• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement

Body weight. Who cares?

Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I have to admit that I take this seriously.
Before I go on Camino I try to shed a few kilos. OK, I'm on a bike, which is different to most of you, but I am very conscious of the fact that going up a gradient every extra kilo hurts. 3 kilos less in body weight translates to 3 more kilos more I could carry, (or not), on the bike. Isaac Newton doesn’t discriminate. Then again, it’s not that different for walkers; all your mass, body + backpack finishes up your feet.
I became even more obsessed with this when I invested in a very expensive all-carbon bike. In reality it saved me about 4 kilos. That's about $1000 per kilo.
I know that most walkers take training seriously. But do you think about your weight?
 

Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
Yep. I find it amazing that we sweat over gram differences in terms of equipment and pay vast amounts of money to reduce kit weight then we walk carrying extra kilos in body fat. It is truly amazing and a wonderful endorsement of advertising and gullibility. Having said that the camino is a great way to loose body fat for some people but not for me. I lost 20kg after retirement and before walking, which probably demonstrates the benefits of exercise as opposed to desk work.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Strange, isn't it, that a litre of water in a backpack is heavy but if you drink it it the weight disappears (or seems that way).

Sure - you can't beat the laws of physics - walking (or cycling) it is the total weight that is important and that includes the body.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Not sure if the weight counts if you have lost fat and gained muscle through good diet and plenty of exercise, tee hee.

The water question is intriguing me, looking forward to factual answers.

On my last long distance there was a rather rotund lady who didn't lack strength or fitness. Her problem as she confided was serious chafing, she had to find somewhere to grease up a couple of times a day. Her determination was to be admired. Like I say her fitness wasn't to be questioned, but, having had serious heart problems myself, I did wonder how much harder than average her heart had to work for the distance covered.
 
Last edited:

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Camino(s) past & future
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
During my first walk on the Camino I weighed 40 lbs (18kg) more than my second trip a few years later. The difference was very noticeable. I found I could walk longer days, my feet felt better, and the uphill portions were less of a challenge. in my case its easier to drop a few pounds of body weight than it is to decrease the weight of my pack a few ounces.
frm
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I tend to walk with a bit too much fat on the hips, and yes, I am careful of not carrying so much stuff to compensate. The next time, however, I get to walk a camino I hope to be at my ideal weight. As I get older it is harder to carry extra pounds. So by the time we can fly cross the ocean again I hope to be light and fly up those mountains...or at least stop less😀!
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
I just lost my target of 5 kilos due to a combination of diet and exercise, mainly diet.
My encouragement was the fact that my pack weighes 5 kilos.
I sure feel lighter and fitter when out walking and intend to use exercise, and not so much diet, to now stabilise my new weight.
Regards
Gerard
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I do worry about it somewhat. COV has seen me gain several pounds and I worry about how that will affect my feet if I can't dump them prior to the next camino. It's as much weight -- 7lb -- as I would normally be carrying as the contents of my pack!

I usually try to leave home with a pack roughly 12% of my body weight, and I know that by the end of a camino that pack will be up to about 15%-16% of my body-weight. But I'm not going to take a heavier pack on my next trip to match my current weight if it remains my baseline to 2022. Gotta dump those 7 from my body before I get on the next plane...

So we've bought a high quality treadmill and I've subscribed to "Bitgym" for training on it....

Maybe now that I'm exhaling about world stage things a little, I will stop eating so much brioche dipped in thick sipping chocolate...
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I do worry about it somewhat. COV has seen me gain several pounds and I worry about how that will affect my feet if I can't dump them prior to the next camino. It's as much weight -- 7lb -- as I would normally be carrying as the contents of my pack!

I usually try to leave home with a pack roughly 12% of my body weight, and I know that by the end of a camino that pack will be up to about 15%-16% of my body-weight. But I'm not going to take a heavier pack on my next trip to match my current weight if it remains my baseline to 2022. Gotta dump those 7 from my body before I get on the next plane...

So we've bought a high quality treadmill and I've subscribed to "Bitgym" for training on it....

Maybe now that I'm exhaling about world stage things a little, I will stop eating so much brioche dipped in thick sipping chocolate...
Don't understand why people don't understand its Winter! We northerners were not designed to lose weight in the winter! Ya need a bit of insulation! :) The older I get , the more stops I make and me and my innards are grateful! It is also an evolutionary fact that in the time scale we are still recovering from learning to stand upright and that out tootsies are still learning to cope with the extra demand. Hence the need for poles. Walk soft and stay safe and don't forget the jelly babies!
The perfect pick me up when faced with yet another wretched ascent that was waiting round the corner from the last one :)

Samarkand.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
I have to admit that I take this seriously.
Before I go on Camino I try to shed a few kilos. OK, I'm on a bike, which is different to most of you, but I am very conscious of the fact that going up a gradient every extra kilo hurts. 3 kilos less in body weight translates to 3 more kilos more I could carry, (or not), on the bike. Isaac Newton doesn’t discriminate. Then again, it’s not that different for walkers; all your mass, body + backpack finishes up your feet.
I became even more obsessed with this when I invested in a very expensive all-carbon bike. In reality it saved me about 4 kilos. That's about $1000 per kilo.
I know that most walkers take training seriously. But do you think about your weight?
Who cares? Your knees, your feet and your joints. Even on a bike.
But getting to SdC has nothing to do with your weight, it is 70% will, 15% fitness and 15% gear.
Maybe less fitness and gear.

