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The Cambridge diet is the type of diet that is known as a VLCD or a Very Low Calorie Diet.
On the Cambridge Diet you consume 415 to 1500 calories per day, on what I described as a flexible weight-loss programme. It is a Sole Source Diet, in that all of your vitamin and mineral requirements are provided by the diet regimen.
You take the diet meals in the form of powdered shakes that you mix yourself, soups, chocolate coated bars and readymade drinks.
The diet depends on the effect of Ketosis, which is the technical term for starvation. Men and women need 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. The Cambridge Diet relies on the fact that your body will have to rely on fat reserves in order to provide energy.
Unfortunately the first thing to be burnt off will be muscle mass and vital organs, so most experts believe that any VLCD should be taken under the advice of, and perhaps even the supervision, of doctors.
The Cambridge diet material warns that you might, initially, suffer from a range of symptoms such as headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, irritability, diarrhoea, colic, constipation, dizziness, shakiness, bad breath and -temporary- hair loss. All of the symptoms, with the exception of the temporary hair loss, can be alleviated or lessened by the drinking of copious amounts of water.
What do the products taste like? The chocolate covered bar I tried was, and I am sorry to have to say this, extremely unpleasant. The texture of the filling was rather like a very, very stiff Milkyway. It was supposed to be chocolate flavoured, and whilst there was a hint of chocolate the taste seemed to be somewhat bitter and "chemically" and, to be honest, it was a real effort to finish the bar, which was very cloying. The chocolate coating was indifferent, and not all that appealing. Though it was marginally better than the filling.
I tried one of the shakes. Chocolate flavoured. Allegedly. Again, there was a hint of chocolate, but the main and somewhat overwhelming taste was a sort of artificial, "chemically" metallic flavour. It was an effort to finish it off, it has to be said. It left me with indigestion
The cost of the diet items can only be established by contacting your nearest sales representative, who are known as counsellors, although they do not have any outside qualifications as diet or nutrition counsellors.
I am not knocking the Cambridge Plan VLCD, and it seems to work for many people, but with the taste issue alone I could not stick with it.
These faddy diets are so dangerous....your body needs those calories to survive! Best thing to do is follow a healthy eating plan mixed with regular exercise, the weight may not drop off quickly but it is more likely to stay off! I'm losing on average 1-2lbs a week doing this :-)
little_red_hen 04.03.2007 16:29
My mum and I tried a similar diet plan yonks ago, and yes they were horrid but it did kickstart our weight loss! Bad breath always seems to be a drawback though! We stuck to the vanilla ones.
Amazingwoo 01.03.2007 18:00
Oh my - what a wide range of charming side-effects!