- Mar 3, 2012 at 6:28 am #1848170
I know lots of you got it at the start. Someone was explaining my strategy better than me.
I do eat less now. I'm not denying there are fewer calories. But I'm not starving all the time. I'm almost not hungry at all. The kind of dinner I eat now used to leave me starving. Now it doesn't. I think the big difference is no more soy, no more vegetable oil (we used olive oil), no more grains, very little dairy and no more dang jogging at lunch. There are still plenty of healthy things to eat without trying to stuff more and more pasta or fruit in to quell the unquenchable hunger I used to have. No gritting my teeth to make it more than 2 hours between eating.
I'm looking forward to making pemmican someday. A local grass-fed beef farmer has kidney fat for sale in addition to beef. But I still have about 30 US Wellness pemmican bars in the freezer.Mar 3, 2012 at 7:06 am #1848182
>>>They had thousands of years to adapt to a ketogenic diet and not much choice if they were going to live in the Arctic. I was referring to studies of our own population.
What is "our own population". I am Swedish and Finnish by 50%. That's arctic. The rest of me is other northern/western European. What do the native Finns eat? Reindeer, fish, rye, tubers and berries and greens and mushrooms when in season (you can imagine the season is short.)
What am I eating now that is restoring me to health? Beef, fish, tubers, vegetables, mushrooms and eggs mostly. Not much different from what "my population" eats. Never could stand that hard-tack rye bread. My relatives still try to push that on me, bringing back piles of it from the U.P.Mar 3, 2012 at 7:49 am #1848190
"What do the native Finns eat? Reindeer, fish, rye, tubers and berries and greens and mushrooms when in season (you can imagine the season is short.)"
That's a function of location based on available food sources. Ask the same thing to a Samoan and the answer will be much different.
You are not a native Finn so the argument is moot.
Of course, times have changed:
The horrors – they eat bread.Mar 3, 2012 at 8:28 am #1848198
Okay, while I see and sympathize with the doubts that people express, my only retort is that you refrain from judging this way of eating and living, and condemning it without having properly done the reading about it and tried it for yourself. This is a physical thing that no amount of discussing theory here is going to prove either way to someone who is unwilling to give it a go and keep an open mind with. As someone expressed earlier, it is no different from traditional backpackers ridiculing UL without learning more about it and trying it out. Until you try it and see how it actually works on your own body, you really have no basis in condemning it.
I'm surprised by the hard-headedness of some people here. If you don't like it and have made up your mind that it is hogwash, then please go somewhere else and put your debate prowess to use there. Here we are trying to come up with ways of making the ketogenic diet work while hiking, not trying to spend all our online time having to refute naysayers and educate them. It really is frustrating that the paleo people cannot engage in this conversation without being challenged about everything we are trying to talk about.Mar 3, 2012 at 8:43 am #1848201
As an open forum it is vital to educate anyone reading this thread. For every 'expert' that claims such a diet is healthy for the long term, I can find one that claims a balanced approach (see Tom K's commentary) is better for the long term. This information must be conveyed to permit the reader to make decisions on their own and / or persue the necessary channels.
Your comparison between traditional backpacking and UL backpacking is interesting. Dropping pack weight is always a good thing unless you push to levels which decrease your safety in certain conditions (winter, desert, etc). A level of moderation is key. The Ketogenic diet does not pursue those tenants.Mar 3, 2012 at 8:58 am #1848205
@thomdarrahLocale: Southern Oregon
Beginning in my early teenage years my life focus has been on endurance related physical training/competition and a sound healthy diet. To be honest I had, prior to this thread, never heard of some of the diets mentioned here.
What is interesting and has worked amazingly well for me is the following as it relates to diet and training;
5:00 am to 5 pm; meals using whole grains (muesli/10 grain cereal but no breads), low fat/non fat protein, fruit and raw nuts.
5:00 pm to 5:00 am; low fat protein, fresh vegetables and no complex carbs (ketogenic ?).
