Phase 1 came about following Zoë’s review of all the early literature referenced on the pages for Candida (Reference i), Food Intolerance (ii) and Hypoglycaemia (iii). Zoë took the foods allowed and/or recommended for each condition and put them together to establish Phase 1.
Phase 1 is only five days long, although it is recommended to stay on Phase 1 for longer if you have more than 20lb to lose and/or if you have marked Candida overgrowth.
With unlimited meat, fish, eggs, vegetables (except potatoes/mushrooms), Natural Live (bio) Yoghurt, herbs, spices and one portion of ‘safe’ grains daily (brown rice, quinoa, oats)…
… Breakfasts can be: bacon & eggs; omelettes; Natural Live Yogurt; brown rice cereal (available from the gluten-free sections of supermarkets; porridge oats (made with water – milk is avoided for Phase 1 as it’s a common Food Intolerance)…
Lunches can be: Salade niçoise; coronation chicken wrap (one of our special recipes); chef’s salad; omelette; brown rice salad…
Dinners can be: Butternut squash curry with brown rice (one of our specials); steak & salad; chicken & stir-fry vegetables; rice pasta with home-made tomato sauce; paella; pork & crackling with parsnip chips; quinoa and Mediterranean vegetables…
This is eating as we should eat – real food – in satiating quantities.
It is best to get into the habit of eating three main meals a day with in between meal snacks only if you are genuinely hungry. However, the most important thing with Phase 1 is to complete it. So, if you need to snack between your three main meals then you can have cold meats, hard-boiled eggs, celery sticks, raw carrots, Natural Live Yoghurt or a tin of tuna – whatever it takes to keep hunger at bay.
Any of the diet books (Stop Counting Calories; Why do you overeat? The Harcombe Diet for Men) will give you menu plans/meal suggestions and lots more information about Phase 1.
Hi Andy I am 15 stone 3lbs and am 5’3 tall … so I have a lot of weight to loose…how on should I stay on phase 1?
Certainly until your cravings are under control. Aim initially for 4 weeks and then review.
In Phase 1 – can I have natural greek yogurt rather than plain natural yogurt? still full fat – no sugar added etc. thanks.
Yes, that would be fine.
Hi, may I ask couple of newbie questions?
is SKYR icelandic yoghurt acceptable on Ph1, bought today to start THD but not sure if classed as NLY? has no sugar and is high in protein so surely a good thing?
black coffee in the morning had been my little ritual and small pleasure, so although can do without sweetener I find it hard to imagine my day without it, is it going to make or break the Ph1 ??
I’ve never seen or knowingly tried SKYR so can’t help on that one. If it says no sugar and ‘natural live’ then it should be fine.
I’m with you on that first coffee.
Hi. I’m sure I read somewhere that vegetarians can have extra brown rice in phase 1? Have I imagined it or is that ok? And if ok, do you have a recommended amount?
You read correctly. It’s 150g per day
Hi. I’m about to start phase 1 and have a couple of queries. Can I have fried tomatoes with the bacon and eggs? And if I have steak and vegetables can I put butter on the veg? Thanks
A small number of tomatoes is fine
Go easy on the butter, it’s best used for cooking only in phase 1
Hi I’ve just done my 5 days I struggled slightly with cravings but stuck with it, I feel this is one dit I can finally relate to and explains the science of food to me, the penny has finally dropped and I understand it now after being confused the same as everyone else, I purchased stop counting calories and the recipe book before I embarked on this programme my advice to anyone is read and reread the book you will need to go over it till it sits in your mind like I have done, I lost 4lb on phase 1 but it made me constipated even though I ate lots of veggies & salad, looking forward to phase 2 with a little friut to eat..good luck everyone.
In p2, it says you shouldn’t mix carbs and fats so why does it keep saying we can mix veg (carb) and meat (fat) in the meal plan. I’m soooo confused with what constitutes as a fat and carb – is there a list I’m missing?!
If you use ‘surface veg’ (greens etc) and not root veg (potatoes, carrots etc) then you’d be generally fine with mixing with meats.
Full explanation and food tables in Stop Counting Calories.
Can i follow this plan as a vegetarian with limited egg recipes? not always wanting eggs for breakfast, for lunch and then dinner!
Yes. There are lots of veggie friendly options and Stop Counting Calories includes a vegetarian phase 1 and 2 meal planner.
