The Cambridge Diet was devised by Dr Alan Howard at Cambridge University in 1970. It's a diet that uses meal-replacement food packs that have all the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.
There are 5 steps to The Cambridge Diet, ranging from step 1, called Sole Source (around 500 calories per day) to step 5 (1,500 calories per day). Each step includes at least one meal-replacement food pack, which could be a nutrition bar, soup, mousse or shake.
The principle of the diet is that with the right amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, very few calories and the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals, your body gets all the nutrients it needs and uses its fat stores for energy, therefore burning fat. And because the diet is high protein you don't lose muscle mass or have cravings, like on other diets.
What happens on the Cambridge Diet?You meet with a Cambridge Diet counsellor every week to buy food packs - you can only buy these from a registered and trained counsellor. You also meet to discuss your progress with the Cambridge Diet and talk about your issues and difficulties, if you have them. Some people talk to their counsellor about their emotional issues with food, weight and body image, other people just appreciate a few encouraging words - it's like having a diet coach.
Depending on what step you follow, you eat between three food packs per day (step 1, Sole Source) or one food pack with three meals and snacks per day (step 5), but this is still a balanced low-fat, low-calorie, lower carb diet. The step you start on depends on how much weight you have to lose and how quickly you want to lose it. All the steps involve eating less calories than usual, but step 1 and step 2 involve hardly any carbohydrates, which puts your body into a process called ketosis. Ketosis is when your body uses its fat stores for energy.