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Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/15/2009 19:51:12 MST Print View

Douglas and Roger: Thanks for the positive feedback.

Brian: I completely agree that eliminating processed foods is a big part of the weight solution. I too have had far more energy since I have gone down that road. Despite what the article may imply, I don't count calories. Never have, and probably never will. I put them in to help, I hope, illustrate the point. Writing that part of the article actually took some work for me, because I didn't really know what calories each food had. I try to simply eat whole, unprocessed foods without overeating. Substituting a fruit or vegetable for a packaged snack will benefit your weight whether you count the calories or not. And I agree that we probably eat too much grains (but we also eat too much meat), as compared to fruits and vegetables. And to be clear, I do eat some dairy, just not very much. (Pizza is still occasionally on the menu, as well as the inevitable baked goodies.)

Thanks again for all the comments.

Edited by Pendrey on 12/15/2009 21:01:16 MST.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/15/2009 19:54:48 MST Print View

Brian wrote:

"Example per chart:
orange,carrot,bannana = 1059 cals
3 Candy bars= 810"

Where are you getting these numbers? The chart above shows:
Banana (medium) 109
Orange (Navel) 64
Carrot (7.5-inch) 31
---
Total 204

So yeah if you eat an orange, carrot and banana for 204 cals vs 810 for 3 candy bars you will lose more weight. If you eat 4 oranges, 4 bananas and 4 carrots it's a wash. But I would certainly feel more full on the fruits and veggies and be less likely to eat more. While I think it is true that the quality of the calories plays a role I think its possible to lose weight and eat crap. My thru hiking diet consisted primarily of candy bars, cookies, high fat meats, cheese, and pasta. And I still lost weight. Calories in vs calories out is the simplest explanation and the easiest one to follow. That being said eating reasonable quantities of healthy food has its own rewards like feeling better and being able to do more.

BTW I lost 80 lbs from 235 to 155 over a couple of years through a combination of diet, exercise, and light weight backpacking. This was about 9 yeas ago and how I came to this site. The combination of lightening myself at the same time I lightened my pack accelerated my ability to get out and gave me the feedback I needed to stay with the program.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/15/2009 20:34:09 MST Print View

lol, it should be 810 vs 816 for 4x orange, carrot,banana.
and no it isn't a wash your body will not store fat from eating those veggies and fruits while it will preferentially store most of the candy bars calories. And while you can lose weight eating crap it can only be done by under eating and not giving your body what it needs. This can be done for a short hike but it not possible for the long term. And I don't know why anyone would want to do that to themselves?

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 12/15/2009 20:36:58 MST.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/15/2009 22:09:17 MST Print View

So will BPL start to include body fat and lean body mass in the gear list?!? It will be a switch discussing pounds instead of ounces!

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/15/2009 22:39:12 MST Print View

"and no it isn't a wash your body will not store fat from eating those veggies and fruits while it will preferentially store most of the candy bars calories"

Again I have to disagree. If you eat more calories than your body needs be it from fruits or veggies or high fructose corn syrup you will convert the extra to fat stores. Eat less than what you need and fat stores will be converted to energy and burned. Now you can tweak the equation slightly. It takes energy (calories) to convert carbohydrate from fruits and veggies to fat. It takes energy to break down the thick cell walls of veggies to get at the sugars/carbohydrates they contain. But these variations are easily outweighed by overeating regardless of source.

Obviously 800 cals is less than the normal caloric requirements for most minimally active folks. But multiply it by 5 and eat 20 bananas, oranges and carrots a day for 4000 calories. This is greater than the caloric requirements for most people in the western world. As such they will gain weight in the form of fat on the banana, orange, and carrot diet.

You missed my statement above. The foods I listed were diet staples for 5 1/2 month thru hike. I added small amounts of dried veggies and fruits daily to balance my diet, but the overwhelming bulk of my calories where from fats, simple sugars, and processed starches. But the totals where less than my activity required so I lost weight. I minimized the difference by overeating during my town stops, zero days to rebuild fat stores.

Losing weight is always a process of giving your body less than it needs, i.e. under eating. When this happens the body needs to use its fat stores. If you give your body everything it needs there is no reason to use the fat stores.

