Dieting for Mountain Training and weight loss

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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Michigan
I am 70 and hunted last year without any problems at all at 10,000. In 2005 after I had a heart attack my cardiologist gave me very simple advice that I still follow and has held up over time.

Eat balanced single helping meals. Solid carbs in morning, tons of fruit, whole grain bread at lunch, minimize processed food, lean meat vegetables at night. Nothing after 6:30PM except for water. One thing that is easily overlooked is weigh yourself every morning before eating. Doc believed this little task sets your mindset for the day for motivation and provide mental reward as you drop weight. It worked for me.

I was walking 9-11 miles every other day prior to hunt. Hydrate well during any exercise. Get to altitude at least 3 days prior to hunt to allow full acclimation before you actually on are the hunt clock. I know its hard to add in extra altitude time prep but your hunt will go much smoother if you can.

Sometimes we can over think a simple solution like we all know what is healthy to eat; just need the mental fortitude and motivation to change your health life style. Hey, still get DQ Blizzard once in a great while as reward treat. Now that is good for mental health too!
 
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highdrum

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Nov 30, 2008
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Montana
Diet is certainly very important, but also do not forget about special supplements, because it is very difficult to lose weight on your own. I weighed about 120 kilograms two months ago and I was able to lose only 20 kilograms on my own, and in order to lose weight further I had to use supplements and I’m even glad that I learned about SARMs. This is a really cool supplement that allows you to lose weight very quickly. I have been using it for two months and I was just happy that I was finally able to lose weight and change my body. If I hadn't read the review on stoneathleticmedicine.com, I would never have dared to use this supplement!
Losing weight isnt hard it just takes discipline. Removing processed carbs/sugar, fast and rest stop food, and adding a gallon of water a day to your diet, gurantee you'll drop weight. Using supplements like sarms(not clinically tested/fda approved) only available as research chemicals, they're not for everyone. Get bloodwork done. If you're dieting and exercising without weight loss, chances are your t3/t4 levels are low and your metabolism is down regulated big time. Doctors/Endos can help with that. I have coached several stage athletes, some natural some assisted. Dieting slowly and knowing your accurate daily calorie expenditure, and tapering it down slowly till you get to where you want to be. Too fast a cut and weight loss stalls and your metabolism slows down. There's a lot of science into this, but the info is all out there if you know where to look.
 

cbrown1789

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Dec 16, 2020
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Waco
Obviously everyone is different but for me I keep my portions smaller, try to avoid junk food and replace it with fruits and veggies. Cardio twice a week and weights twice a week works well for me. Getting acclimated to higher altitude usually takes me a day and a half and I have to drink a lot of water up there
 

dm406

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Jan 3, 2019
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47
Location
plainville ks
Those of you who are serious about exercise and fitness help me out here. I need a reason to change my diet and preparing for a high country elk hunt seems like a good reason.
I’m about 25 lbs over weight and I’m getting close to 40. I’m planning on hunting elk in western WY this year, pending a tag, I hate waiting on the draw results... Anyway I suppose it would be a good idea to start getting in shape and preparing physically for the hunt. I started last week rowing and walking on the stair climber with a 30lb pack. It’s not the same as rucking in the mountains but it’s as close as I can get during lunch break, so It will have to do for now. When it warms up I’ll go outside and climb the hills near my house.
I have never been good at eating healthy. I have always compensated for my over eating by exercising more. However at this point in my life o don’t have time for that and it takes hours to work off what it takes seconds to eat.
What do those of you who eat healthy do to stay on track when no one else around you eats right?
First off you can not out exercise a bad diet, the easy place to start cleaning up your diet is to reed the ingredient label and try and cut as much refined sugar as possible. As you ween yourself away from the refined sugars the the ponds will just peel off. A lot of things that prescient themselves as healthy really aren't like nature valley granola bars. Good luck as stay healthy!!
 

