Food, Nutrition and Your Fitness Bootcamp
Arguably the biggest factor of a fitness or a weight loss bootcamp in determining whether it is successful – and for you to have a productive, life changing, and sustainable experience – is their approach to food and nutrition.
One of the biggest reasons people book on to a bootcamp is that they either need to completely change their relationship with food and nutrition because it has a negative impact on their physical and mental health, or they are looking to take their fitness, sport and fitness careers to the next level and to learn how nutrition can support this successfully.
Due to this, it is absolutely vital that a bootcamp has a sensible, successful and sustainable approach to food and nutrition. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
What a Fitness Bootcamps Approach to Food and Nutrition Should Be Like
People invest a lot of money, time and energy into going on a bootcamps. For a lot of people, going on bootcamp or retreat to lose weight feels like the “last resort” and people put a lot of faith in it being the final solution they have been looking for.
A fitness bootcamps approach to food and nutrition should start with the fundamentals. A bootcamp should adopt the approach of educating clients on the basics of nutrition and how it will personally work for them. The objective should be to empower (through education and enjoyment) clients to have the confidence to take control of their health and nutrition without the need to have to follow any specific diet or rely on any brand to achieve their goals.
The ironic thing about nutrition, especially in terms of weight loss, is that it is incredibly simple. But we live in a society where companies, certain bootcamps and diets don’t want clients to see this simplicity.
The approach of a fitness bootcamp to nutrition should be:
- Educational – Bootcamps should teach you the simplicity of calories, macronutrients and how to create nutrition plans personally for you, taking into consideration your culture, lifestyle and goals.
- Unrestrictive – Fitness bootcamps should not restrict clients to certain foods or food groups. It has never been successful and does not help clients build a positive relationship with food.
- Enjoyable – We are human! We must enjoy things in life to want to keep doing them; this is no different with nutrition.
- Empowering – Fitness bootcamps should want their clients to leave feeling educated and empowered to take control of their food, nutrition and how to use it to achieve their overall fitness and physical goals.
- Natural – No magic weight loss pill, fad or ridiculous method should ever be followed. The approach should be natural to the clients background, heritage, and beliefs.
What Should You Eat Before Your Bootcamp
Before coming to bootcamp it’s important to get as much fuel in as possible but – at the same time – don’t change anything drastically. Don’t try any new craze or magic diet; instead wait until you’ve obtained the skills and knowledge from the camp you need in order to make the positive and successful changes you need.
To get the most out of your bootcamp, try to avoid fast foods and alcohol and keep well hydrated. Try to aim for a balanced diet of protein, fats, and carbohydrates to give your body the optimal energy to get the most out of the camp at the start.
What Should You Be Eating on a Fitness Bootcamp
Your fitness bootcamp should be catering for all your dietary needs. For example, here at Xtreme Bootcamps, all clients fill out a dietary sheet prior to their bootcamp so our chef can make sure they have the nutrition they need mentally and physically for the camp.
So many people come to bootcamp to transform their relationship with food, so it is vital that a bootcamp accommodates and supports a productive and positive change. A bootcamp should not be putting clients on any diets, strictly cutting calories, or neglecting any macro nutrients. Unfortunately, there are many bootcamps and retreats out there that do not have a positive relationship with food and end up worsening the client’s relationship with it.
You should be eating a huge variety of food at bootcamp that not only refuels you but inspires you to continue when you go home. You don’t want to have shakes and salads the whole time! It is not productive and successful long term.
An example of a daily menu at Xtreme Bootcamps would be:
- Breakfast – Cereals, toast and preserves, fresh fruit, yoghurt and berry compote, fruit juice, coffee and tea, herbal infusions. Poached hens egg, smashed avocado and crisp bacon on granary toast.
- Lunch – Stir fried chicken and green peppers in black bean sauce with egg fried rice.
- Dinner – Herb crusted salmon fillet, crushed potato, sauté greens, lemon beurre blanc.
What Type of Nutrition Plan Should You Be Following After Your Fitness Bootcamp
This is fundamental to the success of your bootcamp and your journey going forward. There is no one rule that fits all with exercise and nutrition. You should have learnt and now be following a nutrition plan that is not a diet, still includes the foods and drinks you love, but in a structure that fits into your goals. Danger is in the dosage, not the food itself. Clients are overweight and unhealthy because of how much they eat, not what they eat.
Ultimately, you should be in a position where you personally are creating your own nutrition plans. This is the only way for you to be successful long term. You must have the ability, the confidence and the experience to be able to create, adapt and follow your own nutrition plans. A fitness retreat or bootcamp’s job is to give you these tools.
The 3 Question Rule of Xtreme Bootcamps
At Xtreme Boot Camps, we have our very own 3 question rule which we empower all our clients to ask themselves when creating their own nutrition plans. It has an outstanding success rate at helping clients build an amazing relationship with food. These 3 questions are:
- Do you enjoy it? What is the point of following or eating anything you don’t enjoy? You will lose interest and procrastinate after a few weeks if you don’t.
- Can you see yourself doing this 12 months from now? You need to be able to see the longevity in your decision, so your results are successful and sustainable. This question alone usually eliminates thoughts of doing crazy diets, fads and rapid weight loss bootcamps.
- What sacrifices have you made? With all decisions with food we need to make as few sacrifices as possible to keep us happy and willing to follow our nutrition plans. You will never stick to a nutrition plan that requires you to sacrifice date nights, the odd takeaway, your favourite treat, alcohol, parties and so on.
Warning Signs to Look Out for With a Fitness Bootcamp in Regard to Food and Nutrition
- A fitness bootcamp that heavily restricts calories
- A bootcamp that promotes a specific way of eating such as keto or paleo. They are not sustainable for most people
- A fitness bootcamp where the owners or instructors don’t eat or follow the same methods you have been told to follow on the camp
- A bootcamp that focuses purely on weight loss and weighing you. It’s a naïve and foolish way to judge progress with what the body experiences at a bootcamp
- A bootcamp that doesn’t teach you the basics of nutrition and how to eat when you go home
Here at Xtreme Boot Camps, we pride ourselves with our successful and sustainable approach to food and nutrition and if you have any questions with regards to your relationship with food and how we would change that, simply get in touch.