SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – June 2003

Good News About Bad Food

Got burgers on the brain? Learn why some experts say it's okay to indulge.

by: Annette McGivney

PAGE 1 2

After 54 miles of a 55-mile hike in the Grand Canyon, I'm an hour from my car. And I have just one thing on my mind. It's not the jaw-dropping scenery. Or the 2,000 feet in elevation I have left to climb. Or even my 4-year-old son, Austin, who I miss terribly after a week away.

I want a cold beer. Really bad. All I can think about is wrapping my hands around a frosty, foam-topped glass and hoisting it to my sun-parched lips. It's what propels me forward. And the crazy thing is, I don't even like beer that much.

I'm hardly alone in such weird hankerings. In a recent Backpacker.com poll, 66 percent of hikers said they crave not only beer, but also steaks, burgers, fries, and pizza after a long trip. In 1999, instructors with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) overwhelmingly voted to add more meat products into their backcountry diets.

What is it that makes us crave certain foods (or beverages) when we're backpacking? For many of us, big helpings of junk food are a turnoff--until we've spent a few days on the trail. Then, we can't wait to super-size that order of greasy, salty fries. Is this hunger an indication of a psychological imbalance? Or, worse, a nutritional one? To find out, we asked nutritionists, dietitians, even psychologists. Their answers will surprise you.

The Science Of Sweet-And-Salty

Most hikers are health-conscious sorts who forgo fatty, sugary, high-calorie foods in favor of lean meats, salads, and spring water. But our trail diets tend to be even more ascetic, which can wreak havoc on our impulses. So says Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D., director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington, who explains that abstinence intensifies the cravings that we normally manage with small, daily indulgences. "Food cravings arise to satisfy emotional needs, such as calming stress and reducing anxiety," Dr. Drewnowski writes in a recent report in the journal Environmental Nutrition. "The foods that gratify typically contain fat or sugar, or both."


PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Darn, very tragic news:
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: double cabin
Trailhead Register
Your Yosemite Tips
Posted On: Aug 23, 2014
Submitted By: double cabin

Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions