Weight loss boot camps are becoming increasingly popular – and there is no doubt that kick-starting a weight loss programme with the techniques taught at a boot camp can help many dieters break the cycle of yo-yo dieting or poor eating and exercise habits.
Some boot camps can help people strip away 8lbs of excess weight in just a week – and for those with a special occasion on the horizon and perhaps a wedding dress or bikini to fit into, a diet boot camp can be the answer.
The techniques used a boot camps involve burning off fat. This means switching to a healthy eating regime so that excess fat stored on the body can be used to fuel the intense exercise and workouts boot camp participants will be undertaking.
Carbohydrates turn to glucose which fuels the body’s muscles – and any excess glucose is stored as a fatty deposit ready to be used up when you exercise.
However, too many processed carbohydrates (called “simple carbohydrates”) such as products made with white flour and sugar with added fats like butter and margarine can easily lead to a weight increase if they are not immediately used for energy-consuming activities. This is when you start to pile on the pounds. Imagine all those biscuits you are eating or glasses of sugar-filled alcohol you drink as fuel going into a car engine when the car is left unused on the driveway. Instead of the fuel spilling out of you, however, it is stored as fat until you use it up by exercising. The fat eventually starts to collect round your vital organs, coating them in a layer of fat and making it more difficult for them to function. This can be dangerous in the long run and is often a cause of heart or liver disease.
The food we eat is basically intended to fuel our muscles, our brains and other vital organs. But so often we become a slave to our tastebuds, which naturally veer towards our favourite food – usually sweet, salty or fatty and sometimes all three if you think of the popularity of chocolate bars with nuts or peanut butter and caramel, which is the ultimate sinful blend of sugar, fat and salt.
You can retrain your tastebuds just as you can retrain your muscles – and boot camps for dieters offer a wake-up call and the support you need to break the cycle of poor eating habits and inactivity which in the long-term will not only affect your bikini body, but also your health.
To lose weight quickly you need to convert that stored fat into energy through taking exercise – and also make sure you follow a healthy eating pattern without an excessive intake of carbs which will be stored as more fat.
This means eating healthy complex carbohydrates such as beans, pulses and wholegrains, which provide fibre and fill you up as well as providing energy.
Carbohydrates derived from processed foods – such as pastry, biscuits, cakes, white rice and pasta – are a sure fire way of laying down fat unless you make sure you take exercise regularly to burn off the glucose produced when you eat them.
It may seem like a simple piece of algebra – what goes in as calories must be burned off as energy; but many dieters find it difficult to manage the transition from eating a diet high in sugar, fat and salt to one which is healthy. And the temptation to eat a biscuit and not go for a brisk walk round the block afterwards to work it off is another pitfall for the dieter.
At boot camp, this is not an option! The best boot camps for dieters employ ex-military personnel to put dieters through their paces – and help them break the eating and lifestyle patterns they have developed which are causing weight gain.
At a Bikini Boot Camp lasting a week, dieters may lose anything from 4-8lbs of excess weight, making all the difference between feeling uncomfortable in your bikini, to being happy with your weight and enjoying relaxing round the pool on holiday.
Many boot camps for dieters will combine exercise and a healthy eating plan with spa treatments or a 5-star luxury hotel environment so that dieters do not feel as though they are being punished for their need to lose weight. This can be an important psychological factor in losing weight as resistance to any new exercise regime or eating plan can hamper your success, so some pampering at diet boot camp can be a huge incentive!
Exercises at diet boot camps involve toning core muscles – the muscles which support your body such as abs (abdominal muscles) and glutes (gluteus maximus), which lift your buttocks to give you that perfect bikini or swimwear body.
The exercise at boot camps can involve hiking, cycling, military workouts (press-ups, stretcher runs), aqua aerobics – and activities you may not have tried previously, such as boxing or circuit training.
There is no doubt that trying new sports activities can not only help you lose weight and tone up – but also helps your brain make new connections as it learns a new activity, which in turn boosts mood and motivation.
Active people often seem on a high naturally after exercising – and this is because hormones called endorphins are released during high-energy activities and these feelgood chemicals are what cause the natural high felt by athletes, some of whom may become addicted to exercise or the gym as a result.
Dieters’ boot camps act as a spur in your weight loss programme – as well as achieving spectacular results in many cases, which dieters would not be able to achieve at home without the support of experienced ex-military trainers and fellow dieters at boot camp.