binder extractedfrom red seaweed.The University of Iowa ran a study which showed:

“carcinogenic properties of degraded carrageenan”

“ulcerations and neoplasms in association with exposure to carrageenan”

This has shown the possibility for causing serious issues in the body.

The link provided here has the top 10 ranked diets of the year.

The types of foods offered by the Cambridge Diet are meal replacement shakes, bars, pasta, rice, soups, desserts, and other snacks. According to the official website:

“products contain the vitamins and minerals you need for balanced nutrition and healthy weight loss”

Most of what one eats will be the prepackaged foods. This can make it easier to handle a caloric loss, as the foods are specially formulated to be lower in calories. There are also 6 steps outlined one must follow, though where one begins depends on what the counselor advises. Here are the steps:

• Sole Source: 3 to 4 prepackaged foods are eaten a day. The Sole Source Plus option allows for 3 prepacked goods alongside meal of 200 calories, or 4 of the companies meals with 200 ml of skimmed milk.

• 2nd Stage: Protein rich meals are added as well as some skimmed milk and vegetables alongside up o Cambridge meals. It’s typically limited to 810 calories a day for a week long period.

• 3rd Stage: 2 of the meals, some milk, and a 1,000 calorie a day limit. This is enforced for 2 weeks.

• 4th Stage: 2 prepackaged meals, some skimmed milk, and more regular meals.

• 5th Stage: One Cambridge meal and breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner for a total of 1500 calories.

• 6th Stage: Once your heathy weight is reached, this stage helps maintain results. One prepackaged meal a day is recommended alongside continued support from a consultant.

It’s unclear whether or not the consultants have any background in diet and nutrition. It’s unlikely however that they use real certified dieticians, which can be potentially dangerous or lead to wrong advice. Our experts have analyzed many diets and have ranked the top 10 in the list here.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Cambridge Diet Quality of Ingredients

Since the beginning of the program asks for a majority of foods to be selected from the company’s prepackaged foods, it’s important for the ingredients to be wholesome.

Unfortunately, they use artificial sweeteners and cheap thickeners often used to replace fiber. These kinds of additives can actually make weight loss harder, as studies have shown they may cause metabolism disorders as well as other side effects.

It’s also difficult to understand what kind of help is provided by the counselors, which remains to be seen whether or not they are actually certified to give health and nutrition advice.  The link provided here has a list of the highest rated diets.

A review on the Cambridge Diet was performed by the British Dietetic Association, and they have listed possible side effects which include:

“bad breathe, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and constipation”

They also advise for medical support when a person is to receive less than 600 calories, which some plans offered by the company suggest only 450 calories a day. It’s unclear if the counselors offer any support for this type of reduction in calories.

The Price and Quality of Cambridge Diet

The price depends more on how often once decides to use the prepackaged meals. The official website states it will cost per week 48.30 pounds, which rounds to a weekly price of $63.46. Since this is a UK based plan, no consultations are available outside the US. In fact, on the official site there is a map where support and availability is offered, and there are no listings for the US.

The quality of meals is poor, as the additives included are often found in processed foods. It can also be expensive to have to keep using the company’s foods, as the final stage of maintenance requires one pre-packaged meal a day.

Business of Cambridge Diet

The contact information for the diet is as follows:

Phone Number: (44)(0) 1536 403344

Address:Stafford House, 10 Brakey Road

                   Corby, Northants, NN17 5LU

Email: admind@cambridgeweightplan.co.uk

The official website lists how to become a paid consultant for the company. Nowhere in the job skills is there any notice for people to have a background in health and nutrition. The company only asks for people with a background in sales who are organized and can plan ahead.

This means that it’s likely the people who are meant to give support have no skills in helping people with weight loss. The link cited here has the top 10 ranked diets.

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Cambridge Diet

Here are some direct quotes from user reviews:

“not the best diet health wise… nails went brittle thin, hair began to thin rapidly”

“never felt full, I always felt hungry”

“Having a bad time with motivation”

“the first few days are the hardest”

Though there were some weight loss results for people, there were also issues due to a lack of calories. Many felt weakened, less energetic, and much more fatigued than usual.