Hope you make it.

BC
Roland
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Don't understand why people don't understand its Winter! We northerners were not designed to lose weight in the winter! Ya need a bit of insulation! :) The older I get , the more stops I make and me and my innards are grateful! It is also an evolutionary fact that in the time scale we are still recovering from learning to stand upright and that out tootsies are still learning to cope with the extra demand. Hence the need for poles. Walk soft and stay safe and don't forget the jelly babies!
The perfect pick me up when faced with yet another wretched ascent that was waiting round the corner from the last one :)

Samarkand.

I'm going to assume that you did not mean to suggest that I am stupid. Nonetheless, I simply cannot let the suggestion that I have failed to understand a universal "truth" of biology that is, in fact, a myth.

I'm quite aware of the *myth* about winter weight. For some "local biologies" extra weight is an evolutionary adaptation that has strong protective benefits -- and it usually goes to generations in place in locations with *extreme* temperatures, not a few months of less than perfect temperatures in regions where we all have central heat.

I'm not even from such a genetic predisposition.

Reasons people in northern climates with full industrialization (heat, food, transportation, etc) gain winter weight include that we have too much food, spend too much time indoors, and rely too heavily on sedentary modes of transportation. Add boredom, anxiety, and hold-over harvest-traditions from when we were more agrarian and you have demonstrable causative variables.

Bipedalism is not great in many respects -- it makes things like pregnancy far more difficult and requires far more amnion, which in turn places greater demand on the cardio-vascular system as well as on the spine.

For any sex, bipedalism is harder on the lower back, hips and knees. Extra weight above does no favours to the base.

I am a small boned, small-framed person, and my weight gain in winter in any given year since achieving physiological maturity is 2 pounds, not 7 -- and I put these 7 on between July 1 and October 1 because there were so many new challenges with COV, on the global political front, and in restricted movement policies to prevent COv spread.
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I'm going to assume that you did not mean to suggest that I am stupid. Nonetheless, I simply cannot let the suggestion that I have failed to understand a universal "truth" of biology that is, in fact, a myth.

I'm quite aware of the *myth* about winter weight. For some "local biologies" extra weight is an evolutionary adaptation that has strong protective benefits -- and it usually goes to generations in place in locations with *extreme* temperatures, not a few months of less than perfect temperatures in regions where we all have central heat.

I'm not even from such a genetic predisposition.

Reasons people in northern climates with full industrialization (heat, food, transportation, etc) include that we have too much food, spend too much time indoors, and rely too heavily on sedentary modes of transportation. Add boredom, anxiety, and hold-over harvest-traditions from when we were more agrarian and you have demonstrable causative variables.

Bipedalism is not great in many respects -- it makes things like pregnancy for more difficult and requires far more amnion, which in turn places greater demand on the cardio-vascular system as well as on the spine.

For any sex, bipedalism is harder on the lower back, hips and knees. Extra weight above does no favours to the base.

I am a small boned, small-framed person, and my weight gain in winter in any given year since achieving physiological maturity is 2 pounds, not 7 -- and I put these 7 on between July 1 and October 1 because there were so many new challenges with COV, on the global political front, and in restricted movement policies to prevent COv spread.
I think that you missed the :):):)s in @malingerer's post. 😉
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I'm going to assume that you did not mean to suggest that I am stupid. Nonetheless, I simply cannot let the suggestion that I have failed to understand a universal "truth" of biology that is, in fact, a myth.

I'm quite aware of the *myth* about winter weight. For some "local biologies" extra weight is an evolutionary adaptation that has strong protective benefits -- and it usually goes to generations in place in locations with *extreme* temperatures, not a few months of less than perfect temperatures in regions where we all have central heat.

I'm not even from such a genetic predisposition.

Reasons people in northern climates with full industrialization (heat, food, transportation, etc) include that we have too much food, spend too much time indoors, and rely too heavily on sedentary modes of transportation. Add boredom, anxiety, and hold-over harvest-traditions from when we were more agrarian and you have demonstrable causative variables.

Bipedalism is not great in many respects -- it makes things like pregnancy for more difficult and requires far more amnion, which in turn places greater demand on the cardio-vascular system as well as on the spine.

For any sex, bipedalism is harder on the lower back, hips and knees. Extra weight above does no favours to the base.

