Advanced search

Autumn Low Carb Bootcamp - The Questions Thread

(339 Posts)
BIWI Sun 08-Sep-13 14:12:33

Welcome everybody!

As there are lots of us signed up for the next Bootcamp, you will find that the chat thread moves very quickly! It can be the case, therefore, that questions get missed - hence starting this thread. If you have a specific question or issue, please post it here to make sure that it gets answered. I will do my best to check this thread as often as I can - and if others can answer your question then they will do so as well.

I thought it might be a good idea to start off with some FAQs that often get asked, just to help save a bit of time! So here goes:

How many carbs should I be eating per day to make sure that I lose weight?

There are a couple of points to make here. First, Bootcamp is designed to make low carbing as easy as possible. One of the things that I believe puts people off diets is having to weigh, measure and count everything that they are eating - and of course, this is impossible if you are eating out/on the go. If you make sure that you are following Bootcamp rules, then you should lose weight.

Second, we are different in terms of our ability to cope with carbohydrate. Some people can eat more carbs without gaining weight whereas others have to keep their carbs at quite a low level.

The initial 2 weeks of Bootcamp are designed to be sufficiently low carb for the vast majority of people to lose weight by following it. Although Bootcamp Light (for the remaining 8 weeks of Bootcamp) allows more carbs, it is still supposed to be relatively low carb.

Once you have completed Bootcamp and/or you have reached your target weight, then it's time to start to explore how many carbs you can tolerate before the weight goes back on. And the only way to do this is to experiment by re-introducing carbs. A gradual introduction, along with a vigilant eye on the scales/your waistband will soon tell you if you have overdone it!

Will I ever be able to eat carbs again?!

Absolutely you will - see the answer to the above question! However, if once you reach your target weight you revert back to eating the same level of carbs as you were before you started, then you will put all the weight back on. Carbs make you fat!

The best thing to do is to work out a WOE (way of eating) that keeps the carbs at a sufficiently low level such that you maintain your weight.

By the time you reach your target weight, you will also be ketogenically-adapted, i.e. your body has switched from carb-burning to fat-burning, so the odd night off will not do you too much harm.

How hard is it to eat out when you are low carbing?

It's easier to eat out when you are low carbing than if you are trying to count calories or eat a low fat diet. (As long as you don't find yourself in a restaurant that only serves pizza or pasta!)

The majority of restaurants will have something on their menu that is easily adapted for low carb eating. And it's always possible to ask them to substitute something high carb for something lower carb - so if something is on the menu being served with chips, or rice - ask if they will switch those for a salad, or extra veg. I have never been refused when I have asked this, and it is never an issue.

Some types of restaurants are harder to navigate - Thai is very difficult, not only because of the rice/noodles, but because many of their meals use sugar in the sauces as well as thickeners. At an Indian restaurant, poppadoms, rice, chappattis and naan breads are all (obviously!) out. Aim for a dry curry (so a tandoori or tikka dish), and have that with a side curry such as cauliflower, spinach or mushroom.

The best thing is to be prepared - if the restaurant has a website, have a look to see if they have posted their menu, so you have a chance to see what's available, what you can eat. And you could always ring them in advance to see if they can accommodate any particular needs that you have - mostly restaurants are happy to try and accommodate their customers.

Is it really possible to eat so much fat and still lose weight?

Oh yes! grin Just ask anyone else who has done Bootcamp! Fat doesn't make you fat. When you eat fat, your body does not produce an insulin spike - unlike when you eat carbs. It is the insulin production that causes your body to lay down fat.

We need fat. It is good for our brains and for our skin.

Also, very importantly, eating fat is very satiating. It is what will help to stop you getting hungry. It's actually quite difficult to eat masses of fat, whereas it's very easy to eat masses of carbs.

Here's a very good piece from a site that's well worth following, all about fat and why it's good for us/isn't going to harm us

Do I have to do any exercise on Bootcamp to lose weight?

Not if you don't want to. Exercise, as a means of losing weight, is way over-rated. You have to exercise a lot and frequently to lose a significant amount of weight. For example, I have recently taken up running. My last run saw me burn 390 calories. That's quite a lot - but that was after running for 30 minutes, and for 5km.

On my plan (and on the advice of my osteopath) I am only supposed to run three times a week. That would mean that in the course of a week I have burnt off 1,170 calories. Not that much in the grand scheme of things - but that's a lot of running!

Exercise can help you, but it's not essential.

I do a lot of regular exercise, and I'm advised by my trainer/the gym to eat plenty of carbs and/or to carb load before I run/cycle/train - what should I do if I'm low carbing?

Once you are ketogenically-adapted, you will be able to train quite happily whilst following a low carb diet. Your body will be using fat as its fuel source - and let's face it, most of us have plenty of fat readily available for that. Whereas with carbs, our bodies actually only store a limited amount in our muscles and our liver. Once these have gone, and we have emptied our glycogen stores, that's when you will find yourself 'hitting the wall' or 'bonking'. This is why serious athletes often have to carry various gels and drinks - so that they can replenish their carbs/glycogen very quickly. This won't happen if you are burning fat.

