Phase 2 has just three rules. Get to know them like the back of your hand because these are going to be your lifelong guidelines from now on:
1) Don’t eat processed foods;
2) Don’t eat fats and carbohydrates at the same meal;
3) Don’t eat foods that cause your cravings.
1) The number one principle of The Harcombe Diet® is to eat real food. What does that mean? Oranges grow on trees; cartons of orange juice don’t. Fish swim in the sea; fish fingers don’t. Cows graze in the field, Peperami sticks don’t. You’ve got the idea!
Any time you find yourself asking “Is this OK?”, ask yourself – would nature provide it in this form? Those protein powders at the gym – do they grow on trees?!
2) Rule 2 is known as the “not mixing” rule by Harcombe devotees. It’s based on how the body uses different macronutrients (what we know as carbs, fat and protein) for fuel and how food can be stored as fat. The books will explain that protein is in virtually every food (oils and sucrose being the exceptions) and foods then fall mostly into fat/proteins (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products) or carb/proteins (grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, pulses). Nuts and seeds are the rare foods that have all 3 macronutrients in good measure.
You’ll find yourself having ‘carb’ meals or ‘fat’ meals and you’ll never look back.
3) The “Eat real food” principle applies to everyone. Rule 3 is the individual rule. Your particular cravings will highlight which condition(s) you are suffering from and which food(s) therefore you need to avoid to help with your weight and health.
The core Phase 1 foods are fine for almost everyone (vegetarians choose to avoid some of these). Phase 2 is when we see what you personally can re-introduce and what you personally should avoid. Wheat, dairy products, high-sugar-fruits and starchy foods are the main foods that end up being OK for some and not others. The chapters in Stop Counting Calories and Why do you overeat? walk you through the conditions and the foods that you may need to avoid. Or come and get instant help in the club.
Hi – just working my way through the book. In phase 1, although strict I can mix carb (brown rice) with salmon say for an evening meal but I can’t do this in phase 2 – is that correct?
Yes. that’s correct. The mixing fats and carbs is a Phase 2 rule.
I have plain Koko dairy free yoghurt with live cultures, for phase 2 is this classed as a fat or a carb please?
it looks low-fat to me, so treat it as a carb meal
Hello, I have been on the diet for two and a half months. I stayed in P1 for two weeks and lost 7 lbs. Since then I’ve lost a further five and a half pounds only in P2, and nothing at all over the last three weeks. I’m sticking to most of the ruleswith the exception of coffee with skim milk 2 x day, snacks of watermelon or green apple and chunk of cheddar once a day. Any advice please?- I’m losing my resolve!
I would try and cut-out snacks and maybe return to Ph1 for a further 5 days, then re-introduce Ph2 options one at a time.
For more personal support, there’s a great facebook group and club
Hi, we are Irma and Rene from Holland. I saw you,re video,s on you tube and orderd the books and membership! What a wonderfull diet! I,m 20 lbs too heavy and my husband 10 lbs. We started the phase 1 this week, we love the recipes, tasty food. I havrn,t weighted myself already, because i,ve broken my rightleg two months ago , so i can,t stand on my leg! My husband was a bit angry about starting the diet! Now he is full of energy, we wake up earlier and he started cooking the recipes now. Now he supports me. Thank you very much, the explanation of the diet is very good. I wil keep you folks updated! Thank you, you saved our lives , i have pre diabetes and so does my husband. We are not tired anymore , feel young again. One day i cheated with cherrypie, i felt terrible afterwards, tired, crying, angry and very sleepy. Do,nt do that anymore! Love you Zoe and Andy!!!
Thank you for your kind words. A & Z
I make my own kefir water, can I have this on any of the phases?
yes. should be fine
Can you settle a debate Heck sausage can you eat this on phase 2
They are ok for some. others get tummy rumbles from the bulking agents
In THD book it’s explained why you lose weight by not mixing fats and carbs in one meal as the body can’t store the fat unless you eat the carbs which makes insulin. Does this mean though that if you have carb meals which will create insulin then you will still gain weight? Zoe doesn’t explain how by eating carb meals you will still lose weight and it seems as though Zoe isn’t into avoiding carb meals coz then that’s basically the Atkins diet which isn’t very practical for life.
