How did The Harcombe Diet® come about?
The Harcombe Diet® came about as the result of:
1) Over twenty years’ worth of research into diets, diet advice, the characteristics of a ‘workable’ diet, obesity, eating disorders, food cravings and what causes them;
2) My own experience of dieting, eating disorders, unworkable diets, food cravings and what causes them; and
3) My determination to answer the question Why do you overeat, when all you want is to be slim?, which became the title of my first book published in 2004 and substantially revised for the 2013 edition.
The research that followed, led to three conclusions:
1) First of all, the diet advice we have been given is fundamentally wrong. I am absolutely convinced that telling people to “eat less, do more” is the cause of the obesity problem, not the cure. Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight explains exactly what happens, directly and indirectly, when we try to eat less and how our bodies work against us to keep us alive and sabotage any attempts to lose weight.
2) The second huge discovery was that there are three medical conditions, which cause insatiable food cravings: Candida; Food Intolerance and Hypoglycaemia. These three conditions are extremely common – you probably suffer from at least one of them, if not all three. If you do suffer from any of them, they each cause food cravings in their own destructive way and you will have little chance of sticking to a diet until you overcome them.
3) The final shock discovery was that, if you have ever counted calories, or tried to eat less, you have substantially increased your chance of having one, or more of these conditions. That means – your previous attempts to diet have almost certainly given you the three medical conditions that will turn you into a food addict!
So – go on a low calorie/low fat/eat less kind of diet and your body will do everything it can to wreck your diet and you will be highly likely to develop three medical conditions that will give you addict-like cravings to further wreck your diet. No wonder the more I tried to starve the more I ended up bingeing!
What can I eat?
The Harcombe Diet® is about eating real food and ditching fake food. You won’t be counting calories, or points, or carbs, or starving every other day, or 2 days a week. You won’t be eating less – full stop. You’ll be eating better.
The diet is in 3 Phases:
– Phase 1 is just 5 days long (although it is recommended to stay on Phase 1 for longer if you have more than 20lb to lose and/or if you have marked Candida overgrowth). You can have unlimited meat, fish, eggs, vegetables (except potatoes/mushrooms), Natural Live (bio) Yoghurt, herbs, spices and one portion of ‘safe’ grains daily (brown rice, quinoa, oats).
– Phase 2 is followed for as long as you need to lose weight. Fruit, dairy products, baked potatoes and whole grains are re-introduced, as works for you (the books hold your hand through all this).
– Phase 3 is the lifelong weight maintenance plan. It’s how to eat ‘off-piste’ and keep the weight off. You’ll learn the rules of ‘cheating’ and see what you can get away with without re-gain.
Hypoglycaemia and food cravings
Hypoglycaemia is literally a Greek translation from “hypo” meaning ‘under’, “glykis” meaning ‘sweet’ and “emia” meaning ‘in the blood together’.
Food intolerance and food cravings
Food Intolerance means, simply, not being able to tolerate a particular food. This is different to Food Allergy – Food Allergy is the serious, life threatening, condition where people have a nut, or strawberry allergy, for example
Candida and food cravings
Candida is a yeast, which lives in all of us, and is normally kept under control by our immune system and other bacteria in our body. It usually lives in the digestive system.