Should I fatten up before a 10 day sheep hunt?

Molon Labe

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I am going on a 11 day DIY sheep hunt with a partner this year in august.
I am 6'0" 160lbs with not much body fat and pretty decent shape.
Trying to not add any mass on this summer through my training program.
Spent my entire adult life within the 158-163lb range.

For the hunt I am going to be averaging 125 cal/oz for food with 140-150gr of protein a day.
The plan is to intake 4000 cal/day on the hunt but will be burning 7000-8500 cal/day based on estimates.
The diet I have dialed in and can't really add any calories since I am at 22lbs for food already.
This puts me at a 3000cal/day deficit. Which would equate to roughly a .6-1lb drop in body weight a day.
I don't think it would be very smart/healthy at all to lose 8lbs of body weight on this hunt with my frame.

So my question to you guys that know a ton more about nutrition and how the human body works...
Should I be adding on 5-6lbs of body "fat/weight" the week or so before going on this hunt?

And follow up question would be...if I should be doing that...how do I do it? What can I eat to put fat on but still be food that is healthy for me? I can't handle the fast food very well at this point...so "eat mcdonalds for a week all day" is not what I am looking for haha!

I have not done much research on this because it is way too overwhelming on the internet researching that sort of thing. Felt like the rokslide group has more knowledge in the room on this and more practically applied to my hunt/situation.
 

Eagle

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Without knowing any details regarding your training and current diet, I'll say that it certainly sounds like you have an impressive metabolism. I'm 6' as well, and the only time in my life, outside of HS, that I've been able to maintain 160 was when I was running 12 miles a day training for an ultra.

That said, trying to eat 4,000 cals a day while sheep hunting could prove very difficult. One of the main problems with trying to replenish what you lose while hiking/hunting is that altitude and exertion often times really suppress appetite until around day 5, when you suddenly feel like you could eat the world. So carry that food weight if you like, but realize that you may not be able to force it down for the first few days before your body adjusts.

All that said, so long as you go into the hunt with something in the neighborhood of 8-10% bodyfat, you should be ok to go. If you went into a hunt like this with your BF% any lower, then you'd be asking for becoming sick, injured, or incredibly lethargic early on.
 

Ftguides

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Dear Hank Rearden, great signature line...

I'm not a nutrition expert, but your weight specs are almost identical to mine. here is what I have found from trial/error.

I use to come out of hunting season (70 days for me) looking like death with substantial muscle loss and quicker to tire in late season, down around 140lbs. Now I try to gain 15-20lbs before aug 15th, getting to 170-175lbs. I come out retaining muscle mass (be in minimal in the first place!), and down about 155. Main advantage is I don't get near as tired in the late season.

The most difficult part of this is gaining the weight in summer while maintaining cardio that I need for the season. I would guess you will have this same issue, given you body type. I don't put it on quickly like you suggest. Instead, I try to eat 2-3 pieces of wheat toast with an abundant amount of grassfed butter on them for a solid 40 days. It's the only way I can get the calories. I assume you could do the same with other healthy fats.

I literally cram food down my throat in hunting camp, otherwise I would lose even more weight. Keep this in mind on your trip, just eat, eat, eat. I think your 8lb estimate of loss is likely an underestimate if you are a hard gainer in rugged and high country.

hope that helps, and good luck on your trip!
 
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Molon Labe

Molon Labe

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That said, trying to eat 4,000 cals a day while sheep hunting could prove very difficult. One of the main problems with trying to replenish what you lose while hiking/hunting is that altitude and exertion often times really suppress appetite until around day 5, when you suddenly feel like you could eat the world. So carry that food weight if you like, but realize that you may not be able to force it down for the first few days before your body adjusts.

I average 2700-2900 and work a desk job. Last few months I am a bit more active with training and cardio and take in 3600-4K/day. I've never been able to gain weight being an ectomorph with high metabolism. So this has me very worried for this hunt. Is there some sort of appetite stimulator that is natural that I could take when I'm out there? When I am chasing elk in the mountains I seem to eat pretty good but just snack all day long and two big meals. But this hunt is going to be more vertical gains with heavier packs.

I use to come out of hunting season (70 days for me) looking like death with substantial muscle loss and quicker to tire in late season, down around 140lbs. Now I try to gain 15-20lbs before aug 15th, getting to 170-175lbs. I come out retaining muscle mass (be in minimal in the first place!), and down about 155. Main advantage is I don't get near as tired in the late season.

