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I have just started the Harcombe Diet - anyone else doing/done it?

(79 Posts)
BecauseImWorthIt Mon 22-Aug-11 19:59:01

Today was day one of Phase one, and it's been OK. Even giving up coffee, which I was very concerned about, as I know how I've suffered from withdrawal symptoms in the past!

But the time had to come for me to take myself in hand.

I'm a long-term (on and off) low-carber, so I know the rules/ropes about low-carbing, but the thing that appealed to me about THD is that you're allowed rice and pasta in phase 2. Not being able to have these things is what has led to me being an on and off low carber.

However, the weight has gradually piled on and I'm heavier than I've ever been. I have very few clothes I can fit into - even my 'fat' clothes are getting too tight.

And my IBS has flared up again, which is a sure sign that something has to change.

Today I have eaten:

2 boiled eggs for breakfast
chicken and mixed veg stir fry for lunch
a hard-boiled egg as an early evening snack
bolognese sauce (minus the red wine and mushrooms!) on a bed of thinly shredded cabbage - without Parmesan - for dinner.

Instead of drinking coffee, I've been drinking peppermint tea (good for my IBS too) and sparkling water.

I am going to weigh myself on Saturday, which will (theoretically) be the beginning of Phase 2. I may continue on Phase 1, depending on how it does/how I feel/what the scales tell me.

Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.

foreverondiet Mon 22-Aug-11 20:56:34

My thoughts are that even without the harcombe diet you can do moderate carbs and keep the weight off. I have been maintaining my weight for a few months now and I do have rice and other carbs (although admittedly have gone off pasta) - I read the book and decided that it would be too restrictive, I'd rather eat the combinations of food I actually wanted to eat.

My mum has been doing it, lost 5kg in week one and nothing else since....

CristinaTheAstonishing Mon 22-Aug-11 21:03:44

BIWI - I've been reading about it yesterday after a friend mentioned it on Saturday evening. I haven't read the book and from what I've read on the 'net and suchlike I'm not sure I understand why mushrooms are banned (the candida connection - is that even real?).

It kind of sounds OK and I know the dissociation of foods has been bandied about for 20 years+.

I think you can have decaff?

CristinaTheAstonishing Mon 22-Aug-11 21:04:49

BTW - good luck. I'd keep an eye on all those hardboiled eggs, they'll catch up with you eventually smile

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 22-Aug-11 21:28:29

You can have decaff coffee, CTA, but no milk! And I'd rather have no coffee than black coffee.

The book is worth a read - the links between Candida, Food Intolerances and Hypoglocaemia with weight gain is very interesting and, as someone who has suffered with Candida-related issues for some time (thrush and IBS) was another trigger to starting this diet.

forever - I'm not sure it's restrictive, if it's allowing me to eat pasta/rice etc, but I do need to restrict what I'm eating in some way if I am to lose any of this blasted weight! Maintenance will be easy, I'm sure ...

foreverondiet Mon 22-Aug-11 21:58:54

If it works for you then great. I agree that the book was very interesting in the way it showed the link between candida / hypoglycemia / food intolerances - but this aspect of the book didn't really affect me.

Also she says no proof that 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat but there has been more work on this recently, and whilst she is right that weight loss slows down once you have lost the excess fat, for overweight people the 3500 calories = 1 pound of fat apparently holds true.

I was trying to make the point that I'd rather do my maintenance in a different way as eating pasta / rice in the way she allows doesn't really appeal. All diets are restrictive in some way.

Shaxx Mon 22-Aug-11 22:00:20

I started this today too.
I've done it before and it does work well.
I didn't give up coffee last time and I haven't this time either. I only have one cup of black coffee in the morning and can't do without.

I like this diet because you can have a carb meal every day. I tend to have the porridge made with water every morning and then stick to low carb for the rest of the day.

Today I had porridge, tuna salad, natural yoghurt, jerk chicken with peppers and cauliflower.

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 22-Aug-11 22:00:55

Very true!

ZZMum Tue 23-Aug-11 13:45:36

I want to start this one as I like the idea of it - trying to order book now from amazon but there is a wait - will be doing a lite version of it until it arrives based on what I know from reading articles.. will not be giving up morning coffee though.. how much you looking to lose?

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 23-Aug-11 13:56:43

You can buy it for the Kindle, ZZMum - although I would prefer a paper copy as it's easier to flick through.

I don't know how much I want to lose because I couldn't bear to get on the scales blush. I am weighing in on Saturday morning, after my 5 days of Phase one.

