Medical Frequently Asked Questions
Step 1 should NOT be followed for one week before giving blood and for one week after. During this time it would be wise to raise move up to Step 4.
Yes. Depending on any other health issues you may have and your current BMI, you can follow any Step, even if you have high blood pressure. The Cambridge Weight Plan is low in sodium which results in a natural water loss in the early stages, especially if it’s the sole source of nutrition. This, along with your weight loss, can reduce blood pressure in some cases.
Many people with high blood pressure experience a drop in blood pressure after losing weight. Sometimes a decrease in medication can be required. Good news all round.
So, regular monitoring is required while on you’re the Plan. Hypertension medication and diuretics prescribed for hypertension will need to be monitored and adjusted while you’re losing weight.
Yes, you would be able to follow the Cambridge Weight Plan. However, you need to have your Warfarin dose monitored regularly throughout your weight loss to ensure your thyroid function remains stable. Your Consultant would be able to advise you further.
Yes. Studies have shown that using the Cambridge Weight Plan products as the sole source of nutrition may reduce levels of blood cholesterol by as much as 25% and blood fats (triglycerides) by 40% or more – the reduction seems to be greatest in those with initially high levels.
When members returned to a normal diet the levels rose again but still stayed lower than before. There is also some evidence that following a weight loss, on-going use of the Plan as part of a healthy diet, i.e. with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, lean meat, oily fish (e.g. salmon, herring, mackerel, etc.) and unsaturated fats may help control cholesterol levels.
If you take medication for your cholesterol, you will need to be monitored by your doctor, and as you lose weight this medication may need to be adjusted.
Bulimia can occur as a result of various underlying factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. If you are currently suffering from this condition you won’t be able to start the Cambridge Weight Plan.
If you have a history of bulimia, your Consultant would need to contact the Cambridge Weight Plan’s medical team for further advice. Our team looks at each case individually. Some members with a history of Bulimia may then be able to start on one of our higher ‘with food’ Programs.
We have a range of gluten-free products suitable for individuals with coeliac disease. Click here to view the Allergies, Intolerances and Choices chart or contact your Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant for further information.
Although the Cambridge Weight Plan contains all the nutrients required for normal health, when you are fighting an infection you may fight back more effectively on a higher calorie intake. While you are recovering, you should raise your calorie intake to a higher level. Remember that sugar free cough and cold remedies are available.
Most members would be able to follow the Cambridge Weight Plan if they are suffering from depression. It may be that a higher Step would be more suitable for you but your Consultant would be able to advise you on this.
Customers who have Type 1 and 2 diabetes can follow the Cambridge Weight Plan with the support of their doctor and/or specialist nurse. We would want you to have a slightly slower reduction in calories to ensure that blood glucose levels remain as stable as possible. Your Consultant will be able to advise on a suitable Step for you to follow.
You can start any Cambridge Weight Plan Step. Your Consultant will send a letter to your GP advising them that you have chosen to lose weight with the Cambridge Weight Plan and during your weight loss you will need to have regular appointments with your GP/Diabetic Specialist Nurse.
It may be possible for you to follow Cambridge Weight Plan if you have been stable with no seizures or medication adjustments for at least six months. A Consultant would be able to advise on a suitable Step for you to follow.
Gout sufferers generally have raised blood levels of uric acid (hyperuricaemia), which can cause crystals of sodium urate to be deposited in the joints – an extremely painful condition.
Using the Cambridge Weight Plan as a sole source of nutrition may also raise uric acid levels. Anyone with a history of gout should be warned of this possibility. You will be able to discuss this with your Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant who will be able to advise you further.
If you have had a heart attack or stroke within the past three months, you will NOT be able to use a Cambridge Weight Plan.
Depending on your recovery, you may be able to follow a Cambridge Weight Plan Step after three months. Your Consultant will be able to advise you further.
If you take medication for heartburn or gastric acid and want to do Step 1, it may be helpful to take your Cambridge Weight Plan products in six or eight half portions per day instead of the three or four full ones. However, you would be able to follow any Step.
It may be helpful to discuss with your GP that an increase in medication for these conditions may be advisable when following a weight loss plan.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose (milk sugar) and is caused by a deficiency of lactase, an enzyme released by the small intestine that allows milk sugar to be absorbed into the bloodstream. We have a range of lactose-free products available for anyone that is lactose intolerant.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease affecting the weight-bearing joints. Weight loss is regarded as a very important component in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
A lighter body puts less strain on the joints and some patients find they may need less of their anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate the symptoms.
Danish researchers from the Parker Institute at Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen reported in June 2010 that a Cambridge Weight Plan formula diet weight loss programme was very effective in reducing treatment in overweight patients with knee osteoarthritis. In the research group this weight loss and symptom improvement has been maintained for one year.
The Cambridge Weight Plan Peanut Crunch bar DOES contain peanuts. All the other products in the Cambridge Weight Plan range are NOT made in a nut-free environment. They may contain nuts due to the possibility of cross contamination. The ONLY exceptions to this are the Cambridge Weight Plan Ready to Drink shakes.
Please see the Allergies/Intolerances/Choices section for further information.
Any woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding or who has given birth in the last three months CANNOT use the Cambridge Weight Plan. Pregnant and lactating women require increased levels of protein and energy, and are advised to follow a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables.
When you’re pregnant, you have to be careful not to exceed your intake of some micro-nutrients. Current guidelines advise against taking extra vitamin A, which IS present in all of our products.
Cambridge Weight Plan is suitable for anyone with thyroid function complaints. Speak to your Consultant who will be able to advise you further.
The weight and amount of lean (muscle) tissue in your body determines your metabolic rate. The human body evolved to be super-efficient in conserving energy. When your dietary energy intake goes down, your body adapts by reducing heat and energy loss. As a result, your metabolic rate drops. After you’ve lost weight loss and your body no longer needs its old high metabolic rate, your body should return to a metabolic level that’s appropriate for your new weight and lean tissue.
Obesity is now much better understood than it was 20 years ago. At that time, fat tissue (adipose) was believed to be simply a store of energy and an insulation layer. Now, we know that adipose tissue is a very complex organ which produces signals (hormones) that can influence health and disease in parts of the body.
Most importantly, we now know that some of those signalling chemicals increase inflammation in other tissues, especially in blood vessels. Adipose tissue can also have a direct effect on organs located right next to the fat. For example, fat around the heart may directly affect the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in the coronary arteries.
Genetic factors interact with environmental factors (diet, exercise, other aspects of lifestyle such as stress and sleep) to cause either slimness, or obesity, and obesity-induced problems such as diabetes. So, not all overweight and obese people develop diabetes as early in life as might be expected.
Having said that, obesity IS linked to:
- Gall bladder disease
- Heart disease osteoarthritis
- Heightened risk of accidents
- Increased risk of some cancers, and increased risks of problems around the time of surgery
- Sleep problems
Methods for helping people who are already overweight and obese are being developed by scientists across the world. Formula-food based, very low-calorie and low-calorie diets are one of the several options people can choose in order to lose weight and try to maintain their weight afterwards.
The Cambridge Weight Plan is at the forefront of research and development in obesity management and prevention, commissioning research from centres of excellence in several countries and working as a stakeholder with government agencies in the UK.