The Harcombe Diet - five-day eating plan

woman chopping veg

See page 1 for more on how the Harcombe Diet works

Phase 1

Day 1
Breakfast: Bacon and eggs
Lunch: Salmon steak with selection of vegetables (not potatoes or mushrooms) and a large side salad; natural live yoghurt
Dinner: Brown rice (50g dry weight) and veg (not potatoes or mushrooms) stir-fried in olive oil

Day 2
Breakfast: 100g brown rice cereal (from the gluten-free section in supermarkets) with water (not milk)
Lunch: Salad Niçoise: a tin of tuna or a tuna steak on a bed of salad. Hard-boiled eggs, olives and anchovies are optional. Olive oil and black pepper for dressing
Dinner: Meat (steak, or pork chops or lamb etc) with any amount of vegetables (not potatoes or mushrooms) and a salad

Day 3
Breakfast: Plain or ham omelette (ensure the ham contains just ham and water, not added sugar etc) made with 2-3 eggs, knob of butter, ½tsp herbs, ground black pepper, chopped ham (optional)
Lunch: Chicken and/or beef strips stir-fried in olive oil with vegetables (not potatoes or mushrooms)
Dinner: Stuffed peppers: boil 50g dry weight brown rice, stir-fry chopped mixed vegetables (not potatoes or mushrooms) in olive oil, then mix the rice and vegetables together and fill a deseeded pepper shell. Bake in a medium oven for 20-30 minutes until the pepper is soft to the touch

Day 4
Breakfast: Up to 75g porridge oats with water (put the dry oats in a bowl and pour boiling water on top to the consistency you like)
Lunch: Chef's salad: a large mix of salad leaves, grated carrots and beetroot - be really creative, with cold cuts of meat and/or hardboiled eggs. Olive oil and black pepper for dressing
Dinner: A large whole fish, such as trout or mackerel, with plenty of vegetables (not potatoes or mushrooms) and salad

Day 5
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (no toast) or soft-boiled eggs with raw vegetable crudité ‘soldiers'
Lunch: Roast or grilled chicken and salad and/or vegetables (not potatoes or mushrooms)
Dinner: 50-75g dry weight rice pasta in a tomato sauce: stir-fry an onion and a garlic clove in olive oil, add a tin of tomatoes, 2tsp basil and black pepper. Simmer until the pasta is ready

Rules for Phase 1

● Unless specified, eat as much as you like so that you don't start to feel hungry.
● You're allowed to eat unlimited unprocessed meat, fish, eggs, salads and vegetables, apart from potatoes and mushrooms. Mushrooms feed Candida albicans, while potatoes are very high in carbohydrate so they encourage Candida albicans and hypoglycaemia. Olives and tomatoes are also allowed, as is olive oil for cooking and dressings.
● You can have 50g brown rice or rice pasta per day or 75g porridge oats.
● No caffeine is allowed. But you should drink about 1.5 litres of water, herbal tea, decaffeinated tea or coffee (without milk) a day.
● And no sweeteners or sugar-free drinks - they can stimulate the insulin mechanism in a similar way to sugar and just perpetuate your desire for sweet things.
● Unless specified, all foods can be cooked in any way - roasted, fried, grilled, baked, poached etc.
● You can snack between meals on vegetable crudités or natural live yoghurt, but try and get used to eating just three big main meals a day so your body has time to digest them properly. Make meals as regular as possible so your body feels no need to store food.
● If you're following the fixed plan, you can switch around any of the meals - as long as you're only having one meal a day with rice, rice pasta or porridge oats.

Rules for Phase 2

● You can continue on Phase 1 for as long as you wish, but after five days you can switch  to Phase 2, which is a little less restrictive.
● Follow these three rules and carry on heading towards your natural weight. Once you are there, you'll learn how to ‘cheat', so that you can eat or drink whatever you want, without putting any of the weight you've lost back on:
● Don't eat processed foods - only eat real food. For example, oranges grow on trees; cartons of orange juice don't. Fish swim in the sea; fish fingers don't - you get the idea!
● Don't mix fats and carbs in the same meal - a principle introduced in Phase 1. In the simplest terms possible, your body will use any carbs eaten for energy and will store fat for later. Fat storage requires insulin and insulin is only released if you have eaten a carbohydrate.
● Don't eat the foods that cause your cravings. Rule one, above, will remove 90 per cent of the most commonly craved foods from your diet (biscuits, cakes, sweets, sugary cereals etc).
● To keep Candida albicans at bay, stay off vinegary/pickled foods, mushrooms and blue cheese for another few weeks in Phase 2 and limit fruit to no more than two pieces day. The most common food intolerance in the UK is wheat, so you are well advised to stay off wheat and have brown rice, baked potatoes, rice pasta, quinoa and couscous as your staple carbohydrates in Phase 2. For hypoglycaemia, watch your carbohydrate intake generally - the more ‘fat' meals you have, the better.

What you should eat during both phases

Fat meals
● Any unprocessed meat: steak, pork, lamb, chicken, duck etc
● Any fresh fish: mackerel, cod, salmon, tuna, seafood etc
● Eggs
● Dairy products: cheese, milk, butter, cream, yoghurt (ideally natural live yoghurt)

Carb meals

● Any fruit
● Wholegrains: brown rice, corn or rice pasta, quinoa, millet, barley, porridge.
● Beans and pulses: lentils, broad beans, kidney beans, chickpeas etc.
● Baked potatoes in their skins

Eat with either a fat or a carb meal:
● Any salads or vegetables (except potatoes, which are carbs). No mushrooms allowed as they promote Candida albicans.
● Tofu/Quorn - vegetarian protein alternatives.
● Certain fruits - olives, tomatoes and berries.
● Very low-fat dairy products - milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt.
● Any herbs, spices and seasoning and olive oil.

More diet tips
● The best way to remember the difference between fats and carbs is that fats come from things with faces (bacon = pig; butter = cow, eggs = chicken etc) and carbs come from the trees and the ground (fruit, wholegrains, baked potatoes etc).
● In Phase 2 you can have the occasional glass of (ideally) red wine with a main meal.
● In Phase 2 you can have a square or two of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids, ideally 85%) as a snack, if needed, or at the end of a ‘fat' meal

See page 1 for more on how the Harcombe Diet works

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