That's my issue for this hunt. When we come out I am headed in for another 10 days on a solo caribou hunt after a 1-2 day break. I don't want to be busted down to a skeleton and not be able to give my caribou tag 100%. You are giving me hope though since you hunt for 70 days in a row and don't die...then it is possible :) The weight you put on before season...is that just fat or muscle mass?
 

Kevin Dill

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I've heard it said: It can be just as difficult for a fit person to intentionally gain weight as it is for an overweight person to lose weight. In both cases the person is going completely against their body and brain chemistries. The only way forward comes with effort and likely some degree of discomfort. It might sound good to some, but being tasked with adding ten pounds of intentional fat (to burn later) can be likened to eating an extra loaded hot dog or plate of pancakes when your gut says "NO".

I think I would personally be inclined to develop a plan for deliberate weight gain in the form of fat reserves. Calculate the extra intake required to make it happen. Plan to eat things you can enjoy or at least tolerate....with greater frequency. I would not be worried about adding the fat knowing it will assuredly get metabolized on the hunt. Squeak in as many high-cal / low-volume snacks as possible for the hunt. Suffer as much extra weight as possible. You may also want to develop a hunt plan which doesn't consume or waste your body's reserves unnecessarily through speculative climbing and big miles.
 

Mike7

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Those seem like some good suggestions, but I would also look back at your food and see if there aren't some places that you can add calories/protein while dropping weight with items that can be 150 to 300 calories per ounce (e.g. oil of your choice like olive oil, sunflower butter, dark chocolate, protein powder, etc.)
 

Ftguides

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That's my issue for this hunt. When we come out I am headed in for another 10 days on a solo caribou hunt after a 1-2 day break. I don't want to be busted down to a skeleton and not be able to give my caribou tag 100%. You are giving me hope though since you hunt for 70 days in a row and don't die...then it is possible :) The weight you put on before season...is that just fat or muscle mass?

I've never been scientific about it, using a little fat pincher, etc... but I do get stronger so it must be some of both.

The other tip I'll give you on those types of trips is don't sacrifice good sleep. This may mean a heavier sleeping pad, etc... Anybody can get through 3-5 days with subpar sleep, but when you start talking the length you are talking, sleep deprivation can have dramatic affects on energy, willpower, and sanity. many a guide has contemplated throwing horse shit at a client after ten days of no sleep. some have done it.

good luck man, sounds like fun season ahead of you
 
OP
Molon Labe

Molon Labe

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Thanks for the advice guys. I am struggling to get to the 125 cal/oz.
I will post a sample daily meal plan I have figured out so far...let me know what you think
 

Daniel_M

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6ft and 160 is fairly thin. I'd go for muscle mass over fat any day, specially if you're lugging it into the field. Lord knows I don't even wanna haul the fat I have into the mountains let alone add on more just to burn it. It can effect your efficiency in the field. Historically I drop 15-25# on a high exertion hunt, you simply can't eat enough calories in the day to overcome that with a healthy balance so strive for high calorie, high fat content meals. Me personally I'm holding on to that last 8-10% I wanna to get rid of, and plan to see it burn off in the hills.

My recommendation, Calculate your caloric needs, eat at maintenance (calories to maintain your current weight) and run a workout program suited for what you're future will hold.
 
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Molon Labe

Molon Labe

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So this is a daily meal plan broken down in the order that I plan on consuming...
Total weight 34.8oz 4023 calories 182gr protein 167gr fat total cal/oz: 116

Food Calories Protein Fat Cal/oz
4oz dried fruit 404 2gr 3gr 102
4oz dried salmon 328 28 5 82
3oz cashews 471 15 36 157
snickers bar 1.5oz 215 3 11 138
3.5oz tortillas 238 7 1 66
2.3oz almond butter 392 14 36 171
2.4oz clif bar 240 12 5 100
4oz dehydrated venison 300 54 4 150
1oz sesame oil 240 0 14 240
2oz flaming hot Cheetos 320 2 22 160
4.8oz MtnHouse chilimac 575 30 18 121
.5 oz olive oil 110 0 6 220
1.8oz mint protein bar 190 15 6 103

Can't figure out how to get the columns to line up...wish I could just copy paste from excel...
anyway this is just day one and this day is a bit high on protein.
 

