You see, when you are hiking 12-20 miles a day for months at a time, you tend to burn more calories than you consume. And you tend to be able to eat anything that you want, even the crappy processed food, without gaining any weight. I'd say it's a miracle, but it's not. You're just working out for 8-10 hours a day which is insane by any normal person's definition, but completely normal on the trail.
It seems like during my initial days I ate a good amount while my body got over the shock of climbing mountains every day. In month two my hiker hunger hadn't fully kicked in yet, so I took in a little bit less food, probably because my body was used to hiking and no longer freaking out. Then month 3 happened. Month 3 is when my views on food shifted and I was always hungry. Even after I finished a meal, I was hungry again 20 minutes later. That, my friends, is hiker hunger.
Consumed (Food): 1600
Burned (Exercise): 400
Consumed (Food): 2227
Burned (Exercise): 3201
Consumed (Food): 1966
Burned (Exercise): 3374
Consumed (Food): 3067
Burned (Exercise): 3954
We typically spent one day in town before heading back to the woods so even with my non-stop cupcake and pizza party in town, I still ended each week in a deficit of about 2,000 calories. See why we still yearn for those good ole days?
Consumed (Food): 3754
Burned (Exercise): 954
Consumed (Food): 5051
Burned (Exercise): 1201
Once I figured out the system that worked best for me I stopped being excited about food on the trail. It was just fuel for the hiking and I definitely enjoyed eating, but it wasn't a gorge fest like it was in town. I was all about how to get the highest number of healthy calories for the least amount of weight. When I got to town though, that was a free for all.
Breakfast: Oatmeal or Smoothie & Coffee
Lunch: Salad & Veggie Burger or Omelet
Snacks: Apples & PB or Yogurt
Dinner: Couscous, Veggie Burger or Tofu
Breakfast: Granola Bars & Coffee
Lunch 1: Avocado & Cheese Sandwich
Lunch 2: Granola Bars & Chocolate
Snacks: Granola Bars
Dinner: Lipton Side Pasta & Chocolate
Breakfast: Raw Revolution Bars, Pop-Tarts and/or Donuts & Coffee
Lunch & Snacks: Huge Ziploc Bag of Nuts, Dried Fruit and PB M&Ms (I snacked on it all day long)
Dinner: Couscous, Raw Garlic and Cheese with Mama Garlic Seasoning & Riesens Chocolate Candy
(You can read more details in this post)
Breakfast: Egg and Cheese Biscuits, Yogurt, Fruit & Coffee
Lunch & Snacks: Chex Mix, Cupcakes, Cheese/Crackers, Fruit
Dinner: Pizza & More Cupcakes