Pre-Christmas Low Carb Bootcamp - the prep thread

(136 Posts)
BIWI Wed 07-Oct-20 19:41:27

So we have about 10 days until we start. One of the key factors for success is being prepared and planning ahead.

Some/many of you may have done Bootcamp before, but it's still worth reminding yourself about low carbing and the rules.

Firstly - how do you do low carb?

There are lots of different ways and plans! Each will have different levels of carbohydrate per day that is recommended. Keto and the first stage of Atkins (induction) are the strictest, with a maximum of 20g carbs per day.

On Bootcamp we don't count carbs. There are ten rules which you need to follow, which should ensure that you see good weight loss, without needing to weigh or count your food.

Specifically on Bootcamp this is what we do:

First, you don't eat any:

- bread (of any kind, including your kids' bagels!)
- pasta (brown or white)
- rice (ditto, brown or white)
- potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweetcorn
- flour/anything made with flour - so no cake, biscuits, pastry, pastries, thickened sauces, crumble toppings, batter)
- sugar (which includes honey, agave syrup, molasses)
- fruit juice
- full sugar squash/cordial
- sweets and chocolate (with the exception of the very occasional piece of dark chocolate, which should be at least 70% cocoa)
- pulses/legumes (including peas)
- artificial sweeteners
- balsamic vinegar (all other vinegars are fine - this one is sweetened, which rules it out)

For the first two weeks of Bootcamp (which last for 10 weeks), you also don't eat any fruit, nuts or seeds, and don't drink any alcohol. After the first two weeks, you can introduce some fruit - mainly berries - and some nuts/seeds, but in strict moderation. And you may have the occasional drink of alcohol.

What can I eat, you may ask?!

- any meat or fish (taking care to avoid processed products as much as possible, e.g. ham, bacon, crab sticks, etc)
- most shellfish
- eggs, as many as you want
- plenty of good fats (this is a high fat diet), so butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard
- cheese, full fat yoghurt and cream (although in moderation)
- plenty of veg and salads - this is where your carbs should mainly come from

The ten Bootcamp rules are:

1. Eat three proper meals a day
If you're new to low carbing, you must eat breakfast. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and it doesn’t have to be absolutely first thing, but you must have something. For the rest of the day, if you’re eating enough food and you are in ketosis then you shouldn’t be hungry between meals. But if you are hungry, eat something. (Hard boiled eggs make a great snack).
After the first two weeks of Bootcamp we will relax this, but these two weeks are critical in terms of helping you switch easily to a low carb way of eating - and if you start to feel hungry, it makes things much harder! Eating this way will ensure that your blood sugar levels are kept stable, which will mean that you are much less likely to experience hunger.
A typical high carbohydrate diet can mean that snacking is a routine part of your day. Once your blood sugar levels are stable, by eating low carb, you should find that you no longer want to snack. But the rule of thumb here is ‘if you are hungry, eat!’. (Just make sure you are only choosing low carb snacks, of course!)

If you're an old hand at low carbing, you may decide to skip breakfast (or another meal if that works best for you). This leads us to intermittent fasting, which can be hugely significant in terms of weight loss as well as delivering lots of other health benefits.

2. Avoid processed foods
Focus on pure, natural protein as the basis for your meals - meat/fish/eggs. Things like sausages, ham, bacon, pre-prepared burgers etc should be avoided as much as possible. You can have them, but just not every day. Avoid foods marketed as low carb, eg. Atkins Daybreak bars.

3. Eat lots of fat
Eating fat will not make you fat. Honestly! But it will keep your appetite satisfied, and it sustains your body’s energy requirements perfectly. Fat does not provoke an insulin spike, unlike carbs which do (a lot) and protein (a little). Fry in butter, add butter to vegetables, eat salad with a home-made vinaigrette dressing (not made with balsamic vinegar though, as this is too sweet), add mayonnaise where you can (just check the carb count on your mayo first). Eat fattier cuts of meat – e.g. pork belly, roast chicken with the skin on and/or eat the fat off your lamb chops. Absolutely no low fat/light foods of any kind!

4. Make sure you are eating vegetables and salads with your food
This is where your carbs should come from, and this is non-negotiable. But choose only those vegetables that are on the allowed list. Make sure that you focus on eating those vegetables that are 3g carb per 100g or less, and this will ensure that your carb counts are kept low. You don’t have to weigh/count carbs – this is one of the great joys of this WOE (way of eating), but if you’re new to low carbing it can be helpful to weigh your portions of veg in the early days, just so that you know how many carbs are in the sort of portions that you like to eat.

