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Low Carb Lockdown Bootcamp - Jan 21 - Week 1 chat thread

(1000 Posts)
BIWI Sun 17-Jan-21 21:49:54

Welcome everyone! Hopefully you've found the easing-in week helpful, and it's given you time to get all the Christmas carby stuff out of the way, and to plan for this WOE (way of eating).

Here's a link to the Spreadsheet of Fabulousness which is managed and cherished by The Very Lovely @AthelstaneTheUnready. If your name isn't on there, and you want it to be, just add your name to the bottom of the list. Don't try and insert it in the right alphabetical place, and DON'T TOUCH THE BLUE CELLS!

(If you're using your phone you'll probably have to download the Google Sheets app to be able to access the spreadsheet.)

Before we get going, I need to post my disclaimer:

I am not a medic and I have absolutely no scientific training (beyond O-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics!). I'm not a dietician or a nutritionist. The advice given here is based on my own experiences as well as lots and lots of reading, but you follow it at your own 'risk'. I hope it's not a risk, but you know what I mean! If you are taking any medication currently, especially if you're hypertensive or a diabetic, please discuss this with your GP or practice nurse; low carbing should help to lower your blood pressure and can help lower your blood sugar levels, which would mean that the dosage you're taking may need to be reduced.

So let's get going ...

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 (or calories). 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
- 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 fizzy drinks/squash/cordial
- sweets and chocolate (with the exception of the very occasional piece of dark chocolate, which should be at least 70% cocoa, and then only after the first two weeks of Bootcamp)
- 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, 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, avocado oil, coconut oil, lard
- cheese, full fat yoghurt and cream
- 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 at mealtimes 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 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 3-4g 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.

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, give it to other members of your household!)

Next, plan what you're going to eat, and make sure you have all the ingredients that you need. If you need any inspiration, go and browse the recipes which are stickied at the top of 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. Have a look at 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.

OP’s posts: |
BIWI Sun 17-Jan-21 21:52:01


The thread will move very quickly, especially in the first week or so. But please, please, please read everyone else's posts. Please don't just jump on the thread to post your own stuff, or to ask your own question without interacting with other posters. And don't lurk! I know that there are a lot of regular Bootcampers, so it might seem like it's a bit cliquey - but honestly it really isn't. We're here for all of you.

OP’s posts: |
Bestbees Sun 17-Jan-21 22:09:20

Hi everyonegrin
I have gained so many ideas from the easing in thread and looking forward to getting started. Found lemon and salt in sparkling water to be great for getting me through a few difficult days.

I was planning a curry takeaway on Friday so would welcome any tips.

I will be busy in the morning so will post plan here now if that's OK? Everyone's menus are inspiring me.
B- omelette cooked in butter with lettuce
L - creamy Green veg soup
D- fish and brocoli from casserole from diet doctor.

venusandmars Sun 17-Jan-21 22:10:18

Great first post BIWI

To anyone new, this is an amazing support thread, but you have to follow the rules, it is NOT a mix and match approach.

My plan for tomorrow is:
B - leek and bacon soup
L - coleslaw with chicken and cheese
D - salmon with broccoli and crispy kale

Dailyhandtowelwash Sun 17-Jan-21 22:11:44

Thanks, BIWI. I really appreciate the efforts you make to get us going and keep us on track. Signing in for tomorrow.

MrsOmelette Sun 17-Jan-21 22:12:48

Thanks Biwi. I’m feeling very positive, this last couple of weeks I’ve been low-carb successfully but I’ve had sweetener pretty much every day so that’s going to be my focus for the next two weeks. Also fluids!!
Tomorrow’s food:
B - green eggs & ham
L - vegetable soup
D - beef, buttered cabbage, roast broccoli, neeps, gravy.

cheeseisthebest Sun 17-Jan-21 22:13:49

Hi! Just checking in!

cheeseisthebest Sun 17-Jan-21 22:15:44

Thank you for adding pulses, legumes and peas to the list!! grin I will have to rethink tomorrows menu!

ZiggZagg Sun 17-Jan-21 22:16:20

Thanks biwi grin

I'm looking forward to the energy and complete healthiness I feel when I do strict bootcamp, I'm going to try it for a little longer than 2 weeks but will miss my nut butters and blueberries very much!!

PastramiNoRye Sun 17-Jan-21 22:17:12

Thanks so much @BIWI

I'm going to plan in my water intake as much as my food. Starting tomorrow with Joe Wicks with the kids!

Motivateinmotion Sun 17-Jan-21 22:22:26

Thanks @BIWI and @AthelstaneTheUnready for all of your hard work and support already. Looking forward to decreased hunger and less sugar cravings!

Plan for tomo
B: Greek yoghurt with spoon of cream
L: halloumi & aubergine
D: left over roast chicken with avocado salad
3l water and a couple coffees with almond milk

ouchmyfeet Sun 17-Jan-21 22:29:02

Thanks for the new thread, I'm ready to jump in tomorrow. My plan for the day is :

B - boiled eggs
L - leftover roast chicken and salad
D - minced beef tacos (mine will be in lettuce wraps)

Mixitupalot Sun 17-Jan-21 22:32:34

Hi all, looking forward to getting started property tomorrow. I did the bootcamp last year and lost 33lbs. I’ve 5 back on again but need to lose about 10 in totally to feel comfortable.

