Variation not moderation is the key to weight loss

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Obesity is wide spread. Seven hundred people a day develop diabetes. Yet confusion reigns about what we should eat. Fat or carbs? Vegan or meat? Or is it just about calories? What if you could have the best of all worlds, enjoying fatty food and not having to shun all carbs or count calories?

My new book, The Hybrid Diet, written with award-winning medical journalist Jerome Burne, offers just that by mimicking your body’s evolutionary design. We are ‘hybrid’ with an inbuilt ‘dual fuel’ mechanism for making the best of periods of feast and famine. This is our ability to run on glucose derived from carbs or on ketones derived from fat, which is what happens if you fast. Alternating between the two is the hottest health secret.

The worst of both worlds is a diet high in animal fat and refined ‘fast releasing’ carbs and sugar – the hallmark of today’s average diet. Studies show that this combination creates the equivalent of junk food addiction and rapid weight gain.

Yet, something magical happens when you switch between a slow carb and a high fat diet. It sets up a healthy cycle of new cell growth and repair but you also crave sweet foods less, and burn fat better because your body’s energy metabolism increases.

“The two most effective ways to lose weight are either a high fat, ‘ketogenic’ diet (think Atkins) or a slow carb, ‘low GL’ diet. Both have been shown to cause more weight loss than a conventional low calorie, low fat diet”, say Holford and Burne. “But switching between the two has even more health advantages. The hybrid way of eating gives the benefits of fasting without going hungry and reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and cognitive decline as well as slowing the ageing process.”

In The Hybrid Diet we show you how to enjoy fatty foods, whether you’re carnivorous or vegetarian, but without carbs, and how to enjoy slow carbs so you don’t have to shun all pasta and bread. The Hybrid Diet explains why, when and how to switch and provides you with the simple and delicious recipes you need to do it. For example, on a high fat day you can start your day with a Hybrid Latté made with no-carb almond milk, almond butter, coconut butter, coffee, cacao and cinnamon and lunch on a delicious pesto butter sautéed spinach with salmon. On a slow carb day you could have a slice of carrot and walnut cake as a snack and, for dinner a big bowl of chestnut and butterbean soup with oat cakes, both made in 5 minutes. Switching regularly between slow carbs and high fat you become ‘carb adapted’ – craving less sweet foods, and ‘fat adapted’ – able to burn and derive energy efficiently from fat. It’s like nutritional yoga as your metabolism becomes more flexible.

“We are not designed to eat the same thing everyday. Variation, not moderation, is the key to health.”, says Holford who is touring the country during March and April running seminars to show people how to master your body’s metabolism with the Hybrid Diet. Details on the diet, seminars and book are given at

What the experts say:

“So many books have been written about the best diet. So many of them written by people who seem to have not the slightest idea about human physiology and biochemistry. Here, Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne have brought together the best, most up to date knowledge in the area. This book is detailed and thorough. If you follow the advice here, you will improve your health, lose weight, avoid diabetes and reduce your risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s. What more could you ask.”
Dr Malcolm Kendrick, GP and author of ’The Great Cholesterol Con’

“This book couldn’t be more timely with the obesity and diabetes spiral at an all-time high! It provides well researched information on the risks and benefits of both carbs and healthy fats how to switch between them. A versatile and accessible solution. For anyone who’s struggled with weight loss, low energy, insulin resistance, or any of the other manifestations of disturbed metabolism, this book is essential reading.”
Robert Verkerk, founder of Alliance for Natural Health

“A thoughtful, intelligent, highly informative, and practically useful contribution to the seemingly intractable debate on what constitutes a healthy diet.”
Joanna Blythman – award-winning food writer

“The Hybrid Diet is a a very intriguing and interesting idea. Once we have cut out the sugar and refined carbs we have a choice; to use fat or low GI ‘slow’ carbs for fuel. This book enables individuals to experiment and create the best diet for their own [metabolic] good health.”
Dr David Unwin GP and …..

“This is a book that is certainly original and very likely to be provocative. In a world where there seems to be no middle ground, this book dares to go there. Maybe we don’t have to choose between fats or carbs and can embrace real food in ways that accommodate both. Maybe the body works better when fuelling itself on either. And there’s something in the concept of a ‘hybrid’ diet.”
Dr Zoe Harcombe, nutritionist.