Giving a diet a prestigious name, doesn’t guarantee it’s healthy nor good for you in any way. Here’s our Cambridge diet review.

What is the Cambridge diet?

Below is how the NHS describes the Cambridge diet:

“The Cambridge Weight Plans are based around buying and eating a range of meal-replacement products with the promise of rapid weight loss. There are six flexible diet plans ranging from 600 calories to 1,500 calories or more a day, depending on your weight loss goal. There is also a long-term weight management programme. The bars, soups, porridges and shakes can be used as your sole source of nutrition or together with low-calorie regular meals. While on the programme, you receive advice and support on healthy eating and exercise from a Cambridge adviser.”

I don’t even know where to begin.

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A photo posted by Katie (@katiem24_cwp) on


The diet will definitely have the weight dropping off you rapidly. The changes will be drastic and severe. With such a rapid decrease in weight (fat and muscle mass) your body will suffer massively. It will start trying to preserve life and keep the body functioning.

600 calories is less than what most anorexics and starving, impoverished people eat.

To put this all into comparison a muffin is around 400 calories, imagine eating so little in just one day. Being so hungry and having no energy when you’re trying to maintain relationships, a job and activities in your free time.

Insanity.

Even if you follow the plans highest calorie option of 1,500 calories, you’re still under what the World Health Organisation classifies as starvation.


While this may make you lose weight rapidly, it’s certainly going to pile back on once you’ve stopped starving yourself. During starving, your body will go into survival mode, it’ll teach itself that it needs to store absolutely every piece of food because it’s used to having so little.

Once the starving is over and normal eating resumes, your body will still be storing everything, so weight gain will be rapid and you’ll probably be bigger than when you started.

The Great Starvation Experiment has demonstrated this point very well.

This is just your basic yo-yo diet. Expect your metabolism to be destroyed.


It’s claimed the meal replacements contain the recommended daily amount of essential nutrients and vitamins. That might be true but what about fibre?

You’ll be drinking a couple of smoothies, eating some soup and maybe a biscuit bar if you’re lucky. The results of a low fibre diet include cardiovascular disease, damage to the digestion system and poor blood sugar control.

Scream health? Yeah, thought not.

Our Cambridge diet review

I think it’s pretty clear that this diet is in no way shape or form healthy. Starving your body of food will definitely make you lose weight but it’s not the way you should go about it. Drastic weight changes are dangerous and could land you in hospital.

Expect bad breath, a dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea and constipation from cutting down on carbs and fibre.

If you’re looking to reach a healthy weight, body size, still have an abundance of energy, you should instead start eating a high carb, low-fat vegan diet. Eating this way will mean you can eat an almost unlimited number of calories, feel full all the time and not need to worry about weight gain.

If there’s one thing you take away from this: don’t starve yourself, eat till you’re full. This diet is dangerous.

18 COMMENTS

  1. An article, as everyone has pointed out, written in ignorance. However it is unbelievably offensive and disrespectful to the millions who suffered and died to caption a photo ‘Concentration Camp guard’. To trivialise that experience in an article about diets (whether well researched or not) shows this has been written by an uneducated, unempathic, attention seeking buffoon.

    • The comparison was drawn between the diets, in which both instances put the body into starvation. Their suffering and death was not trivialised, merely the diets were compared. If you attempt to twist it into that then sadly you are the uneducated, ignorant buffoon.

  2. Notwithstanding what you’ve written is complete rubbish, you’re also leaving yourself open to a charge of defamation when you write something so obviously libellous. Cambridge ‘might’ not bother with you, after all ‘haters gonna hate’, but it might be worth you considering deleting this post just to be on the safe side.

    • The post won’t be deleted. Promoting starvation is not a healthy way to lose weight, there’s nothing positive about that and such the post is written in a way to put people off such a dangerous diet.

  3. Nat why dont you do some research before writting a load of crap! Totally uneducated in this and if you took the time to research you would know why.
    Starvation mode ….your wrong. Put it all back on ….your wrong. Not recommended by doctors…. your wrong. Dangerous …. your wrong.
    It may also interest you rather than of course doing your own research, Cambridge Weight Plan and diabetes UK have been working together to prove this diet can reverse type 2 diabetes. The first studies are all ready out.
    I followed the diet 6 years ago and with the stepped eating programme have kept off all the 3 stone i lost.

  4. This diet has saved my life! Most people who end up doing the Cambridge have had a long and losing battle against the bulge. This diet is extreme but our need to lose the weight is just as extreme. As someone who has finally won a life long battle, I can say with confidence that it is hard but once you get over the first rough few days it’s all in the mind. Yes we have won the “battle” but the war continues but it’s the same with all diets.

    I’m at my maintenance stage because I’ve gotten as far as I want to for now and yes it is a daily battle not to add more food to my plate or have foods which aren’t good for anyone and if I was, to be honest then the chances are over the next year I will gain BUT I will NOT end up back where I started at almost 21st, if it means once a year doing the Cambridge for a month or probably more likely twice a year doing 2 weeks just to ensure any weight gain is knocked on the head then I will do it.

    When you’re someone who has struggled all their lives on all diets and still ended up in the 20+st mark to be able to switch off from food and watch as the weight melts off doesn’t just make you fitter and healthier it gives you the moral boost you will need once you come to the end of the journey.

