The most difficult survival skill of all: dieting

image by lydia_shiningbrightly

Guess what’s more difficult than:

  • storing 6 months worth of food?
  • becoming proficient with a handgun?
  • learning how to can food?
  • piecing together a quilt by hand?
  • killing a moose with your bare hands?

The answer? Losing weight!

That’s right! Out of all the bits of knowledge, the plethora of skills, and the survival supplies that you should be stocking, losing weight is by far the hardest task!

Over on Facebook we just started a support group for anyone who realizes that getting in shape is a part of preparedness. “Skinny Survival Moms (and others!)” just started this week and already there are over 80 members.

I’ve spent the better part of this year losing almost 50 pounds and wish I would have had this group back in January!

Some of us are reading Suddenly Skinny by Freya Taylor and posting our thoughts. Others are asking about different eating and fitness plans, and we’re just getting started!

If you want to group together with other survival and preparedness (mostly) women who have similar diet and fitness goals, join us! We’d love to have you! There are no weigh-ins, unless you care to report progress, and no pressure. You can follow whatever eating plan you like and if your goal is more physical fitness than weight loss, you’ll fit in just fine!

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

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  1. says

    That must be a pretty weak moose you’re talking about!

    As someone who has definitely had to put alot of attention on portion control and cardio in order to reign in some prior excess fatness…. I know what you’re saying. Love handles do not count towards food supply in your bug out bag!

    • Kelly says

      I found that a low carb, low glycemic diet made losing weight easier. Of course, it took a long time. I have lost close to 20 lbs over 12 months. And I’m happy about it!

      I know a guy who lost 60 lbs and is still going on the same food plan.

  2. says

    I am so glad that you mentioned this! Buying lots of gear doesnt make you ready for a SHTF sort of situation. Lots of people seem to think that they dont have to be physically fit, which is just plain silly

  3. Naomi says

    50lbs! Wow, congratulations! Are you aware of It’s an awesome and totally free weightloss/fitness resource that helped me lose 30lbs and teaches so much about nutrition and fitness. Maybe it could help your group?

    I’ve always thought measuring cups/spoons and kitchen scales were a very important part of preparedness, to keep those portion sizes under control and keep supplies rationed! 😉

  4. RightWingMom says

    Tomorrow will mark the 1 year anniversary that I made the decision to give weight loss one last try. I’ve done EVERY diet in the book; then I noticed my friends at church having serious success with their weight loss. They were doing the Rx version of HcG and seeing incredible results.

    On Thanksgiving Day last year, I started. (This diet has “load” days which require you to eat foods like those found at a Thanksgiving dinner for the first two days.)

    One year later I have lost over 100 lbs.!!! Whoo Hoo! :)

    My personal transformation has been inspiring! Facing an uncertain future in better health and physical fitness is a dream come true! I encourage all your readers….it’s worth the effort!

  5. rachel says

    I think what would be difficult would be a diet in survival mode for people with special needs, like diabetic. My mom is dibatic and her daily struggle with sugar is always an issue for her. Then her husband is on a low salt diet…Canned foods is the worst. Storing for them with these challenges in mind is most difficult. especially since I’m trying to stoe up stuff for them and live in my house. Mom and her hubby are retired and on a fixed income. They don’t understand the dollar is in collapse. So, if I can find low salt canned goods on sale I pick it up. But it’s difficult.

    • Chandra says

      Rachel, try dehydrated veggies and dry beans. They are good foods for diabetics and they have no extra salt. Good basic foods for the folks. Avoid grains and processed foods, add some meat and dairy and you have an excellent regular food supply for anyone.

  6. Phillip says

    Good you are touching on this! Physical fitness is key to be able to survive stressful situations.

    I myself lost around 70 lbs by exercise and keeping track of what I ate in about 6 months. The simple way to put it lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. You burn calories doing everything, including sleeping lol. But exercise is key, even walking etc helps. Main thing is don’t worry if you eat too much some days it happens. Just do better the next day. One last thing is a get a battle buddy of sorts, to exercise with and track diets and progress. It helps a lot to have another person to help keep you on track.

    But again glad you posted this topic. Living a little heather helps us all everyday of our lives, not just when SHTF.

  7. countrygirl says

    Just throwing it out there, but sometimes a BHAG is neccesary. You may be wondering what a BHAG is, it is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I did this a couple of years back and said I’d run a marathon. It took seven months of training, but I did it. I’m going to do the same this year, because that was the best shape I’ve ever been in.

