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Token Hippy Academic
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I have seen some misinformation in a few threads about calories needed, and I didn't want to derail those threads so I thought I would post here.

Most people are prepping for about a 2,000 calorie a day diet- which is what you need if you're moderately active now, aka sitting at a desk with an hour or so of working out three days a week.

When things go bad, your need for calories goes UP. A LOT. When I did distance bike riding I could go through 5,000-6,000 calories a day. Another thing to keep in mind is that getting not-quite-enough calories makes people CRANKY. Very, very, very irritable.

Working your butt off, society collapsing, etc is stressful enough without turning into a raging cranky monster and having everyone snapping at each other.

If you're going to be in a situation where you're going to have to shovel snow, cut branches, butcher hogs, etc, etc, etc- any sort of serious physical work- you need to double or triple the amount of food you're keeping in prep or you'll start loosing weight way too fast. Make sure you have enough fat prepped, because you'll need to eat a LOT of it to get the number of calories you're going to need to keep going.

If you think 2,000 calories a day will keep a man working hard going for long, you're sadly mistaken.

Here's a few things you might have to do and the caloric cost:

Shoveling is 612 calories an hour
Heavy farming (moving hay bales, cleaning barn) is 514 calories an hour Sawing logs by hand is 460 calories an hour
Carrying Logs: 748 calories an hour.
Chopping firewood? An incredible 1,156 calories PER HOUR if you do it fast.

So if you go out, shovel out some snow, dig a ditch for a latrine, muck out animal pens and take care of some livestock, cut down a couple trees, cut them into firewood, and stack the cords, this is what your day would look like.

2,000 calories- base metabolic load.
+ 612 for shoveling
+514 for farming
+460 for cutting down the tree
+748 for hauling the tree
+1,156 calories for chopping firewood.

That's 5,490 calories for 5 hours hard work. Add a few more chores in there and you are easily pushing the 6,000 calorie mark.

Plus side: eat lots of bacon, who cares if it's fatty?
Down side: you probably need a lot more food the first bit post-SHTF than you planned on, because a 2,000 calorie a day diet will. not. work.

This was brought to my attention from a book I'm reading on the biodome project, where they budgeted 2,000 calories a day per person, and forgot that working your butt off means you need more calories! There were some hungry, cranky, bitchy scientists inside that dome, and all the interpersonal problems flared far worse than they would have if everyone was well fed.

Hope someone finds this helpful.

PS- in other news, I'm going to cancel my gym membership and go get a couple of cords of firewood set up in my BOL. That's WAY more calories than my frikken elliptical, AND I get firewood!
 

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I found a book on the siege of Leningrad that contained some eye opening numbers. I posted about it here: http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?p=4315423#post4315423

I think that people should be putting about 3200 calories a day aside. Maybe more, depending. But 2000 calories a day is just a step above starvation rations if you're performing 2 hours of physical labor a day.
 

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True and what else is true is most people do not know how much calories is in that can of spam, ravioli or portion of freeze dried foods. Most of the serving sizes on the labels is ridiculously small.

Just for reference a Dak 1lb canned ham says 8 servings at 100 calories a serving. That caned ham has only 800 calories total! You would need to eat 3 a day just to get 2400 calories.
 

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Well, cgcs, I already have that covered. Due to some injuries and other health problems, a lot of hard physical labor is beyond me. However, the rest of our group is still young and healthy, so they'll need a lot more calories than I will. I won't need a lot, but more often to keep diabetes regulated. More frequent smaller meals is the way I'll have to go.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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What are high calorie foods that store well? Sounds like we might be eating alot more junk food than I planned on.
Cooking from scratch, you can control the calories in the foods you make. Higher fat foods will have more calories. Grains, beans and pastas are a good starting point. With a few veggies side dishes, some dairy, etc., and you can easily get plenty of calories. Just take a look how they did it a hundred years ago.

This is why my food storage philosophy has been to study the diets of cultures around the world before convenience foods and refrigeration. There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge to be gained, not to mention delicious recipes.
 

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Thank you very much
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IDK.

I do landscaping for a living, and In the spring/summer I work very hard all day, and I consume on average 1500 to 2000 calories per day. Some days I will eat a little more than 2000, and some days I might not even break a 1000. Those are usually really hot days, when I am drinking a lot of water. I haven't noticed any weight loss.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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Store what you eat, eat what you store.