I am a small boned, small-framed person, and my weight gain in winter in any given year since achieving physiological maturity is 2 pounds, not 7 -- and I put these 7 on between July 1 and October 1 because there were so many new challenges with COV, on the global political front, and in restricted movement policies to prevent COv spread.
Wow, some interesting replies here.
Something I came across recently, which I heard via a close student of an old Tai Chi teacher we both shared, was that there are other consequences of walking upright.
No doubt there will be different opinions about any of these things, but the comment he made was this:
A consequence of walking upright has been the change in distance of the heart from the earth/ground. It's not so much the physical separation, rather it is the energetic separation from the Earth. This can be seen as something manifest in how far we have come from our original nature. Not that progress and evolution is bad, and I'm sure nobody wants to walk on all fours, but somehow we've lost some, or all, of our connection with the ground.
We walk a Camino and this brings us closer to nature, not just the natural surroundings outside cities, but also a our inner nature. Somehow by walking, the rhythm of daily walking, brings us back in tune a little bit.
I must stop, I think I've gone way off track with the comment, let alone the OP.
Here is a video that might help us see something we can learn from people who still live very close to nature and exhibit extraordinary skills despite not having any technology to help them:
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I know that most walkers take training seriously. But do you think about your weight?
Yes, I do now! Always made sure not to carry more than 5 kgs in my rucksack to make the walking more pleasant.
Well.... I have recently put on weight 😳 And how! 😱
So I have got to lose it before I walk another Camino 😳 The worst thing is, I have no idea where to start! The ‘good’ thing is.... It seems like I have plenty of time to work it out 🙄🙁😉
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Bipedalism is not great in many respects -- it makes things like pregnancy for more difficult and requires far more amnion, which in turn places greater demand on the cardio-vascular system as well as on the spine.

For any sex, bipedalism is harder on the lower back, hips and knees. Extra weight above does no favours to the base.
Well I'll crawl on my hands and knees on my next camino then 😄!
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Eat wisely and healthily and you probably won't even have to think about it. Throw in some regular good exercise and it own't even hit your radar.
My son, a strong and athletic young lad, has a great formula: moderate amounts of protein with salad plus vegetables, preferably seasonal ones for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That's it!
 
Last edited:

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I would hope it goes without saying that the better physical condition you are in before you start walking the Camino, the more enjoyable an experience it will be.
Do not depend upon walking the Camino to beat you into shape, so to speak. If you cannot easily walk at least ten kilometres with a backpack on in the first place you will not get into shape on the Camino because you cannot walk long distances in order to get into shape. You will suffer and in the case of several pilgrims I met, will have to either cease walking or end up taking train and auto for most of the trip. You may even injure yourself badly.
Is being in good physical shape to walk the Camino more important than all the fancy high tech, lightweight, expensive Gucci gear? Yes it is (prospective pilgrims take note). I back that up with the countless pilgrims I have observed walk all the way from France to Muxia wearing and carrying clothes and equipment that make the gear snobs shudder. They reach the cathedral alive and well and just as easily as the pilgrims that look like an advertisement for REI.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I do worry about it somewhat. COV has seen me gain several pounds and I worry about how that will affect my feet if I can't dump them prior to the next camino. It's as much weight -- 7lb -- as I would normally be carrying as the contents of my pack!

I usually try to leave home with a pack roughly 12% of my body weight, and I know that by the end of a camino that pack will be up to about 15%-16% of my body-weight. But I'm not going to take a heavier pack on my next trip to match my current weight if it remains my baseline to 2022. Gotta dump those 7 from my body before I get on the next plane...

Maybe now that I'm exhaling about world stage things a little, I will stop eating so much brioche dipped in thick sipping chocolate...
@Faye Walker, you are not the only one who, sans pack, now weighs what body & pack used to! My weight gain (all my own doing of course... 😇), was pre-Covid & our winter is opposite time of year to yours but those factors (& a few others) have seen my extra kilos still liking their new home. 😉 Usually the prospect of an upcoming long walk is enough to lose the additional pud but without that carrot (or eating any for that matter! 😖), I confess, motivation levels are low.
I'm curious about the body-pack % rates you mentioned; is the ratio higher at the end of your Camino due to body weight loss or the collection of additional pack items (eg, momentos) along the way?
👣 🌏
 

ShaLaw

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Sept./Oct. 2015. Future Camino Portuguese in 2022.
It’s always better to have as light a pack as possible. I was way over the 10%-of-your-body-weight rule, but I had the most amazing pack that didn’t make my load feel heavy at all. We did cycle the messeta, and my pack that was on the back of my bike was actually very tricky to balance and I may or may not have ended up in the ditch. Lol. Let’s just say we sent my pack ahead the next day with Jacotrans.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Yes I do think about my weight( in relation to my next Camino), I have ran out of juice 4 times on my Caminos, and literally staggered into the destination point, the 2 main things that contributed to this happening imo are:
1) Lengthy uphill /mountain sections ( +25km)
2) being overweight

