The Diet Fix by Dr ​Zoë Harcombe

The Diet Fix

How to lose weight and keep it off...
One last time

Dr ​Zoë Harcombe

"This book is a game changer.
You will never need to count calories again.
Dr Aseem Malhotra

What's Inside?

Part 1 - No more calorie counting
The calorie myth
The evidence against low-calorie diets
Why 'eat less/do more' doesn't work

Part 2 - What does work?
What is weight loss?
The diet to lose weight

Part 3 - How to make this your last ever diet
The two drivers for change
How to make this time different - values goals and beliefs
How to make this time different - learning from past mistakes
How to understand and change your relationship with food
Your 10-step plan for success

Back Cover

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most celebrated women in the world – she’s also one of the most famous yo-yo dieters. “It has been the battle of my life,” she has said, “… a battle I am still fighting every waking moment.”

Anyone who, like Oprah, has experienced the vicious rollercoaster of losing, regaining and the putting on more weight knows that the advice we are being given doesn’t work. So, what does?

Dr Zoë Harcombe, PhD, experiences the misery of yo-yo dieting throughout her twenties and decided to use her scientific training to find a solution. She has spent the past 20 years studying diet, eating habits and the escalating obesity crisis and is now the go-to nutrition expert for some of the world’s leading doctors.

In The Diet Fix Zoë reveals her 10-step plan for success. Using evidence-based analysis, she tells us how to lose weight without hunger, how to eat better rather than less and, most importantly, how to make it different this time.

Kind words

“Zoë Harcombe has the rare ability to explain complex scientific issues and put them into language we can all understand. She will take you on a journey explaining why weight loss diets don’t work, and how you can eat your way to better metabolic health. Most people who write books about diet either don’t really understand the science, or don’t understand food. Zoë Harcombe gets the science and knows food. The Diet Fix is a must read.”

Dr Peter Brukner , specialist Sports Physician, previously Team Doctor for the Australian national cricket team, Liverpool FC and Australian National Olympic Athletics teams.

“Zoë Harcombe provides an invaluable resource for understanding the mess that is today's nutrition and chronic disease research. Her ability to think critically and skeptically about the latest research makes her among the very few trustworthy sources of information and guidance on this vitally important topic.”

Gary Taubes
, science and health journalist, co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI) and author of Good Calories Bad Calories and The Case Against Sugar
"This is the book to read when you have failed dieting. Fascinating for those that wanted to lose weight and have failed, and not known why. So many have followed the advice of 'experts' and made to feel guilty for failing. What if that advice was wrong, and you were set up to fail? The first step in not repeating failure is to unravel the knot and start afresh, not halfway through and hope for the best. Not starting afresh dooms you to repeating the mistakes of history and your own failures. Zoë Harcombe invites you to understand the reasons behind that 'failed' advice and gives fresh insight in to the emotional aspect of weight control. The dietary advice is simple, succinct and workable. The reasons for that advice not working are complex and "The Diet Fix" gives the reader understanding. That's the first step to success. Arguably, it's the only first step. "

Dr Gary Fettke
, MB BS, FRACS, FAOrthoA Orthopaedic Surgeon
“Dr. Harcombe brings an unparalleled command of the scientific literature on nutrition, plus a sharp eye for detail and a thoroughly rigorous approach. If there is a detail or fact to hunt down, Harcombe is a bloodhound on the trail. What's more, her writing is always witty and bright, managing to bring even statistics to life. If I aimed to lose weight, there is no book I'd trust more than Harcombe's Diet Fix.”

Nina Teicholz , investigative journalist and author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, (US).
“The subjects of nutrition, obesity, dieting and weight loss have become a battlefield where the weapons of choice are prejudice, dogma and a bone-headed resistance to facts. In this book Zoë Harcombe lays out the myths that underpin the current stupidity and explains very clearly, what will actually work to help people lose weight, and, far more importantly, keep it off. It is not a life of denial and constant hunger. It is simple and straightforward. It works, I know it works, I have spoken to hundreds of people for whom it has worked.”

