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High Fat Trail Diet


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Viewing 24 posts - 76 through 99 (of 99 total)
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  • #3794833
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @Ak Granola.  I should have given examples of my diet. I don’t eat any fruit, but I do eat what I consider lots of vegetables-cruciferous types, spinach, romaine, asparagus, brussels sprouts, beets. Most of the low carb type, in varying quantities.  Salads with tuna, chicken, lots of olive oil, avocado. Salmon with butter. Lots of eggs-4 egg omelets with broccoli, spinach, cheese. Desert is plain Greek  yogurt with peanut butter, few nuts and some sugar free pancake syrup.

     

    I don’t like to cook and don’t have a large varied diet because of that. If one does cook there are many great low carb recipes.

    #3794834
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @Brian W  I had similar issues with my old diet while hiking. I was hungry, needed to eat and hike, but the food just sat there in my stomach, sloshing around-felt horrible. Didn’t matter how little I ate, half a bar or full meal. I never adapted to this-others I hike with could eat an entire sub sandwich and 5 minutes later hike like nothing happened. For me I just eat when I make it to camp.

    #3794835
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Always fascinating to hear about diets, fad or otherwise. My sister in law eats fruit constantly. She comes from a culture where fruit of some kind is always available and you’re socially backward if your fruit bowl isn’t full when company comes. She eats a few veggies, not many, meat daily, yogurt frequently, and lots and lots and lots of fruit. She also likes breakfast cereal daily, the packaged processed kind with plenty of sugar, that almost no recommended diets include. She is thin, strong, healthy, and needs no medications due to diet over 50 years of age. So there you have it! The battle of the bulge can be won in many ways.

    #3794838
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    Brad:

    I find I have a hard time digesting proteins when actively hiking, but I’m okay with fats and carbs.

    I also find differences at different altitudes as well. I lose my appetite as I go up for the first couple of days of a trip.

    #3794839
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @Brian W. Yes, altitude kills my appetite-which is usually pretty good after a day of hiking. In the Sierra, above 9K, it’s severely reduced-to the point I have to force myself to eat my planned meal.

    #3794882
    Bill Budney
    BPL Member

    @billb

    Locale: Central NYS

    Is this also a function of how well your body processes fats and carbs when active?

    Yes. It takes some time for the body to learn to burn fats more than carbs, but a couple to a few weeks will get most people over the most challenging part of the transition. It’s also not necessarily forever; once your body learns to prefer fat, then you should be able to switch back and forth fairly easily (if you want to, that is).

    Attia is is probably the best of well-known investigators into healthspan and longevity . I listen to his podcast while hiking. If you like medical-conference lectures, Stephen Phinney has some old talks on YouTube that I found interesting. The article you linked by Skurka is great.

    Testing is fine if you’re interested, but most people carrying a backpack at a pace where they can speak with a friend are in zone 2. Occasional sprints or scrambles at higher zone rates are great for improving your stamina and overall cardio-vascular fitness, but zone 2 is ideal for stamina, fat-burning efficiency, and long-term health.

    Which is one of the reasons why we love backpacking.

    Electrolytes: I add a fifth of a teaspoon of 50-50 salt per liter of water (half NaCl and half KCl; “lite salt”). Plus supplement magnesium separately, and get some dairy in the diet. That’s all you need; fancy electrolyte mixes are no better.

    AK: Most low-carb-ers wouldn’t squander a carb budget on fruit; you can eat almost unlimited above-ground vegetables while keeping carbohydrates low. However, the idea of a carb budget is mostly to help people in transition. Once over the hump, carbs lose a great deal of their appeal. Commercial baked goods and sugar are the worst offenders anyway. I started with a 150-gram carb budget, and found myself naturally gravitating down to 20-ish within a few weeks. After a while (and some more research), I just got tired of the budget thing and quit carbs entirely (well, mostly). But don’t take any of that as “rules”, there are many ways to do adjust to low carbs. You’ll find more advice than you can enjoy when you look into it. :)

    PS: The “HF” part of LCHF (low carb, high fat) isn’t important, other than during transition. Keeping your calories about the same makes it easier to adjust. After that, you can do whatever feels right to you. What feels right will probably vary with time and activity.

     

     

    #3794885
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Interesting, BUT . . .

    Once we got over about 5,000 m in Nepal, we simply could not digest any fats. I suspect it is an oxygen thing.
    Sugary biscuits were lovely. We bought many packets of them from Tea Shops.