I'm giving it a go in losing some kilos before my next Camino( the Invierno) there is a lot of uphill and down hill sections, particularly as I want to detour to variants, one which will according to an informed poster give me an overall ascent equivalent to the 1st day on the CF, but on the C de I it will be in shorter shaper bursts, so that is definitely a motivation to lose weight and the 2nd will be on the steep banks of the of the Rio Minho which for about 16km wil be constantly up and down.
My backpack is going to be heavier and bigger than the one I walked with at Xmas, but it's more comfortable, this time I might be really strict in what I carry, my backpack usually runs at 5.5kg when loaded but I might push it down to the 4kg mark, which is still heavy by many of your standards but is about right for me.
+ The biggest incentive for me losing weight was given above, it makes the whole day more pleasurable, I have experienced that on a route I walked twice, the 1st time I was unfit and it still felt beautiful but 2nd time when I was more fitter, the whole day took on another more sublime quality.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
@Faye Walker, you are not the only one who, sans pack, now weighs what body & pack used to! My weight gain (all my own doing of course... 😇), was pre-Covid & our winter is opposite time of year to yours but those factors (& a few others) have seen my extra kilos still liking their new home. 😉 Usually the prospect of an upcoming long walk is enough to lose the additional pud but without that carrot (or eating any for that matter! 😖), I confess, motivation levels are low.
I'm curious about the body-pack % rates you mentioned; is the ratio higher at the end of your Camino due to body weight loss or the collection of additional pack items (eg, momentos) along the way?
👣 🌏
The ratio change is because of what I lose every time. I seem to be among those who lose appetite on long treks. This past winter when I was doing one of my long-haul (65 K, 1 day, deep cold) treks, my race partner was an established adventure racer and she told me that this loss of appetite thing is not unusual in long-distance anything. The body goes into a kind of protective mode as far as oxygenating the distal points and stops sending as much circulatory effort to the digestive system. As a result, one loses hunger.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
The ratio change is because of what I lose every time. I seem to be among those who lose appetite on long treks. This past winter when I was doing one of my long-haul (65 K, 1 day, deep cold) treks, my race partner was an established adventure racer and she told me that this loss of appetite thing is not unusual in long-distance anything. The body goes into a kind of protective mode as far as oxygenating the distal points and stops sending as much circulatory effort to the digestive system. As a result, one loses hunger.
65kms in a day...yikes! 😯 😳 👏
👣 🌏
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
The 10% rule nonsense? Where does that come from and why do some people follow it?
A better rule is to simply carry the lightest pack you can and to be in the best possible physical condition you can be before you start your walk.
I have never weighed my pack before starting a Camino. At least not in regards to planning it. I always carry-on my pack on the flight, so out of curiosity while at the check-in counter I will put it on that scale just to see. I honestly do not remember any of the weights.
The Sarria to SDC pilgrims, no offense but the trip is over in less than a week. In all likelihood you will not see any drastic physical changes to your body, and to be honest, carry whatever you want in your pack. It's only a week.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
The 10% rule was developed specifically to address children’s book packs and the problem of over-weighted developing spines. Little kids carrying 15-20 pound book-bags... entirely unnecessary and so it was challenged as detrimental to their development.

But it’s not *terrible* advice. I know that when I can keep my pack at 12% or less my lumbar spine feels better and I don’t get blisters. At the end of 5 weeks on the road, the entire body is pretty formidable and also pretty broken, but it does not seem to care that my ratio has altered.

Any individual might find they can carry more, but most of us find that less is better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
I’m a 76 yo woman. I turned 69 during my first camino, and have walked 5 or 6 since. I weigh the same now as I did at the beginning and end of all my Caminos. My doc would prefer that I weigh a bit less, but she doesn’t hassle me about it - I get way more exercise than - well, never mind…
My pack was a bit heavy when I started my first Camino, but lost weight when I arrived at the correos in Pamplona. From then on, I’ve always carried about 13-15 lb - I don’t worry about the weight - I know what I need and don’t need - and what I can get along the Way. I’ve never used “steps” or fitbit. I walk as far as I want each day, and arrive a few days before the departure of my flight home. Simplicity and common sense works for me.
Hmm, the common sense seems to have deserted me this time. Why did I even read this thread?! ;)
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I'm going to assume that you did not mean to suggest that I am stupid. Nonetheless, I simply cannot let the suggestion that I have failed to understand a universal "truth" of biology that is, in fact, a myth.

I'm quite aware of the *myth* about winter weight. For some "local biologies" extra weight is an evolutionary adaptation that has strong protective benefits -- and it usually goes to generations in place in locations with *extreme* temperatures, not a few months of less than perfect temperatures in regions where we all have central heat.

I'm not even from such a genetic predisposition.

Reasons people in northern climates with full industrialization (heat, food, transportation, etc) gain winter weight include that we have too much food, spend too much time indoors, and rely too heavily on sedentary modes of transportation. Add boredom, anxiety, and hold-over harvest-traditions from when we were more agrarian and you have demonstrable causative variables.

Bipedalism is not great in many respects -- it makes things like pregnancy far more difficult and requires far more amnion, which in turn places greater demand on the cardio-vascular system as well as on the spine.

For any sex, bipedalism is harder on the lower back, hips and knees. Extra weight above does no favours to the base.

I am a small boned, small-framed person, and my weight gain in winter in any given year since achieving physiological maturity is 2 pounds, not 7 -- and I put these 7 on between July 1 and October 1 because there were so many new challenges with COV, on the global political front, and in restricted movement policies to prevent COv spread.

a very interesting reply!

samarkand.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Who cares? Your knees, your feet and your joints. Even on a bike.
But getting to SdC has nothing to do with your weight, it is 70% will, 15% fitness and 15% gear.
Maybe less fitness and gear.

Hope you make it.

BC
Roland

I always tended to think the same,
But 3 Caminos later, having walked all 3 about 10-15 KGs above my 'normal' weight (for age and height), I will never do that again! The damage on tendons and joints is permanent.

Next Camino I'll be 16 kgs lighter!

It kind of helped today seeing my Surgeon for a planned Hernia procedure.
He's given me 3 months to hit my target weight before the Op! (better chance of lasting success)

The Camino gave me a clear message :)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
But do you think about your weight?

In 2012 I was "told" to do "the walk in Spain"

I knew I was overweight and the weight on my back would be very important.

