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Autumn Low Carb Bootcamp - The Preparation Thread

(295 Posts)
BIWI Tue 03-Sep-13 18:15:36

So it looks like a whole host of us have signed up grin

Some of you will be new to low carbing, others may have done it before but might need a bit of a reminder.

Certainly it is always good to start planning beforehand, so we can all get off to the best possible start.

Here goes:

For the whole of Bootcamp these are foods that you should not eat:


Beyond this there are only ten rules of Bootcamp. The idea behind this is to make it easy to follow - so no counting carbs and no weighing of anything. That said, it never does any harm for you to know how many carbs are in an average portion of anything, so you might want to weigh some of your portions to start with - but Bootcamp isn't about obsessive weighing and counting - it is supposed to be about normal and enjoyable eating.

The ten rules of Bootcamp are:

1. 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!)

2. Avoid processed food
Focus on pure, natural protein as the basis for your meals ? meat/fish/eggs. Things like sausages, bacon, pre-prepared burgers, Pepperami etc should be avoided as much as possible. You can have them, but just not every day. Avoid foods marketed as low carb, e.g. Atkins Daybreak bars. These products contain all manner of artificial ingredients, and often contain sugar. You should always check the carb counts of these foods if you are including them, as some of them can be surprisingly high (e.g. Tesco Chargrilled Burgers - per burger, fried, have 5.4g carbs)

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 carbs 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 drink tea/coffee with milk or cream, try to 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. Total Full Fat is the best

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 carblife . 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 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
Whilst these are really good to snack on later, when we move into Bootcamp Light - it can be too easy to start snacking on these, and before you know it, all your carbs have gone on nuts. Seriously - in Bootcamp - don't do it to yourself!

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.

Allowed Veg

Look at the tabs on the bottom of the Spreadsheet of Wonderfulness for these

The general rule of thumb is to focus on choosing veg that is 3g carbs per 100g; others, like onions, are allowed (because they are such a versatile veg), but are quite carby if you use too much.


It's up to you how often you weigh - although Monday morning is our usual weigh-in day.

You can enter your weight in pounds or kilos on the spreadsheet. There is a useful converter on there as well. Or, if you prefer, you can index your weight. Your starting weight will be 100, and for every pound you lose, drop by one point.

Some people like to weigh daily, as they feel that it helps to keep them on track. This is fine, but remember that your weight naturally fluctuates on a day-by-day basis and can be affected by all kinds of things, especially your menstrual cycle. If you can't cope with seeing the scales show no change, or a slight increase, then don't do it to yourself! Far better to weigh just once a week.

The other thing to realise is that you can lose inches whilst the scales may show no change. I have no idea why! So it's a good idea to take your measurements before you start.

Or, find an item of clothing that is too tight right now, and keep trying that on every week. Our clothes are the most accurate way of monitoring weight loss.

Keep a food diary

It's really useful to do this. Keep an honest, accurate record of everything that you're eating and drinking, and annotate this with your weight. This way you will be able to look back and see what helped or hindered your progress. Mark on it if/when you have taken any exercise as well.

Be aware of carb flu

Some people find that the first few days of low carbing can be quite tough - you may feel headachey, tired and irritable - as if you are going down with the flu. Not everyone gets this, but a lot of people do. Things you can do to help:

- try cutting down on your carbs over the next few days, before you eliminate all the key suspects; a gradual cutting down may help you (especially if you are a real carboholic!)

- once we start Bootcamp, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and eating plenty of fat

- keep your electrolyte levels up. The key things you need to ensure you are eating are sodium, potassium and magnesium. Good sources of these foods are salmon, avocado and spinach. And make sure you're eating plenty of salt. Along with fat, this is something else that seems counter-intuitive! Try making a hot drink out of an Oxo cube, or Marmite/Bovril.

- don't struggle on - if you have a headache, take some paracetamol (but avoid ibuprofen as this can impact on weight loss)

Do some reading about low carbing

There are loads of great resources on the Spreadsheet - links to websites, blogs and videos. Reading/watching these will help you to understand the science behind low carbing. This is important as you will soon find people questioning what you're eating/why you're eating so much fat, etc. You need to feel confident yourself that it's the right thing to do, but you also need to be able to answer those who will try and scoff at your diet.

Plan, plan, plan

This is not a WOE that is easy without forward planning. Especially if your day involves you needing to eat when you are out and about. Know where you can buy food from if you're on the go (Marks & Spender Simply Food is usually a good bet), or make sure that you have something to eat with you.

You will certainly, until you get into the swing of cooking low carb meals, need to think ahead about what you're going to cook, and to make sure that you have plenty of low carb foods in the house.

The recipe thread has some great and easy low carb things to cook . Feel free to add your own recipes - with carb counts if at all possible!

Hopefully all this will help. No doubt I've forgotten something grin but if you have any questions, just ask.

I will set up a different thread each week, and I will also set up a separate question thread. From experience, the chat thread moves pretty quickly, so a separate question thread is a good place if there's something you really need to know.

There are lots of us who will be on Bootcamp who have been low carbing for a while now, so if you are in any doubt about anything, please ask.

Good luck everyone.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Tue 03-Sep-13 18:41:08

smile There are an awful lot of victims willing participants this time around aren't there! And that's without us 'Spreadsheet Refusniks' grin

Poor, poor Willie.

I hope you are both well rested flowers wine

Lavenderhoney Tue 03-Sep-13 18:45:30

Its dh birthday this weekend, so I plan to enjoy that and get with the programsmile on the 9th.

