Prof Tim Noakes and Karen Thomson, founder of The Sugar Free Revolution Online Programme, hosted The Old Mutual Health Convention with internationally acclaimed doctors and researchers in South Africa in February 2015.
The event featured a number of international and local experts who will debate nutrition and the body. Health enthusiasts and medical professionals learnt more about the causes and circumstances surrounding obesity, as well as the benefits and physiological underpinnings of the highly popular LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) diet.
Read: Convention speaker Gary Taubes on why we really get fat
One of the speakers was internationally acclaimed author Zoë Harcombe. Zoë is a Cambridge graduate and author of six books and a diet and nutrition blog. She lives with her husband and rescued animals in the Welsh countryside.
Read: Low carb vs low fat diet – which is best for weight loss?
The Harcombe Diet
Why do you overeat, when all you want is to be slim? Is the title of Zoë Harcombe’s first book, which was published in 2004.
Zoë couldn’t believe that people were naturally too weak-willed to attain a slim body, and that there was a reason why we crave and binge on carbohydrate foods like bread, cake and fries.
Read: Low KJ diets make you fat
Her research led to the conclusion that a low calorie, low fat or any diet that requires you to eat less, will cause your body to resist your efforts, and will probably cause it to develop three medical conditions (Candida, hypoglycaemia and food intolerance).
This will give you addict-like cravings and wreck your diet. No wonder the more people try to starve, the more they end up bingeing.
The Harcombe diet involves ditching fake food in favour of real food (meat, fish, eggs, vegetables [except potatoes/mushrooms]), natural live (bio) yoghurt, herbs, spices and one portion of "safe" grains daily (brown rice, quinoa, oats).
Followers don't limit the amount they eat by calorie-counting – instead, it's about "making the calories you eat count".
The Harcombe Diet is divided into in three phases. Phase one last for five days and allows you to lose weight quickly, (and the record weight loss is eight kilograms).
In phase two you learn three rules that will help you to reach your natural weight and maintain it.
And in phase three you learn how to “cheat”, which enables you to eat your favourite foods without gaining any weight.
Read: Convention speaker Dr Jason Fung on insulin toxicity and reversing type 2 diabetes
Weight and obesity
Zoë is a qualified nutritionist with a Diploma in Diet & Nutrition and a Diploma in Clinical Weight Management. First and foremost, however, she is an obesity researcher and her major goal in life is to reverse the obesity epidemic.
Read: Understanding obesity
She explains how this started and what we need to do to stop it in her 2010 book, The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it?
In 2008 Zoë left corporate life to focus full time on diet and health and since then she has, apart from her writing, set up the Harcombe Diet Club to provide online support for people who reject processed foods in favour of natural foods.
Read: Food is your medicine
What triggered Zoë’s research was trying to understand why obesity increased almost tenfold in the UK between 1972 and the end of the twentieth century. Her conclusion was that the dietary advice that we are getting changed. We started moving away from fats and increased our carbohydrate consumption, which lead to huge increases in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Watch Ms Harcombe explain why a calorie is not a calorie and you should stop counting them
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TIP: Visit our partner site Food24 for some excellent LCHF recipes.