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Your fat burning questions answered


General FAQs

What is The Cambridge Diet and is it different from The 1:1 Diet?

Well it’s simple… it’s us!

The Cambridge Diet was our original brand name way back when we first launched in 1984. You might also know us as Cambridge Weight Plan. Fast forward to last year, we rebranded to The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan. Whilst we’ve moved on from this name, we know people still search for, and refer to us as, The Cambridge Diet.

We are different from where we were in the 80’s, but only because we’ve come on leaps and bounds, with a huge, ever-evolving product range and a fantastic new brand. We still have our flexible Steps, and super-supportive Consultants ready to help you hit those weight-loss goals, big or small!

Wanna know more? Just check out How it works, our blog for super tasty recipes, product hacks and dieter stories, plus our other FAQs to give you the low-down on all things on The 1:1 Diet.

How’s this different to other diet plans?

The 1:1 Diet is a lot more flexible than other weight-loss plans and it’s the ONLY one that gives you dedicated, one-to-one support from your own personal diet Consultant. That means your diet is designed for you, and only you. Together with your Consultant, you’ll work out an easy-to-follow eating plan that fits with your routine and gets you the results you want.

How much water do I need to drink?

It’s really important to keep hydrated while you’re on The 1:1 Diet. We recommend that you drink at least 2.25 litres or four pints of water every day. Drinking lots helps to maintain your blood volume and prevents dehydration. Little and often is the way to go - try to keep drinking throughout the day. It’s a lot easier that trying to drink 4 pints all at once.

Why do I have to drink so much water?

Drinking water is essential for a healthy body, whether you’re on a diet or not. If you’re on Total Diet Replacements and The 1:1 Diet is your only source of nutrition, it’s really, really important. The 1:1 Diet products give you balanced nutrition but in a very concentrated form. If you’re having Ready to Drink shakes, you should drink 250ml or half a pint of water with each one. Drinking lots of water will compensate for the fluid that you normally take in through food. Without it, you could become dehydrated, and that leads to headaches, dizziness, tiredness, irritability and constipation. Ugh. Pass the water.

Can I drink low calorie squashes instead of black tea and coffee?

Not if you are replacing all of your meals with The 1:1 Diet products, no. You can use our water flavourings, or have herbal and fruit teas. If you really want normal tea and coffee but can’t stand drinking them black, try whitening them with a little bit of our Vanilla Shake. Vanilla latté anyone?

Is alcohol allowed while following The 1:1 Diet?

No. The only thing that beats alcohol’s calorie density (7kcal per gram) is fat (9kcal per gram). An average unit of alcohol has 85 calories, and alcohol has no significant nutritional value. It can also have the effect of making you very hungry, not to mention lowering your will power – really what you need when you’re focussed on weight loss.

Will I feel hungry on The 1:1 Diet?

Yes you will. The first day or two are usually the hardest - you may well feel tired and grumpy too. Once your body has adjusted to its new calorie intake, it will get much easier. And once you start seeing and feeling that weight disappearing, you’ll start feeling much more motivated. Stick with it.

Can I chew calorie-free gum on The 1:1 Diet?

Until recently, it was believed that gum might increase cravings because it stimulates the gastric juices, which might trigger the body’s hunger response, so we recommended dieters avoid gum on plan but if you wanted a quick, three-minute chew, it was ok if you really felt the urge.
However, in the last few years, it has emerged that chewing gum may actually have a very small positive effect on energy expenditure and reducing hunger, so while this research isn’t definitive and the effect is probably very small (if there is one), we’re now giving calorie-free gum the green light. However, everyone is different, so if you find it increases your cravings, take it off the menu!

Will I need vitamin supplements when I’m on The 1:1 Diet?

One of the huge benefits of The 1:1 Diet is that all your food is nutritionally balanced. Every single product contains a third of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, so when you have three a day, you get all the nutrients you need.

Can I achieve the same results as The 1:1 Diet by limiting my calories?