Dr Malcolm Kendrick
, GP, speaker and author of The Great Cholesterol Con, Doctoring Data and The Clot Thickens
“There is quite simply no writer on nutrition and dietetics anywhere in the world whose opinion I value more than that of Zoë Harcombe. Here, finally, is the weight-loss advice that is effective because it is based on hard science and presented by someone who has been there, tried them all and found what actually works. And keeps on working. For decades. If you are still searching for that elusive lifestyle prescription that will work for you, rejoice. You have finally found it.”

Professor Tim Noakes
, scientist and Emeritus Professor, author of more than 750 scientific books and articles and awarded the rare honour of being rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa for a second 5-year term.
“There’s a revolution taking place that aims to overthrow decades of official advice about what a healthy diet is and how best to lose weight, debunking the wrong-headed belief that all you have to do to lose weight is to eat less and move more. Dr Harcombe knows all about the misery and self-loathing that such a pattern creates and which the book aims to put an end to. The first step is to stop dieting and start eating good, fresh and freshly cooked food; the next is to never again to count a calorie.”

Jerome Burne
, medical health journalist.
The Diet Fix is an easy-to-read explanation of why calorie counting doesn't work and what can be done to fix it. Dr. Harcombe shows once again a mastery of nutrition science and is able to translate that into simple steps to improve your health.”

Dr Jason Fung
, Canadian kidney specialist and author of The Obesity Code and The Diabetes Code.
"To date nutrition has been a set of erroneous beliefs based upon caloric formulas that have harmed our society as a whole. In this book Dr. Harcombe separates fact from fiction and presents the science of nutrition as humans were designed to eat and drink. A must-read for anyone who wants to optimize their health and weight."

Dr Robert Cywes
MD, PhD, specialist in weight management and Bariatric Surgery for adults and adolescents.

About the Author

Dr. Zoë Harcombe is a Cambridge University graduate with a BA and MA in economics/maths. Zoë enjoyed a successful career in global blue chip organisations before leaving corporate life in 2008 to pursue her passion – diet and health. Her early career involved international roles in management consultancy, manufacturing and marketing, before specialising in Personnel and Organisation. At the peak of her career, Zoë was Vice President for Human Resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Having written three books between 2004 and 2007 (Why do you overeat? When all you want is to be slim; Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight and The Harcombe Diet Recipe Book), while being ‘Head of People’, Zoë left employment to research obesity full time. This culminated in the publication in 2010 of The Obesity Epidemic: What caused it? How can we stop it? In 2011, a far lighter book – The Harcombe Diet for Men – was published. This was followed by The Harcombe Diet: Three Step Plan in 2013.

Zoë returned to full time education in 2012 to complete a PhD in public health nutrition (awarded March 2016). Her thesis examined the evidence for the introduction of dietary fat guidelines – both at the time they were introduced and the evidence available today. Several academic papers have emanated from this work, which has completely challenged public health dietary advice that fat is bad and meals should be based on carbohydrates.

The Diet Fix is the first of Zoë’s books to truly synergise her Human Resources experience of people and motivation with her post-doctorate knowledge about diet and nutrition. It’s personal and professional and it’s the most practical guide she has ever written.

Zoë was an independent board member for Cardiff Metropolitan University between 2006 and 2012. She was also an independent board member for the Welsh National Health Service between 2009 and 2012.

Appearing regularly on radio and TV, Zoë has had the opportunity to participate in: Sky News; Steve Wright in the Afternoon; Radio 4’s The Food Programme; ITV’s Tonight programme; and BBC Newsnight. Further afield, she has appeared on America’s Fox News and Cape Town radio. Zoë has written for most national UK newspapers and magazines.

Zoë passionately believes that current dietary advice is wrong and that populations need to return to eating the real food that we ate before we had epidemics of obesity and diabetes. Apparently this is a controversial proposition! Zoë shares her views at conferences worldwide and in her highly-accessed diet and nutrition blog (

Zoë lives with her husband in the Welsh countryside surrounded by food, a.k.a. sheep, hens and cows.

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