Can I use tomato puree in ph1? if not, is there a substitute?
fine in small doses to add flavour
1) Can I use tomato puree in ph1?
2) Can I have homemadebvegetables soups in ph1? As I find it strange that you don’t have soups in any of your meal plans, is there a reason why I should avoid soups in the harcombe diet phases?
1. fine in small doses to add flavour.
2. Soups are fine, we have some in The Recipe Book
Hi in p1 can you mix brown rice with any of the meats recommended?
Yes. Mixing is ok in phase 1 as long as you keep the carbs to the recommended amounts.
Hi am I allowed a handful of peanuts in Phase 1?
No Nuts in Phase 1. Details here… http://theharcombediet.com/the-diet/faqs/are-nuts-and-seeds-allowed/
If I do p1 for several weeks, or have to redo the five days of p1, can I mix brown rice and meat within allowance daily? Or is it true that there is no rice after 5 days or in a redo? Please clarifying. Thanks!
50g per day for as long as you’re doing, or redoing, Phase 1 is fine.
Hi, I am a vegetarian and I am starting phase 1 tommorow. Can I cook the vegetables and make indian curry? Is yogout allowed in phase 1? I am very addicted to indian chai tea which includes milk and sugar can I have one or two cups a day? So in phase one is only veggies and meat. No fruits , nuts wheat. I don’t like rice and porridge can I not have any rice and porridge at all or do I have to have 50g?
Yes for veggie curry
yes for yoghurt (NLY) on Phase 1
No to milk and sugar (if you’re ‘addicted’ to the tea, you should be looking to stop it.
You don’t have to eat porridge and rice, just replace them with something else.
Hi, ive just finished day 5 of phase 1. Half way through I had lost nearly 8 lbs but then I had the 50gms rice with chicken. I the didnt lose any more and now tonight I have lost it and eaten 2 pots of Muller Rice (custard and Apple flavours). Id weighed myself and now my gain has reduced down to about 4lbs. I feel so demotivated and tomorrow I am working away, staying in a hotel and the temptation to eat nirmal food is going to be a battle.
I just feel like I will put weight back on in an instant. I dont know how to approach phase 2 but I cant face the idea of phase 1 again. I thought i would love eating Bacon and eggs but I am now sick of it and the thought of eating veggies is not encouraging me. Basically I feel like crap now. Any suggestions please.
The Muller custard and apple ‘flavoured’ rice wouldn’t help.
Try sticking to a strict Phase 2 with no mixing and NO processed stuff. Re-read Phase 2 rules in books and drop me an email with your address and I’ll send you some reminder cards.
I am from the U.S. and am confused as to whether whole-meal (UK) and whole wheat (US) are interchangeable?
This should help.
If I had mince meat and brown rice together on phase 1, is that incorrect eating?
You can mix on Ph1, within the carb limits. if you wish. No mixing on Ph2.
Please explain phase 2 of carb/protein and fat/protein and not mixing the 2.
The definition in your book on fats and carbs is clear – but I still don’t understand what “protein is” – pls explain. I have been on Phase 1 for 5 days and only lost half a kilo. Help!!!!
Protein is in all foods, so we just ignore it and separate meals into fat-meals and carb-meals in Phase 2
Hi on P1 could I split the brown rice over 2 meals? Such as have 50g Kallo cereal one meal and 25g rice for another?
Yes, but try not to do it every day as every carb meal will trigger an insulin response. We suggest working towards a single carb meal a day.
I am thinking of making home made bacon. What is the reason for using unsmoked bacon?
It’s fine in Ph2.
50 gms of uncooked brown rice is equal to what volume of cooked brown rice?
I don’t know. You’d have to try it and see. I suspect it varies by cooking method.
Is it okay to use some lemon juice with olive oil for salad dressing in phase 1? If not, what do you recommend dressing salads with?
yes. that’s fine.
Hi can someone please help! I have been doing the diet for 4 days now and am doubting whether I am doing it right! I need to know whether I am supposed to follow the 5/7 day classic menu on phase one, dish by dish, as in the book or whether thats just an example of what to eat? many thanks
You can follow the Phase 1 menu plans exactly or swop in other meals that you prefer. The printed plans are examples to show you how varied you can eat. But if bacon and eggs works every day for you (as it does for me), then go with that.