Reducing your food and calorie intake will help you lose weight, but you have to make increasingly careful food choices as you decrease your calories, so as to get enough nutrients. Unless you’re an expert in nutrition or do a lot of research, it is unlikely that you would be able to get all the nutrition you need from less than 1000 kcal of ordinary food every day. With The 1:1 Diet products and Plan have been shown in a wide range of research to be safe and effective. Plus, you don't get the amazing one-to-one support from solo calorie counting!

What age should a person stop eating The 1:1 Diet products?

There’s no upper limit to the age of a dieter. We advise all customers to consult their GP before starting any weight loss programme.

Can a 16 year old go on The 1:1 Diet?

All teenagers should be encouraged to eat sensibly and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. The 1:1 Diet is not suitable for children under 14, and only available for children over 14 with the approval of their GP and support of a parent or guardian who must attend all consultations. For dieters between 14 and under 18, a structured diet of 1000kcal, 1200kcal or 1500 kcal/day will usually be recommended. Only in very rare circumstances, a 810 kcal/day diet may be recommended with GP approval.

Do I need to prepare before starting The 1:1 Diet?

Yes. It’s a good idea to start reducing your food intake, particularly carbohydrates, the week before you start dieting. This will help prevent carbohydrate withdrawal headaches, which can speed up the onset of ketosis, which may reduce cravings. You should also increase the amount of water you drink to 1.7 litres (or three pints) a day. If you ever been constipated, taking some natural fibre might help – constipation is a common side effect with a Total Diet Replacement diet. Check with your GP if necessary.

When do I need to think about my long term weight management?

On The 1:1 Diet, you’ll think long term, right from the start. Our aim is not just to help you lose weight, but to keep it off for good. For successful long-term weight management, you’ll need to make long-term and permanent changes to your lifestyle and diet. Your Consultant will help you to understand these changes early on, and support you in building a whole new relationship with food.

How do I manage my new weight when I reach my target?

When you reach your desired weight, you need to maintain the good habits that have got you there. Go back to bad eating habits, and the weight you’ve lost will inevitably pile back on. Your Consultant will help you find a diet and routine to keep your weight stable.

Do you recommend exercise with The 1:1 Diet?

If you are starting The 1:1 Diet with Total Diet Replacement, you should only do some gentle walking for the first couple of weeks. This will allow your body to adjust to its new calorie intake. After that, you can start building more exercise into your day. How much exercise you take depends on a number of factors: your diet, any medical conditions or medication, fitness, age, lifestyle and level of current activity. Physical activity is an important part of every weight loss journey, and key to long-term weight management. If you want to do rigorous exercise at the gym or you are in training for a sports event, you need to be on a diet of 1000kcal or more.

Is it OK to drink coffee when I’m on The 1:1 Diet ?

In general, yes, it’s fine to drink coffee. Coffee may have an influence on your blood sugar but it won’t prevent you losing weight. In fact, some research even suggests that it may have some beneficial effects on the liver and your metabolism. However, obviously drinking coffee with milk and/or sugar increases calorie intake and so if you intend to add milk or sugar, this should be discussed with your Consultant.

Do I have to eat all 3 meals when I’m on The 1:1 Diet?

Yes. Our products provide all your essential daily nutrients to keep your body well nourished. It is very important that you eat all of your meals.

I am a Muslim. How can I continue on The 1:1 Diet during Ramadan?

During Ramadan, strict fasting is observed during daylight hours, so all your diet food and drink needs to be taken before dawn and after sunset. Try to spread your meals out as evenly as possible - you might need to go to bed later and get up a bit earlier. Alternatively, you might want to wait and start your diet on the day of Eid ul-Fitr.

Is The 1:1 Diet suitable for me?

