Even though I am on the thin/skinny side, I have come back from multiple backpacking trips having to tighten my belt. It always seems like one comes back in much better shape than one left in, but at some point losing weight can't be good for you.

Is there a way of calculating how much weight a person can lose without negative side effects?

  • A lot of the weight you loose is water and bowels, you don't slim down as much as you think, and you put it all back after you get back and have a few good meals.
    – ShemSeger
    Sep 20, 2016 at 2:33
  • 1
    Unless you felt like death at the end of your last trip, whatever weight you lost is just fine and not concerning.
    – whatsisname
    Sep 20, 2016 at 6:01
  • @Tullochgorum Would the amount of weight change if it was in the city exercising in a gym? They type of medical kit I take into the outdoors is different than the one in my home. Bit by a snake in my backyard is different - go to hospital. There is a health.se
    – Paparazzi
    Sep 20, 2016 at 9:54
  • @Paparazzi Weight loss from a gym is apples and oranges. The type and duration of exercise is different as is your amount and type of food intake. As for the OP, not sure how to calculate it in advance, but if you have lost so much that your body has used up any fat reserves you had, that would be too much to me. Weight isn't really the issue. You need to eat enough to maintain muscle mass, which weighs more than fat. Of course, you need to maintain energy levels, too, which is somewhat dictated by what you eat, not just the amount.
    – topshot
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:34
  • @topshot What ever. You really think minimal weight is different in the outdoors. So if I went to the Dr and asked what my minimum weight is then he would ask - are you taking in the city or the great outdoors? Comments are not for discussion. It takes more than one vote to close. I did not vote the question down. Good day
    – Paparazzi
    Sep 20, 2016 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


Your minimum healthy weight is not dependent on city versus outdoors. Your body is not aware the calorie deficit was caused by a hike.

The body is very good at storing and using fat. That is what body fat is designed to do.

I am not a Dr. but if you got home without severe symptoms you did not harm yourself. Symptoms of starvation include: diarrhea, anemia, loss of muscle mass. If you went into loss of muscle mass your body would have told you big time and you would have had a very hard time finishing.

Lose some body fat is the most efficient way to carry calories.

Even on a medical supervised extreme diets they go up to 1 lb a day.

Pro fighters move two weight classes and still perform. Look at Connor McGregor at 145 (where I think he still holds the belt). He fought Diaz at 168. Even training for a fight a pro can lose up to 1 lb a day and still train hard.

For a number you should see a Dr. The Internet cannot tell you that. Even a Dr. is going have a hard time with a number. They will be more interested in symptoms of starvation.

  • 2
    if you got home without severe symptoms you did not harm yourself -- That's pretty much the only answer possible. Anything else is just embellishment.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 21, 2016 at 2:29

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