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  1. #1
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    Default Interesting weight loss/gain observation

    Finished my thru-hike last week and I wanted to share an odd fact that two of my other female hiking friends and I observed throughout the journey.

    The three of us met in the Smokies, and I hiked about 1000 miles with one of them and 300 or so with the other. The last time we all overlapped, which was in Stratton, Maine, we noticed that all three of us weighed almost exactly the same amount, from 148 to 150lbs. We're all about the same height, around 5'8", the two of them perhaps an inch taller.

    The surprising thing is that we started the trail at 185, 160, and 135. Three totally different builds to begin with (and still different in terms of how we carry the weight) but we converged to almost a single number.

    I knew beforehand that I was unlikely to experience the weight just falling off the same way most male hikers do, but I found it interesting to note the way these friends and I started out so different and ended so similar. I was a little frustrated with my body at first for not slimming down (I was 160 to start, and I lost about 5 pounds in the first month and then stayed the same for 1200 miles until New England terrain and illness stripped off a few more pounds) but at the end, when I learned that I shared the same dimensions with these strong and beautiful friends of mine, I appreciated those small but hard-won changes a lot more!

    Now, to keep it off! (Any advice on that front would be much appreciated!)
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  2. #2
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    a hike of that length will let your body show you what your ideal weight is - happened it was the same for the 3

  3. #3
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    The only way you are going to keep it off is to eat a lot less calories. Women tend to keep weight, mostly fat, because they don't have the metabolism men do. They are designed by nature to survive. Fat stores insure the survival in lean times, where men would die off in droves. We are designed by nature to die off, sad to say.

  4. #4
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Keep it off? Easy.
    CDT
    PCT
    Have fun!
    Wayne

  5. #5

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    First off congrats on the finishing.
    Congrats on making friends on the trail.

    Just try to stay active and walk a lot.

  6. #6

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    The answer is as simple as eliminating sugar and carbohydrates from your diet.I have lost and kept off 55 pounds since 2009 and my wife is down over 40 pounds and weighs less than when we married in 1977.We had fish and vegetables for dinner tonight which is our standard fare.No dessert.No junk food.If the food does not come in its own natural skin then chances are sugar has been added to it.And avoid all artificial sweeteners.See Dr Robert Lustig's "Sugar the Bitter Truth" on You Tube.

  7. #7

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    Five Tango is correct. It's not about calories (entirely). It's about hormone regulation, and insulin is regulated by carb intake. Eliminate sugar and processed foods and your health will improve an you weight may reduce. Typical hiker food (pop tarts and pizza) is deadly, especially once you stop hiking. Going back to a more ancestral approach will make your body happier.

  8. #8

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    Jogging is the best way to be in shape

  9. #9

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    Swimming is best way to be in shape.

  10. #10
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    Thoughts on losing weight before hitting the trail?

  11. #11
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickStanley View Post
    Jogging is the best way to be in shape
    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    Swimming is best way to be in shape.
    I would add tennis to that list. If you're not into running or swimming or just want something else in the way of an activity, I've rarely seen tennis players who play regularly (two to three times per week) being out of shape. If you have public courts available, it's not too expensive either and it's a good social activity as well that only takes a couple hours. The cost of a decent racket and shoes is the biggest expense. You could get started for under $200 with decent stuff. There are clubs in many areas, and/or you can just meet other players around local courts or through meetup.com or craigslist.

  12. #12
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    My advice: The relationship between weight and shape is not going to be super helpful -- witness your three different body types all weighing about the same. As you walk, or play tennis, or swim or whatever you not only burn calories (and thus perhaps lose weight, depending on how much you eat), but you also build muscle. In general, you are "recompositioning" into a leaner and more muscular body type. Here's the catch: muscle is heavy. Likely, you were getting much leaner that whole time you saw no numeric weight loss, and looking better for it. So beware the scale, it's a big fat liar.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zalman View Post
    My advice: The relationship between weight and shape is not going to be super helpful -- witness your three different body types all weighing about the same. As you walk, or play tennis, or swim or whatever you not only burn calories (and thus perhaps lose weight, depending on how much you eat), but you also build muscle. In general, you are "recompositioning" into a leaner and more muscular body type. Here's the catch: muscle is heavy. Likely, you were getting much leaner that whole time you saw no numeric weight loss, and looking better for it. So beware the scale, it's a big fat liar.
    Thatís what I experienced over a 45-day thru hike of the Bruce Trail here in Ontario. I lost weight for the first two weeks. Then I sorted out how much I needed to eat. I maintained the same weight the rest of the hike. I kept loosing fat but built muscle in my legs. My pants were falling off my waist, my legs were denser and stronger, my feet nearly two sizes larger (and equally smellier Ö), and my shirt was several sizes too large.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Hmmm, I have another problem - how to gain weight?

  15. #15

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    start drinking Mudslides


    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia_T View Post
    Hmmm, I have another problem - how to gain weight?
    Let me go

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia_T View Post
    Hmmm, I have another problem - how to gain weight?
    Protein! In drinkable form is easiest to get enough to promote weight gain, but beware gross ingredients and ultra-high sugar content in pre-mixed protein drinks. Some good plain whey powder mixed with whole milk and your favorite healthy flavoring will put the pounds on.

  17. #17

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    FWIW,I lost my 55 pounds (26% of my total body weight) and maintain it strictly by food choices and sugar avoidance;not exercise.When I do go on a short hiking trip,usually three days or less,my weight will actually increase because I am eating "hiker fun foods" that include junk food snacks,instant potatoes,rice,pop-tarts,biscuits with syrup,you get the idea..................

  18. #18
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    In the first two months or so after my hike I gained about 5 pounds back, but I ate pretty healthy and worked out a lot while in Malaysia and now, 5 months after finishing the trail, I'm exactly the same as when I finished. So that's good I guess, especially since regular cross-training and rock climbing have actually restored muscle definition to my arms, which was basically gone by the end of the hike. Just relocated to northwest New Hampshire and it will be tricky to keep up my exercise and healthy eating while it's still winter. I'm vulnerable to inactivity and eating my feelings when it's cold and gloomy outside. But I just ordered my very first microspikes and signed up to take regular horseback riding lessons, and I am debating joining a nearby crossfit gym at least for two months until I can jog or hike outside every day. For the move, I purged my closet at home of all the clothes that were too big for me now, so there's no going back! Haha.

    @Tacoz, I walked 2-3 miles on a treadmill 4x a week, did yoga 2x a week, swam 1x a week, and did 1 longer (5-10 mile) outdoor hike with pack per week for the 3 months leading up to my thru-hike. I only lost about 3 pounds during that time, but I think the fitness definitely helped me out at the beginning of my thru-hike. I experienced very little soreness in my first few weeks on trail. The hiker hobble didn't really kick in until I started doing 15+ miles per day regularly. Regardless of your weight, if you're already accustomed to a lot of walking (with pack) before your hike, you'll be better off!
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  19. #19
    Registered User Erinswan's Avatar
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    It's hard to keep the weight off after not walking a marathon everyday. Staying active will help.

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