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Hiking Tales: Why Hikers Get Fat (And How To Avoid It)

why hikers get fat

Hiking is an amazing way to explore nature, breathe in fresh air, and burn calories. So why do some hikers end up packing on the pounds instead of shedding them? It may seem counterintuitive, but it's a common problem that has several explanations. Well, I'm here to share my thoughts of how to keep your weight in check while hiking.

Here are some reasons hikers might end up getting fat on the trails:

1. Overindulging on trail mix and energy bars:

Just because they're marketed as "healthy" snacks doesn't mean they're low in calories. Many trail mix and energy bar products have surprising amounts of sugar and fat, leading to overeating and weight gain. So, next time you stock up your backpack, make sure you check the nutritional label before loading up your bag with treats.

2. Rewarding yourself with large meals:

After a strenuous hike, it's tempting to reward yourself with a large meal or dessert. While indulging occasionally is fine, making it a habit can have consequences. That heavy meal can slow you down on your subsequent hikes, while too much dessert can lead to a sugar crash that leaves you feeling weak and hungry.

3. Underestimating the calories burned:

It's easy to underestimate the number of calories burned during a hike. Just because you're not sweating as much as you would in a gym doesn't mean you're not burning a significant number of calories. It's important to track your progress and to ensure that you are expending more energy than you are consuming through food.

4. Skipping post-hike snacks:

Skipping post-hike snacks can lead to overeating later on in the day. It's important to replenish your body after a day on the trails, but choose healthy, low-calorie snacks like fruits and nuts.

5. Not hydrating enough:

Dehydration can slow down your metabolism, leading to weight gain. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and consuming electrolyte-rich beverages. Dehydration can also leave you feeling lethargic, making it harder to burn calories.

There are several things you can do to avoid getting fat on the trails. First and foremost, keep an eye on what you eat and drink. Go for healthy, low-calorie snacks and always check the labels before purchasing. Remember that rewards must be in moderation. Be sure to hydrate yourself and don't skip those healthy, low-calorie post-hike snacks. Lastly, track your progress and make sure you are expending more energy than you are consuming. Happy Hiking!

P.S.  If you are ever in SoCal, make sure to check out the 7 Best Hiking Spots in San Diego!

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