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.