Hi thanks for your reply. I’ve been on phase 1 for two weeks now and haven’t lost anything! A typical day has been bacon and egg for breakfast, lunch has been sliced butchers meat with some raw veg for snacking or a tin of mackerel in olive oil and dinners are steak and salad or lamb chops and roast veg. I’ve cut out caffeine and only drink decaf and herbal teas. I can’t see what I’m doing wrong? I have more than 2 stone to lose and am feeling hopeless.
Look out for an email from me…
Can you give us some insight as to why things weren’t working for Natalie?
She’s getting help and support over in the club.
Could I have decaffeinated coffee on Ph 1?
What book can I buy to guide me through the Harcombe diet step by step with all the info. Thanks
Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight is the definitive guide. Thanks.
What does NLY stand for?
Natural Live Yoghurt… http://theharcombediet.com/the-diet/faqs/should-i-have-natural-yoghurt-with-a-fat-meal-or-a-carb-meal/
Just wondered about fats on ph1…none listed but in the book chapter Zoe mentions olive oils to dress salad. Can we add small amounts of fat to cook with eg stir fry? What about animal meats eg chicken – should skin be eaten or removed in ph1? Thanks for any clarification!
olive oil to cook stir-fry if fine.
portion sizes are not limited, eat enough to keep you satiated between meals.
Eat all meats with skin/fat left on (unless you don’t like it), they add to taste and satiety.
I’m very over weight, my husband diagnosed coeilac and lost stones, trying g to start diet tomorrow, waiting for books to arrive, if we have eggs for breakfast and glutten free cornflakes with yoghurt, then steak salad for lunch , what to have for dinner plus snacks, can I use oil and vinegar dressing HELP
Eggs are great, but drop the cornflakes
Steak for lunch, lucky you 😉
go for meat/fish with greens/salad for dinner.
Olive oul dressing fine. No vinegar on Ph1
Aim for three meals a day, avoid snacking.
I’m 5 ft 3 inches and weigh 238lbs bmi 40 + how long should I do phase 1 ? 5th day today and going strong. Thank you.
Hi Bryn. If you’re going strong, aim for a few weeks and see how you go.
Are olives approved for phase one on the diet?
Olives are fine for Ph2
Hi … just wondered if I can substitute tinned salmon for tinned tuna as I really can’t stand tinned tuna?
Yes. that’s fine.
Hi can you have vinegar in ph 1 or 2 like balsamic, cider? Thankyou
No vinegar on Ph1, Small amounts in Ph2 as long as you don’t have Candida.
Can vegetarians do this diet?
Yes. Many vegetarians have successfully followed this plan
I’m a vegetarian with a milk protein allergy so no yoghurt or cheese for me – I can’t stand tofu and I don’t like fish. Is there a way for me to follow this diet’s principles?
I would have to cut out phase 1 – unless I ate only raw vegetables for 5 days (which I have tried in the past with no success as I feel so weak)
Would the following two alternative meal plans work for a phase two?
Breakfast: omelette cooked with butter or olive oil with spinach and tomatoes
Lunch: boiled eggs with Heinz mayonnaise, raw veg & salad
Tea: plain boiled potatoes, cannellini beans & tomato passata
Breakfast: Wholemeal Pitta bread with cannellini beans and tomato passata
Lunch: Spinach omelette with salad & tomato and red onion salad with olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Tea: Sweet potato, new potato, cannellini beans and raw vegetables
Without carbs each day, I feel very ill very quickly so would need the potatoes and beans regularly.
I would also need some mayonnaise for the egg salad – presumably as this is a fat it’s ok?
You may struggle with such a limited food choice, to be honest, and most you your meal options then become very carb-heavy. We’d suggest making your own mayo, rather than the processed variety. If you can create your own meal plan that only has one carb meal a day, with no processed foods, that would be a good target to work towards. There are some Veggie meal plans in Stop Counting Calories that may help.