5. Be careful about dairy (apart from butter, which is unlimited)
Dairy can impede weight loss for some people. If you are drinking tea/coffee with milk or cream, restrict yourself to max 2 cups per day. There are a lot of carbs in milk, so if you are having several cups of tea/coffee per day, you will quickly rack up your daily carb count (e.g. 1 medium latte contains more than 12g carbs!) You may eat cheese but again, don't overdo it. Full fat yoghurt is the best way to include dairy in your diet - but beware, it does contain carbs.

6. You must drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day
The more weight you have to lose, the more water you should drink. This is from Water is essential to weight loss for those who eat low-carb. The minimum consumed in a day should be:
Your Weight--------Litres

High levels of ketones in the blood stream can lead to a reduction in ketone production, therefore being well hydrated could aid in keeping the levels low and ketone production ongoing. Consuming enough water can have many other positive side effects: aids your kidneys with the processing of protein, reduces the retention of water, helps with preventing constipation, and reduces the levels of ketones released by your breath, which in-turn will reduce breath odour. However, drinking a lot of water can mean that you also need to keep an eye on your electrolyte balance. You need to make sure that you are consuming sufficient sodium and potassium. On a low carb diet we can eat more salt, so make sure that you are cooking with salt and adding salt to food, if you like it. Good, low carb, sources of potassium are spinach (raw), avocado, mushrooms, courgettes and asparagus, as well as salmon and yoghurt.

7. No alcohol
Alcohol is the easiest source of fuel for the body to burn, so it will always use this first before it starts to burn any fat - which is why you need to restrict it, especially in the first two weeks of Bootcamp, when we are encouraging the body to stop using carbs for its source of fuel and turn to fat-burning instead. If you really can't do this - at least try and restrict it to the weekend. Vodka with soda is the best thing to drink. Or Champagne, red wine or dry white wine.

8. No fruit
Really. Seriously. Honestly. None at all. Zilch. Nada. After the first two weeks of Bootcamp you will be able to introduce certain fruits, but at this stage fruit is simply too carby. We are also trying to break the addiction to sweet things, so cutting fruit out is part of this process. If you are getting all your carbs from vegetables and salad, you will be getting all the nutrients and fibre that you need.

9. No nuts/seeds
They make a great snack, but it’s also very easy to eat large quantities of them very quickly, so you can consume way too many carbs this way

10. No sugar or artificial sweeteners
Sugar is an obvious ‘no no’, but artificial sweeteners are also an issue. One of the aims of this way of eating is to eat pure and natural foods, so including sweeteners is not recommended. Some people find that artificial sweeteners can impede their weight loss, and there is some suggestion that your body can respond to sweeteners as if they were sugar, by releasing more insulin - and therefore laying down fat. Given that the aim of Bootcamp is to help us lose our sweet tooth and addiction to sweet things, then it is a good idea to avoid sweeteners altogether in this first two weeks.

OP’s posts: |
BIWI Wed 07-Oct-20 19:49:49

So having dealt with the rules, what else do we need to think about?

The key to success is planning and preparation.

First thing is to get rid of anything in your cupboards/fridge/freezer that might tempt you. (As far as you can, given other members of your household!)

Next, plan what you're going to eat next week, and make sure you have all the ingredients that you need. If you need any inspiration, go and browse the recipes on the Low Carb Bootcamp topic.

If you don't know anything/much about low carbing make sure you read up about it. It's really important that you understand the science behind it and how it works. When I start the first chat thread next week, I'll post the spreadsheet, and you'll see on there (on one of the tabs) a whole load of resources - videos, articles, websites etc - which are invaluable.

One of the truly amazing things about a low carb diet is that it will bring many health benefits beyond just weight loss - and you can read about those there.

Another great resource is this website . Lots of simple advice and some great recipes.

OP’s posts: |
FizzyPink Wed 07-Oct-20 19:58:46

Really looking forward to getting back to it! Thanks for organising @BIWI

Just checking, if we’re not new to low carbing, are we able to IF from the beginning like in the last bootcamp?

itsmeagainagain Wed 07-Oct-20 20:14:32

Brilliant! Thanks @BIWI smile

BIWI Wed 07-Oct-20 21:54:23

@Turnedouttoes yes absolutely!

OP’s posts: |
BletheringHeights Wed 07-Oct-20 21:58:31

I might namechange before I officially start but yes I’m in and thanks so much biwi!

PastramiNoRye Wed 07-Oct-20 22:33:47

Thanks BIWI! Looking forward to starting!