Some also had symptoms that are clear signs of nutrient deficiencies such as brittle and weak nails, thin hair, and increased stress. This was often the case for people who attempted this diet. 

The top 10 ranked diet plans can be seeninthe link provided here.

Conclusion - Does Cambridge DietWork?

The Cambridge Diet is similar to other diet plans which offer pre-packaged foods. There’s also counseling offered, but it’s clear that the support is from people who are more business people rather than nutrition experts. Many of the foods offered have processed ingredients, though they are low in calories. Reviews have been mixed with some experiencing health issues and hunger. Though a low calorie plan like this can work, any reduction in calories can result in weight loss. There’s nothing special added to the prepackaged foods which isn’t found in a standard processed meal.

Our experts have performed many reviews and have discovered that the most effective diet is the 18Shake Diet. It provides a combination of a meal replacement and a diet pill. They both provide only natural ingredients, no stimulants, and no unwanted artificial or additives. Its effects include appetite suppression, increased fat burning, and more. When used together it enhances weight loss at a faster rate. Customers have also left positive testimonials on the official website.

The 18Shake Diet is also supported by a full 30 day money back guarantee. This allows for people to try this product risk free, and with no questions asked. More information about the specifics of the 18Shake Diet is available here.

How Does Cambridge Diet Compare?
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  • Cambridge Diet
  • 35 /100
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User Feedback

(Page 17 of 59, 1171 total comments)



Helen M, it was 5 weeks and I interval trained 3 times a week and exercised a total of 5 days (especially PowerPlating and pilates). Energy was difficult at first, but I continued gently. There were times I had to eat carbs and come out of ketosis to fuel the training, but then went into ketosis very quickly again. I lost 13 lbs in the first week. And then an average of 4 lbs a week. I treated the whole experience like 'fat' club! When I was on SS, I had my 1st drink at 11am which help stave off hunger. I found if I was peckish after gym, I'd have decaff coffee which helped. Good luck.

posted Nov 18th, 2008 4:25 am



I had my first weigh in on Friday, I started the diet on Monday and have lost 8lb in 5 days!! And 6 inches off so I am pleased. People have started to notice as well now. My husband is away on business, I cant wait for him to come back and see the difference.

I did however make the mistake of being really weak and rubbish and eating half a jacket potatoe on Saturday, take it from me that it is not adviseable as i was very sick afterwards. I am not tempted to eat anything now!! I am starving though :-(

But on a more positive note, i havent got achey legs and knees anymore :-) and I am still going strong on week 2 of sole source.

Keep going you guys, it will be worth it.

Snowy x

posted Nov 17th, 2008 8:16 am



2nd week of being good and lost 3lb, so thats 5lb in two weeks, if I can do the same ech week, I will have lost 1 stone by Christmas, which will make 3 1/2 stone in total. NOT BAD HEY.
I find drinking hot water warms me up now it is getting colder, try it...

posted Nov 16th, 2008 8:30 am

Helen M


Snowy - I had really achy legs for a couple of days (day 2/3 I think) but it went and am now OK and have got my energy back.

Mini Dee - I am amazed you lost 2 stone in a month and were not that overweight. I have lost 11lb since last Monday and would really like to shift another stone before Christmas. This would bring me back within healthy BMI Range. I was doubting I could do it, but having seen that you did 2 stone in a month then maybe I can do it. Was there anything special that you did. I swim just over a kilometre every morning and usually do lots of other exercise. I was so tired first few days that I just did not want to attempt pushing myself further than the swimming and risk losing motivation. Has anyone else been able to loose 2 stone that quickly.