If you're in doubt, there's a very good book called "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" by Drs Jeff S Volek and Stephen D Phinney. Here is a description of the book from the Amazon website:

"A Revolutionary Program to Extend Your Physical and Mental Performance Envelope. Our recent book 'The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living' was written for health care professionals, championing the benefits of carbohydrate restriction to manage insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes. In response, our athlete friends asked "What about us?" This companion book is our answer, and it could be titled: 'The Art and Science of Avoiding the BONK'. But actually, it is much much more than that. The keto-adapted athlete benefits from superior fuel flow not only when nearing glycogen depletion, but also during training, recovery, and in response to resistance exercise as well."

colette Mon 07-Oct-13 08:53:44


frogslegs35 Mon 07-Oct-13 18:56:48

Hi everyone,
I'm new to low carbing and started today - I've read up and believe/hope think that I have a good idea but does today's diet sound ok - My OH actually thinks that I'm crazy with the fats.

Breakfast - 2 coffee's with 1tbs 30% fat cream and 1 stevia in each.
Whey Protein shake made with 100ml semi skimmed milk and 200ml water
(it was vile so tomorrow I'm cutting out the milk and might make it with kefir to thicken it)

I exercised around 20 mins after for 30 mins

Lunch - Around 50g of tuna (brine drained) 4 thick slices of cucumber and half a tomato all chopped and mixed with 1 tsp of mayo - served on 4 leaves of boston lettuce.

Snack- My body decided it would like some bread but I ignored it and had 1 slice of chimney smoked ham with 1 thin slice of gouda cheese and around 5 crushed pistaccio nuts - all rolled up like a little sandwich.

Dinner - chicken and mushroom omelette made with 1 cup of mushrooms, 2 eggs, half a chicken breast, cooked in 2 tbs of olive oil.
Plus some more lettuce, toms and cucumber. Plus a small glass of kefir.

I'm craving something sweet so may have half an apple or peach soon but possibly not.

I've drank roughly 1.5 L of water and 1 L of peppermint and green tea.

I've entered everything into MFP and it says I'm over on fat by 7grams, over on protein by 29 grams but my carb intake today is 30 - is that too high?

Oh and my calorie intake is 1165.

captainmummy Mon 07-Oct-13 20:17:54

Hi fronglegs - have you read the rules? The new bootcamp thread is HERE and the rules (There are not many!)are on the spreadsheet.
Your day looks ok, except the tomatoes are too carby for bootcamp, though allowed on bootcamp lite. Not sure about whey powder (We try to keep to 'real' food) but I kow someof us use it - though milk is generally too carby.
Don't eat a piece of fruit, there is no fruit allowed on bootcamp - too carby and you are trying to break your addiction to sweet things (and it is an addiction, make no mistake!)

Come over and join us!

frogslegs35 Tue 08-Oct-13 06:30:14

Thank you Captain, I'll have a read through all the info here.
Oops with the toms blush
I'm hoping the protein shake will be temporary until I adjust my eating habits, I'm usually a no brekkie person and need something to get me through my morning workout - it is a low carb kind but seeing as it was rather bleurghhh yesterday I'm going to try and force some real breakfast down today.
I didn't eat any fruit smile I was still full from dinner but just craved something sweet - just told myself NO! you don't need it, you're NOT hungry.

captainmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 08:49:48

Frogslegs - it is the hardest bit for some people; breaking the addiction to sweet things takes a lot. Def read all you can aboutit (Escape the diet trap by John Briffa, A book I can't remember by Gary Taubes, there is more reading sugegsted on the spreadsheet.)

Re breakfast - also one of the bits that most people find hard; we are so used to eating a 'special' meal at breakfast (cereal, toast, croissants etc) that it is hard to think of things you can eat on this WOE. I actually don't eat breakfast any more (dont need to eat until about 12 - from having to have something carby every 2 hours!) - but eggs, scrambled, takes 2 mins in microwave. Cold sausages (not every day), or leftovers from the day-before dinner... All quick. Lidl do a fab full-fat yoghurt (1litre for £1.50!) that you can have with vanilla/cinnamon or full-fat cream added.

BTW - what's Kefir?

