THD- The Harcombe Diet- Traditional Foods and Weight Loss! - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Have you ever heard of The Harcombe Diet?
Yes! I am on it, and I lost weight! 2 20.00%
Yes, but it didn't work for me. 0 0%
Yes, but I never tried it. 1 10.00%
Who in the world is Zoe Harcombe?! 7 70.00%
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#1 of 23 Old 08-14-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have recently discovered The Harcombe Diet. I was stunned to not find anyone talking about it here!
I found it through the Weston A. Price Facebook page. I know she's English, but we aren't all Americans living stateside here.
It really has made a huge difference in my health- and I had been "trying" a TF diet for years. I am now off all refined sugar, off caffeine, off wheat (at least temporarially), feeling great, AND I have lost about 7 pounds in a week! joy.gif
I never would have believed that I, of all people, would be off refined sugar! I have long said that I don't have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth- all of them! I had plain, unsweetened yogurt as part of my breakfast, AND I LIKED IT! I really can't say enough good things about Zoe Harcombe and her diet.
There is no portion control at all- you eat until you are full. (Except for brown rice in the first five days.)
One of my closest friends has lost about 22 pounds this way, too.

Has anyone else tried it?
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#2 of 23 Old 08-15-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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can you please give its outline  in a few sentences ? TIA

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#3 of 23 Old 08-15-2011, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sure. It's composed of three phases.

The first is to kick sugar and caffeine addictions and to give a break from foods that commonly cause intolerance. It also kicks candida in the butt. I lost about 7 pounds in this phase. This phase is typical 5 days long.

Phase 2 is more weight loss, but with a much more varied diet. You can eat virtually anything except refined sugar. The key is to not eat fats and carbs at the same meal. Most people have many more "fat meals" than "carb meals." For example, you can have bacon and eggs for breakfast (fat meal) or oatmeal with a big, juicy peach cut up in it (carb meal). These are merely examples, of course. This phase is as long as you want to loose weight.

Phase 3 is for after you have reached your weight loss goals. Don't know much about this as I am not here yet, but the idea is for this to be an eating plan you can and will want to stay on for life. Cheating is built in, so you can have the occasional chocolate or dish of ice cream.

You can eat as much of any allowed food that you want. By kicking food addictions, you won't overeat.

Pretty neat, huh?!
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#4 of 23 Old 08-21-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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Hmmmm....interesting.  I've looked into it some.   Some things are very different for my way of thinking (I am so used to making sure my carbs have some fats with them!), but the last phase, which is supposed to help maintain your health forever is very much about traditional foods.  As for the weight loss portion, I'd need to ask about

1.  raw milk. She recommends skim with your grain cereals.

2.  where coconut oil falls into things?  If fat meals "have a face" and carb meals, don't, coconut oil doesn't really fit.  I'm thinking it should be for fat meals.

3.  her idea of what is processed food and what is not. She suggests a puffed rice type cereal, which I consider processed.  She calls ice cream processed, but I don't since I make it.  I would consider skim milk processed.

 

Still, I'm intrigued!


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#5 of 23 Old 08-22-2011, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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1. As for the skim milk, I have had a bit of farm-skimmed, raw milk with steel cut oats once. It didn't really add anything. I even made some skim milk kefir. Um, not too good.
So, pretty much, I just avoid dairy when I am having carbs.
Oats cooked in water with a fresh peach is a yummy carb breakfast.

2. She talks favorably about coconut oil. I use a lot of it! Also great for fighting candida!

3. I agree about the puffed cereal- no, thank you! Or the oat cakes she suggests- not for me! As for the skim milk. I don't consider farm-skimmed milk processed since we have been skimming milk as long as we have had cows (or other dairy animals with skimmable milk), but grocery store skimmed milk is processed as far as I am concerned because the methods employed are different.

Either way, I have lost eleven pounds with no calorie counting, no portion control, no fake "diet foods", no fat limiting, no "points" counting, and all while breastfeeding! joy.gif

Oh, and berries aren't considered carbs, so you can have berries and cream (or double cream) after any fat meal! eat.gif
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#6 of 23 Old 08-22-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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Even if I skim my milk, it will still be creamy and fatty. So I guess I would need to avoid it except in fat meals.  :(

 

Any thoughts on Kombucha?  No during Phase I, probably.  But after that?


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#7 of 23 Old 08-22-2011, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would imagine Kombucha would be fine for phase two. I've always wanted to try the stuff.
Avoiding dairy for my carb meals hasn't been a problem for me. I haven't had more than two or three carb meals anyway. Fat meals are much yummier!
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#8 of 23 Old 08-26-2011, 01:14 AM
 
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Thanks for posting this.