Also, I am finding that freezing some of the bars (toffee) in little cubes, gives me a little treat. I can pretend it's a sweet!!

posted Nov 16th, 2008 8:19 am



Day 12 and I have lost 13 llb! plus 10.5 inches. I started at 15,11 and am aimming to get under 14 stone for Xmas. yes its really hard a first - day 3/4 i could have given up but I did not and how pleased am I now? I now dont feel hungry at all and my big fat tummy is going down each day. Drink the water and buy blender. This will work - no pain no gain - keep at it - it feels great!!!

posted Nov 16th, 2008 4:22 am



I have been on the diet, sole source for 4 days, not a single sausage has passed my lips and feel fine. I went to swap some of my shakes on day 2, got on CD ladies scales and had lost 6lb in 2 days.
This is a last resort for me, I have done WW, Slimming World and Rosemary Conelly and losing 1lb a week just isn't enough for me. I desperately want to have another child, but don't want to be this size when I fall pregnant and I am so determined to lose some weight. My son is 9 and when I fell pregnant with him I was a size 12. Now I am a size 18/20 and I just cant bare to imagine what I would look and feel like if I was pregnant!! Doctor told me I am ok to keep trying for a baby and shouldnt not try because of my weight, its just me worrying.
Has anyone else experienced achey knees and legs on this diet?? I got told it was something to do with toxins. Hope it passes though.
I have my first official weigh in tommorrow.
Good luck to all.

posted Nov 13th, 2008 5:10 pm



eh coke zero is not allowed any more so ya councellor is wrong so tell ya councellor she needs to update her self about that one pmpl

posted Nov 13th, 2008 2:23 pm



my 1st week on the cd, previously done lighter life 2yrs ago nd lost 3st in 12wks and im pleased 2 say i kept 2st of i put 1st on ov the 2yrs so im now trying this and i cant believe ive lost 9 POUNDS in a week, im well pleased, im not a soup person im more for the shakes, i like the porrige but wat i do is i put a spoon full ov my chocolate shake in with the porridge it just gives it a betta taste i also hav tried it with a spoon full ov banana nd that was nice to, but every 1s tastes r different but hope it mite help sum people every1 keep up the gud work XXX

posted Nov 13th, 2008 1:31 pm



Started the Cambridge Diet on Tuesday.
So far finding it is trial and error with the sachets. Had the porridge - it was OK, but a little gloopy. Could not eat the Spicy Tomato flavour soup (I normally love tomato soup) - and ended up throwing it away because it tasted very chemically and did not blend well. The Chicken & Mushroom soup is OK - tarted it up a little with some dried herbs and black pepper - and also gave it a really good blend with a hand blender (finding a blender is a must-have on this diet). Very happy to have found the Chocolate Mint shake (my friend recommended this one) - it doesn't have a nasty aftertaste, and is actually quite tasty. Have been making sure I have enough liquids - have replaced my old "Tea white with one" with Black Coffee and a no-cal sweetner tablet. Also allowing myself a can of Coke Zero (I am told by my counsellor this is allowed !). So far so good - feel fine - a little bit hungry, but that should pass soon when I get in full swing ! So looking forward to loosing weight. My friend is in her 8th week, and she has lost 2 stone already. I have about 3 stone to lose - but ideally would like to lose a little bit more, and then reintroduce healthy smaller portions, and keep my wine intake just for treats ! First weigh in on Tuesday...

posted Nov 13th, 2008 4:32 am



oooooooh!!!!! just had the strawberry tetra brick (ready mixed carton) for breakfast...... it was disgusting! had this really funny taste and left an aftertaste in my mouth.....

think i will stick to the sachets.....

posted Nov 13th, 2008 2:28 am



Had my third weigh in yesterday and have lost another 6lbs....and another 5 inches.....fantastic......this is the best result from an eating plan that i have ever had....normally i would lose lbs but i am losing both and the comments i am getting is really mood boosting and motivational.......

