As a Yoyo Dieter I am always looking for quicker more effective ways to lose weight, so I recently decided to try the Cambridge Diet, here I will explain the diet, How I started and record any relevant information about the programme.I will also use this post as a Diary taking you through the stages of the diet with me and will record how I feel and how I progress 🙂
The Cambridge Diet is a diet invented by a scientist at, yes, you guessed it Cambridge University.
It is what is known as a VLCD (a very low-calorie diet). In fact it’s so low you can only do it for 12 weeks at a time, then you have to increase your intake again for at least a week before continuing.
While you are on the diet you only consume around 400 calories a day, and live off your body weight (fat) instead.
In the first two weeks it is an entirely liquid diet. Where you have the choice of soup, milkshake or porridge for your three main meals a day and nothing else. From the third week onwards you can swap one of the liquid meals out for a nutrient bar instead. All meal replacements contain your daily allowance of vitamins & nutrients. If you are a man or over 5 feet 8 inches tall this may be more.
Notes: NICE guidance states that anyone choosing to follow a diet of less than 600 kcals should do so under clinical supervision.
As I am starting on Step 2, I will give a little more information on this step.
What do you eat?
Three Cambridge Weight Plan products.
A choice of one protein rich food, this can be
- 100g boneless meat (eg lean beef, lamb or pork)
- 100g boneless poultry (eg chicken or turkey breast)
- 100g fish (eg salmon, sardines or tuna)
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 tablespoons of seeds (eg sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
- 3 tablespoons of nuts (eg almonds or walnuts)
An 80g portion of vegetables
200ml Skimmed milk.
Continue to drink at least 2.25l (4pts) of fluids per day, these can include:
• Water (still or sparkling)
• Tea or coffee, and herbal teas (leaf not flower)
• Cambridge water flavourings and occasional low-calorie/diet drinks, flavoured waters or squashes.
Here are a few of my Tips to Survive the Cambridge Diet:
- Buy Ice, you can chew on this to ‘substitute’ the habit of chewing on food, Or add to Water to make it ice-cold therefore more appealing
- Buy Coke Zero this can be drank throughout the diet, and for me its nice to taste something I actually enjoy!
- Sugar-free Mints and gum can be used on this diet, so stock up! this also helps at the later stage of the diet where bad breath makes an unwelcome appearance.
I am going to Ibiza on the 3 July, Which is 27 days (3 Weeks & 6 Days) I would like to lose 18 lbs by then, but as the average weight loss is a stone a month I would also be happy with that! I have on my Ticker below 18lbs this would take me to the weight I was last year around this time when I split with my husband, its very optimistic but worth a try!
After tasting the first REVOLTING Porridge I was dreading my next meal! and really struggled and gave in that same day!
Day 1 (Take 2)
After speaking to a friend that had just lost 10lbs in her first week I went back to considering how I could adapt the diet to myself and my lifestyle and researching this diet aswell as other shakes and diets I decided to give it another go but this time I have added a small meal by skipping Step 1 and Starting on Step 2.
I had an awful porridge for Breakfast but added a bit of cinnamon which helped a tiny bit, and washed it down with some Coke Zero, by Lunch Time my stomach was starting to rumble so I had a Chocolate Orange flavoured shake which was surprisingly tasty and filled me up, In between those I survived on Coke Zero, Large glasses of Water with Ice and Sugar Free gum.
For Tea I had a Chicken breast fillet and some Broccoli and Carrots, It went down a treat! didn’t totally fill me but that’s to be expected!
I’m not going to lie by bed time I was starving and started to think about giving up! and I cheated and had some Frosties! arrgghhh Much to my disappointment! Which means I have had carbs and it will take an extra day for me to go into the Ketosis stage! Tomorrow I need to be stronger!
After yesterdays mishap with the cereal! I woke up more determined than ever! I had a Chocolate Orange shake for Breakfast and went shopping, which was extremely difficult! I stocked up on Diet Coke, Sugar free mints and Fish & Chicken Fillets for Tea Times.
Its 3pm now and my belly is starting to rumble, I am going to stick it out until later so I can have my meal and then a Cambridge soup for Supper.
I am starting to get headaches and I feel a little light-headed, I have taken painkillers and I will have a rest, I am going to do 10 minutes on the Wii Fit later, although too much excersize is not allowed in the first couple of weeks.
It’s now 6pm and I ate my meal of the day at 4.15 I had a piece of beef, with a small amount of mushroom, onions and mushy peas, It was all cooked on the George Foreman so no fat/oil was used, it was delicious and I am still quite full now, I followed the meal with a glass of water and a herbal tea, to make me feel fuller and it seems to have worked. I’m doing much better today than I was yesterday so I’m feeling pretty confident! lets hope I last the night!
I did ok last night, was feeling quite full but still had a Vegetable Soup to eat, so I ate it about 7pm, by a bit later I started to feel hungry again, not sure if it was force of habit or not! but I managed to go the day and went to bed feeling pleased with myself 🙂
Today I woke up with a Migraine 😦 I took painkillers as soon as I woke up, I had to get up pretty early this morning so I waited about an hour before drinking my first Choc/Orange Shake. By 12pm I was starving and its 2.30 and I’m really struggling, I am managing to keep going but will soon have a soup which should take me over to tea tonight then I will have 1 left for supper!
I feel really tired and can’t shake the headache off, I am going to lie down for a while, boredom is starting to kick in because I have no energy to do anything! I’m alone all weekend so I think I will struggle! but hopefully will stay on track by looking at my photos of my sorry self and drinking lots of fluids!
