The Harcombe Diet came about as the result of:
1) Twenty years’ worth of research into diets, diet advice, the characteristics of a ‘workable’ diet, obesity, eating disorders, food cravings and what causes them;
2) My own experience of dieting, eating disorders, unworkable diets, food cravings and what causes them; and
3) My determination to answer the question Why do you overeat, when all you want is to be slim?, which became the title of my first book published in 2004 and substantially revised for the 2013 edition.
I have huge faith in people and our ability to achieve what we want to. I don’t think that we are (generally) greedy, weak-willed, lazy, or all the other horrible labels that are given to overweight people. I believe that, if someone wants to be slim, more than they want anything else, nothing would logically stand in the way of that goal.
This was my own experience, as I sat in my college room at Cambridge University, stuffing my face with food. I’m a bright girl, I thought. I am not enjoying this binge. I hate the fact that it is ruining my diet and it is going to make me fat. Why, on earth, am I doing this? Also – how come I never binge on salmon and stir-fry vegetables? What is the unique attraction of confectionery, biscuits, cakes, bread and crisps?!
I came to the conclusion that, for someone to not be able to stick to a diet, when they want so much to be able to stick to it, there must be something else going on. There must be something wrecking our willpower, causing these addict-like cravings, otherwise we would stick to the diet and achieve our dreams. What on earth could it be?
That question, and the research that followed, led to three conclusions:
1) First of all, the diet advice we have been given is fundamentally wrong. I am absolutely convinced that telling people to “eat less, do more” is the cause of the obesity problem, not the cure. Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight explains exactly what happens, directly and indirectly, when we try to eat less and how our bodies work against us to keep us alive and sabotage any attempts to lose weight.
2) The second huge discovery was that there are three medical conditions, which cause insatiable food cravings: Candida; Food Intolerance and Hypoglycaemia. These three conditions are extremely common – you probably suffer from at least one of them, if not all three. If you do suffer from any of them, they each cause food cravings in their own destructive way and you will have little chance of sticking to a diet until you overcome them.
3) The final shock discovery was that, if you have ever counted calories, or tried to eat less, you have substantially increased your chance of having one, or more of these conditions. That means – your previous attempts to diet have almost certainly given you the three medical conditions that will turn you into a food addict!
So – go on a low calorie/low fat/eat less kind of diet and your body will do everything it can to wreck your diet and you will be highly likely to develop three medical conditions that will give you addict-like cravings to further wreck your diet. No wonder the more I tried to starve the more I ended up bingeing!