If any of the following descriptions sound like you, you will NOT be able to follow The 1:1 Diet:

  • Your BMI is below 20

  • You are under 14 years of age

  • You have had a heart attack or stroke in the past 3 months

  • You are taking prescribed monoamine oxidase inhibitor medication

  • You are taking anti-obesity medication

  • You are a substance misuser or dependent on alcohol

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have given birth in the past 3 months For anyone else, a Consultant is best placed to tell you if the diet is suitable. Find a Consultant.

Becoming a Consultant

What are the benefits of being a Consultant?

There are so many benefits that come with running your own business and being your own boss:

  • freedom to choose your own hours

  • more time to spend with your family

  • flexibility to take holidays when you want

  • earning enough to pay off debts and save for retirement

  • helping others feel happier and healthier

The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan is a Direct Selling business – what does that mean?

The 1:1 Diet business is made up of a devoted network of Consultants who provide support, flexible weight loss Plans, Products and business opportunities. This is done through unique, personal one-to-one support, otherwise known as direct selling and is the only way dieters can access the diet. We are members of the Direct Selling Association, and proud to have won the prestigious Direct Selling Organisation of the Year award twice. To find out more about direct selling, have a look at the DSA's website

How do I get up and running?

Becoming a Consultant is a really simple process. First you need to find a Consultant to sponsor you through your training. Essentials Training takes just one day and covers all the areas you need to build a successful business. After completing the day you will be required to complete and pass the accreditation assessment before you can start to help dieters lose weight.

How much does it cost?

Your Essentials Training course is just £50 (€57.50). Once you've passed your Accreditation, you’ll pay a set up cost of as little as £100 (€117.50), inclusive of your Essentials Training course cost. That will give you a range of tasty Products plus more, in your Starter Kit, to get your business going.

How many hours will I need to work?

It’s your business - you can choose how much time to put into it. For some Consultants, it’s a part-time job that fits with other work and family commitments. For others, it’s a brand new full-time career move with unlimited earning potential. It’s entirely up to you!

Will I have to work from home?

You can run your business from home, from a hired venue or to go out to visit clients in their own homes — or a combination of all three. Where and when you work is your choice.

Do I need to have done The 1:1 Diet to be a Consultant?

It’s not essential to have done The 1:1 Diet, as long as you have a Consultant to sponsor you. A lot of our Consultants are people whose lives have been totally transformed with The 1:1 Diet, and want to help other have that same life-changing experience. Others are motivated by wanting to do their bit to combat the national obesity crisis – now the UK’s biggest public health concern.

How do I find a sponsor Consultant?

If you don’t already have a Consultant to sponsor you, use the Consultant Search to find someone you can work with. Your sponsor will help you get to grips with The 1:1 Diet, advise you on setting up your business and be there to help mentor you every step of the way.

What people skills do I need to be a Consultant?

If you’re a people person who gets on with pretty much everyone you meet, you’ll be perfect. Great Consultants are:

  • Good listeners and communicators

  • Professional and punctual

  • Supportive and motivational

  • Confident and friendly

  • Interested in weight management

Don’t I need experience to run my own business?

If you’re a people person who gets on with pretty much everyone you meet, you’ll be perfect. Great Consultants are:

  • Good listeners and communicators

  • Professional and punctual

  • Supportive and motivational

  • Confident and friendly

  • Interested in weight management

I’m ready to get started – what happens now?

The first step is to find a sponsor Consultant. If you don’t already have one, search for one here. We look forward to welcoming you on board!

Do Consultants earn a salary?

As soon as you become an accredited Consultant for The 1:1 Diet the opportunity begins to start earning. As The 1:1 Diet is a direct selling business, you will be self-employed and you can earn money both from selling the products and building your own team of Consultants. This means that whilst the role of a Consultant is not salaried, there is no limit to your potential income. And as an added bonus you will be your own boss!

Our Products

How healthy are The 1:1 Diet products?

All The 1:1 Diet products have been formulated by expert nutritionists and studied by independent scientists, in multiple clinical trials, to prove their efficacy and safety. They provide all the vitamins and minerals your body needs and they’re tasty too!

