Selfrebootcamp: Explained For Physicians

Welcome to the SelfRebootCamp information section created specifically for physicians. You may have heard about us from your patients, colleagues, or friends, and you may have questions. On this page, we do our best to answer them.

Our project started in September 2015. Since then, over a thousand people have taken part in it. All through this time we have been collecting statistics (with the participants' consent, of course).
How It Works
Eight weeks is the minimum participation period, for which the statistics are collected. Should a participant leave the project earlier, their results are not included in the sample.

We collect anthropometric records, physical activity and sleep logs, food journals, as well as before-and-after photographs for comparison. We also collect other objective information that the participants may make available to us, such as the results of their body composition study and indirect calorimetry, blood sugar curves (done at home), any lab tests results (if a participant is under medical supervision and willing to provide this information to us).

All participants have their own accounts, where they keep a daily food journal and a physical activity log. This allows us to obtain reliable information on a daily basis , and we use this data to draw conclusions about the causes and influence of certain factors on the weight loss dynamics.

Every two weeks participants take comparative photographs and measurements . This continues until a participant reaches their target weight, that is to say, one within a normal BMI range. After that, the participant only needs to keep tabs on their weight.

Each participant can contact our online support team to ask questions regarding meal organization and physical activity, as well as to inform us about their general condition. This is how we collect data on individual reactions to a particular type of food or nutritional regimen and adjust and personalize recommendations in real time.

The data provided by each project participant is analyzed bi-weekly. We try to establish the connection between the current weight curve and the diet and physical activity. We look at the photographs, measurements, and any other information provided by participants about their state of health. After that, each participant receives new personalized recommendations (as to what foodstuffs to add, what to reduce, etc).
How Nutrition Is Organized
If a participant is overweight, their diet is organized in such a way that their weight decreases with the rate of minimum of 200 g and up to 1% of the total body weight per week. The lower the total amount of fat tissue, the slower the rate of weight loss. On average, project participants lose from 300 to 500 g per week.

At the outset, each participant receives basic nutritional recommendations:

  • The initial caloric intake is 1600-1700 kcal;
  • There should be five meals on a schedule: at 9am, 11am, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm (followed by a break before the next morning, light snacks are permitted)
  • Food should be full-fat, but not excessively fat
  • Slow carbs must be sufficient, but not in excess
  • There should be up to 1,000 g of fruit and vegetables per day
  • Protein is a must (the lower limit is about 80 g per day; it is permissible to increase the amount, however, only by means of adding foodstuffs that are richer in proteins, rather than by increasing the total amount of the food consumed).

In case of dietary restrictions for health reasons, we take physicians' recommendations into account.

We do not insist on any special foodstuffs. Any victuals that have passed control of the relevant supervisory authorities and are sold in grocery stores and restaurants are allowed.
Bread: A Special Consideration
Some of our recommendations are based on a long-term observation of the cause-and-effect relationships and may differ from those widely accepted.

For example, we do not support the generally accepted recommendation to use only whole-grain, rye, or cereal bread, because the participants who eat those kinds of bread most often feel hungry and tend to overeat as a result. Rye bread has an excess of molasses, which not only give the bread a darker color, but are also a source of simple carbs. Sometimes, when studying sugar curves, we find that rye bread raises blood sugar levels almost like a cake. As for the whole grains, people sometimes fail to chew the bread, rich in grains and seeds, properly, and feel hungry and overeat as a result. With the bran bread, it is difficult to determine proper dosage: in some quantities it leads to hunger, in others – to heavy stomach.

Since the support team receives feedback from the participants online in real time, we have collected a vast amount of data on the nutritional use of different types of bread and their effect on hunger, overeating, and weight loss dynamics. We know of no other projects offering round-the-clock supervision and long-term, rather than retrospective, observation.

In fact, the project offers a perfect solution to the bread dilemma by stipulating consumption of clearly measured portions of white-flour sugar-free bread of the simplest composition. The recommended portion is 20-50 g. For people with carb metabolism issues, a portion is easily dosed out in grams and never becomes excessive. Eating bread is permitted only with main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

For participants with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or impaired glucose tolerance, we calculate the dosages of bread and simple carbs in consultation with physicians or according to the participants' sugar curves.

A systematic physician supervision and the dynamics of blood test results (glucose and glycated hemoglobin, insulin, lipid profile, etc.) are very efficient (we are currently preparing a scholarly publication based on these data). Participants systematically monitor their blood sugar by making sugar curves throughout the day and controlling their fasting sugar levels.
The Project and the Participants' State of Health
If we suspect that a participant suffers from a metabolic disorder, we recommend consulting a doctor and getting tested. In countries where this is practicable, we recommend creating sugar curves or doing certain blood tests in order to consult a doctor with the results in hand. Participants, who have received a diagnosis and the relevant prescriptions, will have their nutritional recommendations personalized and adjusted.

We pay special attention to the effect of alcohol on food consumption, sugar levels, and metabolism in general. Some participants, who came to us because of excess weight, have later realized their alcohol addiction and turned to a substance abuse therapist. We see that as our special accomplishment.

Equally important are the issues of restoring and maintaining the functionality of the participants' locomotor system, which carries a heavy load due to their excess weight. We make basic suggestions as to the posture correction and recommend contacting relevant specialists for further treatment.

We strongly recommend contacting a specialist for a diagnosis and treatment of any symptoms of gastroenterological diseases. The resulting physicians' recommendations are embedded in the proposed regimen and its nutritional composition. We have collected ample statistics of positive changes to the participants' health and well-being.

Lastly, in this project we actively promote the notion, that the prevention and timely treatment of diseases is an important contributor to a modern person's quality of life, and also that physicians can be of as much help to healthy people, as they are to the sick.

Since SelfRebootCamp is not a medical project, we never prescribe treatments or argue with the prescriptions of attending physicians (although we do sometimes recommend asking for a second opinion). If the doctor's recommendations are radically different from ours, we may suggest that the patient withdraw from the project for a while and watch how their condition changes outside the project, so as not to create 'a conflict of interests'.
Weight Loss and Physical Activity
We believe that 10,000 steps daily, health permitting, is a sufficient amount of physical activity. Workouts (such as gym, jogging etc.) are optional.
The Project as a Source of Knowledge
For the entire duration of their participation in the project, participants have access to the so-called 'meetings' – our weekly audio lectures on biology, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, histology, and physics in a form that is popular and accessible to any listener. In these, we describe and explain the processes occurring in the human body. We also corroborate our personal recommendations and provide psychological information, as in the process of losing weight participants may encounter a wide range of difficulties, including psychological ones.

We are conducting research on how nutritional regimens affect one's glucose and insulin levels, on an empty stomach and after eating carbs, during and without treatment (depending on the decision of the attending physician). The physician supervises the patient, while we collect statistics and analyze data.

Our project team includes biologists, physicists, biochemists, psychologists, and medical practitioners. We are always open to discussion and will be happy to share our observations. Please do not hesitate to contact us at doctors@selfreboot.camp

All published materials, articles, and notes can be found in the project blog. These materials are currently being translated into English.