ktaboga

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Oct 1, 2014
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4
Location
Laramie, Wyoming
Those of you who are serious about exercise and fitness help me out here. I need a reason to change my diet and preparing for a high country elk hunt seems like a good reason.
I’m about 25 lbs over weight and I’m getting close to 40. I’m planning on hunting elk in western WY this year, pending a tag, I hate waiting on the draw results... Anyway I suppose it would be a good idea to start getting in shape and preparing physically for the hunt. I started last week rowing and walking on the stair climber with a 30lb pack. It’s not the same as rucking in the mountains but it’s as close as I can get during lunch break, so It will have to do for now. When it warms up I’ll go outside and climb the hills near my house.
I have never been good at eating healthy. I have always compensated for my over eating by exercising more. However at this point in my life o don’t have time for that and it takes hours to work off what it takes seconds to eat.
What do those of you who eat healthy do to stay on track when no one else around you eats right?
What works for me is a steady diet of meat (mostly game), leafy greens, and smoothies with protein isolate. It takes about 3 weeks to settle in to that but you will find that after that you will be less hungry through most of the day. If you continue to work out the weight should come off; shoot to lose 1# per week.
Lots of information can be found on the keto channels on YouTube, but watch with a critical eye and approach this gradually.

A little weightlifting or body weight work will help also. Nothing too heavy: bench press or pushups, squats or bench step-ups, deadlifts or farmer walks, and chin-ups if you can do them. Just shoot for these a couple times a week with loads/reps that you are comfortable with.

This will work for most hunters, especially younger guys like you. Kudos to you for starting early. Also, don't forget your trekking poles.
 

mnoland30

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Dec 24, 2010
Messages
237
I'm 67, and I still hunt elk in the wilderness. I worked for the Forest Service, and after a deadly fire, they decided to come up with a new fitness test. Carry 45 lbs 3miles in 45 minutes without running. I couldn't walk that fast without a pack, and I was in my 40's then. I found I had to take short fast steps to get there. I had been a jogger for years prior to that, but once I started doing the pack test, I found hiking the hills and backpacking to be much easier. My calves didn't burn anymore when going up hills. I hurt with a former Marine who is 20 years younger than me. He could finally beat me up a hill when he started running triathlons. I read a book "Fit or Fat" about 30 years ago. It said the best way to burn calories was more than 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at a pace that you can keep up for an hour. It also said that exercise in the morning increases your metabolism for 8 hours. Works for me, although I don't do it in 45 minutes anymore.
 

Timnterra

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Oct 18, 2012
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Rapid City SD
A little update, I did the “whole30” diet for January it’s basically paleo diet with a few more restrictions. I lost 10 lbs with no exercise. At the end of January I started weight lifting following the BLS method. I just finished 8 weeks and phase one of that work out. I haven’t done any cardio yet other than walking a little to warm up before lifting. I’m supposed to take this coming week off from lifting so I’m planning to ruck at the time I would have been lifting. I like the sound of the 3 mile pack test I think I’ll start working on that. I’m going to guess I’ll be somewhere around 18 minute miles to start off.
 

LRNut

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Dec 4, 2004
Messages
274
Location
Arizona/Colorado
I am 61; be 62 in three months. I run four miles every other day. Eat mostly game. Drink too much alcohol but cutting back. No fast food whatsoever. I don't find altitude bothers me that much, but doing ok at high altitude is often physiological; has nothing to do with being in shape. Ms LRNut and I used to climb mountains (still do in CO); I always did better than her even though she can kick my butt on a bicycle.

I would say riding a bike, especially up hills, is probably the best training you can do for mountain hunts; it strengthens your legs and is a good cardio workout. I think running is second best. Walking over flat ground is better than nothing, but not much unless you have a hard time walking 10 miles over flat ground. Hiking up hills is really good, but you have to have the hills. Altitudes above 8K are going to cause you to have to breathe hard, so if you are not stressing you lungs now, you will probably pay for it latter.

One thing I do every night is step on the scale. My weight typically goes from 149-153. I eat and exercise based on what the scale says.

