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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.

Ilisten2theradio Wed 04-Sep-13 11:23:30

Could I be added please?
I actually started on Monday as I have a BIG party to go to on the 22nd and wanted to be over bootcamp proper by then.
I am feeling OK so far - and 2lb lighter already!!!! I know its only water but its still 2lb.
I had done very well on the bootcamp just after X-mas , but the weight was beginning to creep back slightly so drastic measures are necessary and hopefully this time I'll shed the last of the weight that keeps me at "overweight" on the BMI scales. Its "only" another 9lb so I reckon it should be do-able.

pixiegumboot Wed 04-Sep-13 11:41:59

hello again, you can tell I'm doing my online shop for next week...... see pumpkin is allowed yah, so is butternut squash the same thing?

WillieWaggledagger Wed 04-Sep-13 11:48:17

i had seen the missing veg on the spreadsheet and had corrected. there is a good reason why 'do not touch the blue cells' is highlighted in yellow!

StuntNun Wed 04-Sep-13 11:48:30

Obrigada it will be easier from Monday because so many of us will be bootcamping together so you'll be able to see what others are eating day to day to get some ideas.

WillieWaggledagger Wed 04-Sep-13 11:49:16

by the way - I will not be doing the spreadsheet with everyone's names until this weekend. please could you add your names to this thread here to keep it manageable

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 11:50:13

Snaffle - yes, I think poor Biwi is going to need more than one stick and a bucket load of gin water smile Preparation is definitely the key to making it doable easy.

StuntNun - I'd forgotten you were so close to goal smile How exciting. I am sure you'll do it this BC. 9lbs. I can't imagine being that close to goal, I have more than 10x that to go, but for once I actually feel it's possible. Not this BC clearly grin

Mienohrs - maybe all of us oldies should post what we are eating everyday (some very helpful ones already do), that might help with snacks/quick meals? I'm not good at doing it on here because I have to keep saying 'I do this because I'm vegetarian and I don't eat eggs' and because I eat the same things most days (I just find it easier and I don't mind) though 'cut & paste' is an option! However, given I used to graze like a cow, I barely 'snack' at all now - I just don't need it - it's FAB!

Obrigada Yes - Bootcamp Proper is 'only' two weeks, but you do it longterm if you want to/have more weight to lose. I (vege) Bootcamp Proper all the time with only the odd stray into Bootcamp Lite with the very occasional alcoholic drink the odd berry. (Though I eat nuts throughout as I'm vegetarian - no eggs). You need to do the two weeks strictly though, to get your body used to not having carbs & sweet things so that it learns to burn fat.

PrettyBird - well done smile I am looking forward to more photos from you!

YellowWellies - I go 'dairy free' while doing this sometimes (and I'm permanently vegetarian) - there are lots of vegans low carbing. You will be fine, if you want to do it from the beginning. Plenty of people to help out with ideas etc.

VikingLady Sorry, it's far too late.

NOT!! I've added you and 'Listen2The Radio onto the list smile

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 11:50:52

No - I'm not avoiding the housework, what makes you think that hmm


Slopes off to mop the floors...

caughtintheact Wed 04-Sep-13 11:59:26

Thanks BIWI
can I ask about the Ibuprofen hindering weight loss- never heard of that before, where have you got that from?

miemohrs Wed 04-Sep-13 12:02:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pootlebug Wed 04-Sep-13 12:13:58

Yellowwellies - look up some Paleo recipes - e.g. here They are generally low carb (avoid sweet potatoes though) and dairy free.

maidofmess Wed 04-Sep-13 12:52:19

Hello campers [waves] Hope you've all had a good summer. Haven't been reading/posting on the ongoing threads but I'm definitely back for bootcamp on Monday. Far too much much wine and cake and [insert have an icon for large carby breakfast-type things]. Not looking forward to stepping on my scales again – think I'm at least 4lbs up from my last weigh in – but I'm going to cut out rice, bread, pasta from today in preparation, so we'll see...
Willie - should I just add my name to the new spreadsheet on Monday, or have you posted one. Sorry I've missed all the info/links on this!

maidofmess Wed 04-Sep-13 12:56:50

Willlie - hv just seen and added name!

NigellasGuest Wed 04-Sep-13 12:58:39

Well done StuntNun - and thanks for the post about feeling slimmer as opposed to the scales moving, etc. I experience this a lot!