From day one I recorded my path from a weight of 92 kg (BMI-body mass index = 32 = obese) until 2016 when I weighed 69.5 kg (BMI = 24.3 = upper limit of normal).

In 2019 I was introduced to a low carbs diet and shed another 4 kg. I am now more comfortably in the normal weight range.

And I worked at getting down the weight of my gear. At Moissac, a fortnight into my journey from Le Puy, my pack weighed about 10 kg. At Le petite luminiere gite, I was weighed wearing my pack and without.

The all up daily starting weight of my pack is now around 7.5 kg. This includes a 0.9 kg tent (etc), 1.2 kg of tech (camera and tablet), 1 kg water, 0.3 kg rolled oats, 0.5 kg sleeping bag, gadgets, snacks and a kitchen sink.

So, @Peregrinopaul, yes, I do, And I act on what I find.
 
Last edited:

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I’ve never used “steps” or fitbit.
I do not use those tools either and do just fine on my own without them. I do know they motivate some people to stay focused by competing with themselves or against family/friends that can be fun to do.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
For losing weight on the camino, I think the best thing anyone can do is avoid the sugary Spanish breakfasts.

White bread, jam, croissants, orange juice and sweet coffee will spike your insulin levels first thing in the day, meaning that you won't have access to those fat reserves on your body. The insulin puts your body into "glucose storage mode". Once you burn through the initial sugary calories you've consumed, your energy levels plummet, and then you have to keep eating just to have enough energy to keep hiking, so it becomes a vicious circle.

I've avoided sugary breakfasts and done whole stages on just a handful of nuts, without any fatigue. It's incredible what a difference it makes. It takes a few days to train your body to get used to it, but I lost more in 10 days of doing this than a whole camino of eating normal breakfasts.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
For losing weight on the camino ... the best thing ... is avoid the sugary Spanish breakfasts.

I hear what you say.

Even though I usually started walking about sunrise and had my self cooked rolled oats (without sugar or cream) about mid morning at a cafē, with a sugarless coffee, I still tended to weigh more at the end than I did at the start!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For losing weight on the camino, I think the best thing anyone can do is avoid the sugary Spanish breakfasts.

White bread, jam, croissants, orange juice and sweet coffee will spike your insulin levels first thing in the day, meaning that you won't have access to those fat reserves on your body. The insulin puts your body into "glucose storage mode". Once you burn through the initial sugary calories you've consumed, your energy levels plummet, and then you have to keep eating just to have enough energy to keep hiking, so it becomes a vicious circle.

I've avoided sugary breakfasts and done whole stages on just a handful of nuts, without any fatigue. It's incredible what a difference it makes. It takes a few days to train your body to get used to it, but I lost more in 10 days of doing this than a whole camino of eating normal breakfasts.
I don't really like sugary breakfasts much, and I like to walk for an hour or two before I eat my first meal, which is usually a slice of tortilla and some fresh orange juice. Occasionally I will be tempted by a chocolate napolitana. I have lost between 5-8 pounds on each of my Caminos.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I have been approached by fellow pilgrims who outweigh me by 50kg, who have asked me if I cut the tags out of my clothes to “save weight”? Noooo... But I have gone to the gym 3x/week and done upper body work 3x in excess of the weight of my pack. And I am used to walking 15+ km/day for 5-6 days a week before I go. The tags of my clothes amount to a sip of water in the grand scheme of things. So, really? 😉
 
Last edited:

Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
For losing weight on the camino, I think the best thing anyone can do is avoid the sugary Spanish breakfasts.

White bread, jam, croissants, orange juice and sweet coffee will spike your insulin levels first thing in the day, meaning that you won't have access to those fat reserves on your body. The insulin puts your body into "glucose storage mode". Once you burn through the initial sugary calories you've consumed, your energy levels plummet, and then you have to keep eating just to have enough energy to keep hiking, so it becomes a vicious circle.

I've avoided sugary breakfasts and done whole stages on just a handful of nuts, without any fatigue. It's incredible what a difference it makes. It takes a few days to train your body to get used to it, but I lost more in 10 days of doing this than a whole camino of eating normal breakfasts.
You are absolutely correct but it is not just the sugars it is also the huge amounts of carbohydrate in the foods you quote. These carbohydrates are very quickly converted to glucose and many are then stored as fats assisted by insulin so you don't lose weight. A diet low in carbohydrates means that your body will start to use the stored fats to produce ketones which are utilised instead of glucose as body fuel. The result you loose weight. You will need to eat low carbohydrate for a period time, about a week, to get the ketones working and then not eat any high carbohydrate foods till you have lost enough weight.
 

witsendwv

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015)
I have been approached by fellow pilgrims who outweigh me by 50kg, who have asked me if I cut the tags out of my clothes to “save weight”? Noooo... But I have gone to the gym 3x/week and done upper body work 3x in excess of the weight of my pack. And I am used to walking 15+ km/day for 5-6 days a week before I go. The tags of my clothes amount to a sip of water in the grand scheme of things. So, really? 😉
I also work out with weights and take walks regularly. In home walking with weights and lower body exercise combined with walking in the mountains with my mochilla, which I do not weigh, keeps me ready for when I can return on Camino. I cannot imagine removing tags to save weight. Even though I eat all I wish while walking, including Spanish breakfasts, I still arrive home weighing less than when I started. Hopefully we all can return soon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Bad wording on my part + so apologies to all who read it.
It should have read to the "many people on here who go ultralight that would still be heavy..."