My am workout is before 5:00 am and prior having any carbs for the day. My pm workout is after 5:00 pm with no complex carbs after this workout.
This diet/workout regime works well "for me". I have strong energy reserves for workouts and my metabolism seems to thrive on the diet as described.
Workouts are mainly focused on endurance sports/activities (road and trail running, spinning, high mileage hiking) mixed with a strong dose of free weight core type exercises (pull ups, chin ups, dips, push ups, high rep full range "sissy" squats and lunges and abdominal work).Mar 3, 2012 at 9:00 am #1848208
I think the discussion about the validity of the diet is going on with Doug's thread, but this thread was started by Piper asking about doing a ketogenic diet specifically for hiking, not whether the ketogenic diet is valid or not. In the same vein that anti-gun advocates are asked not to derail the threads of those wanting to discuss gun use in the back country, so does the argument not to derail the conversation over the desire to learn to use the ketogenic diet for hiking hold, no?
The Ketogenic diet does not pursue those tenants.
Where in the world did you come up with that conclusion? Those of us here who are following the paleo diet are asking that very question and are trying to learn about it and how it can be done. Nothing definitive has come up yet, except for a few suggestions like pemmican and coconut-based food. And yet you, who are unwilling to give the diet even a partial chance, already conclude with "does not pursue those tenants"? What "tenants" are you talking about? Paleo isn't a religion or a set way of doing things. It's a lifestyle that is actively looking at scientific information and personal trials and results to find the healthiest way to live for humans. It's changing all the time and people are learning all the time. That's what we are trying to explore here, within the framework of hiking.
I do not understand your need to just disagree with all this all the time. Why don't you at least give it a try instead of bringing up these arguments all the time? How about some constructive and experienced input? At least Tom is trying to see both sides and doing the reading behind it. I hate to say it because I don't want to start a fight, but Dave you seem awfully contrary for no reason but to be contrary. Why? Do you dislike us paleo enthusiasts so much?Mar 3, 2012 at 9:43 am #1848214
Forgive me everyone for getting a little too carried away with my support for this whole way of living. I'm sure I come across as quite, as Nick Gatel privately put it, "fanatical". That quite surprised me, because all my life I've been very willing to listen and learn. I hope I don't get so caught up in all this that I fail to hear what others are trying to say.
Paleo is not set in stone for me. I'm just very enthusiastic about a way of living and eating that has helped me bring my diabetes under control when nothing else worked, and in the process have learned a great amount about nutrition and exercise. But it is still very much ongoing and i have a lot to learn still. I've only scratched the surface. If I come across as a know-it–all, forgive me.Mar 3, 2012 at 11:15 am #1848241
Bradley DanylukBPL Member
Decided to delete this post.Mar 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm #1848338
Dale WhittonBPL Member
Thanks to Piper S for starting this thread and for the great information posted so far ! Roleigh the links to the Paleo sites were great and after reading Mark Sisson's blog and ordering his books I decided to give it a shot.
Before I go into results, some background – I'm early 40s in reasonable shape but have noticed in the last few years the 'stomach' creep. One of the great jokes of the universe is making beer fattening. After weighing myself for the first time in a while in Jan I was a tad shocked to find I was 68kg as opposed to my normal 63/64Kg. So not a huge gain I know – but I could tell and apart from the weight and fat :-) I was starting to feel sluggish…
My experience over the past few years is that I was becoming less efficient at staving off fat and weight gain. Something I had never done was count calories so I gave that a shot as it was highly logical – control consumption and measure activity and you generate a caloric deficiency and hence weight loss. QED. After 6 months of tracking calories daily and measuring exercise, there was very little difference. I'll add to this that my exercise was reasonably intense mainly boxing (in a ring) and kettlebells.
