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Cambridge Diet

Cambridge Diet Review (UPDATED 2024): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

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

Top Rated Diets of 2024
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.

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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: [email protected]

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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  • Easy to follow
  • Cheap Price
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  • Cambridge Diet
  • 35 /100
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User Feedback

(Page 10 of 59, 1175 total comments)


I started ss today and have so far had 1 shake. Not the tastiest thing in the world and i'm already hungry. I have found that mixing it with hot water makes it nicer to drink. Tommorow morning ill have the porridge as i think it will kickstart the day better. I currently need to lose 3.5 stone so wish me luck

posted Jun 5th, 2009 6:36 am



im starting ss tomorrow for the second time. i tried it last year and only lasted 2 weeks, but did lose 13 pounds in that space of time.. i am now a stone heavier than i was when i started the first time.. i need to lose 4 stone to be ideal weight and finally fit my skinny jeans again. wish me luck, il post again after my first weigh in. xxxx

posted May 26th, 2009 4:46 pm

Laura Manning

Hi, I am thinking of starting the Cambridge diet. I am concerned that my will power won't be strong enough or that the results won't be as good as those I've heard so I and was hoping for some feedback and advice, both the positives and negatives.

posted May 25th, 2009 5:16 pm


Starting SS today so excited can't wait to start losing, feel like I have taken charge of my life, I am determined to stick with it. I found everyones comments very motivating, will let you know how my weight loss progresses.

posted May 24th, 2009 5:58 am


Hi Zhenya ,

How much you lost in one week?

posted May 20th, 2009 9:13 am


Hi All,

I am on day two now, so far so good! I have been slimming world since Jan 09 and struggled to lose a stone so I thought I would give this a try.


posted May 20th, 2009 8:10 am


Hi Everyone,

I'm on my fourth day. I am truely blessed as i've not had any headaches, or much hunger. I cut out sugar about 8 weeks before starting and tried to eat more healthily.

I have gone from drinking virtuely no water to having over 3 litres on the first 2 days, about 2.5 on the 3rd day and about 1 litre so far today (but will definitely have the full 3 litres recommended).

I am going to the toilet ever 15 mins after drinking. I think i've been 4 times today already! I feel like I am constantly on the loo. LOL.

But, despite following the SS Plan religiously, in the last 3.5 days I have not lost a thing.

Any advice, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


posted May 14th, 2009 11:06 am


I started this diet today and I have to say I am really struggling. I'm soooo hungry. My counsellor has set me a deadline of around 6 months to lose 7 stone. It sounds amazing if its possible, but I am really craving food and am worried I can't make the day without caving :-(

posted May 12th, 2009 12:11 pm


I have a question for those on Sole Source: I have been doing 4 weeks of Sole Source and then eating an additional 400 calories a day for week 5, and then repeating the cycle over again. I started on 12/29/08 and I have since lost 82 pounds. The problem now is that I have hit a plateau, and I have not lost in 2 weeks even though I have changed nothing. Does anyone have any advice?

posted May 10th, 2009 5:23 pm

cheeky chops


Hi everyone, just had my 12th week weigh in and so far over 12 weeks have lost 57lbs. YEY!! Going on to sole source plus for a month, then working up the plans, as about 28 - 35lbs left to go.
This is the best diet I have ever done.
Keep going everyone

posted May 1st, 2009 3:39 am

Alice Conolly

I swear by this diet if you follow it strictly. I lost 3 stone in 4 months last year. Unfortuntately I came off it around my birthday and completely fell off the bandwagon. But am back on it as of last Thursday. I have one treat night where I have a meal out (on weigh in day) and this doesn't affect the diet at all. I also find that I can't eat as much as I used to so it actaully does change your whole approach to food. Good luck to everyone on the diet...!

posted Apr 28th, 2009 8:26 am


I tried CD last year for about 2 months and lost 9kg. Had stopped for about a year and sad to say I've gained back all the kgs.

Try to exercise and choose a healthy diet after the programme.

You guys who are taking CD, pls remember to drink plenty of water to prevent the liver and kidney from being congested.

posted Apr 26th, 2009 11:19 am

katie kitty


Hi all, i did CD last year for 2 weeks and lost half a stone but stopped becuase my willpower was not good lol! now i am happy and feel like gibvin it another go! i have a consultation next week! and very excited! only 4 stone to lose!

posted Apr 24th, 2009 6:02 am


Starting cd 2moro i am quite excited im sure i wont be in 3 days...... will keep you informed x

posted Apr 23rd, 2009 5:32 pm



hi - this is my twelfth month on cd + 1 meal and have now lost a total of 7 stone. I love reading all your comments, but is there anyone who has been there long-term like myself, and still has a little way to go? would love to hear from you. keep up the good work everyone.

posted Apr 19th, 2009 2:40 pm



Hi everyone. Just finishing week ten on sole source and had my weigh in....41lbs so far ..how fab is that!!! Half way there. Diet can be hard at times but also easy, so worth it though.
Good luck, stay strong xx

posted Apr 15th, 2009 1:12 pm

Tracey Penman


This diet was made for me, so easy and your NEVER hungry and best of all it really does work.
In my first week I lost 10lb in my second week i lost 5lb my 3rd week i lost 1/2lb BECAUSE i picked at food like garlic bread, popcorn etc but i wont be doin that again! Ive also lost 14 1/2 inches and already down a dress size, so now that my naggin just eat it voices inmy head have been banished once again i cant wait to see what next weigh day will be. x

posted Apr 15th, 2009 4:10 am


.. forgot to say, exercise plays a big part in it for me as well. I am on SS but I havent been truly 100% with it but I do exercise EVERY DAY .. even if it's a 20 min walk ... exercise will help!!!

posted Apr 10th, 2009 8:44 am


YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH ... weighted in today .. i've lost a stone in two weeks!!! I cant believe it myself and can't stop grinning. In the past I've complained that as it was my time of the month, I couldnt stop eating but this time round I've managed to control myself and am so proud!! Today I even went out and bought a top in a size 16 and it fits nicely!!!!!!! The last time I did that was about 3 years ago. I'm not gonna even worry about how much CD is costing me now b/c I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Keep going people!!!!

posted Apr 10th, 2009 8:42 am


hi everyone, just come across this site and thought id leave a comment! im on day 12 of ss, lost 9 lb in 1st wk so very motivated to carry on, am finding it gets easier to stick to as time goes on and from thurs will be able to have the chocolate bars so am hoping will be easier again. have got a wedding in 4 weeks so am determined to stick it out, especially with summer on its way- know ill be gutted if i dont!! finding drinking lots of water ok, the evenings are when i struggle and think constantly about food!! but by doing something, like having a shower, i find the feeling soon passes. itll be my 2nd weigh in on thur so will keep my progress updated. good luck everyone!

posted Apr 8th, 2009 5:02 am


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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.

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  • 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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