 

I wonder whether there is any benefit to alternating no-carb meals with no-fat meals? I am familiar with low-carb dieting and how it works by getting your body into ketosis mode. But that doesn't happen until you've been carb-free for several days. It would not work if you were eating oatmeal for breakfast and steak for dinner. So what is the benefit of alternating meals? I wonder if this diet works mainly just because it gets people off the Standard American (and English!) Diet, and eating whole foods instead. Can you link us to an article explaining the science behind this approach? Thank you! :)

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#9 of 23 Old 08-26-2011, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The first 5 days of the diet you eliminate all grains except rice and no super high carb veggies i.e. no taters or sweet taters or corn in addition to dairy, caffeine, all sugar, and fruit.

Phase 2 is a lot more "normal" eating. Rich, yummy foods with dairy added back assuming you aren't intolerant.

The science behind the diet mostly revolves around minimizing insulin release because, according to Zoe Harcombe, insulin is the fattening hormone. The whole advice of snacking often, eating several small meals, eating many carbs, avoiding saturated fat, and ensuring each meal has fats and carbs is a recipe for obesity.


I'm having trouble finding a link with specifics. It's in her book, but I know it's somewhere else, too. My mom currently has my book so I can't look it up there.

Zoe Harcombe has quite a few videos on Youtube explaining the diet. They are a good resource if you can get past the poor audio quality.

I'll keep looking and check my book, too when I get my hands on it. Hope this helps!!
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#10 of 23 Old 08-26-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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Ok thanks. I checked our library for her name and came up with nothing. Maybe her book will be released in the States eventually :)

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#11 of 23 Old 08-26-2011, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Amazon is the only place here I have found it. B&N can order it, too. My copy came from my little, local bookstore. They had to order it, too.
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#12 of 23 Old 08-26-2011, 07:43 AM
 
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I got mine on Amazon for the Kindle. But I think on her website you can order it as an e-book?  Let me look.....

 

http://shop.theharcombedietclub.com/ebooks/

 

Some of what I liked are that she's trying to get you to a place where you can eat "normally."  That is, a whole foods, traditional diet, which is what I already eat.  She has mentioned raw milk, coconut oil, the demonization of saturated fat and the myths surrounding cholesterol.  She wants folks to eat real food and have a treat now and then!  And she does NOT want you to be hungry!

 

The part that is new to me is the separation of carbs and fats. Eat them, just not together.  I'm willing to try things her way to see if they work!  I've not dieted in my life but would like to drop a few pounds now.  Separating carbs and fats is a new way of thinking for me.  There's also a cookbook available to help with your meals.  I'm trying to take meals our family already eats and just use those.  They may require an adjustment for me (no cheese or no potatoes but all else is the same) but I am big on only making ONE meal for everyone and reducing my work load!


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#13 of 23 Old 01-12-2012, 02:36 AM
 
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Started phase 1 nine days ago - so far have lost 5 lbs in that time - which is a bit disappointing when you read about everyone else's 7Lbs ++ losses in 5 days!! But I'm sticking with it - if only because at least I don't have massive food cravings going on anymore and my horrible headache has finally gone. Days 3 + 4 on phase 1 were rotten. I really felt ill & as if I'd had two bottles of wine the night before instead of 2 litres of water!!

 

I think people could become disillusioned with THD if they set themselves high expectations of what their loss is going to be in Phase 1 and then it fails to deliver. I'm looking at it as a life-style change and while I don't plan to be on such a strict regime for much longer, I will go onto phase 2 and gradually start reintroducing fruit and pulses (both of which I'm really missing) and perhaps the odd glass of red wine too.

 

Good luck to anyone embarking on low carb dieting of whatever type. I think ultimately it is beneficial, it just isn't going to happen overnight :)

 

 

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#14 of 23 Old 01-12-2012, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't lost a lot more in the few weeks, but I am healthier than I have been in years. Sugar no longer owns me! I weigh less now than when I got married 9 years ago. I will be in phase three, when I confirm I am at my natural weight. The only thing I really look forward to more of is pecans. I don't crave sugar anymore. I don't miss or want bread. I won't eat wheat again after reading Wheat Belly. I can anticipate some mixing in the future, but I am really happy with this way of eating. eat.gif
I have a two friends who have lost 45+ pounds in about six months. I've lost about 23 pounds. I would have lost this weight years ago if I'd known it would be this easy!
Good luck, irishgal and anyone else ready to embark on a life-changing way of eating!
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#15 of 23 Old 02-11-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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Hi ladies

 

Was doing a google search about THD and found this board. I really just had one question and that is about the level of difficulty in following it? I work pretty much full time and spare time is often taken up with other duties and activities. Would someone like me find it really hard to follow? I like the idea of it, i.e, no processed junk and concentrating on whole foods and getting off the whole sugar dependency. I am also vegetarian and type 2 diabetic, so could I realistically follow this diet?