One day I listened to a podcast by a nutritionist (western doctor) and a body builder (natural) / personal trainer and they said something which got my attention: if they had to choose between advising their clients on whether to count calories or pay attention to what they are eating, then the latter would win hands down. One of them was on the Paleo diet and I had also heard this mentioned elsewhere. Quite frankly I couldn't imagine anything worse than some caveman diet. It sounded bland and uninteresting. Nevertheless for two weeks I simply cut out refined carbohydrates and low and behold I last about an inch around my waist. Then in the manner of wonderful human logic, I went back to my old diet and forgot all about it…
After seeing the weight gain in Jan and reading this thread, I researched Paleo and kicked it off at the end of Jan. I'm five weeks into the diet (I've been very strict) and I'm back to 63 kg and have lost 2" off my waist. My energy feels great and I have to say I see no reason now not to continue this way of eating. In terms of calories I'm consuming around the same or more calories that I had before and exercising less.
Now to figure out what to eat on the trail…Mar 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm #1848341
I appreciate that you are interested in all of this, Miguel.
I'm curious about any experience you have had backpacking with paleo. Paleo isn't necessarily low carbohydrate. For lots of people it's quite high in carbs. So just because you know about paleo doesn't mean I should assume you are low carb.
I was pretty amazed at how little I need to eat if I keep my carbs low, and yet I have enough energy for hiking and backpacking. It got me thinking hey, here's a way to shed a little pack weight.
It's not going to hurt anyone to eat a bunch of meat and coconut and whatever else like that for a week or a weekend. Isn't that what backpackers and climbers used to do? Bring sticks of butter and containers of olive oil and try to maximize fats to stay warm and fit more calories in a smaller space? Just because I bring meat candles instead of peanut butter, others need to shout "the horrors, the horrors"?
Anyway, I woke up starving this morning. Had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Did a hike (somewhere between 10 and 14 miles) but did not eat during the entire hike. Drank some Endurolyte Fizz things, but did not eat. No hunger, no flagging energy, felt great. If it hadn't been such a hot day, I could have done the hike with my little ultramarathon runner vest instead of my camelback pack–ultralight dayhiking. But I needed more than a liter of water today so no chance to try it out.
P.S. Hey, that's great news, Dale. You must have posted at the same time I did. It does feel good to feel so good, doesn't it?Mar 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm #1848357
" What do the native Finns eat? Reindeer, fish, rye, tubers and berries and greens and mushrooms when in season (you can imagine the season is short.)"
It's a little more extensive than that as far as carbs are concerned, Piper.
I'll let it go at that because I feel like I've already intruded in a discussion that I had no business participating in. I will follow the thread with interest from the sidelines from here on. My apologies to all paleo afficionados.Mar 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm #1848360
Hiking MaltoBPL Member
"Anyway, I woke up starving this morning. Had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Did a hike (somewhere between 10 and 14 miles) but did not eat during the entire hike. Drank some Endurolyte Fizz things, but did not eat. No hunger, no flagging energy, felt great. If it hadn't been such a hot day, I could have done the hike with my little ultramarathon runner vest instead of my camelback pack–ultralight dayhiking. But I needed more than a liter of water today so no chance to try it out."
Piper, I believe you are crediting your diet for something that is very easy to explain. I routinely do longer runs than your hike without eating and I'm not the least bit hungry during the run. In fact on longer runs and hikes I have to force myself to eat in order to not bonk after a couple/few hours of activity. Taking a middle ground of 12 miles you likely burned a bit north of 1200 calories. Even if your body had only 1000 calories of accessable energy stored then you could easily burn off the remainder of the 200+ calories from fat since it likely took you about 4 hours to do the 12 miles.
Take today, I did a 20 mile run only eating about 400 calories 3 hours before the run. I attempted to do the full 20 miles without fueling but I knew at the halfway point that I wasn't going to hit the 20 mile mark without some fuel. In my case I weigh about 190lb and at a 7mph pace I was burning 140 calories per mile. That was a burn of 1400 calories and I had plenty of stored energy and energy from fat burning to cover that. But I didn't have 2800 calories and that is why I ate.
