Why did I start the Harcombe diet?
After a few years of trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to lose the three stone of 'baby weight' that I have acquired since having my children, I was ready to give up. A friend said that she was reading a diet book that had a different approach, steering away from the standard 'eat less, do more' strategy. I bought 'The Harcombe Diet: Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight' straight away, and started to read.
Within a few days, I'd finished reading, and decided that I was definitely going to give this a go. The 'diet' - although perhaps 'eating plan' is a better term, since it really doesn't feel like any diet I've come across - starts with a five day 'phase 1' to kick start the weight loss and to tackle three medical conditions that Harcombe says many of us suffer from, often unknowingly.
I started out on Phase 1, concerned that I would feel limited by the foods on offer, and wondering whether I would be able to stave off hunger for the five days. I needn't have worried. Even this most restricted phase of the Harcombe Diet encourages plenty of variety, and requires that you eat three good-sized meals, enough to stop you from being hungry.
How Did I Feel To Start With?
In truth, the first few days, I felt pretty rubbish. I had a mild headache to start with, which increased in severity over the first few days. I felt tired, lethargic and generally just 'low'. I was somewhat prepared for this, knowing that it was a likely outcome during this initial 'detox' period. I re-read the relevant chapters of the book, reminding myself of what was happening in my body, why I was feeling so bad.
Did I Last The Five Days?
Thankfully, the negative side effects of phase 1 only lasted for the first few days. I started the Harcombe diet on the Monday, and by the Friday I was feeling great. I wouldn't have described myself as feeling 'unwell' prior to starting this diet, but I was definitely feeling much better by the time I finished Phase 1.
The headache was gone by the Thursday, and by the Friday I was feeling full of energy, clear-headed, and definitely thinner. There was a noticeable change in the fit of my jeans, just after those five days.
How Much Did I Lose?
I started the Harcombe diet knowing that I needed to lose around three stone to put me in the centre of the 'healthy weight' band according to the BMI calculator on the NHS website. I'd been actively trying to lose weight for around six months, but had basically been losing and regaining the same few pounds.
On the Saturday morning, less than a week after starting this diet, I'd lost 7lb! That in itself was enough to spur me to continue with the plan. I'm about a week and a half in to phase 2 at the moment, and haven't regained any of the weight I lost, and am still enjoying the plan, finding it satisfying, easy and enjoyable.