The Harcombe Diet
No calorie counting, eat as much as you want... SHE magazine tries out The Harcombe Diet with dramatic results
It really does sound too good to be true - a diet that lets you eat as much as you want, banishes food cravings and allows you to lose over a stone in five weeks. And in the SHE office we watched with scepticism as our yo-yo dieting Associate Editor Suzanne Carter started yet another diet. That was until five days later when she skipped into the office looking super-slim and announced that she had lost 8lb despite having tucked into hearty food. Within a week, four of us were on the diet and, three weeks later, we'd lost 36lb between us... and counting.
The great thing about this diet (for any self-confessed foodies like us) is that you really can enjoy as much food as you want without having to tot up the calories: salmon, chicken stir-fries, eggs... and then later even pasta, cheese, fruit, dark chocolate and red wine!
Nutritionist Zoë Harcombe, who has spent 20 years researching weight loss and overeating, has identified three common medical conditions that cause food cravings. "I believe people want to be slim more than pretty much anything else in the world," she says. "So, for someone to find themselves eating a packet of biscuits, when this is the last thing they want to be doing, something must be going on."
That ‘something' can be one - or all - of three conditions: Candida albicans, food intolerance or hypoglycaemia. The first two lead to significant water retention, while all three cause general health problems as diverse as bloating, thrush, IBS, mood swings, headaches, period problems, feeling ‘foggy' and believing that your get-up-and-go has got up and gone! Everyone suffers from at least one of these, so this five-day diet has been designed to tackle all three in a quick, effective way.
The most surprising discovery that Zoë made during her research was that these conditions are often caused by following current dietary advice. If you try to eat less, eat low-fat or count calories, then three things happen:
1. you'll eat more carbohydrates and less fat
2. you'll eat the same things every day (to get the most food for the fewest calories) and
3. you'll weaken your immune system (by not consuming enough calories, fat and nutrients).
These factors in your diet and nutritional intake lead directly to Candida albicans, food intolerance and hypoglycaemia. So by starting a low-calorie diet, Zoë believes you could actually end up a food addict!