The Harcombe Diet – Phase 1

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.


Early literature

(i) Candida
“Candida – a 20th Century Disease” by Shirley Lorenzani (1986)
“The Yeast Syndrome” by John Parks Trowbridge MD and Morton Walker D.P.M (1986)
Candida Albicans – Could Yeast be your problem?” by Leon Chaitow (1987)
“The Yeast Connection” by William G. Crook MD (1983)
“Beat Candida through diet” by Gill Jacobs (1990)
(ii) Food Intolerance
“Food Intolerance – What it is and how to cope with it” by Robert Buist (1984)
“5-Day Allergy Relief System” by Dr Marshall Mandell and Lynne Scanlon (1979)
“The Allergy Hanbdook” by Dr Keith Mumby (1988)
“Allergies – Your Hidden Enemy?” by Theron Randolph MD and Ralph W.Moss PhD (1981)
“Not all in the Mind” by Dr Richard Mackarness (1976)
“The False Fat Diet” by Elson M Haas MD and Cameron Stauth (2001)
“The Complete Guide to Food Allergy and Intolerance” by Dr Jonathan Brostoff and Linda Gamlin (1989)
(iii) Hypoglycaemia
“Hypoglycaemia – the disease your doctor won’t treat” by Saunders and Ross (1980)
“Low blood glucose (Hypoglycaemia). The twentieth century epidemic?” by Martin L Budd (1983)
“New low blood sugar and you” by Carlton Fredericks (1985)

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Website Comments

    • avatar Andy

      Hi Karen. I only have them as printed cards. If you can email me your address, I’ll pop some in the post for you.

  1. avatar Andy Wilson

    Hi. Do you have any specific guidance for Type 1 Diabetics on the diet please? I imagine regulating blood sugars will be a bit of a nightmare at first.

  2. avatar Rachel Hixson

    Hi, I’ve just started Phase 1 today. Please can you let me know how we can get hold of the ‘foods allowed’ cards for each phase?

    • avatar Andy

      Hi Rachel, if you drop me an email with your address, I’ll pop some in the post for you.

  3. avatar Therese Mayo

    Hi I’ve just bought Zoe’s book and am keen to get started. I’m a pescatarian and just wondered if I would do as well on phase 1 if I’m only eating fish rather than meat too? I’m a reluctant one as I like meat but I was getting very nauseas after eating it so that’s why I stopped. I’ve put on two stone since and am so desperate to get the weight off. I think I have the three illnesses listed in the book

    • avatar Andy

      You can take the meal plans and replace any of the meat options with a fish meal instead. Be sure to otherwise stick to the rules and carb limits.

  4. avatar Andrea

    Hi just done my 5 day phase 1. Lost 6lb yeah!!! Can I have mushrooms in phase 2


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