  8. says

    Are you having trouble controlling the way you eat? Many of us with this problem have found help in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). FA is a program based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program offers help and recovery to those whose connection with food can be understood as a form of addiction. There are no dues or fees and the meetings include no weigh-ins. Membership is international and includes men and women, adolescents, and the elderly. All are welcome.

    People who find help in FA vary greatly. Some of us have been diagnosed as morbidly obese while others are undereaters. Among us are those who were severely bulimic, who have harmed themselves with compulsive exercise, or whose quality of life was impaired by constant obsession with food or weight. We tend to be people who, in the long-term, have failed at every solution we tried, including therapy, support groups, diets, fasting, exercise, and in-patient treatment programs.

    Some of our members have been in continuous recovery (maintaining a stable, healthy weight and enjoying freedom from obsession with food, weight, bingeing, or bulimia) for over twenty-five years. Members with five to ten years of recovery are increasingly common.

    FA has over 350 meetings throughout the United States in large and small cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, Grand Rapids, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, and Washington, D.C. Internationally, FA currently has groups in England, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. If you would like more information about FA, please check out our website. If there aren’t any meetings in your area, you can contact the office, where someone will help you.

  9. Mac says

    Loosing weight is a survival skill all on it’s own. After 50, I needed to loose weight, watch my salt, avoid sweets, increase fiber, ect, ect… Finding healthy foods can be as tough as finding the right supplies to prep with. Another thing to think about is how many prepper foods use alot of salt as the preservative. Depending on the nature of the emergency, your dietary intake might need to spike, or need to be drasticly reduced. A diet is a great way to “teach” your body to handle such situations. Find out what you “need” to maintain yourself at your current weight and mental state. Just this “thinking about it” will likely reduce your intake about 30%. Water, water, water! There is a reason why water is so important to your supplies, you need it every day! Increase the number of steps you take each day, park farther away from work or the mall . Everyone has been told “You need to walk before you can run.” Eventually your body will start telling you it needs more, just like when we were kids and hated being couped up inside on a rainy day. I have lost the weight, and at 53, I have been told I look 38.(I didn’t ask.) If there is a fountain of youth, it’s paying attention to your life.

  10. Shreela says

    I was diagnosed as having IBS after suffering from inflamed bowels for almost 5 years, then the 3rd GI listened to my “crazy” idea that the only pattern I picked up on was commercial foods. He didn’t think it was crazy at all, since he himself suffered from food-additive-intolerance. At that time, there weren’t any tests to determine which specific additives triggered my attacks, so he advised to eat scratch from whole foods just to see if that cleared my attacks, then I could slowly experiment with commercial foods to see if I could pick up on a pattern of which specific food-additives triggered me. It took quite a while just to figure out three additives that triggered me – meanwhile weight was dropping off me, with just a bit more exercise since I wasn’t in pain most the time.

    But after a while, I also figured out some commercial foods that didn’t trigger inflammation of my gut. My weight loss slowed. Until my GP saw my A1C was borderline for the 3rd year in a row, so ordered a 3 hr glucose tolerance test – failed all 3 hours, so I was put on a low sugar/grain/starch diet, along with metformin. DH was good around me, but ate his fav snacks when I wasn’t around.

    Then DH had a mild heart attack! Since they found less than 50% blockage, the plan is to use drugs to “desludge” his plaqued arteries. It took a lot of emailing med/science studies to him, but he finally joined me in low-carbing, especially after he spiked his trigs to 228 after a Halloween binge! PS: He’s got his trigs back down to 130, but he’s hoping for 60 as recommended by Dr. William Davis.

    Between certain additives, and avoiding carbs, it’s challenging to use “traditional storage” foods. Almost all the FD/Dehydrated entrees contain at least one of the additives I’m sensitive to, not to mention the quick carbs. So I buy individual ingredients, except for chicken that’s injected with the dreaded carrageenan (if you find a FD/Dehydrated chicken without carrageenan added, please let me know).

    But since both of us dropping the carbs, we’ve both lost more weight. He’s lost 18lbs since his heart attack in Aug 2012, and I’m almost in size 14 again, which is great for someone 5’10”, even though another 10’ish lbs would be welcome ^_^

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