13 August, 2012

Need to drop a few pounds? We test the Cambridge Weight Plan

13 August, 2012

Before I begin, let me say that I haven’t been on an official diet in years! I go up or down a few pounds depending on the season but just work out a touch more or eat a bit healthier to compensate. However, I recently went on a very indulgent trip to Napa where I basically ate and drank everything in sight! I returned back to Hong Kong feeling very unhealthy and knowing that the few pounds I gained on holiday needed to be shed… so when I heard of the Cambridge Weight Plan and vowed to give it a go!

The Consultation

To begin the plan, I first set up a call with a Cambridge consultant who would analyze what my goals were and decide what plan would be right for me. Joanna and I spoke for about 20 minutes and she listened as I admitted to eating too many sweets, drinking too much, and barely exercising; I’m sure I’m not the first with this lifestyle in HK! We decided to go with the “Quick Fix” plan, which is a three-week moderately intensive plan, designed to drop a few pounds quickly –  sounded perfect!

The Plan

The plan was simple and consisted of little packages of powdered food that I was to mix with water and consume three times a day along with a healthy dinner of lean meat, veggies, and as few carbs as possible. The packets are around 140 calories each and are low-carb but are packed with all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs in a day. I was instructed to drink 2.5 litres of water a day and to stay away from alcohol and sugars. There are loads of flavours for the porridges, shakes, and soups so you really can’t get bored of what’s on offer. Also, depending on your plan, you may be able to eat the bars that Cambridge offer as well. You can do a more intense plan where you only eat the packets and no real meal or you can do a lesser version where you just do a packet or two a day as part of a maintenance program.

The Challenge

The first few days were definitely a challenge! I started my day at 8am with an apple cinnamon porridge, which reminded me of Quaker Oats’ instant oatmeal and was quite tasty. I found myself hungry around 11am and would make the shake with water and ice in the blender to make it a bit thicker. The soup packet worked its way into the day around 2pm and then my healthy dinner was served up at 8pm. I felt fine during the day but that stretch between soup and dinner was daunting. I was quite dizzy and had headaches for the first three days. I mentioned this to Joanna and she told me to space out the packets a bit more and to up my water intake. By day four, I felt fine and was back to my normal (though slightly thinner!) self.

Week one was the hardest as I adjusted from a carb-fueled life to a packet-driven one. After those first few days, it became very simple and easy to follow. The great part was that I no longer had to plan meals! I knew exactly what I was to eat and when and they were incredibly easy to make. The other winner for me was that I no longer had to grocery shop as the packets were delivered right to my door once a week! All I had to think about was making a healthy dinner! How simple!

Another plus, is that you can try out all the flavours and then trade out any that you don’t like for ones that you like more. I switched a few around as I learned what I liked and am now on a super tasty plan! Sassy tip: the chocolate and chocolate mint shakes are divine!

The Results

The plan worked! I lost 5 pounds the first week alone and an additional 3 pounds in the subsequent weeks with no change to my (non-existent) exercise routine. I lost 5 inches off my bust, waist, and hips and am back in those pre-Napa pants comfortably! I have also noticed that I am eating a lot less, becoming hungry less often, and not craving all those delicious but bad for me foods anymore! No more 10am chocolate craving – yeah!!!

No, I am not perfect and, yes, I did have two cheat days – one was filled with sweets and the other was a decadent wine and bread-laden meal to celebrate a friend’s engagement. Afterwards, I didn’t feel guilty, as I knew that I would just hop right back on Cambridge the next day! The trick is to have the soup or shake just before any events I had on so that I didn’t eat as much while out.

I am actually going to continue on for a few more weeks as I love the way my clothes are fitting and it is just so easy to do! Instead of doing three packets a day, I am transitioning to two and a bar and then a healthy dinner as per Joanna’s recommendation.

Overall, if you are looking to trim down quickly and easily, then give the Cambridge Weight Plan a try. It may not be for everyone but it certainly worked for me!

Cambridge Weight Plan, Room 603, Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 7165


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