    Cheers

     

    #3794903
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    Carb Budget. Love that term. My wife-carb lover-is amazed that regardless of my calorie expenditure, I won’t break down and have a ‘cheat’ meal with high carbs.  You said it perfectly Bill-after you realize how well you feel eating hf, carbs lose most if not all of their appeal. I don’t crave them anymore at all. When I walk through a grocery it’s as if they don’t exist.

    If you are fat adapted but have not hiked much with this way of eating, ease into it. Don’t jump into a 20 mile, 10K gain day at a break neck pace. From my experience and others, you need to build up this endurance-as one can easily outpace your bodies ability to utilize fat for fuel( gluconeogenesis) and you will bonk. It’s your bodies way of saving what glycogen you have left for your brain and vital functions. If you haven’t had that happen, it can be unsettling and miserable.  Over time I built up my endurance found I could go pretty hard and long. I found my threshold which is different for everyone-and now if that threshold(starts with slight tingling sensation and I notice slight energy drop) is close I slightly reduce my pace-in particularly tough climbs. I could easily bring some small amounts of carbs along for these sections but again, eating while hiking just doesn’t work for me.

    #3794907
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    I need more carbs when hiking over 5k feet because my starting heart rate is faster. I might be in zone 1 on a hike at 2k feet, but I’ll be in zone 2 at 5k+. Now, once you throw in elevation gain, I’ll go into zone 3 and higher. That’s when I’ll bonk if I’m not taking in the carbs. If I’m hiking a flat trail at 5k+, I’ll be fine.  This is a function of conditioning, which I let go during the pandemic, and I’m working on getting back.

    So a diet that works for the OP might not work for me until I improve my conditioning.

    #3794908
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I feel fortunate not to struggle with my health too much, and don’t have to adopt a restrictive high or low whatever diet, although at times I cut back to ensure no weight gain, or take off a few pounds during less active times of year, whenever I feel the waistband get tight. After menopause, my metabolism utterly crashed. I simply need less food now, of whatever kind. Smaller portions, fewer snacks. But even if I had health problems, I would never give up a juicy ripe peach, a glossy fresh tomato, or a hunk of just baked sourdough with some sweet cream butter. Part of our eating is not science or rigid rules; it’s joy. The joy of living. This too I realize is not the same for everyone. Those who can tolerate the same food for 30 days on trail – that is not me! I had a colleague who meticulously watched every morsel of food he consumed, with spreadsheets and analyses and scientific articles, then he got ALS and died in 3 years. Shoulda had the cheesecake! RIP, he was a good guy. We’re just different.

    It’s pretty clear that there is not one right answer, given that people can be very healthy with completely opposite intake of carbs or fats, or even on vegan diets. One of my colleagues has been vegan for 40 years; she does ultras, long distance adventure races in subzero environments, etc. No problem. And as I said, my sister in law eats loads of sugar, and could out hike many here. I think I keep coming back to movement being more important than diet, most of the time.

    I’m happy to mostly give up ultra processed carbs, but I never ate that many anyway (although Oreos are still the bomb on a marathon!). I last ate McDonalds in 1995, when I got wicked diarrhea on a canoe trip shortly after eating; that is not fun. I’m glad that the various diets work for all of you, but I’ve found a balance that works for me, mostly patterned after my parents, who ate a European style diet – modest balanced meals, few processed snacks in regular life (more on trail), plenty of movement each and every day. Every evening my dad asked “hay postre?” and generally the answer was no. A piece of homemade pie now and then though, wonderful! Moderation. And, it’s ok to be hungry, to feel hunger. That is not a bad thing.

    Ultimately regardless of philosophies on food, if you’re healthy, strong, and can hike 200 miles, you’re doing it right.

    #3794925
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @AK Granola Yes, I think if a person feels great and performs well-keep doing what works. If you are not feeling great, getting heavy, experiment and find something that fits.  Regardless of caloric composition of the food that works for you, having it be as clean and unprocessed as possible is a good mindset to adopt.

     

     

    #3794952
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    I will add that for me, Hammer Nutrition Fizz Tabs are the best electrolyte I have found. Pleasant taste, easy to store and break in half to fit in the bottle.

     

    #3794979
    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member

    @ngatel

    Locale: Southern California

    So this post, “High Fat Trail Diet” is about trail diets, right?

    I’ve been doing this backpacking thing for a long time. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a carb, a calorie or a carrot. I just eat what I like. I have learned that on a multi-week or multi-month trip you will begin to crave certain foods, which is probably the body telling the brain it needs that food.

    What you eat over the course of a week or two isn’t going to harm you, unless you have medical conditions. You don’t want to feel hungry after eating or too full. The other thing, for me, is I can eat the same meals day after day, which makes planning easy.