So bottom line, glad the diet is working for you but I think that you are attributing some hiking success to the diet that has little to do with it.Mar 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm #1848362
Dale WhittonBPL Member
"P.S. Hey, that's great news, Dale. You must have posted at the same time I did. It does feel good to feel so good, doesn't it?"
I kicked this off on the 23rd Jan (actually made a note of it !)so into week 6 now. Definitely the difference in energy is a huge bonus. Also exploring varieties of food I haven't eaten before has been fun.
Reading through the thread I see a lot of diverse opinions :-) At the end of the day who cares what your diet is as long as it works for you. In my opinion the fun starts to go south when fundamentalism in any form rocks up. The Paleo diet worked for me and there are plenty of diets working for others. Including this one: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/dining/28Rudn.html?_r=3Mar 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm #1848375
Native Finnish diet (the Sami people), not "Finnish cuisine". That's like the difference between Native American diet and "American cuisine".Mar 13, 2012 at 11:14 am #1853036
Piper do you have any updates on this experiment? Has it proven to be effective/practical on numerous hikes?
I definetly want to try this on my next hike, I'll be eating pemmican for 75% of my sustenance, cooked home-made paleo dinners(lamb and sweet potatoe) for added enjoyment, some coconut butter to add some variety and dried plantains for starch if I really need it. I've estimated that I should be able to easily get by with just under 1 lb. of food per day. Needless to say, the weight savings definetly adds up! It's a shame ultralighters overlook this, but I have to believe it's due to our fear of animal fat and the need for "heart healthy whole grains" that has been drilled into us since birth. But I digress….
Do you generally try to stay in ketosis or did you have to alter your diet prior to the hike? One more thing….you were questioning weather or not staying in ketosis can help keep you warmer. This is an n=1 scenerio but I firmly believe it's true somehow although I don't know what the mechanism would be. Perhaps your correct about the slow burn of fat even while sleeping. I've found that since eating paleo and more specifically, adding more animal fat and coconut fat to my diet that I have become much more "warm-blooded". I used to be cold all the time, especially my hands and feet. Now I notice that I'm the last person to complain about being cold at work or home. Here is an anectode…most traditional cultures that live in tropical/warm climates eat a lot of fruit. Those in cold climates eat a lot of FAT(and meat). I have to believe that evolution has played a roll in this.
I'll sign off before this gets too long, looking forward to getting your update…
JuntoMar 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm #1853157
"One more thing….you were questioning weather or not staying in ketosis can help keep you warmer. This is an n=1 scenerio but I firmly believe it's true somehow although I don't know what the mechanism would be. Perhaps your correct about the slow burn of fat even while sleeping. I've found that since eating paleo and more specifically, adding more animal fat and coconut fat to my diet that I have become much more "warm-blooded". I used to be cold all the time, especially my hands and feet. Now I notice that I'm the last person to complain about being cold at work or home. Here is an anectode…most traditional cultures that live in tropical/warm climates eat a lot of fruit. Those in cold climates eat a lot of FAT(and meat)."
The northern Natives I lived with would usually suggest eating more fat if someone complained of being cold when on a trap line, etc. In their minds, eating fat equaled warmth when out in very cold weather. Their traditional diet had very, very few carbs; energy came from fat, period.Mar 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm #1853162
BTW, I've got all the stuff to make a basic pemmican this weekend. I'll post pictures of the process, and comments on palatability when it's done. I've got suet to render, and some lean beef to dry and grind. I'm not planning on using any berries – any dried cranberries I can find locally have a high "sugar added" content, and I can't find any fresh or frozen cranberries in the store, since we're past the holiday season. Wish me luck!Mar 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm #1853193
Best of luck to you Grampa! Looking forward to hearing how it turns out for you.