I'm not sure many members here go 'Ultralite' ;)
There might be a handful at the 4-5 kg mark, but I suspect the 'average' is more like 7-8 kgs.
(excluding food and water)

I'm down to 6.1 kgs (excl food and water) and don't plan to try to go lighter.
That gives me all I need, without having to 'go without' anything.

Far better to target body weight and fitness now.
My current 'Covid weight' amounts to my last Camino bodyweight (obese BMI 33) + a 10 kg pack! :oops:
I'm aiming for a BMI around 24. Which 'apparently' is the top range of 'normal'.
Not sure about that.
For me it would represent the fittest I have ever been having just completed 12 months very tough military training at age 24! :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
For me it would represent the fittest I have ever been having just completed 12 months very tough military training at age 24! :rolleyes:
Ha ha Robo, hopefully fat fingers got in the way when you typed that last paragraph.
I hope you meant "since having completed etc......"
Otherwise, if your avatar photo is accurate, I would sue the military.
😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Ha ha Robo, hopefully fat fingers got in the way when you typed that last paragraph.
I hope you meant "since having completed etc......"
Otherwise, if your avatar photo is accurate, I would sue the military.
😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁
Bad grammar maybe..........
The last time I was BMI 24 was at age 24, when I had just completed 12 months very tough military training ;)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Please tell me that you are being facetious. :)
Die hard ultra-lite backpackers often do extreme things to save miniscule amounts of weight by cutting off toothbrush handles or drilling holes in them, cut off tags in clothing or excess length in backpack straps, remove a writing pen from its casing, etc.
 
Last edited:

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CFx2, CPx1
I related that to my US Marine nephew who is 5'7" and weighs about 150 lbs. He told me he carries between 75-150 lbs. depending upon the mission. He just laughed when I told him about the cutting and drilling. :)
A marine? Soft, that's what they are. Just go for a short jog every now and then. Not distances like the Camino Frances. Us pilgrims would sort them out in a competition. No worries.

Please tell me that you are being facetious. :)
I must admit that I used to. These days I score the little toothbrushes from the airlines.
(I used to clip the clothing tags too!)
Regards
Gerard
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
People say your pack shouldn't weigh more than 10% of your body weight. I just got a new ukulele and it weighs 1 pound. So I need to gain 10 pounds of body weight to justify carrying it on my next Camino. Is that how it works?
 

jagoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Via de la Plata (Seville to Santiago) in spring 2017
I was carrying a good 15kg of extra timber when I walked via de la Plata in 2017 and I really suffered for it. My feet were f*cked from day 1 and I‘ve hiked all over the world thousands of km and never had a blister but on the camino, even with a very light rucksack, the extra weight on my body was an issue. One exception - when someone tried to attack me I charged at them instead of running from them as I was physically bigger than them....he wasn‘t expecting that and retreated fast 😄 seriously though - for my next Camino I‘ll make sure I‘m at the peak of physical fitness as opposed to the trough. I know it will make a massive difference. I can‘t recommend enough that anyone undertaking the camino to shed any extra weight beforehand as with the delicious Spanish food and wine, you are very unlikely to do so during, even hiking long distances. I must be the only Peregrina to have gained 5kg more even on that long route 😋
 

Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
I find it comical to listen to light people make a big deal about gaining or losing 2 or 3 pounds. Heck, I do that in my sleep. By my name, you can see that I am a heavy person. But I have done the Camino 4 times. I think that the biggest, most important thing that one can do, is to train. Not only does training get your body used to walking for long distances, it allows you to try out different equipment such as footwear, backpacks, water systems, etc. - to find out what works best for you, as everyone is different.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, April, 2016
Frances: SJPP to Ponferrada April & October, 2017
Le Puy 2018/19
After tearing my quadracep a couple years ago (a week after returning home from walking the Chemin du Puy!), my doctor told me that for every kilo I was able to lose I would take three to four kilos of pressure off of my knees and even more off of my hips. I do notice the pressure on the downhill more than up, which I think is pretty typical. At this point I've gotten pretty comfortable with, and confident in, the gear I am using and the weight of my kit. I think it is unlikely that I'll try to save any more grams that way, though drilling holes in my toothbrush handle sounds pretty fun.
For me, the goal is to shed 7-8 kilos between now and when I can get to the Norte, perhaps this Spring or Fall. This will more than offset the weight of my kit with a little room to spare for my wonky knees.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Who cares? Well, maybe not a who but definitely a What. My legs. Since starting two caminos and not finishing either due to leg injuries, yes, my legs care. Now, nearly three years on, one problem has cleared up but not the other, and my weight has everything to do with it.
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
To present another perspective: I always try to gain 2 kilos before walking any long distance camino, since I typically lose 3 kilos by the end. As I walk I gain muscle weight and lose fat weight. Since muscle weights more than fat, a net loss of 3 kilos is a lot to lose. If I don't pre-gain I get too thin, causing local people to feel compelled to give me food when they see me. I usually start with a 15 kilo pack, a good part of which is medical supply. By the end I still have about 12 kilos, because as I use up the medical supply, by about midway I start buying more clothing to keep warm in the evenings, because I typically walk in the fall. I am a backpacker so 15 kilos is not out of the ordinary to carry. It does not cause me any problem. My camino breakfast is usually 4 nonfat yogurts, 2 bananas, and a handful of peanuts. I don't stop to eat when I walk. Indeed after breakfast I don't eat again until dinner. It is very true for me when I exert myself I have no appetite. I give myself treats such as colacao, gelato, etc on layover days. I have an extra lightweight pack from REI. I carry ultra lightweight things if I can get them. I cut off tags from my clothes, remove the hems from my pants, remove buttons from shirt pockets, cut off any excess length on straps, and cut my hair as short as possible. I carry a washcloth to use as towel. I carry the smallest shell possible. I don't drill holes in my tooth brush though. Judging from the other posts here, I am an oddball.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Someone sent me a private message about weight loss and walking the Camino overweight.
"As these things can be rather private"

