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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.

MrsSnuffleupagus Wed 04-Sep-13 09:15:20

Thanks BIWI, I've been doing a bit of pre-bootcamp prep by lowering my carbs and am looking forward to starting properly next week smile Will probably need your big stick to get me to remember to drink enough though I really am crap at this blush

Purple2012 Wed 04-Sep-13 09:18:53

mrssnuffle I worried about that too but I found I was thirsty a lot more and needed to drink more water.

pixiegumboot Wed 04-Sep-13 09:25:51

where can I ask questions...I have a few, shall I just put them out there now?
lentils yes or no? I quite like a dhall.
tinned salmon ok?
low alcohol beer ok? (for later on when I'm skinny)
there's a vege or two missing on spreadsheet, one just says p. presumably it's not potatoessmile

HeySoulSister Wed 04-Sep-13 09:27:37

I'm a long term low carber.... 5 stone off since nov. have now stalked and have 2 stone to go.

So im back. Confidant this will shift. However, I'm going to be somehow incorporating juicing into this

Might juice between now and day 1 of bootcamp to get me back into it

Need to get back into my running too!

MrsSnuffleupagus Wed 04-Sep-13 09:29:00

that's what I'm hoping Purple, interestingly on the subject of drinking I've been trying to avoid squash etc and just drink water for the past week, have just taken a swig of my dd's squash and nearly spat it back back out again! It tasted so sweet and sickly confused Its amazing how quickly your taste buds can change shock

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 09:29:42

StuntNun - I think you should 'keep' that post and keep reposting from time to time, it's a good reminder for when the bloody scales aren't shifting!

OhCobblers - yes, you know the answer smile An almond is an almond whether it's stuffed in an olive or anything else grin Unless you are vegetarian then you are allowed some... they don't seem to affect my weight loss

Zing - it was the first rule of no bread, rice, pasta, sugar, fruit's a bit of "you lost me at hello" PMSL smile Lurk on the thread, you might find yourself gradually falling into it. As I said, I just cut right down at first, then decided to do it 'for a few weeks' and now find myself eating like this all the time. But the initial thought of 'giving all that up' I was Resistance Personified. You have the water bit sorted grin & what Timid, Purple & Captain said!!

MrsSnuffleupagus Wed 04-Sep-13 09:33:47

Chipping how about garlic stuffed olives? Currently my snack of choice, although obviously hoping the 'need' (or habit) to snack disappears after a while...but until then?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 09:39:12

Imfinethankyou - next Monday, the 9th smile

Pixi there's a questions thread somewhere, but just ask away on here smile

The Unofficial Answers are:

lentils - No, far too carby (I like dahl too - I like losing weight more grin).
tinned salmon Perfect
mozzarella some people find dairy, esp cheese, makes them stall, others are fine with it. Keep eating it for now but if you aren't seeing the results you would like, try cutting it out for a bit to see. Most people are fine with greek yogurt (the Total stuff is good, buy the full fat stuff) Butter is totally fine, not processed like other dairy.
low alcohol beer ok? Alcohol gets burned first, so as you say, not for Bootcamp. When you are 'skinny' you can make that call for yourself then.
vege missing on spreadsheet, one just says p. presumably it's not potatoes - HA HA HA yes you are right - it's definitely not potatoes if you are talking about the allowed list grin

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 09:40:31

Olives are fine, garlic is fine - I can't see any reasons why shoving one inside the other would change that smile Just check the carb count on the pot incase they have added any sugar or anything.

pixiegumboot Wed 04-Sep-13 09:40:58

thanks chipping

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 09:44:29

Oh & by the way, I'm not trying to answer for BIWI, I just think we should try to 'sort it amongst ourselves' a bit until Bootcamp starts or else it's a permanent Bootcamp and I'm sure there's a bit of Real Life she needs to sort before next Monday & the Madness starting grin She wont hesitate to tell off- us if we are --wrong mistaken I'm sure!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 09:45:36

Pixi it looks a bit daunting at first, but if you are organised & prepared it really isn't - honest smile

MrsSnuffleupagus Wed 04-Sep-13 09:50:45

Thanks Chipping smile I'm just trying to get as organised as possible- as previously said preparation is the key smile Poor BIWI there's going to be a lot of us to keep in order next week shock

StuntNun Wed 04-Sep-13 10:04:56

As a bit of motivation for the newbies, I have been low carbing for the last eleven weeks and I have lost 21 lb. This is an important milestone for me as it's the same weight as my ten-month-old baby. Talk about losing the baby weight! Only 9 lb to go to reach the weight I was in my mid-20s, I hope to achieve that this bootcamp.