Won’t I get bored eating the same thing all the time?

Not a chance. The 1:1 Diet gives you a fantastic range to choose from. Shakes, soups, porridge, savoury rice, couscous and pasta, delicious smoothies, chocolate or yoghurt coated meal bars. There’s loads of variety and new Products are arriving all the time. This is the one that caters for all kinds of diets too. Check the packs to make sure it's suitable for you.

Is it more expensive than ‘normal’ food?

You’ll pay around £2.78/€3.32 for a meal, so it’s cheaper and a whole lot better for you that an average meal deal. Weekly, you can expect to pay around £58.46/€69.73 based on 3 meals a day and your weekly one-to-one consultation.

What will I eat?

The 1:1 Diet works by balancing replacement products – shakes, soups, ready meals, bars and snacks - with normal everyday food. You can start with Total Diet Replacement, or nearly all meal replacement products – it makes life a lot easier because you don’t have to go food shopping, face temptation OR count calories. Then gradually, your meal replacement products are swapped for everyday food so you can get back to normal and keep the weight off.

Do The 1:1 Diet products contain enough protein to be the sole source of nutrition?

When the original Cambridge Weight Plan was developed, a vast amount of research went into ensuring that the diet provided the right amount of protein and carbohydrate to minimise the loss of lean body tissue.

Medical FAQ's

If I have high blood pressure, am I still okay to use The 1:1 Diet for weight loss?

Don’t worry! Good news is yes! If you have high blood pressure you should be able to follow any Step, but this depends on other health issues and your current BMI. Your consultant will be able to advise you on this. It’s advised to regularly monitor yourself whilst on Plan. Hypertension medication may need to be monitored and adjusted throughout the weight loss journey.

I used to have an eating disorder. Can I do The 1:1 Diet?

We understand that eating disorders can occur as a result of various underlying factors. If you currently have any eating disorders, then you won’t be able to start The 1:1 Diet. If you have a history of eating disorders and you have picked your fab Consultant, who will be your buddy every step of the way, they will contact The 1:1 Diet’s medical team for further advice as they look at each case individually.

Can a person who has raised cholesterol levels use The 1:1 Diet?

Yes, yippee! Studies have shown that using the The 1:1 Diet products as the sole source of nutrition may reduce levels of blood cholesterol.

Is The 1:1 Diet suitable for people with coeliac disease?

There’s no need to worry, 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 The 1:1 Diet Consultant for further information.

I am being treated for depression; can I use The 1:1 Diet?

Most customers would be able to follow The 1:1 Diet 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.

Can someone with diabetes use The 1:1 Diet? 

We don’t want to make things complicated for you. Customers who have Type 1 and 2 diabetes can follow The 1:1 Diet with the support of their GP and/or specialist nurse. We would want you to be on a higher step to ensure that your diabetes remains stable, this may mean having some everyday food in your diet, Have a chat to your Consultant who will be able to advise on a suitable Step for you to follow.

I suffer from epilepsy and take anti-convulsant medication. Would I be able to use The 1:1 Diet?

It may be possible for you to follow The 1:1 Diet if you have been stable with no seizures or medication adjustments for at least six months. However you always have your Consultant, who will be able to advise on a suitable Step for you to follow.

I have had a heart attack or stroke; can I follow The 1:1 Diet?

We care about your health and safety a lot. If you have had a heart attack or stroke within the past three months, you will not be able to use a The 1:1 Diet. After this period, depending on your recovery, you may be able to follow The 1:1 Diet Step and your Consultant will be able to advise you further.

I have a problem with heartburn; will The 1:1 Diet aggravate this?

If you have symptoms relating to heartburn or gastric acid and want to do Step 1, it may be helpful to take your products half portions instead of the three or four full ones. The good news is that you can follow any Step.

Can someone with lactose intolerance use The 1:1 Diet?

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. Luckily for you, we have a range of lactose-free products available so you’d still be able to use The 1:1 Diet.

