When Fitness Goals Conflict With Prepping Goals

My family has one thing in common with a significant number of preppers, whether those other preppers want to admit it or not.  We’re fat.

Yeah, I know.  I’m not supposed to say that about my wife, who I love, but we’re definitely overweight and I’m not doing anyone any favors by pretending otherwise.

Because we’re having weight issues, we are trying to be careful about what we eat.  Carbohydrates are one of the biggest reasons most Americans are overweight.  For years, many of us were presented the “Food Pyramid” as the pinnacle of healthy eating.  We were told to eat tons of grains on top of our vegetables.

Couple that with lifestyles that are constantly on the go, prompting many to grab fast food as a dietary staple rather than an occasional treat, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Many diet experts tell people that to lose weight, one thing they simply must do is cut down on the carbohydrates.  Since two-thirds of all Americans are overweight, it stands to reason to figure that most preppers are in the same boat.

Don’t try and tell me that preppers are different in that regard either.  I know better.  I’ve met too many preppers.  We’re not that different.

Now, what is the conflict?  Well, take a look at most food storage lists and what stands out to you?  All the carbohydrates.

Carbs are basically stored energy.  In a survival situation, carbs are going to help keep you going through long, grueling days just trying to stay alive.  That’s why rice, wheat, and pasta are prepper staples.

Plus, those carbs are pretty cheap.  If you’re prepping on a budget, rice and pasta are a whole lot easier to stock up on.

“Still not seeing the issue,” some might ask.  After all, we could prep carbs for when we need them, but eat healthier and lose the weight we need to right now.

Sounds great.  Except for one thing.

One mantra of food storage is this: Store what you eat, and eat what you store.

Putting aside a bunch of food you don’t eat is a recipe for disaster.  Stomachs are funny things.  When you radically shift what you eat, your stomach can respond with its disapproval in new and interesting ways.  This is something you don’t want in a survival situation.

That means if you store a lot of high-carb foods, you’re going to have to eat them at some point.  They need to be a regular part of your diet.

So that’s where things get tricky.  We need to eat that rice and pasta, and do it regularly enough so our bodies are still used to it should a disaster necessitate us having to chow down on stores, but not so much that we undermine our efforts to lose weight.

Tricky.

Right now, the plan is to minimize those carbs to a couple of times per week and to keep the amount moderate.  We love both rice and pasta, so we tend to pile them onto our plates.  By cutting that to a true serving size — usually a half cup to a cup of whatever you’re eating — we can keep that in check.

The upside to doing this is that our bodies will still be used to getting rice and pasta on a regular basis, but not in sufficient quantities to convert into more fat.

Will this work?  No clue.  We’re going to try it and see.  The truth is, we need to get better about disciplining ourselves over what we eat.  Yes, food is plentiful, but if we can’t keep our diets in check now, what will we do when we’re starving from a hard day of working in the fields?

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