low-carb boot camp

Kickstart Fat Loss With A Low-Carb Boot Camp

If you’re serious about losing body fat, a low-carb boot camp is a great choice for getting started.

A low-carb boot camp is so effective because it is easy to follow. There are no complicated rules, just general guidelines. Best of all, the low-carb boot camp forces your body to start burning fat, which is key for losing it.

Eating low-carb also dulls hunger and helps you sidestep food cravings that are common when dieting. It brings down insulin levels and helps balance blood sugar. Finally, because it is naturally high in protein, you avoid burning your own muscle for energy. Instead of losing muscle along with fat, you maintain lean mass that revs metabolic rate.

What Is A Low-Carb Boot Camp?

A low-carb boot camp is an intense entry into low-carb eating that resets your metabolism and helps you drop a significant amount of body fat quickly. The boot camp involves eliminating all carbohydrates apart from low-carb plants from your diet for two to three weeks. After your initial, low-carb phase, you can start cycling a higher carb meal every five to seven days.

Why the ranges?

Because people are not all the same. The specifics depend on where you are starting from and how quickly you adapt to the plan. Some people are more insulin sensitive and can tolerate more carbs on a low-carb boot camp. Others need to remove all carbs except for vegetables and a small amount of healthy fibrous carbs, such as berries. This will restore insulin sensitivity and allow you to re-introduce higher carb foods.

Get Started With A Low-Carb Boot Camp

If you are new to eating low-carb, you should start with a strict low-carb boot camp that lasts two weeks. During this time, you should get the majority of your calories from protein, fat, and lower carb vegetables, such as leafy greens and your typical salad veggies (cucumber, celery, peppers). You can include one serving (up to 100 calories) of healthy higher carb food a day, such as berries or sweet potato.

It’s critical you don’t slip up and eat other carbs during this time. It’s especially important to avoid processed carbs like bread, pasta, corn, or foods with added sugar because this will set you back to the beginning.

For protein, you can eat as much as you want with a minimum protein goal of 1.6 g/kg of body weight (0.72 g per pound). Some people will want to go as high as 2.2 g/kg of body weight (1 g per pound) of protein daily. Be sure to meet your minimum protein goal daily while spreading protein out over all meals as evenly as possible. For example, if you are 160 pounds and need to hit a minimum protein intake of 116 grams daily over 3 meals and 2 snacks, you could aim for 30 grams of protein at every meal and 20 grams at snacks to easily meet your protein goal.

Fat is also unlimited, though you need to ensure you are eating at least 40 grams a day to support the body’s physiological processes such as hormone production and thyroid function. More fat can be better because it helps shift the body into fat burning mode. Opt for healthy fats like avocados, olives, and eggs. Be careful with fatty foods that also provide carbs such as dairy and nuts.

The Low Carb Boot Camp is the Holy Grail Of The Low-Carb Lifestyle

An introductory low-carb boot camp will set you up for success for several reasons:

First, cutting carbs down to below 50 grams a day shifts the body into fat burning mode. The low-carb boot camp is a variation of a ketogenic diet that forces the body to start burning ketones that are derived from fat instead of glucose from carbs. By transforming your body’s fuel source, you make your body metabolically flexible, which is the ideal state for sustained energy and optimal body composition.

Second, by getting the majority of your calories from fat and protein, you will blunt appetite and avoid cravings that haunt most dieters. Protein is very satiating and leads to the release of gut hormones that tamp down hunger while keeping your brain steady. Fat is also filling and some healthy fats, such as avocado and nuts, have a high thermic effect, which means that you burn more calories when you eat them.

Third, by cutting carbs, your body sheds extra water, which translates to a substantial drop in the number you see on the scale. Reducing water stores isn’t the same as fat loss, but seeing the scale go down is extremely motivating and can help you stay on track when the going gets tough. A related benefit is that anytime you cut carbs from your diet, you automatically eat fewer calories, which creates the energy deficit that you need for fat loss.

