Extended Fasting while hunting?

OP
A

AustinL911

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Well, again I don't know how much body fat he has to burn through, but if he has enough, I don't see why it would be a problem. I've done quite a few 72 hour fasts, and after around 36 to 48 hours, I no longer feel any hunger, and I have more energy than ever. But I've not tried it beyond 72 hours. I'd like to see the OP try it. As I said before, maybe bring SOME food, such as canned sardines, just in case. Also as others have said, try doing an extended fast before the hunt. Maybe a few different times, and make sure your body is adapted to it. I certainly wouldn't go on the hunt without ever having experimented with longer fasts beforehand.
This guy gets it. I assure you I won't be trying this untested. If I can survive a 7 day fast in the days leading up to the hunt while doing some daily HIIT and sustained cardio, and not feel like I got ran over by a truck, I might consider doing it for real. If it fails in a controlled environment, I for sure won't be attempting it in an uncontrolled environment.

I mostly wanted to see if anyone has given it a go or even given it a thought. Also, let's not forget that this will be a Spring bear hunt where I'll mostly be sitting behind glass all day. This won't be a run and gun setting. If it works, sweet. If it doesn't, I'll tap into my reserve ration and hike back out. Might even take a tube of glucose gel. IV supplies and a bag of D5 and LR back at the truck.
 

bdan68

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Maybe some people aren't aware of the longest fast on record was a man in Scotland back in 1965 who fasted for 382 days and lost 276 pounds. So, fasting for a week certainly isn't going to kill anyone.
 

bdan68

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This guy gets it. I assure you I won't be trying this untested. If I can survive a 7 day fast in the days leading up to the hunt while doing some daily HIIT and sustained cardio, and not feel like I got ran over by a truck, I might consider doing it for real. If it fails in a controlled environment, I for sure won't be attempting it in an uncontrolled environment.

I mostly wanted to see if anyone has given it a go or even given it a thought. Also, let's not forget that this will be a Spring bear hunt where I'll mostly be sitting behind glass all day. This won't be a run and gun setting. If it works, sweet. If it doesn't, I'll tap into my reserve ration and hike back out. Might even take a tube of glucose gel. IV supplies and a bag of D5 and LR back at the truck.

I support you! I actually want to try it as well. I do know since I changed my way of eating a little over a year ago, I can easily skip a day of eating when I'm hunting with no issue at all. I love it. No need to eat any breakfast in the morning, and no need to worry about bringing food in my pack for the day. If I get back to camp early enough I might have dinner, but if not I don't worry about it.
 

Hoodie

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This guy gets it. I assure you I won't be trying this untested. If I can survive a 7 day fast in the days leading up to the hunt while doing some daily HIIT and sustained cardio, and not feel like I got ran over by a truck, I might consider doing it for real.

If you can do HIIT during a 7 day fast and not feel like shit, then your "HIIT" isn't "HI" enough.

HIIT is all about glycolysis. It uses a metabolic system that essentially relies on glycogen for fuel. Basically what you are doing when you do HIIT is training your body to utilize carbohydrates for fuel faster and better. When you do aerobic work you're training your body to utilize fats for fuel better.

You've got three main energy systems. Creatine-Phosphate, Anaerobic/Glycolysis, and Aerobic. Only one runs well on fats. And the other two can't be made to run well on them regardless of training, adaptation, etc.

All this is to say if you've got to do some serious elevation gain while you're out there, make sure to spend more time picking berries than scavenging fat off organs from carcasses :)
 

Vaultman

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I sense there is some tongue in cheek posting here from OP (@AustinL911 )....

My experience:
I was overweight (technically I defiantly still am). But I've been IF-ing since August of 2021. Started slowly by doing an 16-8 or an 18-6 (depending on how late I ate dinner). I have since been a OMAD (One meal a day) faster. I am not super strict with it, but in the last 5 months there have been maybe 10 times that I have eaten more than OMAD.

I was not on a backpack hunt (as we were at a basecamp every night with the wall tent and truck), but I did a 9 day hunt on OMAD. This was in Oct. 2021. It was easy because there were other people there, and if I felt like I needed to, I could break the fast (but didn't need to). With my recent experience, I would not be shy to do a trial run on a backpack hunt with OMAD.

I have done 72 hr fasts somewhat regularly (probably half a dozen of them) in the last 6 months. I do 48 hr fasts probably every other week. I am working toward considering the same as the OP. But everything will be tested step by step. This long weekend (Presidents Day) I may go backpacking a few nights with the kids. If I do, I will certianly be test fasting for it.