He had some specific questions which are weaved into this response.

I was half way through the reply when I thought that actually I would prefer to share the reply. Maybe others will get something from it. So here it is.

Hi.

First off I'll say I'm not a fan of fad diets and supplements :)

Losing weight is easy. You eat less. period.

My problem along with many others I imagine, is that I see eating and drinking as a hobby! I love food, trying different foods. I love wine and can happily knock of a bottle of wine with dinner. All that sugar!

On Camino I must eat my own body weight in wonderful Spanish bread!

I am 175 cm and aged 63.

On my first Camino in 2015 I 'tried' to lose weight, and got down to about 91 kgs. BMI 30 ish. I was 'fat' and felt it. I had tried to get fit in training but my excess weight caused Achilles Tendonitis. Which I still have. Prior to leaving for my Camino I had been unable to walk any more than 200 metres for 7 days. I got Cortisone shots into the tendons and rested.

Arriving in Paris and walking 500 m to my Hotel, with a pack, was painful! Oh I had added a bulging disc in my back 2 weeks before Camino D Day.

So I started off slow and easy.........and stayed that way.
Av 22 kms a day after the first week. I took 40 days.
Distances above 25 km really started to hurt my joints and Achilles.
A couple of days I walked as far as 30 kms and had to rest for a day as a result.

I 'made it' by walking slowly, and having strict rituals of stretching, icing, resting, anti inflammatories and pain killers and saw a physio at every opportunity. About 4-5 times.

I think it took me 10 days to walk the last 100 kms, as it was harder to walk at that stage and I was heavily strapped up.

That was the impact of being overweight! (He had asked)

The Camino was much harder than it needed to be and I caused permanent damage.

Did I learn? No.

I did the same thing in 2016 and 2018. With my wife this time we walked even slower, as she has foot problems, so I was able to cope better.

Initially I was of the mind that walking the Camino grossly overweight was easy. You just walk slower and you build up stamina and strength.

To a degree that was true, and each day would get easier.

But the underlying 'damage' on joints and tendons would get worse. In 2018 I tore a Meniscus, which may end my Camino days, but I still have hope.

Did I lose weight on the Camino? No. Not in 3 Caminos.
My finishing weight was about the same.
Why?

Because being overweight is generally caused by 'eating too much'!

And so I was eating too much hi carb food and knocking back too much great wine.

For me eating too much had become a habit, which just grew on Camino because after all I was 'burning it all off'!

I was like 'Joost' in the movie...................eating my way across Spain...

A Change of Heart?

I'm one of life's greatest procrastinators. Always putting things off or doing things at the last minute, like a 'Bull at a Gate'. ADD probably doesn't help.

I would get out my weight chart and start plotting how much weight I had to lose before the next Camino, and how much that equated to per week. I would lose weight, then fail and put a bit back on.

As the Camino loomed, my weekly weight loss target would just get impossible. And So I'd resort to my old tried and tested plan. "I'll walk slowly and get fit on the way"

So last week I went to see a specialist, as I suspect I have my 3rd hernia (Yes, being overweight is a cause)

He suggested the surgery was unlikely to last, as I was so overweight. BMI 33

OK Doc, what weight should I get down to? I'm an ex Military guy. Give me a problem, with a clear goal, and preferably a 'burning platform' to motivate me, and I'll get there. I won't mention what my Military role was, you'd be horrified! (the last type of role for which you need a 'bull at a gate' attitude)

85kg he said. (I had ballooned to 103)

Easy! I'll just eat less.
In the first week I lost 2.5 kgs.
And I'm aiming for an average of 1 kg / week.

When I hit 85kg I'll book the surgery.

So as I was setting up my old weight loss chart again. And plotting how long it will take to reach my weight goal, at 4 different weekly loss rates.......... I started looking back over old diet notes and fitness charts from years back. And then photos.

Was I really ever that slim? Well not slim, but certainly not fat!

I realised back toward the end of my Military service (at age 36), when I was my least fit, even then, I had a BMI of around 24.

What if? What if, I could get to a BMI of 24 again? I mean we're not talking superfit here. It's the upper range of normal.

I might actually be able to walk another Camino?

Even with Bulging disc, Achilles Tendonitis, Arthritis in the knees, Bursitis in the knees, torn Meniscus..........

Heck! I'd be walking almost 20 kgs lighter than my last Camino!

