Is it possible to overeat and lose weight during the holidays, and throughout the year?  Take A Hike! Says outdoor enthusiast extraordinaire and author Jeff Alt. Jeff Alt says ‘yes’ with his overeat and lose weight three step plan for the whole family.

With the holidays in full swing and all the fattening foods and over indulgence, soon to follow will be the New Year Resolution to lose weight. Jeff Alt, author and hiking expert, has an Overeat and Lose Weight Plan that will put your mind at ease as you and your kids fill the plate with seconds, overstuffing yourselves.

His Overeat and Lose Weight Plan is not some diet gimmick, it’s not a computer App, it’s a lifestyle; and it’s FREE.

Apply Jeff Alt’s Overeat and Lose Weight Plan to your lifestyle and you will be more prepared than most to handle  those five sugar cookies, four oversized cuts of prime rib, three turtle caramels, two pounds of shrimp cocktail, and one dozen pieces of fudge.

Jeff Alt’s Overeat and Lose Weight Plan is a combination of walking, eating and exerting more calories than you consume. His method will prepare you to enjoy those moments of overindulgence; guilt free. He doesn’t endorse overeating unhealthy foods but he knows from his own habits that tasty holiday trimmings are hard to resist.

Jeff is an avid hiker.  In addition to walking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail, he also walked the 218-mile John Muir Trail with his wife, and trekked across a 50-mile path of Ireland with his wife, young daughter, and extended family. He and his wife emerged from the church doors on their wedding day wearing backpacks, and his son was taken on his first hike at 8 weeks. 

overeat and lose weight

Alt proved that you can overeat and lose weight by hiking. He lost 30 pounds in five months while eating enormous portions of food. How? By strapping on a backpack and walking over 2,000-miles completing the entire Appalachian Trail.

Alt burned between 4-6,000 calories a day; the equivalence of running two marathons per day. His appetite tripled in size causing some hilarious food binges and he still lost all that weight:

  • He would seek out all you can eat buffets in towns along the trail. Hikers refer to these as hog troughs.
  • He ate a large pizza as a snack; a dozen donuts before breakfast; a half-gallon of ice-cream at the half-way point of his journey and more.

Alt knows that walking the entire Appalachian Trail as a diet plan over a 4-6 month period is a bit extreme for most, but he has continued his Over Eat and Lose Weight Plan successfully even off the trail.  

Alt’s overeat and lose weight method is a simple three step plan:

  • Step One: Develop a walking routine.  At least five days a week, take a hike around the neighborhood, park, beach, or nearby trail.
    • Make this a family or social event. Routines are easy to stick to when they are established and a walk with family and friends will get everyone away from the distracters of the indoors (TV, computer, etc.) and allow some bonding time with each other. Kids need to get up and move around more than ever with more and more time spent in front of the computer or on the couch playing video games.
    • Outfit everyone in comfortable walking shoes or trail shoes (your local outfitter or running shop will help out hear).
    • Be sure to wear the right clothing (NO cotton, dress in layers, and dress for the weather).
    • Save money and stop driving everywhere. Walk to the grocery store. Walk to your local restaurant for dinner and back. Walk to the library.  Make walking and hiking as routine as brushing your teeth.
    • If you’re going for more than a walk around the neighborhood, bring along food and water. An adult needs at least two quarts of water per day. Pack enough snacks for everyone.
    • Consult with experts (park rangers) and research (websites, local outfitters) before undertaking new parks & trails. Attend local slide shows or lectures (outfitters/libraries/bookstores) every chance you get.
    • Brush up on safety precautions (first aid, signs & symptoms of hypothermia, how to use a compass, etc.). Keep matches and lighters dry and in a safe place. Know how to start a fire to keep warm.  If you do get lost, make yourself as visible as possible. Place a bright item (e.g. item of clothing or gear) in the open. Make distress signals and make noise. If you brought a cell phone, check periodically to see if it works. Leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member.
  • Step Two: Keep it Fun!
    • Let the youngest child or slowest walker lead. This helps you focus on what their interested in and will prevent you from leaving them in your dust.
    • Bring the outdoors inside.  Educate your kids constantly to generate interest and enthusiasm. Take lots of pictures of the kids and places you go. Make posters for the family and living room and for Christmas cards.  Get magazines, videos, and artwork of those places you want to go. Rent movies about faraway places. Use the Internet together to look at maps, and photographs of the wildlife, environments, and spectacular scenery you will be visiting someday.
    • Go high tech.  Bring on the gadgetry! Turn your computer game nerds on to the adventure technology. (e.g. GPS, pedometers headlamp flashlights, geocaching) and teach them all about how these incredible devices are being used for fun, like scavenger hiking in the Shenandoah & Great Smoky Mtn Ntl. Parks.
    • Take the kids to a local orienteering course and learn how to use GPS & compass together.
    • Use your local walks to train for a bigger adventure to a distant park.
    • Involve everyone in your family; especially the kids, in planning out all trips and adventures. Older children can use the computer to research your destination or sport.  (all national parks and most other destinations have websites chock full of facts & info., maps, wildlife).
    • Let the kids (especially teens) bring along a friend. Get permission from parents and make it a club adventure.
  • Step Three: Eat!
    • Use an online calorie intake and calories burned calculator to figure out how many calories you typically consume each day, then figure out the distance you would have to hike to burn those calories off. Any search engine will pull up lots of these calculators.
      • The pedometer and trail maps will help you determine if you’ve covered enough distance to burn the necessary calories.
    • Eat a daily healthy balanced meal. So, when you do go off the reservation and splurge in junk, you have a normal eating routine to snap back to.

Most diet plans fail because they usually require cutting out your favorite “high calorie” and “high fat” foods. Eventually, temptation is too hard to resist and the diet fails. Revamping your lifestyle to include walking and hiking and including your kids will become an engrained healthy habit and will also create adventurous memories to cherish forever.

overeat and lose weightThe winter holiday season is a great time to start a new family tradition to overeat and lose weight.

  • The kids are out of school and most working parents are home from work or have a lighter schedule through the New Year. 
  • Everyone is in a more festive mood and will be more inclined to try your family hiking routine.     
  • You can make walking as a family your New Year resolution.

In addition to walking the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail, Jeff Alt has walked the 218-mile John Muir Trail with his wife, and trekked across a 50-mile path of Ireland with his wife, young daughter, and extended family. He and his wife emerged from the church doors on their wedding day with backpacks.  His son was taken on his first hike at 8 weeks. 

Alt is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA). His adventures have been featured in media nationwide including: ESPN, Hallmark Channel, the AP, CNN-Radio, NPR, and more. Alt’s award-winning books, A Walk for Sunshine and A Hike for Mike, have been reviewed in Library Journal, Chicago Sun Times and more.


Pat WymanPat Wyman is the best selling author of  Instant Learning for Amazing GradesLearning vs. Testing, CEO and founder of . and the creator of the Personal Learning Styles Inventory.

Wyman suggests reading Jeff Alt’s books to get inspired to overeat and lose weight.