Cambridge Diet Side Effects

cambridge diet side effectsI have personally suffered a number of these side effects from being on the Cambridge Weight Plan, however this diet is a tough diet let us be honest but if you truly stick to it and don’t cheat you will get the rewards you are looking for. You have to be focused, dedicated and use your consultant as much as you can to help you through and advise you, that is what they are there for.

Cambridge isn’t just about replacing food with liquids that is a big misconception people have, it is about losing the weight and keeping it off through the 6 step programmes that are offered. The plan is about weight loss and maintaining that loss however step 1 is classed as very low calories diets (VCLD’s) and step 2 – 3 is a low calorie (1000 calories)

Basically on the plan the body is pushed into ketosis, a state in which the dieter’s body breaks down fat for its energy rather than glucose. Initial side effects can include the following but remember everyone’s body is different so you may not suffer any of these side effects.

  • Bad breath – caused by your body being pushed into a state called ketosis and due to the build-up of chemicals in your blood. Basically ketosis allows your body to burn more fat for fuel. Bad breath is easily cured by brushing your teeth more frequently and using a mouth wash or spray.
  •  A dry mouth/thirsty – basically drink more fluids – at least 4 pints of water per day is recommended.
  •  Dizziness – often caused due to some people not being able to cope with a low calorie diet and often within the first few days of beginning the plan, usually the result of dehydration – you need to drink a minimum of 4 pint of water on the plans – I usually drink 4 pints of water plus black coffee throughout the day.
  •  Nausea and constipation from cutting down on carbs and fibre. Some people have more sensitive stomachs than others and obviously if you are on the lower steps of the programme you are not eating that much “food” at all or none (step 1) – as a side note you should also discuss with your consultant before embarking on any physical exercise whilst following the plan.
  •  Diarrhoea – some peoples system cannot cope with the mineral in the products.
  •  Leg cramps – caused by changes in salt levels in your blood and muscles.
  •  Feeling cold – almost certainly due to the reduced thermo genic response to low food intake. Basically when you eat your body generates heats, obviously smaller meals do not generate as much.
  •  Gallstone formation – research indicates that quick weight loss may increase cholesterol levels in your gallbladder and slow down its ability to contract and expel bile – Other factors that influence body heat production includes the slight reduction in metabolic rate which always happens during weight loss, and of course the loss of insulating fat!

  •  Hunger Pains – you will experience hunger pain in the first few days until your body is in a state of ketosis due to the low calorie content in the diet.
  •  Headaches – usually due to insufficient fluids.
  •  Trouble getting to sleep
  •  Hair loss – The thinning can occur during and sometimes after the weight loss phase. Weight loss is not the only reason for hair thinning and it is recommended you seek medical advice.
  • Skin rashes – just occasionally, there may be something in the formula of the products to which someone has an allergic reaction.
  •  Menstrual cycles – As hormone levels change when there are changes in your weight, quick weight loss on VCLDs can affect your cycle or can remain as they are.

You should talk to your Cambridge consultant if you experience any of these side effects to ensure he/she can advise you properly.

In addition the official Cambridge website also offers many Q&A sections to help you which can be found here

PLus you can join our VCLD Diet group on Facebook here


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About Karen

Currently following Slimming World this blog is about my personal diet journey for long term changes and so i can look fabulous on my wedding day. You will find reviews of diet products, lots of tasty recipes and diet tips to help and inspire others on their diet journeys.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Gulzar says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for this useful information. I am on CD and doing ss which I am finding very difficult. I am a male but still I cannot take 4 CD meals and I hate all of them. I had asked my consultant about ss+ if I can take one meal a day.. offcourse low calorie and no carbs in it. But I received negative response. Its a nightmare but being like normal human being as you are not eating at all!!!
    In fist 6 days I lost 4Kgs. I am feeling well and energetic but I need alteast a meal everyday.
    If I understand Ketosis well, it should not get harmed by Proteins .. My consultant asked me to avoid protein. I dont understand why?///


    • Nick says:

      I have been doing it for four days and have lost half a stone BUT….. I have also had protein when I need it! I have chicken, cheese and a few nuts occasionally! Weight loss would prob be more but I want to keep my hair and nails. My counsellor said protein is ok. How did you do as I’ve noticed you wrote this In December


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