On interesting note: my wife used to do a bicycle race in Durango CO over a mountain pass to Silverton. I met one guy who did it on a unicycle. I said, "Wow, that must have been hard." He replied that the hardest part was actually going downhill because your legs are your brakes. I suppose that would be great training!
 

Revolting Peasant

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May 10, 2017
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217
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Matagorda, Texas
I am in my late 50’s. Not really overweight just a few pounds that stack on. A couple years ago I got remarried. I showed my new bride 2 freezers full of game meat and said show me something besides fried backstrap, sausage, and burger. The garden was producing at the same springtime so we had fresh veggies. We went about 90 days eating mostly game, seafood, and the occasional chicken with at least two fresh veggies most meals. Wonderful meals seldom repeated. New recipes constantly as she explored her way through nature‘s bounty. No big changes and I ate like a pig. We did cut out sodas and cut back on bread for some reason. I lost 20 pounds in 90 days.

Then she decided to take her baking skills to the next level..... Now she is contemplating learning sourdough.
Pure evil.
 

Montana'eer

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Mar 3, 2020
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Montana
When I was about to turn 50 I started to develop the 'German Goiter' around the middle. I'm a fairly robust guy- I was in top shape in the Army, 32" waist, maxed out my PT and I was STILL overweight according to the charts... Any way my weight crept up to 230-240 and I had enough.

1. I quit drinking all alcohol.
2. I started a well balanced and predictable diet. I'm not a proponent for cutting out anything but alcohol (truly empty calories).

-Breakfast- Usually a piece of wheat or sourdough toast, 1 TBS of peanut butter, 1/4 cup of some homemade granola and a banana sliced on top. If it wasn't that it was toast with homemade scrapple on top with a banana on the side. Oh and coffee.

-Mid morning was some fresh fruit. Grapes, apple, orange- whatever.

-Lunch- A big heaping bowl of baby spinach, assorted chopped veggies and some form of protein. Usually 2-3 ozs of venison bologna or tunafish, or chicken or even steak strips. Dressing was Italian or vinegar and oil (olive). Again fruit or a yogurt for lunch.

-Mid afternoon snack- almonds.

-Dinner- whatever is on the menu at home- JUST NORMAL SERVINGS NO SECONDS. Meat and potatoes, rice and stir-fry it just didn't matter.

3. Water- lots of water. Occasionally 2% milk for cravings sake.

4. I hiked. A lot. What I did do was hike the hills behind my house every day. 4-5 miles with anywhere between 450-800 ft elevation gain. As I lost 10lbs, I added 10lbs to my pack. When I lost 15- I added 15 and so forth. Once every few weeks I did a big hike of at least 10-15 miles in the mountains around me.

5. I did morning PT for 15 minutes, push-ups, sit-ups, crunches and every few days I'd do some dumbbells for good measure.

In 8 months I dropped to 185lbs, which was great for my body style. I kept that weight for a long while. Until COVID hit. My job kept me completely tethered to my home office 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day. I slid backwards and as of March 1 I'm back on my old routine. I've already dropped 6lbs.
 

lejuch

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Mar 1, 2016
Messages
88
Location
Texas
Read “Good Carbs, Bad Carbs”. A compilation of diet studies from the past 200 years. Cliff notes? Sugar and it’s common derivatives are as deadly to our body as smoking! Meat, nuts, berries and green veggies are what our body is designed for. What you eat is roughly 90% of proper weight control. Exercise and calorie burning has positive impacts for our body but is NOT a long term weight loss plan. Eat right, hydrate often, moderate exercise is your huckleberry. Good luck!
 
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7mm08Aussie

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Mar 29, 2021
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Australia
Hi, I'm a hunter and sports and exercise scientist in Australia so I think I may be able to help out with this question.

The bottom line with fat loss is that your body is like a car that is fuelled with food, if you consume to much fuel (calories from food) and don't drive enough (exercise) your going to store the fuel as excess body fat.