    Sometimes we over-think the simple things in life.

     

    #3794983
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I like soda crackers. They can take away hunger pains. They can help with altitude sickness. I use them to prime my stomach if necessary to help me eat.

    #3795212
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    @Nick, yes on trail. The reason I brought up daily food intake types is if one were to go HFLC on a trip and was not fat adapted, they may have a miserable time on a trip.

     

    As for overthinking, that what drives this board-over thinking and analyzing things to death. ;)

    #3795213
    Brian W
    BPL Member

    @empedocles

    Brad:

    Nothing beats testing on either day hikes or car camping before committing to using stuff on a backpacking trip.

    It’s easy to fail if you analyze to death and never test.

     

    #3795218
    David D
    BPL Member

    @ddf

    I don’t call reducing my trail weight by 2lbs by moving to a high fat diet “over thinking” when this site is called backpacking “light” and the high fat can have unexpected side effects worth discovering before committing.

    #3795220
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I consider it a complement to be called an over thinker.  BPL has a lot of over thinking on it

    your point makes sense – fat has more calories per weight than other food ingredients so it will weigh less – consistent with BPL philosophy

    myself – I like to eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes.  I eat more carbs when I’m backpacking because they’re more easily digested.  Extra fat because of the higher calories per gram.

    scientific data about nutrition is poor.  There’s plenty of money to do studies of pharmaceuticals because there’s money to be made, but why would anyone pay for a study of broccoli, it’s a commodity??  Sometimes they’ll do a study and ask people what they ate, but that is inaccurate – people’s memory not so good, or they wouldn’t want to admit eating bad stuff.  And if, for example, an overweight person ate more carbs, is that the cause or a result – if you could get an overweight person to eat less carbs maybe it wouldn’t cause weigh loss – you need a controlled trial to know, but that is difficult for an extended period.

    #3795224
    Mart
    BPL Member

    @1goodpacker

    Locale: Central Texas

    BPL has a lot of over thinking on it

    Indeed.

    #3795227
    Glen L
    Spectator

    @wyatt-carson

    Locale: Southern Arizona

    We’ve been keto for more than ten years now. I’ve seen an epidemic of people bumble their way into diabetes by not giving enough thought.

    #3795230
    David D
    BPL Member

    @ddf

    Thanks Jerry.  Its over thinking if you don’t act on it or fool yourself into a dorky position (“too clever by half”).  Sometimes deep diving leads to “doesn’t matter” but that conclusion isn’t reached without the effort.  Chickens and eggs and all that.

    I always act on it or wouldn’t ask.  Dorky, we’ll see :)  I managed to make high fat work by drinking a lot more water and watching fiber intake.  When I didn’t figure this out, I carried extra pounds and was bunged up for days.  TMI, but this bit of “over thinking” had great returns on investment.

    #3795324
    Brad W
    BPL Member

    @rocko99

    Yes, overthinking with experimentation is key. I did lots of experimenting on long day hikes and shorter trips. I also used long urban hikes-20-30miles to push my fasted energy threshold.

    #3799721
    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member

    @geoffcaplan

    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    I don’t want to get drawn into the high-fat/high-carb debate, so I’ll limit myself to this one factual statement. ALL the Blue Zone communities, who enjoy the best physical and mental health in the world, eat a low-fat high-carb diet. Not some – not most – all. There is wisdom in these traditional ways of eating. The science behind this empirical observation is increasingly well understood. Any claim that a predominantly plant and starch based diet is unhealthy is simply misinformed.

    With that off my chest, there’s a key issue with high fat diets on the trail. Yes, it’s tempting to go that way, because the high calorie density can save some weight.

    BUT, the human body can only absorb around 30-45 grams per sitting. After that it runs out of bile to digest the fat, and the rest will simply pass through you unabsorbed. Not good when you’ve been lugging it over the high passes for a week.

    Humans vary widely in their response to different diets, so you really have to experiment and find your own way. For example there are many vegan triple-crowners, though militant carnivores regularly claim that such a diet is enfeebling. So don’t get too hung up on the theory – if it work for you, go for it.

    If you want advice based on experience, here is Cam Honan’s take on trail nutrition. He has very likely hiked more miles than anyone else on the planet, and he’s a pretty smart guy. So he’s worth reading with care: https://www.thehikinglife.com/2017/01/the-thru-hikers-diet/

    #3799754
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    Pistachios with a couple hazelnuts can present a full EAA profile. Lentils. Chia has a lot of EAA’S . I don’t eat much meat on trail. I concentrate on fewer cat holes and more comfort.

Viewing 24 posts - 76 through 99 (of 99 total)
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