It should be a breeze!!! :)

Oh, and if anyone is curious about what 'Diet' I'm on.........

It's the eat and drink less diet!

9 am ish. For breakfast, I make that my main meal. Toast, eggs, bacon, beans, mushrooms............

3-4 pm Late Lunch is a lighter meal of soup (with a piece of bread) or an asian dish with rice (not too much)

Dinner? No dinner. maybe some fruit, a piece of cheese..........

I 'weigh in' each day and if I fail one day, I cut back on food a bit the next day.

Eat less = weight loss. no 'pills', plans or magic.

Oh and no alcohol!
As a test I had a bottle of wine on Friday night with 'DINNER'. I'll have a real dinner once a week.
I put on 1kg!

Back on track now though.............
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
I have to admit that I take this seriously.
Before I go on Camino I try to shed a few kilos. OK, I'm on a bike, which is different to most of you, but I am very conscious of the fact that going up a gradient every extra kilo hurts. 3 kilos less in body weight translates to 3 more kilos more I could carry, (or not), on the bike. Isaac Newton doesn’t discriminate. Then again, it’s not that different for walkers; all your mass, body + backpack finishes up your feet.
I became even more obsessed with this when I invested in a very expensive all-carbon bike. In reality it saved me about 4 kilos. That's about $1000 per kilo.
I know that most walkers take training seriously. But do you think about your weight?
Well, I'm probably the only pilgrim who gained weight on the Camino. Ha ha And I worry about my weight all the time. I did, however, lose inches.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Try Chi Waking.

It is not about your strength or weight.
It is about correct alignment and balance.
Glide - don't push the body mass.

Sumo wrestlers are enormous - but they succeed because they are centered and balanced.
Shed your Western approach - Find your physical and spiritual center.

Imagine a needle resting inside a ball of cotton. With Chi walking all movement comes from the needle, the center line. The more you move from the center, the more you can let go of the extremities and begin to experience them as light as cotton. You relax the shoulders and hips, as movement originates from the center, from the core, the abdominal muscles.

It is all about correct alignment with the body upright and balanced.

Stability is about flexibility, not being rigid. You glide and skate rather than push and shove your way along. The Inuit people were said to be lazy by the first European explorers because they walked slowly and methodically across the arctic. They walked so as not to break a sweat, because sweating and getting wet can mean hypothermia and death in the frigid arctic. They were Chi walking, staying balanced and aligned and conserving energy
 
Last edited:

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I find it comical to listen to light people make a big deal about gaining or losing 2 or 3 pounds. Heck, I do that in my sleep. By my name, you can see that I am a heavy person. But I have done the Camino 4 times. I think that the biggest, most important thing that one can do, is to train. Not only does training get your body used to walking for long distances, it allows you to try out different equipment such as footwear, backpacks, water systems, etc. - to find out what works best for you, as everyone is different.
The best athelics in the NFL are 280 - 320 -

Best Ruby players are 250 to 280. Atheletes who could the Camino and would be like for them. a walk in the park. No sweat. Way easy.

One of the best sporting clays guys---I shot with is near 300 - he breaks 96 0ut of a 100 targets - best clay dics shot in Maine.

Size is not important- balance and alignment and will power are way more important. Plus focus. And a strong commitment

Not about thr body - it is about the mind and spirit.

You are absoutley correct- it is all about preparation and training. ATTITUDE - I will do this.

I am 230 - trained for 3 months --3 miles a day -then 4- then 5 then 6 --it is incremental.

Did loss 20 pounds on my first French Camino-- 500 mles - but put the weight back on -too much Ben and Jerry's ice Cream!!!
1605887170095.png
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal (2021)
HI everyone!
For at least the last 20 years I have been walking between 5 and 8 miles a day on hard surfaces (tarmac and public sidewalks) with my G/dogs no probs; unless snow is on the ground dog cant find his stops!
However suddenly (a few months ago) i begun to suffer plantar fasciitis in my right foot; had an injection and custom orthotics made, it's still there but i am working on it (i also supinate a lot).
Now my right knee is starting to suffer;just when i think all those miles walked had put me in good stead for Camino.
Then suddenly i had the realisation that unless i lost weight this wasn't going to change and things were going to worsen; putting to much stress on my poor old body ha! ha!
At 235 pounds and 6 feet 2 inch i am a fatboy.(just tuck it all in though)

The strange thing about us humans is our mental age doesn't always correspond with our physical age!
I inwardly think i am Brad Pitt; whereas i resemble Arm Pitt on the outside!
At nearly 67 i think i am still the guy that as a younger man;worked in engineering and would load 120 tons of steel a day 6 days a week by hand;now i cant undo the lid on a jam jar and no 6 pack more like a 9 pack!

So because Camino is something i want to achieve before they shut the lid, i am on a diet!
Luckily my daughter is a body builder and healthy eater;so loads of protein,fruit and veggies by the barrow load and some low cal treats like caramel rice cakes to stop sugar craving's.
I think knowing that you guys now know my intention it will help me stick with it;just in case i bump into you on the Camino; so that then you can ask are you Brad Pitt's dad!!!!!!!
All the best
Woody.
 

Advertisement

Booking.com

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 57 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 202 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 330 24.8%
  • June

    Votes: 96 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 25 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 386 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 160 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top