Calories & Hiker Hunger

I have no idea how many calories I will need to walk all day with the additional weight of a backpack. I could start with what I eat now but that’s tough because I have to confess I get a whole lotta calories every day from beer, wine or the combination of the two. For the most part I will not have access to these nor my other high calorie favorites like Fage yogurt (the very, very best, rich, delicious yogurt!) And I tend to munch – and sometimes binge – on foods into the evening.

I’ve read hiker hunger doesn’t strike until week three but it really depends on body fat; and mine is pretty low. Initially hikers burn fat reserves but once those reserves deplete survival mode kicks in. Survival mode’s voice is “eat more; a lot more” and it reminds you with persistent hunger. I wouldn’t be surprised if I begin to feel hiker hunger within a few days.

I don’t want to push my luck on hunger pain, but one thing I learned from fasting is that hunger does not kill you even though it feels like it will. It passes. It fades in and out throughout the day. What I don’t know is its effects while pushing physical limits all day long.

One woman claims it’s possible to avoid getting into this starvation-like state altogether by consuming 45% or more of food calories in fat and to begin eating a high fat diet first thing in the morning. No skipping breakfast as has become my norm (I try to be in ketosis part of every day, thru 16+ hour fast plus exercise, in order to burn fat). Add in plenty of protein so the body can heal muscles damaged by hours of walking.

Back to calories: I’ve read women burn far fewer calories than men for the same distance and rate of walking. Women are just efficient machines. If my goal is 3000 calories/day then I will need 150 grams of fat and 412 grams carbs/protein. That’s about 1.25 pounds of food per day.

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