The diet writers have always tried to make things complicated in order to sell books. But the tried and true calories in vs calories out continues to be the most accurate in my estimation.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/15/2009 23:19:42 MST Print View

Now don't get me wrong Im not saying calories don't count. Sure if you eat enough veggies and fruit ( especially fruit) you can gain weight. But we are talking about pretty over the top amounts that don't really apply much to the real world.
What Im saying is that different calories are metabolized differently by the body. In other words, your body wants to store carbs as fat while it dose not really want to store fat as fat. So it has preferences, this is why as I said, farm animals are feed grains to fatten them up and not butter.
Sugar and refined carbs are the worst in this regard and its why you will gain weight so easily with them. Sure part of it is that fiber and fat make you feel full and so you eat less but its a double whammy of eating lots of calories that don't fill you up and eating calories that are preferentially stored as fat. So, if you want to lose weight you should avoid bad calories first and foremost as calorie counting is complete guess work and you can never know just how much you are burning compared to how much you are eating.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: I like to eat cheeseburgers on the trail. on 12/15/2009 23:38:43 MST Print View

The UL walker's UL dehydrated MacDonalds Hamburger:
BurgerFAQ
(Wheatmeal biscuits, no sugars, and thin salami.)

Cheers

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/16/2009 00:19:30 MST Print View

"What Im saying is that different calories are metabolized differently by the body. In other words, your body wants to store carbs as fat while it dose not really want to store fat as fat. So it has preferences, this is why as I said, farm animals are feed grains to fatten them up and not butter. "

I quick google suggests cows are actually fed fat and the reliance primarily on grain has to do with a calorie/$ calculation. http://www.livestocktrail.uiuc.edu/dairynet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=246

"In other words, your body wants to store carbs as fat while it dose not really want to store fat as fat."

Do you have a source for this claim?

"So, if you want to lose weight you should avoid bad calories first and foremost as calorie counting is complete guess work and you can never know just how much you are burning compared to how much you are eating."

I disagree. I think it's vital to know how much you eat. I was shocked the the first time I weighed the food I was preparing and found I was eating about 2500 calories per day. No wonder I was so fat (230 at the time). Eat one extra banana a day at 100 calories over what you need and you will gain 1/2 lb per week and 25 lbs per year. That's a fairly small difference that adds up quickly.

I weighed my food for about a month. At that point I had an understanding of what a serving of steak, fish, or rice looked like and I could keep track of my intake with out the extra bother. I also quickly realized that it was nearly impossible to eat a sufficient quantity of vegetables for it to be significant in the calorie calculation.

We weigh every bit of gear that goes into our pack to get the most efficient system. I am surprised at the suggestion that we don't need to do the same for what goes into our bodies.

Another google got me this study: (http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/fta-s07.shtml)

"Wansink’s studies showed people drank an average of 25 to 30 percent more from short, wide tumblers than from tall, skinny glasses. The same amount of juice in a tall, skinny glass looks as if the glass is fuller than it does in the short, wide glass. "

It's these kind of misconceptions that lead many to overeat with out being aware of the difference.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/16/2009 00:50:29 MST Print View

"Do you have a source for this claim?"
This is old science by now from 2002 it all started here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html?pagewanted=1

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 12/16/2009 00:51:06 MST.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/16/2009 01:31:39 MST Print View

Ok so this article is suggesting that the super low fat diets were failures. I agree. But I don't see the science to support Atkins style low carb diets as a panacea. For example this from the mayo clinic:

"The reality: Most people can lose weight on almost any diet plan that restricts calories — at least in the short term. Over the long term, though, studies show that low-carb diets like Atkins are no more effective than are standard high-carbohydrate diets and that most people regain the weight they lost regardless of diet plan. However, studies have shown that people who continued to follow diet plans such as Atkins for two years did lose an average of nearly 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms) overall. Some studies suggest that it's not cutting carbs that leads to weight loss with Atkins. Instead, you may shed pounds because your food choices are limited and you eat less since the extra protein and fat keep you feeling full longer. The bottom line is that to lose weight you must reduce the calories you take in and increase the calories you burn."

Consider cultures around the world. There are the rice eating Chinese, Japanese and south Indians, the heavily fat and protein eating Inuit, the meat and bread eating Moghuls. There is a great deal of variety in the types of foods people eat and the ratios of fat, protein and carbs in their diets. All of these traditional cultures were healthy enough to survive for thousands of years. That suggests to me that there is no magic formula for what makes a healthy diet.

Heavily processed foods on the other hand are relatively new and as such are questionable. You can track the spread of high levels of obesity around the globe by the spread of McDonalds. Just coincidence?

Edited by nschmald on 12/16/2009 01:40:35 MST.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You! on 12/16/2009 01:56:44 MST Print View

The article does more than suggest that "super" low fat diets are are failures. Its describes how sugars and grains cause one to gain more weight than high fat diets and there fore calories are not everything. It goes on to explain how sugar/carbs cause obesity and diabetes. It also explains why organizations like the Mayo clinic continue to rationalize the low fat anti-meat agenda. The Chinese and Japanese eat a lot of meat- pork, fish, fish broth, and vegetables of all kinds. They don't all eat a high carb diet compared to us. The Okinawan s live longer than the Japanese and eat a high pork diet. Plus some populations can genetically tolerate higher amounts of carbs than others - the American natives are a good example of a population who are devastated by our high carb diet.
But really Im not going to prove anything, people will belive what they want. I just thought that the alternative view should be expressed to keep this article balanced.

