When we talked to our existing members about the Summer Blitz, many asked us to share their stories to support those who are starting their journey on The Harcombe Diet.
So allow us to introduce you to Julia Hodgkinson, 41, a customer services representative from Wigan. Together with her own story, she also wants to share her advice for those about to embark on the Summer Blitz.
Height: 5’ 0”
Was: 10 stone 13lbs
Now: 7 stone 12lbs
“I’ve always joked that I only have to look at a piece of cake and I put on a few pounds – but I didn’t realize just how badly wheat foods were affecting my weight until I gave them up at Easter 2013.
I’d been living on a diet of cereal or toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner. At work there were often biscuits being passed around too – but I didn’t think I was overeating enough to justify the amount of weight I was carrying. I was nearly 11 stone – and that was much too much for my tiny five foot frame!
Over the years I’d often tried to lose weight – and had succeeded a few times too.
On the Rosemary Conley diet, seven years ago, I’d got down to below eight stone. But I couldn’t keep the weight off once I started eating normally again. I also found it hard to cope with the hunger of a calorie controlled diet like that – it wasn’t something I relished doing again.
Then three years ago I heard about the Harcombe Diet, which involves absolutely no calorie counting. The only rule is to avoid eating carbohydrates and fatty foods in the same meal, or within three hours of each other.
My husband Stuart, then 42, and I both tried the diet – but, while Stuart lost loads of weight, I could not get below 10 stone. I knew I was eating quite a few carb meals – I was eating pitta bread and hummus most lunchtimes – but I couldn’t believe this would really prevent me losing weight.
What I didn’t realise – or accept – was that I had a wheat intolerance that was the main reason for my weight problem.
Last Easter, fed up with my weight and determined to do something about it once and for all, I went back to my Harcombe Diet book, taking careful note of everything Zoe said.
I soon learned that I had a problem with the yeast infection Candida. I ticked many of the boxes such as easy weight gain, bloating, and trouble sleeping, and that was a sign I should cut out all wheat from my diet.
Every Harcombe dieter has to do this for the first five days but I had to be prepared to do it for life!
This time – with no pitta bread – I soon lost six pounds, and that was a great motive to keep going.
I could eat huge meals – as long as I didn’t mix carbs and fats – and now typically have a breakfast of porridge with water, a big feta cheese salad or a bacon and cheese omelette followed by Greek yogurt and raspberries for lunch.
For supper, it was meat or fish with vegetables. We fry steaks, then add cream to the juices to make a sauce – and I am still losing weight! I am amazed by the difference in my body, and have even seen my cholesterol plummet.
I have had two hiccups. Both times I ate pizzas and bread, and both times I gained three pounds. It was the wake-up call I needed to remind me that there are some foods I should always avoid. But, since I’ve found a diet that allows me to eat so many other things in such huge quantities, that is no longer a problem.”
Advice for anyone embarking on their journey on the Summer Blitz
1. Worried about having to empty your cupboards of processed food and filling it with real food…
“Some people may be fearful of this big step, but you need to fully understand that fear. The Summer Blitz turns all the nutritional information that the average person knows and has learned from so called ‘experts’, nutritionists and Government upside-down.
Reading Zoe’s books made everything I knew about food stand on its head, but it all makes full sense too.
I would guess that most of the food in your kitchen cupboards is highly- processed, preserved and not fresh, and contains long lists of ingredients that have very little (if any) nutritional value for your body.
You shouldn’t worry about getting this ‘food’ from out of your house as there is no price that you can put on your feeling of health and well-being, all of which will increase dramatically on the Summer Blitz.
Believe me, you have to give the diet a go and you won’t believe how much better you will feel – physically and mentally – when your body is getting the nutrition that it needs and deserves.”
2. If you find yourself struggling in the first few days…
“My advice is to just stick with it, which is exactly what I told my husband when he was on day two. He was suffering from the worst flu ever and felt like he was dying. Combine this with palpitations, sweats and cravings for diet cola…
I had to remind him often that if he got through Phase One then he would feel much better than he had done in years. I told him that if he had given in half-way through Phase One, then all his hard work would be undone; that since he had come so far, he should see through the first five days and then make a decision. He stuck with it.
With early nights and painkillers, he struggled through the worst times when his cravings – especially for diet cola! – was at its worst.
He stuck with it, and, yes, he has now gone on to lose a load of weight, and feels better and healthier than ever.
So to all of you embarking on the journey please, just stick with it and I promise you that the 14 days will change your life, your health and your wellbeing.”