Thanks for the reminder on it all- I think my glass of wine with lots of water and ice will be hard to give up, plus a small square of chocolate occasionallysmile
Bed early for me every night for two weeks, I thinksmile

ZingWantsCake Tue 03-Sep-13 19:06:11

oh dear.
I think I'm out.

good luck

ZimboMum Tue 03-Sep-13 19:21:10

Thanks biwi. Have been low carbing pretty consistently since April's boot camp, but a reminder of the rules is great and looking forward to getting back on the straight and narrow.

loopyloou Tue 03-Sep-13 19:32:55

Thanks BIWI smile

BIWI Tue 03-Sep-13 19:37:14

Oh no, Zing - what's up?

captainmummy Tue 03-Sep-13 19:46:46

What's up Zing?

Ruprekt Tue 03-Sep-13 19:59:22 really works! Come back! smilesmilesmile

starrystarryknut Tue 03-Sep-13 20:43:13

Can I join? Started low carbing yesterday and then found this thread. The spreadsheet is amazing. I want to lose 7kg (about 1 stone). Am trying to get fit as well... I'm really lazy. Do I put my name on the spreadsheet?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Tue 03-Sep-13 21:02:32

Zing which rule was it that has sent you running???

StuntNun Tue 03-Sep-13 21:13:18

BIWI the reason why you can feel slimmer on this Way Of Eating without losing weight is the way your fat stores are used. If you have a calorie deficit and use up a pound of your fat stores then your body will temporarily replace that fat with a pound of water. Presumably this is so that if you suddenly have a calorie excess then it is possible to easily replace your fat stores. This is the important bit: water is more dense than fat so a pound of water takes up less space, or volume, than a pound of fat. So your weight is the same but your 'volume' has reduced and you are slimmer. Then when your body decides that it isn't going to replace those fat stores then you lose the pound of water and your weight drops. Note that this is another reason why you need to have a high water intake on this WOE.

OhCobblers Tue 03-Sep-13 21:40:32

Quick question though looking at the rules I think I know the answer!
I eat a lot of olives stuffed with almonds - are these out for Bootcamp?


ZingWantsCake Tue 03-Sep-13 22:21:02

thanks all of you, but I really don't I could follow this.sad

it was the first rule of no bread, rice, pasta, sugar, fruit shock's a bit of "you lost me at hello"grin

seriously, I'm sorry for my DOA attitude. I don't want to put a bad vibe on your thread BIWI !

I'll be cheering you all on from a safe distance though, good luck to all of you!
(and drink that water! wink)

Purple2012 Tue 03-Sep-13 22:34:06

Im in. Im 5 days in so far and I am doing ok. Have had a few headaches and felt achy 2 days in but drinking lots more water.

timidviper Tue 03-Sep-13 22:43:37

Zing You might be surprised if you give it a go. Bread, rice, pasta, sugar, fruit were probably my favourite foods ever but I decided at the heaviest I had ever been that desperate measures were called for. I now realise it wasn't just a liking for those foods, it was almost a dependency. I have now discovered a healthier way to eat and feel better for it, not to mention I have lost 3 stone!

Purple2012 Tue 03-Sep-13 22:59:40

zing my old diet was very carb heavy. I would have porridge, toast or breakfast biscuits for breakfast. Sandwich and crisps for lunch and pasta, potato or bread heavy tea. I would have fruit or rice cakes for snacks. I thought I would really struggle eating low carb but so far it has been fine.

silverangel Wed 04-Sep-13 07:37:01

Does anyone know why I can't open the spreadsheet - it just loading for hours?


Purple2012 Wed 04-Sep-13 07:39:05

silver are you trying on your phone? I could only open it on my laptop.

CheeseAndFriedMushrooms Wed 04-Sep-13 08:11:43

Marking place to read later

captainmummy Wed 04-Sep-13 08:21:37

Zing - i was also a carb-queen. Every meal was carb-heavy, with very little protein,and very little fat (Thanks, Rosemary Conley!) - but this WOE is the way we should be eating - no processed food, no low-fat gunk, no sugar. All these are processed. Carbs raise your blood-sugars and cause a crash later, causing you to feel starving.

We eat proper food, meat and veg. It's not hard. It's lovely to be able to eat fat, cream, cheese, butter after decades of denial and hunger. Fats fill you up and you will go hours without feeling hungry.

Sugar is addictive, so hard to give up. Wheat is not easily digested, leading to bloating and IBS-symptoms. Processed foods are full of chemicals. lowfat food is full of thickeners and sweeteners and emulsifiers to replace the fat - why not just eat the fat? It won't make you fat.

Honestly, try it. If you need help with menu-planning or recipes, we can help.

We can explain the science behind it. Let us help you. grin

hazchem Wed 04-Sep-13 08:41:39

I'm in pre bootcamp this week by doing briffra. So had the odd strawberry ect. I've also decided to take the supplements he recommends for the first few weeks too.

zing is one particular thing on there the most scary?

sybilfaulty Wed 04-Sep-13 08:43:09

Adding myself yo the thread. Hello everyone.

ImFineThankYou Wed 04-Sep-13 08:47:53

When does bootcamp start?

WillieWaggledagger Wed 04-Sep-13 08:53:09

i'm afraid the spreadsheet is not perfect - it works best on a laptop/desktop in google chrome if you have it downloaded... i am looking at alternatives but it's the best we've got for now

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