Is Coke Zero a no no for bootcamp? I know we can’t have artificial sweetener- I’ve genuinely never drank fizzy drinks but a friend thinks it’s a good alternative to drinking tea/coffee??

Elpheba Sun 17-Jan-21 22:39:47

Thanks BIWI. I’ve low carbed this week but without much water and with some sugar free squash so that’s definitely my focus for the week. I am excited to weigh in tomorrow morning so am feeling positive. Cooked a batch of bacon and hard boiled a dozen eggs to make sure I’ve got emergency fridge meals if I haven’t planned properly. Aiming to continue with 2 meals in an 8 hour window (12-8) as that has worked well this week.
Good luck everyone!
Oh and picture of my delicious dinner tonight (excuse the child plate) ... I love this woe!

PastramiNoRye Sun 17-Jan-21 22:49:20

Just checking in advance of Burns' Night on haggis...obvs the tatties are out but with a carb count of 16g carb per 100g, is haggis a big no no? Will I be celebrating with just the neeps? grin

OneFootintheRave Sun 17-Jan-21 22:51:06

Thanks BIWI I'm off to a good start tonight having had no wine and the fridge is stocked with low carb goodness. Made a fab celeriac dauphinois yesterday that DP loved too. Going to make another massive one and freeze it in portions. I did the same with some spinach feta curry too.

Heads down and let's get on with boot camp. I'm looking forward to spring and getting into a bikini for the first time in a long while grin

1stMrsF Sun 17-Jan-21 23:15:21

Excited to see everyone here already. I lost 2 stones in 2019 and kept it all off until the spring lockdown. Determined to emerge from this lockdown healthier than the last one!
In order to cope with unreliable supermarket delivery slots have meal planned for 2 weeks and ordered all food, which will hopefully be helpful. Tomorrow:
B - coffee with cream WATER
L - Bolognese, mozzarella and courgette bake with salad leaves and dressing
D - meatball stroganoff and roasted ts broccoli and kalettes

Thank you BIWI et al for all your help and good luck everyone.

prettybird Sun 17-Jan-21 23:15:39

PastramiandRye - I started full BootCamp a week early so that I can be into Boot Camp Light by Burns Night halo

I'll have a small amount of haggis with a shedload of very buttery neeps smile after a starter of creamed celeriac, seared scallops, Stornaway black pudding and crispy bacon. And wine

PastramiNoRye Sun 17-Jan-21 23:22:52

Oh my goodness @prettybird That's just a list of my favourite foods 🤣. I can handle just a wee taste of haggis and be a bit creative with the side dishes!

prettybird Sun 17-Jan-21 23:23:25

Oops - it's Pastrami No Rye blush

Anyway, tomorrow my plan is to have an avocado and mozzarella salad for lunch and then probably a butter chicken curry made with left over turkey from the freezer for supper with shoogled sprouts.

No breakfast because I'm a long term BCer so am following a 16:8 intermittent fast regime.

(It's driving dh mad as he has to check whether I am in "milk" or "no milk" zone for my tea grin)

prettybird Sun 17-Jan-21 23:28:00

@PastramiNoRye - this is what I served up last year I didn't have the apple jelly and balsamic vinegar

Turnedouttoes Sun 17-Jan-21 23:28:37

@Bestbees my DP has also requested an Indian at the weekend so I’m looking for ideas of tasty things to order. My usual order is a chicken tikka masala mopped up with lots of naan bread blush

Plan for tomorrow is -
B - porridge (to help with my keto rash, not allowed in Bootcamp usually)
L - ham salad
D - chicken curry with kale and spinach

Thank you to everyone who has helped with my keto rash the last few days. I’ve had some carbs yesterday and today and it’s a million times better than when I had it a few months ago so they’re definitely helping. Will be monitoring my carbs closely over the next few days to keep an eye on it. I’m presenting at a couple of virtual events this week for work so need to get through those without itching!

Also for anyone new to Bootcamp, please don’t be put off by my experience. I’ve low carbed lots of times before and never even experienced carb flu before and had brilliant results so I have no idea why my body is suddenly reacting like this! It’s definitely a very rare side effect.

PastramiNoRye Sun 17-Jan-21 23:30:10


*@PastramiNoRye* - this is what I served up last year I didn't have the apple jelly and balsamic vinegar

That looks sublime!

Turnedouttoes Sun 17-Jan-21 23:31:03

Sorry forgot to also say, last night we had Chester’s chicken nuggets from the chicken recipe thread. If you’re still around Chester, they were delicious, so thank you for those!

I also saw someone on Instagram earlier with slices of courgette topped with tomato and cheese and then baked which looked delicious and like little mini pizzas so I’ll be trying those this week

Bumbledee Sun 17-Jan-21 23:36:17

Thanks for this thread @BIWI. This is a very useful list. I didn’t know balsamic vinegar was higher in carb content! @cheeseisthebest legumes and pulses are a big part of my diet as well so I have to rethink my menus too!

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