Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
dropping pounds
Display Avatars Sort By:
Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 07:31:37 MDT Print View

there doesn't seem to be a "training" or "health" section, so this seems to be the best spot for this.

i've seen threads every once in a while saying "why spend $400 to lose a few pounds off of your pack, when you can spend NO money and lose a few pounds off your body?" after having two kids i ahdn't exactly let myself go, but i had declined somewhat and reached a level of fitness that i just wasn't happy with. so i'd see these "lose some fat" threads and they'd be like little darts in my side.

well, back in December my husband got me a gym membership for my Christmas present (best gift ever - they have babysitting!), with 6 sessions with a trainer. so i got calipered and calculated, and learned that i was at 27% body fat. that's not *terrible* for a woman, but it was certainly not where i wanted to be.

i've busted my hump for the last 2.5 months now, typically in the gym at least 3 times a week and then hiking/backpacking as much as possible on the weekends. it's been frustrating, because my weight has really not changed significantly - 3 pounds less after all that work! but on Monday i has my last trainer session, and they calipered & measured & calculated.

24%!! 24%!! that's roughly 9 lbs of fat burned off, 6 of which has been replaced by muscle. i really don't have anywhere else to crow about this, but i know *somebody* here will appreciate it.

now i have to go buy something titanium. mmmwhahahaha!!

Edited by tarbubble on 03/14/2007 07:32:24 MDT.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 07:36:46 MDT Print View

Thank you for sharing your victory.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 08:45:04 MDT Print View

Woo hoo! Losing fat is always good. Sometimes just going off weight isn't enough like you've seen.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 11:06:13 MDT Print View


The best way to lose weight is to take a long backpacking trip. This past summer I lost about 12 lbs in about as many days hiking 93 miles up and down along the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier. And I wasn't even hungry. I guess I was expending 4500-6000 calories per day (many thousands of feet elevation gain or loss each day) while eating 2500-3500 calories per day, if that much.

Alas nine months later I seem to have gained most of it back. And although I wish I gained back muscle instead of fat, I kind of doubt it.

The solution: I'm planning another long hike for this coming summer!

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 12:29:01 MDT Print View

I agree with the idea that long-distance hiking really IS a great way to lose body fat. I know from MANY long-summers. I typically lose 25-40 pounds in a summer of walking only to slowly gain it back over the academic year. Now, those days may be mostly gone since I'm teaching full-time, but NOT a full-time masters student. However, for men at least, the loss is about 50/50 fat/muscle. I hear that for many women, it's a fat loss/muscle gain scenario like the one you mention Tarbubble.

scri bbles
(scribbles) - F

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: Re: Re: dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 13:29:33 MDT Print View

I had the same problem. I was buying ultralight gear but still had a heavy alpine rear. My girlfriend and I decided to do something about it and started the South Beach Diet. I've lost 21.5lbs so far, and don't feel restricted at all, in fact i even learned how to cook better. I shop more efficiently and spend more time in the produce section without even thinking about it. To each his own. Congrats!

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
Re: Re: dropping pounds on 03/14/2007 18:08:57 MDT Print View

we'll be doing the long-distance hike thing once the kids are old enough to walk all day and actually get somewhere. right now, we could walk all day and MAYBE make 5 miles with them. for me, the key for right now is solutions that work for a mom with a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old.

we've made significant dietary changes over the last 2+ years as well. no more fruit juice, a lot less meat (we occasionally have days where we eat no dead-animal products at all), more whole grains. since i was kind of raised on spam, mac-n-cheese, bbq weenies and white rice (with a bit more variety thrown in), it's been a painful process but i keep telling myself my kids are learning better eating habits than i ever did.

Anitra Kass
(Anitraten) - F

Locale: SoCal
Congrats on 03/14/2007 19:34:31 MDT Print View

Congrats! Weight loss is great and the way you seem to be feeling about yourself is even better. Remember scales don't tell the whole story...don't get down if you've only lost a few pounds...muscle weighs more than fat. It's wonderful that you've brought your body fat percentage down...keep focused on that and it will serve you better than the scale.

In college I was working out for athletics and really hitting the weights and running. I actually maintained the same weight but gained a ton of muscle therefore lowering my body fat percentage. I was way healthier and happier even though my weight was the same.

