The Hybrid Diet – get leaner and healthier with the groundbreaking diet that alternates fats and carbs

There’s a growing realisation that the conventional calorie-controlled, low-fat, high-carb diet has failed to stem rising levels of obesity and diabetes. So what should we all be eating – fat or carbs, plant-based or meat…? Many experts advocate a no-carb, high-protein, high-fat approach (think Atkins, Dukan and Paleo), while others favour a healthy carb and moderate-protein and -fat regime (think South Beach, Mediterranean and low-GL diets).

The Hybrid Diet is different – it suggests we make the best use of both options. Written by leading nutrition expert Patrick Holford and award-winning medical journalist Jerome Burne, it’s a ground-breaking proposition that is based on the fact that the human body, like a hybrid car, can run on two sources of fuel – glucose and ketones (made from the fat we eat and our own body fat). Switch between these two fuels and something remarkable happens – it sets up a healthy cycle of new cell growth and repair, body fat is burnt more efficiently and sugar cravings vanish.

Here are just some of the advantages of this exciting new approach:

*   You can have your cake and eat it

OK so not that lovely huge slice of triple chocolate cake, but there is no need to avoid virtually all carbs, as many people advocate. The trick is to choose ‘slow’ carbs that raise your blood sugar gradually – thus preventing the conversion of excess glucose into fat. So far, so … standard diet advice; however, combine that with occasionally switching to a high-fat, ketogenic diet and you rejuvenate the body and kick-start a cellular clean-up process that will improve your health, help your metabolism work more efficiently – and it’s anti-ageing, too!


*   This is a diet for life not a fad diet (and it not the 5:2)

When and how often you switch between the two phases of the diet can be adjusted to suit your needs over the long term.  For example, if you need to lose a substantial amount of weight you can follow the high-fat phase more often. Eventually, you will become a master of your own metabolism, moving effortlessly between the two approaches as and when you need to. Three-quarters of the Hybrid Diet is identical whether you are in the slow-carbs or the high-fat phase: half of your total consumption is always vegetables and a little fruit, while a quarter is good quality protein. The remaining quarter is either slow carbs or good fats. So, unlike intermittent fasting diets, you won’t go hungry.


It greatly reduces your risk of obesity and diabetes

Both a high-fat and a slow-carb approach work with your body’s metabolism, reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes – as well as your risk of other common lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer and dementia.


*  It makes use of the growing popularity of biohacking

These days it’s possible for us to measure all sorts of personal health stats, such as our heart rate, and it’s the same with your glucose/ketone balance. One of the authors, Patrick, recorded his blood glucose and ketone levels while writing this book. The former can be done with a meter that is strapped to the arm; the latter with a breathalyser that shows whether you are in ketosis (and therefore burning fat). It was a fascinating experiment that demonstrated exactly how his body was affected by the foods he ate, as well as any exercise he took, and offered a tantalising glimpse of how we might approach monitoring our diet and health in the future.


Here’s one dieter’s experience:

 ‘I have lost 12lbs (5.5kg) and 7.7lbs of body fat in three weeks on the Hybrid Diet. I followed slow carbs for two weeks and high fat/keto for one week. I am delighted with the result and feel more energised. This isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle way of healthy eating and living.  I feel in control of my body and the plan makes it very easy’   Paula, London


For more information see The Hybrid Diet by Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne.

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