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Preparing for the pre-summer Low Carb Bootcamp - starting next week!

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BIWI Tue 16-May-17 08:59:07

Morning all!

So next week sees the start of our next Bootcamp. It will last, as usual, for 10 weeks, so will take us nicely up to the summer/school holidays.

If you're going to join us, and especially if you haven't low carbed before, it's really important that you plan for it, and start to think about what you're going to shop for, cook and eat. Failing to plan ahead is one of the key reasons why most people drop out early on!

The first two weeks of Bootcamp are the strictest, but after this period, things relax a little. The idea of the initial strict phase is to ensure that you switch your body from burning carbs, to burning fat.

Overall, these are the foods that you won't be eating at all during Bootcamp:

bread in any form
sugar (which includes honey/agave syrup/maple syrup)

During the stricter first two weeks, you also exclude:


The idea of Bootcamp is that it's easy to *follow - in that there is no weighing or counting of anything (unless you want to). Just follow the rules and you will be fine. However, although it's easy to follow, it's not always easy to do, because for many of us it can be such a change in eating habits and patterns.*

The British diet has changed considerably in the last 50 years or so - whereas we used to be meat and two veg, plus potatoes - now, many if not most of our meals are based around carbs - pasta and sauce, or rice-based dishes, for example. And this has been compounded by government advice, which says we should base our diets on carbohydrates and avoid fat wherever we can.

When you're low carbing, you'll be reversing that, which feels very alien! So instead of a diet which is carbs:protein:fat, you'll be switching it round to fat:protein:carbs.

In the first few days of low carbing, especially if you've been eating a high carb diet for a long time, you may start to feel pretty rubbish

This is called carb flu - essentially you're withdrawing from sugar, which is a highly addictive substance. Your body treats carbs in the same way as it does sugar, and you may find it quite hard going to lose the sugar from your diet.

However, it generally passes quickly and once you're through it - if you suffer; not everyone does - you'll find that you feel great and full of energy. If you do suffer, up your salt intake (as we drink a lot of water, it's important that we keep our sodium intake higher) and also your fat. Take some paracetamol if you feel headachey, and just remind yourself that it's a good thing!

*Planning your meals is a really good idea. Have a look at the top of the Bootcamp topic, and you'll find a Bootcamp recipe thread - loads of lovely recipes there to inspire you. As far as possible, try and choose meals that you can make for the whole family, so you're not having to prepare different meals. It won't harm anyone to eat a low carb meal, and you're a lot more likely to stick to it if it's easy for you to do! Think about the meals that you like that aren't so carb-heavy, and make those - so if spaghetti bolognese and chilli with rice would normally feature, swap those for meals that you can easily make low carb - e.g. salmon with salad and green veg, or roast chicken with roast veg (just not roast potatoes!). Shepherds pie can be made with a mash made from celeriac, or cauliflower, or swede.

Think about what you're going to eat during the day; on-the-go eating is really tough for low carbers, because most food outlets are based on carbs - sandwiches, burgers, muffins, etc.

Make sure you've read and understand Bootcamp rules! I'll post these separately. Print them out if it helps!

Each week, I'll start a new chat thread, and I'll post a link to the spreadsheet that we use to track our weight. (You don't have to be added to the spreadsheet if you don't want to).

On the spreadsheet, on the tabs at the bottom, are links to lots of important information, and you'll find the Bootcamp rules there. There are also links to lots of articles, blogs and videos about low carbing, which will help to inspire and inform you.

It's really important that you understand the thinking and science behind low carbing, so do as much reading as you can. It's especially important that you're armed with some key facts about it, because even though low carbing is becoming more common, you'll still find that people around you will rubbish it - mostly people can't understand why you're eating so much fat and expecting to lose weight!

Anyway, that's enough for now!

JiminnyCricket Tue 16-May-17 09:44:18

Whoop whoop thanks for the new thread BIWI grin

ASDismynormality Tue 16-May-17 10:15:25

Great new thread.