I would love to get down to 9 stone (am currently probably over 2 stones over that).

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 23-Aug-11 13:58:44

I've kept off the carbs so far - seems a bit odd, tbh, to be having them, especially in what is supposed to be the 'strict' phase!

Today I have had:

2 boiled eggs for breakfast
cod fillet, fried, on a bed of cabbage, which I sauteed with onion, garlic, tomato and a touch of chilli and herbes de provence.

Dinner tonight is roast chicken with roast vegetables.

And more green tea/water. I'm quite surprised that I haven't experienced the withdrawal symptoms from coffee so far - very pleased, in fact.

ZZMum Tue 23-Aug-11 14:01:48

Can you read a download if you have no Kindle I wonder - am Kindle-less but often worndered if you could just read the text on a laptop - am tempted to buy it to find out!

I need to lose 2 stone as well .. have lost and gained the first half stone 4 times this year so need to focus more quite clearly.. I am going to weigh self on Sunday as want a good week of being good before I scare myself with just how bad it actually is ..

ZZMum Tue 23-Aug-11 14:34:52

oooh it works! now proud owner of book - guess that means have no excuses now!

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 23-Aug-11 14:46:48



Shaxx Tue 23-Aug-11 19:17:14

Day 2 almost done!

Today I had

tuna salad
chicken and veg curry

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 23-Aug-11 19:43:52

I'm missing coffee today - and was a bit headachey this afternoon. I'm wondering if milk is actually a problem with me, as I know that dairy generally could be an issue when I was low carbing before. Anyway, I have managed with the green tea, although it doesn't hit quite the same spot!

I think I may also quickly get bored with drinking just water.

Shaxx Tue 23-Aug-11 19:47:53

BIWI Keep going. theres only 3 days left of phase 1!
I'm going to try to do it for longer though.

I tend to have a black coffee in the morning and then a green tea in the afternoon. The rest of the time its water.

From what I remember, I had a bit of an ill spell on day 3 and its quite common I think.

Shaxx Tue 23-Aug-11 19:49:23

My friend is doing the full on Cambridge diet. I actually feel very priveleged that I can eat nice foods! Normally I feel deprived on diets.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 23-Aug-11 20:29:07

Oh I'll keep going, Shaxx! I am enjoying my food too.

Are diet drinks allowed at all on this diet? Can't remember from the book.

Shaxx Tue 23-Aug-11 20:49:22

I can't remember either but I am anti aspartame so don't really drink them.

Have you registered on her website? Its quite a good site. Might go on and have a look for you....

Shaxx Tue 23-Aug-11 20:50:20

Her message is actually about eating real food so she probably wouldn't encourage it.

sniffy Tue 23-Aug-11 21:03:16

Yes, did it for several weeks.

It's incredibly restrictive, despite her insistence it isn't.
I rebounded quite spectacularly and practically gave myself an eating disorder. There was a long thread on it here a while upon which I lurked. Everyone either fell off the wagon or disappeared.

If you can stick to it you will lose weight.
My experience is it was unsustainable. Hope you fare better. Good luck

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 23-Aug-11 21:35:00

"Everyone either fell off the wagon or disappeared" Having a chuckle at getting so thin on the diet they practically vanished.

foreverondiet Tue 23-Aug-11 21:59:39

I agree about it being unsustainable, and I hated the way she dissed the other diets, particularly the south beach diet, which I think is the most healthy diet I have ever come across as she said it was low carb. It isn't (apart from first 2 weeks), its low GI and actually very similar to her diet, except it doesn't have any restrictions about mixing carbs and fat.

I try and eat as clean as possible (ie minimal processed foods) and I keep my (fat and) carb intake fairly low (until I'm doing lots of cardio exercise), and the carbs I do eat are mainly low GI, but for me focussing on keeping carbs and fat was too annoying.

Also I couldn't work out whether there was any evidence that you'd lose weight faster by keeping the carbs and fat separate than if you ate them together but also stuck to unprocessed eating.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 23-Aug-11 22:06:26

Ah well. It's something different to focus on. I found that with 'ordinary' low-carbing, I just wasn't really paying attention to what I was eating, and was letting a lot of stuff creep in, the result being I was eating too many carbs in conjunction with too much fat.

I like/prefer the low carb way of eating anyway, which is focussed on real/unprocessed foods. But need to drink something other than fizzy water all the time.

Sainsbury's diet drinks don't use aspartame or saccharine, but only sucralose. Still artificial, but doesn't have the same kind of evil reputation that the other sweeteners have.

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