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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."

WillieWaggledagger Mon 09-Sep-13 14:32:17

lifeisontheup - the only properly UK one really is the idiot-proof diet one (the cookbook that accompanies the diet book). it's got some good tasty recipes (moussaka is lovely, as is the butter chicken)

it is quite dairy-heavy though, and doesn't include carb counts or photos (if you like those things). there are also recipes that contain artificial ingredients

there is a BBC Good Food one which i wouldn't recommend as the first recipe in it contains several tsp of sugar!

low carb gourmet is good, though again quite a few recipes containing artificial ingredients, and it is north american in origin

have a look on the 'resources' tab of the spreadsheet for blogs and other books, and there is always the trusty recipe thread

Lifeisontheup Mon 09-Sep-13 14:48:14

Thanks Willie I've got the idiot proof one so will have another look at that. Really want to make a go of it this time as I failed so spectacularly last time blush

stinkerfromhove Mon 09-Sep-13 14:53:25

5'4" typically 2eggs4rashers dry cure bacon (B) smoked salmon Philadelphia 2tomatoes cucumber (Lunch) faux shepherds pie, chicory fried in butter (Dinner)100g cheese a day, handful of olives, 3cups decaf coffee with dollop of thick cream per day. Mostly following Neris&Indias idiot proof diet & cookbook so following the menus in that. No fruit bread pasta rice, pastry, sugar, sweetener, alcohol except 1 evening had vodka & soda - a party so quite a lot. started 10 august. Haven't re-measured but waistband no looser. sad

holmessweetholmes Mon 09-Sep-13 14:54:00

Aha - thanks BIWI! I have been reducing carbs steadily over the past week and have had quite a few dizzy moments on standing up suddenly. And yes I am on meds - very low-dose beta blockers. Does that have any implications for this WOE then? Thank you - you're a veritable mine of information!

stinkerfromhove Mon 09-Sep-13 15:01:55

Also trying to drink 3litres a day. Sometimes don't make quite that. I logged carbs etc on fitday mobile for a week and carbs were 30,30,27,35,25,34,28 with cals being 14 hundred 19,29,24,29,20,8 hundred.

BIWI Mon 09-Sep-13 15:11:26

Betablockers can hinder weight loss, holmessweetholmes, apparently. But also, if you're on medication to lower your blood pressure, and low carbing reduces your blood pressure, then you may end up with blood pressure that is too low.

Do you have a monitor at home that you could use to keep a check on your blood pressure?

pixiegumboot Mon 09-Sep-13 15:21:18

Are pickled onions and the lovely juice they come in OK? I use in a salad instead of dressing

BIWI Mon 09-Sep-13 15:23:07


typically 2eggs4rashers dry cure bacon (B) smoked salmon Philadelphia 2tomatoes cucumber (Lunch) faux shepherds pie, chicory fried in butter (Dinner)100g cheese a day

OK. Some immediate observations here - you are eating a fair amount of processed food (bacon, smoked salmon and more bacon in the shepherd's pie - assuming it's from the recipe in the IPD recipe book?)

handful of olives, 3cups decaf coffee with dollop of thick cream per day. Mostly following Neris&Indias idiot proof diet & cookbook so following the menus in that. No fruit bread pasta rice, pastry, sugar, sweetener, alcohol

The menus in the IPD book, and your daily menus, use a lot of dairy - I would suspect that you might have an issue here - you're eating a lot of cream and cheese. Try cutting this down/out for a few days.

You're also not really eating much veg or salad, so I'd try and add a little bit more (low carb) veg into your meals if you can.

except 1 evening had vodka & soda - a party so quite a lot

Whilst vodka and soda is a great, low carb drink, you will have fuelled your body with this and prevented it from burning fat. Alcohol is the easiest source of fuel for your body and it will always burn this in preference to fat. It's great that you only did it once, but it wouldn't have helped, sadly!

Also trying to drink 3litres a day. Sometimes don't make quite that

Drinking the water is important - and at your weight you should be doing 3 litres every day.

I logged carbs etc on fitday mobile for a week and carbs were 30,30,27,35,25,34,28 with cals being 14 hundred 19,29,24,29,20,8 hundred.

I don't use fitday myself, and have seen a lot of people on various Bootcamp threads post quite odd counts, so I'm always worried it's not especially accurate. And no need to worry about the calories - we don't count calories - certainly not at this stage of Bootcamp!

However, I don't really understand what your numbers mean - do you mean that they are always around 1400, so 1419, 1429, 1424, etc? Please tell me that you aren't having days when you've only eaten 800 calories?