I haven't got much to add except to say I started LCHF just before the last bootcamp and have stuck to it since January. It works really well if you stick to plan. Also at the start I weighed and recorded my food, it really helped to work out my carbs but it has now become instinctive so don't need to anymore.
I have attached my weightloss graph to show how well it can work and it also shows that weightloss isn't always linear but the trend is downwards,

styledilemma Tue 16-May-17 10:20:49

Can I join?
I've never done low carbing before but I think I could do it with some support.

I would like to be added to the spreadsheet. Thanks! smile

Kleptronic Tue 16-May-17 10:22:40


nekobus Tue 16-May-17 10:26:14

Yay! Looking forward to this bootcampsmile

FinallyHere Tue 16-May-17 10:30:17

Thank you BIWI I'm very pleased to be here, last bootcamp was the first where I didn't drop out. Feeling really good over all and glad to have another bootcamp starting.

Not sure I have any tips for newbies to low carb high far ( LCHF )...... maybe to just stick with the rules set out in 'the spreadsheet' even though they do seem to be the very opposite of received wisdom about healthy eating. I am a long way from target (but finally moving in the right direction) so got going by eating lots of the foods I had been restricting (creme, crispy grilled bell of pork yum) . Once I got used to this way of eating (WOE), i found my appetite tailed off naturally so that I did find myself (finally, sic) eating less. All the very best, this woe has been a revelation for me.

OldBooks Tue 16-May-17 10:39:17

@BIWI asked us to post tips for newbies. I am quite the newbie myself as I have been doing lchf for 2 weeks, this is what has stood out so far:

* DRINK - look up how much you are meant to be drinking according to the spreadsheet and drink it. It seems really daunting to have to drink 6 pints of water daily but it makes a huge difference

* Planning is key, as BIWI says, especially if you go out. Take approved snacks! Cheese cubes have helped me, or celery with a little pot of cream cheese for dipping

* DH is definitely not low carving. I make the meat and veg and then make him a separate portion of pasta/potatoes

This WOE is fantastic, I already feel better in myself, more energy, clearer skin, less bloated. Don't get hung up on the scales, look for overall indicators that the WOE is working 😀

Abra1d Tue 16-May-17 10:40:24

Keep misreading this thread title as some kind of Election diet manifesto pledge.

dustmotesinthesun Tue 16-May-17 10:51:52

Really excited to begin again.

My tips would be keep checking in here as much as you can. Support really helps and there is always someone on here who's been where you are before and can get you through a difficult patch.

Eat enough - so many people doing this woe are used to calories controlled diet. They eat an egg for breakfast with a stick of celery and then are surprised to be hungry. You are allowed to EAT on this way or eating and you'll lose more weight for doing so

Drink lots. Don't skip this.

The scales do slightly funny things on the woe. Lots of people stall for a while then have a whoosh. So many people get disheartened seeing this but just keep on keeping on and it all evens out. The scales don't tell you everything about what's going on in your body (I still need to get my head around this). Taking measurements of your body is a good idea.

The more you stick to this woe, the better you feel. It's really good for your health as well as your weight.

BIWI Tue 16-May-17 11:00:21

grin @ @Abra1d

CiderWithRosy Tue 16-May-17 11:08:21

Count me in! Dropped out last time but determined to make this one a success.

StuntNun Tue 16-May-17 11:55:37

My tip would be to post your food and drink on the thread every day. Not only does it help keep yourself on track but more experienced low carbers will be able to give you tips and tweaks.

JiminnyCricket Tue 16-May-17 12:00:14

For the newbies: I started in week 1 last bootcamp and sit here now a whopping 22lbs lighter, all of that lost in the 10 weeks of bootcamp grin. I've still got about 75lbs to lose but there's no reason in the world why I can't with this WOE.