    As I’ve said I am now maintaining and watching everything I eat and I’m now eating so much healthier foods and proper portion sizes and even going to the gym I am slimmer and healthier than I have been for too many years and it’s only when you have a massive weight problem can you really understand how much of a lifesaver this diet is for many people.

    • OH and you don’t starve. This is a diet created by Doctors for the morbidly obese patients they were having to treat. Your cals are very limited but 3-4 products a day give you all of the vitamins, nutrients, minerals, salts etc you NEED to remain healthy and your body does NOT go into starvation mode. Once your stomach has gotten used to the smaller portions you will find that your hunger is no more than on a normal diet. As you lose weight and need more cals, vitamins etc then instead of adding more products you start to introduce real food and gradually working your way up plan till you finally end up on a low cal low carb diet.

  5. What a crock of shit!!! Written by a completely ignorant person who clearly does not understand the diet! I’ve successfully lost 3 stone on this diet and am maintaining my weight just fine with no weight gain at all! I’m also the happiest and most confident I’ve ever been. I actually feel completely in control of my eating and food through working up the steps.

  6. I think before you review a product, you should actually try it, otherwise it’s speculation.

    We’ve all tried numerous diets over the years, some sensible and some not. What may work for one person, may not for another.

    Years ago when I was fit & healthy I cringed at the Cambridge Weightloss Plan, but I’d not needed anything like it before. I ate clean, had an active lifestyle and trained hard. Fast forward after being ill and about 20ops and rapid weight gain and unable to exercise.

    I’ve lost 3 stone on another Weightloss plan, carb heavy, but it’s not working for me anymore. So, I’m now trying the Cambridge Weightloss Plan. 4 days in on 800 calories a day I found I’ve never had so much energy, sleeping well, skin clearing up, feeling very healthy, concentration increased. Maybe it’s because I’ve kicked out carbs. Also the plan delivers optimin nutrition in the products.

    I’ve not actually been hungry either. It’s more I want to eat out of habit.

    It’s very similar to a ketosis diet which athletes and bodybuilders etc use to get lean. I used to do Olympic Lifting and have done Keto diets and they are difficult to do. Cambridge is a simple version, no effort.

    The bottomline is…being overweight is unhealthy and dangerous. So, if someone finds a plan such as Cambridge which aids them to lose weight it’s a good thing. You generally find people when they reach their goal weight they start to exercise and eat clean.

    Whether people decide to use Cambridge, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Keto etc who cares?? If they lose weight and stop eating McDonald’s, crisps, sweets, chocolate, and other crap it’s a good thing. They are on the right road to taking a positive step to change to becoming healthy.

  7. This is absolute rubbish! At least do your research or experience the diet personally before writing this. I am currently on the Cambridge weight plan and cannot recommend it enough. Surely to lose weight something in your diet has to give. If I wernt on this diet I’d still be fat unhappy and have many health problems. I have started to rebuild my steps learning portion sizes and what foods I should be eating in order to have a healthy balanced diet. I see this diet in the same way as a gastric band in order to lose weight you need to reduce food intake and portion sizes, is that also unhealthy? This diet has helped millions of people get on track with dieting. I suggest you try it before reviewing it.

  8. Completely uneducated crap. This diet is recommended by doctors. You have a biased opinion based on no evidence or experience. Perhaps you should make an effort to research properly before writing such bollocks.

    • 600 calories is starving yourself.

      Most doctors are clueless when it comes to diet and nutrition, many are even obese themselves.

      • Seriously? You know better than a medically trained person then? Being overweight doesn’t stop some individuals from understanding the science. And your comment that most doctors are overweight is offensive and inaccurate.

        • Oh dear, you clearly have no idea how the body works. It runs off sugar thrives off high carb, no one can perform their best during starvation. And yes, while you may lose a lot of weight, this is not relative in any way to health. There are much better ways to achieve your bodies natural shape and weight.

          Starving yourself isn’t a solution.

  9. Absolute rubbish , written by someone who has not researched the diet properly, has not read the MANY Research paper produced over the years regarding the effectiveness and safety of a VLCD/Meal replacement diet. for example the findings from a study taken to measure muscle mass lost through conventional diet and meal replacement/VLCD. Less muscle was loss with Cambridge than the conventional with food diet study!!!! Cambridge has been around for over 30years would it still be available if it was dangerous? NO. Get you fasts right.

  10. I was encouraged by my nhs doctor to follow this diet and my extremely painful back pain has eased unbelievably. No more migraines…sleeping better and more energy. I work 2 jobs and run my own business whilst looking after my family…I couldn’t do this without energy! I look better, feel better and am more focused on cwp than ever have been on ‘conventional’ diets. This is a short term solution but with long term effects of you follow the guild lines of maintenance. And no…I am not on 600 calories before you ask…as you point out, there are other steps up to 1500 calories a day…myfitnesspal had me on a similar amount when I tried to follow their recommendations a couple of years ago! Does that mean they are ‘dangerous’ too? Try the plan first on ALL steps before you make such a sweeping statement.

  11. Absolute rubbish.. It’s reccomended by doctors, since starting this diet some of my medical problems have decreased, my skin is healthier, my hair, I FEEL healthier I’m more energetic AND I LOOK GREAT? No muscle loss as I gym and I love it so stick that where the sun don’t shine!

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