YPD Books




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Author: Zoë Harcombe

Zoë Harcombe

Zoë was the first pupil from her state school to graduate from Cambridge University, having won a scholarship to read mathematics/economics at this famous institution. What no one knew at the time was that, having been anorexic as a teenager, Zoe had developed bulimia before starting her studies at Cambridge. She sat in her historic room, overlooking Kings Chapel, stuffing her face with food and asked the million dollar question: “Why do I overeat? When all I want is to be slim?


So started over a decade of research into obesity, overeating and weight loss. During her 20’s Zoë experienced food cravings to rival any drug addiction and discovered that there are three medical conditions that cause these food cravings. And so her first book came about: “Why do you overeat? When all you want is to be slim.” Published in 2004, it continues to change the lives of people who read it.

Since putting her own advice into practice, Zoe has lived craving free and a constant 8 stone for over 15 years. She no longer suffers from any of the conditions that cause insatiable cravings and she knows how to make sure that these conditions never return. “Stop Counting Calories & Start Losing Weight: The Harcombe Diet” was published in 2008, to share the message with readers world-wide. By popular demand, a recipe book came out at the same time. Zoë has also appeared on TV and Radio and writes regularly for magazines and newspapers.

Zoë is a qualified nutritionist with a Diploma in Diet & Nutrition and a Diploma in Clinical Weight Management, but she is first and foremost an obesity researcher. She has also found that the majority of nutritional information currently being taught (to dieticians and nutritionists) is wrong and that all dietary advisors need to be far more challenging and far less accepting of what they are being told. Solving the obesity epidemic relies upon such people, who really do want to make a difference, questioning their founding beliefs in the way that Zoë has done.

Zoë is sponsored by no one and has funded the last two years – researching for and writing the book full time – from savings. Conflict of interest is at the heart of the obesity epidemic and therefore true independence is essential to be able to honestly question and analyse the problem. In whose interests is it that the world things eggs are bad for breakfast? Who stands to gain if butter is demonised?

Zoë’s personal experience has also proved invaluable in this journey – to have effectively done the Minnesota starvation experiment as a teenager provides an understanding that no text book can match. Researchers writing –  “TCB1 Antagonism Exerts Specific Molecular Effects on Visceral and Subcutaneous Fat and Reverses Liver Steatosis in Diet-Induced Obese Mice“. (Diabetes, April 2010) – have no general understanding of obesity and likely have never even been on a diet or had first hand experience of the misery of overweight and hunger. Zoë has.


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