I would like to ask if I can mix yogurt with vegetables(broccoli for example) or is it just ok with protein!
Thank you in advance!!
that would be fine
I have been on Harcombe Phase 1 for 5 days and phase 2 for 9 days I’ve lost 10 lbs and I’m delighted I wanted to know if I can eat cherries on phase 2 just a few with my Berries and yogurt breakfast thank you
Berries are fine on Ph2 but be careful with cherries as they are higher in sugar (and very moorish)
Can I meat advocados on phase 2 I cannot see any info.
Avocados are a high carb-fat mix and should be considered a Ph3 treat
I’m on day four of P1 and haven’t seen a weight loss. When can I expect to see the results and is it ok to stay on this phase for a couple more weeks? I’m going on holiday in 10 days, will I see I different by then?
Everyone is different and experiences different losses at different times. Stick to a strict phase 1 until you have the conditions under control and remember that Phase 2 is the weight loss phase to stay with as long as you need.
I was wondering about nuts and seeds. When they can these be introduced? And as they are fat/carb how does this work? Suggestions and advice would be much appreciated.
Treat as Phase 3 snacks. As you say, they are fat-carb combo’s and are really easy to overeat.
Hello ,I have been doing phase 1 for 4 days and have already seen a difference in weight ,had a couple of grotty days..I usually crave carbs and I think I have trouble with caffeine (coffee) even though I normally only have 1 a day the rest is decaf tea and water. I think I can keep this up as its quite practical for me.
Only bugbear is I need milk in my decaf coffee ,can I have this if I intend to do a few more days on P1 please ?
No Milk on Ph1, sorry. If you ‘need’ (i read ‘crave’)it, then you probably need to keep off it for a while.
Stick with it and the cravings will subside.
Can have sweet potatoes on phase 2 on a fat day
Sweet potatoes are higher carb than regular ones, so not to to be mixed with a fat meal. Use as a stable base for a carb meal.
Can I eat veggie butter with oatmeal and skim milk on Phase 2?
What’s veggie butter, as opposed to butter, which is veggie?
Please,explain me something!in phase 2,when i eat carb meal-for example spaggetior lentil-can’t i add oil or butter because they are fats?
A small amount of butter/oil for cooking is fine. The rule is not to mix, say, Lamb with pasta in the same meal.
Can you do harcombe whilst breastfeeding. I have two month old baby who is exclusively breastfed
This thread in the club may help… http://www.theharcombedietclub.com/forum/showthread.php?1906-Breastfeeding!
I tried THD about a year ago but found that I couldn’t get enough of the brown rice so I stopped. I have started again (been banting for 2.5 years) and again I want to eat bowls and bowls of brown rice. Any idea why?
Hi Jenni. Too little information to discuss here, but it may be thinking about how it affects your blood-sugar levels, especially if you’ve been Banting for a while.
I’ve been on the diet for almost 2 months now, got your two books and lost the weight I needed to drop (6 KG). I would like to continue on phase two for a few more months as it feels great. However, it gets a bit confusing sometime with the no mixing rule. So I’m thinking, would it be a good idea to have a “fats” day followed by a “carbs” day, fat, carbs … and so on? Do you think it’s a good idea or would it affect the way my body stores and burns food?
You’ll need to find what works for you. Many people choose to base their meals on fat meals, other more a mixture as you suggest. Both can work fine. Try not to have two or more carb meals in a day, however, as this will push up your carb intake
Hi, I’ve just completed phase 1 now in phase 2 I’ve followed the layout of phase 2 in the diet book but chosen my own meals from the recipe book. I’ve been doing 2 carb meals followed by a fat meal, then the following day 2 fat then one carb and so on through the week. Is it ok to do 2 fats or 2 carbs in one day. ♀️ Ps loving the diet
Well done you. Most people find weight loss is quicker if only 1 carb meal a day, but if your mix-it-up plan is working for you, then stick with it.
Hi i would like to know if its ok to have almond milk on phase 2 im intoloreant to milk and im celiac ..
Here’s an faq on almond milk… https://theharcombediet.com/the-diet/faqs/can-i-have-almond-milk-in-phase-1-or-phase-2/
Hi, can I drink wine in Phase 2?