 

Thank you namaste.gif
 

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#16 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 03:51 AM
 
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could someone please post a link to "yes food" and "no-no food" so that we can have an overview ?

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#17 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The basics are only eat real food. Eat carby foods at meals without fat. For example, oats with cinnamon (no sugar or butter) with fat free plain yogurt as a carb meal.
Meats always go with fat meals. So, chicken, low carb veggies (like asparagus) in a cream sauce made with heavy cream, butter, and full fat cream cheese as a fat meal. Many people (myself included) find we don't feel well after carb meals, so we exclusively have fat meals.

I haven't been doing the Harcombe Diet of late as I am pregnant and craving carbs so I have moved to more primal (paleo) eating with numerous cheats. My midwife is pleased with the way I am gaining weight and I am planning something more Harcombe-esque post baby.

I must have loaned my book out, but I think I can remember more no-nos.
No beans except green beans
no overly processed foods (such as virtually anything in a bag)
No caffeine
no potatoes (generally speaking)
no refined sugar or substitutes thereof
no chocolate until you have lost enough weight to "cheat" and then only 60% or greater
THD is more okay with food additives than I am. I don't eat artificial vanilla for instance and I don't recall that even being mentioned.


I know there are probably many more, but I can't remember at the moment. I hope this helps.
I went from 155 to 127 and am just now back to 155 and I am over 6 months pregnant. This has been a much more comfortable pregnancy and I really feel like it has a lot to do with coming into this pregnancy quite healthy.
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#18 of 23 Old 02-14-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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thank you for the details !

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#19 of 23 Old 11-06-2013, 05:55 AM
 
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Hi everyone,

Im new here. Today is my 2nd day of phase 1 and im feeling optimistic. Took a lot of willpower to avoid eating white rice or noodles (im Asian). The only reason why I am following this diet is:

simple to follow
Zoe's claim that we can lose up to 5 kilos just in phase 1
We can eat unlimited 'allowed' food - meat and eggs

When I weighed myself, I gain a kilo.

Is the diet too good to be true?

I guess i must have high expectations...

Did I go overeat since Zoe says its unlimited?

Please advice, thank you.

I am feeling low but I am not giving up.
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#20 of 23 Old 11-06-2013, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Stick out for phase one, the evaluate the results. I know many people don't even weigh until the end of phase one.

I doubt you overate. My friend eats very large quantities of food (compared to me- we are of similar height although she is shorter) and she is losing a lot of weight on phase two. Hang in there!

The diet certainly lived up to my expectations.
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#21 of 23 Old 11-11-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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hello all of you and THANK YOU for posting all this above

...  it motivated me to try, am on day 4 of phase 1

and i think i weigh 3 lb less than a week ago

which makes me very happy ....

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#22 of 23 Old 01-01-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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just want to add that DH has had some health issue but when he came out of hospital, i asked him to eat the same as DD1 and me for the two weeks of the school vacation.... in the first 7 days he lost 2.7 kg and DD1 lost 2.5 kg

for the second week, DD1 'only" lost 600 gr (a little over one pound) ... because she had a few chocolates here and there but she mostly stuck to phase 2 of the eating plan

am waiting for Friday to get DH on the scale again ...

dropping points of Body Mass Index is so motivating ... he's 27 something instead of nearly 30 in August ....(+ DH snores less as an added bonus !)

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#23 of 23 Old 03-21-2014, 11:48 PM
 
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hello again, just to report that DH reached BMI of 25 by now

am just over 25 now, am having slower progress being not so dedicated as DH (too many forays in "phase 3" !!!!)

... and now aiming at a BMI of 23 in fact

have just donated a good half of my spring/summer clothing out of deep storage = all the suff of the most recent years

(had kept quite a few items from 10- 12 years ago so, whilst not new from the shops items, it's been so many years since i could wear those clothes .... that i feel that i have a new wardrobe anyway !)

 

DD1 is not progressing much but at least she's got the idea now about what works

& am happy to let her be responsible for her own food decision, since i know that a Zoe Harcombe eating plan IS very sensible ...

 

in case it can be of use to someone who will read this post at some point in the future

i have been trying to loose weight for 12 years,

this system of eating DOES work & makes you feel healthier too !

& have recommended it to some friends & the ones who were motivated to do something about their weight,inspite of having to drastically change their habits for the first 5 days, are very happy with the results (one of them was addicted to a diet drink & it was hard for her during the 5 days of phase one, but she's been so happy since withe a definite sense of freedom from a food addiction ....)

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