Cambridge Diet

cambrigde-dietThe Cambridge Diet is based in the United Kingdom. It has it’s origins from the Cambridge University in the late 1970s.

The Cambridge Diet was officially launched in 1984, but now has distributors worldwide. Online it is known now as the Cambridge Weight Plan.

The Cambridge Diet Plan

The Cambridge Diet is a Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and is made up of pre-packaged foods. The foods have been formulated to provide precise amounts of vitamins, nutrients and calories – and are available as sachets (shakes or soups), bars, or “brix”.

The daily calorie levels start as low as 415-500 calories per day. After a period of time (a maximum of 4 weeks), the calorie levels are upped (first to 790, then to 1,000 calories per day).

It is essential that copious amounts of water are drunk during the diet to avoid dehydration.

Dieters are given one-on-one support through independent Cambridge Weight Plan Consultants. These certified individuals will encourage and help you track your progress during weekly meetings.

Success Stories

On the Cambridge Weight Plan’s website there is a community forum for users to support each other and also many success stories of those who have used the plan successfully.

Here’s an excerpt from one customer’s experience:

Cambridge has completely transformed my life and gave me foundations to build my new lifestyle which has helped me maintain my weight for 13 years. I kick start my manic days with a Cambridge shake and am able to take on all kinds of challenges, as a Cambridge Consultant, MMA and Kickboxing teacher and a mum of two. I am a health and fitness ‘fanatic’ now. Don’t think of Cambridge as a temporary solution, if you focus, follow the steps up and are committed to change you can create a whole new life for yourself and keep your weight off for good. – Rehana K.


Although the Cambridge Diet is really low in calories, they recommend that dieters exercise, but according to their unique needs and medical profile.

The independent Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant will be able to help dieters choose which level of exercise is appropriate as well as offer exercise suggestions.

Cambridge Weight Plan Costs

The Cambridge Diet costs about £45 a week or about £2.15 per meal, but can vary according to your unique needs.

Your independent Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant determines the exact cost based on your needs.

Learn more via their website here.

A Risky Endeavor?

The Cambridge Diet should be used only under the guidance of a medical practitioner.

In the UK, the diet is only available through accredited counselors and to people with a BMI above 25.

Despite research confirming the benefits of VLCD’s they should only be used under medical supervision. Exercise cannot be maintained (except for very low intensity exercise) during the diet, and additional fiber may be required to prevent constipation.

Also, by using the Cambridge Diet’s meal replacement products, dieters may have trouble keeping the weight off once they resume a normal diet.

Be very careful with the Cambridge Diet.

Different Versions?

The Cambridge Diet is only available through distributors. The distributors in the USA provide slightly different formulations to those in the UK.

Also there are other versions of the Cambridge Diet that may not be legitimate.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Baker, S., Jerums, G., & Proietto, J. (2009). Effects and clinical potential of very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes research and clinical practice, 85(3), 235-242. link
  • Fujioka, K. (2002). Management of obesity as a chronic disease: nonpharmacologic, pharmacologic, and surgical options. Obesity Research, 10(S12), 116S-123S. link
  • Saris, W. H. (2001). Very‐Low‐Calorie Diets and Sustained Weight Loss. Obesity Research, 9(S11), 295S-301S. link

122 Comments or Reviews

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  1. Honey

    I did the Lighter Life diet a couple of years ago and lost around 3 stone. I have now piled the weight back on.
    I need to lose 4 stone overall. However, I have a family to go to end of July and need to lose at least two stone before then.
    I need motivation to go Soul Source. Does anyone want a Cambridge Diet Buddy? We could help each other!
    My email address is

  2. Sian

    I am so pleased….I lost 12 pounds!!! And it really has given me motivation for week 2. Thanks for all the comments here, they’ve really helped.

  3. Kirsty

    On day 2 and feeling starving, i know I just have to get past day 3 and it gets easier!!!! Can’t wait to be weighed on Monday have just over 3 stone to loose. But would love to lose a stone in 5 weeks as I have a wedding to go too. I dreamt of egg sandwiches last night how weird :o) Goodluck to everybody else who is doing this x

  4. Sian Luckett

    Thanks for the coke advice, I’m weighing in tomorrow, so I’ll ask then. The craving has lessened, not gone, but lessened!

