The 1:1 Diet, previously known as the Cambridge Diet, is a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) where your diet consists purely of a variety of 1:1 Diet products.
You get to choose a Cambridge Weight Plan consultant who is local to you and you will typically see them once a week for weigh-ins and support. They will also help to come up with a personalised plan for you, depending on your starting weight and goals.
As for what you’ll actually eat, the diet progresses over several stages – so at first, you will only eat 1:1 Diet products, but will slowly work at reintroducing other food as you lose weight.
Breakfast: 1:1 Diet original porridge
Lunch: 1:1 Diet chicken and mushroom soup
Dinner: 1:1 Diet toffee and walnut shake
Snack: 1:1 Diet lemon yoghurt bar
Very quick weight loss. Although it varies from person to person, many people have reported losing up to a stone a month while doing the 1:1 Diet (and its similar predecessor the Cambridge Diet), which can be very motivating. If you can stick to it without cheating, this diet plan will give you impressive results in a short space of time.
You don’t have to think about food. When trying to lose weight it can be difficult to figure out what exactly you should be eating and how much, but the good thing about the 1:1 Diet is that all you have to do is have the products four times a day and that’s it – no weighing, counting, measuring or trying to navigate tricky to understand nutritional labels. You don’t even have to visit a supermarket as all the food packs are given to you by your own personal weight loss consultant.
Support of a consultant. The 1:1 Diet plan is provided by a network of diet consultants based throughout the UK. These are people who have personal experience of losing weight on the plan and they’re there to support you on your journey by maintaining your personal records, answering any questions you have and cheering you on all the way.
It can make social situations difficult. Surviving on a diet that requires you to eat only certain products can feel socially isolating as you will be unable to join in with any food-related social activities.
You will miss real food. Apart from the fact that you won’t be eating any solid food, the ingredient lists for the shakes and soups are as long as your arm. In the Oriental Chilli flavour soup you have to read quite far down before you get to dried red peppers or anything that sounds like a real ingredient; skimming past things like maltodextrin, powdered cellulose, potassium chloride, soya lecithin and hydrolysed maise protein. Yum.
Dieters have reported all sorts of side effects to VLCDs, including fairly common ones such as headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nausea and diarrhoea and more worrying ones including hair loss, skin rashes and gallstones.