Do Ski Trips Make You Fat?

Dealing with aches and pains--and better yet, avoiding them--and fitness related to snowboarding. This is also the place to talk about helmets, safety pads, and goggles.

Do Ski Trips Make You Fat?

Postby John » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:19 am

I'm going to to Colorado twice yet this season (Aspen, Crested Butte), and I'm wondering if it will undo my hard work in the gym.

I've been working out for over a year now, and have really stepped it up since November. Thanks to extensive work on the cardio equipment, I've lost 15 pounds.

Thinking of my upcoming trips, I remember the words of Picabo Street, who wrote about gaining weight even as a world-class ski racer. Something about not having enough aerobic activity and eating greasy food.

Well, my favorite on-mountain foods happen to be hamburgers and fries, and my favorite off-mountain restaurants are Mexican, and neither situation sounds like a plan for maintaining my weight. (For what it's worth, I'm not a back country guy, so I can't count on a lot of hiking.)

How about anyone here? Do you notice that your weight goes up, down, or stays the same on an extended trip?
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Re: Do Ski Trips Make You Fat?

Postby Kecht06 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:18 pm

John wrote:I'm going to to Colorado twice yet this season (Aspen, Crested Butte), and I'm wondering if it will undo my hard work in the gym.

I've been working out for over a year now, and have really stepped it up since November. Thanks to extensive work on the cardio equipment, I've lost 15 pounds.

Thinking of my upcoming trips, I remember the words of Picabo Street, who wrote about gaining weight even as a world-class ski racer. Something about not having enough aerobic activity and eating greasy food.

Well, my favorite on-mountain foods happen to be hamburgers and fries, and my favorite off-mountain restaurants are Mexican, and neither situation sounds like a plan for maintaining my weight. (For what it's worth, I'm not a back country guy, so I can't count on a lot of hiking.)

How about anyone here? Do you notice that your weight goes up, down, or stays the same on an extended trip?


That's a great question John. I can answer it like this... Something is making me fat, so maybe in fact it does.
And Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
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Postby alchook » Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:58 pm

I just got back from a three week trip to Utah.

No exercise except for 18 days of riding. I ate whatever I felt like eating. I drank every night but two.

I lost seven pounds.
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Postby John » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:18 am

To answer the question: not necessarily!

Yesterday I returned from a trip that involved 8 days of riding. I drank no alcohol but plenty of water, ate half of my dinner most nights, and saved the rest for pita lunch sandwiches for the next day's lunch.

The only fried food of the trip were two half-order of onion rings, which I helped my mountain companions eat.

I lost 8 pounds.

What a great (though expensive!) way to lose weight ...
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Postby snowd0gg » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:14 pm

John wrote:To answer the question: not necessarily!

Yesterday I returned from a trip that involved 8 days of riding. I drank no alcohol but plenty of water, ate half of my dinner most nights, and saved the rest for pita lunch sandwiches for the next day's lunch.

The only fried food of the trip were two half-order of onion rings, which I helped my mountain companions eat.

I lost 8 pounds.

What a great (though expensive!) way to lose weight ...


That's interesting, John. So, maybe there is hope for me yet! :-) I need to lose about 15 lbs or so and I think I tend to go for whatever food is available on the mountain. The other thing I've noticed is that I get ravenous if I've been skiing all day and by evening I'm ready to eat the entire lodge. Sounds like you hit the perfect balance.
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Postby John » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:27 pm

I just got back from trip of 5 days of riding.

Total weight loss: 0 pounds.

A friend puts it this way:

I put the blame for your losing 0 pounds on the fact that you have 0 pounds to lose.

The healthy Aspen diet and week of outdoor exercise was much more of a "shock" to your body last year than it was this year, because you are in so much better shape this year than last. Your body has adjusted to a lower caloric intake and a higher level of physical activity. The excess is not there to lose as it was last year.

I'm flattered (honestly, I would like to lose 3-5 more), but the explanation makes sense. Another factor may be that I didn't get the chance to fully use my brown-bag strategy, which you can read about here:

http://graysontrays.com/blog/2008/02/sa ... lunch.html
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High protein, low carb

Postby SteveH » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:45 pm

I find that doing more protein and fewer carbs helps me keep hunger and weight under control. Being a vegetarian make that a little more complicated. My solution on riding days is Tofurkey Jurky. As the name implies, it's a jerky-like food based on tofu that is very high in protein and low in fat and carbs.

Like meat jerky, it is uncrushable and lasts indefinitely so you can keep it in your pocket and pull it out whenever you're hungry. It's also very convenient finger food, so I pull it out and munch on the lift, saving valuable riding time that would otherwise be wasted standing in cafeteria lines buying overpriced, unhealthy resort food.

The good news is that I always lose weight when I ride for an extended period. The bad news is that I have extra weight to lose because I am not as food disciplined when stressed out at the office.

I guess I just need to work less and ride more.
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Postby MunkySpunk » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:30 pm

I find that I just don't eat while I'm out there. I'm having so much fun that the last thing I think about is eating. That has it's own problems, however. I end up not eating at all, or even worse, very late at night when I turn it in.

Anyone who's been to any place in the midwest can tell you it's easy to see why some of the 12 year olds look like they're ready to stroke out and have a coronary right on the slope - they look like moving moguls.

The problem is you're surrounded by junk food that's catered to kids: hot dogs, cheeseburgers, rice crispy treats, cookies, fried cheese, pizza, candy of all types and sizes. I'm surprised they don't have fat-glazed sugar cookies cut in the shape of the Burton logo, deep fried and dipped in chocolate. It boggles the mind that they stock the place with that crap in the face of all the studies about obese kids.

Most places usually do have a meager selection of traditional sandwiches, fruits, and cut veggies. Once in a while, you'll get lucky and they'll have a roast beef sandwich with a side of au jus (sp?) sauce as their special (or an equivalent). Otherwise it's a soft pretzel, veggies, and nachos without the cheese sauce.

If you're really looking to eat healthy, you might also have to skip the cafeteria and spend a few extra dollars for a grilled chicken salad and lo-cal dressing at a sit-down place/bar.

You can usually find something healthy anywhere, it's just a matter of willpower.

Mostly I stick to lean meats on sandwich bread (no mayo/no cheese), and pick over my wife's veggies. I've been on a low-grease diet for so long that a burger or anything along that vein sends me right to the bathroom within a half hour. My digestive tract has no tolerance for such things, so the willpower problem solves itself thankfully. :D

One more hint: Mustard has absolutely no calories and is a passable substitute for mayo on sandwiches, you get used to it.
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