  5. jab

    hi sian been on the cd since jan 21st 2010 and lost 4st 5&1/2 lb if u want coke has yr consultant told u that u can have 2 cans of coke zero a day! hope this is helpful 2 u x

  6. sian

    I’m on day 4 of the cd and find late afternoons the hardest.
    I’m doing sole source and just yearn to have a diet coke!!When will I stop thinking of this? Thanks

  7. zelda

    i weigh 190 kg and realy need help urgently i live in south africa and would realy like to try your diet if been on lots of dieets but nothing ever workd please help

  8. jane murray

    i have done the cambrigde diet and lost 6 stone it takes a lot of will power but is well worth it in the end so stick to it men and women i was a size 18 to 20 and now a size 10 so good luck people

  9. molly

    I lost 1 and half stone in 3 weeks on only shakes and bars so good luck! Unfortunately not doing so good this time around but intend to start again this week!!

  10. sarah williams

    I am thinking of starting the cambride diet but dont know where to start or where to buy the products for it, could anyone advise me?
    i live in the uk south east area

  11. LaLa

    My sister is getting married in two weeks and I am starting CD tomorrow. I weigh 12st but I’m hoping to shift 2st of this over the next few months. Does anybody have any idea how much weight I could lose in two weeks? I really want to look good in my bridesmaid’s dress! 🙂

  12. esther

    Hi there

    I did a diet very similar to the Cambridge diet its called lioptrim and had a very interesting experience.

    I have to admit out of all the diets i have tried i lost the most weight on this one approx 3 years ago. I was on sole sourcing for 4 weeks, refeeding for 4 weeks and maintainence for another 4 weeks and managed to lose 2 stone! 2 stone in 3 months is very impressive for me as i have never lost more than 10 pounds on other diets within the same time frame.

    You have to have a lot of willpower it takes alot of strength to say no to pretty much all food and consume cardboard tasting drinks all the time instead! What kept me motivated was thinking about my new figure and how good i would look after just a few months of being hungry. I went from a size 16 to a 12 and started wearing dresses for the first time in my life :).

    Unfotunately i met my partner soon afterwards, stopped concentrating on eating healthy and started eating again and going out more to eat. Within 6 months i had put on all the weight back :(.

    Ever since then ive fought with other diets to lose the weight again including the 1200cal a day diet and the evry other day diet with no success! So im starting this diet again soon knowing that once you stop you must continue to eat healthy and excercise for the rest of your life to keep the weight off!
    Remember weight loss is a lifestyle change not a temporary phase of you life. If you think you can do this diet and once you have lost the weight go back to eating as normal ( that is how you did in the past) YOU WILL GAIN THE WEIGHT BACK LIKE I DID!!!!.So please remember to continue watching your weight, keeping active and eating well!

    Lastly I just wanted to add my summary of this diet
    1. Weight loss is so quick that you stay motivated
    2.helps shrink you stomach so when you come off it its easier to eat small portions
    3.helps you re-evaluate the way you consume calories
    4.not that costly feel amazing and look amazing

    1. very easy to pile the weight on if you go back to normal eating
    2. I used to feel faint and a bit dizzy on days that i was very busy
    3-Needs an ocean of will power to stick to it stricly especially when everyone else is eating normally and you have to cook for other people.
    4-expect extreme hunger pains for the first 2-3 weeks as you body adjusts
    5-some people may dislike the taste of the soups/shakes ( i actually learnt to love them especially the peanut bar 🙂 )
    6. i had constipation and bad breath on the diet- apparently drinking more water helps counter these.

    i wish you all good luck and hope you dont put the weight back on! Wish me luck as im ready to lose it again but this time keep it off!


  13. molly

    Thank you Justine, week 2, day 1 today. Totally blew it last week and intend to do better this week – am adding a bar each day as think it may help! Good luck to all my CB buddies!

  14. Justine

    MOLLY- i hate the apple and cinnamon porridge too but today i tried adding extra water and it was slightly better!! lol xx

  15. Justine

    i started the cambridge diet 2days ago and so far im finding it rather easy….alot easier than i though it would be! hopefully i will loose the 4stone i want to loose!! goodluck everybody and remember… YOU DONT LIVE TO EAT…..YOU EAT TO LIVE!!!!!! xx

  16. Sue

    Hi I started back on cd last Thursday, I am using the gelatin powder which turns the shakes into a thick mousse and it’s brilliant, you do feel like you are having a more of a meal. I did the diet about 18 months ago and lost over 2 stone but had to have a foot operation towards the end of last year so was off my feet for about 2 months then Xmas came etc etc so back on cd again and definitely think I might have lost a few pounds already. Good luck to everyone.

