healthy food

The Cambridge Diet Plan

The Cambridge diet is a restricted calorie plan that has been popular for over twenty years. Not exactly a fad, it's not exactly revolutionary either. Read the key elements of the diet below.

The Cambridge diet includes an eating plan, formula foods, and the support of a counsellor. The Cambridge diet includes six steps of progressively increasing calories, as follows :

  • Step 1 : 415-554 kcal
  • Step 2 : 790 kcal
  • Step 3 : 1000 kcal
  • Step 4 : 1200 kcal
  • Step 5 : 1500 kcal
  • Step 6 : Maintenance

Step One

Step one relies entirely on eating the Cambridge Plan foods in place of meals and also drink 4 pints of fluids over the day. It is very low calorie and thus difficult to maintain for a long period, but may be suitable for those who feel the need to kick start their weight loss.

It's also a chance to completely avoid the temptations of conventional food for a short while. It is designed for people with a BMI above 25, or those who need to lose at least a stone.

Step Two

This is also known as the 'green and white' stage, adds selected lean protein and 80g of vegetables per day with the 3 or 4 meal replacement products. You can also drink 3/4 pint of skimmed milk along with the 4 pints of fluids.

Step Three

Now down to two Cambridge Weight Plan products per day you can eat one 150kcal breakfast. Drink 1/2 pint of skimmed milk or 170g of low-fat yoghurt. A salad lunch with a 400kcal meal.

In effect, step three adds in fruit and carbohydrates whilst reducing the reliance on the plan products.

Step Four

By the time you reach step four (1200 calories) a greater variety of conventional food can be added to your daily menu. You can eat two Cambridge Weight Plan products per day, plus a breakfast of 150kcal or 250kcal. Then eat a lunch of 200kcal or 300kcal and a dinner and dessert of 370kcal per day.

Fluid-wise, drink 1/2 pint of skimmed milk and at least 4 pints of fluids over the day.

Step Five

Now down to one Cambridge Weight Plan product, you can eat one 300kcal breakfast, one 350kcal lunch and a 100kcal portion of fruit. FInally, you can also east one 350kcal dinner and a 150kcal dessert.

Again for fluids it's 3/4 pint of skimmed milk and 4 pints over the day.

Step 6

Ta da - you will hopefully have reached the target weight.

The aim is now to keep your weight stable and to avoid putting any of the pounds back on. Our calorie-banded Steps are designed to help you with stabilisation and then long-term weight management.

Our Opinion

This plan follows good basic principals, including:

  • Avoiding fat
  • Restricting salt
  • Eating fibre
  • Reducing sugar intake
  • Restrict alcohol
  • Avoiding fast food

With its emphasis on eating healthy foods, and structured maintenance programme, it offers a good choice for someone who wants to lose weight and keep it off. A week's supply of formula meals costs around £30-35, and includes the support of a counsellor.

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