The Harcombe Diet – Phase 2

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.

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Website Comments

  1. avatar Jenni Carpenter
    Reply

    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?

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      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.

  2. avatar Geen
    Reply

    Hi Andy,
    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?
    Thanks

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      Hi Geen,
      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

  3. avatar Myranda
    Reply

    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.

    Many thanks

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      If you’re really carb sensitive, then leave the carrots with a fat meal.
      If you fancy peaches, best stay with fresh ones.

  4. avatar sherry
    Reply

    Hi Andy,

    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

  5. avatar Geen
    Reply

    Hello, can I have semi or fat free milk with me decaf coffee in phase 2 (without sugar)?

  6. avatar Christine Trollip
    Reply

    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

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      You can repeat the 7-day plan for as long as you like and for as long as it’s working for you.

  7. avatar Geen
    Reply

    Hello,
    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?

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      ‘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.

  8. avatar Jo
    Reply

    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?

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      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

  9. avatar Russell Tooke
    Reply

    I’ve been looking at no added sugar jams and they contain sorbitol, are these sort of sweeteners ok?

  10. avatar Kathy
    Reply

    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.

  11. avatar Lizzie
    Reply

    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

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      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.

  12. avatar Georgina
    Reply

    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

    • avatar Andy
      Reply

      Sorry to hear about that list of conditions, Georgina. Come and give it a go and see how you get on.

    • avatar Cath
      Reply

      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

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