How will The 1:1 Diet benefit my arthritis?

Arthritis is a degenerative disease affecting joints. Weight loss is regarded very important in the treatment of arthritis. A lighter body puts less strain on the joints and some dieters find they may need less of their medication.

Is The 1:1 Diet suitable for anyone with a peanut allergy?

Don’t worry, it’s only The 1:1 Diet Peanut Crunch bar that actually contains peanuts. Please note though that all other products in the The 1:1 Diet range are not made in a nut-free environment and therefore may contain nuts due to the possibility of cross contamination. The only exceptions to this are the The 1:1 Diet Ready to Drink Shakes. Please see the Allergies/Intolerances/Choices section for further information.

Why are pregnant or breastfeeding women advised not to use The 1:1 Diet?

Any woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding or who has given birth in the last three months cannot use The 1:1 Diet. 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. In pregnancy, care has to be taken not to exceed intakes of some micro-nutrients. Current guidelines advise against taking extra vitamin A, which is present in all of our products. If you are pregnant, congratulations! We wish you lots of luck with your pregnancy and perhaps we’ll hear from you again once your bundle of joy is here.

Can I safely use The 1:1 Diet with a thyroid complaint?

Don’t worry, The 1:1 Diet is suitable for anyone with thyroid function complaints. Speak to your Consultant who will be able to advise you further.

I notice a tendency towards bad breath. Why is this?

Bad breath can occur and is often made worse by not drinking enough fluid. But we have some tips and tricks for you, just use a mouthwash, carry a mouth spray with you or drink some water. Your breath will soon be fresh again.

Why do I feel cold on The 1:1 Diet Step 1 programme?

This is almost certainly due to a reduced thermogenic response to a reduced food intake. Large meals cause the body to generate a lot of body heat, while smaller meals produce less heat. Individuals differ widely in their thermogenic response. Your hands and feet may feel particularly cold, brrr... but this is a completely normal response. Your body is just trying to conserve heat and energy due to the reduced calorie intake. Other factors that influence body heat production include the slight reduction in metabolic rate, which always happens during weight loss and, of course, the loss of insulating fat! Don’t worry though, if you are sensitive to the cold try moving around a little more and be sure to wrap up warmly – many light layers are more effective than a single heavy layer.

Is it normal to get constipated after starting The 1:1 Diet?

Less frequent bowel movements may occur because The 1:1 Diet products are not as bulky as normal food. But to tackle this, keep well hydrated and drink at least 2.25 litres/ 4 pints of fluid daily in addition to the water used to mix your products. If you have previously suffered with constipation, let your Consultant know before you start. We’ve got you covered, The 1:1 Diet Fibre can be added to your shakes from day one and this may help avoid constipation. Less frequent bowel movements may occur because Cambridge Weight Plan products are not as bulky as normal food. To combat this keep well hydrated and drink at least 2.25 litres/ 4 pints of fluid daily in addition to the water used to mix your products. If you have previously suffered with constipation, let your Consultant know before you start. Adding Cambridge Fibre to your shakes from day one may help avoid constipation.

I have been on The 1:1 Diet for two weeks and am getting cramp in my legs. Is the diet causing this?

You may get some leg cramps in the initial stages of Step 1, they are caused by the increased movement of fluid in the body’s tissues as water shifts and your sodium levels change. If you are still struggling please consult your GP or pharmacist. Don’t forget your Consultant will be able to advise you further on this.

Just after starting The 1:1 Diet I suffered from diarrhoea. Why is this?

We are sorry to hear this, but don’t worry, this is usually a minor problem and should last for only a short time. Some people are not used to the mineral content in The 1:1 Diet Products. Therefore it is a good idea to drink an extra glass of water at the same time as having a The 1:1 Diet Products. Here’s some advice from us: Take The 1:1 Diet products in the form of half portions (6/8 half portions per day, rather than 3/4 full portions) initially to dilute the mineral intake. Another possible cause of continued diarrhoea is lactose intolerance. Some people cannot digest the lactose in milk products and diarrhoea can occur. To ensure you don’t have to miss out, we have a range of lactose-free products that could be used instead. If you have diarrhoea, which has lasted longer than the first few days of the Plan, you should seek medical advice from your GP.

