Weight loss and diet plans are big business for doctors and companies. There are several diet plans that promise weight shedding for overweight and obese individuals. The Cambridge diet is one such diet that provides weight shedding.
The Cambridge diet
What is the Cambridge diet? It is a restricted calories diet plan for weight loss. Its other name is 1:1 diet. In this diet, in place of regular meals there are shakes, soups, porridges, and bars. Nutritionist Signe Svanfeldt explains:
“There are different levels to the diet, where you can keep certain amounts of so-called ‘regular’ meals depending on your goal with the diet, as well as how rapidly you want to lose weight,”
The biochemist Dr Alan Howard created this diet. He used to work at the Dunn Nutrition Laboratory in Cambridge. Hence the name. His co-creator was Dr Ian McLean-Baird, who was a consultant at a local hospital. It was in 1984 that they developed this diet plan for weight loss for obese people.
The diet meals
In this diet, there are low calories pre-made meals that the company sells to its clients. Though low in calories, these meals are nutritionally complete. There are 6 variations in it. In step 1 or sole course, the dieter takes 3 or 4 meals of this diet in a day. This provides around 415-554 calories. The slimmer might continue this for one or 12 weeks.
In Sole source +, there are three Cambridge meals and 200 ml of skimmed milk in one day. This gives 615 calories. One can follow it from one to 12 weeks. And in step 2, there are 2 replacement meals along with skimmed milk, some protein rich foods and vegetables. This gives 810 calories in a day and can go on for 1 to 12 weeks.
Step 3 gives 1000 calories per day with 2 replacement meals and skimmed milk and breakfast. There are also salads for lunch and dinner. This is for two weeks. Step 4 is similar to step 3 and for 2 weeks. In step 5, there is just one replacement meal with skimmed milk, breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. This also lasts 2 weeks. And in step 6, there is focus on a healthy diet. Cambridge products are only as supplements. And this is a lifetime step.
Mechanism and advantages of the diet
It is similar to the other calories deficit diets. The body is pushed into ketosis and this causes fat burning. This is the way to lose weight. Moreover, gradual introduction of healthy foods makes it a habit for the dieter.
Along with healthy foods, there is also a stress on exercise to lose weight. But these exercises should be gentle and easy cardio ones during the initial phases of the diet plan where there is severe calories restrictions.
It is effective for weight loss. But there are other benefits too. Signe enumerates:
“You save time cooking as you don’t need to spend much time in the kitchen, which can be beneficial for those with a stressful schedule,”
“You can choose how many meals you want to replace. You don’t have to cut regular foods from your diet, but choose to only replace one or two meals during the day.”
It motivates when the dieter sees weight loss results sooner. But such low calories could cause fatigue and weakness and dizziness in some people. It can increase hunger pangs and cause binge eating. Moreover, such calories deficit diets are not sustainable in the long run.