BIWI Mon 09-Sep-13 15:24:51

I doubt it pixie! The vinegar would be fine (as long as it's not balsamic vinegar, which isn't allowed on Bootcamp, as it is too carby/sweet), but pickles are usually made with lots of sugar, so it would make the juice way too carby.

Also, there is no oil in there! Salads should be dressed with an oil-based dressing, or mayonnaise.

Secondsop Mon 09-Sep-13 15:31:19

Hello. Is beetroot not allowed?

stinkerfromhove Mon 09-Sep-13 15:35:15

Thanks BIWI! Sorry my cals were1400,1900,2900,2400,2 900, 2000 and can't remember why it was only 800 that last entry -prob forgot to add dinner! Points noted about dairy and processed.what is the best way to record diary?

BIWI Mon 09-Sep-13 15:35:36

Beetroot is very carby. The Carblife website gives the carb counts as:

Beetroot, Boiled 9.5g carbs per 100g
Beetroot, Pickled 11.2g carbs per 100g

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 15:38:45

I started last week. I don't know if I can do it. I'm so sick of fat. I feel constantly sick. I'm drowning in water. I'm worried I'm not getting enough salt. I'll happily never eat a Greek yogurt again or egg. I hate it but I'm so stubborn I ll have to do it at least another week smile sorry, just having a moan. Just ignore me.

BIWI Mon 09-Sep-13 15:41:59

What have you been eating, feelinlucky?

And if you're worried you're not getting enough salt - add more to your food?! Make yourself a drink with boiling water and Oxo/Marmite or Bovril.

Don't keep eating the same things if you don't like them, or if you're getting sick of them. There are so many lovely things that you can eat, it's silly to restrict yourself to always eating the same thing.

PassTheTwiglets Mon 09-Sep-13 16:01:23

OMG I had the most delicious lunch though was v.hard without the Diet Coke! I had roast chicken with rocket, cherry toms, black olives, capers and little bit of aioli. YUM.

KnotInTheStomach Mon 09-Sep-13 16:04:41

I can't eat much at the moment. Rare for me.

BlackAffronted Mon 09-Sep-13 16:39:34

LifeIsOntheUp - I really like the Atkins low carb cook book, some really nice recipes.

JustasmallGless Mon 09-Sep-13 16:39:38

Feelinlucky - tell us what you are eating.
You shouldn't be feeling sick after a week.
I get the drowning in water thing to start with but it really is so good for your body. As BIWI says add salt to food and I often have a cup of Bovril.
This time of year is perfect for soups so you could make some yummy veg soups and add cream to it.

JustasmallGless Mon 09-Sep-13 16:40:02

The lighterside blog is really good for recipes too which is on the spreadsheet

ZingWantsCake Mon 09-Sep-13 16:44:18

I seem to have read something about a "basic shopping list" - or something similar.

did I miss something? is there a "stock up list"?

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 16:45:12

I'm sticking with it. I'm sure it will get easier. I had Greek yogurt for breakfast with a little double cream. I had scrambled egg for lunch with lots of butter. I had a spoonful of peanut butter for snacking. I've drank about 3 litres of water and one coffee with cream. I'm going to the supermarket to get lots of nice low carb veg and planning a veg chilli minus lovely beans and rice sad

ZingWantsCake Mon 09-Sep-13 16:46:01

also what about raw beetroot? is that even edible?

NewStartNewStory Mon 09-Sep-13 16:52:04

Decaff coffee vs Normal coffee. Does it make a difference? one better then the other? avoid both?

WillieWaggledagger Mon 09-Sep-13 17:27:54

Raw beetroot is edible (have had it grated in salads before) but still too carby I think

Newstart - I have read somewhere (couldn't tell you where) that you get all the benefits of coffee (antioxidants etc) in decaf coffee, just without the caffeine. Obviously if your whole point of consuming coffee is for the caffeine then that's useless. However caffeine is thought to mess about with your blood sugar levels which wouldn't help you stay on the wagon, and caffeine is a diuretic which can leave you dehydrated. Though advice and research on all this is conflicting. So really just a case of listening to your body and what feels best for you, and how much caffeine you can tolerate. I try to avoid too much caffeine as I seem to have a ridiculously addictive personality and within a couple of days am a palpitating wreck

WillieWaggledagger Mon 09-Sep-13 17:29:15

Only reason for avoiding coffee (decaf or otherwise) altogether is if you are trying to cut out dairy and don't like it black

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