Not that I am feeling too slim ATM having had a choc ice and 4 squares of Dairy Milk chocolate last night. However, in the past I would have found it impossible to stop at 4 squares of chocolate so in a way, that's progress.

Good luck everyone! And anyone dreading giving up bread, pasta, fruit.... just give it a go and see, for a few days. After a bit, you don't want them anymore, and you don't get jittery if you don't have your "fix" of starch or sugar. You have to completely go cold turkey however. It really is worth it!

maidofmess Wed 04-Sep-13 13:06:03

Agree about going cold turkey nigella Also dreading the first few days. Have to fight late evening urges to feast on Nutella straight from the jar BUT it is worth it. Remember feeling brilliant weeks 2-3 once I was in the swing of things and doing it properly....
This time, though, MUST drink enough water. Think I didn't last time and it did slow weight loss right down

captainmummy Wed 04-Sep-13 13:12:55

Sounds like we are all positive and raring to go!!

To whoever asked about garlic-stuffed olives - a garlic clove contains about 1g carbs, so do watch out for that. Don't eat too many in one go.

Twit Wed 04-Sep-13 13:15:52

Hi all, it's nearly time.... grin
I'm going to see if the dss can set up the wi for me to weigh myself on, otherwise I'll just do waist measurements if that's ok with everyone. Oddly I find it really easy drink enough water, but end up not eating enough, and the last time I did bootcamp, spring last year, I got really bad carb flu shock. However I don't eat many carbs anymore so hopefully it won't be too bad, just a case of getting rid of the ones that help me stay awake. wink

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 13:20:59

The kitchen looked lovely.

For about 2 minutes.

I then took a saw to the kitchen cupboard.

Kitchen now not looking At All lovely.

I have, however, burned off quite a few calories I'm sure smile Silver linings and all that!

HighJinx Wed 04-Sep-13 13:25:32

Is there still time to join?

<throws contents of kitchen cupboards into a bin bag hopefully>

StuntNun Wed 04-Sep-13 13:29:42

Agreed Nigella I had a burger-in-a-bun for the first time in three months at the weekend and I commented to DH at the time that I don't miss bread at all, I wasn't that fussed about it at all. Before starting the WOE I wondered how I could cope without bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Then I eat something like roast pork belly with roasted broccoli and mushrooms fried in butter and the next day I've lost a pound! When I reach my target weight then I can add in the occasional pasta meal or dessert but until then I'd rather lose weight than eat carby foods.

My top tip is to avoid the smell of toast, it's very difficult to resist in the first week or two. And do your shopping in advance or online if you can as walking down aisles of carbs is a real test of willpower at first. After a while you start to view cereal, pasta, biscuits etc. as non-food items, at least that's what happened to me.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 13:33:16

CaptainMummy there's not a huge amount of garlic in the stuffed olives. The ones I have are 1g per 100g, so it's highly unlikely to be a problem, but as I said, everyone needs to check the info on the actual ones they buy smile

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 04-Sep-13 13:34:27

HighJinx Of course!! Just add your name to the list that Willie linked to at 11.49.16 smile

MrsSnuffleupagus Wed 04-Sep-13 13:46:01

ooh that was me captainmummy thanks for that smile

HighJinx Wed 04-Sep-13 13:50:46

Thanks Chipping I have signed up.

Off to re-read the OP very carefully and get prepared.

tenementfunster Wed 04-Sep-13 14:00:04

hope this the right place for a few questions
Can i eat oats?!

the thing with the fats......that's ok for the cholesterol etc?

have a huge diabetes family history so if i can get to a place where sweets and high carbs don't figure i will pretty happy, but obviously concerned about fat intake too.

have about 2.5 -3 stone to lose.


ZingWantsCake Wed 04-Sep-13 14:21:40

You lot are great and so supportive, I really appreciate your wanting to help and thank you for caring so much!thanks
(I am genuinely touched!)

it's the "cutting out" stuff completely that I don't think I can do right now.
I don't want to commit to yet another something that I won't complete. I'd just feel like failure.
I hope you lovely lot don't mind me saying so.

but I am interested and will use recipes and tips from the other thread.
I need to and will cut down carbs - it has to be a gradual change for me though.

BIWI as I said I don't want to ruin the vibe with my doubts, but if I have any questions can I post here or shall I PM you?

good luck everyone!

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