If I draw a spring bear tag (or my son does) I will be weekend warrior-ing it, and will try the IF-ing on those trips as well.

I'll definitely follow up if I end up going through with it.

Please do. I have been curious if anyone has done it, as I have been considering it as well.
 

winnow

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Two things:

Fat adaptation:
It is a process your body gets better at over time. It's not an on or off kind of thing. From what I've seen in the research as well as first hand accounts. You will need about 3 months of a therapeutic ketogenic diet to a achieve suitably fat adapted metabolism.

The myth:
You wont have the carbohydrates you need for hard work
When you're eating keto, and properly fat adapted you WILL have plenty of carbs. When you go into hard work mode and the ketones aren't enough your liver will provide you with the carbs you need to push harder.

Your liver wont be able to build up proper glycogen stores unless you're highly fat adapted ( 3+ months ) of ketogenic dieting. It should be noted however, liver glycogen stores build up slowly without exogenous glucose sources. Manage your work load to preserve liver glycogen for when you really need it.

ps. If you're not fat adapted, or are accustomed to caffeine - you're going to be miserable.
 

Broomd

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I'm a hyper light devotee, and I've done it; it makes for mucho pack space and light carry. It's gambling though for us guys with low BMI...an injury up on the sheep or goat mountain without food can be precarious or worse.
Once the meat is down the feast can commence.
 

NickKreutz

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My dad always tells me not to eat before going hunting for the day, says being hungry makes you a better hunter. He's just yanking my chain, but maybe there's something to it! Lizard brain might kick in and turn ya into a super predator.
 

ledflight

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I have thought about the OP's idea - the longer fasted hunt, but he's taking it pretty far.
I am not a OMAD type but more of a 2 meal a day and generally don't eat until afternoon on work days and have done longer fasts and find like many it increases focus. Pushing the meal longer after a workout really seems to increase the focus, if you keep active. Sit around and I get hangry.
Waiting around for others in the extended fasted state gets VERY hard. I would be afraid waiting out an animal might be tortuous. Or I'd have supreme focus! Can't tell.
For morning hunting I usually do the same - don't eat before, just black coffee, but to be clear, I am whitetail hunting and not in the backcountry.
In the cold, putting some protein and fat in my belly seems to help keep my warm.
If possible, eat small game you could harvest along the hunt?
 

Red Letters

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I’d like to hear more about guys the TS claims are doing 30 day fast and why they swear by them
 

Tenstrike

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ps. If you're not fat adapted, or are accustomed to caffeine - you're going to be miserable.
Can you elaborate on the caffeine part of this? How does caffeine negatively affect a fat adapted person? Thanks.
 

bdan68

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I generally drink several cups of coffee every day, but whenever I go on extended hunting trips away from home I usually don't drink any coffee at all. This could be a week, or up to two weeks at a time. The lack of coffee has no effect whatsoever. But maybe that's just me.
 

winnow

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Can you elaborate on the caffeine part of this? How does caffeine negatively affect a fat adapted person? Thanks.
Your question makes me realize how ambiguous that postscript is.

I should have said,
fasting is easier if you're well fat adapted.
Fasting is also easier if you're not going through caffeine withdrawals.

Bdan68's lack of caffeine withdrawals is quite rare in the general population I'd imagine. I'm assuming the coffee he enjoys several times daily is caffeinated.
 

Backcountrycardio

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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?
It seems like a big risk to try when you are exerting a ton of energy in the mountains, and when an accident could be life threatening. Too easy to take a stumble when you get low on energy. Fasting is a good to do though in general.
 

justin davis

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Fasting is an excellent thing. It’s been proven to have many benefits. With that said I don’t fast on a hunt. I want to hunt the hardest I can and be successful.
 

FLATHEAD

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The only way I've been able to lose any weight is by just not eating.
Generally speaking, I'm down to one meal a day.
Dont think I'd do it during a hunt though.
Need to eat a little sumpin.
 

JDBAK

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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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Hey I resemble that....been heavily animal based/carnivore with zero grains for years, usually go 20-24 hours without eating, and have done a 5 day fast while continuing to exercise. It's possible. Wouldn't recommend it on a serious hunt though.

I can go long periods without food, but perform better with it. On a multi-day hunt in the mountains, it's tough not to lose weight. I'd rather eat while out there it and perform optimally.

Mountain hunts are too high stakes IMO not to be on point. It's great knowing that I can go without food if I have to, but I'd save the serious fasts for at home.
 

Bearwhisky

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You definitely wont die but you will likely have less energy and your hunt will suffer because of this. I would weigh whats more important to you…the chances of success on your hunt, or loosing weight/achieving your mental goal of fasting.


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