To in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit meaning your body is burning more fuel than it is consuming. This can be induced in a number of ways either by exercising more, eating less or a combination of both which is what I would recommend.

Diet
The key to a good diet is a one that is made up of whole foods and is not missing any of the key macro nutrients (protein, carbs, fats) and in the right amount. If you can cut out all the processed and high sugar foods as these will be very high in calories (a lot of fuel) , salt ( make you hold more water) and chemicals (just not good for your overall health), if your a sucker for that sort of stuff like me then just keep it to once per week.

In terms of good foods to eat:

Protein sources: Should be lean meats such as chicken, fish, venison, beef, bison, turkey.
Carb sources: Should be generally complex carbohydrates such as beans, rice, potatoes, quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes
Fat sources: Should be unsaturated fat sources such as avocados, fatty fish, eggs and greek yoghurt.

- Also stay well hydrated and consume at least 2.8 liters of water per day. Hydrate well during and after training sessions.

Some general tips.
- Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day it will stop you from completely stuffing yourself.
- Often when you are eating less food you will be hungry just because your stomach is used to consuming larger amounts of food, this can be combated by eating large salads which are low in overall calories (energy) but take up a lot of room in your stomach, they are often pack full of micro nutrients as-well.
- Every meal should include a protein source and a carb source and a small amount of fat, this could simply be the oil you cook in. Every meal should include some vegetables aswell.
- Avoid cutting out whole food groups such as carbs, yes you will lose weight quickly but if your going to lose weight and keep if off its got to be looked at as a change in eating habits, not just a short term diet.
- finally if you fall off the horse don't throw it all away its easy to get disheartened but think about what getting in shape will do for your hunting and your overall lifestyle.


Exercise
For weight-loss your goal should be to complete longer duration, moderate intensity exercise at least 3 times per week, as this will burn more calories and help you lose more weight than short duration, vigorous intensity exercise.

in terms of the format just find something your like whether it be running, long walks, the stair-master, rowing, swimming all of them will work as long as you work hard and be consistent it will work for you. When doing the exercise as a general rule you should find it difficult to hold a conversation with anyone because of your effort.

Also don't neglect weight training, by building more muscle your body will automatically use more calories as a body with more muscle will have a higher resting metabolic rate than the equivalent weight body that has a higher fat percentage.

Some general tips

-
With both the fitness and weightlifting start small and work your way up to harder more intense training.
- With your weightlifting let your form dictate how much weight you use not the other way round.

Sorry for the long rant but its just something that I am passionate about and love to see people get to their fitness goals, I hope this helps and goodluck with hunt.

Cheers
Sean
 

bowstryder

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Nov 28, 2011
Messages
131
Location
Grottoes, Va
I'm 41 and lost over 20lbs in less than 3.5 months of straight fat by going super low carb and no sugar. Alcohol had no effect either way. I started with weight training then after I got to where I wanted to be added carbs back in to a moderate degree and added 4 days of cardio. I havent gained any fat back but am in great shape.
"The hardest lift is lifting your *** off the couch....."
For the record I've always been lean on build. So when I lost weight I went down to 158 from 183. All the protein in the world wouldn't make me "big" but I am stronger now than I've ever been.
I also try and stay away from the heavy lifts that destroy knees and lower back. But exercise the hell out of them.
And can ruck up a mountain without breaking a sweat..... (so to speak). Stay after it and get it done!
 

older guy

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Dec 15, 2018
Messages
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Location
Zumbrota, Mn.
HI Guys, I have been around a long time, did lots of hunting. Every year it gets harder to stay in shape. I workout all year around but I feel the difference as I get older. My hunting helps me stay healthy, I wouldn't workout if I couldn't hunt. I have 2 elk hunts, mule deer and antelope this year plus whitetail at home. I have a elk, mule deer, and antelope for 2022. I will be 80 by my next hunt so hang in there. Keep getting ready for next year. Lew
 

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