If you do not currently consume enough calories; then you will currently be losing weight.

I see no reason to change my diet when SHTF.
 

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Geared UP and Ready to GO
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There is to much misconception here to fight so I will use my own experience. Me over 6ft 190lbs, several times in my life I have had to survive on less than 1500 calories a day doing hard labor.

Once I had a construction job worked 6 days a week 10 to 12 hour days hard manual labor. I could only afford and had time to eat one large meal a day, easily less than 2000 calories and knowing what I know now was most likely averaging 1500 calories a day. I did this for 3 months, I lost 10lbs the first 4 weeks or so and maintained 180 from that point forward. Your body will adjust, your metabolism will stabilize. Sure some days were harder than others but I rested all I could on Sunday and made sure I drank lots of water and got at least 7 hours sleep a night. Also I was not a teenager this was in my early 30's.

I have tested the waters with fasting, and can tell you that you can survive and thrive on much less than you think. 50% Obesity is a modern phenomenon built on the idea you have to have so much food. You just don't need as much as you are being told.
 

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There is to much misconception here to fight so I will use my own experience. ...
Sorry but you are not reading with comprehension. Your personal experience may be true but it is not anything but anecdotal evidence. It is akin to the obese person that swears they eat very little and do not know why they are so obese.

The link I gave on the highest calorie foods stated it very plainly.
The amount of calories a person needs depends on their age, gender, activity level, and muscle mass. The DV for calories is 2000 calories.
 

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Store what you eat, eat what you store.

If you do not currently consume enough calories; then you will currently be losing weight.

I see no reason to change my diet when SHTF.
Mr Beekeeper - I agree with the theory, but I am having trouble with a few of the practical applications.

Even with all the farm work I do, I cannot afford to eat a can of spam with its 1042 calories (although I would LOVE to!) I have a comfortable (for me) eating routine now, but much of what I currently consume doesn't store as well as spam, rice and beans.

I was dissappointed to learn that I have a lot less food stored up than I thought - I sorted though my canned goods to rotate/inventory and found that I only have about 109000 calories! Between 25 and 35 "man-days" of food depending on consumption rate :(
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Pinto beans, cornbread made with lard, powdered milk and powdered eggs, and a bit of honey can provide enough calories protein, complex carbs, and fat to keep you healthy. One of the reason poor country people usually did better than poor city people was cooking like that. You might die of mouth boredom, but you won't wither away to nothing. Anything you can add past that is a bonus. My mom said by the time spring got there and anything fresh and green started coming up, they were all over it.

Also, when they got potatoes ready to plant they cut the potatoes with an eye on each piece but left as much of the center of the potato in one piece as possible without starving the eye. They kept those centers and ate them. They re-peeled them as the potatoes would turn black from the air and cooked them. My mom said they usually got another 6 weeks or so of potatoes that way, and there were 8 of them eating. It's something to keep in mind when/if we need it.
 

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Sorry but you are not reading with comprehension. Your personal experience may be true but it is not anything but anecdotal evidence. It is akin to the obese person that swears they eat very little and do not know why they are so obese.
Many of the people of varying size and shape around me on different jobs didn't consume anywhere near the calories you are talking about.

Further I have been over seas in Asia, the Indian and Bangladesh laborers do note eat anywhere near 2000 calories a day and manage 10 hours 6 to 7 days. Doing work that would make the average American crawl in a fetal position and cry. That was a first hand observation.

Not anecdotal, first hand. Anecdotal is the information I got from my depression era parents/grandparents.
 

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I learned about this LONG ago, so I guess its funny it still surprises me when people start talking about it again.

As MikeK was saying, it is really important to check the calories on those "Year Supply" things.

This is why I use a combination in my food stores of stuff I already eat (75%or so of what I store) and emergency foods like Mountain House #10 cans (25-30%). With that arrangement I can easily increase or decrease caloric intake per my needs and those of my group.

I target my food storage for basically 3500 calories per person, per day, when I calculate the amount of days of food I have. This way the variables are more evened out; if I need less I can extend the number of days, if one person in group needs less than another, etc....
 
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