I found I struggled until I had my 1 Meal at 4pm, I had a small piece of Beef with mushrooms and some peas. After that I wasnt to bad and managed to be o the rest of the night, I felt much better and later I had my Choc/Orange Shake with Hot Water so it was like a hot Choc, It wasnt too bad but I wouldn’t have it again. My consultant only gave me the one flavour of shakes so it’s getting a bit boring now. I will order some different varieties next week.
I found these photos on-line which to me are really inspiring! …This was after 12 Weeks!!:
I woke up early again and had a Coffee, Followed by a Chocolate Milkshake and some Coke Zero to tale with me as I was off shopping for crafty bits and pieces to keep me occupied, I have found if I keep myself busy its much easier as I’m not thinking of food all the time! so I have decided to customise some items for my holiday to Ibiza 🙂 I will be uploading them to my blog as I do them so watch this space! .I thought its best to get my errands done on a morning because that’s when I have the most energy! its 1pm now and I m about to have a soup to get me over till Tea time! I’m having white fish with broccoli and cauliflower.
This evening has been my worst yet, I didn’t have much to do and all I could think about was getting a takeaway, I had to park outside of fish shop which was like torture as I could smell the food! and all of my Facebook Friends seem to be eating! I also didn’t enjoy my meal today as the fish wasn’t nice 😦 I found myself munching on a full tube of Sugar Free Mints, now surely I am not supposed to do this but it was this or a greasy kebab! (Or a Heart Attack as my friend has decided we will call it from now on to remind us of the evil that is Kebab!)
This Morning I had a quick look on the Wii Fit to do a body test, it says my BMI has lowered so I am really pleased with that!
I seemed to feel much better today, more energy that I have had in the previous days and I think Iv learnt to not acknowledge food around me! that’s my technique, If I see it or smell it or hear people talking about it I just kinda ignore it! and pretend it didn’t happen or ‘its not for me’ ‘I dont eat food’ a bit of brain training and hopefully this will work!
I had the Chilli oriental soup today and it was tasty, I added some pepper to make it extra spicy and afterwards I actually felt like Id eaten something that’s not so bland! I also called my consultant and she’s arrange to come and see me at 1pm tomorrow, a day earlier than the usual weigh ins but I am looking forward to choose more food that I will enjoy and not the disgusting porridges and revolting Tomato soups! also it will be nice to taste something other than Choc Orange Shakes! I am quite fussy so I decided to stick to what I know I will enjoy, or be able to keep down! I am looking forward to try the Choc Mint Crispy Bars!
Here is what I chose:
6 Chocolate Mint Bars & 1 Chocolate Chewy Bar.
6 Chocolate Mint Shakes & 1 ButterScotch
4 Chicken & Mushroom Soups and 3 Oriental /chilli
Well today is weigh in day! I’m a little nervous, I hope the hard work has paid off! if not I will be very disappointed and I m worried if its only a couple of pounds in my first week it may demotivate me :S So fingers crossed!
WEIGH IN! I just had my first weigh in and I lost 7lbs! which is half a stone! I’m really pleased just hope I can stick it out and see more results! Not sure if this weeks going to be easier or harder as its been so long since I ate food that I enjoy!
I did get to taste one a Mint Choc Bar with a cup of coffee earlier, it was nice to taste some chocolate! a bit worried how the bars and with it being week 2 will affect my weight loss this week, but hopefully I will have a little more energy and fit in some excercise aswell 🙂 ‘Im just 11 lbs off my goal weight for Ibiza, MUST RESIST TEMPTATION.
So after the first week I decided there’s no point in updating daily! So here is a quick update to let you know how I’m getting on.. I have struggled all week, although the hunger is not as bad and the habits of the diet have kicked in, I was starting to get very tired of the same bland food day in and day out! I have been really depressed especially on a night time, feeling sorry for myself as lets be honest, If it doesn’t involve food or drink then its probably not that fun! I have also been stressed out at home which makes it a LOT harder!
When it came to Thursday (Day 9) I was fed up and desperate not to spend another night in the same mood! so I went out for dinner and had a small jacket potato and 5 Bean quorn Chilli, which was delicious by the way! I know I am not supposed to eat any carbs but after eating this even though at first I suffered a bit of tummy upset, I felt mentally happier strangely! I was full pretty quick and bloated straight away, which made me realise the effect of the carbs. Since then I have stuck to a very low carb diet and havent been that hungry at all! I still have a lot of products left from the Cambridge diet so I am going to carry on using them for a few days but I have decided to stick to a low carb diet and carry on like this as I feel it suits my lifestyle better!
I have lost 9lbs altogether now and I am starting to feel better and have had a few compliments which I didn’t expect at such an early stage!
As a summary of the Cambridge diet I think its a great diet if you have the willpower and determination and perseverance it requires! I have had a good start and I’m happy with my 9lbs off in 11 days! My friend also done the diet the same as me and has lost 10lbs but has decided to stick to a healthy low carb diet the same as its easier to live a normal life. I felt quite isolated as I avoided food and drink because it made it so much tougher being around something you cant have. As I am still using my products and adding some carbs to my evening meal I have been taking my Cambridge Meal replacement bars to a coffee shop on a morning with a friend and having black coffee with skimmed milk to introduce the real world into my life again instead of shutting the world of food and drink away! If you are about to embark on the diet then I wish you the best of luck! dont just jump in at the deep end, research the diet and decide on the best approach for you and your lifestyle!
I will update as I carry on my low carb diet!
Best of Luck!
Much Love xx