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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: The "big 1" of hiking lighter - weight loss

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  • John Ladd
    There is an answer to the question Joe poses below. Fat on your body provides you with energy at the same intensity as fat carried in a bearcan - the diet
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 2, 2012
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      There is an answer to the question Joe poses below. Fat on your body provides you with energy at the same intensity as fat carried in a bearcan - the diet physiology people tell us that a 3500 calorie differential (between calories burned via exercise and calories eaten) is equivalent to one pound of body fat gained or lost.  Olive oil, ghee, etc are 220 calories per oz. or 3520 per pound

      The problem with burning the fat around your middle is that the 8 oz of bodyfat you burn on day 22 of your hike has been carried for the 21 prior days.  The last 8 oz. of olive oil or ghee you cached at Onion Valley Trailhead has been carried 5 days.  My thought is that if I wouldn't want to leave Happy Isles carrying a 5 liter can of olive oil for gradual use over 221 miles, I shouldn't leave Happy Isles with 5 kg of body fat that I could lose in advance of the hike. The two strategies are equivalents.

      I don't disagree with the idea of porking up a bit before leaving a trailhead, within limits. But I prefer to lose weight before a hike rather than on it, for at least 3 reasons. (1) I've found trail foods that taste very good to me, so I enjoy eating on the trail, rather than just burning bodyfat. (2) 10 lbs lost before the hike benefits me for every day of the hike, while the last lb. lost on a hike benefits me only on the last day or two, when I need the help the least. (3) And weight lost on a hike always seems to come right back on, while I've found that hiking-motivated weight loss stays off for me because I come to experience the ongoing benefits of staying fairly light and I have become pretty disciplined about keeping it off (Thanksgiving thru New Years apparently excepted).

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279


      On Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:
       

      I pork up the last few days before I take off.  I lost 14-17 lbs on each of my full JMT trips from my porked up weight and got down to my lowest weights in years each time.  I think that is where my weight should be.  The question is does one get more calories per unit weight from burning body fat or from food carried on ones back.  If the former that would argue to not loose weight before starting the trip.  Should I carry my calories in my back pack or in my body?  I guess I don’t know the answer.


    • charliepolecat
      I ve just come across the 250 calorie rule, which basically says that you have to consume no less than 250 calories that you burn in a day. If you burn 2,000
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 4, 2012
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        I've just come across the 250 calorie rule, which basically says that you have to consume no less than 250 calories that you burn in a day.

        If you burn 2,000 calories for example, you have to take in no less that 1,750 calories. If you take in less than that the body will go into a 'Oh my God, we're starving' mode and start storing fat.

        The benefits of this is that at the end of the day when you do your sums and find you have consumed less than the 250 calorie difference, you can eat that double fudge chocolate cake with impunity, always assuming that does not take you over the top. :-)
      • Roleigh Martin
        The book Eat-Stop-Eat spends a whole chapter demolishing this belief. You have plenty of excess energy to burn outside of the food
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 4, 2012
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          The book Eat-Stop-Eat spends a whole chapter demolishing this belief.  You have plenty of excess energy to burn outside of the food you eat, including your own body fat and your "amino acid pool" reserves plus various pools of sugar throughout the body.  The starvation response doesn't start until after 2-3 days of fasting.  Mankind would never have been able to evolve if this was true for millions of years humans and their predecessors had to be highly energetic during their hunting (no eating) phase.  There are a multitude of scientific studies quoted by Brad Pilon.

          I suppose if you had close to zero percent body fat the below might be close to true, but for 100% of those reading this post, it's not true.

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          On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM, charliepolecat <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
           

          I've just come across the 250 calorie rule, which basically says that you have to consume no less than 250 calories that you burn in a day.

          If you burn 2,000 calories for example, you have to take in no less that 1,750 calories. If you take in less than that the body will go into a 'Oh my God, we're starving' mode and start storing fat.

          The benefits of this is that at the end of the day when you do your sums and find you have consumed less than the 250 calorie difference, you can eat that double fudge chocolate cake with impunity, always assuming that does not take you over the top. :-)


        • JamesB
          You wouldn t have a reference for this, would you? It makes common sense, but the book Everything is obvious, once you know the answer discusses the
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 5, 2012
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            You wouldn't have a reference for this, would you?


            It makes common sense, but the book "Everything is obvious, once you know the answer" discusses the shortcomings of common sense in depth.

            These kinds rules remind me of some past rules.

            "You MUST drink eight eight ounce glasses of water per day (recently disproven as a mistake in interpretation of basic physiology)."

            "We only use 10 percent of our brain, so we are capable of ever so much improvement. ( I admit that I know people who really do only use less than 10% of their brains.)"






            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
            >
            > I've just come across the 250 calorie rule, which basically says that you have to consume no less than 250 calories that you burn in a day.
            >
            > If you burn 2,000 calories for example, you have to take in no less that 1,750 calories. If you take in less than that the body will go into a 'Oh my God, we're starving' mode and start storing fat.
            >
            > The benefits of this is that at the end of the day when you do your sums and find you have consumed less than the 250 calorie difference, you can eat that double fudge chocolate cake with impunity, always assuming that does not take you over the top. :-)
            >
          • John Ladd
            On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM, charliepolecat
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 5, 2012
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              On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM, charliepolecat <kennethjessett@...> wrote:

              I've just come across the 250 calorie rule, which basically says that you have to consume no less than 250 calories that you burn in a day.

              If you burn 2,000 calories for example, you have to take in no less that 1,750 calories. If you take in less than that the body will go into a 'Oh my God, we're starving' mode and start storing fat.

              I have a related experience. I used to count calories consumed pretty carefully and could judge calories burned by weight changes on a trip. E.g., since a lb of weight change corresponds to a 3500 calorie gap between consumption and expenditure, a 2 lb per week weight loss would suggest that I was burning 1000 calories per day (7000 per week) less than I was eating. 

              This is subjective and not a large sample (n=1), so it's hardly science.  But I did decide, for me at least, that I could tolerate a 500-1000 calorie shortfall in the summer and shoulder season without hunger or other adverse consequences  E.g., I could lose a pound or 2 in a week of backpacking.  But if I had a shortfall in excess of 1000 calories (i.e., weight loss exceeding 2 lbs per week) I found that I tended to feel a bit lethargic, was more easily fatigued, would drag my body into camp and feel too tired to enjoy my food, and feel colder at night. 

              I think this is for the reason charliepolecat suggests - the body starts adapting to the calorie shortfall by over-economizing on it's use of energy in an effort to maintain its weight.  I could still do the basics, but I was paying a price for it.

              Caveat: Winter, I've found, is more challenging and I think I pay an unacceptable price for almost any gap between calories consumed and calories burned. I pack at least 50% more calories in winter than in summer.  I can get by with a lb. per day of food in summer if it is very calorie-intense (I prefer 20 oz.) but in winter it's more like 24-30 oz. per day and even more calorie-intense (more fats).

              John Ladd
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