RyanC

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I am not sure gaining weight right before your sheep hunt is the right thing to do. You have been training at a certain body weight all year and have likely gained strength, endurance, and stamina in the process. If you gain 10 pounds right before you head to the mountains you are going to feel sluggish. There are plenty of "weight gainer" supplements out there that can give you extra calories now while you are still months out from the hunt, so if you want to be a little heavier start now....but I'm not sure you will benefit from it?

I am interested in seeing your meal plan for the hunt as I have a few meal plans I can share with you that will get you over 130cal/oz. Focus on foods that are high in Fat to increase your cal/oz.

Ryan
 

Daniel_M

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Couple suggestions for the food list, look into an alternative to Mtn House. I personally will be using Heathers Choice this fall, the calories and macros are killer.

Also Nature Valley Biscuits (Blueberry and Almost butter are tasty), Daves Killer whole grain cinnamon raisin bagels and almonds are all super high fat to oz. All of which are a normal part of my daily diet.
 
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Molon Labe

Molon Labe

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Couple suggestions for the food list, look into an alternative to Mtn House. I personally will be using Heathers Choice this fall, the calories and macros are killer.

Also Nature Valley Biscuits (Blueberry and Almost butter are tasty), Daves Killer whole grain cinnamon raisin bagels and almonds are all super high fat to oz. All of which are a normal part of my daily diet.

Thanks! Yeah I love Daves. I will look into the biscuits...sounds good. The mountain house needs to stay for me...eating chili mac on hunts is just good memories. Same with the flaming hot Cheetos. I also dehydrate my own meals before hunts. They are typically lower on cal/oz so I plan on using them on low calorie burning days.
4 of the days have a couple extra dehydrated meals...for rainy days or cold days in bivy.
 

Daniel_M

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Thanks! Yeah I love Daves. I will look into the biscuits...sounds good. The mountain house needs to stay for me...eating chili mac on hunts is just good memories. Same with the flaming hot Cheetos. I also dehydrate my own meals before hunts. They are typically lower on cal/oz so I plan on using them on low calorie burning days.
4 of the days have a couple extra dehydrated meals...for rainy days or cold days in bivy.

I hear you. I'm down to the Beef Stro and Biscuits n Gravy, but I'm gonna switch it up this fall. Plan you meals the same, regardless of your expected output. Remember the food you eat today, is partially going towards tomorrow.
 

larryschwartz

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Based on experience and what I have learned here on Rokslide...

You don't want to add weight before a big strenuous hunt, especially at altitude.

The best way to lighten your pack is to lighten YOU, so don't add body weight.

Carry extra food to make up for your calorie deficit. The weight of the extra food will go down each day as you eat it, and probably faster than the extra 10 pounds will come off.

I would suggest adding more fats to your menu; things like nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond, etc.) and oils should be part of every meal you have. Your body will burn it and it won't go to fat. People experienced with winter camping were they burn calories like mad will often add fats like butter to their tea or coffee as a way to get it into their system.

Plan on eating at least five times a day (Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner).
 

ianpadron

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The guys are giving you great advice across the board.

10-13% body fat is a happy place for most guys. Dip lower than that and YOU WILL notice, especially during a long hunt.

I'm an exercise science guy, so this is my bread and butter.

Bulking up is all about maximizing caloric density. Low volume and high calorie foods are your best friend. 16 ounce shakes can easily be made North of 1000 calories. Nut butters and oils go down easy and are packed full of cals.

Get to the point where you're 12% bodyfat to start the season and you're set. I'm not a huge supplement guy, but mass gainers are your best friend in the mountains if you're worried about calories. 4 scoops of that shit is like 1000 calories and it's powder so you can pack enough to slam 2 shakes a day on top of your food.

Pemican (sp?) and homemade bars are also must haves as they are the most calorie dense foods you can find, and it's not even close. 1 pound of pemican can have well over 4000 calories if you do it right. Tons of recipes online.

As long as your lungs and heart are set, an extra 10 pounds of muscle and fat ain't going to do anything but help brotha!

Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
 

V2Pnutrition

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Op: I don’t think you need to add weight in preparation to shed it because of an anticipated calorie deficit. I’d think it would leave you feeling more sluggish than going in at your current weight.

What I would suggest is to be sure you you’re gwtring calories from the right sources. Relatively speaking, higher output days would be served well from foods higher in carbohydrate. Lower output day fares well with higher fat intake.

You will still likely drop weight at the end of both hunts, but it’s doubtful you’ll notice any lack in energy if following those guidelines.

Hope that helps!
 
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