14 Day Plan – Day 1

Today is the first day of the last diet you will ever need

You have tried every version of eating less and doing more under the sun – yes? You have done calorie counting, cabbage soup, slimming clubs, every diet published in a magazine – maybe even Scarsdale and the F Plan – depending on your age!

And yet none of them have worked. And that’s because eating less, let alone trying to do more, simply does not lead to sustained weight loss. We’ll tell you why tomorrow.

Right now you need to commit to doing something different. The definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. You cannot go on another calorie deficit diet and expect to achieve sustained weight loss. It hasn’t worked before and it won’t start working now.

However – there is something that works and that’s what you’re about to try.

You’re not going to eat less; you’re going to eat better. You’re not going to count calories; you’re going to make sure that every calorie counts. That’s what today’s article is about…

Here’s a Motivational Video to get you started. Towards the end of this, I introduce ‘the two pieces of paper’. You need to choose which one you are going to sign.
Here they are: The virtuous circle and The downwards spiral
Print them out and decide which one you are going to sign… and then do so!

If you waver at any time during the next 14 days, please get out the piece of paper that you signed and read it and re-read it if necessary. You have to do this sometime – so do it now!

What to expect over the next 14 days

How you start and get on today will set you up for the 13 days that will follow.

These days will fly by and it’s important that you take time each day to reinforce the good things that you have achieved. In the getting ready notes, we recommended getting a note book, to make notes during the blitz. The more that you can observe and learn during these 14 days, the more you will get out of them. If you didn’t get a note book, grab any piece of paper and make a quick note of anything you spot – your potential downfalls and how you overcame them; things you did well; things that could have gone better – we learn so much when we try something new, it would be a shame not to capture this wisdom.

Positive reinforcement cements good behaviour, which makes it easier to develop healthy new habits. Get the virtuous spiral going early. Don’t let any slip send you into a downwards spiral. We’re all human – learn from any mistakes and get straight back into the great positive mindset that you have right now. Concentrate on the good decisions you make and any new things that you embrace – whether related to activity or cooking or breaking bad habits. Make a note of these positive changes, today, tomorrow and for the next 14 days.

A quick word about dairy

In terms of eating, we’ll be following Phase 1 of The Harcombe Diet® during the 14 Day Blitz. Dairy is the food we need to talk about up front. Harcombe experts will be familiar with the dairy debate. For those of you new to the concept of Food Intolerance, your “Getting started with The Harcombe Diet” book will explain the basics and then there’s plenty more information in the club. This is the ‘go-to’ article in the club on dairy.

If you read about Food Intolerance and you know that you have a problem with dairy – cravings, wanting it to the exclusion of other foods, bloating, feeling foggy etc – then you need to avoid even Natural Live Yoghurt (NLY) on Phase 1, during the blitz. You could try NLY from a goat or sheep source – just in case it is only cow’s dairy to which you have become intolerant. The dairy article explains that there is a strong ethnic connection with lactose/dairy intolerance. If you are of Northern European origin, it is very UNlikely that you are lactose intolerant. If you are of Asian origin, I’m sorry to say that it is quite likely that you may need to avoid dairy products.

The reason for allowing Natural Live Yoghurt (NLY), as the dairy exception in Phase 1, is that most people can tolerate NLY and it is beneficial for populating the gut with the good flora, which can keep Candida in check. Here’s a great quotation from “Lactose Intolerance” by Cathy Wong for reassurance: “Yogurt containing live active bacteria is believed to improve lactose digestion for the same reason that probiotics are thought to work. When yogurt is consumed, bile acids disrupt the cell wall of the bacteria in yogurt. This releases the enzyme beta-galactosidase (related to lactase) into the intestines, where it can enhance lactose digestion. Not any yogurt will do. It must contain live active bacteria. Although yogurt is a milk product, many people with lactose intolerance do not experience symptoms after eating yogurt, even the kind that doesn’t contain live active bacteria.”

If you find that you crave NLY, or start eating it to the exclusion of other things, stay away from this too for the 14 Day Blitz – your weight will respond nicely to you avoiding anything to which you may be intolerant and cravings are a sure sign of intolerance.

Start getting into the habit of eating three meals a day – ditch the snacking – kicking off with a substantial breakfast with eggs as a basis. So an omelette or bacon and eggs is perfect. If you feel peckish after any activity, or at any time during the day, drink some water before grabbing some food, as you’ll likely be thirsty, not hungry. If you are genuinely getting hungry between meals – check that you’re eating enough at your three meals. To lose weight, you need to be burning body fat and your body won’t do that if you keep putting petrol in every couple of hours!

Exercise vs. not being sedentary

Your “Getting started with The Harcombe Diet” book has a chapter on “Move Naturally.” The Harcombe Diet is all about eating naturally and moving naturally. We’re not fans of marathons or training to do the ‘amateur’ leg of the Tour de France! If extreme exercise is your thing, good luck to you, but you don’t need to do this to lose weight. Indeed – intense exercise can be UNhelpful for weight loss, as it can make us hungry, it can make us carb load and it can make us ‘reward’ effort with junk foods.

Hence we’re not going to be asking you to do any exercising or gym work over the next 14 days, but your general health and well being will always be better for some regular movement and activities. We’re talking about walking, cleaning, gardening, dancing, yoga – whatever you enjoy. If you watch TV regularly in the evening – can you develop a little routine of different movements that you can do and make it habit? You can get loads of home/small space/even armchair exercise ideas from youtube videos. Mix up arms, tums, bums and you’ll soon notice a difference, while not having missed a second of your favourite progamme. Moving also stops you from munching in front of the TV. Build up to 30 minutes of not being sedentary every day, ideally more. Pedometers really do work if you need some encouragement. People report them becoming quite addictive (take care if you’re an addictive type, but walking is a much better addiction than binging!) You can set small goals, build up to more steps. You may try to beat the number of steps from the day before. When you add up cleaning, walking, shopping (not on line!) – just being ‘out and about’ – you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you do already and this may encourage you to do more.

Some topics to think about…

1) What was the biggest discovery you made by making a note of something during a lifestyle change?

2) Are you OK with dairy? Any tips for those who may be gutted at the thought of having to drop it – even for a while?

3) How did you fit some movement into your day? What benefits have you noticed being less sedentary?