How to Strip 7 Inches of Fat Off Your Waist Using "The Wilderness"

Learn how stepping out into the wilderness—or simulating that environment—can help trigger important health markers and massively accelerate fat loss, even leading to over 7 inches being stripped from your waist! 

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #294

loseincheswiththewildernessI don't think it's any secret that I'm a big fan of the outdoors. After all, I live in the Pacific Northwest, which is a fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, and all-around-wilderness mecca.

So, as you can imagine, I was quite pleased to see their results of a recent study entitled "Influence of a 10-Day Mimic of Our Ancient Lifestyle on Anthropometrics and Parameters of Metabolism and Inflammation: The 'Study of Origin.'”

Now, I realize that that may sound like a mouthful of propeller-hat, nerdy, fitness-geek speak, but in fact, the study contains some very important instructions for how you can quickly strip over 7 inches of fat off your waist - even if you don't live in the wilderness. Let's jump in and see what we can learn, shall we?

The Study

In this study, each of the participants embarked upon three separate 10-day summer trips through the Spanish Pyrenees in order to “experience the impact of ancient lifestyle on their own health and well-being.” More specifically, the participants lived outdoors and walked from one source of water to another. Food was provided by the researchers who organized the study, and participants were assisted with forest-guards (our Western version of a forest “ranger.")

The diet of each participant was prescribed based on the average daily food intake of the traditional Hadzabe (also known as the “Hazda”) people of Tanzania (more on that later.) This last part, though, may make you want to run away and quit listening: in addition to plenty of outdoor fresh air and ancestral foods, the use of mobile phones or other electronic devices was not allowed.

Let’s delve into a few of the nitty-gritty details here:

  • Exercise

The schedule included daily walking trips from waterhole to waterhole, with an average walking distance of about 8-9 miles per day. The participants carried their own backpacks, which had an average weight of about 17 pounds. In addition, some manual work was done to clean mountain trails, as agreed upon with the Catalan Government of the area where the study took place.

  • Food and Water

The participants consumed two meals daily: The first meal was provided halfway through the walk, and the second meal was provided upon arrival at the camping site.Animals (including ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and fish) were delivered alive and prepared by the participants. Fish were also caught with nets in the nearby river, and other foods consisted primarily of seeds, nuts, berries, fresh fruits, and tubers, such as carrots and sweet potatoes.

Lots of hydration and good drinking behavior was also on the menu, with participants encouraged to drink as much as possible (up to satiety) upon reaching the waterholes, which contained non-chlorinated drinking water.

  • Sleep

The participants slept outside in sleeping bags on small inflatable mattresses, generally going to bed at sundown and rising at sunup. The night temperatures got relatively cool, varying from about 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

So what happened?


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.