Weight loss on the Appalachian Trail

This was taken the day before we left to travel to the start of the Appalachian Trail (approximately March 19th, 2017):
before losing weight from hiking the AT
Now you don’t…This was taken the day we got home from the Appalachian Trail (4 days after summiting Mt. Katahdin):
the effects of weight loss on the appalachian trail

This is what hiking 20+ miles a day, for 6 months, will do to your body! In all Sunsets lost 54 pounds and I lost 38. All the while we ate as many calories as we could (especially when in trail towns). And while on the trail, we ate candy bars and pop-tarts and jolly ranchers on a consistent basis. For the first time in our lives, we could in NO WAY fill our bodies with as many calories as we were burning off with hiking all day. And when I say “hiking,” I mean with 28-30 pound packs on our backs in rough terrain (roots, rocks, boulder climbing, up and down mountains…). With the thru-hike being as hard as it was, being able to eat whatever we wanted was one of the things we looked most forward to in town!

Of course, our goal was not hiking for weight loss, we just wanted to complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. The weight loss and getting fit was an added bonus to our adventure.

One time we stayed at a B&B that had it’s own store with trail supply food/items (including frozen pizzas, ice cream, sodas, etc.). That night, a bunch of us went out to dinner and stuffed ourselves silly. On the shuttle ride back to the B&B, which took about all of 10 minutes, everyone was quite for a while. Then someone said “is anyone else dreaming of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s?” And we ALL were thinking the same thing!! We proceeded to get back to the B&B, went in the store, and everyone got a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, EACH — and we all ate our whole pints. It was crazy how we could eat, get really full, and then an hour (or less) later – be hungry again.

Of course, now the hard part is keeping they weight off without having to strenuously hike 20 miles a day. We are keeping active (hiking or walking 4-6 miles a day) and will be incorporating weight-lifting soon.  Trying to eat less calories and a more healthy diet has been quite challenging, but finally we feel our “hiker hunger” dissipating. Now, to get rid of the soreness in our knees and feet…

Looking for more examples of weight loss from an Appalachian Trail thru-hike? Check out these photos from The Trek.

That’s all for now!  Cheers! — Chica & Sunsets

PS — Here’s another before & after (fully clothed):
two skinny at thru hikers

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