The Cambridge Food plan, now referred to as the 1:1 Food plan, is legendary for promising fast, drastic weight loss outcomes. The plan relies on a spread of meal substitute bars, soups, shakes and dishes which can be designed to fulfil your each day dietary necessities whereas conserving energy tremendous low.
Initially devised as a hospital weight reduction programme at Cambridge College – therefore the identify – and launched to the general public in 1984, right this moment’s iteration of the Cambridge Food plan plan follows six staggered ‘steps’, and contains one-to-one assist from a devoted, educated food regimen guide.
Inquisitive about how the Cambridge Food plan works? We spoke to meals scientist and nutritionist Susie Debice, nutritionist Rob Hobson, head of vitamin at Healthspan, and Chris Allsbrook, vitamin coach at OriGym Centre of Excellence, to search out out extra in regards to the programme, together with whether or not it is protected and efficient:
What’s the Cambridge Food plan?
The Cambridge Food plan is a really low-calorie food regimen meal substitute food regimen that dates again to the sixties. Initially developed for individuals affected by morbid weight problems, the plan was created by nutritionist Dr Alan Howard on the College of Cambridge, a pioneer of weight problems analysis and co-founder of the Worldwide Journal of Weight problems.
Relaunched lately because the 1:1 Food plan – to focus on the direct one-to-one assist supplied by the food regimen guide – the Cambridge Food plan follows a framework of ‘steps’ which can be tailor-made to the person consistent with their private targets. The primary (and most excessive) step includes consuming and consuming solely Cambridge Food plan merchandise at round 600 energy per day.
‘Stage two and past progressively will increase your caloric consumption till you might be consuming extra substantial meals and are much less reliant upon the pre-made merchandise that include the food regimen,’ says Allsbrook. ‘The intention with that is to implement healthier eating habits, and progressively switch onus to the dieter to permit them to make the proper dietary decisions.’
Whereas this blueprint is just like different meal substitute diets – Slimfast, for instance – the primary distinction with the Cambridge Food plan is the calorie deficit wherein you retain your self when following the food regimen, says Allsbrook. ‘It is this drastically lowered calorie consumption that prompts the load loss that many have come to affiliate with ‘crash’ diets, and particularly the Cambridge Food plan,’ he says.
How does the Cambridge Food plan work?
The Cambridge Food plan has a three-pronged method: a personalised plan, meal substitute merchandise, and one-to-one consultant-led assist. In a study by Oxford College printed in The BMJ, 138 individuals with a BMI over 30 changed their regular meals with Cambridge Food plan merchandise for eight weeks, consuming roughly 810 energy per day, earlier than embarking on a four-week meals re-introduction part and 24-week upkeep interval.
Contributors got weekly one-to-one assist for the complete 12 weeks – and supplied month-to-month assist for the 24 weeks – offering goal-setting and problem-solving assist, encouragement and reassurance, and preparation for the upkeep stage. After a 12 months, these on the Cambridge Food plan had misplaced 10.7kg on common, whereas the 140 individuals who adopted an NHS nurse-led weight reduction programme misplaced 3.1kg.
What do you eat on the Cambridge Food plan?
What you eat is dependent upon which ‘step’ of the Cambridge Food plan you are in. The primary 5 steps embody at the least one meal substitute product, corresponding to shakes, bars and smoothies:
- Step One: At this stage, you solely eat meal substitute merchandise.
- Step Two: Three meal replacements a day, plus one wholesome meal of your selection.
- Step Three: Two meal replacements a day, plus a wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Step 4: Two meal replacements a day, plus lunch, dinner, and an extra snack.
- Step 5: One meal substitute, plus breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack.
- Step Six: The upkeep part. There is no structured plan to comply with, however you continue to obtain assist from the food regimen guide.
The Cambridge Food plan additionally presents non-meal substitute Step Up Meals, which may be integrated from the second step onwards for individuals who want to not prepare dinner the ‘wholesome’ meal at house. All of the meal substitute merchandise, snacks and meals include 200 energy or much less and are designed to be ‘nutritionally full’, so that you hit your really helpful each day consumption for nutritional vitamins and minerals.
Does the Cambridge food regimen put you in ketosis?
Whereas the Cambridge Food plan doesn’t particularly intention to place the physique right into a state of ketosis, by its very nature ketosis can nonetheless happen, in keeping with Allsbrook. ‘Given the extreme discount in calorie consumption, and the usage of meal replacements that lack any substantial carbohydrate content material – corresponding to shakes and bars – ketosis can happen when following the Cambridge Food plan, he says.
What’s ketosis? ‘It is the identify given to the metabolic state that happens if you’re following a food regimen plan that has a really low (under 50g) consumption of carbohydrates,’ Allsbrook explains. ‘Underneath regular circumstances, the physique converts carbs into glucose, and makes use of this to supply vitality for cells, bodily tissue and your organs.’
When there aren’t any carbohydrates to attract from, your liver produces ketones from fats and burns them for vitality as a substitute. Whereas this state does facilitate weight reduction, ‘it additionally reduces the physique’s total vitality ranges,’ Allsbrook says, ‘usually leading to fatigue, headaches, muscle soreness or cramping, and digestive points corresponding to constipation or abdomen aches.’
