Extended Fasting while hunting?

AustinL911

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I'm curious if anyone has ever attempted this?

My fatass has been dabbling with some keto, OMAD, and throwing in some short intermittent fasts recently and it seems to be OK so far. I know some guys that have done some legitimate extended fasts (like, 30+ days) and they swear by it. I've got a Spring bear hunt coming up in early May that I'm trying to get ready for and I'm seriously considering giving extended fasting a go while I'm doing it, just to see how it works out. I'm talking potentially 7-10 days, in the mountains of Wyoming, with nothing but a plentiful water source, a large amount of electrolytes, and my plentiful body fat to keep me going. Plus, it would really cut down on the pack weight.

Anyone have any experience with it? Did you die?
 

Firemedic710

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I don’t do extended fasts while hunting but do only eat one meal a day while out. While not hunting I do 48 hour fasts pretty regularly and have gone as long as 4 days. I definitely wouldn’t do it for the first time while on your hunt. Your gonna lose quite a bit of muscle going that long and being that active.
 

bdan68

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If you have enough body fat I certainly think you'd be fine fasting for the duration of your hunt. You say you have plentiful body fat, so if that's the case, then why not use it for the purpose it's intended for. Makes perfect sense. But again, I just don't know if it would actually be enough. Maybe you should bring some food, at least enough for one big meal right in the middle of your hunt.
 

corylee4870

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Seems like a bad idea. I’ve done a 5 and 9 day fast recently and definitely did not feel like I had the energy for a mountain hunt. I want to enjoy my hunt and fasting would kill my morale.


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fatlander

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I’ve done some short (3-5 day) fasts in the past. I was gassed just walking around during the day. I couldn’t imagine being on a hunt like that.

Man if you’re really overweight, and want to make a serious change make a change. The only thing you’re going to do with a long fast is continue those same shitty habits when you’re finished.

Nothing changes, if nothing changes. Eat right, eat less, and move more. The weight will fall off and you’ll actually keep it off.


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Mtnmilsurp

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I was just reading either Pretorius or Bell (read both recently—can’t remember who said it) and the author observed that his porters who only ate meat and fat could go days without food and water and stayed strong while the grain eaters would fail after a long day without food. I think that was near the end of Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter.


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Zappaman

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I'd agree with some here and NOT stop protein... otherwise if you're not already in "shape" you'll crash hard (and eat the box of snickers on day three ;). I've done it!

But dropping carbs some would be ok I'd think (except beer- oops!) I purposely leave the bread and most carbs at home- no store out there to go to with the midnight munchies ;)

I take about 3 lbs of jerkey... and I eat it! But as some also say... if your out there burning the carbs like hell, that's a good thing! I lose 10-12 lbs on a 5 day elk hunt... every time (whatever I eat). But I feel better keeping the protein up for sure. YMMV.
 
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AustinL911

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Are you going hunting or on some kind of diet retreat?
Retreat. I've got my masseuse meeting me at the top.

Like a lot of us, I'm in whitetail shape. But, when I have a hunt coming up I tend to shed the elbies in the months leading up to it. I can assure you though, that I won't be single digits body fat come mid May when I leave, so I'll still have some reserve.

I'm mostly just curious if anyone has done it and how it worked out.
 

rclouse79

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I felt like I ate pretty well on my last six day bear hunt and was shocked when I stepped on the scale and saw I lost ten pounds. At 6’3 and 200 lbs going in, I didn’t think I would lose that much that fast. I bet you could pack light on food, feel good and still lose a lot of weight.
 

c670809

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Reno, NV
If you haven't done an extended fast, I would encourage you to do that first while not hunting. I've fasted for 7 days and while I did fine, I would not want to hunt hard. Your mileage may vary.
 

bdan68

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Washington
So you say you're doing Keto and intermittent fasting, so that's a good start. Is this bear hunt a backpack type of hunt? Or will you be camping close to your vehicle? Just wondering. If you're fat adapted so that your body is used to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs, I think you'll be fine. Maybe have some canned sardines and/or salmon along, and some hard boiled eggs. That's pretty much what I eat when I'm camping out and hunting for a week or more, if I don't want to deal with cooking and washing dishes.
 

cod007

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Over the last 5-6 yrs I’ve done 2 hunts where I ate almost nothing. One was a 4 day moose hunt, the other a 5 day mt. Caribou hunt. I carry a small zip lock bag of trail mix and sometimes bring a jar of my canned salmon or something and will occasionally throw a handful of the trail mix down if I get hungry. I would be happy to lose 20-25 pounds but still get around ok. Funny thing is... on both of these hunts I’m thinking of, I didn’t have a bowel movement on either one of them. Didn’t make a difference or be a problem to me either. As soon as I got home I had the normal urge to go, and did. Don’t know why it worked out like that, but it did. I’m sure I lost a few pounds on the trips but nothing that was obvious, at least to me.
When I’m camping/hunting in the field my focus seems to be just doing hunting stuff. Eating rarely crosses my mind.
 
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AustinL911

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If you haven't done an extended fast, I would encourage you to do that first while not hunting. I've fasted for 7 days and while I did fine, I would not want to hunt hard. Your mileage may vary.
In the past, I've done up to 72 hr (on several occasions) and felt ok. If I commit to trying this, I will definitely be working my way into it. I'm not bold enough to use my hunting trip as my first trial run.
So you say you're doing Keto and intermittent fasting, so that's a good start. Is this bear hunt a backpack type of hunt? Or will you be camping close to your vehicle? Just wondering. If you're fat adapted so that your body is used to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs, I think you'll be fine. Maybe have some canned sardines and/or salmon along, and some hard boiled eggs. That's pretty much what I eat when I'm camping out and hunting for a week or more, if I don't want to deal with cooking and washing dishes.
I've read about the fat adapted thing and it sounds legit. I don't believe I've ever reached it though. In my mind, that sounds like the way to go. Get my body used to using fat as a fuel, get it used to fasting, get it used to doing both under exertion, then hopefully it would make for an easy transition.

I do like the idea of taking along some sardines though as an emergency ration in case it doesn't work out as expected. I don't know why I haven't considered them before on previous hunts but I do love me some sardines.
 

Hall17

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Feb 14, 2022
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I have found fasting very effective however I would never fast during an exhausting hunt. You need the calories during those hunts for energy, brain function, etc.
 

justinspicher

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There are plenty of folks who do forced fasting during military training and they are carrying and doing more than any of us would most likely do on a hunt. Courses like the US Army Ranger course, SERE, and most selection courses run this model you are looking at, but with the choice of food being an MRE…..


Take that for what its worth, lots of opinions out there. I say go for it and figure out whats best for you.
 

bdan68

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A person can get all the calories needed just from body fat. That's the whole purpose of having fat stored on our bodies.
 

Vandy321

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Feb 5, 2019
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If IF is a lifestyle you're adopted to before the hunt, no reason not to keep it up. I wouldn't try something new starting 8 days in the woods.

Andrew Huberman (stanford) has a ton of podcasts about studies on IF, very fascinating to listen to someone like that speak to his observations/conclusions vs the bro science on the internet.
 

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