Ideally not if you are trying to lose weight. Wine is a Ph3 ‘cheat’
Hi, should I avoid carrots and onions with a meat meal in phase 2 because they are not a green veg?
Also, can I have tinned peaches if the syrup is drained off.
If you’re really carb sensitive, then leave the carrots with a fat meal.
If you fancy peaches, best stay with fresh ones.
Just trying to learn a bit from the phases. We learn’t that fat and saturated fat was ‘bad’ for you, which I know now is not properly evidenced based thanks to Zoe’s research. Was just trying to learn a bit more about the fat/carb non mixing phase, to have a more balanced perspective, as I know recognise that some National Guidelines are sketchy, Sherry
Full explanation on the mixing ‘rule’ is explained in Stop Counting Calories…
Hello, can I have semi or fat free milk with me decaf coffee in phase 2 (without sugar)?
yes. but ‘full fat’ is tastier 😉
I found Your diet in my weekly and am at present on the fourth day, this seems to be working well for me, I love seets chocolates cakes etc and haven¬t wanted ant. I do miss my freshly ground coffe in the mornings with sugar and milk though. Can I repeat this seven day plan and if so how many times. I find that if i have a setmenu given to me each day i get on better than making my own up but looking at info for rest of this plan it seems as though that is what it is, are there any set plans
You can repeat the 7-day plan for as long as you like and for as long as it’s working for you.
I got The Harcombe Diet book yesterday. And I’m a bit confused about the fats vs carb rule in phase 2.
If we cannot mix fats (meats, fich, egg, cheese) with carbs (grains, fruit and veg) in one meal, then how come in your Ph2 weekly classic menu you have meals like:
– Roast chicken with vegetables or salad.
– Pork or lamb chops with vegetables.
– Tune and broccoli frittata….. etc
Isn’t that mixing fats with carbs?
‘Green veg’ and ‘salads’ can be eaten with fat or carb meals as their carb contents are generally low.
Don’t mix hi-carb veg, like pots, rice, grains etc with fat meals, though.
I did phase 1 for 10 days and lost about 12 lbs..scales are a bit rubbish but been measuring myself and lost 7 inches in total. I wasn’t sure how long to stay on phase 1..do you lose more eight on phase 1 than 2?
Ph1 is to help you get the conditions under control and you can stay on it as long as you want to/need to.
Ph2 is the weight-loss phase and is designed to give you more options with your eating
Can you have tiny portions of dried fruit?
Not in phase 1. Small quantities in Phase 2. Treat as a carb meal.
I’ve been looking at no added sugar jams and they contain sorbitol, are these sort of sweeteners ok?
Here’s an faq on sweeteners… http://theharcombediet.com/the-diet/faqs/can-i-have-sweeteners-or-sugar-substitutes/
Can I have olive oil in phase 1
Hi, on phase 2 can I have honey with yoghurt and banana? Thanks
No honey. it’s basically just sugar.
Hi. Once we make it to Phase 2, are things like bulgar wheat, pearled barley and pearled spelt acceptable as whole-grain/cereal carb? Thanks.
Yes. They are fine.
Hi there. Been on Phase 1 happily for a month now and unhappily, haven’t lost any weight. I did eat like this mostly before following the diet but also ate loads of chocolate, cakes and the like. I’d hoped that getting off the sweet stuff and killing the cravings would help me get back to normal weight but nothing has happened so far. I do feel healthier and have much more energy but find that the lack of weight loss after stopping so much sweet stuff disillusioning and I’m slowly heading for the chocolate again as it hasn’t seemed to make much difference whether I eat it or not. Any advice? Thanks
Too little info to give specific advice so I’d suggest strict Ph1 for a few weeks and see if that kick starts any movement.
Hi there. I have Coeliac Disease, have been diagnosed over 30 years. I cannot eat any gluten, so no wheat, rye or barley and I cannot eat oats, even the gluten free ones. As a side issue I do also have Hypothyroidism and whilst I appreciate you cannot give medical advice, hypothyroidism does cause the metabolism to function more slowly, usually making it more difficult to lose weight. Will the Harcombe diet work for me? Thank you
Sorry to hear about that list of conditions, Georgina. Come and give it a go and see how you get on.
I have hyperthyroidism and have only been doing phase 1 for 4 days already lost 5 lb its also helping with the water retention caused by hypothyroidism