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5 Ways to Conserve Calories When Food is Limited

Posted by on 4/16/2013 to Food Procurement

1. Don't Sweat it! - No seriously, try not to sweat. Staying hydrated in both warm AND COLD conditions will prevent excess energy loss. How? Well, sweating requires energy, it may not seem like it, but there's a lot of internal processes going on inside your body when it becomes overheated. You also expand blood vessels and capillaries which again require energy. This obviously doesn't mean to avoid drinking water when you're dehydrated! We're just saying that even if you have plenty of water, but are limited on calories, try to keep yourself as cool as possible.

2. Eat your food in bigger meals, not spread throughout the day. - A common weight loss strategy is to eat many small meals several times a day instead of a only a few big meals. Even if you're intaking the same amount of calories, your body's metabolic rate will be different; faster when eating more frequently and slower when eating less frequently. To conserve calories, you want to slow down your metabolic rate, hence eat less often. When foraging for food, save everything till you develop a nice size meal instead of eating continuously on the go.

3. Don't neglect hydration even when it's cold. - A lot of people assume that in colder conditions (think snow and ice) that hydration is less important. But water doesn't just work to keep you cool, it can help you stay warm too! Water retains heat very well, so when you lack enough water in your system, your body tends to lose heat faster than normal. And how does this affect your energy consumption? When your core temperature drops, your body requires more energy to help keep it thermo-regulated, in the form of increased metabolic rates and shivering.

4. Don't just relax physically, relax mentally too! - Did you know your brain contributes to 20% of your total energy expenditure? Stressing out and worrying increases your brain activity in terms of physiological responses. Well just relax man, keeping calm will slow down your heart rate and ultimately save energy.

5. Don't eat or drink calorie free foods. - I'm not sure what the chances are that you'll have a diet soda or sugar free gum during a survival situation, but if you do, don't consume it. Digesting things like that simply burn more calories and provide nothing in return. Additionally, certain artificial sweeteners may stimulate your appetite, making your hunger feelings much worse than before.

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Skip's Related Survival Gear: Energy Bar - 5 Hour Energy - Water Filters

Cliff's Related Survival Gear: Food Bars - MRE - Emergency Seeds

The rule of 3: "3 minutes without air and I'm screwed (well probably even 2 minutes for me). 3 days without water and I feel like I need a shower. 3 weeks without food and I would have given up 2 weeks ago anyway... I think that's how it goes."
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