It is definately worth sticking to so keep going....

on target for another dress size before christmas...wooohooo!!!!

posted Nov 13th, 2008 2:22 am




posted Nov 12th, 2008 4:33 pm



..so I weighed myself today (cant wait until next week .. too excited) and found that I've lost 81/2 pounds since SUNDAY!!! I'm not hungry (cheated a little) but still have managed to lose that much!! Roll on next week. Still hate the porridge though!!!

posted Nov 12th, 2008 4:18 pm



So, I have started a personal challenge for the next 3 weeks...this is day 2! I am on sole source- 4 packs a day- and want to lose at least a stone within 3 weeks! I am currently in Canada and brought all my packs with me from London....and want to really kick it up a notch.
I really love the shakes (which I always turn into mousse) and really enjoy the chicken and mushroom soup...but, would love some ideas on what you guys do to spice this diet up!
Does anyone have any special tricks/recipies to make the food taste better/make you fuller?

I know a girl who microwaves her shakes to make a 'muffin' and her soups to make 'stuffing'.....but, I'm looking for something else. Any suggestions would be great- even if it's combinations- like...banana and chocolate shakes mixed are TASTEY! half pack each and you're all set :)
I'm really going to try to stick to sole source for 3 solid weeks. I am so close to my goal and want to reach it soon! wish me luck and please send me your recipies/ideas :)


posted Nov 12th, 2008 1:50 pm



Dear Missy

I am so sorry that you have a bad experience with this diet and you are expecting abuse. Everyone's opinion is subjective. You probably get more abuse from the High Street retailers with their size 6-8 mannequins in the windows or from the magazines with their airbrushed models on the covers. Personally, I diet because I want to be in good health to see my children grow. If I am totally honest, I also diet to look good. Some people need a regimented approach like the Cambridge whereas some people are happy to keep to a diet and exerc ise plan even if the weighloss is slower. I wish you luck in losing your weight. Personally I have lost 2 stone on this diet in a month and I am well within my BMI. I exercise out of habit but followed the Cambridge after the birth of my 4th child to make sure I fitted into my pre-pregnancy clothes ( size 8) again. Best of luck, xx

posted Nov 12th, 2008 1:48 pm

Helen M


Reading everyone elses comments is keeping me motivated. I am trying to lose a stone and a half before Christmas and am now entering my third day, having done two days "sole source". The scales seem to show a loss of 6lb in two days which is fabulous. A friends sister has lost just over a stone in two weeks, so the pain is worth it. I was so hungry last night that I was tempted to "lick the spoon" of the dogs food I was preparing, but managed to resist.! Hunger seems worse in the evening so am going to bed really early. Next morning, it does not seem so bad. I am hoping if I can get through a week sole source, I will have got used to it and will stick with it.

posted Nov 12th, 2008 3:51 am



Hey I started the diet last Wednesday, had my first weigh in today which was great i lost 6lbs and an inch of my waiste.I'm on the sole source, it's not that bad as i thought, the shakes are really nice but i really do not like the soups. The first couple of days were difficult, i thought about cheating a couple of times but i stopped and looked at myself in the mirror and thought noooooooo i don't want to be this size anymore. I have 4stones to lose before next year. I'm doing this diet as i am getting married and i want to look stunning so if i continue losing this much each week, i will reach my goal in no time. For all those people who are thinking about doing the diet, i definitely recommend it but you have to really stick to it. My counsellor said the key to lose alot of weight is to drink a lot of water,the more you drink the more you lose. Hopefully next Tuesday i have more good news so i will keep you posted for all those that are interested. Mwah

posted Nov 11th, 2008 6:37 pm



have through day 2 ok finding it hard to drink so much water

so far so good

posted Nov 11th, 2008 3:24 pm

sally ann


Hi everyone!

i started this diet a 6 weeks ago and dropped 10lbs which was fantastic until i went on holidays........and just did the dog on it, not at all impressed with myself because the weight is creeping up again. iv moved back home with my parents so the idea of "no thanks mum im not eating real food only allowed 3 shakes to eat per day" is not going to go down too well. whats the best alternative on the diet before the xmas rush? everything is up in a heap between being living at home and trying to avoid dinners & breakfasts and then going staying with my boyfriends at weekends...........OH FOR THE SINGLE LIVING ON YOUR OWN LIFE!! help me please!