ClaraTheImpossibleGirl Wed 07-Oct-20 23:12:22

Thank you BIWI smile** I did join up last year but had to give up when DS2 went into hospital unexpectedly. Fingers crossed there's no such drama this year, I'd really like to start 2021 a stone lighter than I am now!

ZiggZagg Thu 08-Oct-20 00:08:04

Really excited grin

Mixitupalot Thu 08-Oct-20 00:13:53

I did the lockdown bootcamp and lost 21lbs! I’ve maintained since but I’d like to cut another 7lbs for my ideal weight so I am in!

Rosebud21 Thu 08-Oct-20 03:48:15

I'm in

CoolShoeshine Thu 08-Oct-20 04:37:01

I’d like to join please - I’ve tried a bit of half hearted low carbing but I’m making up my own rules as I go along so would like to do it properly!

Aryavinalaff Thu 08-Oct-20 07:53:27

I’m definitely in, have really piled it on this year and need to get some focus otherwise I will end up having to buy whole new bigger wardrobe. Thank you BIWI X

Takingontheworld Thu 08-Oct-20 08:20:04

Whoop whoop! I'm out of the razz until 10pm on Saturday so am glad we're starting monday as going out is such a rarity. We aren't eating, just drinking and I must admit I'm thinking about lying and making up a reason I can't drink as I'm so motivated to stay on track.

This is my 2nd bootcamp... Bringing my 2 stone 11 loss with me from last round and hoping for another stone by christmas.

Obviously I've been a wee bit slack in certain areas since I'm a few months in now so I'm looking forward to really cleaning my act up on Monday. goodbye brie and pistachios, my daily friends

BIWI Thu 08-Oct-20 09:39:51

Welcome all!

If you haven't already done so, can you pop by on to this thread and add your name to the list, so that the very lovely @AthelstaneTheUnready can add you to the spreadsheet.


OP’s posts: |
Rayna37 Thu 08-Oct-20 10:18:58

I'm looking forward to this. With everything else so miserable for months I've been enjoying cooking and wine as it felt like one of the few nice things left! However pushing the limits of my zips and need to take action. I think making a "project" of it by joining bootcamp this time is the best way and I already enjoyed scrolling the threads and writing a list of all the main meal ideas I can think of. My breakfasts and lunches have pretty much stayed on track.

Hopeislost Thu 08-Oct-20 10:43:47

This is great timing for me, I've lost weight since the last bootcamp (my first) but the sweeteners have started to creep in. Plus I seem to have an almond butter addiction 🤦‍♀️

I'd best drink all the Diet Coke before Monday then 😂

poorbuthappy Thu 08-Oct-20 10:50:44

Brilliant timing for me too!
My middle is getting rounder with the perimenopause and I need some help.

I did try bootcamp a few years ago and lost almost a stone - but the diet messed with my hormones and I bleed constantly.
I'm hoping this time that with me being older and hurtling towards the menopause it may not happen this time.

StuntNun Thu 08-Oct-20 14:26:28

Poorbuthappy that can happen with any form of weight loss, it's caused by oestrogen being released from fat cells and usually settles down within one or two cycles. Some people get mid-cycle bleeding or occasionally peri-menopausal women find they have a light bleed when they haven't had a period for several months.

Xenia Thu 08-Oct-20 16:22:18

I might have a go. I would like to get under 10 stone again.

BIWI Thu 08-Oct-20 16:23:39

@poorbuthappy from what I've read, if that happens then you can try increasing gradually the amount of carbs you're eating. (That's not carte blanche for you to live off pasta and chocolate, mind you!)

OP’s posts: |
Takingontheworld Thu 08-Oct-20 16:41:54


This is great timing for me, I've lost weight since the last bootcamp (my first) but the sweeteners have started to creep in. Plus I seem to have an almond butter addiction 🤦‍♀️

I'd best drink all the Diet Coke before Monday then 😂

Are you me? Except its pepsi and pecan butter 🤣 gonna get clean on monday !

Takingontheworld Thu 08-Oct-20 16:43:30

can confirm RE bleeding. I ended up having my first period in years, then a month later bled for FIVE WEEKS. Was pure shite.

Not a peep since though!

Rshard Thu 08-Oct-20 16:54:03

Ready to start! Lovely to see some familiar names and lots of new ones.

Thanks BIWI

BIWI Thu 08-Oct-20 18:09:10

I'm putting together a FAQ about Bootcamp/low carbing, so if anyone has got anything they'd like me to address, let me know!


OP’s posts: |

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