My tips would be:

Don't be scared of fat and dont think that by reducing your fat as well as your carbs you'll lose weight faster. You really, REALLY wont. 70% of your calories need to be coming from the stuff ideally, so get the avocados ripening.. If you reduce fat as well as carbs you'll stall and binge... trust me, been there blush

If you can't get your head around fat not causing heart disease or any other health problems, get thyself to, sign up for a month and you get a free audiobook. Download Gary Taubes "Why we get fat" and LISTEN. If by the end of 10 hours of proper in depth science/ study reviews/ discussion you're STILL scared of fat, get an audible subscription and listen to a book called "the big fat surprise", if you're still not convinced after that i can't help you grin

Plan ahead. I personally track all my food for the week in my fitness pal on Saturday mornings, then do the weekly shop. I then don't touch MFP for the rest of the week but use it as a reference to check what I'm due to eat. No decisions to make means no opportunity to make the wrong ones. Once you get settled in/ if your issues with food arent really too deep you can stop doing this, but for those of us who are chronically obese and always have been, it can take a while to sort out food issues and taking the guess work/ room for interpretation out of it can really help.

Finally, Be kind to yourself. I've had to dodge BIWI's big stick of doom on more than one occasion and a couple of times it's hit me right on the noggin. It needed to, and just this passed week I've realised how bloody hard on myself I am. Thinking that way is self destructive and isn't going to help you. If you bugger this diet up, the physical symptoms are hard enough to deal with without you punishing yourself mentally too grin.

That's another thing, if you fall into carby twatdom DO NOT keep eating carbs. After the first couple of weeks when you're fat adapted if you do this, you'll feel god awful, have a banging headache, your body will forget how to poop and you'll stop sleeping. It's so completely not worth it. This is where I am this week because I had 3ish weeks of carby twatdom. It wasn't even that bad, I didn't go completely mad or anything but I probably went over my carbs by about 30g a day. That's all it takes! 1 week off track will also stall you for another few weeks while you re-adapt which can be really really frustrating.

THat's probably my last point, this is not a quick fix diet, but it's not an easy one either. If you're going to do this you need to commit fully otherwise you're not going to still be here with us in 10 weeks time. It can be a struggle at times but that's what these threads are for. Come and talk to us and we'll wet you straight. I've used these threads for support probably more than I ever should have, but it HELPS.

JiminnyCricket Tue 16-May-17 12:04:48

wet you straight hmmgrin


Yorkshirebornandbred Tue 16-May-17 13:45:00

Thanks BIWI smile

I've been eating this way since Friday and find it easy most of the time. I've not been hungry once and I feel better already, definitely less bloated.

Looking forward to bootcamp starting.

WorshipTheGourd Tue 16-May-17 14:26:58

Can I join please?
I asked to join last time but I never committed to it blush but I have better incentives this time smile

I am 2.5st into a projected 10st weight loss so I have a weigh [see what I did there?] to go.

LCHF is the only thing that has ever helped me I just need to stick to it and I think joining a 'group' will help me achieve that.

explodingkittens Tue 16-May-17 14:53:44

Firstly, low-carb changed my life. It really did. I've always been lucky enough not to be very overweight, but what I have always been is knackered, grumpy, bloated, sluggish and generally meh. Low-carb eating sorts that out within days (once you get past the feeling-a-bit-shite part).

I have been accused in the past of being a bit evangelical about LCHF but that's because I genuinely love It and feel great, and I just want everyone else to feel that way too blush

I eat amazing food, I have waaay more energy, my skin looks great, I'm never hungry, all my clothes fit beautifully...what's not to like?

My top tips would be:
- don't fear the fat
- drink the water
- focus on NSVs (non scale victories) rather than obsessing about the number in the scales (easier said than done I know but SO important on a WOE where your shape may well change before the numbers do)
- read the science
- don't fear the fat (did I say that already?wink)
- also, ignore the naysayers. People will LOVE to tell you how unhealthy it is, how you're gonna die of a heart attack etc. Ignore em, or fight them with science (see above). Low-carbers are on the right side of history.
- DON'T COUNT CALORIES - this can throw you off course and cause you to make poor choices. I've never counted a calorie in my life, you don't need to.

explodingkittens Tue 16-May-17 15:02:18

Oh, and buy some pork scratchings, or olives, or lovely cheese, or pate, or something deeply savoury and treat-like. Or all of the above.

Eat them.

Do this every day.