  17. molly

    managed to get through the weekend with a little extra protein if I am honest and a large handful of cranberries so have prob knocked myself out of ketosis but am back on plan today!! Feel so much more energetic though and bra seems less tight!!! I want to be slimmer so I am responsable for what I put into my gob!!!!!!!

  18. arlene connell

    first day on the cd and i am determined but cant stop thinking about food. does everyone go through this also i was drinking up to four litres of diet juice a day and i have competely stopped this today

  19. molly

    Day 2 and really want to eaaaaaattttttt, mostly out of boredem and habit if Im honest! Going to go and sort out winter/summer clothes to try and take my mind off of craving!!!!

  20. molly

    Hallo everyone, Day 1 for me and have just had my meal as I am on sole source plus. I weighed in at 6 lbs and want to lose atleast 4 st. Found the apple and cinnamon porridge really disappointing, not the taste but the consistency – may try blending it tomorrow? Marvellous to read others experiences.

  21. TINA

    Hi everyone just finished my first week on CD first few days were ok but as the week went on i got realy hungry had 1/2 slice of bread on day 5 but felt realy guilty just couldnt help it but that was my only slip up.Getting wieghed 2 nite will let u know how much i wieghed later.Good luck to every on cd.

  22. jab

    3st 5lb in 10 weeks well happy , started at 16st now 12st 9lb would like 2 get down to 10st! fingers crossed won’t b long!

  23. rowlow

    It is really encouraging reading the reviews on this page bad and good. I think if you are and inpatient dieter like me then CD could be the kick up the arse one needs! I start the diet on 19th April and I have been worried and excited all at the same time but I am booked in and ready to get going.
    Why are you leaving it so long I hear you ask……well, I’m on holiday and all meals are included with the added problem of it being a gift and the thought of saying…..’Thank you for the holiday but can I not have the meals’ is just a bit ungrateful. However, when I get back there is nothing planned so I can really hunker down and get those extra pounds (hum – stones) off!!

    Any advice, encouragement or support will be much appreciated.


  24. sal

    hi ppl i have been on cd since jan and in total upto date have lost 29lb stil have a good 3stones to loose, would love a diet buddy so if u are strugglin email me at !! im hopin to complete my diet by end of may wish me luck ppl! its hard but im stickin it out so can u !! xx sal

  25. jab

    hi, been on cd for 7 weeks now lost 2st 8lbs feelin really good!

  26. Pauline

    I started the diet on Saturday 13 March 10. I have been meaning to lose weight for a while now and when a friend restarted work with me and told me how she is using the Cambridge (and losing a tremendous amount of weight – 2 stone in 8 weeks so far)that’s the incentive/push I needed.

    So far so good, but I love my food, so this is going to be difficult!

    Would be great to be in touch with others using the diet, my email:

  27. sarah

    Hi there my ex done a diet that is identical to this one (lighter life) and he lost an amazing 10 stone BUT he put it all back on and a little more once he started eatting normal food again. His counsellor did say to him that the vast majority of people end up either with eating disorders or putting the weight back on.

    I really do think this diet is actually quite dangerous and if you have a lot of weight to loose, then loosing it that quickly is going to cause a lot of problems such as saggy skin afterwards. Dont diet just change your eating habbits and exercise more.

  28. amy

    hiya its day 3 on cb diet and i am really stuggling day 3 and iv already lost 5lb can u believe it coz i dont but i am so hungry my stomach is killing me with hunger pains i have 2 stone to loose but am finding it hard does n e one no if i eat a chicken breast and a bit of salad would it wreck what i have done i no its only 3 days but god its hard let me no thank you

  29. jab

    well it’s been 5 weeks now and i’ve lost 1stone 13 1/2 llb feelin good!

  30. penny

    have just started this diet and messed around for the first few days. determined to start today properly.

  31. jab

    hi, i started the diet on 21/1/10 the first week i lost 8 1/2 llb the second 7 1/2 llb the third week was a dissapointing 1 1/2 llb , so feelin a little down , but i have decided to carry on and not let it phase me.

  32. Sara

    Hi All I started cambridge on 01/02/10 and have lost 11 pounds so far, i have 2 stones and 3 pounds to loose. It is hard upto day 10 but then your body gets used to not having food so u will crave less food. I am not saying it s easy but you need to keep motivating yourself, i keep telling myself that i am donig this for myself and not donig anyone a favour and the end results will be amazing. Good luck all x

  33. Vans

    Hi, my daughter has been on the diet for around 4 weeks, and has lost some pounds, which I believe has been an average of 4.4 lbs per week. My concern though, is that as I’ve understood from other sites, when someone is on a diet, this can cause galbladder stones to form. My question would be that if intake of omega3 supplements, being oil, would not promote the extraction of bile by the liver, making it less probable that stones are formed, and if this wouldn’t affect the diet, thus stopping the progress?

