General Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Because of the restricted calorie intake of some of the Cambridge programmes, we have established a Medical Protocol designed to give Consultants guidelines on the most suitable programs for our Members. This Protocol takes any medical condition and certain medications, into account, and allow for the flexibility of using higher calorie programs.
BUT, and this is important! You will NOT be able to start on ANY of the programmes if ANY of the following applies to you.
- Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is below 20
- You are 14 years old or younger. We have a separate protocol for adolescents between 14 and under 18
- You have had a heart attack or stroke within the past three months
- You are prescribed a medication known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor
- You take anti-obesity medication and intend to continue using it
- You are a substance misuser or you are dependent on alcohol
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have given birth within the last three months.
Children under 14 CANNOT use any of the Cambridge Weight Plan programs. Teenagers between 14 and 18 should be encouraged to eat healthily and increase levels of physical activity. If this is unsuccessful, then a Cambridge Weight Plan Step with food (Step 3: 1000kcal/day, Step 4: 1200kcal/day or Step 5: 1500 kcal/day) can be followed.
The recommendations for these Steps are very specific, carefully structured and easy to follow. The support of the child’s parent or guardian is ESSENTIAL and they would need to accompany the adolescent to the weekly meetings with their Consultant.
The support of the GP is essential for all programmes. Step 2: 810 kcal/day may ONLY be started with GP approval. This would be the lowest Cambridge Weight Plan Step 14 – 18-year-olds would be able to go on.
Although the risk of medical conditions increases as a person gets older, we have no upper age limit that would stop someone using our programs. You age may dictate which of our Steps you should start on though. We would advise all customers to consult their GP before starting any weight loss programme.
The research undertaken to develop Cambridge Weight Plan showed that protein and carbohydrates, provided by the diet were sufficient to protect lean body tissue losses.
You may feel some hunger during the first two days but it usually disappears completely on Day 3. This is because your body has adjusted to its new balance of just over 600kcal per day. If you cheat and consume extra calories, you’ll become very hungry indeed. Eating food only stimulates your hunger more. So, try and stick to the plan.
Chewing gum stimulates the release of gastric juices, which in turn will make you feel hungry. Try to avoid chewing gum altogether. But, if you really need to, then only chew for two or three minutes.
Yes. The Cambridge Weight Plan products provide all the necessary nutrients for one day to keep your body well nourished, so, it’s very important to take the full amount.
It’s very important to stay hydrated anyway but very important to keep hydrated while using the Cambridge Weight Plan. We recommend drinking at least 2.25 litres of fluid per day, preferably water. This helps to maintain blood volume and to prevent dehydration. Don’t drink it all at once. Spread out your intake throughout the day.
A good rule of thumb for good health is to drink 2-3 litres of fluid a day whether trying to lose weight or not. Fluid, especially water, enables the body to get rid of the waste products and helps all your organs to function correctly. If the Cambridge Weight Plan is used as the sole source of nutrition, 2-3 litres is the minimum you need for good health to remove the waste products associated with the breakdown of fats that happens with weight loss.
On the Cambridge Weight Plan’s Step 1, it’s necessary to compensate for the fluid that would otherwise have been taken in through food. It’s important to keep the body’s fluid levels topped up to prevent the unpleasant symptoms of dehydration – headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability and constipation.
The Cambridge Weight Plan offers balanced nutrition, but in a very concentrated form. So, if you are using Ready to Drink shakes or bars, we recommend that you drink 250ml of water with EACH product.
Not on the Step 1 Plan. You can whiten your tea and coffee using small amounts of our delicious vanilla flavour sachets. Herbal tea, fruit tea, regular tea and coffee can add variety as can the Summer Berry and Sunshine Orange water flavourings.
Not if you want to lose weight. Alcohol is very high in calories (7kcal/gram) and has no other significant nutritional value. Besides, alcohol is not medically recommended while following a reduced calorie diet.
Consumption of large quantities of coffee or cola is not recommended. If you feel you must drink them, the decaffeinated forms are preferred. Caffeine acts as a stimulant to the body systems and sometimes provides an irritant effect. Herbal and fruit teas offer a pleasant alternative.
The big plus about the Cambridge Weight Plan is, unlike with other weight loss programmes, you do not need to take extra supplements. Each item offers a third of the recommended daily allowance of all vitamins, minerals and trace elements, so three a day gives you all you need.
When people go on food-based diets they worry that reduced food means reduced nutrients putting their health at risk. Especially as it’s impossible to achieve complete nutritional support from conventional food if you’re eating less than 1000 kcal a day.
Cambridge Weight Plan has solved that problem. Our programs have up to 1500 kcal per day. This means the weight plan diet becomes a good nutritional foundation using conventional food. Cambridge Weight Plan members can have confidence that they will lose weight safely and not put their health at risk.
The Cambridge Weight Plan encourages all the well-known principles of healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle. Being physically active forms an important part of your weight loss journey, and is also key to your long-term weight management.
How much exercise you undertake depends on a number of factors:
- What Step you are following
- Any medical conditions you have or medications you take
- Your current capability for exercise, age, lifestyle and your current level of activity.
We recommended that other than gentle walking, no physical activity be undertaken in the first two weeks of Step 1. This will allow your body to adjust to being on the Step you are following. After this period, gentle to moderate intensity exercise is encouraged. If you want to do rigorous exercise at the gym or you are in training for a sports event, Step 3 or more would be more suitable.
Yes. Preparation will prevent “The Last Supper Syndrome”, i.e. a binge the day before starting, which increases glycogen stores and increasing feelings of tiredness and hunger. Begin preparing a week before your start date. Gradually reduce your food intake, particularly carbohydrates. This will prevent carbohydrate withdrawal headaches. Increasing water intake to 1.7 litres per day is also a good step to take.
If you have suffered from constipation in the past, then using a natural bulking agent, e.g. Cambridge Fibre, at a level appropriate to your needs may prevent constipation. Constipation can be a side effect of Step 1 due to the lack of bulk, although a higher Step is often recommended if you have a history of constipation. Check with your GP if necessary.
We recommend that you prepare for a week on the next Step up from that selected for weight loss. For example, if you are following the Step 2 plan for weight loss, prepare by using Step 3, then drop down for the weight loss phase.
At the beginning of your weight loss journey. It’s vital you understand the importance of long-term weight management no matter what calorific level you are on with the Cambridge Weight Plan. It should be a significant component of your weight loss journey and is a necessary part of having real health, a real body and a real life.
Successful long-term weight management is only achieved by making long-term and permanent changes to your lifestyle and diet. Your Consultant will help you consider and implement these changes right at the start to prepare you for when you reach your target weight. The Cambridge Weight Plan is not a “quick fix”. It’s the road you need to travel on to get and keep real healthy, achieve that real body and life that real life.
If you reach your desired weight and then go back to the bad eating habits that put the weight on in the first place, guess what? Everything you lost, you’ll put back on again. The Cambridge Weight Plan promotes effective weight loss and it also provides a sound nutritional base for those who are at their desired weight and want to maintain it by following the stabilisation programme.
Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Muslim year. During daylight hours, rigid fasting is observed, which means that Cambridge Weight Plan and water will need to be consumed before sunrise and after sundown.
During the time available, intake should be spread out as evenly as possible and might necessitate rising a bit earlier.
It may be permissible to delay the fast for health reasons, or alternatively commence the Step 1 plan after Eid ul-Fitr.