Ross Williams
(xavi1337) - F

Locale: Korea
p90x and where to lose weight on 12/16/2009 03:05:01 MST Print View

I'd liek a follow up article discussing just where hikers should focus their muscle and workouts. Just getting in shape might mean too much weight in the pectorals or biceps. If we really want to go lightweight, shouldn't we be focusing on the right muscle groups and not just doing a P90X workout?

How much extra weight do we carry in muscle?

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: p90x and where to lose weight on 12/16/2009 03:20:30 MST Print View

P90X is a full body program based on leaning out and not on getting big. If you follow the program as designed you won't be able to carry extra muscle per se. You'll only carry what your body needs.

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Re: p90x and where to lose weight on 12/16/2009 05:49:41 MST Print View

Chris,
I know you were doing p90x. How is the aftermath? A few friends of mine were not able to maintain the gains they made in their fitness or the loss in weight. Did you adhere to the diet? It looks like a good program I'm going to start in the next few weeks. Back to topic. Sorry.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: p90x and where to lose weight on 12/16/2009 06:02:13 MST Print View

I've been doing it more or less this entire year. After the first 90 days a daily workout became part of my routine so I've just redone the program over and over mixing in some other activities like mountain biking and running on nicer days. I only stuck to the diet in a strict manner for the first 3 weeks and since that point I've eaten a mostly balanced diet. Overall I lost about 22 lbs and have gone from around 14% BF to around 5% BF. I didn't gain any overall size, just definition and strength but I believe this is largely diet related. Having been up to 211 lbs at one point on a smallish 5'8 frame, I have fat fear. I'm afraid to eat too much for fear of getting fat again despite my incredibly high metabolism and daily activity. At present I eat around 3k cals a day split out over 6-8 meals. 3k cals is technically a lot for a 145 lb guy but I believe I'm probably still under eating somewhat. I have photos from before and after the first 90 days and also more recent ones but I don't want to post them on here since I'm sure everyone browsing this thread doesn't want to be forced to look at them. I can PM you links if you want to see the differences.

George L Privett
(gprivett)

Locale: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Thumbs Up on 12/16/2009 06:44:18 MST Print View

I really enjoyed this article and comments. The article affirms the program I followed successfully to reach the weight and energy level I want.

I consume a balance of calories and do a variety of moderate exercises - the favourite is walking to work with a small pack everyday. For me it was simply a change to a simpler, lighter lifestyle.

I am in my sixties and younger people seem impressed with my energy level, strength and endurance, especially walking up and down the back hills and snow shoeing. For those "heavy weight" hikers, here is the website encouraged me. http://caloriecount.about.com/

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
A New Perspective on 12/16/2009 12:19:44 MST Print View

Well, as a person who keeps fighting the weight battle, I enjoyed this article and found it helpful. Why? Because it put a new slant on things and gave me a new perspective. I like the idea of working on myself the same way I've been working on my gear.

Thank you! This is just what I needed to motivate myself!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Lose One of the "O's" on 12/16/2009 12:53:36 MST Print View

In case anyone is interested -- there is only one "o" in lose. OK, carry on...

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Lose One of the "O's" on 12/16/2009 14:35:28 MST Print View

But there are two in loose.

Gabe Joyes
(gabe_joyes) - F - M

Locale: Lander, WY
Your body is not a backpack, it is a body. on 12/16/2009 14:40:50 MST Print View

Thank you Jeremy for writing this article on a very important topic. This article has some very valid points and excellent advice, and in some ways I like the comparison to UL backpacking. But, your body is not a backpack, it is a body.

"Eliminate Everything You Don't Need"

How about: "Moderate or Alter Less-Nutritious Foods"

For example:
The article mentions avoiding ground beef. OK fine I don't eat a lot of ground beef. But you can definitely go to the grocery store and buy ground beef that is 94% lean, make your patty a reasonable size (not 1/2 pound), wipe off any extra grease, add that with a low-fat mozzarella, and pile it high with all sorts of veggies. Did you "eliminate" something potentially harmful from your diet? Nope. Did you have a delicious and healthy meal? Yep. You don't need to be a devout food monk to lose weight. You could I guess, but that doesn't sound like much fun to me.

Backpacks don't have desire for gear like the human mouth does for food.