  34. farrah

    today is my first day with cambridge diet. it is so hard to live without food! i feel like want to eat…but i tell my self, i cannot waste my money..because 1sch of cambridge diet is very2, i try to close my mouth from eating..wish me luck!!

  35. philippa

    hello i am starting the diet today at like 10am – wish me luck, i have about just over 3 stone to loose.

  36. Sara

    Hi there, I started the VLCD on Monday 1st February. Struggling already with the whole water consumption, but surprisingly don’t feel hungry. Bit light headed this morning, but my counsellor assures me that I feel will feel fine after day 3. Would love to hear tips and advice from anyone who is a few days/weeks into the VLCD.

  37. jo

    hi one my 1st day of my journey to weight loss would love to stay in touch with somone else on there first week jo

  38. Megan

    Hello my first week of being on the cambridge diet and so far i have lost 7 pounds i am very pleased i am just worried how to keep it off when i do come to coming off the diet

    please could any one give me advice


    many thanks ,megan

    and good luck to everyone on the diet

  39. amanda

    Well thats my first week over with on the cambridge diet dont get me wrong its been so hard esp when ur family is eating all around you but i just think of how id feel if i did cheat. i went back for another consultation 2days after id started it as i was feeling very odd during those 2 days id already lost 2lb so i was made up. Ive also been to the gym and play football every week so my day to day life hasnt changed. I just keep looking forward and cant wait to get in that size 10 dress for xmas. Good luck everyone YOU CAN DO IT

  40. Jodie

    Ok so i have started the cambridge diet on Sunday 16/8/9. This is hard work but im gonna stick to it. WILL POWER!!!! i can hear every crunch of someone eating solid food and my sense of smell is so sensitive. im 28 st and cant wait for my first weigh in. wish me luck….

  41. alex

    Hi, I’ve just been for my consultation for the Cambridge Diet, and will be starting in a few days time.
    I’ve already started a Blog(of how I’m feeling pre-diet), as I think it will help me (and maybe others along the way) Next thing coming my way will be the tricky first days. But I know I can be determined to do this. Anyone got good stories to give me some inspiration?

  42. ex-UK

    You can lose weight and keep it off with watching your eating habits, eat plenty of vegetables and drink plent of liquid and lastly WALK. I do not believe that all these packaged foods are good and do not last. The problem is this generation now eats too much package and fast food. Eat home cook good meals and you will have plenty of energy and lose weight.

  43. EightStonesOver

    I started the diet at 21.5 stones in April and was instructed by my doctor to reduce this to 14 stones as soon as practical. Otherwise, he’s sending me in for lap-band and/or liposuction. As of now, I have progressed to 19.3 stones, with 5.3 stones to go. I realize that this is only the first step and the easiest one. The real challenge is for me to continue the focus once I arrive at 14 stones and eat right! 🙂

  44. Maz

    Hi i have just started the cambridge diet. My mum and dad have both lost 3 stone and managed to keep it off. Im on on day 3 and was so hungry today i have a peice of fish and some lettuce. How hard is this diet, its my best friends wedding in 3 weeks and want to have lost some weight by then.
    Can anyone give me some will power tips.

  45. rachel

    is the diet for weight loss or what?

  46. JJ

    I’m starting the cambridge diet tomorrow, so i’ve decided to start a blog on my progress i’m hoping it’ll help motivate me, if anyone wants to come along for the ride

  47. billy

    hi leslie would love to stay in contact as im waiting for my forms to be signed by doctor

  48. billy

    i have no spleen and am on penicillin for life but i really want to go on this diethow can i keep my weight off once im off the diet

  49. lesley

    Hi every1!
    Im 21 years old,and have 5.5 stones to lose before i am in the healthy weight range for my height!
    Ive been in touch with the councillor and shes posting me out a form to take to my doctor?
    I dont live anywhere near a councillor so im just getting the food packs posted out to me and im going to try and stay in contact with other dieters via email so i stay focused!
    if anyone is interested in a cd diet buddy let me know!
    i should be getting it started in the next 7 days or so hopefully!

  50. ria

    Hi, I am starting the Cambridge at the end of the week, want to loose about 3 stone! its gonna b long n hard! im a student so cutting out the drinking on nites out will b the biggest challenge!

Last Reviewed: March 22, 2018