I'm going to do the same as soon as I can get my hands on some grass fed tallow. I'll be adding dried blueberries to mine, I'll let you know how it turns out.Mar 19, 2012 at 8:37 am #1855905
Were you able to cook up some pemmican this weekend Grampa? I just found a source for small quantities of grass-fed tallow so I'm one step closer.Mar 19, 2012 at 9:18 am #1855920
Yup! Posted it right here:
Sorry about all the "P's" in the titles!Mar 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm #1861028
I am going on a trip this weekend. I haven't shopped for food yet, but I have a freezer full of US Wellness Pemmican. I eat carbs daily but not a lot. Under 100g for sure. I don't want to get unadapted for my test here. I'm not sure what food I'm going to bring yet. I mean, should I really test ultralight food or should I bring a big steak and live it up?
Anyway, I did experiment in daily life with eating more carbs on a daily basis and my intense hunger started to come back. I guess you have to get all broken from long distance hiking like I did to understand the huge difference between being able to hike all day without hunger and not being able to. Also, as I've lost 25lbs, I think I'm reaching the limit of my "unlimited" energy reserves since I have so much less of it now. What's left, while quite ample, doesn't want to be used. Still, the calmness of my hunger now compared to how it used to be is so much better.Mar 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm #1861336
Kimberly WersalBPL Member
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
On our last BPing trip we wanted to keep meals as Paleo/Primal as possible, but ended up making one concession–using white rice for our Freezer Bag dinners. I experimented with dehydrating sweet potatoes to make sweet potato flour (next time I would just buy it–too labor intensive!) which I used with dried ham for a hot breakfast. We brought foil tuna packets and mayo, nuts, cheese, dried fruit, Larabars, homemade jerky… Dinners were Chicken Curry (with rice–I think you could make it without rice…maybe dehydrated "riced" cauliflower?), and an italian style beef, tomato, rice FB meal. 85% dark chocolate and nuts for dessert. Yum. We ate very well. I have some experimenting to do with some cauliflower, since I made a very tasty cauliflower/cheese crust pizza tonight and it's good for pork fried "rice". Maybe I can do something FBC with it.Mar 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm #1861893
@hhopeLocale: East Bay
I used to use white rice, but now can't really eat it anymore, it has no food value beyond empty carbs, and the flavor is weird after moving to all whole grains.
However, it's easy to do brown rice, cook it, then dehydrate it. Takes a while to dry it out, but it rehydrates fine.
Same for yukon golds, my favorite, cook them whole, slice thin then cube, then dry. It's almost impossible to cut these after they are dry, as I discovered my first attempt. So cube to size then dry.
Both of the above are easy to do, and can be done months in advance of the trip, the stuff is totally dried and just sites there from what I can see.Apr 1, 2012 at 11:43 am #1862199
Hi Piper – I'm a noob on this board, but I found this thread and wanted to share my perspective with you. I've hiked ketogenic for the past two seasons – gearing up for my 3rd now. I have found hugely positive results from keeping my carbs under about 100g/day while hiking all day long.
I rely on lots of coconut oil and butterfat (both in powdered form), make a home-made trail mix (which according to a fitday analysis is practically a superfood in and of itself), and paleo- (or at least primal-) FBC meals, home-made, of course. I've forgone the pemmican as superfluous and boring.
I've hiked and been active all my life, yet still found myself in my late 30's, out of shape and obese. Despite that, I would still charge thru the Cascade and Olympic Mtns like nobody's business, tearing myself up the whole way. It would take a week to recover from a weekend hike, we won't talk about longer hikes. Going UL didn't help much.
Going keto did. We'll skip over what led me to go keto to begin with, but it left me feeling so strong and vital, I couldn't wait to hit the trails. I found being VLC provided me limitless energy and increased strength, no cramps and spasms at the end of the day, huge mileage every day (I now do 2o miles min/day, vs 15 miles max/day), and a happy mood the whole time. I can carry twice the amount of food in the same bear canister, making for much longer solo trips.
For going keto, every personal measure of hiking fulfillment has gone up. Of course, it takes a bit of prep – my transition lasts about 6 weeks, and it's not fun, to be honest. I am thinking that next winter, perhaps, I won't indulge in holiday carb-binging… see where that leaves me going into training season.
Anyway, that's my n=1. I'll never hike loaded down by carby food again. Awesome thread!
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