I have lost 19kg (3st) on the Step 1 and am now experiencing some hair loss. Is this due to the The 1:1 Diet?

Hair loss can be linked with weight loss. The thinning of hair and hair loss can occur during and sometimes after the weight loss phase. But weight loss is not the only reason for hair thinning and we would therefore recommend you seek medical advice from your GP if you are concerned.

Why do I get a headache on Step 1?

Got a sore head? You may be experiencing carbohydrate or caffeine withdrawals and therefore develop a headache. This is a temporary side effect and if you can, you might need to grin and bear it. Drinking the recommended amount of water can help, as your headache may be caused by dehydration. Failing this, a simple painkiller such as paracetamol can help.

Does The 1:1 Diet programme affect the menstrual cycle?

Hormone levels fluctuate when there are changes in weight – particularly in women. Rapid weight loss may temporarily affect the menstrual cycle. Ovulation, however, is probably not interrupted. To go into detail, in most cases the menstrual cycle remains unchanged but for some women breakthrough bleeding or heavier periods may occur. Others may find that their periods stop for a while. Fertility may also be affected and unexpected pregnancies have been known to occur, therefore if you have been trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant, you need to be aware that during and after weight loss, fertility may increase. The metabolism of hormonal contraceptives may be affected during effective weight loss and so we recommend additional methods of contraception if you do not wish to fall pregnant while on a programme.

Whenever I start The 1:1 Diet I feel nauseous. Is this normal?

Some people are more sensitive to the high concentration of minerals and vitamins in the products, and therefore my feel a little queasy, but that’s nothing that a glass full of H20 can’t fix. Another option would be to have your The 1:1 Diet products as 6/8 half portions per day, rather than 3/4 full portions, as this would help to split the mineral content you have each time.

I have developed a rash. Am I allergic to Cambridge Weight plan?

Skin rashes can be caused by any number of things. However, just occasionally, there may be something in the formula of The 1:1 Diet products to which someone has an allergic reaction to. If a rash occurs while using The 1:1 Diet you should stop the Plan straight away. If the rash fails to settle or progresses, then seek medical advice. When the rash has gone down, if you wish to restart The 1:1 Diet then seek advice from your Consultant on how to do this. Why not also take some time to look at the Allergies/Intolerances/Choices chart on the website. Food allergies should be properly investigated and allergen-free diets should be based on sound scientific tests.

One-to-one support

How do I find the right Consultant?

When you put in your postcode, you’ll see all the Consultants nearest you. Don’t worry if they’re not on your doorstep – lots of our Consultants are happy to come to you. Take a look at their profile and read what the dieters they have helped so far say – that should help you find someone on your wavelength. If you want to find out more before making an appointment, you can call, text or drop them an email.

What happens at my first appointment?

Your first face-to-face meeting might feel a bit nerve-wracking, but don’t worry. You’ll have a chat, get to know each other a bit better and then your Consultant will weigh and measure you. Then they’ll talk you through The 1:1 Diet options, and help you choose the best starting point and plan for you. If you want to go away and think about it, fine. If you’re keen to get started, they’ll give you a booklet to track your progress as you lose weight and supply or order all The 1:1 Diet meal replacement products you need for the first week or two.

How often will I need to see my Consultant?

You’ll typically see your Consultant once a week for a weigh in and catch up, but you will have their phone number and you may get regular calls or texts from them in between appointments. A lot of our Consultants use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep in touch with their dieters too. They’re there to support you, so make sure you lean on them if the going gets tough. They’ll know exactly how to keep you on track.

Have any more questions?

A Consultant is the one that will be able to answer your queries, big or small! Get chatting today.

Find a Consultant