So good luck fellow losers!

miemohrs Wed 04-Sep-13 10:12:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

obrigada Wed 04-Sep-13 10:17:59

Just to get it straight in my head, bootcamp proper lasts for 2 weeks?

LilyAmaryllis Wed 04-Sep-13 10:22:32

Miemohrs scrambled eggs is a great breakfast. Would you be able to get that into the morning routine?

If not, maybe get some boiled eggs in the fridge ahead of time. Then you could have boiled eggs (mashed with butter, or mayo?) maybe with cheese or cold meats, and avocado or salad leaves?

By the way yes I reckon cold sausages fine too, the rules above say not every day though.

Another great stand-by is Total greek yogurt (full fat) for breakfast.

You can have anything you like, in fact sometimes a really great breakfast is leftovers of yesterday's dinner! (especially if it was a curry..mmmm...(or is that just me)). Or something you'd normally think of as a lunch like tuna mayo salad. Less easy on the morning routine unless you prepare it the night before.

prettybird Wed 04-Sep-13 10:22:35

Marking place. Having lost nearly 3 stone on this WoE since the New year Boot Camp, I am now about half a stone away from my target smile

LilyAmaryllis Wed 04-Sep-13 10:29:55

Hey Soul Sister ! 5 stone off so far! wow - much respect, what an inspiration.

Obrigada yes 2 weeks from 9th Sept for bootcamp proper. Bootcamp light for the 8 weeks after that isn't massively different but you can eat berries, drink alcohol, if you want. I think those are the IMPORTANT differences!

miemohrs Wed 04-Sep-13 10:31:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VikingLady Wed 04-Sep-13 10:44:07

Is it too late to join? I did the last one but put a lot back on over summer (family issues, spent a lot of time in other people's houses). Really need to start again!

StuntNun Wed 04-Sep-13 10:46:27

Miemohrs no need for ketostix, just follow the rules. You need to be strict for the first two weeks to break the carb addiction and to let your body's biochemistry adjust to fat-burning instead of carb-burning. Drinking lots of water and making sure you get enough electrolytes will get you through the 'carb flu' in the first few days when you can feel a bit rubbish for two or three days. I use LoSalt for extra potassium and organic sea salt (bought from Tesco) which has calcium and magnesium as well. You can eat more salt on a low carb diet as your kidneys excrete more sodium (and water) than when on the standard diet.

Everyone has a different tolerance for carbs. Some people, especially men, will lose weight on 100g carbs a day, most people need to be below 50g and some people need to keep it even lower. I find I can have one potato with my roast dinner or a piece of fruit occasionally and still lose weight but everyone needs to experiment to find out what works for them.

Similarly some people won't lose if they eat a lot of dairy but others aren't affected. I can't eat eggs so I have 250g Lidl Greek yoghurt (£1.69 for a kilogram) and a tablespoon of double cream for breakfast. After bootcamp I will add a few berries (bought frozen).

YellowWellies Wed 04-Sep-13 10:54:44

I'm going to sign up for this but won't be able to join in until the end of October as I'm on a dairy free diet to BF my dairy intolerant son. He's being weaned at the end of next month so I'm happy to make big changes to my diet then - I'm a bit limited before that as I can't have dairy.

prettybird Wed 04-Sep-13 11:05:07

Yellowellies - if it helps, it is possible to follow this WoE dairy free. The Ubercamp (3 extra strict days) on one of the tabs could give you ideas.

I'm not sure if butter still triggers your ds - but you could always use coconut oil (HTC Pure from the ethnic oil of the supermarket or local ethnic shops is much cheaper than the Extra Virgin stuff beside all the other oils) to cook in. Stuff doesn't taste of coconut oil, honest! grin

Just means you can't have yoghurt and cheese (both nice quick breakfasts/snacks) and would have to have pure egg scrambled eggs without the addition of cream.

obrigada Wed 04-Sep-13 11:15:23

Am looking forward to starting bootcamp on Monday, have been tempted to start earlier but have a habit of being all gung-ho about things and then losing interest. This time I can be fully prepared and get my shopping done at the weekendsmile

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