posted Nov 11th, 2008 3:06 pm



Help!!! have just had a row with my 10 yr old who has such an attitude at the moment he has wound me up like a coil and i have wound up so much emotionally ....i raided the biscuit tin......feel really bad now...does anybody else go through similar prblems...could really do with a pick me up.......how d you deal with them while on cd!!!!

posted Nov 11th, 2008 2:56 pm


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BACKGROUNDBACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

With new diets hitting the market faster than we can lose a pound, it is not too often that you stumble upon a diet that has been around for more than 20 years. The Cambridge Diet has proudly clocked some years under its svelte belt. Developed in the 80s, it still enjoys a very loyal and passionate audience of dieters who have been successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

It is a liquid diet program that involves drinking 3 servings of the signature Cambridge Diet formula each day with or without food. The three servings provide you with protein (either 30 or 50 grams), carbohydrates, fat, fiber and your daily-required vitamin and mineral allowances.

About ten years ago, the Cambridge Diet added an additional product to their 330 Original Product. The 420 Food for Life product contains 100% of the required daily protein needs in 3 servings whereas the 330 Product contains 75% of the required protein. The protein source comes from whey and soy. Both of them are nutritional supplements that do not contain drugs, medicine, stimulants or herbs.

There are four ways for you to follow the Cambridge Diet: - The Fast Track: Consume 3-4 servings of Cambridge a day and no additional food. - The Alternate Program: Use 3-4 servings of Cambridge for one day with no food and then the following day, consume 3 servings of Cambridge with the addition of 400-800 calories of low fat, low calorie health food. Continue to alternate in this manner. - The Regular Program: Eat 3 servings of Cambridge 15- 20 minutes prior to each low calorie meal. Calories should not exceed 400-800 for the entire day. - The Regular Program 2: Consume 3 servings of Cambridge and eat one meal of low calorie food each day. Calories should not exceed 400- 800 calories for the entire day.

Do You Know the Best Diet Pills of 2017?

  • Cambridge Diet contains all the essential nutrients
  • Has a proven success rate
  • Safe for diabetics and those with high blood pressure
  • Its limited consumption of food may incite excessive eating
  • May be too calorically-restrictive for some individuals
  • Does not teach you to eat in a healthy and long-term way
  • Long-term weight loss may not be sustained
  • Calories might be too restrictive for exercise

The foundation of the Cambridge Diet is its signature line of shakes. They come in an array of flavors like chocolate, vanilla, eggnog, strawberry, cappuccino, banana cream and many more. The shakes come in two styles: The Original and the Food for Life.

The Food for Life product contains 51 grams of protein, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fat and 140 calories per shake. It also includes 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals. The Original contains 31 grams of protein and contains about 110 calories per shake.

There is also a line of additional Cambridge products like soups, nutrition bars, and super oats.

When taken the prescribed three times a day, you'll only consume 420 calories. If you select to follow a plan that allows for food, you should not consume anymore than an additional 800 calories a day and these calories should come from low-calorie and low-fat foods like vegetables and lean proteins. If you are on the smaller side, it is recommended that you only consume an additional 400 calories on top of the 420 calories for the Cambridge products.

You are also strongly encouraged to drink at least 3-4 liters of water each day.


Since the Cambridge Diet is so restrictive, exercise should be done cautiously. It is not recommended to start a new strenuous exercise program while on the Cambridge Diet. Moderate exercise like walking or biking is useful once you start to lose weight, providing that it is approached with caution and not done with excess.


There is no question that The Cambridge Diet has been around for a long time. And in the process, many have had luck losing weight by following its strict dietary regimen. Since the diet is so low in calories, check with your doctor before starting it, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

The Cambridge Diet devotees swear by the diet's ability to help them lose weight as long as the program is followed correctly. But like most diets that rely on shakes or supplements to shed pounds, its potential for long-term weight loss and for instilling sound and healthy eating habits in you is not that promising.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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