Keep up the great work!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Congrats on 03/15/2007 11:10:20 MDT Print View

Note that muscle uses more energy than fat, so increasing muscle mass means you burn more energy doing the same thing. I.e. all things being equal, if you replace fat with muscle you will lose fat at an increasing rate.

According to my doctor, as men age about 1-2% of their body weight converts from muscle to fat (not sure about women). Thus one has to eat less and/or exercise more just to stay at the same weight.

Thus us older guys are getting it from both ends...we have less time to exercise, and we have to eat less and less just to stay at the same weight...

Scott Toraason
Dropping Pounds on 03/16/2007 17:56:35 MDT Print View

It’s changing ones set point that means how many calories your body naturally burns at rest and the new percentage body fat that it now has adjusted to and strives to maintain that keeps fat off. It takes about ten to twelve weeks to adjust a set point and maximum weight loss to keep a permanent set point would be approximately one to one and one half pounds to a maximum of two pounds fat loss per week. Ideally the higher the basic metabolic rate the lower your percentage body fat will be. Percentages of protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake do vary greatly per individual physiology. There is not absolute perfect diet, and muscle and fat cells are completely different and one cannot turn into the other. The fat cell is a storage cell and will either expand, multiply, or shrink. It’s the muscle cells that burn calories at rest and it is at rest and recovery that most of your calories are burned.

Change your set point and you will change your body’s metabolism. Sound nutrition, exercise with aerobic training and muscle resistance components is the ticket.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Dropping Pounds on 03/22/2007 14:53:19 MDT Print View

Most calories are burned when your body is working to produce energy. That means while active, not while at rest. If most calories were burned at rest and recovery, we would all have to wake up at night every few hours and

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Dropping Pounds on 03/24/2007 22:19:21 MDT Print View

Way to go, Colleen!
You mentioned that you decided to forgo fruit juice in the spirit of a healthier diet for your kids. If you're thinking of the high fructose corn syrup "kool-aid" that masquerades as fruit juice, then I agree. However, juice that has no additives certainly has a place in a healthy diet and is loaded with vitamins & minerals, not to mention antioxidants. Ten lashes with a wet noodle to the person who thought up that high fructose stuff!

Scott Toraason
Re: Re: Dropping Pounds on 03/25/2007 11:17:19 MDT Print View

Depends on your definition of most. By most I mean total for a 24 hour period. In a training cycle most individuals may be on a routine of three to six workouts per week of several hours, excluding professional/world class athletes, it’s these individuals that will burn most of their calories for the day in recovery aided by raised metabolic rates from their workouts and muscle tissue at rest.

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: dropping pounds on 03/25/2007 12:15:57 MDT Print View

Nice work, Colleen!

I'm in complete agreement that the best pound-shedding strategy includes getting the healthiest possible body.

I have a new job for which I commute hundreds of miles a week, and started slipping in my fitness from spending all those hours in the car (and losing time I might otherwise have used for hikes during the week). I'm also just starting a training program that can fit this new schedule - focusing on strength and muscle mass, since I still get out for more aerobic pursuits like backpacking and snow sports on weekends.

I actually was thinking that fitness might make for a great article or series on the site here.

- Steve

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: dropping pounds on 03/25/2007 13:53:00 MDT Print View

Very cool Coleen!!!

Shane Perry
(Rymnel) - F
Health/Fitness Articles on 03/26/2007 15:41:54 MDT Print View

Scott, I would totally be interested in a set of articles isolating a set of exercises to strengthen various parts of the body related to backpacking. Something on fixing trouble spots like ankles and knees as well as an overall fitness regimen.

Scott Toraason
Re: Health/Fitness Articles on 03/27/2007 13:15:47 MDT Print View

Shane, my competitive and coaching career is long ago, be that as it may, I’ve noticed that most REI stores have a decent book store with one or two books focusing on conditioning or that have good chapters on fitness. I have also seen in the past when I did subscribe to Backpacker magazine many articles on outdoor fitness and most libraries carry that magazine. I firmly believe that the first key to lightweight backpacking starts with us, sound nutrition, aerobic conditioning, and good muscle tone; it does not have to be a difficult program to get results, especially combined with hiking.

Every unconditioned pound is thousands of pounds off our knees and ankles especially on the trail; however, sometimes Orthotics is part of the solution to make sure the feet are aligned correctly.