Incorporate Carb Cycling Into Your Boot Camp

After your introductory low-carb boot camp phase, you can work some higher carb foods back into your diet. With a 2-week boot camp, after 14 days of eating protein, fat, and low-carb veggies, you can have a day in which you eat whatever you want. Then, on day 16, you’re back to low-carb eating, but can eat a higher carb meal every 5 to 7 days.

This is called a cheat meal, or carb re-feed, and it’s not required. Some people find it helpful at the beginning because they miss all the higher carb foods they used to eat. Others don’t benefit from cheat meals because they feel guilty afterwards or find high-carb foods addicting and have trouble going back to low-carb eating. In this case, it’s recommended that you choose healthy high-carb foods, such as fruit, potatoes, rice, or grains instead of chips, sweets, pizza, etc.

Rethink Meals

For success with a low-carb boot camp, you need to rethink meals. Forget about the typical foods you used to eat. Breakfast is no longer cereal or pancakes. Pizza for dinner is a thing of the past. Instead, construct every meal around a complete animal protein, such as chicken or salmon, vegetables, and healthy fats. The benefit of this approach is non-existent hunger and steady mind-set so that you can stay on point with your goals.

Avoid Caloric Beverages & Alcohol

Hydration is extremely important during a low-carb boot camp because the body naturally holds less water when you are limiting carbs. Water is your go-to for hydration, with a general recommendation of 0.6 to 0.7 ounces per pound of body weight daily. This equals 96 to 112 ounces a day for a 160 pound person.

Juice, soda, sports drinks, and anything with added sugar should be avoided during the low-carb boot camp. Coffee and tea are fine as long as you avoid adding sugar. Use the no calorie sweetener stevia if needed.

Regarding alcohol, consider it like a higher carb food and avoid it during your low-carb boot camp. If you can’t abstain, you can use your 100-caloire daily carb allotment on a glass of wine. Be cautious with this approach because alcohol lowers inhibitions and leads people to eat outside the guidelines of the low-carb boot camp.

Tips For Troubleshooting The Low-Carb Boot Camp

There are several strategies that can help you make it through the low-carb boot camp successfully:

Get Extra Sodium & Potassium

Because low-carb eating leads to less water in the body, it also reduces electrolytes. Get extra sodium and potassium to support energy levels. A general recommendation is to get between 4 to 5 grams of sodium (about 2 teaspoons of table salt). For potassium, increase slowly, working up to 4 to 6 grams of potassium citrate (not potassium chloride).

Get Enough Magnesium

When you restrict carbs, magnesium can become depleted due to its role in insulin metabolism. Supplement magnesium with up to 10 mg per kg of bodyweight per day (730 mg for a 73 kg (160 lb.) individual.

Consider Fish Oil & A Multivitamin

Whenever you restrict food groups, there is a risk that you may miss out on certain necessary vitamins and minerals. To protect against this, add a high-quality multivitamin and fish oil to your supplement routine. Fish oil helps stimulate fat burning and offsets the physical stress of lowering your calorie intake.

Don’t Be Afraid of Fat

Some people lack energy during the low-carb boot camp, most likely due to difficulty adapting the body to burn fat. In other cases, a lack of calories is the problem. Whatever the reason, eating more fat tends to help. Focus on including a variety of fats from healthy sources, including olive oil, avocados, eggs, dairy, nuts, butter, coconut oil, and fish.

Include Exercise

By doing a low-carb boot camp, you can lose fat whether you work out or not, but doing some form of exercise will accelerate the effects. Weight training and intervals maintain muscle during fat loss, which helps fuel metabolic rate. Exercise acts as a catalyst to adapt the body to burn fat, helping you get your energy production up to par faster. Because muscle energy stores will be lower when carbs are restricted, opt for anaerobic training modes, such as weight lifting and intervals.

Stay The Course

Many people start a low-carb diet and quit after only a few days, throwing in the towel before their body makes the transition to burning fat. Studies on low-carb diets have found that it takes at least seven days for full metabolic adjustment to a low-carb diet. Just because you don’t feel “right” during the first week doesn’t mean it won’t be effective. The low-carb boot camp is designed to ensure full adaptation, so that once you reach the end and start carb cycling, energy levels and physical performance will be enhanced.

 

 

 

 

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