Phase 1

What is Phase 1 of The Harcombe Diet?

Phase 1 of The Harcombe Diet lasts just five days. Why five days? Any food that you have eaten passes through your body in three to four days, so this gets rid of any processed foods and foods that have been causing you problems. Also, this strict part of the diet needs to be short enough for you to stick to it, but long enough to have an effect.

There are two circumstances in which it is best to stay on Phase 1 for longer: if you have quite a lot of weight to lose and/or if you suffer quite badly from one of the three conditions; Candida

You may also stay on Phase 1 for longer if you find it easy to stick to. Weight loss during this phase can be dramatic, so you may be happy to put up with a restricted menu to lose weight fast. Phase 2 adds more variety and nutrients and the weight loss continues to be good, so it’s up to you when you move onto the next phase.

How much do you eat?

As much as you need of everything on the ‘allowed’ list – only the brown rice/quinoa/oat options are limited. You really can have a large plate of bacon and eggs for breakfast and you can have as much meat, fish, salad and vegetables as you need for main meals.

If you need to snack between your three main meals then you can have cold meats, hard-boiled eggs, celery sticks, raw carrots, Natural Live Yoghurt (NLY) or a tin of tuna – whatever it takes to keep the hunger away.

What can you eat on Phase 1?

Meats: As much fresh, unprocessed, meat as you need. This can be white meat and birds or red meat. Make sure to check all the ingredients as packaged and tinned meats usually have sugars and other processed things in them.

Fish: As much fresh or tinned fish as you need – NO smoked fish. This can include white fish, oily fish, seafood and tinned fish.

Eggs: As many eggs as you need – chicken, duck or any others that you like.

Brown rice, quinoa or oats: Up to 50g dry weight a day.

Salads and Vegetables: You can have as many salads and vegetables as you need, except mushrooms and potatoes.

Tofu: This is a vegetarian protein alternative, which is fine in Phase 1, provided that it doesn’t contain added ingredients.

Drinks: You can drink as much bottled/filtered water(still or sparkling) as you need during Phase 1. You can drink herbal teas, decaffeinated tea and decaf coffee.

… Breakfasts can be: bacon & eggs; omelettes; Natural Live Yogurt; brown rice cereal (available from the gluten-free sections of supermarkets; porridge oats (made with water – milk is avoided for Phase 1 as it’s a common Food Intolerance)…

Lunches can be: Salade niçoise; coronation chicken wrap; chef’s salad; omelette; brown rice salad…

Dinners can be: Butternut squash curry with brown rice (one of our favourite recipes); steak & salad; chicken & stir-fry vegetables; rice pasta with home-made tomato sauce; paella; pork & crackling with parsnip chips; quinoa and Mediterranean vegetables…

This is eating as we should eat – real food – in satiating quantities.

Any of the diet books (Stop Counting Calories; Why do you overeat? The Harcombe Diet for Men) will give you menu plans/meal suggestions and lots more information about Phase 1.

Here is a selection of Phase 1 recipes for you to try out.

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