The Harcombe Diet

I know I’m always going on about food but I read about this lady in Whizz’s Mensa Magazine and was impressed.

Zoe Harcombe advocates a mixture between the Atkins Diet (40 – 90g of carbs per day and as much fat as you like) and food combining (don’t eat carbs and fats together so eat meat/fish/full fat dairy-with low carb veg/berries, or starchy foods,with any fruit/veg and with absolutely no fatty food). She combines this with nutritional advice to maintain a healthy body- although it is difficult to know sometimes which bits are for health and which for weight loss.

For the first five days there is a detox to rid the body of the causes of its cravings and once the five days have passed then the diet is as above.

It is true to say that my sugar cravings vanished after the first 5 days. I have looked longingly at the wine bottle on a few occasions and also the fruit juice as I mainly eat the fatty days. Carbs are my downfall and having tried Slimming world and lost absolutely nothing after weeks on green days I know the carbs won’t work.

So, I find myself back on Atkins but calling it the Harcoumbe Diet albeit without the alcohol and with a bit less cream and more olive oil – I think!

During the first week I lost half a stone (7lb) and over the next couple of days got to 8.4 lb. On the following couple of days, Sunday and Monday, I stuck to my diet as well as I could. My only cheats were 2 small glasses of Champagne (we went to a wedding), one glass of red wine, and some sugar which I ate inadvertently on a bowl of strawberries. Seemingly, as a result of the cheats, over the next couple of days I gained 2 lbs and during the subsequent four days of this week I have clawed back 1.5 lbs.

This is not exactly a dramatic weight loss but the food is very enjoyable so I will persevere. I plan a couple of weeks with absolutely no cheats and if the weight loss remains steady and acceptable I will continue.

I was interested to work out how many calories I have been taking in so I did a quick analysis of today’s meal plan and here it is:

Breakfast: Streaky bacon, 3 eggs and a tomato (carbs:5g, calories:580, fat: 31g)

Lunch: smoked salmon (Zoe does not recommend smoked food as Candida feeds off it, and Candida can be one of the causes of food cravings) and mascarpone cheese with salad leaves (carbs: 5.8g, calories: 795, fat:69.68)

Dinner: Salmon mousse with leaves (carbs: 3.68, cals 131.68, fat: 16.8), Berries and cream (carbs: 16.93g, cals: 359.82, fat: 36.52g)

Total consumption: carbs: 31.41g, cals: 1866, fat: 154g)

The fat level is over double the government’s RDA but I was amazed to discover that the calories are slightly below the total of 1940 recommended for an average woman of course that would not be to enable them to lose weight.

Zoe Harcombe tells us to throw out calories but I am interested to have worked out that I am eating so much rich food and yet not really eating huge numbers of calories.

The book is available on Amazon for £5.99 until the end of July then it will be £7.99. It may leave you asking more questions but Zoe is quite helpful if you send her one or two questions by email – more than that and she will charge for a telephone call on a premium rate number. Some of your questions may be answered on her faqs

I will continue on the diet and keep you posted on progress. If you have any experience of the diet then I’d be interested to know about it. It’s a shame she doesn’t have a message board on her website but if I get enough response I might look into starting one myself.