How a lot weight are you able to lose on the Cambridge Food plan?
Many individuals report dropping a stone in weight per 30 days on the Cambridge Food plan, although after all it is dependent upon your beginning weight, and the way strictly you adhere to the food regimen. ‘The low calorie consumption means your physique will burn the reserves it has, and this in flip results in fats burning and in the end weight reduction,’ says Allsbrook.
Keeping the weight off, nonetheless, is one other matter. ‘Any food regimen is efficient for weight reduction should you can follow it, however the issue is that not all of them are as efficient at serving to you to maintain the load off – which is partly depending on you and the behaviour adjustments you might have picked up alongside the best way,’ says Hobson.
How a lot does the Cambridge Food plan value?
Costs differ from guide to guide, the web site states, however on common, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay round £2.63 for a meal. Weekly, it provides, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay round £55.23 – primarily based on three each day Cambridge Food plan meals and a weekly one-to-one session.
Nevertheless, you do have to purchase the merchandise upfront. ‘Whereas per week of the Cambridge Food plan could also be inexpensive than a mean week’s procuring bills, there’s a minimal obligation of two weeks of merchandise, and the expenditure can mount up,’ says Allsbrook.
The Cambridge Food plan advantages and downsides
There are advantages and downsides related to following the Cambridge Food plan. Listed here are the important thing factors to contemplate earlier than you subsist on low-calorie shakes, soups and snack bars:
✅ The Cambridge Food plan is easy
On paper, the Cambridge Food plan is simple to comply with – notably Stage One, if you’re consuming the meal substitute merchandise all day. ‘This food regimen tends to go well with individuals with portion management points, or anybody who would not like – or have time – to prepare dinner meals from scratch,’ says Debice.
✅ The Cambridge Food plan can deal with dangerous meals habits
In the event you’re struggling to interrupt a cycle of takeaways and unhealthy snacks, the construction may assist initially. ‘Within the short-term, the Cambridge food regimen helps break unhealthy meals habits, deal with portion management and assist create a optimistic mindset as weight reduction is rapidly skilled,’ Debice. says.
✅ The Cambridge Food plan is nutritionally full
You may eat the minimal consumption of nutritional vitamins and minerals your physique requires. ‘Very low calorie diets can severely restrict the dietary high quality of the food regimen – though on this case, the meals are nutritionally balanced by fortification,’ says Hobson.
❌ The Cambridge Food plan is restrictive
‘My subject with this food regimen is that it’s fairly restrictive and depends on you utilizing their merchandise,’ says Hobson. ‘The vary is restricted and many of the meals are literally shakes, smoothies, soups and porridge. There could possibly be just a little food regimen fatigue given the varieties of meals on supply.’
❌ The Cambridge Food plan comes with negative effects
The negative effects may be robust to abdomen. Within the Oxford College trial, ‘total negative effects have been extra frequent within the [Cambridge Diet] group’ than the NHS group. The negative effects that have been reported extra ceaselessly have been constipation, headache, fatigue and dizziness.
❌ The Cambridge Food plan can disrupt your metabolism
‘Your metabolic charge might develop into compromised, making it more durable to burn energy,’ says Debice. ‘So, when returning to your regular food regimen, it is seemingly that your weight won’t solely return however enhance. A traditional yo-yo weight response.’
❌ The Cambridge Food plan is a quick-fix
As Hobson factors out, sustainable weight reduction requires addressing your cooking and procuring habits. ‘What are the behaviour adjustments if you find yourself being spoon-fed meals, slightly than making knowledgeable choices on what wholesome meals decisions are?,’ he says.
Cambridge Food plan: The underside line
In case you are contemplating following The Cambridge Food plan, it is vital that do intensive analysis beforehand, ‘notably when you’ve got any underlying dietary or immunological considerations, corresponding to diabetes or a weakened immune system,’ says Allsbrook. ‘All the time pay attention to your limitations or pre-existing well being situations, as these can critically influence how this crash food regimen impacts your physique, in addition to the outcomes you may see.’
In the event you’re even barely uncertain, he provides, ‘I might advise visiting your physician and outlining what the food regimen will contain. They may be capable of verify whether or not this might give you the results you want with out placing your well being in danger. It is also price starting your personal exploration of vitamin. The Cambridge Food plan is under no circumstances a long-term answer, and if you transfer up the “phases” of the food regimen, you may slowly begin to introduce meals that aren’t within the type of a shake or bar.’
Bear in mind, any weight reduction programme price its salt ought to put your well being first. ‘By far the most effective method to sustainable weight reduction is one which encompasses the ideas of wholesome consuming with wise portion sizes and a way of life that focuses on increased activity and exercise,’ says Debice. ‘Aiming to attain your 5-a-day or extra assist enhance fibre consumption that will help you really feel fuller for longer. Making meals from recent pure healthful substances is all the time the most effective route ahead in terms of a nutritious diet.’
Final up to date: 05-05-2021
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