WillieWaggledagger Tue 08-Oct-13 08:57:37

well done on resisting the temptations frogslegs, it's really not easy at all

i would say though that your meals look rather low in fat. and you probably realise that stevia and protein shakes are Frowned Upon grin

captainmummy is right about the milk i'm afraid - if you must have the shake better to use double cream if you don't have a problem with dairy, and the fruit is verboten (well done for resisting)

why only a tsp of mayo at lunch? better to have tuna in olive oil (drained) with a good big dollop of full fat mayo - the fat makes you feel satiated and is good for you

supper looks fine, though could be rather low in fat, rather depends on how much of the olive oil you ended up consuming (mushrooms are good soaker-uppers of course). personally i would have cooked in plenty of butter instead

i'm not sure how carby kefir is - is it like yoghurt? is it full fat?

don't worry about counting calories and carbs and weighing stuff - if you make a few adjustments and follow bootcamp rules you won't be eating too many grams of carbohydrates. you also have to be a little careful with MFP's figures because in the US their nutrition labels are different to ours and they have to subtract the grams of fibre from the overall grams of carbs. also they some of the user-inputted values can be a bit dodgy, i think because many users only care about calories and leave the other bits blank

a good start though - it's so hard to get your head around this WOE at first

frogslegs35 Tue 08-Oct-13 14:43:01

Thanks guys thanks
It is a little hard, I'm currently sitting here looking at menu's so I can plan a bit better.

Is a fermented milk drink, close to yogurt - thicker than milk and thinner than yogurt. There's a few live cultures in there that eat up (some of/all ?I'm not sure) the sugar from the milk it's made with.
There's so many good quality varieties available here (in Eastern Europe) the one I use is full fat, natural not sweetened and per 100g has 3.4g of protein and 3g of carbs.

Here lies my problem (and why I drink kefir it somehow seems to help) I have to be careful when consuming high fat so at the moment I need to 'test the water'
I sometimes react to high fat badly - Gall bladder removal - surgeon damaged my bile duct and it flares up every now and again if I overload.
Don't get me wrong I previously ate fats (the wrong kind) in large doses and the same item of food would sometimes hurt me but most often not, so there's not a specific trigger. I just take the risk as it's not life threatening, just painful.

I'm realising that MFP is a bit out smile but it's really just for me to get an idea what my intake is giving me.
I was a little worried, even though I know not to calorie count, that I was way under yesterday.

captainmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 17:27:12

Ah - problem with this WOE is that it is high-fat (no such thing as the wrong kind) - i don't know about gall bladder removal but will ask about.

Kefir sounds perfect!

And don't worry about MFP - it is an American site so in your totals you will have to add a column for Fiber and then subtract that from your carb column. And it also triggers when you go over the usual 'calorie counted', low-fat totals set into it. I used to have great fun with the big red warnings over FAT!!!! It's useful for logging your food if you want, but dont take much notice of the totals.

WillieWaggledagger Tue 08-Oct-13 17:55:11

frogslegs if you scroll to the very bottom of this post you'll see it mentions low carbing and gall bladder removal:

"Another common question is if you can eat LCHF if your gallbladder is already removed. The answer is that this seems to work fine.

Some people without a gallbladder might have to increase their intake of fat gradually to allow their body time to adapt. Otherwise the body might not have time to digest the fat which could result in loose fatty stools initially. However this rarely seems to be a problem."

my understanding is that as you can't store bile and your liver will only produce as much bile as it's accustomed to on your regular diet, if you've been eating low fat then it can be uncomfortable if you go straight into high fat as your liver can't produce the bile quickly enough. So it may be better to work up to high fat to allow your liver to catch up with the WOE

however, none of us here is a doctor and you know your body best!

WillieWaggledagger Tue 08-Oct-13 17:58:05

interesting to hear about kefir. a woman on another forum i'm on makes her own, but i hadn't ever really paid attention to what it was! it sounds like it has similar carb content to yoghurt. is it sour in taste?

and there's nothing wrong with giving yourself an idea of how many carbs there are in your regular serving of veg etc - i do it myself from time to time if i think i'm letting in the carb creep

captainmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 21:20:52

Beat me to it WIllie! grin Frogslegs - only you know if you can do this, if a LCHT (LowCarbHighFat) WOE is for you. My understanding is that the gall bladder gets 'complacent' on a high-fibre lowfat regime, whereas on a highfat diet it has to work out! (which keeps it in top condition).

frogslegs35 Wed 09-Oct-13 09:54:20

Yes Willie Kefir is sour - similar to natural yogurt. I mostly drink it but also make something called Mizeria with it as a side salad to meat, lots sliced cucumber, salt,pepper, dill and a little lemon juice.

My GB removal op and bile duct repair was 13 years ago - so my body is used to dealing with fats and managing without a GB but sometimes, for reasons only known inside my body, it hurts. Dr's are baffled why and can only say it's possibly because my bile duct is scarred, not functioning 100% and sometimes goes into overdrive.
Like I said before I don't let it control my life and will continue to up my fat intake so long as the flare ups don't become more regular.

AnyFuckerWillDo Fri 15-Nov-13 03:00:45

Marking place

AnyFuckerWillDo Sat 16-Nov-13 16:25:22

Can I have 1 "fuck it all" day a week or does it not work like that? It's Saturday, it's xfactor it's my one night with wine and chocolate, but it's not just that it's the upcoming Xmas do's, got one most weeks now, I started Monday - was in ketosis by weds and lost 4pds. If I have a wine tonight with some chocolate will it take me another 2 days to reach ketosis?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now