Can the yoghurt be eaten along with anything or should it be lumped in with (protein & fat) on ph1
Thank you. I’ve never struggled with a limited diet; I do genuinely love only vegetables, potatoes, salad, beans, lentils, wholemeal bread and eggs and essentially I’ve eaten just these foods for nearly 40 years! I don’t like sugar, chocolate or cakes, meat, fish, rice and pasta and don’t feel restricted in the slightest. I just wanted to check that I had the general principles straight in my mind? So essentially you are saying the suggested menus above carry the correct principles? As long as I have either: my potatoes/beans/lentils with salad & veg & tomaoes plain without fat OR eggs and mayonnaise with salad & veg then this is correct? I have to say I have used these principles for 6 days now, and even though I have only around 10lb to lose, half of it has come off already and the my stubborn belly fat is shrinking daily! The boredom/limitation factor would be usual for most people, but I’m not bored after 40 years, so it’s more just a case of combining differently. The reason I need to drop about 10lb is not because the foods I eat and love are bad for me (quite the contrary!) it’s just the way I was eating them I can see now has contributed to the extra weight. Half a ton of butter on jacket potatoes, poached eggs on toast with more lashings of butter, salad, eggs, nuts, beans and potatoes with mayo all in one meal etc. etc. rather than just keeping the fat and carbs separately. Thanks for your help. I will set about making my own mayonnaise with egg yolks and oil. One last quick question – is mustard (Dijon, wholegrain or English) allowable in any quantities?
Hi Lucy. Your food plans read fine and as they are working for you, stick with them. Mustards are generally fine but make sure there’s no sugar in the brands that you use. The tiny amount of vinegar when mixed into a homemade Mayo shouldn’t be a problem.
I’m starting Ph 1 – wish me luck. I need to knock off 12-15 kgs. My question- is it ok for me to have flax seeds , sesame seeds, virgin coconut oil & honey(I have these in the morning with warm water) in ph1? Also are dried apricots, raisins figs allowed?
None of those in Phase1, coconut oil for cooking only.
What is the amount if brown rice or porridge and is this cooked or uncooked weight. Thanks
50g per day, uncooked weight
Can you drink diet soda in phase I
Does phase one make you tired?
You can be for the first couple of days. Not everyone experiences this, however.
Hi, I have lost 7lbs in 5 days of phase 1! I’m loving it, thank you. One question I can’t seem to find the answer to….. I was wondering why mushrooms are banned or is that just phase 1?
Only on Ph1
Can I have cheese on phase 1 as I’m a vegetarian
No dairy on phase 1
Hi, I’m vegetarian and struggling on day 5 of phase 1. Have had porridge made with water and added yogurt for breakfast. But stuck for what else to eat. Also feel lethargic and headache. Any suggestions please.
Loads of vegetarian, Ph1 options in the recipe book, plus some examples on this site.
Tiredness and headaches should pass within a few days. Best wishes.
Hi,I’m on day 1. I have got prawns for dinner. Can I squeeze lemon on them or is that a No coz its a fruit? Thanks
A small amount of lemon juice will be fine. Enjoy.
Can I use Almond milk in my coffee in phase 1
Nothing nuts in Phase 1
Hiya – can you eat sweet potatoes on Phase 1?
Not on Phase 1
Is your diet okay for type2 diabetes and where can I purchase in Australia thankyou.
We can’t advise on your diabetes – you’ll need to work with your doctor and explain what you are planning. We do find that those with T2D do well when supervised.
We ship all books to Australia from our shop and, also, Stop Counting Calories may still be available here.
Could you please tell me if I can eat smoked salmon on phase one
not on Ph1
Just read that you can’t eat fruit in this phase and I’ve been doing it for 5 days and have lost 3kgs. Eating a fruit and making fresh natural juices should I start the diet again and don’t eat any fruit.
I don’t really eat that many vegetables though.
If you’re doing well on what you’ve been doing, then keep at it. We don’t recommend fruit due to sugar content, hence reason to avoid.
I thought one of the purposes of the diet is to get rid of sugar cravings. What is the logic then I telling someone to continue eating fruit in phase 1 on the basis that they are loosing weight. What about the sugar…………??
There’s no fruit on Phase1, not sure where you’d have read that.
Can I eat any fruit I like during phase one?
No fruit at all on Phase 1
Hi! Is there a plan i can start? I mean like A calendar type plan on where to begin? Thanks
Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight has meal planners and some recipes to get you going as well as a comprehensive Q&A section.
I’ve just done 5 days on phase 1 so will weigh myself tomorrow but I feel better already after 30 years of diet hell! My question is about oat cakes. How can I have them in the next phase when they have wheat flour in or do you have bought ones from the wheat free range in the supermarket??
A few supermarket own brands are wheat free, just oats, olive oil and salt.
just checking on order placed on 05/15/15 ref#2477-7218-5998-8602.thanks have a nice day.vivian nall
Hi Vivian. Thanks for your order. I’ve emailed you the shipping details for your package.