Why Some People Think The Cambridge Diet Goes Too Far

In a world that is filled with alternative eating patterns, one of the options that some people have been gravitating towards is the Cambridge Diet. In case you're not sure what that is, here's some help. According to Marie Claire, this diet was the brainchild of a nutritionist from Cambridge University named Alan Howard who came up with it in the 1960s. It was accessible to the public years later. This style of eating was designed for those who needed to shed weight for health reasons.

What does this diet comprise of? Picture soups, energy bars, and shakes that are low in calories. Those who vouch for the Cambridge Diet claim that it can take care of a person's nutritional needs while helping them lose weight. There are six steps involved in this plan that range from an extreme cut in calories to meal replacement products. However, the diet can be highly problematic. Back in the 1980s when it was first introduced to the public, it only allowed people to eat 330 calories every day, which is far too low and could lead to serious issues. The diet has now been modified and lets people eat 600 to 1500 calories every day, as explained to Marie Claire by nutritionist Lauren Windas. 

It can be very unhealthy

According to Men's Health, the Cambridge Diet has a major flaw. Its practitioners are told to eat very little food at certain phases of the diet, which can be dangerous for your health. Their total calorie intake can even be less than 1,000 calories in a single day. Nutritionist Mike Molloy states that this should never be done without professional help. He explained, "this is considered by many medical professionals to be a starvation-based state, and should only be attempted under close supervision of a medical professional. As such, I have concerns about the diet's safety."

It's also possible that someone who attempt the Cambridge Diet will experience headaches, constipation, and decreased energy levels. Molloy added that the diet may also lead to muscle loss and extreme "hunger spikes." During a past discussion about the diet on Reddit, u/Floofyfoo said that the diet is simply not sustainable for most people and cannot help a person develop healthy habits in the long run. They prefer working out and practicing portion control instead.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).