The Cambridge Diet - The Facts

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The most popular diet of the '80s has fallen back in favour with more and more weight-conscious people desperate to shed the pounds in as little time as possible. Read on for all the facts on this controversial diet.

The Cambridge Diet - The Facts
There are diets for those who want to lose weight in the name of vanity and then there are those of us who need to lose weight for health reasons. If you fall into the latter category then The Cambridge Diet could be the answer to all of your prayers.

The Cambridge Diet is based on the VLCD or 'very low calorie diet' and involves followers sticking to a strict food plan consisting of the approved shakes, soups, bars and porridge until an agreed goal weight is reached. Depending on how much weight you need to lose and how fast you want to lose it, you can also incorporate 'normal' food into your plan but even this has to adhere to the diet's guidelines.

Before you get cracking with the diet you will have to meet with an approved Cambridge Diet counsellor who will assess whether the diet is right for you. This might sound like a pain but finding a counsellor nearby is relatively easy thanks to the website and the counsellor will also do several follow-up phone calls to check how the diet is going and to provide motivational advice.

Once you've been given the green light and placed on a programme to suit your calorific needs you can get cracking and look forward to shedding the pounds rapidly.

The downsides

This diet is very restrictive and, like the Atkins diet, relies on forcing the body into ketosis in order to lose weight quickly. Ketosis occurs when the body does not receive enough calories or nutrition to function optimally. The body uses its fat stores to burn additional fat as a survival mechanism. Although ketosis does burn off additional fat, it also burns additional muscle during this process and it is generally considered unhealthy by medical professionals. Due to this extreme tactic there are many side effects to the diet including headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, irritability, diarrhoea, colic, constipation, dizziness, shakiness, bad breath and temporary hair loss.

There is also no exercise required on this diet which could result in followers gaining back the weight they lost after the diet has finished.

The upsides

If you're looking to lose weight quickly for a big event then this is a good solution as you are guaranteed to lose weight if you stick to the guidelines. Due to the way the diet works you are given very specific instructions to follow which is ideal for anyone with a busy lifestyle who doesn't have the time or inclination to learn how to cook healthy meals. Having a counsellor is also a great motivation and will help support you during those moments of weakness when gorging on chocolate or a plate of chips is too tempting to resist.

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