Try and tell me you feel deprived cos you can't have boring old pasta.


Craftypuss Tue 16-May-17 15:22:47

I'm new to bootcamp, but have been doing lchf by myself since being diagnosed as type 2 diabetic last summer. I managed to lose the first 6 stones relatively easily, but am struggling with the last 4 stones - hence hitting bootcamp!
I really enjoy this WOE, but still struggle to remember to check if I'm actually hungry, or just 'want to eat' or even 'feel I should be eating' - it was a real lightbulb moment when at a social get-together with a buffet, I realised that actually, I was quite happy not to eat any of it, even though it looked lovely. I had automatically gone to the table to look what I could have, without thinking if I was hungry. Once I relaxed, stepped away from the buffet, (got a coffee) and sat down for a natter, I realised how programmed my brain is to eating just because there's food there. Still working on changing my way of thinking, but at least I now recognise the problem!
Looking forward to picking up lots of new tips and food ideas!

ragz134 Tue 16-May-17 16:16:37

Hi everyone, I started LCHF on January first, have had maybe 10 days off plan in that time, I lost 24lbs. 9lb of that on the last bootcamp. My loss has not been linear and I stalled for about 6 weeks, but kept going and weight is going down again.
I only eat 2 meals most days, because I tend not to be hungry in the morning - this works for me, but not for all. Snacks are cheese, nuts and very dark chocolate.
I have posted my graph, the first peak is my starting weight, I weigh most days so I see a lot of ups and downs but I know the trend is downwards.
I feel so much better on low carb, I had been getting a lot of gynae pain and that has really settled down, plus the tiredness from my thyroid problem is also gone. I feel great and am rarely hungry, don't think about food all day... This WOE is my future now, don't plan on giving up. The food is amazing, all my favourite fatty delicious foods!

Pengweng Tue 16-May-17 17:31:51

I'm hoping I can stick it out this time! I get busy and stressed and tend to fall off the wagon. Def better when I am more organised so I need to focus on this. I have college and coursework, work and endless filling out of job applications and of course the small people who inhabit my house during non school hours. I envisage HF term to be the hardest as we have a family reunion followed by a week camping but i shall make sure i bring compliant snacks for when i get hungry in the hotel and we are eating at a Harvester for the reunion so i guess i can have chicken and then the salad bar and give the chips and sweetcorn to the children to polish off.

I am doing BC light this week to ease myself in. Which means i'm having blueberries with my yoghurt for breakfast (mostly because DH bought 3 tubs and no one likes them but me) but they will all be gone by the start on Monday. Looking forward to eating some yummy food and tonnes of butter.

wombattoo Tue 16-May-17 18:10:23

Hello all and welcome to those joining us for the first time.

My tip sorry to those who are sick of hearing it
Don't get disheartened if the scales don't seem to be moving. If you are sticking to the rules, you will lose and your body shape will change. Try on an item of clothing that feels a bit tight and use it as a measure as you go along.

Many people new to this way of eating tend to weigh everyday. That way madness lies imo It can lead to demotivation as the scales will go up and down during one day or over a couple of days.

Jump in and post any questions you may have. No question is silly and there is always someone around to help out.

Good luck thanks

Billionnairewannabe Tue 16-May-17 18:43:37

Thanks for starting this Biwi - just what I need! I did my first bootcamp about a year ago and lost over a stone. Felt great but it's gradually crept back up so, although I've attempted a couple more since I fell by the weigh side😉.
But not this time! I'm determined and I've started today as feeling so bloated.
As others have said, drinking water is key. I've done that today and feel better. And posting on here is a good motivator.

Good luck everyone! smile

Leostar Tue 16-May-17 18:49:31

I'm in a grump because I can't join this time due to having to be on a no fat diet until my gallbladder is whipped out at the end of next month.

I feel grumpy, bloated and enormous. Constantly shattered and craving carbs more than ever. It's clearly obvious carbs are my demon and my body just doesn't like them.

Hopefully I'll be back with you after the summer.

Good luck everyone Newbies- don't hesitate to join up. Everyone is so supportive and knowledgable.

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